Saturday, February 28, 2009

The stuff of nightmares

I'm listening

Time to start listening again. I have another big assignment due this Friday which involves transcribing an interview I conducted and then, breaking it down mercilessly. It's not quite as daunting as the previous transcription and analysis I did but it will still require quite a bit of time to complete.

I don't actually mind these kind of things. In fact, I love typing and organizing my thoughts & words on paper. I love reflecting on what I've done, advising on what could be improved upon, identifying what skills and strategies were used and finally, presenting all of my findings in a concise and well-written piece of work. The hard part is getting now.

Hope you have a happy Saturday! Talk soon. xo

Friday, February 27, 2009

New blog feature

I've decided to add a regular feature to my blog called Beefs (or variations of the word beef) as in, 'beefs and bouquets'. I may be dating myself here but when I was young(er), one of the local radio stations would host a program called Beefs & Bouquets, where people could call in and bitch or sing praises about whatever was on their mind. It was great - people could vent about things or give accolades to the absolute mundane. There were no rules (well, except for profanity which somehow always managed to sneak onto the airwaves before the radio host disconnected the call) and it was just a little dose of reality (without all of the blood and guts of the daily news) that didn't ruin one's day.

In the same vein, I hope this doesn't put a negative slant on my little blog. In trying to stay authentic (which, admittedly, I struggle with during the program I'm studying since we have to follow all of these frameworks and checklists), I'd like what I write to reflect who I am (without actually ever revealing my true identity, of course!) including the not so flowery and cheery side of me (which I'm sure I've shown time and again!). Anyway, that's my plan.

{Beef of the day} I hate the word diva, or rather, I hate how this word has morphed into such a ridiculous and tasteless label. I get annoyed when people use it in a playful way particularly, when women use it in the title of the groups they belong to (middle-aged women seem to enjoy doing this). Images of fuzzy pink hats with feathers and accented with leopard print thrown in come to mind. I also see wine glasses filled with red wine and people living in the suburbs. I'm not even sure why the word connotes this image but it just does. I also hate it when I see the word adorning t-shirts for children. UGH. Please stop.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


I have a test tomorrow that I really should be studying for right now. All I want to do, however, is drink my super spicy (and oh, so delicious!) cup of tea and search for interesting, old photos on the this beauty!

Hope you're having a lovely evening and doing something you enjoy! Talk soon. xo

Misty over Misto

My latest hot beverage obsession has been Starbucks' soy, double chai tea bag Misto. (A Misto is basically a café au lait only I've replaced the coffee with nice, spicy tea).

This morning, I've tried to replicate it at home using 1 tea bag of Stash Double Spice Chai Black Tea, 3/4 cup soy milk and 1/4 water. It's not as foamy and rich but it's still wonderfully delicious!

I'm off to school soon but wanted to wish you a lovely day - wherever you are! xo

Monday, February 23, 2009

Back to reality...sort of

I had a hard time settling into Monday today. I was exhausted but felt really restless. I couldn't get into what was going on in the classroom and the last thing I wanted to do was practice counselling in triads. It really felt like a Monday today! This must be the sign of a good weekend (which we had, indeed!).

Our little road trip took us to Rochester, NY on Saturday where we visited the International Museum of Photography and Film at George Eastman House. There was a really fascinating display of cameras called Machines of Memory: Cameras from the Technology Collection which included interesting toy cameras, vintage cameras disguised as innocuous items (my favorite was a camera disguised as a book from 1889) and various other cameras Kodak created throughout the ages (including film projectors). It was a great way to see the evolution of photography through these specimens and to see some really rare devices!

My favorite part of our self-guided tour was Truth Beauty: Pictorialism and the Photograph as Art, 1845-1945. What an amazing exhibit! There were pieces by Alfred Steiglitz (like the one pictured above titled, Sun Rays - Paula, Berlin c. 1889), F. Holland Day and Edward Steichen represented in the 130+ masterworks. I loved reading about the different photographers and the different methods used to produce the prints. I think the most incredible piece in the museum, however - hands down! - was the broken glass plate of Abraham Lincoln which was donated to the museum anonymously. The photograph produced from the plate was really something - I felt like I was actually looking at Abraham, himself! The detail was amazing and there was almost a 3-D quality to the print!

We picked up a nice Taschen book of all of the photographs included in the George Eastman Photographic Collection along with some other little goodies at the museum gift store to conclude our 'tour'. It was a really wonderful way to spend the afternoon with my little family! Thanks, J+H! ♥

Yesterday, we had a mixed bag of activities which included purging books, dropping H off at a wall-climbing party and watching the Oscars with a couple of friends. (The show was underwhelming but the company was nice which made up for it!)

And now, it's Monday again. This week is busier than most for schoolwork but then, I'll have two weeks of no classes - one to complete a huge assignment and the other for Reading Week which I'm looking forward to!

