Saturday, June 30, 2007

You will know them by their fruits

Today, in the produce section of the local grocer, the price of cherries finally fell to just moderately atrocious.

At home, savouring my first cherries of the season (they’re probably my favourite fruit), the only thing that I found disappointing was that my brother wasn’t around to share them with me.

I don’t remember laughing very much when I was growing up, but I have delightfully silly memories of sitting around the kitchen table with Joe and a basketful of freshly-picked cherries. We would have contests to see who could put the most cherries in our mouths at once (I think the record was 24), which invariably resulted in ghoulish streams of deep red liquid dribbling and gushing down our chins. It was great fun making each other laugh, and we were rather heedless of the tummy upsets to come a couple of hours later. :) Sometimes we had friends sitting with us at that table, but Joe’s tanned face (and his shock of tousled white-blond hair, already bleached by the early summer sun) is the only one I clearly remember.

As I was fondly reminiscing about this, I realized that I will always associate this particular fruit with my brother. And that there are other fruits I will always associate with different people:

Peaches – My mother. She used to spend hot days in the kitchen canning them. A LONG time ago.

Oranges – My dad. He used to eat oranges (like most of his lunches and snacks) standing at the kitchen counter. He probably still does. My co-worker Neno does the same thing in the company kitchenette, and it always reminds me of my dad.

Raspberries – My late Uncle John. He loved them so much, he grew an entire patch of raspberry bushes. He was so proud of them. When he and my Aunt Anne sold the house, the new owners got rid of the raspberry bushes pretty quickly. I think he and I would have agreed that that was a damned shame.

Gooseberries – My Aunt Marie. I have no idea why. Also my old black lab, Lucky, who would eat the berries right off the bush.

Blueberries – Jean, my mother’s best friend. I went blueberry picking with her and my mom a couple of times while in my twenties.

Apples – Also my mom. I don’t think she would appreciate it if I told you why.

Bananas – The old vice principal of the boys’ middle school where I taught English in South Korea. One day I was eating a banana in the teachers’ room and he came by, smiling, said something in Korean, which was translated to me as some kind of comment that Korean women don’t eat bananas in public. Dirty old man. It was around the time of the Monica Lewinski scandal, and most Korean men seemed to associate Western women with bold sexual behaviour.

So, am I the only one who has strong associations between people and food? :)

MSNBC news anchor refuses to report about Paris Hilton

Pure gold ... so good that I have to wonder if it was staged.

Friday, June 29, 2007


Today, in the forum for a community we share, my friend Erik wrote the following:

Anger doesn't fix anything, action does. All anger does is reinforce the negative and prevent you from moving ahead. It also has the unfortunate side effect of driving people and opportunities away from you.

... I've noticed that anger can become a "security blanket" for people that feel short changed. All I have to say is that if you want to continue to get short changed in life just continue being angry... You'll get to keep your security blanket, but that's about all you'll have one day...
Erik wasn't writing to me or for me directly, but it certainly applies to my life and certain people in my life at the moment ...

Thursday, June 28, 2007

A bed of nails

Do you find that some stories you hear stick with you and are replayed over and over again in your own head?

Years ago, my friend Ryan told me about an amazing experience he had while at karaoke, and I think about it with surprising frequency.

The bar where Ryan and his friends liked to go (back in the days before marriage and kids and mortgages) was near the theatre where “Mamma Mia” was being performed. Well, one night the cast of the hit musical showed up for karaoke!

One of the actors sang Bon Jovi’s “Bed of Roses”. Ryan said that until this incident, he didn’t realize that there were such high notes in the song; this guy had an amazing vocal range and could hit and hold every high note that Jon Bon Jovi just grated through.

When I think about this story, it fills me with wonder – what would it actually sound like??? I imagine it would be just a little like a blind person trying to imagine the sky without ever having seen it. I can't imagine being among the audience in this humble karaoke bar, perhaps after fumbling through my own performance of "I Will Survive" or listening to some drunk guy try to sing "Billie Jean" and then be pole-axed, gobsmacked, awestruck by such a display of enormous ability and talent. I imagine it would have been thrilling to be there that night.

