Sunday, April 23, 2006

text imaging

Where should I begin? I keep flipping pages of my agenda, watching the weeks disappear. There are notes everywhere, work everywhere, chores everywhere and I'm somewhere in the middle of it all, coming and going, pausing for meals, emails, brief bouts of yoga. If I had a digital camera I probably would have just posted pictures at this point, trying to capture what my week has looked like:

an empty street intersection except for the front tire of a bike. In the background is a parking lot, light reflecting off car hoods and windshields. Over the lot is a large neon Barcardi billboard.

An extended green counter that runs 25 or 30 feet long with the employees perched at intervals along the counter some with customers, some wait alone.

A bouquet of flowers with a large butter orange lily in the middle. Eucalyptus shoots up behind and away fromt the white and pink daisies.

An ant moves across a yellow tile.

Svetlana (part of the cast) tucked into the grey fun fur. Her front paws extended out with her head resting between them.

A silver blade chopping garlic on a wooden block.

looking at a street end/intersection with a coffee shop in the centre.

A server's shoe in motion on the textured green tiled floor that looks like grass in the restaurant "live"

Prima (part of the cast) stretched out on the pink yoga mat

Looking up at the white paper Chinese lanterns lit up, hanging across a white ceiling

A messy desk.

A group of about 10 or more men and women all dressed in black pants, shirts and ties milling about against a brilliant pink wall. One woman fixes her tie in the mirror. Some of them are sitting on a counter and some are paired, talking to each other. Behind them is a rack of clothes and a punch clock.

A row of women at the gym on the eliptical machines while one woman runs on the treadmill behind them at the back.

A pair of pink hyacinths

A row of daffodils with a green fence behind them.

A stray cat tucked into the bushes, sleeping the day away

The sagging colourful fences along the alley behind our house.

The sky reflecting in the pond of a city park.

The playground on the Lakeshore (the same one I used in "from Human Resources")

Raindrops on the budding peach blossoms in the backyard

More later....

Thursday, April 20, 2006


Apparently yesterday it was too early and I was too excited about my coffee to remember the day itself. However, to the man who brought coffee to a new level for me...

Happy Anniversary, D!

Of course I wished each other a happy anniversary yesterday in person and I gave him a copper gift (as the 7th anniversary is copper) found at L.V. Now he has the super siphon for his wine and I have a beautful bouquet with my favorite eucalyptus and lillies in the mix.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


Rich, dark elixir I am enslaved to you. How do you get through 10 hours, 12 hours etc of work? Coffee of course! I'm back on the drip after being a tea drinker for the last....year? I switched to tea to get rid of those coffee jitters I was getting, leaving myself to indulge in the luscious crema only on weekends when my personal barista (D.) can froth up a soy chai latte for my delight (it definitely is an asset that D. works for a espresson machine company). Tea hasn't been cutting it lately. I love my blends of green and white teas, jasmine and darjeeling, but when headaches started to creep in I knew I needed a little jolt of espresso to get me through the second job of the day.

This morning I've started with coffee which I haven't done in a very long time and I feel like an addict, telling myself "just this once and then I'll go back to tea in the morning." Yesterday I had a shot of espresso between shifts and felt so great by the time I started job #2 at 4:30 that I felt I could do 15 hours of work. Of course by 11 it all hit me and I could barely move. Hmmm, should I be concerned? Am I going to crash and end up in line at a dreaded Starbucks. Ugh!

A new tea shop just opened down the street and I've been waiting for weeks for them to open and see what varieties they have, wondering what kind of organic teas they carry. This may renew my delight in teas and draw me from the drip -- the gorgeous, velvety espresso. Yummmm.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Potato Gnocchi

Wandering Coyote asked for the gnocchi recipe so I thought I'd share with everyone.

This recipe is from the fabulous book Vegan Planet by Robin Robertson. I've never had a bad recipe from this book. Everything has been tasty.

For the gnocchi I'll put an * where I differ from the cookbook.

Potato Gnocchi

2 large baking potatoes (* this is key because baking potatoes are drier than other varieties)
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour, or more as desired
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon turmeric, or more as needed.

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Puncture the potatoes in a few places and bake until soft, about 1 hour.
2. Place the flour in a large bowl and sprinkle with salt. Make a well in the center of the flour and set aside.
3. Peel the potatoes while they are still hot and mash them using a potato masher or ricer (*I love the ricer!) sprinkle on the turmeric, stirring gently to incorporate it. Place the potatoes in the center of the flour. Using a spoon, slowly draw the flour into the potatoes to form a slightly sticky dough, adding more flour, if necessary. If a deeper yellow color is desired, sprinkle on a little more turmeric (*I used about 1/2 teaspoon). Knead the dough until smooth, 3-4 minutes. Divide the dough into 6 pieces.
4. On a floured board, roll each piece of dough into a 1/2 inch thick rope with the palms of your hands. Cut into 3/4 inch pieces (*cut to your preferred gnocchi size, remember that these do swell a little when boiled), then press one side of each gnocchi against the tines of a fork. (* I use a gnocchi paddle. Either way you just kind of use your thumb and roll the dough across the tines or paddle and off onto a floured baking sheet. Leave a little space between each gnocchi on the sheet.)
Cook them in a large pot of boiling salted water until they rise to the top, about 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain well.
You can keep them warm in a baking dish until ready for use or eat right away with your favorite sauce.


