Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Now for something completely different...

Can the screwball comedy still be done today? I've been thinking about my favorite screwball comedies of the 30s and 40s (The Awful Truth, Love Affair, Bringing Up Baby (except for the leopard of course), My Man Godfrey and The Philadelphia Story -- Cary Grant seems to be in an awful lot of them doesn't he?) and wondering if the style can be duplicated and still be contemporary.
Outside of horror this is my favorite genre, this is my favorite sub-genre of a genre. I know I might be reaching, but so-be-it. The wish is to strive to write something along those lines that tries to remain as truthful to the genre as possible. I suppose the reason why I love the film Hudsucker Proxy so much is because it recalls the screwball era.

After all the research and writing I did for one area of my studies, everyone anticipated that I would write a horror script. I wrote sci-fi. I went back to thinking about horror and now...the screwball comedy? I've got nothing to lose right?

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Vegan Christmas Feast!

Christmas Eve
We snacked on homemade hummus, a veggie pate, fresh olives, pickled eggplant, and D's homemade best ever caponata. Our main course consisted of:
-al dente steamed asparagus with a dill vinaigrette
-sauteed garlic mushrooms with mint and oregano
-Imam Bayadi (I think that is how it's spelled) is a stuffed eggplant that D stuffed with pine nuts, peppers and fennel as the main ingredients.

D. selected a bourdeaux and a Chateauneuf de Pape from his collection. Later, we were too stuffed to think about dessert, but I did bring out the grand marnier and green tea truffles I had made.

Christmas Day

It's all about the food for us. P. had made some panettone style bread with nuts, fruit and chocolate that we enjoyed for breakfast. It tasted very Christmassy.

The dinner:
Chestnut croquettes (I couldn't find the recipe I had used last year so I kind of had to wing it and I'm not sure it was totally successful, but it gave me ideas for what to do next time. Much of my cooking involves ideas for next time.)
P's marinated veg (one of my all time favorites)
Freshly made canneloni crepes stuffed with squash and wild mushrooms. The tomato sauce included jarred tomatoes from P's garden. It was delicious.
I had planned on doing a fennel and orange salad, but there was so much other food I didn't even think of it until well after the meal.

Our wine was a Amarone di Valpolicella.

We did have dessert later. I made vegan cannoli (from the Artful Vegan) that I filled with an almond "ricotta" (from Nonna's Kitchen) and dusted with powdered sugar and chocolate.

After red jane and P left, D and I watched "It's a Wonderful Life." It surprised me every year. I find something new in it each year. I then watched "Going My Way" (the Leo McCarey film), but fell asleep before it ended. Red jane had given us candied pecans and almonds that were polished off during one or both of the films.

Now we can begin planning our new year's dinner. I can't wait!

Merry Christmas every one. I hope everyone had a peaceful holiday and a festive time.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

It's a wonderful...


We'll watch that at a later date.
Being apart from our usual family Christmas with D's parents, I realize that D. and I have Christmas traditions of our own that include:
Trim the tree on winter solstice
Plan a big feast that involves a new vegan dish we haven't done before and share it with people who are special to us.
A Charlie Brown Christmas
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
It's a Wonderful Life
I think that's it. I also try to add Hudsucker Proxy for New Years since that film is one of my favorites ever, but that's next week.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

"Trim up the tree with Christmas stuff, like bingel balls and Who floo fluff!"

We hunted for a tree that would satisfy our nostaligic cravings for a warm and festive Christmas. Being on foot, there wasn't as much choice as others with cars, but we did find a lovely tree that we carried several blocks and then up the hill, halfway up grinch mountain.

Gigi is very excited. After we placed the tree in the stand and anchored it to the wall, we could see Gigi sizing it up, perhaps planning her next move. Prima has started using it as a place to hide behind before pouncing out.

D. and I let wanted it to sit for a day or two before stringing up "bingel balls and Who floo fluff." I have a tradition of decorating on Christmas eve, but since D. and I have rarely been home for Christmas eve, we've often decorated for winter solstice which I may be more inclined to do again this year. Anywho...we've got the tree up and will put the lights on in a couple of days and then decorate. Gigi won't believe it when she sees that she has a tree covered in toys!

* * *

On another note I brought in a dish for our potluck at work on Saturday. I made a pasta salad since I knew that I would have to make something of some substance since there would be little for me to eat amongst the cheese casseroles, devilled eggs and chicken dishes. I picked out this recipe from the fat free vegan blog. I added a few more ingredients like red peppers, snow peas and olives. It was a success. I also made my pesto with a spinach basil mix since basil is hard to come by this time of year in this part of whoville. The spinach gave it a lovely fresh green colour. Yummy. I was going to add hemp seeds, but I thought that might be a little to funky for my co-workers. I didn't want to overwhelm them too much. Afterall, some are still trying to get their heads around the vegan thing. And I thought being out west would be more vegan sympathetic. Yet another myth about the wet (oops!) coast dispelled.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Trim up the tree

It's that time of year. I've hardly had time to think about Christmas outside of work and the Christmas rush of shoppers that I've been trying to help on a daily basis.

We did get our tree today and we're planning our menu. No who-hash or roast beast, but I think we're going with some Turkish dishes for Christmas eve (stuffed eggplant, P's marinated veg (I think), garlic mushrooms, and asparagus with lemon and dill. Christmas day we're going with a simple Italian meal for Christmas day.

Okay D. is bugging me and we have to order our groceries from our delivery box service so I'd better go.

Friday, December 15, 2006


I've never been a fan of weather talk. It's banal. It's actually beyond banal because I really kind of like banal and think it can be quite beautiful. There's a conversation that people slip into when they're not sure of what to talk about next or they slip into this dialogue when they're uncomfortable in a social setting. It's filler, it's weather filler talk. "We can't possibily have anything else to say to one another so let's talk about the weather."

At some point in recent years I became aware when people slipped into such dialogues and I think it was right around the time news weather forecasters began saying things like "we're going to see a lot of weather today." What does that mean? What is a day with a "little weather?" That's like saying, "we're going to see a lot of news today." Have you witnessed this? Have you been at a small gathering when talk has turned to the weather? Uh-oh that's a bad sign. I've done it. We've all done it, sometimes aware and sometimes unaware, but we can't help ourselves.

Now (of course) I'm going to talk about the weather. I have been all along though haven't I? We've had a lot of it! (Ha!) I expected days and days of rain. I've lived on the wet coast before and I expected high winds, lots of rain and all that fun wintery stuff that swirls around here. However, I did not expect excessive rains causing a water advisory, snow that shut businesses down and now more high winds and rain that toppled trees all across the south west coast. This most recent bout of stormy weather left us unscathed. We were lucky in that we didn't lose power and our house was fine. The only problem for me today was the commute. With all the traffic lights not working it backlogged traffic for miles. With a little patience and a good book I waited it out.

During the night I did hear sirens and could see the tree shadows on the wall flickering as the wind howled. I lay awake for a bit wondering if we'd be okay. (D. slept through it all. He can sleep through anything.) In the morning, the wind subsided and the sky cleared. I saw the mountains and some blue sky and by the time I reached work the sun was shining. When I left work the temperature had dropped dramatically and now people are talking about snow again. Huh? I can't keep up. Each morning at the door it's a challenge trying to decide what coat to put on. I layer a fleece for sure, but then rain or something thicker for a fall temperature? Faux-woolly scarf or thinner cotton? Gloves? Umbrella? Rain boots? Hat? Who knows what the day will bring? Gortex I understand. It makes sense. It's warm and wind and waterproof. I don't have gortex nor can I afford gortex, but I get it.

So tomorrow as I head for the door I've decided I'm dressing for cold weather and there's no turning back. If it's raining, my puny little umbrella will have to suffice. If it snows, so be it. Go with the flow of the wind, go with the current. After everything so many are going through I have much to be grateful for and little to complain about as I adjust to the west coast winter.

Now, I'm feeling a little weathered so I'm going to get some sleep and look forward to what surprise tomorrow will bring.

Sunday, December 10, 2006


Sis leaves today. She arrived on Thursday with her four kitties and they've all been staying with us. We've been lucky to have them. Originally she was going to fly directly through, but circumstances changed and I think it was best for everyone. It's been so nice to see the cast of characters. They did amazingly well on the flight and I have to say that they are well travelled cats. For kitties who have been through so much starting out their lives, they are very strong indeed.

We'll be driving them all to the airport in a few hours and then they'll be off to start their new life on the Queen Charlottes. I can't wait to visit.

Everyone I've met here who has been there has done nothing but rave about how fabulous the islands are. One woman I work with goes every year for vacation and she and her family camp on different beaches. She tells me that each beach has different sea shells. Apparently the area has some of the most diverse sea life compared to anywhere. Another person told me of a man who lives completely off the grid there and people often sea kayak to his remote place just to visit the possibilities.