And yet, I think about the lyrics:

I want to lay you down on a bed of roses
For tonight I sleep on a bed on nails

If memory serves, the highest notes are on the phrase “bed of nails”. When Jon Bon Jovi sings those words, he does pretty well until the end of the song, when his voice scratches a little bit like fingernails on a blackboard. And yet, it’s a little appropriate, don’t you think? I can imagine some operatic tenor singing these lyrics, and yet the vocal perfection would undermine the whole sense of heartbreak and hard knocks. So if I could hear it performed by someone with an amazing voice, would it forever ruin the song for me?

Yes, I am obsessing about a performance I will never see. :)

Cute toddler story alert!

See here.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Light spills in

Scenes from the forest
Originally uploaded by Rob Millenaar.

Do you ever find yourself overcome by some kind of negativity, whether it be sadness, anxiety, anger, etc. and it totally surprises you? Maybe for something you thought you'd dealt with a long time ago? (Or at least months ago?)

This has been my experience the last few days. It doesn't really matter what it is or why, but for someone who likes to consider herself fairly self-aware, the feeling of clouds pushing down on my head have been a bit of a shock.

So, gradually, determinedly, I'm working through it. Trying to address the thoughts and behaviour patterns that led up to this. Hoping that I can use this experience in a positive way to learn and grow. Maybe this is something I can only handle iteratively, successively deeper each time.

But slowly, light spills in.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Toronto schools to power up rooftops

Forget the Pickering nuclear plant – you could soon be running your fridge on electricity supplied from your kids' school around the corner.

As the first step in an ambitious plan to create a green grid from the rooftops of schools across the city, the Toronto District School Board will spend the summer devising a renewable energy plan involving all 558 of its school sites.

If everything goes smoothly, windmills and solar panels will cover the roofs of 10 schools across the city as early as next summer.

"Because schools are so strategically located throughout the city, we could create a perfect green grid," said Josh Matlow, a board trustee and a driving force behind the idea.

More here.

Monday, June 25, 2007

No Springs, Honest Weight

Originally uploaded by Noisypond.

Photo taken Saturday at Holtom's Bakery in Erin, ON (est. 1946)

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Running with Scissors

Have you ever read a book - not for school, but voluntarily, willingly - and then said, "Oh thank God!" when it was over? This happened to me for the first time today as I finished Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs.

Running is a memoir of a bizarre childhood spent with people clearly suffering from various mental illnesses. His mother, self-centred and sometimes psychotic, ended up dumping her youngest son with her "unconventional" psychiatrist and his family in their filthy, bug-infested home, where he would later be sexually assaulted by another of the doctor's "adopted" sons. And yet Burroughs writes so well and engagingly - allowing the reader to distance herself somewhat from events, just as he had to in order to survive - that I kept reading despite my repulsion for his circumstances.

I'd like to be half the writer that Burroughs is, but not if I have to live through what he did ...

Update at 6:40AM June 25th - I must have been thinking about this post overnight, because when I woke up this morning, I had a thought or two to add. So here goes:

Running with Scissors is told in as light-hearted a manner as possible. I'm sure it's intended to be comedy. And I really, really hate to be so friggin' literal, but I just couldn't find much about his situation to be humourous. Yet it was a compelling read. It was like watching a car wreck - I wanted what was happening to not happen, or at least to tear my eyes away, and yet I was riveted. Which explains, I think, why I was so relieved when the book was over.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Learning the Hard Way

Today I spent hours taking photos outside of a group of people doing conservation work. There were Boy Scouts there to help and everything. I worked really hard to make photos that they would enjoy. And then, when I got home, I realized that there were a few problems (WARNING: the photo-geek talk to follow; you might want to skip to the ***):

  1. everyone was wearing hats and I wasn’t using my speedlight flash, so in most photos, people’s eyes are in deep shadow;
  2. from my studio work earlier in the week, I had left the camera at a high ISO, which was far too sensitive for the bright outdoors;
  3. since people were in constant motion, I should have used the auto focus of my lens rather than rely on manual focus;
  4. I should have used my polarizing filter to alleviate some of the glare from the sun, since I didn’t actually take photos in deep shade like I thought I would.