Hope you had a lovely weekend and a nice start to the week! Talk soon. xo

Saturday, February 21, 2009

On the road again

I love road trips. As a child, I always had such fun when we went on them. I'd have lots of paper and pens, maybe even a nice fluffy pillow and a couple of books. My poor cousin would always get car sick when she came along. We made sure to bring some thick, sturdy plastic bags with us on those excursions.

Today, we're going on a nice little road trip. More details to follow.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Pensive in the potty

As I was drying my hands in one of the third floor bathrooms at school, I found myself getting a bit wistful as I yearned for the powerful dryers that I had developed an affection for while I was vacationing in Japan. Some of you may have already heard me sing the praises of Japanese toilets (my favorite was the Toto Washlet I encountered at the XIV resort in Kyoto). The hand dryers were certainly no exception - in design, function or sophistication. And the power - my hands seemed to dry instantly! I loved how hands were inserted into the dryer (please see picture above) and not just placed underneath a nozzle. It was pure perfection!

Yes, the Japanese are truly masters when it comes to bathroom appliances and fixtures...and many other things, of course. Stationery. Writing instruments. The wonderful and interesting packaging of every day things. The gold foil seals with ribbons that added just that extra touch to store bought purchases. The cute wrapping papers and bags provided for each and every purchase. The free packages of tissue with bizarre advertisements on them. The food. (OH, the food!) The adorable compact cars that whizzed by on the streets. The onsens with their waterfalls, electric currents, the free hair and skincare products provided, and the gorgeous, steaming pools. Consumerism and traditions. The customer service, hospitality and kindness that are like nothing I've ever experienced before. The efficiency of public transportation and the cleanliness of the cities. And that's just the beginning!

[Speaking of cute (or more appropriately 'kawaii'), I received the most amazing package of bento boxes and supplies from a dear friend who was just in Japan over the holidays! The postage stamps adorning the carton were also very sweet! I'm so excited to add them to my collection! (A million thank yous, R!!!♥) I hope to be able to share a few of the ones I had purchased during my travels in my Etsy shop next month, plus some nice little supplies! I'll keep you posted!]

Monday, February 16, 2009

You know it's a good time when...

It's been such a great weekend starting with a pre-Valentine's celebration on Thursday evening for J & I while H went to a slumber party. We ordered take-out from Fresh and watched two movies (Midnight Meat Train and Roman Polanski: Wanted & Desired).

On Friday night, we went to a fun party across the street. Then, of course, Valentine's Day with the family which began with strawberry pancakes à la J and included exchanging gifts and watching Hotel For Dogs with H. Both of my sweethearts gave such thoughtful presents - stationery from J and some really sweet handmade items from H (a cute iPod cozy made out of felt and an abstract plushie sewn from an old wool sweater).

Last night, B & J came over for dinner and a bad movie. As always, it was a wonderful evening and conversation flowed, as well as drinks. B was whipping up Crooked Monkeys but I stuck to my soy chai misto, in hopes of staying up until the wee hours. As with one of our previous Saturday night get-togethers, our evening ended with a sharing of favorite videos.

I will leave you with last night's crowd pleaser.

Happy Day

Today is Family Day here in Ontario. Hope you have a happy day - whatever form your family takes (furry, four-legged or human).

Sunday, February 15, 2009

What a versatile contraption

I wish this stroller was around when the little person was a baby. (Why, look at all of its different permutations in the first picture!) I'm sure I would've taken up golf, just so I could use it as a caddy.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

Wishing you love today and always.

{Happy Valentine's Day to my two favorite people. Love forever. xoxoxo}

Friday, February 13, 2009

Lovely suitcases

Oh, my...look at all those lovely suitcases! I wonder what treasures can be found in them!

Last month, I organized the bulk of my ephemera into my own little set of old suitcases. The oval Skyway overnight case now holds my collection of black and white photographs (over 300 pieces!), another holds most of my vintage letters (also, over 300 pieces!) and a brown leather suitcase (that my vintage Swedish typewriter came in) now holds several pieces of my miscellaneous papers (from advertising and calling cards to ticket stubs and other paper goodness). A beautiful antique sideboard by the front door holds my modest collection of old diaries, journals and autograph books.

Just to clarify...when I refer to ephemera, I mean pieces that date from the 1800's to the earlier part of the 1960's. (Some people try to include the 1970's to the 1990's when they refer to ephemera which just doesn't seem right to me.)

I haven't accounted for my vintage magazines, books, blank papers, photo albums and packages (some of which I've received as gifts but are too delicate to remove from their plastic sleeves). They are squirreled away - safe and sound - amongst my other treasures.

Today, I think I'll begin sifting through my collection to see what I'd like to share in my Etsy store which I hope to have up by next month. I've been thinking of putting up a store for ages now and next month seems like a good time to do so.

Hope you have a wonderful day. xo

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

No allergies here

I found this cute font on Typenuts (a website with free iPhone and desktop wallpapers) via Pica+Pixel (a really fantastic blog that features all kinds of design-related ideas and inspiration; also, a real feast for the eyes!).