I'll admit that initially I was freaked out about her moving so so so far away and to a place so remote. However, now that I've moved and am on the coast (or near the coast) I am so excited for her and I can't wait to hear how her life progresses and what she discovers. We both talked about this a few days ago, asking how many people talk about doing things and never do them? Here she has an incredible desire to be in a place and explore a whole new area of her life and herself and she's going for it.
She's opening up a whole new book in her life with nothing but blank pages. Some would be terrified, but I have to admire her for diving in, packing up her life and her cats and going for the dream. Would I be able to do the same?

* * *

Monday, December 04, 2006

Dutch elect first animal rights MP

P. emailed this article to me about the first animal rights MPs to be elected to parliament. It makes me hopeful.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Photos from the power crunch

We walked the "power crunch." It was quite sunny at one point. There were lots of kids sliding on one hill. We even found part of a broken plastic sled and took our own turn ourselves.

So here's some photos from the power crunch walk.

What Classic Move Are You.

From Red Jane who got it from Wandering Coyote.
T. in N.B. should appreciate this one!

A sleepy Sunday. Today is the first day that I really feel settled. I'm back into the old routine (not rut but routine) of having time to sleep in on Sunday and enjoy my morning coffee.

D. makes a brilliant Noel Nog latte. Did I mention that he works for an espresso machinecompany? We have this beautiful machine that makes delicious coffee.

Working as much as I have been as of late, I find that I rely on coffee much more. I have my two shots of espresso in the morning and go. The people I work with drink this awful stuff made in the standard drip coffee machine. It's diner coffee which is another drink all together. Some people drink it all day at work. I couldn't do it. I'm an addict but I'm not that desperate. When they found out where D worked they all suggested that the company bring a machine in for the day and I could spend my time making lattes for everyone. Hmm. Not possible or probable to happen.

Back to Sunday...
we're heading out for a walk up the hill/mountain to see where it takes us. We may try the "power crunch", I'm told it's called, which is a trail that follows the power lines up the hill. It's also a park so the trail is fairly well maintained. It's a "crunch" because they covered the trail in gravel so you get the picture.

Well, here's some pictures I took earlier in the week of the big snowfall we had. It's very whovillian I think. Now, the snow is pretty much gone and the trees are back to being green again. I love evergreens and they are in abundance here.

Thursday, November 30, 2006


HA! I found a wireless source that doesn't cost anything and I don't have to be in a Fivebucks and support that crazy corporate-coffee shop-gobbling company.

How can this be?

We got a MAC (environmentally evil and get the picture). Hmm. So I guess I'm supposed to feel better for being at my local coffee shop that supports fair trade organic tea and coffee growers and yet...environmentally evil computer made of PVC (a product I stopped buying ages ago) and if you check out Greenpeace's campaign against apple you can learn more for yourself.

All right...anywho...I feel victorious to have found a great cafe with great teas and free wireless. We just need to figure out what we'll do at home for a connection. All in good time. Last night we were picking up a signal, but today...nothing. We also had no satellite connection for a while because of all the snow.

It's been crazy here. We arrived in summer like conditions in October and then it started raining and flooding, we had a water advisory and then the temperature dropped considerably and I had to dig out the extra heavy winter boots and the big winter coat. Not only did we get snow, we got dumped on! Yesterday I was even sent home early from work because no one was in the store and everyone was leaving early to beat the new round of flurries that was about to descend.

I have to say it's been quite beautiful and we've been lucky so far with power etc (our lights flickered a bit last night). I took photos that I'll try and post, but for those of you who live in a full east coast or prairie winter it won't astound you since "snow, big deal." However, nothing really gets cleared so the snow just sat and people dealt with it and struggled along. After the initial storm, the sun came out the next day and there was an incredible view of the mountains.

I heard via D. that my stepdad, P., is not faring as well as we are. He's on the island and they got a lot more snow. He and a neighbour have been shovelling their road! The road is not a little street but rather quite a hill and a long one to boot. Anywho...I hope he's doing okay.

My sis is on her way to BC., to the Haida Gwaii to be more exact. She's having a bit of a time getting herself and four cats across the country and then north to the Queen Charlottes. She's managed to make all her plans and it looks like she'll be staying a couple of days with us so that will be great.

Next visitor red jane? I'm not sure if her apartment will be ready by her landing date so we may have her visiting too. I'm sure her place with be ready by then though. I'll have to check in on her blog and see what's up.

It's so great to have access to the world wide web again! It does feel like a victory.

More to come sooner than I've been posting as of late.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Back at the library

This is not my preferred way of communicating. I cram computer time into my busy day off so I can catch up on things on line.

We were supposed to have our computer by now. We went on Sunday to pick it up but alas sold out and that's not the first time we've been told that. However, the teenage sales clerk offered us a whopping five percent off the display model. Well I was overwhelmed by the generous offer of the much played with display model, but turned it down after thinking about it for uh...two seconds. So then...the very clever and resourceful D. did a little research and discovered that the updated version of our computer is about to be released. The store failed to inform us of this (how else will they sell that display model even with the generous discount?). We're now waiting for the new version to arrive and then we'll pounce. It's basically the same computer for the same price but with a few modifications and more life to it and something about an improved battery life (at least that's what D discovered). Our old computer's battery lasted four years and I was happy with that. I really wish I didn't have to go back to that store and buy it though.

anywho...patience. I'm trying to find my patience today. I did spend the better part of my morning writing which is much success for me, but I can't help but feel anxious about what's not getting done. Have you experienced this? What is that about? It's absurd because writing is exactly what should get done. D would probably tell me that I put too much pressure on myself. Maybe. However, there is only three minutes remaining in my half hour session, the warning signal at the bottom of the screen is flashing red (it's very annoying) so I'm signing off before I lose everything to time. Now warning signals are popping up on screen. I'm really pushing it so I'd better press "publish post" before all is lost....

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


I'm moving around. Red jane has kindly loaned me her computer and I'm parked at Fivebucks (Starbucks), as a friend of ours calls it, and I'm using up my precious time trying to figure out what is going on in film out here on the very very wet coast.

...and it is wet today. The ferries stopped running because of the stormy conditions and that's always a bad sign. However, being further inland we haven't been hit too hard with high winds, just a lot of rain. So, i've invested in some rain boots and my feet are staying dry (finally!).

Film? Well, I'll find my way. I'll work my way into this industry one way or another. I can't apply for internships until I have so many credited hours (this isn't uncommon). I can at least become a "friend" of the women in film and t.v. out here. Since I'm not working in the industry I can't become a member. There doesn't seem to be a LIFT type place (see my sidebar if you're not sure what that is). Victoria has a co-op that I use to belong to, but I don't think that commute is realistic nor desireable.

Writing? Not much lately as is evident here on my blog. I'm desperate to get at it though. Stupid work gets in the way. Don't you hate that?

There are still little things nagging me about our apartment that I would like to finish because the longer we put stuff off the more involved we get in our day to day and the less likely those things are to get done. D. achieved a lot when he had Remembrance day off. I'm the master procrastinator though know how that goes.

Red jane and I did hit the gym pretty early this a.m. at the local aquatic centre. It was nice to be in a gym today. There was a treadmill nazi who was managing who was getting on what machine and when. She actually stopped her own treadmill at one point to directly talk to someone who had stepped out of turn. Whew. Is it worth putting your energy into that? She doesn't work there. Really? Worth it? I'd rather get my work out done. Tomorrow we're going to check out the local "ladies fitness" and see what that has to offer.

Sis got a great review in the Mirror as did the play at the Centaur. I'm so proud of her and I cannot believe how far away she is right now and the impossibility of me seeing her play. C'est la vie.

I just realized that my connection has stopped identifying how long I've been on line which means I'm probably way over so I'd better go. There's a free connection at the fivebucks down the street so I'll head over there. Gotta keep moving.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Quick notes

I'm at an internet cafe in London Drugs and time is running out. I have to eat too!

red jane is visiting and has found a place to live! She'll be living nearby soon. Yay! She's off meeting agents right now.

It's been rainy yes, but not unbearable. I'm adjusting and plan on buying rain boots today. I ran in the rain and it was totally fine in my new running waterproof jacket. If you've got the right gear, go for it.

The cats are doing well. I've been emailing for the last hour so if this sounds more letter or email like then my apologies. i'm not in blog writing mode. or am I? Anywho...i want to write more, but we've been computerless still. However, P. is helping us to upgrade to something flashy and fast so I'll be bag to blogging in no time.

Work is work. I can't even begin to go into the commuting. It's a challenge. Love the short bus though.

Food glorious food. We went to the Mt. Pleasant area which is all veg friendly places, great film rental places and Italian groceries and bars. Shouldn't D. and I be living in that neighbourhood? I think so. We'll see what the year brings.

More later. i've got to meet red jane at the library.

The library wouldn't accept my whoville library card. Hrumph!