Rookie mistakes.

***Also, this morning, as I was rushing to meet the carpool that would take me to the conservation area today, I got my first speeding ticket ever. I thought the section through which I was driving had a speed limit of 100 km/h, when it was actually 80. I was clocked at 109 km. I should have paid more attention to the signs; I have no one to blame but myself. The officer reduced the penalty so I won’t have to pay such a large fine and I won’t lose any demerit points, but I still feel … what I did was just dumb.

So I am chastising myself a bit for these two things, but also acknowledging that I need to slow down and stop mentally rushing here and yon: to be in the present and to be observant. I want these lessons to really sink in. I guess as long as I can learn from these experiences, it’s all still good.

On a more positive note, I really like these photos I took today:

Also, the group that I organized to help with the conservation work today seemed to have a great time and to find the experience rewarding. We were using logs and brush to create a sediment trap in order to narrow a stream in a section that was too wide (too wide = too slow and too warm for fish to spawn in).

Anyway, in the abacus of the day, the sum total is still positive. Just how much so is up to me.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Machu Picchu, Peru

Machu Picchu, Peru
Originally uploaded by This Is Your Life.

Oh to have lived on such a green mountain among the clouds!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

To: Guy Who Screamed Obscenities at the Ballet the Other Night

Via Julie's blog, this posting on Craigslist, which you should read from start to finish:

Date: 2007-05-07, 11:59AM PDT

It was Don Quixote, a rather fun full-length ballet, nobody dies like in the dreary Giselle or Swan Lake.

Another fantastic performance by the SF Ballet. I know you enjoyed it. Our whole section knows you enjoyed it. Every time a dancer would perform a particularly impressive jump, or a series of 3+ pirouettes, you would say, "Whoa!" or "Jaysus!"

This, I didn't mind. As a former dancer and now a season-ticket holder of our City's fine company, I get a kick out of hearing others' excitement for an artform I hold dear. Much better than the guy next to me whose head started to fall like a kid in an 8th grade math class.

So, the curtain falls. The end. Applause.

Curtain comes up and the dancers begin to take their bows. You notice a few people standing up. Was it an ovation? NO! They were LEAVING! These people could not WAIT to get to their cars (they were obviously not MUNI riders, walkers or cab-hailers like most of us in the City)! They had no time for CLAPPING! They had to get out now!

It was then you yelled, in your beautiful gray-haired old crotchety man voice, "WILL YOU PEOPLE SIT DOWN AND LET THE *POLITE* PEOPLE SHOW THEIR APPRECIATION?!," slight pause, "YA ASSHOLES!"

Now, I have seen dozens of ballets in my relatively short lifetime of 25 years. Never, not once, have I encountered a fan of ballet quite like you. At the ballgame, sure, that kind of yelling is par for the course. At the ballgame we eat peanuts and leave the shells in piles at our feet.

Sir, this was THE BALLET.

And for your outburst directed at the people who think somewhere in their tiny brains that it is even remotely acceptable to get up and leave during the curtain call, remotely acceptable to not even clap for the world class artists who just performed a most difficult and worthwhile ballet for our enjoyment (artists whose salary is about that of a standard office receptionist), remotely acceptable to WALK OUT while the house lights are up and we can all (including the dancers) see...

Kind sir, for your outburst, screaming at these "assholes", I thank you from the bottom of my art-loving heart.

I've been wanting to say that for a long time.

And WOW! They sat their asses down, didn't they?! A few were even clapping.

You are the BEST.

Fellow Supporter of the Fine Arts in San Francisco

Doesn't that just rock your socks????? :)

Time for a break from this crazy ride

Callaway County Fair 8.3.2006
Originally uploaded by 10thAvenue.

Now that some big time commitments have eased for me, it’s time to focus on a little self-care: cooking, getting back to the gym, reading, meditating. Hell, maybe even a little more sleep! :)

But the blogging will continue … tomorrow. :)

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The nicest thing anyone's told me in a long time

… is “Boy, you’ve got a tough job!!!”

