Tuesday, March 31, 2009

You feel...because...

When I got home from school yesterday, J told me that one of our neighbors had dropped by seeking some advice from me - career advice, no less! Of course, she was fully aware that I hadn't finished the program yet but was still anxious to get my feedback and any semblance of career counselling that I could give her. (My first face-to-face 'client'!)

At first, I was flattered and then I was nervous at the thought of whether or not I would be able to help her (or possibly, harm her in the process). So, I gathered some of my materials from school that I thought might be useful including a couple of brochures from the place I'll be doing my summer practicum and made my way next door.

Without going into any details (client confidentiality, you know), I'm happy to report that I was able to use many of the counselling skills that I've learned through the program (paraphrasing, empathy, attending and self-disclosure to name a few) but I was also able to share one of the self-management strategies we were taught in class - yes, your friend and mine - the trusty decision-making chart! I not only shared the strategy with her but we actually went through the whole process and discussed the results that emerged.

It felt great to be able to share this information with E and to receive such positive feedback on how the experience went for her. Of course, she was an ideal 'client' but her situation was real and one that I might possibly be confronted with at work, one day.

Monday, March 30, 2009

The original flat top

Last Thursday night, I went to see the legendary Big Daddy Kane at the Phoenix with J, Gro and Skip. What an awesome night - from the venue to seeing BDK live. The energy at the Phoenix was amazing from the 'circle' (you know, the one people jump into and take turns breakdancing in) to BDK's performance to Gro's dancing (wow, the girl can move!). It was so much fun!

Big Daddy Kane performed for about an hour and a half. He belted out his hits, paid tribute to the holy trinity of hip hop (Jam Master Jay, Biggie Smalls, Tupac), as well as Big L (but instead of a moment of silence, it was a moment of noise) and danced like he was on fire with his 'brother' Scoob Lover. What a show!

My only complaint is this - and it's really not a complaint per se but rather, an embarrassing observation - the realization that I desperately need to practice my 'bouncing' skills. You know the move...it's somewhere between dancing (but you don't really move around that much) and bobbing (but with rhythm). If I could just master that and throw some hips into it, I think I'll be laughing (or more accurately, someone will be laughing).


Hello. Remember me? It's been a little quiet over here on this little blog but not for a lack of activity but rather, the opposite. I've been busy with school and life, really.

Last week, I finished up the component on group counselling. Oh, boy - talk about heavy and intense! There were some serious emotions and challenges presented throughout the class but in the end, I have to say, it was one of my favorite classes of this program, thus far!

And what a wonderful surprise! I honestly thought that facilitating groups would be something I would hate since speaking in front of groups (especially large ones!) is not my forte. If you don't know me personally (or even if you do), you may not be aware of my intense fear of public speaking or even being the focus of attention. I clam up. My voice quivers. I shake (though invisible to the untrained eye). My heart palpitates. It's really not a pleasant sight. I was so nervous and was sure I would make a complete fool of myself but...things turned out to be just fine.

Once I stopped beating myself up after facilitating my first group workshop (initiations are never fun - unless it's sushi, of course!), I began preparing myself for the second. I thought I would be clever and try to shake things up and create a whole new workshop based on an outline received in class. I revised the original and rehearsed it the night before I was to present. When I got to class, the instructor advised me to follow the original outline since my revised workshop might infringe on the workshop of a fellow classmate. I panicked for a moment, took a deep breath, laughed a bit (this is my coping mechanism for most things), looked over the original outline and then, just dove right in. The combination of added pressure and having to improvise turned out to be a good formula for me as I was able to follow the outline given in class but also think on my feet and be creative in my responses and questions (making it more genuine and sincere instead of robotic).

[Would you believe me if I told you I found it thrilling? Seriously!]

It was a great feeling to know that I could actually facilitate a group successfully and enjoy it. Of course, this was done under very favorable conditions with ideal clients and with excellent instruction and guidance from our instructor. The 'real world' is certainly not this forgiving but still, it gave me a sense of hope, as well as accomplishment that I hope to draw from in the future (especially when I feel like I'm on the verge of fainting).

And you? How was your week? Care to debrief?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Ana and Arthur

The official Hot Docs Festival guide just went up today. As always, the line-up looks fantastic and I only wish that I could trade my seat in class for one in a theatre (of course, it would be a magical seat that would appear in the theatre of my choice at any given time). The festival runs from April 30 - May 10 in Toronto with venues throughout downtown Toronto.

