Sunday, January 31, 2010

Two Lists

What I didn't do this weekend:
  1. Grade any papers
  2. Go to yoga
  3. Work on some article revisions
  4. For the most part, cook
  5. Play hockey or run
What I did this weekend:
  1. Played Flower and Pain on PS3
  2. Bought some Punta Yarns Merisoft Space Dyed merino in black and started the Irish Hiking Hat
  3. Saw Kristina Lahde's show at MKG127
  4. Saw Jess Dobkin's performance piece Everything I've Got at the Harbourfront Centre
  5. Watched Anvil and ate pizza
I think this is a pretty accurate encapsulation of the tone of my weekend. 
I used to think I was so busy when I lived in New York because it was New York.  Evidence points to another culprit: me.   So I'm posting a photo from Nova Scotia, where we spend a fair bit of time in the summer and manage to really slow down.  I could use a little bit of that now.  Following my almost tearful need to just sit and craft today, I did not go to yoga or the meeting that followed.  I'm still in my pajamas and pretty damn happy.

I've recently been entertaining the fantasy of living in the country and busying myself entirely with cooking, crafting, and creating.  It's unrealistic right now (uh, how would I make any money?), but I still play with the idea.

Finally, last night I had a vision unlike any I've ever had before.  Without really thinking about it, I saw myself hanging out with my friend Celine and her teenage child, like I was an honorary aunt or something.  Celine is pregnant with her first child right now.  The importance of this vision was that I actually envisioned staying in one place and becoming a long-term (local) part of someone's life besides my immediate family's.  I know that a lot of people do this as a matter of course, but I've never really thought of it as an option.  I considered this and thought, "Hey, that might be really nice."

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


As part of the 30-day challenge we get little e-mails with thoughts, suggestions, encouragement, etc.  Yesterday's included a recipe for a smoothie.  I thought it would be vile but decided to try it anyway.  It's totally yummy!  Trust me, really.  Here's the recipe:
Blend the following ingredients with 1 cup of purified water. Add more water if the consistency is too thick.
1 cup of Baby Spinach
juice of 1/2 a Lemon
1 Banana
1 Pear or 1 cup of frozen blueberries
1 thumb size piece of Ginger (optional)

I used the blueberries, which we'd picked last summer, and included the ginger, which gives it a nice kick.  I also didn't read to include the 1 cup of (purified) water, which might explain why it took awhile for it to blend properly.  I added some water later.

I feel so virtuous. 

Yoga Challenge Update

Hello sports fans, it's day 13 of the 30-day yoga challenge.  I've already gone through one belligerent phase ("ugh, I don't wanna go to yoga today" - please whine as you say this), but happily I've worked through it, and quite honestly I enjoy going to yoga everyday.  Crazy, but true.

Of course I feel a little bit like the cranky yogi or the carousin' yogi because I'm not so into giving up my coffee, abstaining from various toxins (insert your favourite here), or not eating meat.  I'm a conscious and conscientious omnivore, and I've come to that after years of various diets and eating patterns.  One of the other 30-day challengers has a blog detailing her experience if you're interested:  Natalie's Yogadventures.   I was happy to infer that she went out drinking for her 21st birthday - it made me feel like I wasn't the only one not on the wagon!  I really just want to ask some of my teachers if they're "like this" (you know, yogi-ish) all the time and if it's any fun.  But I'll wait on that one.

Sunday, January 24, 2010


Before, in all its maximalist glory.

After, resting comfortably against the rotting picnic table we got for free via Freecycle (important lesson, always ask about the condition of freebie).

Friday, January 22, 2010

Tempo Change

I feel like this is the first day off I've had in awhile - my only obligations today have been yoga (done!) and a hockey game tonight.

I alternate between working on my Alabama Chanin skirt - I got the kit for Christmas - and undressing the Christmas tree (yes, it's still up).  This is the official photo of the skirt from the website.  My colourway is two complementary shades of green.  I'm on the third of four panels, but I'm not in a hurry.  I really like the pace of hand-sewing, especially today.

I've been listening to Guy Klucevsek & Viktor Krauss today - going through my collection to listen to things I haven't heard in awhile. 

Trying hard not to be too productive.  So hard, in fact, that I took a nap.  Yum!  I might have seconds!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Ways of Being -NYC

We went to NYC this weekend, which always feels a bit bittersweet for me.  This weekend, however, was more sweet than bitter because I got to see some of the people closest to my heart and have the kinds of conversations I miss - conversations with people who really know me, with whom I have a shared history, and with whom I can lay a lot on the line.  One of the tensions I navigate is the loss of these intimates.  I have friends here (hello!), but I don't have the kind of intimates that I left behind in New York.  And while I'm quite happy in Hamilton, I definitely feel the loss of my NYC community.  I'm a fairly private person (despite having a blog), and it takes awhile for me to make these kinds of connections.

One particularly inspiring date was with my friend Kristin.  Over the past few years we've really created a close friendship that I am so thankful for.  We got to talk about our lives as artists and the challenges we faced - both within and without us.  Kristin also got me to rethinking the separation of my fiction from this blog and why I wouldn't share both here.  We think that it's partly because we come from a generation where self-promotion is a dirty world (especially in art & literature).  Times have changed, and acknowledging that, I will start to put up some of my shorter pieces.  Why perpetuate a tension between the different writing parts of myself when I'm supposedly exploring tension and trying to find organic integration?

Okay, enough of the philosophical musings.

