Thursday, August 28, 2008

Facit Privat

Notice anything different about these typewriter keys?

They're from my new (but previously loved) Swedish typewriter - the Facit Privat (complete with snazzy vintage brown carrying case). ♥

Everywhere I go these days...

I see lovely shades of turquoise.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Raccoon on the loose!

On my way back to the office from a meeting, my co-worker said, "Oh, a raccoon!" as we passed by a storefront. Of course, whenever I hear the word raccoon, I'm immediately intrigued (yet fearful) so I had to see what she was talking about. I assumed that it must have been some stuffed animal or Tenuki-esque statue on display in the shop but instead, what I saw was a man in the store window with a broom handle while another held up a rubber mat - matador style (but without those nice snug pants or bright colors). AND, from the corner of my eye, I see a huge, furry, menacing critter trying to escape from them!

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to catch the action with my camera but not for a lack of trying. For one, I was afraid that the raccoon might come flying out of the shop and right onto my neck (I told you my fear was irrational, didn't I?) and two, I had to go back to the office (for shame).

I wonder how the critter got in and why? There wasn't really anything edible in sight (though, some might consider the cheesy shirts tasty) but who knows? Maybe, it mistook it for this:
[If there are any raccoons reading this, please contact me. I have a lot to say to you and I'd love to get into your head]

Monday, August 25, 2008

Breaking news - My husband's video

Breaking News - Winnipeg Free Press

Graphic meth video will be shown to kids

A 12-year-old boy strapped to a chair chokes as battery acid is forced down his throat, winces in pain as his teeth are drilled until they pour blood and worms are dumped all over him.

The average viewer might surmise it's a scene from a horror movie -- until subtitles flash messages as the young boy struggles in pain.

"Crystal meth is rapid heart rate, obsessive grooming, the feeling that bugs are crawling on your skin and rapid tooth decay," the subtitles say as a seductive woman, who represents the lure of meth, tortures the boy.

The graphic scene is shown in a music video featuring Winnipeg rapper Fresh I.E. that will be part of a provincewide drug prevention program to be launched in the fall. The campaign will target youth between the ages of 10 and 14.

"Most people would say it's on the graphic side but we say it's just the true depiction of the reality of drug use," said Daniel Paspaporn, events director for The Adapt Campaign.

"People don't really know the risks of it. At least one out of every 10 kids that we quiz put meth in the same category as marijuana."

Winnipegger Eddy Smith was only 15 when he died in June from a meth overdose. His death was the most tragic incident of four recent cases that involved young people who thought they were popping an ecstasy pill.

Instead, the pill contained an unknown amount of methamphetamine. As a result, Winnipeg police recently issued an anti-drug warning to teens and their parents.

The video was produced by Original Pictures Inc. to show kids the side effects of meth. They warn the viewer that prolonged use can cause insomnia, the feeling of bugs crawling over your skin and rotting teeth, amoung other things.

Fresh I.E., who is also a youth pastor, got involved in the campaign after hearing the story of a young man who lost everything because of his addiction to meth. Eventually, the man turned his life around. Fresh I.E wanted to use his music to help others like him.

"I think there are so many things out there that are trying to take away our youth," he said. "Music is a big influence in society for young people so using it to combat some of the things we are dealing with is an effective tool to win back our youth."

The campaign will also include an interactive website with information, quizzes, trivia and the video posted by Sept. 21.

Kids can also download a form they can print off and sign, pledging they will never try the drug. The sheets can be scanned and uploaded back on the website.

"Whether they stick to their promise is up to them, but at the very least we know they have been made aware of the risks and can make the decision themselves, which ties into the Adapt Campaign," Paspaporn said. "Adapt to us means we're going to give you some information and you need to adapt it to the situation that comes across for you."

In Fuse Group Inc., the local company launching the campaign, will also send out school packages with information teachers need to help prevent their students from using the drug.

The Addictions Foundation of Manitoba (AFM) said targeting one type of drug might not be a good idea.

"What you're almost doing by picking on one drug is saying the rest are OK. That's how they read it," said CEO John Borody. "They say 'well that one's bad so the other ones must be OK.'"

The Adapt Campaign is only the first of many prevention programs to be launched by In Fuse Group Inc., Paspaporn said.

In Manitoba, the top three substances of choice are alcohol, marijuana and mushrooms.

"For street kids, the use of meth has dropped considerably in the last few years," Borody said.

Before the drug becomes a problem in Manitoba, the Adapt Campaign wants to promote drug use prevention.