That’s what the “new guy” told me yesterday, after sitting at a desk near mine and hearing the various conversations that were taking place. Granted, yesterday was a hectic, stressful day, dealing with mass confusion, an impatient boss, someone else’s lack of foresight (= cleaning up someone else’s mess, which still might produce customer wrath), people walking up to my desk out of the blue to request something done, support requests to deal with, project work to do, etc. So it was pretty much just a regular day. :-D

But what was nice was the acknowledgement. You know, a little bit of appreciation can go a long way.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

I was worried about myself for a moment there

After spending far too much time reading Alex's blog and preparing my assignment for my photography class, I turned my thoughts to what I might blog about tonight. Something quick, I told myself, so I can go to bed at a decent hour for once. So I looked in my "Drafts" folder of my e-mail account, where I store links, etc. so I can blog about them when I need more time. I looked at a couple of things that I had started, and then found this:

I’ve been reading your blog for about 6 months, I also read all of your archives. Ive never posted a comment.

Hmmm, I thought to myself, whose blog am I writing about here? I'm a bit fuzzy about this ...

I feel compelled to do so today. I too struggle with drinking.

Really? I struggle with drinking??????? I seriously wondered for a moment whether I had a split personality like in that episode of Magnum, P.I. where Deirdre (played by a then-unknown Sharon Stone) was utterly confused by what her evil "twin sister" was doing to her life - until she realized that her sister had been killed by the kidnappers (!) when they were children and her personality had been splintered by the trauma and that she in fact had been the very person who was doing these terrible things! (What? It could happen!!!)

As recently as last week, I’ve decided to stop. My husband drinks ...

Husband? Okaaaay, now I know I didn't write this. And it comes rushing back to me ... Remember a few days ago I posted about Linda's incredibly brave sharing of her drinking and driving experience as a cautionary tale to anyone who might be tempted to do the same? Well, if you didn't follow my advice back then, go back and read it - and read what other people had to say. It's incredible how one courageous step can inspire many people - strangers - to avoid making their own huge mistakes, or to address addictions, or to own up to their own mistakes. Like the commenter quoted here. I will let her finish her story:

... and I fear that It will be very difficult to live with him, and still love him, when I am fighting like hell to change my behaviour, change the old drunk me, into the new sober me, while I watch him to continue to drink. I fear for my marriage, because I have decided that my becomming sober is the most important thing in my life right now. I have not yet looked for outside help….I suspect I will at some point.

All of that being said, I’m sure you realize how lucky you are to have a husband that stood by you, and I assume helped you though what was probably one of the worst times of your life. You have given me inspiration to push forward with my plan to sober up… You beat the booze, you stood up for yourself against that bottle and took control of your life. And I will use you as a guide post, when my road takes unexpected turns.

It all makes me think I could use a little more courage in my life. Though I think you must concede that admitting I actually wondered if I had a split personality - who wrote about her drinking problem - might qualify as some kind of bravery. Kinda. Maybe. ;->

p.s. - This post is dedicated to my brother, who is likely the only one of my readers who has any chance of remembering the episode of Magnum, P.I. to which I referred tonight. :->

Monday, June 18, 2007


I have a friend who is going through hell.

Have you ever tried to be there for a friend when it’s one setback or calamity after another? And eventually you feel as though you’ve run out of words to reassure?

I guess we all experience seemingly hopeless situations at one point or another. Maybe the lesson we need to learn when it seems the world is falling down around our ears is to be open to the help that comes from unexpected sources. Maybe it's persevering until things get better or the calvary comes.

Over the weekend I’ve spent a lot of time reading stories posted on the website for the Rolling Dog Ranch. The RDR is a refuge for disabled animals who would otherwise be euthanized, such as blind horses and three-legged dogs and deaf cats. Okay, I know it sounds weird, but check it out for yourself. Their stories are remarkable and a testament to love, life, and compassion. Start out with the story of Spirit, the paralysed Yorkshire terrier, who was beaten and crippled by her drunken owner, then rescued and brought to the ranch. Like every story, Spirit endures incredibly bleak conditions, yet somehow retains the will to live and the ability to love. Notably, the hand that plucked her out of her predicament came out of nowhere. Such stories are testament to hope.