Sunday, April 16, 2006

Easter Sunday Run

Why does 13 km of running feel as difficult as 16 km of running? Again, the last 3 kms were killer. We were so busy at LV on Saturday though that I was pretty well run off my feet so I went into my run somewhat unrested. It was a gorgeous day in whoville though. Again I sought out a new route and ran through a neighbourhood that was unfamiliar, but lovely. I hit the park towards the end. The last stretch to home was the killer part. Anyway, I did it. I do feel "under trained" for the 1/2 marathon but I still have a few weeks of training left so I'm not going to panic.

There were lots of people in the park this morning. More people than I expected were out on the streets, heading to church, stopping at the corner stores to buy easter lillies and other spring flowers. I did see some front lawns adorned with easter themed decorations as well.

D. had an awesome brunch waiting for when I returned. It was sort of like the Bournemouth breakfast I referred to earlier with some modifications. D.'s take on it, I suppose. Delicious coffee and what more could you ask for?

We also tended to the garden today, did a little tidying and put out our table and chairs. Soon we'll be having dinner outside again. I can't wait.

Nothing special going on around here for easter. We did buy some dark chocolate and I'm making potato gnocchi. I suppose the gnocchi are sort of egg shaped. I'm just enjoying the quiet in the neighbourhood and the warm weather.

Happy Easter.

Friday, April 14, 2006

More Suzuki excerpts

Since much of my week required that I travel by transit more than usual, I've continued to read the David Suzuki Reader. It was published in 2003 so keep this in mind when you read the excerpt from "Global Warming" and think about recent disasters like New Orleans. He does talk about New Orleans and Louisiana's astonishing loss of marsh and farm lands due to flooding from rising sea levels, which sadly makes the recent disaster seem inevitable.

Of course if you're sick of reading my Suzuki excerpts then you may just want to skip my blog today and on other Suzuki related days.

"Later that year, I stayed in the traditional Kaiapo Indian village of Aucre, deep in the Amazon rain forest. Each time I asked a Kaiapo about a plant or animal, he or she identified it by name and told an anecdote about it. Kaiapo knowledge of forest flora and fauna is by no means complete, but it has enabled the people to survive in harmony with the forest biodiversity. Scince, in contrast, allows us to extract great detail by sacrificing that sense of nature's vast breadth and immeasurable complexity. In the Monteverde Cloud Forest, one is overwhelmed by the immensity of our ignorance, a sense of humility about our abilities, and a reverence for nature, which put our sense of achievement into perspective."

- from "How Little we Know" in the David Suzuki Reader.

"The most predictable consequence of warming is the effect on the oceans. When water warms, it expands. When a mass of water as large as an ocean heats up even a bit, sea levels rise. As a result, ocean currents are change, marine ecosystems altered, and plankton populations affected. Warmer oceans will increase the intensity of tides, storms, erosion, salt water intrusion in aquifers, and corrosion of underground subways and pipes. A sea level rise of a few centimeters will greatly affect human societies.
(...)Although sea level rise is occurring with astonishing speed in geological terms, it is invisible to most people. In spite of our capacity to plan ahead to avoid danger, we don't react to incremental change, only to major disasters like hurricanes or floods."

-from "Global Warming" in the David Suzuki Reader.

Until next time...

Life in Hellweek

I made it through!

I'm done in but I made it through.

Oh...the procession is just coming through, I can hear the music. Good Friday means that the reenactment of the stations of the cross occurs during a procession in Little Italy, the largest in Canada. However, closer to my whovillian home is another smaller procession that happens later in the day and is much simpler with sombre music and people holding candles. It's quite different from the Little Italy spectacle that appears complete with fake blood and soldiers in gladiator garb. Out of curiosity I went to little Italy one year for the event. D. was reluctant because he finds it a bit vulgar. Anywho...there was a struggle for front row view and a group of women with their kids and grandkids started to get into it because they all claimed to have that spot first. I was more interested in what was being said in the argument and missed half of the procession. After that I didn't go again. It's way too chaotic for me.