"We are a preventative initiative and the whole basis of that would be to curb it before it might even arrive," Paspaporn said. "If we had to fight Crystal meth and it was already here, it would be a losing battle."

The video will be launched on the campaign website at


"Doyald Young, my friend" by Marian Bantjes.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

I miss this place

Reform School is an awesome shop located in Silver Lake, California. I discovered it last summer while J & I were on our 'working honeymoon'. It is filled with all sorts of lovely things from stationery, books, art to things for the little ones (plus so much more!). If you can't make it there, check out their website. Actually, check out their website anyway! The layout is amazing and it's so much fun to navigate through! It is the coolest!

[Pictures courtesy of Reform School website]

Double (triple) your pleasure

Please note: There is nothing x-rated or obscene in this video. Unless of course, you count the dancing.

For the best moves, fast forward to around 2:11 on the video.
(One word: sweet)

I never get sick of this


I met Cyrus when I was picking up my CD of photos the other day. He was such a sweet little guy and I thought he might be a nice subject for the next profile on What's Your Story? He was flattered by the opportunity but felt he didn't really have an interesting story to tell. Still, he obliged and we had fun chatting (between customers, of course) and taking pictures.

His story offered a good (albeit, familiar) perspective as to why many choose to immigrate to not only Toronto but Canada, in general. Opportunities, diversity and education are all great reasons for settling abroad and the fact that he could become something other than a nurse was also an interesting point.

For the complete interview, please see the latest post on What's Your Story?

Shots from the Vivitar Ultra Wide & Slim

I'm really enjoying my Vivitar Ultra Wide & Slim. I love how the edges of the pictures are dark and sort of Lomo-esque and how the colors are a bit grainy and not so crisp. Of course, the wide angle lens is great, too (especially if I can't get the shot with the DSLR). I had my first roll of film printed but decided to have these shots put directly onto a CD. The processing is really inexpensive at Shopper's. It's only $2.99 per disc (for one hour service and only with 341 film). I carry my peppy little Vivitar with me wherever I go now.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


I have a little secret - I am a fanatic about beautiful penmanship. (Okay, maybe it's not such a secret but I like to think I'm mysterious somehow.) Whenever I come across nice handwriting (whether it be through work, in a publication or from ephemera), I'll either make photocopies of it, rip it out or buy it so that I can admire it at a later time. Thankfully, my fondness for snail mailing has provided me with some beautiful samples, as well. One of my favorite handwritten pieces is a really lovely document from Etsy which was written in the early 1900's that has the most exquisite penmanship.

Here are some examples of lovely penmanship (including some handlettering) I found on flickr today that caught my eye:

What I'm thinking about right now...

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Purportedly the most ridiculous album cover (ever).

[Leo Sayer - Endless Flight]

Food for thought

Lastnight, we took my sister (who's been visiting for the week from Winnipeg) to one of our favorite places to eat - Rawlicious.

I reserved the lovely window seat with the comfy cushions and beautiful wooden table for us to initiate her to this new experience. We shared a number of dishes including the zucchetti pasta with alfredo sauce, the dip platter with chick pea dip, olive tapenade & mango chutney, the veggie-seed crusted pizza with their special tomato pizza sauce and miso-ginger-garlic nut cheese followed by their oh, so dreamy strawberry cheesecake and finally, to sip on, their chocolate nut milk and tropical green beverage full of spinach, kale, parsley, banana, apple, mango, pineapple. (Oh,jeepers, I'm getting hungry just thinking about it all!).

While we were eating, I decided to approach the owner to see if he would be interested in being interviewed for What's Your Story?. He graciously agreed.

Angus shared his touching journey that led to the opening of Rawlicious along with many other anecdotes including his thoughts about consumerism, film suggestions, food politics and his experiences with going raw.

What a solid guy (and awfully nice). I left feeling inspired, humbled and enlightened (not to mention, totally satiated from our delicious meal!).

For the complete interview, please visit What's Your Story?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I found this sweet little treasure on my way home from work today. Isn't it lovely? I think I'll use it to store some of my ephemera.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Ultra Wide and Slim

(I hope you're not too disappointed to learn that this post is about my new little toy camera and not a luscious rap video.)

Today on my lunch break, I met up with someone to purchase a Vivitar Ultra Wide and Slim camera for $10. The posting was listed on Craigslist and included a wonderful suggestion for people to look at what the little toy cam could do via Flickr. After checking out the flickr group, I had to have it and at $10, why the heck not?