Thursday, November 02, 2006


The clocks changed this past Saturday. We shifted back one hour which meant I was up an hour earlier in the morning because my physical clock doesn't not shift as easily and it takes a few days for me to adjust to dark at five o'clock and bright in the morning when I get up.
The past two weeks have been a series of adjustments for me. I don't think I've ever taken the time to really consider how much moving takes out of you emotionally and physically. I've moved 20 times in my life and i've always just rolled with it I suppose, but they've been smaller moves to new apartments in the same city often. The big move as in when I moved west in the 90s and moved back east in 99 and now I'm west again are much more dramatic, life altering changes. I really need time to think about how it feels. I'm like that though, I can't just jump in and here we go, i have to over think many things.
The move feels like a delayed jet lag that keeps prodding at me during some point in the day reminding me that it's time to...oh no wait we're in another city and you're not walking to the corner for the paper because the corner is now a ten minute walk. Where am I? I know I'm still at LV, but this building has no windows and my sarcasm is being taken too literally. I've stopped being sarcastic which is probably a good thing in the end.
It's all a period of adjustment until eventually I'll roll with it again and a bus schedule with feel natural to me as opposed to something restricting my movements. After all when you go from a city of millions to one of the "tri-cities" of hundreds of thousands you can't expect everything to be so easily to come by.
Every morning when I get up i look out our bedroom window at the view of the valley and the houses rising up the mountain opposite us. It's really a hill compared to the mountains that exist out here, but to speak to those more easterly reading this blog, it's a mountain. I marvel at having this view every day and every day it is different in some way (the sky is pink and clear, there's a light strip of cloud hovering over the valley, the lights are still on because it's gray or the sun casts shadows as it rises). I hope I always marvel at the view. i hope I never adjust to it becoming merely the background scenery. Of course that never happened to me when I lived in Victoria so why should it here? library visits continue as far as computer availability is concerned so this is a brief post and there will probably be another gap of time before i post again. i haven't made any blog rounds so I can't wait to catch up with you all. I also haven't been in touch with any friends I said good-bye to before i left so hello everyone and I'll be in touch soon.

Until next time.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

I'm back

Well, we made it. The journey itself with three cats on the plane was quite awfully stressful. They recovered beautifully by the end of the day. I was mostly worried about Svetlana who howled for more than three hours. What fun. Red Jane was on board as well (as some may already know). She was a great help on the weekend we settled giving us decorating ideas and making sure we did things like eat.
My step-dad, P., met us at the airport which was fabulous and helped the transition. He also helped us with the unpacking and setting up. God love family and friends. It made everything so much the easier for us and we had the pleasure of their company for the weekend.

I'm using the local library computer to post so I'm going to be brief because I have a ton of emails to respond to and other business to take care of using my allotted time. I just got my library card. I had to wait for mail to arrive with our address on it. Of course my first day in the library last week when I was a little more disoriented and new at being in this town, I ran into someone from way back when. The librarian recognized me after I gave him my name, asking "did you go to Concordia?" My reply, "yes, but ages ago." I was thinking that he was far too young to be in my age bracket and I do tend to get that "your look familiar" comment a lot. He then asked "did you take a poetry class?"
Me: "Yes."
Librarian: "You were in Mary's class."
Me: "Oh my god yes. I can't believe it." (or some such expression).
What are the chances? I admit that I wouldn't have recognized him beyond thinking that he looks familiar to me. There is no way I would have pin pointed a classmate from fifteen years ago. Yikes. That's life in whoville though isn't it? You're never far from home, you're always home.

Other news? Our place is shaping up nicely. We're still trying to decide on a suitable colour for the living room/kitchen area. We're getting closer. We're kind of not far from my whoville page colour. It's just for one wall so don't panic. I think we need something warmer though. D?
Our house/suite is on a bit of a hill so we have quite a view from the bedroom. The yard also on a hill means that the garden is on different levels and sloped and there are all kinds of shrubs and trees I don't know or didn't know they could grow so huge. We've got rhododendron trees for god's sake! We've got a lovely dogwood that isn't really being viewed properly. The owners/landlords are very open to us gardening so hurray. However, I'm a little intimidated.

We're close to all the amenities we could need. The bus literally stops across the street and also stops right in front of work for me. That's pretty lucky. The commute isn't great. It takes me longer to get home than it does D and he's travelling much further than I am. D. is thrilled because a new Italian grocery store just opened next to his work. He's got his favorite tomatoes and olives are reasonably priced so he's in heaven. I found planet organics that is just down the hill and has all of my favorite products so I'm happy. I also discovered a great running route if I just run further up our street. In other words, if I run up the mountain, there's a great descent that is long and fun. It ends up or meets up with a park and the trans Canada trail.

That brings me to the running terrain. Help! It's crazy out here. It's the toughest terrain I've ever run. I love running out here though, everything is so green and the air feels so crisp and clear. I know there is some illusion to it all, but it's such a switch from running in the "big city."

Anywho, must get to my emails. We're in the process of getting another computer so until that happens i won't be posting regularly, only on my days off from work.

Until then...

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

I'm supposed to be cleaning the fridge according to the list I made last night. I'm supposed to be cleaning the bathroom and tidying up. Ugh. After spending the morning running around doing errands (thank goodness I rented a car for today) I'm ready for a nap. However, the phone keeps ringing and since I've been playing phone tag with a couple of people, i have to keep answering.

This is the last minute dash to the finish line. I've packed up my sister's things (all except a few odds and ends that I will have to leave in a box. I've arranged to drop off our keys with a neighbour. Cat food has been picked up as has D's poster money (finally! I panicked when the store was closed during it's open hours and we couldn't reach the guy with our posters and we'd yet to be paid). I loaded up the car with one more drop off to Value Village. Goodwill wouldn't answer their drop off door so I scooted around the corner to Value Village. I don't have to lift anymore boxes of books. Someone is coming to get the bed this evening. While I've been running around, I received the results for Svetlana's thyroid and the levels are high, meaning new medication to be dispensed. That I will have to pick up????later today? Hopefully my vet is phoning it in as I write.

Last night I said good bye to more people. Three very talented women who I went to graduate school with. They're all doing such interesting things in their lives and keep moving forward. It really inspires me to be around them. Very cool women. I'm glad to know them and will have to keep in touch. Hopefully they'll visit the blog. I know julia visits regularly. Hopefully the others will stop by too.

Coincidentally, I just got an email from another incredibly talented woman who was also in our program the same year. Last night we were trying to recall people in our program who are still in the city. I think just the few of us seated around the table were the only ones left in this city. We wondered what happened to several other peers from those two years we spent in the program. We forgot all about this woman who moved back to India after finishing her degree. She's a fabulous filmmaker and had just sent notice that she's returned to India after spending a year in England. (It just occurred to me that we would have been in England at the same time last year. Oh well. It's a big place and i was there so briefly). I haven't heard from her in ages and now this. So, I will have to contact her.

Now, the after school stragglers are making their way through the alley. One last time I have to listen to their screaming voices. I won't miss the noise at all. I hope our new street isn't too noisy. The house seems to be set back a bit so this may help.

Oh yes, that reminds me that I also won't miss whoever has been dumping their garbage in with our garbage. This happens after hours either very very late or very very early. We've always suspected a neighbour across the street who is absolutely crazy obsessive about his house and car looking perfect all the time. My sister even caught him once crossing the street to leave a garbage bag next to our house. She confronted him and told him if he ever did it again she was going to dump garbage all over his front yard (which you should see it's hysterically bizarre with figurines and pruned shrubs that are shaped into little round balls all over the place. It's weird landscaping. I don't know who offers such a service...). Anyway, he stopped for a while and then occasionally another bag would appear. This morning I saw D. move two bags across the street to buddy's house where there was no garbage in sight. So it happened again. Then when I left the house, the bags were back! I dragged them next door. It was yard waste in big heavy garbage bags. All of our yard waste is in the paper bags as required. I went out, came back, went out and came back again. Our garbage had been collected, but not those bags. I was ready to dump them on his yard, but when I went out again, I saw that they were gone. I don't care who took them as long as they're gone. What kind of disorder is that? Anywho...I'm not going to miss him, his ugly house and his stupid car that he cleans with windex and paper towel. Okay now that I've gotten that off my chest....

I'll write again from the other side of the country.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Two days to go

Our departure is getting closer. So much is going on. I'm trying to ditch all of our bits of stuff that have for one reason or another been left behind in our house. We've sold and donated what we could and now I'm scrambling around to try and find anyone who will take our few things. I couldn't find anyone to pick up our bed as a donation so I posted it on craigslist and had a phone call within a half hour. Gone. Yesterday I put out two boxes of books on the sidewalk. Somone took a whole box and the other box was left with two and a half books remaining. My sister's furniture will remain in our place until she's ready to move. I'm packing up a few things for her.