If you're only able to see one film during the festival, I urge you to see Ana and Arthur which is directed by Larry Young. It's an amazing film on so many levels - the story, the characters, the events, the atmosphere, the cinematography and the editing. J & I had the honour of seeing the film (even before its final version) during a couple of intimate settings with Larry, his wife Kathie, along with some privileged others.

[Congratulations to you, Larry!!!!!]

'The end of the seven-year marriage of Ana, a dynamic 70-year-old cardiologist, and Arthur, her 35-year-old farmer husband, unfolds with devastating honesty on their stunningly beautiful spiritual retreat. The toxic farm they had transformed into an earthly paradise for healing chronic illnesses is now the scene of their anguish. Larry Young spent over three years shooting the break-up, his camera unfailingly compassionate and relentless in its portrayal of the raw emotions of loss and grief. Anyone who has tried to hold on to a dying relationship will empathize with what both Ana and Arthur experience, their attempts at civility, and their descent into guilt and anger. And while the age difference between them gives this break-up film a particular twist-Arthur's love for a younger woman is the immediate trigger-the emotions of loss and grief are ageless.'

Saturday May 2, 7:15 pm- ROM
Monday May 4, 1:30 pm - Cumberland 3

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Like a sponge but not really

In Emily Dickinson's excerpt of The Brain (from Poems: Third Series), it reads:

The brain is deeper than the sea,
For, hold them, blue to blue,
The one the other will absorb.
As sponges, buckets do.

I only wish that were true right now. I just cannot seem to absorb a darn thing as I try to do some late night studying. And just in case you were hypothesizing (as if), the time of day really has nothing to do with it. I found I couldn't absorb anything when I tried to study earlier today or even bright and early yesterday. (Sigh.)


Did I ever mention that I collect rocks and crystals? I have a modest collection but possess some notable pieces such as aragonite, malachite, citrine, amethyst and quartz. I also have some lovely desert rose which is really gypsum that has crystallized in the shape of a rose. I can't remember all of the names of the rocks and crystals I have but it's a nice little collection. Aside from finding them beautiful, I actually believe in their energy and have been known to carry around certain stones for different reasons.

Once during a very long (and challenging) six hour road-trip in a mini-van (from L.A. to Vegas with my folks, a couple of relatives, my sister, H & I), I stopped along the highway to collect rocks. I thought this would be a great experience for the little one (and quite frankly, for myself) as I'd read several magazines that said this particular route had many rocks to discover. There were some lovely pieces of fool's gold (aka pyrite) and agates among others.

Truth be told, the stop coincided with the 'Welcome to Nevada' sign where we were all forced to get out of the vehicle to take some of those nasty tourist shots that I love to hate. This particular road trip was part of the larger celebratory trip that my parents promised to H on a specific birthday. For this birthday, they promised to take her to Disneyland including many other tourist traps such as SeaWorld, Legoland and Universal Studios (to name a few). We even went to Circus Circus in Vegas which is really not all that child-friendly (what with all the smoking and gambling going on). I was surprised at how dumpy and gross it had gotten (since I was a child). For the record, we drove to Nevada to visit my cousins who live in a golf community just outside of Vegas (and hey, it didn't hurt visiting Sin City in all of its glory).

[Coincidentally, this was to be the last family vacation I vowed to ever take until I was married and had another individual to 'share' these moments with. J has yet to experience this kind of family bonding. Shhh.]


I have another test tomorrow but all I want to do is go outside and 'play'. It's beautiful out - bright and sunny and fresh.

J has gone to a basketball game while H is outside on the deck with a friend making little potions out of various lotions, oils and such. They're also blowing bubbles and as always, giggling and having fun.

I remember when I used to do the same as a child - my version of bathroom alchemy. I was always trying to mix up some new cream or elixir and then, forcing my parents to test it out on their hands or wrists. If I remember correctly, there were a few incidents that caused a slight rash on my own skin as a result of these fine potions. Yet despite this, I was convinced that some of those very mixtures were somehow a miracle cure (though, for what...I had no idea!).

I've got a little craft for the girls to do after they get bored of mixing - little lavender filled sachets which they can make out of some fabric I have. We could also do some baking since there are several frozen bananas waiting to be put to good use!

Whatever you're cooking up today, hope it's fun!

[Now, it's back to studying. Bleh.]

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Hello Spring!

The vernal equinox occurred yesterday, March 20th at 7:44 a.m. ET (in the Northern Hemisphere) marking the beginning of Spring. While it doesn't really feel like it just yet, I'm hopeful that it'll only be a matter of time before it does!

