Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Interesting graffiti

Originally uploaded by Noisypond.

So, Melissa, what ARE you hiding??? ;-D

Seriously, nameless graffiti artist, if you're going to develop a conspiracy theory, could you not find anyone more interesting than librarians to blame? (Except for Melissa, of course; she's FASCINATING!)

This photo of a garage door taken in the Leslieville neighbourhood of Toronto a couple of weeks ago.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Summer, Interrupted

Originally uploaded by Noisypond.

I just thought I'd be contrary tonight and publish a photo of winter weather. This photo was taken on a day in which the snow fell in CLUMPS, not flakes, and clung to trees and buildings like furry spandex.

Just keeping summer fresh, people ... :)

Sunday, July 29, 2007


Today I drove three hours into the heart of southwestern Ontario for a family reunion.

I know people say that the flat terrain of this part of the world is mind-numbing in its plainness and monotony, but I love it. This afternoon as I was driving the clouds were incredible, and there were no buildings or mountains to obscure the colours and the ever-changing shapes and the light spilling through and what looked like a gentle curtain of rain falling somewhere in the distance. I love the rare big trees that grow along ditches and fencelines in their lonely, stately dignity. Somehow this part of the country makes me feel grounded and inspired at the same time. Maybe you had to grow up there.

Anyway, here’s a picture of my dad with his siblings:

And here’s a photo my Uncle Ted took of me sitting with my aunts Willie, Anne, and Judy, looking through photographs. I like this photo a lot because it really represents to me why I go out of my way to go to family reunions.

And here’s another photo I asked my Uncle Ted to take of me and my Aunt Willie (short for Wilhelmina). As far as I’m concerned, my Aunt Willie’s picture should be next to the phrase “unconditional love” in the dictionary. She is such a wonderful, open person, and while I know everyone goes through hard patches in life, she has always seemed to be more vitally alive than most people I know. I consider myself to be very lucky to be her niece, and I aspire to be like her – both as an aunt myself now and as a human being.


Tonight I had my friends Melanie and Jamie over for dinner. A bottle of wine, some music, lots of vegetables with some wonderful hummus, and some chana masala that turned out really well, and it was a great night. But mostly because I am so lucky to have fun and fabulous friends.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

No spoilers

Just finished "Harry Potters and the Deathly Hallows"! What an amazing story - an epic, I think. I've cried furtive tears while reading it at the gym. I rabbit-punched the air in the solitude of my own home while reading it. I delighted schoolchildren who saw me carry my copy onto the subway last night. I managed to avoid any spoilers.

I am in awe of J.K. Rowling as a storyteller and as a human being. She must be a remarkable person to deal with the themes she has.

But now ... time to catch up on some sleep! :)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Pardon me while I disapparate

I nearly missed my subway stop while reading Chapter Three of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

See ya when I finish this book - until then, you're on your own!


Monday, July 23, 2007

Eclecta photo retrospective, part whatever

Originally uploaded by Noisypond.

This is still one of my favourites of me from any point in my life. And it does go to show that I have in fact been more blonde than I currently am. And look at that tan!!!!

It's probably a good thing that no one told me to "follow your bliss" when I was this age, or I quite possibly would still be playing with armfuls of kittens and hanging out in backyard pools all day. Though not, obviously, playing with armfuls of kittens in backyard pools.

Special thanks to my Aunt Anne S. for taking this shot and capturing the wonder and magic in my eyes that is still one of the things that I like most about myself.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Great things about this weekend


That some photographs turned out okay

Listening to my music collection after a few days away, and feeling like my heart might burst with its beauty

Setting goals


Having a clean bathroom (even though I had to clean it first)

Catching up with Jamie, even if it was just by phone

Napping (gosh, that was uber-great!)

Melanie introducing me to the great song “Hey Eugene” from Pink Martini’s new CD of the same name

Delicious breezes

Hanging out with good friends Saturday night and teasing one about boasting of his endurance while at a bar (he was talking about cycling)

Memories of hanging out with Melissa and her family

Rediscovering my "Best of Crowded House" CD

A desperately affectionate cat launching herself into a spread-eagle position over my backpack (on the floor) so I will pet her (this cat was obviously a Catholic nun in a previous lifetime, based on the guilt trips she’s given me about leaving her for a few days!)