We splurged on some sheets from ABC Carpet & Home - a place I used to fetishize.  The decor is so over-the-top and seemingly cluttered yet gives the impression of some kind of inherent order.  It feels like a good model for my life sometimes although I'm often lacking that inherent order.
The weather was mild enough that we got to enjoy a firepit at our friends' house.  It was great - kind of like camping without having to sleep on the hard ground, real glassware, and indoor plumbing.  We talked and talked, and then played WiiFit, which was a laugh-riot.  For someone who is athletic, I sucked at it.  It could have had something to do with the wine and the laughter.

Sunday evening we went to a great dinner party, which felt like a reunion of our Carroll Gardens days.  Photos of that are on my girlfriend's camera so I can't share here, but it was a fun and yummy end to my stay in New York. (Full disclosure, all these photos were taken by my girlfriend, only with my camera.)

Brooklyn wouldn't be the same without my best friend Keith and his partner Chip, and while we only had a little time together, we made the most of it (until 3am on Friday night, in fact).

Finally, I'll close with this photo taken outside of ABC Carpet & Home.  I just found this dog ridiculous given the fact that there was a) no snow on the ground and b) the temperature was around 45F.  But who am I to judge?  I've worn some inappropriate outfits myself.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Cootes Paradise

On Sunday, we went skating on Cootes Paradise. 

There were lots of people skating on the bay as there are most winter weekends.  I've lived here for 4 1/2 years, and this was the first time I actually made it out there (it was one of my goals for this winter).  People shovel little rinks, and you can skate out as far as you like.  No fee, no insurance freak-outs, no guard rails.  Old school.

Sunday feels like an awful long time ago.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Holiday Extended Dance Re-mix

One thing that's great about the holidays and the time crunch they contain is that sometimes you have to meet with your friends after the fact to celebrate, which just means a little more holiday joy & fun.  Today my partner and I went to see my friend Celine, of the charming blog granoland, and I finally got to give her her gifts, one of which was the Nomad hat/scarf combo I knit for her using Rowan Cork.  The pattern comes from an older issue of Interweave Knits.

I have to say, it seems to suit her.

Celine made a lovely lunch of roast chicken, potato dauphinois, endive salad, and creme caramel even though her house is still in the throes of renovations - thank you, thank you!

And because she's so cute in the photo, here's my partner at the dinner table:

Can you feel the fun?  I say we try to keep the sharing and celebrating going!  It doesn't have to be a big deal.  Small works wonders, too.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Lovely, Lovely Calendar

 I'd seen this beautiful calendar while I was holiday shopping but decided to wait to see if it came my way under the tree.  Now we have it, and it's even more gorgeous than I remembered.  Nikki McClure makes these amazing papercuts (a new fascination of mine), and they're paired with one-word inspirations.  What I particularly like is that there's a good mix of the crunchy/crafty, like "Revive" and "Learn,"  with less obvious things like "Please" and "Eat Out."  This calendar feels like a good personality match.

If you like these images, you can check out more of her stuff on Buy Olympia.  I've already found more I'm interested in.

Team USA Wins!

(photo courtesy of Getty Images)

I'm not usually a "U-S-A! U-S-A!" type of person, but last night's gold medal win by Team USA at the 2010 World Junior Hockey Championships was awesome.  They were the underdog, playing Team Canada in Saskatoon (home ice) and, despite some moments where it seemed like they'd decided to hold their lead rather than continue their aggressive play, they pulled it out.  Whoo-hoo!  Congratulations, Team USA.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Other Photo

Here's the other view of my outfit.  I don't really like having my photo taken, so I tried to make it more interesting than the previous photo, which sort of made me look like a second grader on her first day.  Here I'm striking a sort of "heroic," slightly imposing pose.

Let me add one other thing.  I like this outfit because it's an amalgamation of high/low/thrift and is (especially around here) unexpected.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Ack! Brain Overload!

Really, it's been a pretty crazy couple of weeks, and I've had all kinds of things I've wanted to share but didn't have the time to get to the computer.  So now I'll try to catch up.

When I was a kid, I used to exhaustively inventory my Christmas loot for my pen pals (they generally did the same).  Later on, I realized that that was kind of obnoxious, but most kids are obnoxious at some point.  The holidays were good to me and my family.  Everyone seemed to be happy with their gifts and it also seemed that people were really in tune with who people were, so I got a lot of crafting gifts.  Also, I have to give a shout-out to my dad, who reads my blog (it's better for me to forget that sometimes), and got me the super-cute hat/headband that I blogged about a few weeks back.

I'd been wavering on my everyday-for-a-month challenge and felt that if something didn't immediately come to me or that I didn't want to start right away, it wasn't the right time.  The other issue was that I was still toying with the idea of taking the 30-day yoga challenge from my local studio.  Today I decided I was going for it.  Starting January 15th, I'm going to try to take 30 yoga classes in 30 days (I'll have to take more than one class on a few days because I already know I'll be away or busy). l think it'll be hard but rewarding.  Yoga is something I've been doing on-and-(often) off for years.  I'm ready to give it more attention.  I also am hoping that it will counteract some of the effects (ahem) of the holiday season.

Rather than resolutions, which I addressed last time, I'm working on a giant 2010 To-Do list.  My hope is to have it as a separate page to this blog that I can check off as I accomplish things (have I ever mentioned that one of my middle names is "I'm Nothing If Not Ambitious"?).

Finally, today was the first day of classes, and I am particularly happy with today's outfit, which I got my partner to photograph for me.  (I'm sure my neighbors enjoy watching her photograph me in front of our house).

Sorry for the epic post.  Here are the pics.  If you want/need to know what I'm wearing, I'd be happy to tell you.

Happy New Year!