In years past, I've celebrated the passage of the seasons by having little celebrations with H. One year we shared petit fours and placed a candle on one for each of us. We blew out our candles and made a wish for the coming season - for something thoughtful and not materialistic. I encouraged H to wish for nice things for family and friends such as good times ahead or a peaceful season. We would also place our rocks and crystals in the moonlight and bestow happy thoughts upon them. Sometimes we would make crafts or go for a walk.

Some observations around the world on the vernal equinox include:

- Shunbun no hi which is celebrated in Japan by honoring ancestors and eating delicious peony cakes
- Mother's Day which is celebrated on the first day of Spring in many Arab countries
- The first day of the Baha'i calendar
- Eide shoma mobarak which marks New Year's Day in Iran
- World Storytelling Day

Tonight, I lit candles for dinner and we made a toast. This week, I'd like to do some crafts with H or perhaps, do some sprouting.

Wishing you a happy Spring! xo

Onion rings and pie

The onion rings and pie I had earlier are sitting rather uncomfortably in my stomach right now. J had a craving for onion rings after watching Duplicity while I had a hankering for some root beer so we decided to head over to Fran's Restaurant on College.

If you're not familiar with Fran's, it's a retro diner and Toronto landmark that's been around for over 70 years. We sat in one of those little two-seater booths and had fun people-watching. It's interesting what comes out of the woodwork late at night.

[Sadly, they didn't have any root beer but they did have pie.]

Thursday, March 19, 2009

I hope I don't faint

Today, I'll be facilitating my first group session in class. Each student had to choose a card randomly which revealed what type of session they would be running. Luckily, I chose something fun. I hope it goes well and that my low-talking doesn't overcome me.

Wishing you a happy day. xo

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Erin Go Bragh!

Wishing you a Happy St. Patrick's Day!

[A special 'Pogue Mahone' to MGDC! Thinking of you. xo]

Monday, March 16, 2009


This weekend marked the end of my Spring Break (aka Reading Week, though, there wasn't much of that going on!). Friday evening (after the interview), J & I went out for drinks and to listen to music at a lounge in our neighborhood. I was fascinated by the ridiculous vintage massage video that was being projected on a screen while the music played.

The following morning, we went for brunch at Sadie's Diner on Adelaide. If you get the chance, try the Huevos Rancheros (comes vegan, if you so desire) and chocolate cupcakes with vanilla frosting. Amazing! ♥

We spent the evening with one of our favorite couples - Gro & Red. It was a really special evening because it was G's initiation to the world of sushi. Of course, as sushi lovers, we were very excited to be part of the event! G had a special set of chopsticks (you know...the kind that are connected by a hinge of some sort) but what was most impressive were R's collapsible pair - stainless steel and in a case, no less. It was like watching a pool shark take his cue out. (Props to you, R.)

Aside from the sushi, there was also premature St. Patty's Day celebrating as our guests bestowed us with festive cups and over-sized shamrock glasses, along with gifts of elderflower water and chardonnay. I blame the shamrock-colored wine for all the madness that broke out during the Wii boxing matches but it may have also been the sugar high that we got from G's delicious, homemade, fruit and almond bark. Mmmm!

It was a fun evening (even after we attempted to play the trivia game from the 80's with the ridiculous instructions and no, not Trivial Pursuit). We look forward to the next event when G will sport her shiny red tights at Big Daddy Kane! Thanks for a great night, you two!

On Sunday, we had a really nice family day which started off with strawberry pancakes and 'fakon' (fake bacon) and included a trip to the movie theatre. In the evening, we snuggled up and revisited an old episode of LOST. There was even a game of Yahtzee somewhere in there and as always, lots of chatting and laughing. ♥

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Shameless self-promo

Please tune in to Winnipeg's 101.5 FM to listen to Free Range Friday hosted by Michael Elves this Friday, March 13. I'll have 5 seconds of fame starting at 6:30 pm CST. The Perms and Vitaminsforyou will also be featured.

Michael asked if I would be willing to talk about the 'Create It Forward' meme that I posted on Facebook. The meme was actually taken from my friend, Akemi's FB profile and goes like this:

Create It Forward

The first five (5) people to respond to this post will get something made by me.

This offer does have some restrictions and limitations so please read carefully:

- I make no guarantees that you will like what I make.

- What I create will be just for you.

- It'll be done this year (2009).

- You have no clue what it's going to be. It will be something made in the real world and not something cyber. It could be a mixed CD or a poem. I might write you a letter with some special goodies inside. I might bake you something or send you some photographs I've taken. Who knows? Not you, that's for sure!