I know not every story ends rosily, but enough do for one to wrestle with fate, to grapple with the odds, and fight as hard as one can for a positive outcome. That’s what my friend is doing, and I along with her. And I have to believe, like Spirit, her story will be one of grace, love, and determination.

Sunday, June 17, 2007


Originally uploaded by Noisypond.


Originally uploaded by Noisypond.


Originally uploaded by Noisypond.

This is one of my very favourite portraits from yesterday. Rob has an interesting face.


Originally uploaded by Noisypond.

I love this shot - both in colour and in black and white.

Sitting around the campfire

Originally uploaded by Noisypond.

In the pink

Originally uploaded by Noisypond.

David borrows my sweater to have the full-on pink experience.

What a ham. :)


Originally uploaded by Noisypond.

Yours truly

Originally uploaded by Noisypond.

... courtesy of Yvonne. Not exactly posed, but I guess this is what I look like anyway. :)


Originally uploaded by Noisypond.


Originally uploaded by Noisypond.


Originally uploaded by Noisypond.

Sunset last night

Originally uploaded by Noisypond.

Fun at the Toronto Islands

Originally uploaded by Noisypond.

Chuck, Linda, and Michelle

Saturday, June 16, 2007

I smell like wood smoke and DEET

I just spent many hours on the Toronto Islands on a picnic with an organization to which I belong. There was much socializing and eating and talking and socializing. And picture-taking. And, toward the end of the day, sitting around a campfire – talking and well, socializing. Really a great group of people. Met some very cool new friends too.

By far the funniest thing I witnessed all day was the following exchange, during a conversation about photography in which Heather grandly announced that she would be willing to pose in the nude. At her friend Sandy’s raised eyebrows, Heather responded, “What? Do you think I was BORN with clothes???”

With perfect timing, Sandy’s immediate rejoinder was: “Yeah, but I’ll bet they slapped some on ya real quick!” LOL

Now I'm home and desperately in need of showering to rid myself of residual smoke and bug spray smells.

A world off-kilter

Trellis with sound system at Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park
Originally uploaded by Noisypond.

a world off-kilter
makes me realize
how straight-and-narrow
and narrow-and-straight
I am.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

My last concert of the season

Reasons to go see classical music performed live, even if (like me) you don’t know much about classical music:

1) Awesome people-watching. I’ve been to several TSO concerts, and I’m starting to feel that I know some of the musicians’ personalities. There’s the anal violinist who’s always on stage, practicing before the concert and during intermission, frowning with palpable anxiety and concentration the entire time; there’s the first violist, who is so conscientious, hard-working, and maybe just a little in need of reassurance; there’s the concertmaster (first violinist) who seems like the kind of man I’d love to have for an uncle; and then there’s the other musician (whose instrument shall not be named) who has to be the most angst-y lesbian I have seen in a loooooooong time (does she even know she’s gay???)

2) Figuring out “what the heck just made that sound?” is a lot easier when you can actually see the orchestra;

3) Often there are interplays between two instruments or two groups of instruments, and seeing it live helps you to appreciate that there’s actually a musical dialog taking place (at least it does for me);

4) Seeing the facial expressions of the performers. Tonight’s guest pianist had the loveliest peaceful yet focused expression, and conductor Peter Oundjian looked flushed, exhilarated, and profoundly relieved when this concert was over;

5) The music is so much more engaging when seen live – it resonates through you in a way that a recording doesn’t. And often you’ll develop an affinity for a piece of work because you heard it live and you can appreciate it so much better than you might otherwise (again, this is what I’ve found, at least).

Tonight’s guest pianist for Brahm’s Piano Concerto #2 was Hélène Grimaud, and I was her fan from the moment she walked on stage. You see, when most other female soloists perform, they tend to wear strapless evening gowns, which I dislike because a) male soloists don’t dress in “sexy” attire, so why should the female ones?; b) sometimes, as with a solo violinist a few months ago, the strapless dress shows hard-working muscles that really aren’t that attractive. Grimaud, on the other hand, wore a silk pantsuit (a pantsuit!!!), with her hair tied back in a simple way that only accentuated her beauty. And then her music … was so pure. Amazing. I will definitely be looking up her recordings.

