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Why would anyone wear pants if they don't have to?

May. 24th, 2009 | 10:09 pm

This one's for the ladies.  Specifically, my sisters who always ask for clothing details.

Wish I had actual pictures of all the pretty summer dresses that I have been living in since the weather actually turned warm. I've been stockpiling dresses --  like that grey-and-white Cheap Monday one that I got back in February,  out of sheer optimism and desperation for sunshine. 

On current rotation: 
Cheap Monday

Also, friendship with pregnant ladies has its privileges. I got a small pile of beautiful pre-pregnancy clothes from a currently pregnant and always stylish friend.  On loan, of course.

Vanity, vanity.  What hast thou donest?

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What I did this weekend...

May. 24th, 2009 | 09:16 pm

Took pictures.

Mainly, I hung out in parks.  This one involved reading the newspaper and a photography manual --

Parks parks parks parks more parks --
new brighton

No pictures of my trusty ride, whose brakes need adjusting. Mental note to take a portrait of the Phoenix.

Also hung out at home --

...now brighter and with newly arranged furniture!   Got rid of the dark brown, sueded, blackout curtains and replaced with sheers, and a grass-green cotton check. The pictures didn't turn out great, but I now have a dedicated art space, which will likely remain eternally (and happily) "messy".  The last bastion of unwanted messiness for me to tackle is my closet.

I also bit the bullet and planted chives and thyme in a small planter box by my kitchen.
not my actual planter box.

I only wish it looked like this!  I've got chives and thyme in a small rectangular plastic white box -- cheapest option around, as I have proven to be a poor gardener in the past and am currently on probation. Still, it looks pretty enough, and it was nice to get my hands in a little dirt.  No pics.  There are disadvantages to not having a digital camera. 

Got this roll of film developed.  Picked them up this morning after brunch (Reefy goodness), and set out collaging friends-and-their-apartments together:
Dan, on his birthday


Love them sunny lazy weekends.

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May. 1st, 2009 | 04:28 pm


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things around town

Apr. 15th, 2009 | 11:37 pm

Over the last few months, I have had suspicions that the following ill-conceived items are "coming back" -- and now that there is a good sample size out and about on the streets, I can confirm the reappearance of:
  •   Skeleton-ts (and hoodies and shoes...did they re-release Donnie Darko and not tell me?).

  • Roller blades!  I know it's Vancouver, but I haven't seen this many rollerbladers so far from the Seawall in all my time here -- or maybe it's because I've moved to the Drive?  And they've just always avoided Main Street because of the hills.  I've also noticed that they've laid off the futuristic-sporty-robot-boots look in favour of a lower-profile look -- to resemble old school ice skates, or leather high-tops.  Nice re-branding job, rollerblade people.
They don't actually annoy me -- I mean, they're a perfectly reasonable and compact mode of travel (motorized skateboards, on the other hand....).  But in my head I still call them "fruit boots".  Compulsively!  And derisively!  Every single time I see them.

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Alan Alda in the house

Jan. 29th, 2009 | 10:42 pm

I went on a bit of an IKEA spree the other day -- I am loathe to bring more cheap crap into my place, but I am not opposed to the good ol' Billy bookcase, or items that can silently help me organize my crap, or help my piano to fit better in my apartment.

My original plan didn't look great, so I spent a few days with too much furniture, empty, and waiting for their rightful places. I finally made some decisions -- piano fits, and the feng shui of the place is much improved. Check!

Still a work in progress, but it's a labour of love.

Coincidentally, I'm watching The Apartment on tv right now. It's pretty good. I've never been keen on Jack Lemmon or Shirley Maclaine, but I guess I haven't ever really seen either of them in their heyday -- before they both got grumpy. There is something equal parts annoying and endearing about their youthful earnestness. Billy Wilder directed -- the man had style, I will give him that. It's a great apartment.

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Jan. 29th, 2009 | 12:07 am

I went to the Biltmore to see Matt and Kim tonight. EASILY the best show I've been to in ages. The crowd was as rowdy and good-natured as I've ever seen in Vancouver, and Matt and Kim were the more adorable, earnest, happy-to-be-here band ever.

The Biltmore is looking pretty good, too -- the cedar paneling and lights on the columns, addition of extra table spaces on the dance floor, and generally a more relaxed aesthetic helps to take the edge off what I've always thought to be a little too try-hard for a good venue.


I think we are finally moving out of the era of emo. Thank god. Maybe now the dancing may commence.

I have photos of my place, replete with new furniture, piano and layout. Forgot the disk at work; tomorrow then!

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(no subject)

Dec. 29th, 2008 | 03:23 pm
music: I'm Just Beginning to Live - Jonathan Richman

I'm back! Got in last night, after an uneventful 3 hour delay at the Pearson airport.