Re-reading a Harry Potter book

E-mails with Yoda

Japanese tetris

Many thanks to Melissa for this link - many laughs here as a result.

If I were to judge by this clip alone, Japan is not just another country; it's a whole other planet!

Steph and Dom

Engagement photos taken today (yesterday, actually):

Click here to see the whole set.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Leaving and arriving

Dear friends and Internet vagabonds,

Yes, I am still alive. Very tired, though, after significant delays at the airport caused me to finally arrive home around 2:30 this morning. Fortunately I had the flexibility to go into work a few hours late today, but oy

I’ve just looked through the photos I took yesterday, and by far this one is the most compelling:

This is Melissa’s son Ethan. He said he was sad that I was going back to Canada. Maybe that’s true. I guess at that age, kids are really needy and quickly form emotional attachments. (Either that or six-year-olds are just moody and he was blaming it on me. LOL)

Ethan’s so smart; sometimes to keep him busy and entertained (!) we did math drills. Without a day in Grade 1, he can add 21 and 42 (though it did take about 5 minutes and quite a bit of finger-counting). Since I always had a problem adding 8 + 5, we did every possible permutation of 5, 8, and 13 – to the point, years from now, he will no doubt think of me every time he subtracts 5 from 13 or whatever. :) I really do wish he lived closer, maybe part of that commune of people I love that I wrote about in my profile.

Chin up, little buddy; I hate good-byes as much as you do.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Day 1 of 1 in New York

We finally made it into New York today – woo hoooooo!!!!

By the time we got the train from Princeton Junction into New York, it was 10:30 AM. It took about 25 minutes to orient ourselves at Penn Station, when we realized that there was no way we could go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art (our No. 1 priority), leave for lunch at Norma’s, then go back to the Museum and still see everything we wanted to see. So we had an early lunch at Macy’s, then took the subway to the Met. OMG were the subway stations hot!!! They were like boiler rooms!

The Met was great. A lot of fantastic, beautiful art in a gorgeous building. Melissa said, “We’re looking at art while walking on art [a gorgeous tile mosaic] and walking in art.” So true.

We were there for 5 hours and probably saw less than half (or maybe just a third) of the displays. And near the end we were racing around trying to see as much as possible.

After the Met threw us out at 5:25 (let me tell you – they’re serious about closing at 5:30, and woe betide the dawdling art-lover!), we walked a few blocks (including along Park Avenue) to La Maison du Chocolat. I might just be ruined for any other chocolate after this.

And then, because we are wusses and had walked since 10:30, we took the train back to New Jersey and ate dinner in the same Indian restaurant in Princeton where we ate last night. So yummy!!!! Like Melissa says, sometimes there’s something to be said for a sure thing.

While at dinner, we started planning our day tomorrow, working backwards from when I have to catch my flight. Just to be on the safe side, we would have to leave New York around 11:30 in order for me to say good-bye to Ethan and catch my flight from Dulles tomorrow night. So instead, we’re going back to Baltimore tomorrow and tooling around there, I think. New York was amazing, but the worry about missing my flight just isn’t worth it.

But I cannot wait to return to that exciting city.

Archways at the Met

Originally uploaded by Noisypond.

The beautiful Metropolitan Museum of Art

La Maison du Chocolat

Originally uploaded by Noisypond.

Ooooh la la!

Hot and Crusty

Originally uploaded by Noisypond.

I'm not sure I could eat anything at a place called "Hot and Crusty" ... LOL

Not a sign I see every day!

Originally uploaded by Noisypond.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Lucas and Ethan

Originally uploaded by Noisypond.

This isn't New York yet, Toto

So I left for New York this morning (on a 7:14 AM flight – I honestly need to have my head examined) and yet at 6:18 PM, still not in New York … LOL I actually flew into D.C. to meet my friend Melissa, got a whirlwind drive-by tour of Baltimore, spent some time with her two little boys before we escaped the gravitational pull of her family and set off for Newark. (We’re staying in a condo owned by one of Melissa’s friends.)

So early day tomorrow to finally head to New York, and *maybe* another half-day in New York
(depending on how Melissa’s husband is coping back home, LOL) before it’s another race to Baltimore to say good-bye to Melissa’s six-year-old (who has seen me only twice before in his life and yet appears as though he'd be mortally offended if I don't at least say good-bye) before I fly back to Toronto Thursday night. Whew! :-> But it’s been really good to catch up with Melissa and see her family again.