I'm also trying to get the garden ready for the winter, but it keeps blooming! We have such a long gardening season here. I wanted to take the dahlia tubers but their still in full bloom. I will collect some seeds in paper bags to take with me. Afterall, if I can grow a beautiful coneflower or valerian in a peat pellet and transplant isn't that all the better? Recently, I took a gardening seminar at LV and that encouraged me to go ahead and gather those seeds and cut back the hostas now. If I get a small bag of mulch I should be able to pile up a little around the plants that will need it over winter. I'm tempted to leave a list of notes for the new owners, reminding them to water and also identify the plants for them.

Emotionally, I'm all over the place. I'm excited and anxious to get to our new place and see what it looks like and start setting up home. I'm also sad and nostalgic for our old home that we're about to leave. It's been such a good home for us. With my sister owning the house has made it all the more enjoyable since we all worked on the house together. It's been a good space for the cats, bright and spacious with stairs and ledges for them to climb on. Part of me doesn't want to leave. When you're happy in a place why leave it? However, it's time to leave this city. I always said I would re-examine by fall 2006 what I've accomplished in the last year and if I need to remain in this city to continue on the road I am on. It would seem that it is time to go.

* * *

It's been a week of good-byes -- good-bye to family, good-bye to work, good-bye to our beloved housecall vet, good-bye to friends, good-bye to my favorite haunts. D's parents were here last weekend. There was some minor drama, but all was sorted and we had a nice time in those quieter moments of moving chaos. Work overwhelmed me with a beautiful going away present of wood-turned fountain pen from Italy with five different tips. I can't wait to use it. I bought a caligraphy book from LV with my gift card they gave me. They baked a vegan chocolate cake that was divine with a ginger marmalade filling and orange glaze icing. Everyone enjoyed it. There were ridiculous pictures taken that I hope I never see and people were very kind with their parting words. I got weepy which really surprised me. We went to dinner with a good friend and I can't even think about him not being in the same city with us without getting teary-eyed. Hopefully, he'll join us west one day. I'm so glad red jane is flying out with us because I'm really not ready for that. I've said good-bye to my mom, but really we're just a few provinces more away and it only feels far, but I know we'll see lots of each other.

Mum came for the Thanksgiving weekend and we had a really nice time. I found the whole weekend quite relaxing. Saturday, she treated us (as she always does) to a delicious meal at little tibet restaurant. Mum loves the place, as we all do. It has a very calming atmosphere, so you feel very relaxed in the dining room. The food is lovely and fresh. It was a good choice to start our weekend.

Sunday I even made time for a run through the park. It was glorious. I had a great run. We cooked and had a nice dinner together with red jane. We had tofurkey, kale, garlic roasted brussel sprouts (recipe courtesy of bunnyfoot), roasted root veg, cranberry sauce (I found a package of frozen fresh cranberries in the freezer from one of our fresh boxes last winter), salad with pomegranite seeds, and two pies (pumpkin with candied pecans and mock cherry that red jane made). Earlier in the day Mum and I went for a walk. We did the same on Monday and visited a friend of my sister's who lives close by. We cut through Dufferin Grove Park which mum had never been to and really loved. It does have so much to offer as a park.

I saw mum off at the train station in that huge long line of people bound for Montreal and we had to say good-bye there while the line moved forward. I wish there was a way to make it easier for all of us. I know she'll be out to visit on her winter break and I think once she comes out it will be easier and we'll all see that we're really not that far away.

So, back to today. Another person just called about the bed. I'm starting to wish I'd asked for a few dollars for it. Oh well. It doesn't really matter. I'd rather someone who really needs it get it for free. D's waiting for some news on some remarkable movie posters he collected when he worked in a cinema in the 80s so maybe that will be good news.

I'd better keep moving on this day before it passes me by. i've got a long list of chores and i'm on foot with no bike and no car so I'd better use my running skills.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

A trip to the vet, puzzles and vegan cheese

Poor little GiGi went to the vet today to get spayed. She's there now and will spend the night there. I miss her. She's such a sweet and loving kitten. As I walked part of the way home from work today (in the rain -- the weather was very west coast today) I wanted to stop in and see her, but I wasn't sure if it would upset her more or not. Would she think she was going home? She would see me (or not, depending on how dopey she is) and then I'd be gone. I made the decision to let her be in the capable hands of the staff at Queen West.

Tomorrow I can pick her up while I drop Svetlana for blood work. Then we can all travel home together. The price in cab fair rises rapidly!

We also got our travel bags for the kitties in the mail today. We ordered them from West Jet so as to be sure to meet their specifications for carry on kitties. They're nicer looking than my own luggage. At least they all have suitable carriers for the trip now.

It's been another busy day. Work flew by. I didn't even notice the time passing and it was a slow day. Somehow I always had something to do. There was a puzzle on the counter when I arrived at work. It was partially assembled for display in the showroom. Obviously, it's a puzzle we sell and it was amazing how everyone wanted to stop and peck away. People rearranged other work to come and work on the puzzle. I spent very little time with it, but got a kick out of watching others work on it , each in their own way and be focused on the puzzle, but also talk about all sorts of things. As one co-worker said to me this morning, "you can learn a lot about someone by how they work on a puzzle." It's not just the way the person works, but as in any situation (except when working with Dina -- never mind what that means) you talk and it's on that level that much more is learned.

Back at home, I was restless and a little keen to get cooking. I made dinner way too early, but hey...better early that too late (which I've done many times). I tried out this vegan cheese recipe from one of my favorite sites, post punk kitchen. I added my own flavoring to it, including, veg broth, sour supreme (tofuttis faux sour cream), spike, and a little red wine for good luck. Time to take it out of the oven. Yum.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Chip away at the list

Yay! I made headway on the list. Even though we have nothing in our place now, I still have to get rid of stuff. Red jane helped me with the Value Village drop. Wow did that feel good to get rid of so much, so quickly. There were many boxes, some golf clubs, tennis rackets and a few bags. Whew. Fortunately, I live really close to a Value Village so we didn't have to spend much time in traffic. Red jane seemed at the end of her driving rope. She'd just returned from dropping off sis and the cast of characters in Montreal and she drove back very early this am.

I also got the box of wool to julia. She requested and I delivered. I hope she had a good ride on the streetcar home with her new/and some used box of wool. I'm glad it's going to a good home.

My old bike went to D's brother. I don't know if I mentioned that earlier. The garage is looking downright roomy now. It's really just R and sis's stuff in there along with some wood and old paint cans.

I did a few change of addresses and I've started sorting through the books to sell, dividing them into subject categories (that can be debatable with some things). I'm leaving the poster sales for D since they're his. He's got quite a collection of promo posters and movie posters from when he worked in a Montreal cinema. I presume that some are fairly valuable like the Return of the Jedi original poster and a few others. They're in mint condition because he's just been storing them forever.

I made the calls I needed to and sent a few emails. I'm almost caught up to where I want to be at this stage before we depart.

Move, movers moving, moved

The word becomes more ridiculous the more I say it. I am quite tired of thinking about those words in my title and now I feel like the worst is truly over. There are no boxes sitting half packed or stacked and in the way of our living space. The stress level is going down. This morning I even went for a run and felt no hurry to get home and get back to work. I just relaxed and enjoyed my run.

The weekend came and now it's gone. My in-laws drove into town Friday, the movers arrived Saturday, and then my in-laws drove out of town Sunday. Most moving for me was my sister left the house on Sunday. Needless to say (but I'll say it anyway) it's been an emotional weekend.

We still had so much packing to do on Friday. D's parents took us out to dinner along with D's brother. We went to
Ferro after a friend recommended it, but we arrived too late and the line up had begun. Plan B led us down the street to one of our favorite places Mezzetta. D's parents don't often get to eat from a tapas style menu so it was a new and fun experience for them. They seemed to really enjoy it. The best part was being out of the house and not thinking about the above title related subject at all. We just sat back and enjoyed our food. There was a jazz quartet playing and it was all nice. D met the owner because he was intrigued with the coffee machine. They exchanged information and it may be a new account for Saeco. You never know.

Back at home, we packed until midnight. D's parent and brother helped out which was really nice. It saved us a lot of time. I slept a deep sleep that night.

Saturday we finished up the last minute stuff. The movers arrived on schedule and the day began. We took the cats up to my sister's while the movers tagged boxes and began to empty our apartment. It's quite amazing to see the boxes built up into a wall on the truck. I couldn't believe the organization of it all. It's quite a task. A bit of an art really. D. was truly appreciating their use of space being a shipper/warehouse/inventory guy. We both had a bit of a moment in the backyard when the stuff started going out. It was a bit of a realization that this is really happening. Something that we joked about in June is actually happening.

Even now as I think about the garden, leaving the garden behind, I'm getting a little misty-eyed. I love our garden and it's wildness and all that it has given us. I love watching the squirrels and cats pass through, the plants bloom where I had forgotten they would. The dahlias are still going strong (I may not get to take the tubers with me if they don't start to finish their cycle!) as is the lavender. I've never had lavender grow so strong and full. But i'm getting distracted.