In return, all you need to do is post this text into a note of your own and make 5 things for 5 others.

[Please note: I reserve the right to do something extremely strange]

I thought it would be fun to join and a way to stay creative! Also, knowing how talented Akemi is, I thought it would be nice to get something made by her - no matter what it is!

I might post the things I've created as I complete them. I have a few ideas in mind such as little books with ephemera, letters or maybe even something strange like a meal of some sort.

[For my non-Winnipeg friends, you can listen to the show (and other great programs!) through a live stream.]

To Live in the 1920's

I found this great video featuring life during the Roaring Twenties. This is an era that completely fascinates me and I love to look at my old photographs and ephemera from those days. There were so many amazing things that blossomed from that era such as jazz music, flappers, Art Deco, Expressionism, the changing role of women and the evolution of all color feature movies. (And let's not forget about the rise of Al Capone.) I especially love the aesthetic and fashion of that time.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Cadillacs can be scary

The little person couldn't sleep last night and had to crawl into our bed for a few hours. She couldn't stop thinking about the mysterious and scary Cadillac that her & her friends saw parked in a garage earlier that day. Apparently, the girls found a dusty old car sitting abandoned in a garage behind the home of one of the girls. The license plate indicated that the car hadn't been driven since 1988 (nooo, not 1988!) and the combination of letters and numbers were deciphered as the day that Jesus rose from the dead (good God!). One of the girls claimed that she had seen the very same car drive past her house several times before. It was hilarious hearing her talk about it in such a serious tone. In fact, one of the girls initiated a three-way call so they could discuss it further. Yes, folks - what we have here is a modern day mystery.

Of course, J & I couldn't help but laugh at all of the madness that the caddy was provoking. This morning, it still hung heavy on H's mind and she was jumping at everything during her walk to school. If I could only see what was going on in her mind...I imagine it would've looked similar to the movie Christine but instead of a Fury, it would've been the dusty Cadillac with the 80's license plate! I love it, though, because it shows how wonderful and creative her mind is. I also love how just thinking about it brightens my day and makes me smile. Teehee. ♥

[Please note: We do try to ease her mind and reason with her. Of course, we don't enjoy the fact that she's full of anxiety about it all. We just think the story's cute and her reactions to it comical.]

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Not worth watching

J & I saw Watchmen this afternoon. A few things I enjoyed about it were the sound design, the comic book aesthetic and Jackie Earle Haley's performance but to be honest, I found the movie really boring, too long and by the time it was done, I felt totally annoyed. Every time Doctor Manhattan spoke, I found myself clenching my fists and gritting my teeth. His flaky demeanor and cartoony representation were getting the best of me. I just couldn't connect with him and his CGI'd screen presence (blue balls and all). We've decided to rename the film 'Crotchmen'.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Like family

We had brunch with some friends that were in town from Winnipeg this morning. Since we had such a great time at Commensal the other night, we thought we would try it out again today. It was great seeing J & M and enjoyed the exchange of stories and laughs. It was like being with family (minus the bickering) and I realized how much I missed seeing my old friends.

I don't ever regret moving to Toronto from Winnipeg but there are days when I do miss certain things such as my family, friends, familiar streets and the ease of driving.

The transportation system in Winnipeg is nothing like Toronto's - there are no subways or streetcars and the bus system is really lacking. I had a car and drove everywhere when I lived in Winnipeg. You could get across town in about 45 minutes and downtown was only about 15 minutes from where I lived. It was effortless. Sometimes I miss being able to hop in my car and drive just 15 short minutes to get to most of my regular destinations. Other times, I just miss how easy it all was.

In addition to driving, I really do miss seeing certain people and spending time with them. I miss the comfort of my parents' home and playing with Yoyo (my and H's lop-eared dwarf bunny). I miss being near my parents and sister (in small doses) and spending time with my cousins. I miss my dear friends and hanging out and laughing with them. Some days, I wish I could just go for coffee or dinner with an old friend or just sit together and watch a movie. Don't get me wrong, I'm really enjoying the new friends I'm meeting but there's nothing like sharing a history with someone and having that level of comfort that is only attainable through years of friendship.