Update: I had dinner in Princeton tonight! As in Princeton, New Jersey, where the Ivy League school is. Kinda cool! Lovely town, beautiful architecture. Sadly, no pictures of places whatsoever, as we drove everywhere, barely slowing down to gawk at beautiful places. But Melissa is being great about trying to show me as much of the eastern U.S. as she possibly can! :)

Monday, July 16, 2007

New Yawk, baby, New Yawk!!!

So tomorrow I set out for the Big Apple. I'm leaving at some ridiculous time in the morning because I'm cheap. And not so smart sometimes.

I've never been to New York before, and my friend Melissa has been planning the itinerary, so I have very few expectations. I know I want to go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and, based on Monika and Tracy's recommendations, La Maison du Chocolat (chocolate that is better than Godiva's? I so have to check this out!).

I'm not sure whether I'll have Internet access the next few days or not, so don't freak out if you don't hear from me until Friday or Saturday, okay? I know will miss you all, my friends and Internet vagabonds! :)

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Bad weekend for blogging, good weekend for living

Whew! What a busy weekend!!!! I:

  • took a crew that I organized to do volunteer work with a conservation authority, cleaning up a truckload of lumber someone had dumped in a river in the Caledon area;
  • went on a very cool tour with LEAF Toronto, learning about Toronto's urban forest (it amazes me how much information we have about conservation and urban planning, and yet ... stupidity abounds. I highly recommend checking LEAF out though.)
  • went to the birthday party of a very cute and much-loved one-year-old
  • cleaned my apartment, did 4 loads of laundry, and ran errands
  • wrote an article for a newsletter
  • actually cooked for myself!
  • had a great workout at the gym
  • caught up (somewhat) with a couple of friends
  • made some very cool new friends
  • caught up with some acquaintances
  • processed all the photos I took this weekend (see posts that follow)
I feel tired, but blessed.

Happy birthday Audrey!

Originally uploaded by Noisypond.

Sorry, Audrey - THAT birthday is 18 years from now ...

Originally uploaded by Noisypond.

Am I the only one to find this funny?

Originally uploaded by Noisypond.

In the most loving honourary auntie fashion, of course ...

so cute

Originally uploaded by Noisypond.

Frying pans for children?

Originally uploaded by Noisypond.

While on the LEAF Toronto tour, Todd (the guy in the green T-shirt to the left) took us to a school ground. “Black asphalt, red brick, and tar on the roof – if we wanted to bake our children, we probably wouldn’t have to do anything differently. We might as well just put them in a frying pan” is pretty much word-for-word what he said. He told us that schoolyards are so much hotter than most other places in cities that they are hotspots detectable from space (or so NASA has discovered).

Trees. They’re necessary for many reasons.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Surreally busy

Originally uploaded by Noisypond.

Incredibly busy - but good - day today, so instead of writing much, I will let you take a look at this funky photo I took yesterday. :)

Friday, July 13, 2007

Follow your bliss?

I imagine many of you have heard the following phrase: "follow your bliss". But then again, maybe you haven't, or just aren't sure what it means. Let's quote from an authoritative source, the Joseph Campbell Foundation (Joseph Campbell was an amazing professor and author specializing in myth, and "follow your bliss" was initially his utterance):

... it is important to note that following one's bliss, as Campbell saw it, isn't merely a matter of doing whatever you like, and certainly not doing simply as you are told. It is a matter of identifying that pursuit which you are truly passionate about and attempting to give yourself absolutely to it. In so doing, you will find your fullest potential and serve your community to the greatest possible extent.

JOSEPH CAMPBELL: If you follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. Wherever you are -- if you are following your bliss, you are enjoying that refreshment, that life within you, all the time

Forgive me if I'm not all that forthcoming on this subject, but I'm really interested to hear what you, my friends and Internet vagabonds, have to say on the subject. Do you believe in such a thing as following your bliss? Why or why not? What have been your experiences?

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Speaking of parenting ...

Did any of you see this amazing piece on 60 Minutes - years ago - about juvenile delinquent elephants???