Back to Saturday. After the truck pulled away, we headed to ikea to select a new bed that we could pick out in Coquitlam. It's no easy task. The latex matress really is astoundingly comfortable, but far out of our budget so we've found something else that will be comfy. After ikea we headed back to town and stopped at John's Classic Pizza to pick up a few large pizzas. I got a vegan one for sis and I. I started to see that we were coming full circle. When D and I first arrived in town and were exhausted from moving and setting up our place, we went to John's classic because it's close and really good pizza (unlike the chain gooey bland dough and tomato paste sauce pizza delivery places). We also spent our first week in this apartment sleeping in the living room and now we were doing it again since we gave our bedroom to D's parents and had brought a bed into the living room for us to sleep on. Anywho...we had a nice dinner with some of our homemade wine and again it was just great to have family around.

My sister left yesterday morning for Montreal. She's doing an English version Michel Trembley play called Assorted Candies at the Centaur theatre. I can't believe I won't see it. This is the second play she's done at the centaur and I've missed it. Red jane drove her to Montreal with the four cats. D and I helped her load the cats into the van. I said good bye to the cast of characters and Ruggles was the only one to really hear me since he was the most relaxed. I can't even put into words what I felt saying good bye to my sister. We've shared this place for the last seven years and have been through a lot together during that time. The last two months have been so insanely busy that we never had time to digest what's really going on and that we're both taking our lives in new directions. We'll still be in the same province and I'm going to make a huge effort to see her as much as I can.

So...the house is somewhat empty. I've borrowed some furniture from my sister. And now red jane is on her way over to help me get rid of the stuff for the garage sale we never had. That will be one trip out of the way. Value Village here we come.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Check out this posting

I recommend visiting red jane's blog and visiting this post. She sums up how disgusted I've become with the events I've been catering and the complete ignorance and refusal for people to confront what is going on.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Writing again

I did a full day at LV today and whew retail days are long days, arent' they? It didn't help that I wasn't fully rested from the weekend catering for Rosh Hashana, more retail, a late night Saturday (probably too much to drink, I admit it) and a wild chase just to get my ride to the catering gig early Sunday morning and later that day another rush home to drop my bag and dash off again to meet with a filmmaker about a script.

By Sunday evening I wasn't at my best to meet with this filmmaker, but I tried to be as clear as possible when trying to discuss his work. In the end, I'm actually writing a segment for his film and I will get an actual living writing credit! I am elated. I am thrilled that he wants to work with me. If all goes well there will be potentially more collaboration. It'd be better if I was staying local, but with email et al it should work out. It's been over a year since we first talked about this film he's working on now so...these things take time. Anywho...he's a wonderful filmmaker and I'm so happy to be writing again.

In other news...

The Packing Continues
The crunch is on. The entire contents of our house must be sorted and packed ready for the movers to load the truck on Saturday. With my stress level rising, I'm trying to keep it together and stay positive that it will all get done. And it will.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Notes from NOW

NOW Magazine is a local freebie paper that I don't read every week but I pick it up occasionally to get another point of view on whoville. At work people bring in the two big papers that are quite awful all around and I end up in the arts section every time and always spend the most time on the crosswords. It's not compelling journalism, unless you like to get worked up and feel compelled to write letters to the editor. Of course I'm generalizing and there are good components or articles now and then, but mostly I get my news from the radio in the a.m. and t.v. in the p.m.

Anywho...back to NOW. In light of the recent shooting at Dawson College, Susan G. Cole has written an article inviting the reader to inquire about yet another side of the problem that I haven't seen addressed yet. You can read here article here.

* * *

Continuing with NOW, I read my horoscope as I always do when I pick up the paper. It reads not only for how I'm feeling for this week but how I'm feeling towards the next few weeks and months actually.

"For years, I lived 13 miles from the top of Mt. Tamalpais, the highest peak in the San Francisco Bay Area. Every day I gazed at it from afar through my window or while riding my bike in the hills, marveling as it glided through its ever-shifting relationship with the sky. It was a remote yet familiar beacon, an awe-inspiring touchstone against which I could measure my own undulating rhythms. Now I've moved to a new home at the foot of Mt. Tam. I feel as if I've become part of it--am embedded in its protective and majestic aura. It's no longer an objective gauge, but rather an intimate tone and texture in my subjective experience of myself. I predict that you will soon undergo a comparable shift, Cancerian: from being there to being here; from outside to inside; from strength absorbed at a distance to power felt up close."

BTW I've been to the foot of Mt. Tam (as it's called) and driven around it, it's a beautiful area. My uncle lives not far from there.

* * *

Tonight we're going to see Natasha Atlas as part of the Small World Music Festival. D. introduced her music into my life and I became a devoted fan. I saw her once before in Montreal at the Spectrum and it was an incredible show. Seven years and six albums later I can't wait to see her performance. She sings in Arabic, French and English and has combined both Arabic and Western music, making it her own unique sound. I can't wait!

D. bought tickets for all of us (me, sis and R.) as a way to thank everyone for getting the house into shape for the recent showing. Now we can also celebrate it being sold and all of us taking directions in our lives that we've all wanted to do for so long.

p.s. If you want to hear her music from the latest album, click here

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Tired Vegan

Vegans can have low moments too right?
I'm tired of being idenitified and associated with what I eat and wear. I'm tired of answering all the questions about what I eat or what I don't eat and "Why?" I'm tired of taking stupid meat jokes in good humor or stupid jokes about how I go home and secretly tuck into a big steak. I'm tired of having to talk about the choice I made to be vegan if people don't want to discuss it in a mature way. I'm tired of being looked over and scrutinized for signs of being unhealthy. If my dark circles are showing then it must be because I don't eat meat and not because I'm working on three of four hours sleep. My distraction is due to not having enough meat. I lift something heavy and someone makes a joking comment: "Oh that big piece of beef you had did the trick." I'm tired of people trying to break down my choice to be vegan with comments like, "well the air is polluted so that's probably more damage." I try and say "I live as healthy life as I can. I realize that there are always environmental concerns." I'm so tired of people commenting that my shoes might be sweatshop even if they are vegan.

What are these people afraid of? Why must fun be poked? Am I really so different? So alien to the rest of the world? Do people not see the veg selections on menus, the restaurants popping up, the fact that there are many many people who have chosen to be vegan, be heathy and live compassionately?

I'm not trying to be perfect. I know I'm far from it. I walk this line of not wanting to reveal my vegan choices to wanting to let everyone know that this is who I am. I'm not striving to live some unrealistic life. I chose to be vegan because I couldn't live with myself any other way. The decision was made after being veg for a long time and really confronting information that I knew was out there. I knew the suffering was going on and I had to confront it one on one. After reading, hearing personal stories and listening to my heart, I made the choice.

Have I consumed sugar without knowing if it's vegan or not? Yes. Have I had wine from a bottle without knowing if it's fining process fits with my vegan lifestyle? Yes. Have I accidentally consumed some animal product without knowing? Maybe. What if I do? Why do people delight in that so much? Why do people delight in the fact that I may have participated in the suffering of animals by feeding my cats cat food? What's wrong with this picture?

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Bottle caps and Churchill

"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give." -Winston Churchill

Don't get excited I don't have a theme to this post. There is no thread, no through-line to carry us all through to the last period of the last sentence. I'm going to ramble stream of consciousness as always. That's my way. That's how I speak and think and that's how I blog (mostly).

The quote came on the inside cap of a Kashmiri chai cold tea I purchased on the way to my doctor's office. It's fair trade organic tea and didn't contain honey so I decided to try it. It was delicious and once home I discovered this quote on the inside cap. The bottle has since been recycled, but the cap sat on my desk for a day and I wondered what to do with this piece of information. I use to store this stuff in a drawer or stuff it in a notebook, but now I have the blog.

Of course if I put the quote on the blog and toss the cap I lose the design of it. There's something in the design that I appreciate. It reminds me of coke caps (on the real bottles when they were mass produced here) and how you could work your fingernail under the rubbery gray insert and peel it away from the cap to uncover if you'd won a free coke or bag of chips or something (sorry mom, I drank coke when you weren't looking. My teeth didn't rot either). Sometimes an imprint was left behind on the silver cap. You had to make an initial purchase in order to reap the benefits of a reward (assuming you won). You felt like you had really won something, but there's a price right? You have to buy the coke or fanta or one of their products. Is this cap working under the same principal? Will I start to seek out these teas so I can find other quotes? I really have no desire to try and hunt another one down. Fair trade organic? That's a limited purchase here. You have to hit the right store and they might not even carry the same products as another store. Oh those small businesses with their individual thinking! Where would we be without them? Loblaws I suppose.

Be bear aware

On line I'm reading about our new whovillian hometown and come across the bear aware info. Really? I grew up in rural NB but we never even thought about bears, but I guess we were a few house scattered here and there. We may have seen a bear once at the dump (we transported our own garbage then). I keep reading since all the points are important to know (pick up fallen fruit from trees, don't leave pet food outside, etc) and then read a bear alert in a creek area. It sounds familiar so I keep reading and lo and behold it's in our neighbourhood! I find that amusing actually. What a change. We're going from worrying about crack addicts in the alley to bears in our backyard.