In the less than 24 hours I've been back:
  • Snow. That, and its unshoveled, unploughed, slushy and icy remnants. Such that my taxi from the airport could only let me off at the closest major-ish intersection, lest the cabbie find himself stuck in the snow on the side streets.
  • Hours of operation from 11am.  You know, in worker-bee Toronto, you can get breakfast and buy a sweater before 10 am pretty much anywhere, any time of the year.  For the record, I am wholly in favour of longer holidays and shorter working hours and work-weeks for employees.  Still, it's pretty nice when you can get breakfast before work (or on days off!), and have a half-hour or so after work before stores close so you don't have to waste your weekend crowding the stores with everyone else.
  • SNOW. I gave up trying to clear the foot of packed-down ice on the sidewalk,  and spent a more productive hour clearing the slightly less challenging snow on the walkway and steps leading up to it, in front of the house. The postal carrier eschewed the sidewalk in favour of my walkway-in-progress, thanking me for shovelling and paying compliment to my cute boots.
  • This is equivalent to the middle of February in Toronto, where all is melty and slushy and still cold and uncomfortable. I'm actually delighted to see Vancouver in the midst of Canadian winter, but alas, I've missed the good part.  On the bright side, someone built a snowman on the median of the intersection near my house, and the remains still make me smile.
Toronto was great, but too short.  This is the first year  I haven't had a month-long holiday back east (last year I took my three weeks at the tail end of the City strike, coinciding with my sister's wedding), and I think I'm feeling the toll -- it was so great to see old friends and family, but it was not a relaxing holiday.

Work is closed until January 2nd, so today begins my 'real' break!  Huzzah, huzzah!

Shortlist of projects for the new year:
  • Build a theramin with Jessica.
  • Put some actual time into the film documentary idea that Mark and I have been kicking around for a couple of years now.
  • Rent a piano, and unlearn most of my previous training.  Focus: chords and comping, suitable for rhythm sections of awesome bands.  Also, I want to play every Elton John song ever written in the 70s.
  • Short-wave radio course (although I looked up details, and I am less enthused than I was a few weeks ago)
  • Economics course at SFU, with a friend or two. I think this can only be good for the policy analysis side of work, and it's something I've kicked myself for not knowing more about for, oh, forever.
  • Learn more about cameras, in theory and in practice, so that I can stop relying on good composition and stumbling upon great lighting moments to get a decent picture.
  • Save money. Oddly enough, I've been doing a pretty good job despite the increased costs of living alone and indulging in much retail therapy, but I think I can do better.
There are others I'm forgetting just at the moment.  Still need to pare down this list, or work out a schedule to fit it all into a paltry 12 months.

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wish i had photos

Dec. 25th, 2008 | 12:07 am

The AGO addition is so beautiful! 
The outside looks like a glass fish; inside, you're in the belly of a whale -- or under the canopy of a minimalist forest. Always loved their contemporary collection, and I saw lots of new-to-me pieces today.  The Henry Moore Sculpture gallery looks totally spacious and cinematic - like giant prehistoric bones washed up on a shiny black floor.

The view of Toronto from the 5th floor and the view of Dundas from the new atrium on the 2nd floor are money.

Other things -- I spent a little time in the Annex and surrounds yesterday:
  • Honest Ed's.  So delightfully over-the-top -- it's an old-school, urban carnival of low low prices! I would like to take a decent picture of Bathurst and Bloor at dusk, and blow it up so that it takes up half a wall in my apartment.
  • Markham Street is the home of the Beguiling and David Mirvish Books on Art. Therefore Markham Street is love.
  • There is a famous little shop in Little Korea that makes the best walnut cakes in the world. They're these small, delicious pastries made from a pancake-like batter, poured into walnut-shaped moulds, and filled with red bean paste or caramelized brown sugar...they came hot off the griddle.
  • Man, the scramble crosswalk at Yonge and Dundas is a great place for a great idea.
  • I miss streetcars.
  • And brick.
  • Like, a lot.
Seven minutes into xmas. Merry day to everyone!

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I didn't want it to stop

Dec. 24th, 2008 | 12:14 pm
music: Heatwave - Diana Ross and the Supremes

Toronto, Toronto, oh you.

Listen, I don't want to argue with you or anything, but people are kind of friendlier here.

There is a snowstorm outside, the likes I have not seen in years and years (my milkfed Vancouver years). Angels made right this second would only be obscured in a moment or two, so I'll hold off.

There is some kind of a time-wasting vortex at my parents' house.  It's interesting.  I somehow don't mind whiling away my hours and days watching tv, getting snacks from the to-the-brim cupboards, shooing away the squirrels from the storm windows because they obscure my view of the little fox.

Visit here, please: Autoportraits

Meanwhile, I will turn off the electronics and go read about Leonard Cohen and maybe finish knitting that hat.  I am turning into a very productive little hat factory!  Such well-sized projects, so easily started and finished!  This will be the fourth hat I've made this season, only one of which I am keeping (yellow, DK silky wool, seed stitch slouchy smurf-like hat). This one is a slightly slouchy, hat with big puffy cables in Prussian Blue. I think it is a blue of the prussian variety, at least.

Or maybe I will make lunch for my mom and take a nap.

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third day of xmas

Dec. 23rd, 2008 | 12:13 am

Here for The Selby - amazing portraits of artists and their spaces of living / creation.

Tonight was xmas dinner #1, at my brother-in-law's parents' place in deep suburbia. Highlights were the presence of a chubby little baby (my...nephew-in-law?) dressed in a santa outfit.  Also, the taro and duck clay pot dish was yummy.

Tonight was also the first night of sibling-related friction.  I am not used to being the cause of upset, and I'd like to figure it all out. I'm not sure when we will ever get it right!

In other news, it snowed for hours and hours yesterday!  I shovelled the driveway twice, it's a nice thing to do when you're just visiting snow.

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