Parenting poetry

One thing I've realized about myself is how much I adore kids. (This revelation came as I wondered why I spend so much time reading blogs written by parents of young children. It's the kids and the terrific writing, by the way.)

Do I want one of my own? Meh. But I love other people's kids, and stories about their kids.

If you love reading about kids, you have to check out Linda's "parenting poetry". Lord, she is so funny.


Originally uploaded by Noisypond.

Sorry to be repetitious, but I am so darned excited about these portraits.

Melody is a beautiful and joyful little girl, but barely sat still. It took a lot of patience to get the shots that I did, so I'm a little proud of 'em.

Why Natalia is my superhero

I love reading Natalia's blog because she exudes confidence and assertiveness. She inspires me.
Take, for instance, this anecdote from when she was at a concert last night (in case you're curious, it was The Police):

A guy sitting right in front of me decided that he needed a smoke. Instead of leaving the venue, he just lit up in a packed non-smoking arena. Everyone around him stared and grumbled, but no one said a word. No one, that is, except yours truly. To wit:

Me: (After tapping on the stranger's shoulders) Hi. Could you stop smoking, please?
Idiot: (Stunned he is being told off, he takes another puff).
Me: Ummm, yeah, when I said could you stop smoking I meant put the cigarette out. This is a non-smoking venue. Besides, just because you are OK with getting cancer and emphysema, it doesn't mean I am.
Idiot: Just give me a few more puffs.
Me: What are you, two years old? Put the fucking cigarette out and save me the trip to security.
Idiot: (Puts cig out and sulks for the rest of the night).
Brilliant and amazing.

On Defensiveness

Someone photocopied this article from "O" magazine a few months ago and handed it to my boss. Who then showed it to me. (Was he trying to tell me something???) Forget whose magazine it's in, trust me - it's a good read.

The title? "Wait—Are You Implying I Need To Read This Article?"

The subtitle: How to Have a Functional, Trusting, Relaxed, Mutually Satisfying Human Relationship with a Highly Defensive Person

My aha moment came with these two sentences:

The first worry ... is "I don't have enough!" Not enough love, money, food, credit, glory—the subject of our deprivation obsessions varies, but the theme "not enough" pounds away like a monotonous drumbeat.

One more

Originally uploaded by Noisypond.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

This is a lame post

Originally uploaded by Noisypond.

Sorry folks, busy again tonight, but lots of photos of this beautiful little girl named Melody.

Seriously, I wanted to stuff her in my backpack and take her home with me. A totally amazing kid. You'll be seeing more of her photos.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Ouch! Taking method acting too far

From MSNBC’s The Scoop:

Aaron Eckhart is willing to suffer for his art.

The “Thank You For Smoking” star is appearing in a film called “Bill” with Jessica Alba, and he says he put clothespins on his private parts to help his acting.

“I had to pretend that my nuts hurt, so I put a clothespin on my nuts,” Eckhart told Men’s Journal. “Otherwise, you’re just learning your lines and saying them. There’s no art in that. People say, ‘Why do you want to put a clothespin on your nuts?’ You know why? Because that’s what I do for a living.”

He’s joking, right? The Scoop seems to be reporting it straight, but I’m sure that sarcasm is in effect here. Because if a guy can get to his age without ever getting nailed by something or somebody (say, a cute blonde girl in grade school who had some ill-defined anger issues expressed by punching boys in the balls, hypothetically speaking of course) and then act on the basis of that memory, then I think we have a new entry in the Guiness Book of World Records. (World's first testicle-protecting force field or world's worst actor, you pick.)

However, even joking about something like this … Aaron, you just might need some professional counseling. Get some help, honey.

Oh, and about the uh - hypothetical scrotum nailing by that cute blonde girl in grade school? Yeah, she grew out of that. A loooooonnnng time ago - I swear! :)


Happy birthday, sweetie!

Monday, July 09, 2007

The gymnast?

In the kitchen at work today:

Eclecta: So this friend of mine was in Toronto over Easter weekend ...
Kevin: The gymnast?
Eclecta: Long pause as she tries to figure out how the hell he ever thought she had a friend who is a gymnast ... then laughs. Kevin, you are so gay. Only a gay man would think of a gymnast. [He really IS gay.]
Kevin: What? A straight guy would say a gymnast, right?
Eclecta: Gives that "give your head a shake" look.