I'm off to work. More later...

Monday, September 18, 2006


The house sold today. I'm relieved for sis and everyone who has been focused on this house lately. She put a great deal of work into it and I hope she feels like it was worth it. I'm also relieved that we don't have to inconvenience the cats and our lives anymore. I'm relieved because now we can just put our energy into our move which is coming upon us rather quickly.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Cater waiter no more.

The end is near. My catering days are numbered and I think the timing is perfect since I'm very ready to go. Summer isn't so bad when you're outside in people's gardens, but when the fall comes, HR starts doing lots of events and our staffing service provides most of the catering staff for almost all of the events. These HR events all full of pointless work for us, lots of waiting around with nothing to do and finally serving clientele that are being lured in to pay for over priced "fashion" that is all about label. Who cares. Well, HR does.

When I started doing these gigs I was curious and interested by the overwhelming amounts of wealth and waste that I saw around me. Now I've done enough of these events to just be irritated by the complete absurdity of such displays of wealth. I view HR as a place that is all about celebrating the culture of the rich and works to remind that culture that they are loved because they are the upper echelon of society. Yes, I know it's a store and they want to sell, sell, sell but some events seem so fabricated and false, especially when they conceal their marketing scheme under the title of "thanking the shopper."

Today's event was no better. Once again HR had transformed a corner of the store with a mini runway and little soft cube chairs for a kiddy fashion show for one of the designers. These poor kids were trotted out, some of them quite reluctantly, all trussed up in designer kiddy wear. Did I mention that by that point they were full of sugar from the cupcakes, cookies and rice krispy squares. Parents? Most parents didn't care how much sugar their child consumed. There were sandwiches and fresh veg, but they were barely touched. The parents mostly ate the non sugared food. were these kids on a mini runway approaching the photographers flashing bulbs and the ecstatic smiles of parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and who knows. They were all vying to get their little darlings attention as s/he shuffled down the runway. It reminded me of Donnie Darko for some reason. I suppose the importance placed upon the moment of the show so that it comes off like everyone is happy and having fun, but few really are.

Me? I was stuck behind the sandwich cart. Yes, the crusts were cut off and I haven't felt this ridiculous since the lemonade stand this past summer. The cart was just an inch too short for me so I had to stoop a little in to push it. At least we could wear a black t-shirt today. I'll give HR credit for that, sometimes they let us wear t-shirts for the more "casual" events. Anywho...after several rounds around the parents and after dodging children, watching them break into tears for what seemed like nothing, I parked the cart and stood their like an idiot. Do they really need me to stand next to the cart? Their finger sandwiches! Grab and go. I could tell that the events manager was distressed by seeing us like this too, but it wasn't her feeling bad for us but rather irritated by our presence. I had little patience for her since I had gotten up at 6:30 this morning for this kiddy show after having worked until 1 am last night for another overblown party that didn't have to be the top.

You can see that the move is very conveniently lifting me out of that world. I hear the catering state of affairs on the lower Mainland in BC is quite pathetic and the pay is awful. A co-worker once lived there for a year and worked in catering. He said I'd easily get hired since my "training" has been here in whoville and they'd know I was good, but he also told me that the wages are bad and there is a lot of extra heavy work to do that we would never do here (like unloading trucks, picking up rentals, and working way understaffed). He had to negotiate a higher wage for himself and it still wasn't even close to what we're paid here. So bye bye catering life. It's been swell.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Away from home

We're at a friend's house because our own house is being viewed today by strangers who might want to buy it. This week what seems like a huge for sale sign was planted in the front garden next to the rhodo with the real estate agents info. We've been cleaning, tidying, de-cluttering for weeks now. It's been weeks right? I can't remember. It's exhausting. I can't even imagine what my sister is going through since it's her house that is for sale.

This morning we put the cats in their respective carriers and trucked them over to a friend's place close by and here we are. Sis and R. went to a movie. I'd do that too if my cats weren't here. I also have to work later today so...

Anywho...our place is empty and full of echoes. It looks a bit bland to me but whatever works to sell that house. The description on-line is quite lovely. It sounds so beautiful and it really is. I'm going to really miss the house and I haven't even had time to process that. It's been such a good home to us for the last seven years.

We found a place in Coquitlam and it sounds amazing. The person who viewed it for us really loved it and we saw a couple of pictures on line so I know we'll be fine. We'll have a garden which is a HUGE bonus. We did have to sign a year lease but whatever. Most places are listed month to month out there, but really I'm ready to settle into the new place. If anything "odd" comes up like psycho landlords or something then we'll deal with it accordingly, but I'm sure it will all be fine. I'm just anxious to get there and start getting settled.

I'll be transferring to the L.V. in Coquitlam which means I don't have to panic and look for something hastily. I hope to get back to a script that I've been toying with but haven't had the time to sit down and write! We've been far too busy.

Last night I surprised D. with a birthday dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, Grappa. We've had some great meals there over the years. It's fine dining so it's always been a special occasion place for us and his birthday and I thought a little farewell to our town would be just what we needed. We also needed to get out of the house and take a night off from preparing for the viewing. It's a splurge but well worth it. We had a gorgeous Chianti (a wine we never buy and rarely have when we go out so D. chose something very fine. It was amazing) to go with our meal. I had the crispy arugula salad with fennel shavings, toasted almonds and a white truffle vinaigrette. The crispy part was butternut squash finely sliced and lightly fried to just crispy, but still soft enough to really enjoy the squash flavour. D. had a rolatini (I think it was called) which was pepper filled with fontina cheese (he's veg not vegan) in a rose sauce. Then we shared a spinach salad with warm portabello and shitake mushrooms and a balsamic vinaigrette. That is one of my favorites. For our main course we had Linguine Campagna which is another mushroom laden dish with a full bodied tomato sauce that clearly had a strong mushroom flavour as well. I was in heaven since I love mushrooms (can you tell). It's the only thing on the menu I can eat being vegan. When I was veg there were more selections. Since I booked last minute I didn't have time to make requests with the kitchen (I know how they love that). We didn't stay for desert because I had already baked the famous vegan chocolate cake with a chocolate glaze. It turned out superbly as usual. It's moist, rich and dark. Ahhhh. High quality cocoa makes such a difference. I like the cocoa camino brand (fair trade organic). So at home we had espresso, cake with lemon granita and blueberry grappa. I pretty sure D. enjoyed the birthday dinner.

Our hostess for the day has offered us some lemon lentil soup that she is known for so I'm going to have a bowl of that and just take it easy today. It's all been very stressful for all of us today.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Today's list

Shortening my text entries to lists will help me keep connected to my blog since I do have the desire to blog, but also have little time.

return calls to movers/estimate times for evenings
check new listings
order new contacts (update lenses in old frames?)
double check West Jet's cat carrier meas. for carry-on
3rd person for flight?
more stuff to garage
paint mud room (if there's time)
gym? run?
finish clearing out bsmnt mid room for showing
email A. re: Earth shoes location
call Will re: possible Oct dates
groceries (veg pate, vegenaise, celery, luna/clif bars, dental floss, cranb, coffee)

gotta go

Film Festival?

I've always wanted to really participate in the film festival and do things such as line up in those long ticket lines when the box office opens, or stand in the rush line for an hour hoping to get in at the last minute, enduring rain and wind while gripping notes about the next films to be seen. Romantic isn't it? Ideally, I would have written some small bit of entertainment that might, just might have been film festival worthy.

I did go to the festival one year. The ticket prices were a bit lower and I was truly motivated since my sister was in one of the films. So I took in a few films that year. I didn't have to wait for hours for anything except the initial purchase of the tickets to the film my sister was in. I waited in a line that streamed outside the mall, across a barren lot and down the sidewalk. I went early and was about mid-pack in the barren lot (I think the lot was supposed to be some sort of park. Whoville has a lot of such parks in its downtown core).

The past couple of years I've been far too busy working to find time to hop from theatre to theatre and line to line. Catering (of course) is an essential service for those involved in the fete itself. Someone has to get food served at those pre and post parties. This has been my role in the festival. It's been quite entertaining. While I don't get caught up in star gazing like those poor saps waiting outside Holts on Friday to catch a glimpse of someone famous, I do find it kind of fun to be at the same function as these people. What I've noticed is that as catering staff we have a bit of a privileged view since we sit a bit in the background, not to be noticed and we can take quite a bit in. We don't participate in conversations so we can listen in. It's quite interesting really.