Thanks, K+A for all of your wonderful posts! xo

Smoking is bad for your health

Photos by Yale Joel (1919-2006)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Love this shot

NYC nightclub circa 1947

[Please click on the photo for a larger image. It's really amazing.]

LOST fans, get your freak on

After posting last night's blog entry, I thought that that was going to be it for scary images for one night but not so...things took a creepier turn.

J & I decided to partake in a little 'nightcap' only it wasn't a drink we were sharing but rather, another guilty pleasure - late night movies before bed. A favorite genre of mine is horror so we popped in the movie, Pin. It had been recommended to us by one of the writers of Rue Morgue (the definitive publication in horror) - first, because it starred Terry O'Quinn, aka 'Locke' in LOST (we've been on this Terry O'Quinn kick lately) and second, I suspect, because of how freakishly good it is. I was immediately hooked when I realized that there was ventriloquism involved and also, because of a naughty scene at the beginning which teetered on the absurd.

In a nutshell, the movie is about a young boy who develops an attachment to a transparent anatomical dummy which his father uses in his pediatric practice. As you can imagine, there are many possibilities for how this movie could have been presented with such a unique 'character' involved (and I'm not talking about Mr. O'Quinn, folks) but I won't spoil any of the fun. I did, however, want to share a little snippet from the movie that I thought you might enjoy (and to pique your curiosity a little further):

Monday, February 9, 2009

This scares me

Giddy up

Hello friends. Still alive...just laying low and enjoying life.

On Friday, J, H + I met up with some awesome friends and little people for the opening day of Coraline. What an amazing movie and fun company! We always have such a wonderful time when we meet up with these friends. They're hilarious and fun so we're always guaranteed a great time when we hang out with them. Next month, we'll be seeing the legendary Big Daddy Kane with them which I'm sure will be a blast! (Now, I'd better start watching some of those videos to learn the lyrics and get my moves right. Teehee.)

On Saturday, some new friends came over and we had a crazy-good time chatting, having some drinks and enjoying each other's company. The highlight of the night, however, was when one of the guests admitted to watching country music videos in the mid-nineties (which was, coincidentally, when I went through my country music and country bar phase!) and then, proceeded to share some of the more memorable videos from that era. It makes me laugh just thinking about it and all of the madness that ensued! I can't wait to see them again and see what kind of insanity will come of it!

Then, Sunday, I took the medium-sized person to The Soft City which was being displayed at the Rotunda in City Hall. The Soft City is a plush replica of Toronto, complete with streets, buildings, the CN Tower and other notable structures. People can contribute to it by creating their own little structures. Miss H made a couple of pieces including a nice building to leave behind and I? Well, of course, in wanting to spread more mail love - I created a tiny post office, a mailbox stuffed with letters and a couple of little packages tied with string. We also watched some NFB animated shorts that were playing at the Rotunda. From there, we checked out WinterCity events happening at Nathan Philips Square such as live performances on the main stage and more crafting. We cozied up at one of the several outdoor heaters to enjoy some greasy chips from the fry truck, too, and to watch the rink full of skaters doing their thang.

Now, it's back to school and time to get serious. (Heh!) It's been anything but! I've been enjoying this new class - not for its subject matter (FAR from it!) but because of some of the wonderful people that are in my class. We've been having such a great time laughing and keeping each other amused.

So, those are some of the nice things that have been happening, as of late. Oh yeah, I had another birthday somewhere in there, too. (Bleh!) It was actually a really lovely day and when I came home, I was greeted by my two favorite people wearing funny hats who had set up a trail of candles leading me to my birthday presents - a postal scale and some other goodies! (Aren't they the sweetest?!) I also received some really warm wishes and thoughtful surprises from friends and family (thanks Mom & Dad, Madame C and J+A!). ♥

Friday, February 6, 2009

This is dedicated to my friend, Skip

Here's your post. Now, get off my back. ;)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Wrestler

As if Revolutionary Road wasn't enough emotion for one day, we immediately saw The Wrestler starring Mickey Rourke and Marisa Tomei, afterwards.

Mickey Rourke was amazing as Randy "The Ram" Robinson. To see his physical transformation was incredible and his portrayal of this heartbreaking character is 'pure pathos' (as many critics have concurred). And as for Marisa Tomei...well, let's just say her talents were displayed in others ways in this film. ;)

I really enjoyed this movie and left with such a soft spot for Randy Robinson. I just wanted to protect him, his heart and those long locks.

Property for sale

Please don't ever let me buy a house on Revolutionary Road. Ever. Wow, what a powerful film - both affecting and effective.

Without giving away the story, it's basically about a couple who succumbs to a life that neither of them ever imagined for themselves. I blame it on suburbia but of course, there are many layers to the movie and the characters involved.

The acting is superb. Kate Winslet, Leonardo DiCaprio and Kathy Bates are reunited again but this time, the only thing sinking is the lives of those involved.

I loved this movie for so many reasons but most of all, for its message - always be true to yourself.