So, this is dedicated to all of the special people in Winnipeg that I'm thinking of tonight and all of the familiar streets I once frequented. See you soon. I miss you. ♥ xo

Friday, March 6, 2009

A feast for the senses

I dropped my assignment off this morning, bright and early, and then set off on my day - the beginning of Reading Week (aka Spring Break). I decided to get a few things from H & M before I met up with a dear friend for coffee. I had plans to watch a movie by myself in the afternoon but there wasn't much to choose from...plus, I forgot the free passes at home. (I think I'll go to Friday the 13th next week. I've never been to a horror movie by myself and am curious to see how frightening the experience might be.)

I thought I would do some window shopping to see what was new and exciting for spring, as well as visit Sephora to slather on some of my favorite Guava butter lotion by Korres. Afterwards, I spent quite a bit of time looking through books at Chapters. While I was roaming around downtown, I felt very bored and restless. Nothing seemed to satiate my ennui. Even as I wrote in my journal, I felt a malaise. When I got home, I was surprised to find J in the same state of mind. We commiserated about places we longed to be and lamented about others we had not yet been to. To stifle our pity-party, we decided to force ourselves to go out for dinner, (though we were sure it wouldn't remedy how we were feeling).

Isn't it nice to be caught off guard and proven wrong every so often? J, H & I had the most wonderful experience on our little sojourn. Dinner at Commensal was exactly what we needed - delicious food and the loveliest live music. If you're ever in Toronto, you really must check it out. It's a vegetarian restaurant with hot and cold buffets, including an array of desserts and beverages (it's also licensed so you can enjoy a glass of wine with dinner). If you're vegan, there's a great selection available such as Seitan Bourguignon (tender cubes of savoury seitan in a rich red wine sauce with sautéed pearl onions and whole mushrooms), Millet Pie (tofu, mushrooms, onions, leeks and millet grain wrapped in a light crust) and Thai Seitan (seitan with a tangy, maple syrup and cider vinegar sauce) - a sampling of some of the items on my plate this evening. The buffet is available for take-out and there are also a number of additional vegetarian and vegan goodies for purchase. We left feeling happy and full. We even talked about Commensal being our new 'Friday night'.

On the drive home, we decided to see what was happening downtown, including Queen Street. We drove by a concert at Nathan Phillips Square where there was also public skating. There were so many people out enjoying the beautiful weather everywhere we went. The city felt alive with activity. It seemed like Toronto was saying, "In your face!" and reminding us of what an exciting city it is to live in and we were grateful for that reminder.

I can't sleep

I think I consumed too much caffeine today because I'm still wide awake but really want to fall asleep. I've been watching movie trailers to pass the time and of course, looking at some of my favorite blogs. I would read a book but I don't want to turn the lights on and disturb J. Sure, I could move into another room but I'm all nice and snug in my bed. Maybe, I'll try counting sheep.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Stop stop

Oh, my goodness...I can't seem to stop procrastinating and wasting time today! (HELP!) I'm so close to finishing my assignment but am being very resistant to completing it! And tonight, I'll be going to my first industry event so I'd like to have it done in the next hour or so! Time to go!

[I'll miss you! Write soon! xo]

This is why

I just found a crazy blog called This is why you're fat which has pictures of all kinds of interesting things people eat. (Truth be told, some of the items shown on the site are not completely offensive to me. In fact, if I still ate meat, I could see myself concocting a few of the dishes myself.)

Here are a couple of my favorites:
Sandwich Cake - A layer of deviled ham, chicken salad and olive-nut spread between a whole loaf white bread surrounded by four packages of strawberry cream cheese.
Bacon Poutine - French fries topped with cheese curds, egg, bacon and covered in brown gravy.
Mega Pizza - A pizza with a hot dog wrapped in bacon pigs in a blanket crust. The center is filled with italian sausage, ham, bacon, bacon bits, sliced tomato, mushroom, onion, peppers, garlic chips, basil, black pepper and tomato sauce. It can also be flavored with maple syrup and ketchup.

And perhaps the most disturbing:
Pork brains in milk gravy - Please don't make me go there.

Things are heating up

It's supposed to be sunny and 16 degrees tomorrow! (Wow, that's almost beach weather!) Can't wait 'til J can hoist me up on his shoulders again so we can troll along the beachfront. Heh heh!

Love is a Battlefield

They're playing some really great 80's music on the radio right now. (Gosh, who stills listens to the radio and do they still call it that?!)

I grew up listening to the radio incessantly. As a result, I have an uncanny (and totally useless) knack for recalling 80's and 90's song titles from the first few notes. I still remember taping (on cassette, no less!) the top 10 songs of the day on certain stations and then, feverishly dialing in to see if I could recite them over the airwaves to win the prize of the day. I won a few times. Records. (Yes, records.) Red Rider and Luba were a couple of the albums I coveted. (I know, bleh.)