The seller ended up being a real photography buff so I picked his brain and asked him several questions. I got some great tips about cross processing and where to go for such and such, as well as his thoughts about various Nikon cameras.

I can't wait to play with my new lil' camera!

Motorcycles and fossils

I'm really happy about my latest post on What's Your Story? (as featured on blogTO). He's such an interesting character and someone I may not have had the opportunity to meet, otherwise.

I discovered Howard one Friday night as J and I were out for a walk. I saw him hopping off his motorcycle and I immediately whispered to J, "What's YOUR story?" as I so often do when I see people now.

Howard was an extremely cooperative, open and sweet 'subject' - not that I expected anything less. He shared some wonderful stories over and above the interview and I felt really pleased to have met him.

We had fun taking pictures and he went along with me patiently as I dragged him back-and-forth from the street to the sidewalk.

For the interview, please log onto the latest What's Your Story? at blogTO.

[Don't forget to log on every Monday and Thursday for more profiles on What's Your Story? featuring the different faces of Toronto!]

Friday, August 8, 2008

Oh dear

All I wanted to do today at lunch was buy some Polaroid film and christen one of my lovely new journals from Japan but alas, there was no film to be found!

I should have known, what with the end of Polaroid film production earlier this year, but I was optimistic that there would be a few boxes lying around at one of the stores near my place of employment - not so. I immediately contacted Henry's who (thankfully!) have some in stock (both in-store and at their warehouse). Naturally, scarcity has forced up the price but it's well worth it, I say. You really can't beat the beauty of a Polaroid.

Instead, I stocked up on some old film and instant cameras from a nearby camera shop for next to nothing. I'm excited to see how the aged film will process. My hope is that the images won't be crisp but rather, faded or heavily tinted in one color over the other. We shall see!

As for the journal, I never did get around to writing in it. I've been carrying it in my bag for a week now, waiting for the perfect moment to introduce myself and begin writing. I know, it must seem strange that I don't just write something already but I think I'm resisting because of the soft cover. Normally, I like to use journals with hardcovers and thicker pages so the things I paste into it are well protected and stay put! I made the mistake of trying out a different journal - a softcover! - for the trip to Japan at the last minute (Curry's ran out of my cherished hardcover journals!) and found that while the items stayed on the pages, my writing did not (it smudged quite a bit!). Hence, the reluctance and hesitation I'm experiencing with starting the new (softcover) journal.

Or not. Maybe, I just don't feel interesting these days and am afraid that writing things down will confirm it.

['Oh, the inner dialogue that must go on', you're thinking!]

Anyway, back to today's obsession with film... I'm excited to bring out those fun cameras again - the Lomo fisheye, the Pop Cam camera, H's cameras including the one that takes six or eight shots at once - and have some fun.

Y'know, while I love my digital cameras (and I do love them so!), I really miss holding and having actual photographs. I always loved bringing my film in for developing and waiting anxiously to see how they turned out. I would make double or triple prints of each roll and share them with friends/family, make little albums or pin them up to my wall or bulletin board. I remember how paranoid my parents would be about me losing their precious camera or breaking it. (Incidentally, the cameras of long ago were much more resilient than the toy cameras they have today!). Now, it's all about turning on the computer and loading up iPhotos.

In any case, there will be mad shooting taking place this weekend! Watch your back (and your front!), they may just show up in one of my photos! :)



The word for "eight" (八,捌) in Mandarin (Pinyin: bā) sounds similar to the word which means "prosper" or "wealth" (发 - short for "发财", Pinyin: fā). In regional dialects the words for "eight" and "fortune" are also similar, eg Cantonese "baat" and "faat".

There is also a resemblance between two digits, "88", and the shuang xi ('double joy'), a popular decorative design composed of two stylized characters 喜 (xi, 'joy', 'happiness').

Telephone number 8888-8888 was sold for USD$270,723 in Chengdu, China.

The Summer Olympics in Beijing are scheduled to open on 8/8/08 at 8:08:08pm[2]

A man in Hangzhou offered to sell his license plate reading A88888 for RMB 1.12 million.[2]

Dragon Fish Industry in Singapore, a breeder of rare Asian Arowanas (which are "lucky fish" themselves, and, being a rare species, are required to be microchipped), makes sure to use numbers with plenty of eights in their microchip tag numbers, and appears to reserve particular numbers especially rich in eights and sixes (e.g. 702088880006688) for particularly valuable specimens.[3][4]

[Courtesy of Wikipedia]

Happy Birthday to SSL! Hope it's a lucky (and happy!) day for you. Best of luck on your new show!