So without saying who I was working for or where parties were held, here's a list of the people I saw (at least the ones I recognized. There were other stars at these functions, but I didn't know who they were) and in no particular order:

Dustin Hoffman
Sean Penn
Mark Ruffalo
Kate Bosworth (didn't know who she was until after)
Dan Akroyd
Deepa Mehta (that was the best for me. I love her work!)
Norman Jewison
James Gandolfini
Patricia Clarkson

Here are the people at the parties I was working that I somehow missed seeing:
Penelope Cruz
Anthony Hopkins
Kate Winslet

There may have been others but I forget. Yes, I'm name dropping or bragging or whatever you want to call it. I also saw the former premier of the province I grew up in...Frank McKenna and his wife (sorry I don't know her name) were at one of the parties. I know he's in Washington now. Is he still posted there? What was he doing here then? Hmm. I almost wanted to speak to him because I felt we might share that east coast thing that I sometimes come across when i meet others from "down east". I thought maybe if I got Frank talkin' I'd hear that hard "ar" sound emerge and...I thought better of it since I'm the background right? I'm not at this party really. I'm just feeding the part goers. Also Frank became liberal premier of the province when I was 18 and working for the NDP. The fact that the liberals took all of the seats in that election really devastated me (and the rest of the province that wasn't liberal).
where am I going with this?
No where
It's 4 am and I've got to get some sleep!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

The posts are becoming text bites. I have no way to put up images with my version of explorer so once again I am relying on the text to do all the work. This is fine for me, but I think images add some colour to the page, no?

Anywho...these fragments of my day or my life attempt to convey what is mostly on my mind or what keeps me preoccupied in the day.

Mom's on the phone. She's just rang and I'm on the phone with her. She's just returned from the Montreal marathon. Her friend ran the marathon. She's an amazing running and really part of my inspiration to start running later in life. I'm excited about living in a place where I can run all year round with out the snow crunching underfoot (not that I really ran in the snow here since we get so little of it, but I am a wimp when it comes to cold weather). Rain I can handle. I grew up in fog city N.B. so I'm use to rain, fog and endless cloudy days. That type of weather actually makes me feel nostalgic.

This morning I didn't run. Our dear sweet 18 year old, Svetlana, wasn't feeling well and I was worried about her. I just wanted to sit with her and make sure she was herself today. She's been vomiting a lot lately and my previous experience with my first cat, Catherine, suggests to me that it's a bad sign. It was a fur ball, but still it really took a lot out of the old girl. I can't help but worry a little about here. After all, she's got this long trip ahead of her and I really want her to travel as comfortable as possible. I'll speak to my vet soon about traveling with Svetlana and possible meds etc. The other two will be fine travelling. There might be some howling or crying, but I know they'll be good girls and they're young and healthy cats so they'll make it okay.

Well, I'm off to grocery shop and then come home and guess what? That's right pack and clean. The realtor is coming this week to photograph the house so it needs to look less like a pit stop and more like a home.

I'm also catering later so it's a full day. I didn't even go into Friday night's film festival party. All I have to say is it's a lot (or a big waste) of work and money for a two hour party for those VIPs. I finished at 3 in the morning, was in bed by four and up again at 7 to go to work. Yee haw!

Friday, September 08, 2006

2 more minutes

This morning I couldn't get into my blog to post so I've been delayed. Now I'm waiting until I leave for job #2 that I was ready for a half hour ago and then realized that my start time was 7:30 and not 7 pm. Hmm.

Packing has been put aside the last few days because I've been too busy and last night I just couldn't face it.

In the garden I see the huge faces of the dahlias leaning towards the house trying to get my attention, trying to get me to come over and really enjoy their splendor. They just keep coming and I only get to see them from afar. Tonight would be the perfect night to sit out on our patio as well. It's balmy out and I imagine the setting sun, candlelight and a glass of wine in my hand. I love those nights and sometimes I never want to come in (until I start missing my kitties of course) and wish the nights could always be so wonderful.

Nostalgic aren't I? I've read somewhere by someone (help me out here) that nostalgia is a kind of homesickness. I'm getting more and more nostalgic lately. I forgive the little annoyances of certain catering colleagues because I know I'll miss their quirks and smiles, their jokes that are crude and obnoxious at times (at most times). Tonight I'll see most of them since I'm about to work a big party at whoville's glitziest store. It's a film festival party and it's big. This should be an interesting night. It will be a long night too. I expect a quiet bike ride home in the late hours. I'll take my time along bloor and take in these moments that are so fleeting but leave me with such impressions, with a feeling of nostalgia.

I'm off. Until next time.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

2 minutes to blog

It's a quick post. I'm packing daily and rearranging the apartment to suit the needs of the realtor and my sister to sell the house. We still have much to do! Packing and then stacking the boxes in the garage has given our place an echo. The walls are now white, folded cartons lean in corners, waiting to be packed, labelled and stacked. The rooms suggest transition and reflect how I feel, unsettled.

Seven years ago this month we moved into this apartment and lived in one room while the rest of the place was worked on. The basement and kitchen floors were laid and we painted the entire apartment. It's been quite an interesting time here in the little Portugal area of whoville. Now we're venturing into something new. I'm both sad to leave and excited to be going to a new place and my days presently contain both emotions. I've been scanning craigslist for apartments (well, "suites" as they're called out there -- I'd forgotten about that) and looking into moving estimates.

Tomorrow I start a series of double shifts so I'll have to pretend that we're not moving just to get through my long days. Otherwise I'll worry myself thinking about all I could be doing at home to get things done.

One box at a time, right?

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The Moving Blog

I suspect my posts will be about nothing but my moving concerns and panic attacks. I'll try not to get overly obsessive about the little details. Ha! That's who I am. I can't help but be overly obsessive about small details. When I first started to write stories I would spend hours on a paragraph obsessing about words and word order and punctuation. I was like a poet! Fortunately, I was forced to venture further from the word on the page so I could complete a story. However, at some point you still have to obsess about the small details. There may be a lesson in there somewhere as in: if you get caught up in the details you won't see the larger picture.

...but what do I do with 200 books sitting in the middle of our living room? Who will want these books? There are weathered and worn looking student copies of Shakespeare's plays, volumes of short stories bound under a common theme, D's Malcolm X collection and his JFK conspiracy books.
Then there are odd little pockets of obscure topics from books I collected while researching my thesis. What do I do with a collection of VHS tapes? They're bulky, worn and don't come with commentaries like a dvd. Plus, they're even a strangers collection of titles (again research and then there was the walmart bin I couldn't say no to) such as Child's Play 3, Nell and the Devil Bat.

I will find homes for these things whether it's a second hand bookstore or the shelves of Value Village.

In other news...
I'm caring for redjane's kitty redFred while she rides the surf in Hawaii. I tried to blog while I was visiting redFred, but couldn't figure out redjane's computer so I just played some solitaire while redFred purred on the bed. He's such a sweet kitty. He just loves being around me and only wants attention. He purrs constantly. He reminds me of one of the cast of characters in the house, Rupert. They're both tabbies too. Anyway, redFred is quite the character and since I saw him last, he's learned to use his voice a lot more. He's quite chirpy and didn't hesitate to come out and see me this time. He use to be quite shy and it would take a lot of coaxing to get him to come out and visit me, but now he's right out there and rubbing against his post and ready for a brushing. He didn't really care for me on the bosu ball. I think the added height freaked him out a little so I'll wait until he's settled down on the couch before attempting anything else on the bosu.

Our cast of characters here at home have no idea what they're in for. West Jet is the only airline that will permit pets in the cabin. I read somewhere that they do have pressurized cargo now, but there is no way in hell I'm putting our cats in cargo...been there done that and won't do it again. Can you imagine putting our 18 year old frail little Svetlana in cargo with suitcases? No way. So, West Jet will allow pets in the cabin (yay!) but you can only have one pet per person and only 4 kennels are allowed on any one flight. Hmm...two people and three cats. Again, I'm not sending one cat to cargo while the others fly with D. and I. As I said to my sister that's like Sophie's choice. So we're trying to find a third person who is willing to fly out with us at our expense (of course). There's more to this as well. The existing carriers we do have are too large for in cabin transportation. West Jet has specific measurements for the carriers that we need to abide by and a maximum weight as well. This is a small detail, but I need to sort it out as soon as possible. I'll start with the kennels and then once our tickets are booked we'll buy one for our third mystery person. I'll give that person Gigi to carry since she's only a kitten and the lightest.

Just talking about this reminds me that I need to get going and look for a deal on those kennels as well as get back to packing. I've made a lot of headway this week. September will be extra busy with lots of catering so I need to get as much done as possible this week. Time for a list...

Saturday, August 26, 2006


Well, it's official we're moving west to a whole other whovillian province with lots of rain, big trees and mountains. D.'s job is giving us the opportunity to be closer to where we've always wanted to be. It did all happen quite suddenly. At first we thought we'd just be moving in house (as in upstairs) after my sister moved west, or maybe moving to a new location in town. However, it finally became clear that D. was going to relocate within the company to the west location.

Even though he told me it was something he was interested in I never took it too seriously because I didn't want to get my hopes up or think about it too much being busy with my life here. I was trying to keep focused on what I wanted to do while living here. So when D. came home one day and told me the move was going to happen, it did come as a surpise and a shock. My immediate reaction was excitement and anxiety. Finally, we could go and knew where we'd be moving to, but oh my god we'd be moving far away to a whole new town!