Kevin is a dear and wonderful friend of mine who is accustomed to my blogging about him. I love you, bunny!!! :)

My summer is officially full

I just made arrangements to go to New York for a couple of days with a friend next week. Eeek!!! I have never been to New York before, but this time-limited opportunity (with free lodging in Newark, which isn't so bad a commute, or so I'm told) was too good to miss. Plus, I get to see my whip-smart, well-read friend Melissa, which is awesome.

(I have to take a break here and tell you a story about Melissa, because this is a good one. Melissa and I met in Korea, but the first Memorial Day Weekend after 9/11, I visited her and her husband and infant son in Washington, D.C. They showed me as much of this GORGEOUS city as they could in a long weekend, and then on the way back to the airport, Melissa and I started talking about Bush and American politics. This was before Iraq. And folks, she KNEW that Bush would fuck it up. [Sorry, I can't even ---- it out.] She fretted that he would fuck it up, said she was inconsolable the first time Bush was "elected", and I told her that no, it wouldn't be so bad after all, not because Bush is basically an okay guy [because, DUDE, the writing was on the wall], but I sincerely believed that there would be other politicians and bureaucrats and world leaders who'd be able to keep things from going into the pisser. Well, y'all [Melissa's from Virginia], we all know how THAT'S turned out, right?)

Anyway, after New York, there is a stag and doe that I will attend as the official photographer (please, gods, just a few photographs that I can be proud of), then a family reunion the next weekend, then zoom! I'm off to Seattle for a visit with my brother, sister-in-law, and my niece and nephew. Friends and Internet vagabonds, I can't tell you how much I am looking forward to this! This may involve some middle-of-the-night helping because there are only so many months you can go with a few hours of sleep a night, y'all (okay, I'm getting carried away, I know), and so I will don my SuperAuntie! cape (DA TA DA DA!!!) and insist on helping. Needless to say, the first weekend back in Toronto will have NOTHING SCHEDULED.

And then, the last weekend of August, I have my very first stint as a wedding photographer. So the weekend before THAT will be spent nervously trying to anticipate every possible thing that could go wrong. Folks, please keep your fingers crossed for me, or at least for the poor fools who thought I could photograph their wedding. (I tried to dissuade them, I really did!) Just thinking about this makes my stomach lodge in my throat.

And then Labour Day weekend - which I may need to recuperate from my boss being on vacation the last two weeks of August + the wedding. (This past week was the first time my boss was on vacation that I didn't get sick from the stress of doing my job + whatever I could of his, but I think that's because I slept so much the weekend before and after.)

And sometime in mid-August, songbird migration begins again ...


Holy Cuteness Batman!

Folks, it is entirely unlikely (unlessyouhavekidsofyourown) that you will ever see anything more adorable than twin babies toothlessly, radiantly laughing and interacting with each other. You can see that here, just click on the fourth (also the last) link to see the video. (I was just going to steal the video and post it here, but what kind of example would I set for the children??? lol)

It honestly amazes me - my niece and nephew only have about 25% of my genetic material, and yet share all my charm! Is that a medical miracle or what??? ;->

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Another portrait

Originally uploaded by Noisypond.

... just to be generous :)

Love You Forever

After reading every single archive on Beth’s blog (which I thoroughly enjoyed, Beth, thank you), particularly her posts about lost friendships from bygone days, I finally caved in and signed up for Facebook.

Frankly, I have mixed feelings about this.

Mostly because I feel I am a very different person from the one my university pals or high school classmates may have known. For example, when I was in university, I was a very religious person. I actually considered myself to be a born-again Christian. But a couple of years after university, that was no longer the case. How or why doesn’t matter at this point, and is something I will usually refuse to discuss (hear that shot across the bow?). However, during my crisis of faith, which was one of the most painful excruciating times of my life, one of the worst things about it all (second only to struggling with whether I was actually going to hell or not) was the knowledge that our faith had been the foundation of the relationships I’d had with most of my university/church friends. I knew that things could never be the same. I truly grieved about this because they are amazing, wonderful people whom I still love to this day, and with whom I share numerous fond memories. And because the whole religion thing was so incredibly painful to me for several years, it all had to go. It was an amputation. Boy, was that hard.

It’s been almost ten years since then. Over time, as I’ve become more comfortable and confident with my choices, the mention of religion doesn’t freak me out as it used to.