The other score performed this evening was “Rite of Spring” by Igor Stravinsky. It might not be melodical/everyone’s cup of tea, but it is genius, and I encourage you to see it performed live if you can. After catching Stravinsky’s “Fireworks” and “Firebird” last week, I’m now a fan of his work as well …

Before tonight, I was resolved not to buy tickets for the upcoming season because it always ends up being such a late night for me. But I am soooooo tempted to splurge again!!!!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Squeeking this one in

Originally uploaded by Noisypond.

... in the last 10 minutes of the day.

I know this photo is out of focus, but I still love her expression. She's a bit of a challenge that way; reserved until she laughs and then she moves suddenly. But she is beautiful, and I hope the genuine laughter you see here will make your heart feel just a little bit lighter. :)

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Silky Water

Silky Water
Originally uploaded by Ar'alani.

Not much blogging today, so here's a photo from a fellow member of Flickr to give you a 5-second escape. :)

Monday, June 11, 2007


Please read Linda's post here. But here's a snippet:

In 2005 I was arrested for drunk driving. This is what happened:

I was handcuffed and put in the back of a police car and taken to the drunk tank in downtown Seattle, which was filled with transients. I was filled with despair and anger and booze, and at one point I simply started screaming, over and over and over. They carried me, thrashing, into a tiny cell reeking of urine. I was held there until JB came and picked me up.

We met with a lawyer. I sat trembling and viciously hungover in his office. He was impeccably groomed and had beautiful photos of his family on the wall behind him.

Linda has been incredibly brave and open in sharing her story. Really, you'll want to read the rest of it. And the comments from (most of) her readers too.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Beautiful Pakistani woman

Originally uploaded by Noisypond.

This is a photo of a beautiful Pakistani woman that I took today at the Beaches. I was bold enough to ask her for a picture, but I wish I'd taken more. She had a lovely smile that I failed to capture. Next time!!!!

Mountsberg Wildlife Centre and Conservation Area

Originally uploaded by Noisypond.

Yesterday, a group of us went to the Mountsberg Wildlife Centre and Conservation Area for a hike and to take in their demonstration of some resident raptors. None of the raptors at the centre are able to live in the wild, so they are used for education purposes instead. It's incredible to see these birds up close.

For more information on this conservation area, see:

The raptor in this photo is a gorgeous red-tailed hawk.

Red-tailed hawk spreads its wings

Originally uploaded by Noisypond.

Great Horned Owl

Originally uploaded by Noisypond.

We learned about this amazing predator in the Mountsberg presentation. Their talons can exert the same force as an adult swinging a baseball bat against a hard surface at full force. (Just look at the talons in this picture! They're massive!!!) The GHO can lift prey that are 3X their own mass. Apparently there is also one documented case of a GHO actually killing a human being in Canada.

Not a pet. But incredible.

Kestrel spreads its wings

Originally uploaded by Noisypond.


Originally uploaded by Noisypond.

I hope this photo might inspire someone to go for a hike ... :)


Originally uploaded by Noisypond.

This dragonfly was *totally* working the camera yesterday. It let me get so close so I could take lots of pictures, and when it moved from one place to another it wasn't far, or it was even closer to me!

So, despite the fact that its mosquito neighbours obviously considered me a blood sandwich, I kept trying hard to get the best possible picture. And this is the best one of the lot.

So - was it worth the Claritins and the cortisone cream for the mosquito welts? LOL


Originally uploaded by Noisypond.

Spotted on our hike yesterday.


Originally uploaded by Noisypond.

I don’t often spend an entire day of my free time with anyone (or at least it seems that way to me). But Jamie came over last night, we talked for hours, she camped out on my couch overnight, and then we hung out until 8:30 tonight. And it was great fun despite some serious topics that our conversation covered.

She is an amazing person, and I’m thrilled to know her.

Couple at the Beaches

Originally uploaded by Noisypond.