The timing seems about right. Last spring I decided to give myself until this September to see how I was making out writing, filming and story editing. I had decided that I would re-examine at this time and determine if we should stay put or set a new goal that would involve looking across the country for any opportunities. True, my goals have not been to move location to work at LV in another part of the country, but LV will transfer me which saves me having to panic looking for a job. I am grateful to be working for LV right now. At least I know I'm in a good company that treats it's employees well.

Yesterday and today, we painted for the sale of the house. All our belongings have been shuffled into the center of our two main rooms so that we could paint. I hope I don't have to paint anything again for a long time. With luck our new place will have all the colours we like. That could happen right?

Again, I can't believe the amount of stuff we have. There's not much point of going into it since I've already blogged that one.

Two days ago one of my horoscopes said that the next 6 weeks were going to be overloaded with the amount of things I would have to do and that I'd be running around like crazy. Sometimes, just sometimes, those things seem to be dead on.

I realize now that there's people I have yet to speak to about the move. It was hard telling my mom since both my sister and I are moving west in the same year now. I started this post yesterday but didn't want to publish it until I told my stepdad. We'll be a ferry ride away from him in no time. I'm looking forward to that. My brother was pretty upset, but I know I'll see him as much as ever. I still want to travel to NB to camp and do my favorite running route.

That reminds me...
there's a whole new set of running paths to explore, trails to discover and races to conquer. Just one more thing to look forward to.

There's much to miss from here as well. When I left the we(s)t coast seven years ago I took a few things that reminded me of what the place meant to me. Now, I'll be taking those things home. I think I'll try and return them to where I found them. I've been thinking about what I should take from here. What will suggest this place to me when I'm thousands of kilometers away?

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Sift, Sort, Separate

We've begun to pack only labeling the boxes what's in them. We've affixed no address labels since that's up in the air. Boxes are piling up in our mud room (vestibule for those that have never heard of a mud room). I've started to sift through my belongings as has D., and we've sorted our things into what we want to keep (that goes in a box), what we want to yard sale, bookstore sale etc (those things stay in the apartment until they get moved or sold), what is donated clothing (a charity is picking up at the end of the month), what is recycling (the bins are overflowing) and what is garbage (I'm ashamed of the amount of landfill I'm creating this year and vow to stop unecessarily accumulate garbage. No more trips to Ikea and Winners!). The end result should be a minimalist looking apartment for open house viewing once sis puts the house on the market.

I've become ruthless in my separating of what is valuable to me and what is not. Sentimentality out the window. I can't cart around miles of possessions that I've kept around because I couldn't bear parting with this stuff. I've yet to go through my wool stash. (Knitters out there let me know if you want any wool. I will ship it to you -- julia?) Valuable is the cotton wool. Unvaluable is the wool wool. Since becoming vegan I've not been able to knit with wool. Valuable are my film books. Unvaluable are the endless pocket novels and copies of hardcovers that I've read and will probably never open again. I should look into library donation as well. Valuable is our tiny dvd collection of about 15 or so dvds. Unvaluable the endless stacks of videos. I've sorted a pile of videos to watch since I figure once i've watched them I really have no use for them. Valuable are the family photos. Unvaluable are the odd pictures of landscape shots or poorly lit cat photos and garden images that are meaningless now. Valuable are the clothes I actually wear. Unvaluable are the clothes I haven't worn in years but keep around because there might be an occasion to. Still I have this deep urge to chuck have of what I deem "valuable" as well. It's like what they say about traveling "take half the stuff and twice the money." I may need to bulk up the recycling and landfill piles.

I'm open to advice from those of you who have recently moved. I have moved many many times in my life (somewhere around 20 times) so I'm pretty good at the sift, sort and separate, but as I age I see that I move less frequently. I stayed in Victoria for five years and that was my longest stint in one place until now. D. and I have been in this apartment for 7 years on September 2nd so...I've somehow gotten use to living with more stuff.

Hmm, I need to make a note to revisit this posting at least once a month to remind me to stop accumulating.

Monday, August 21, 2006


This link in the local free paper recognizes Roberto Ariganello for his involvement in the Toronto film community. His death came as quite a shock and I didn't post anything earlier because I wasn't quite sure what to say and I guess I'm still not sure what I can say. My personal connection to Roberto was during the making of my film "from Human Resources" for LIFT's Poetry Projections program that coupled poets with filmmakers to create a silent film that the poet would read live during the screening. As the executive director of LIFT, Roberto headed the project and was nothing but enthusiastic about the process. He was very encouraging about any experimental techniques I wanted to try and was open to all of my ideas about what the film should include. He took the time to watch my footage and discuss it. He went over my ideas about the process and brought his own experience to the discussion to help me through any difficulties I was having. He also took the time to introduce me to all that LIFT has to offer. He made sure workshops were available to the filmmakers that related to the project we were working on. As a result, I found a new passion for filmmaking and saw that the possibilities were endless and the important thing was to follow that passion and see it through.
My sympathies are with his family and close friends.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

3 days free!

True, I did just come back from vacation, but it's been a long week of working and getting over my cold that still lingers (I believe today will be the last day of it!). I don't go back to work until Wednesday and that suits me just fine. I'll have time to get beyond my one day of getting laundry and cleaning done. D. has already done the cleaning so I'm well ahead of the game now. What an exciting life I lead.

Last night it was catering in the long sleeves and long pants in humid weather again. Whew. The house we were in had no air except for the bedroom where we were fortunately given access to to change and leave our stuff in. It was a cocktail party, a small celebration for a wedding. Two men had married that morning and used the party to announce it to their friends. It was a really nice party actually and the people were great. The downside were the stairs we had to keep running up and down to get from the kitchen to the backyard. Fortunately the rain had stopped permitting all those people to congregate outside as opposed to the inside sauna.
On my way home I got lost going from Davis whoville to Forest whohill. There's a weird little jog via a park and I missed it and ended up on the wrong road, biking through the dark empty streets of Forest whohill until I finally found a road I recognized and stuck to it. My map wasn't helping me any. I was better off with my instincts. Forsest whohill is so quiet at 11 at night on a Saturday. There are no people on the streets or sounds from the houses. It's a poorly lit neighbourhood so it's not pedestrian friendly. People light their trees from the ground or their front entrance if they want to show that off, but street lights are few and far between. It's a little eerie with the trees lit so they are shadowed above. It's very Halloween. I know there must have been a catered party somewhere in one of those homes, but it seemed dead silent last night. Then I crossed the "border" into the regular old city at just the edge of the Annex. Cars, lights and people come from everywhere. As I drove along Davenwhoport, I heard a live reggae band coming from somewhere between where I was and St. Clair. Once I hit Bloor it was like arriving in New York with all the activity and noise. Quite a change.
Finally I reached home and D. had pizza waiting for me. Yummy. We had peppers and zucchini from our garden on it and the sauce was made with tomatoes from the garden. It was incredible.

I slept in until 9 am this morning. Woo hooville! Gigi woke me running around the room with her paper ball she carried from some corner of the house. She trots around with it in her mouth until she finds a suitable playing spot to bat it around. This morning she figured the bedroom would be the best spot. Then, she ran out of steam with that game and went for my feet and that kept her busy for some time. Prima showed up and then Svetlana finally appeared. There's no staying in bed once those three get the circus going.

So now I'm going to do some gardening and then sort through my old books since it's time to start packing up some things. We're moving soon. Sis is putting the house on the market and we need to make the place look sparse and partially furnished, unlived in but not too empty. Strange what you need to do to sell a house. Sis and a friend fixed up the laundry room and we're having fun making it look all Martha Stewart monoculture. Fun, fun, fun.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Marathon by the Sea pics

Here we go. I am no where in this photo, but I like the picture because it gives you an idea of the amount of people running and walking. It's a little bleached out because D. had the camera on the wrong setting. No biggie though since we've still got the picture.

I like this one because it actually looks like I might be running. Many of the pictures I have I look like I'm walking. I know it doesn't really matter. Oh, i also like this one because I'm going up hill which is really hard for me since I'm so so slow on up hills. I feel fine on hills, but am just slow. This hill approaches the Reversing Falls Bridge for those who know the terrain. I have to say that this year that hill felt easier than last year so I suppose that's progress. More hill training in the future(ugh!).

My medal that is given to you when you cross the finish. It's a nice touch and I have this memento of the race.

photos from the great N.B. vacation

This is my brother's dog, Little Joe. He goes everywhere with us and loves walks. I tried to pose him next to one of the mini fir trees along the road.

D. and my brother out on one of our early morning walks.

That little speck is my mom in the boat, rowing along the lake.

Our campfire at night.

We spent every day at Queen's lake. It's quite huge. We took the boat out one day to another part of the lake that is inaccesible by any other means and the beach is beautiful on that side. There are no other tracks on the beach except for moose.

D. dives off the rock.