Back to the week I just came through. Phew. I'm glad it's over. Even though I work tomorrow, it still feels like the week is over. No more 13 hour days (plus travel time). No more catered passover meals. No more stuffing my back pack like an overnight back with lunch, dinner, my toothbrush and a change of clothes for catering and after work. At least not for this week. Who knows what next week will bring.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Run Vegan Run

16 k. I did it! I can't believe it. I am quite elated. The last 3 km were probably the toughest I've done in a long time and it was mostly uphill, but I kept going until the end. Phew. Now I can imagine myself doing the Missisauga half marathon in May. If all goes well and I can keep up my training, I should be able to do it. I'd better book the time off work now. I'll give them lots of notice.

Another beautiful sunny day here in whoville. We had a great vegan brunch to fuel up. I made vegan french toast. D. frothed up the soymilk for my coffee and I tried to relax. I didn't want to get worked up about my first really long run of the year/season. I put no pressure on myself and took it nice and slow. The lakeshore was busy with all kinds of activities going on. There weren' t as many runners as I expected, mostly cyclists and inline skaters, but the few runners I did see were friendly.

I'm being pulled away again. We have to go in search or organic garlic. Until later...

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Ah the joy of a day off! No longer do my days blur one into the other with bits and bouts of writing coming sporadically throughout the day, any day between laundry, emails, blogging, a trip to the gym, and breaking up the cat spats. I use to long for the 9-5 type of day and now I'm in it. The grass is always greener. Now I'm a time manager. I've started wearing my watch regularly again (for some reason this disturbs me). I've started a list of things to be accomplished for the month. Nope, no daily list for me. It's all about what needs to get done in a month and I'm moving on that list pretty quickly because I now appreciate my "down time."

today I enjoyed the sunny, but cool, weather in whoville. There was not a cloud in the sky. I went to get my annual bike tune up at the same place where D. had dropped his bike earlier in the week and I left the place with two bikes! It's about time. I bought my old bike in Victoria in ;95 and it's had a good run, but I had to replace a lot of things and I sensed that there would be more to come. Furthermore, I was getting tired of spending the money on a tune up on a bike that was feeling uncomfortable and stiff. The new bike is...I can't really sum it up in one word but it is enough to say that I love it and am really excited to start riding it regularly. Of course this also means I need to upgrade my lock. The old 8.99 u-lock from the kitchen store on St. Laurent isn't going to suffice anymore. It's protected two bikes of mine and now it's time for a Kryptonite lock. L.V. lets us keep our bikes in the warehouse so I don't have to worry about leaving it out all day at work. Sad isn't it that I have to worry about leaving my bike anywhere?

Tonight we went to see Brokeback Mountain at a local rep theatre and I thought it'd be nice to quickly zip up on our bikes, but then rethought it when I considered the neighbourhood. Whoville isn't always so friendly, you know.

Well, now's it's time for pizza and I'm off to eat some of D's yummy pizza so more later...

Thursday, April 06, 2006

from the David Suzuki Reader

Since I've been commuting on transit lately, I've picked up the David Suzuki Reader because it is a collection of 2-5 page articles that I can read on my brief commute. I thought I'd include passages that stand out to me for whatever reason. I usually keep scraps of paper or a file on the computer where I collect these things for some future use (story idea or research).

"In cities, gleaming displays of vegetables, fruit, and meat in supermarkets create an illusion that the Earth's abundance is endless. It's easy for urban dwellers to believe this fantasy of a world without limits when we are immersed in a human-created landscape and few of us get to experience seasonal rites of nature anymore. But because our reference point is the urban setting and what we experience, we don't see the impoverishment of nature over the past two centuries."

(David Suzuki, "The Case for Keeping Wild Tigers" in the David Suzuki Reader, 2003, p. 38)

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Today I ran.

Today I ran. My new shoes arrived from the States at a great discount. Mom and D. purchased them for me. They're last year's model but so what? They're great. I had some banking to do so I ran to the bank, beyond and then home. L.V. has taken up so much of my time lately that I've been too tired to do anything else. Furthermore, by the time I get home there's not much time to do anything but get some dinner, catch up on the news or watch the Blues. Most of the time I fall asleep on the couch. Sad isn't it? I ran and it was beautiful. Outside, crisp air and the stress of the day gone from my thoughts. I focused on breathing and my stride. My achilles ached a little at the beginning but by the time I warmed up I felt fine and by the time I reached my little who-Home I felt I could keep going a little further.

The job is going fine. I'm overwhelmed by the amount of product and product knowledge required. My co-workers are a good group of interesting people. They understand that I need to do my catering and seem to be flexible with that far so good.

The cats are needy when I get home and there never seems to be enough time to play with them or give them the attention they need. I'm off Friday and Saturday (I asked to have those days left open for catering since it's almost a guarentee lately that I'll be catering on one or both of those days) so I'll spend more time with kitties while doing fun things like cleaning the house! Oh joy! I will run outside again though and head right for who-High Park (my favorite place) and see how the gardens are coming along.

Until then...