This is too funny to not pass along. I don't have kids, but still find it to be pure gold! I dare you not to smile or even laugh out loud when you read it!!!! :)

Friday, June 08, 2007

A Linguistic Hypothesis

When I was living in Korea, I learned how to swear. And I don’t mean how to swear in Korean. I mean how to sound like a sailor in my own language without even thinking about it. (I tend to pick up words, phrases, and accents fairly unconsciously, and I had some articulate, creative, potty-mouthed co-workers). Anyway, when I came back to Canada and my brother made some kind of comment about how I should learn to sound more professional, I knew I had a problem. And I’ve made significant progress, although sometimes I still do shake my head at my own vocabulary.

However, tonight I walked past a mall and heard someone say to another: “Why d’ya leave me in there, ya f-----g douchebag?” They laughed and I realized that they were actually friends, despite the language that I found a bit - ah, shocking.

But as I walked away, I thought to myself: In 50 years’ time, “ya f-----g douchebag” might just sound … quaint, like “jeez” or “cripes”.

My friend Jamie and I now have a deal to test out this theory. She’s going to visit me when I’m in the nursing home and call me “ya f-----g douchebag” and we’ll see whether anyone notices.

I’ll keep you posted as to what happens. :)

Thursday, June 07, 2007

So many blog posts, not enough time

Originally uploaded by Noisypond.

Lorelai has the right idea in this photo. I have so many ideas for blog posts running through my head right now, but I am somewhat sleep deprived, my back is aching from the last couple of weeks, and it's already way later than I think it should be. So come visit tomorrow or the day after and hopefully I'll have a few brilliant thoughts to share with you. :)

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Eclecta baby photo retrospective I

Meeting my brother's children for the first time gave me incentive to get out our old baby pictures. There was one in particular that I thought would show how Reece resembles Joe in his infancy. However, when I got them out, I realized some of them are in rough shape and whatever detail there may have been initially is fading away. So I'm starting to scan what I have, and thought I'd share with you, my breathless reader! :)

I'm going in chronological order (because I'm a linear thinker - get OFF my back! lol). Since I chose to be first, you'll have to wait a day or two to see any pictures of my brother. :)

First, here's me in the hospital, shortly after having a rude introduction to life on earth. Apparently it was even less of an enjoyable experience for my mom; I was close to 10 pounds when I was born! (I don't think she's forgiven me yet!) I love the rooster hairstyle I've got going on here.

This picture makes me think of paintings from centuries ago of hunters holding up their game for display. Not sure what my dad was thinking here, but it looks like I didn't quite know what to think of it back then either. :)

Doesn't this baby bouncer look like an instrument of torture? If I saw a kid in something like this today, I'd call the Children's Aid Society for sure ... :)

I really can't say whether these pictures were ever very clear ...

A fun picture of me and my dad.

This is one of my favourites. I was obviously born ready to par-tay!

Okay, time to sign off for now. Stay tuned ... more blurry baby photos to come!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007


I have to tell you about the novel I’m currently reading – Boomsday by Christopher Buckley. I told you about Florence of Arabia by the same author (though Jamie provides a better review of that book here), and you may have seen the fantastic movie Thank You for Smoking, which is based on the novel by Buckley.

Buckley’s genre is political satire, and he’s a master. Boomsday is a story crafted around the Social Security fiasco that is waiting to happen in the United States – namely that as the Baby Boom generation begins to retire, there will be a decreasing number of workers to pay into an inadequately-supplied fund that will have more and more dependents. Doesn’t sound funny? Buckley manages to do it with a heroine who, as a member of the younger generation, politically agitates to have responsible government spending or a tax revolt by her peers. The writing in this novel has been a bit uneven when compared with Florence of Arabia, but there are still some great laughs:

Minturn was sent off to a Swiss sanatorium for a cure consisting of aggressive colonic irrigation and primal screaming. (The two therapies rather complemented each other.)

He took her to a place on Pennsylvania Avenue named Carnivore, owned by a lawyer who had made $15 million from a class-action suit against the Salvation Army for dispensing sugar doughnuts to a half a dozen diabetic disaster victims. It’s a great country.

“Have the four-pound lobster,” Terry said from behind a menu thick as sheetrock and the size of an open newspaper. “It’s scary.”

“Four pounds? That’s not a lobster, that’s an ecosystem.”