[I love Pat Benatar's outfit in this photo...if only the tight pants weren't so shiny.]

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Someone else's secrets

I received a really lovely journal in the mail today from my partner of a recent Swap Bot exchange I was in. It was filled with all kinds of stories and secrets and the sweetest handwriting. I thanked the author profusely and we agreed to do another journal exchange which I'm really looking forward to. We might even get our little people to do a crafty swap of their own.

On another happy note, I was able to find an alternate online tool to use for rounding photo corners. I was actually quite frantic when I realized that the other resource I normally use wasn't working. (Okay, I wasn't really frantic but I was definitely perplexed.) I just love the look of pictures with rounded corners. It's very pleasing to the eye (to me, anyway).

I don't know

This song makes me smile. It reminds me of when J & I first started chatting and falling in love. ♥

I especially love the line, "I don't know if you write letters".

[Isn't she a sweetheart?!]

Hope you're having a happy day! xo

Monday, March 2, 2009

Like being in a meat freezer

It's really cold here today in Toronto. Despite growing up in Winnipeg (where the windchill can dip down to -30 and -40 degrees!), I will never ever get acclimatized to those severe temperatures. I even wore my heavy duty 'sleeping bag' jacket today and layered a pair of sweat pants under my jeans but still, I found it bitterly cold. The only consolation is that it's clear and sunny out. (This is a concession that can often be heard throughout those unbearably cold winter months in Winnipeg.) I'm home now with the fireplace on and the heat cranked up high. I'm also sipping on a double chai spice tea to keep me warm.

I'm feeling restless today (or, as my husband says, still). I wish I was somewhere else; doing something else. I'd love to be somewhere new and exciting with my camera (and family, of course)...taking pictures, holed up at a café and writing in my journal, sitting by the ocean thinking, eating interesting and delicious unknown delicacies, writing letters and postcards to friends about my travels, sipping cocktails to quench my thirst from the heat or meeting new friends abroad. Of course, what I really need to do is get back to my assignment. (Sigh)

I think I'll look through a couple of my vintage letters before I settle into my schoolwork again. It's a little way to brighten my mood.

Hope you're keeping warm wherever you are (in thoughts and in body). Talk soon. xo

Sunday, March 1, 2009

'Guerilla Preservation & Urban Archaeology'

'I endeavor to capture the structures presented in this blog as best I can in order to create a permanent record of their existence, and their grandeur.' (Richard Nickel, Jr.)

I just stumbled upon an amazing blog by Richard Nickel, Jr. called, The Kingston Lounge which is dedicated to showcasing historical structures around NYC (with a special emphasis on Brooklyn). I discovered it via Scouting New York (one of my favorite blogs) when the author posted an entry about Hart Island.

I'd never heard of Hart Island before but it's a really fascinating and mysterious place which is located at the Western end of Long Island Sound. There are no living inhabitants, though, there are 750,000 graves on site making it the largest, tax-funded cemetery. The island isn't open to the public and the only way that one can go to the island is if they have a relative buried there (though, they must prove this somehow). The island has been home to a workhouse for delinquent boys, a POW camp, hospital, prison and the most intriguing to me, an insane asylum for women.

While the Phoenix House was in operation on the island, as occupational therapy, some of the patients made leather shoes which can be found scattered about. Here is a picture showing where many of them ended up:

I am intrigued by the mystery of the island and wish there were organized tours for people to take. I imagine it would be a photographer's dream. For now, I will admire the pictures and stories I read on the web. (Thanks to Scout of Scouting NY and Richard Nickel, Jr. of The Kingston Lounge for sharing).

I'll leave you with my favorite picture (for obvious reasons) from The Kingston Lounge:

Happy to report

I'm happy to report that I was able to get a good night's sleep despite being haunted by images of Carrot Top's menacing visage and bumpy physique. I am still in shock over his gross transformation (as if he wasn't strange enough).

We just finished re-watching the last episode of LOST. I really hold the writers and directors of that show in high regard. The creativity in their method(s) of story telling is really amazing with the last episode being one of my favorites in the series, thus far. I think I could watch it a few more times and still react and emote just as strongly as I did the first time viewing it. The scenes leading up to John Locke's murder were so engaging and heartbreaking. (Oh, John...I'll save you!) I can't wait to see what will happen next!

And now...it's back to the assignment! Hope you're having a happy little Sunday in your neck of the woods! xo