“Who was it who told me, a long time ago, ‘Anger is the best motivator’? Wasn’t it your generation that started the whole youth movement thing? Come on, Terry. Forgotten what it’s like to be young and angry?”

Terry shrugged. “I’m middle-aged and angry. With good Scotch, I can deal with the anger.”

“So we’ve gone from ‘Don’t trust anyone over thirty’ to ‘Don’t drink any Scotch under thirty’? Is this what’s become of your revolution?”

There are so many more … but you will have to read the novel yourself. Not that that’s a bad thing! :)

Monday, June 04, 2007

To Ann Arbor, Michigan

Every few days (or more often, depending on how O/C I am), I check the stats for this blog. It's pretty interesting to see the cities and countries that visitors come from - just a tantalizing glimpse into your world as the reader (don't worry, I don't see your credit card numbers or anything crazy like that, not that I would even use them if I could).

There's also an interesting report that shows what keywords someone entered in the search that resulted in them clicking on my blog. Previous searches leading to this blog have included the names of paintings I took pictures of at the Chicago Art Institute, names of the paint colours of my apartment, and other pretty random stuff. But tonight, one of the search queries was "feeling sad with twin babies" and it breaks my heart.

So, dear reader/passerby, I know nothing about you. Maybe you actually googled this phrase for a friend or a relative. But to whomever is Feeling Sad: it must be unbelievably hard to be you right now. The sleep deprivation, the way your life has been turned totally upside down, the constant demands of twin babies: I've had just a glimpse of it (in a family with two fully committed parents and lots of supportive relatives), and I feel deeply for you. Maybe you will never read this, Feeling Sad, but my heart and very best wishes and hopes go out to you. I hope people step up to help you. I hope you can find that you can ask for the help you need.
May you find strength you didn't know you ever had and a love for those babies that will keep you going.

I hope your Google search at least found other hits that are a lot more helpful than this humble and inconsequential blog.


Originally uploaded by th.egilson.

This is a photo I found while browsing I thought it was cool and wanted to share it with you! :)

Melanie in her exhibit

Melanie in her exhibit
Originally uploaded by Noisypond.

Well, the Riverdale Art Walk 2007 is now over. Melanie had a great show and sold five paintings! She also made lots of good contacts and took inquiries re. commissioned work. People enjoyed the colourful, multicultural, imaginative qualities of her art.

The weather held out to the very end - we got the remainder of the paintings in my car before the downpour began. Woo-hoo!!!! But by the time we packed up the tent, we had to cross a veritable bog to get to my car. (It was a bonding experience, let's put it that way ... LOL)

It is such a relief for it to be over, but it was a lot of fun and I'm glad we did it. :)

Sunday, June 03, 2007

"What's your favourite painting?"

"What's your favourite painting?"
Originally uploaded by Noisypond.

This little girl really loved this painting by Melanie. She came back a second time, and her father gave me permission to photograph her with it. I asked her, "What's your favourite painting?" and this is what happened. :)

The "Goddess" is sold

The "Goddess" is sold
Originally uploaded by Noisypond.

Melanie and I were thrilled to send "Goddess in Meditation" off to a home with such a cool buyer. It was an exciting moment.

Stupid billboard

Stupid billboard
Originally uploaded by Noisypond.

I can't imagine what kind of marketing genius thought they should associate their beverage with a rodent.

Am I right or am I right?

Toronto sunset

Toronto sunset
Originally uploaded by Noisypond.

I took this photo last night from Jimmy Simpson Park. I think the top of this tree looks somewhat like an inukshuk. If you don't know what an inukshuk is, just wait until the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. :)

Pug in the window

Pug in the window
Originally uploaded by Noisypond.

Too cute. Taken today. The photo, that is - not the dog, heaven forfend! LOL

Samba Eleguena I

Samba Eleguena
Originally uploaded by Noisypond.

Okay, here's the picture I promised - this is the band I want to join. It looked like so much fun. I think when they are playing, they must have to exist totally in the present moment - not much room for worrying about the future or fretting about the past ... A good way to be. :)

Samba Eleguena

Samba Eleguena
Originally uploaded by Noisypond.

I want to be this woman - she looks like she's having a great time, no? :)