But I can’t pretend that I haven’t changed, or that my dear friends and I have much in common any more.

So, if you happen upon this site via Facebook or some other means and count yourself as a Christian friend from our school days, know that I adore you. If we are somehow able to cobble together a friendship in the now that is based on what we have in common as human beings rather than religion, no one could be more thrilled than I would be. And if today we are too different (and/or you are too freaked out about my current belief system), know that I will always be thankful for the love, acceptance, and sense of belonging that you gave me when I desperately needed it. And I will always love you.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Friday, July 06, 2007

On god and glassware

Lately, I've been reading archived posts of Beth's blog, which have been quite entertaining. This is vintage!

Dear God

No, I'm not getting religious on you ... but today someone found my blog after using the following search criteria:

Costco KY jelly
Here's why. Totally unembarrassing, and yet - so icky.

This sucks

By far the funniest thing that's happened in a long while took place at work today, and yet I can't tell you the story because I've stupidly given the address to my blog to several people at work (and they gave it to some other people at work) and it might get back to the person involved, and he would be embarrassed. Which is really a shame because as far as anecdotes go, this one is damn comical. Just one thing to say, unnamed co-worker: I told you, but did you listen? BAH HAHAHAHA! Seriously, it was totally harmless and more than a little cute, but the guy is already feeling sheepish.

Blogging about work or events at work is not a good idea. (I know this from experience. This also sucks.) However, I can't restrain myself from writing tonight - and I'm not kissing anyone's ass here, people - there are days when I am overwhelmed by how amazing the guys on my team are. My co-workers as a whole are really good, talented people. Almost anyone with a job has bad days at work from time to time, and we might have pointless dumbass conflicts occasionally, but today is one of those days when something happens (totally unrelated to the anecdote related above) where I am in awe of my co-workers. Not because they can solve a nasty technical problem (although that is really cool too), but because they are such lovely human beings. As extraordinary as they are, it makes me wonder: Are most people this amazing, or have I just truly lucked out in the co-worker department?

So if you happen to be my co-worker and you read this, yes, I'm glad you are here reading my humble blog (even though I'm sure you must have better things to do with your time, like flossing); no, I will NOT tell you the funny story; and yes, you may pat yourself on the back. :)

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Control freak

Originally uploaded by Noisypond.

Yes, my father played the accordion. How Old World is that?

And guess who's personality is just a little Type A?

Yes, it would just be better if *I* could do it, obviously!

Okay, despite my sleep festival over the long weekend, I am back to being utterly sleep-deprived and hollow-eyed. So, dear friends and Internet vagabonds, this is all I have for you today. Come back tomorrow. :)

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Real quick, like

Originally uploaded by Noisypond.

All work and no play makes Eclecta a boring girl tonight (yes, I'm still at work), so here's a portrait I took last week for you to look at.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The result of a dare

Friends and innocent bystanders, what you are about to read is both the result of a dare and an exercise in telling my own vicious inner critic to shove the hell off.

My friend Jamie and I were IM'ing and she was sharing that she hasn't been writing much lately because life frankly has dumped a steaming pile of crap on her recently and she doesn't have the same creative impulses that she normally does. So I was encouraging her to write something different, like poetry, to see if that might make a difference. Her response was, and I quote:

haha! i write the worst poetry in the world, the worst.
So I challenged her: half an hour, one poem each, we both post the results on our own blogs, regardless how pathetic they are. So here's mine:

There’s a crease in your forehead
There used to be laugh lines
There’s a hesitance in your expression
That used to be confidence
Life’s dealt you some nasty ones
And goodness you’re reeling

Where did “goodness” come from anyway,
When it used to be bold, angry words,
Conversationally tossed?

Nothing is stable, everything is wrong
Your foundation eroded from under you
While you shook your head in disbelief.

And that’s still part of the problem,
That you can’t believe it, can’t accept it

I have no platitudes, no answers
Just faith in you.

Yes, this poem sucks donkey balls, it's so bad, but when I tried to dip my ladle into the river of the cosmic unconscious, this is what came up. So who am I to question the cosmic unconscious? :) It's not like I'll be sending it to a publisher anyway. :)

Sometimes we are just too hard on ourselves.

So, your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to write your own poem in 30 minutes or less, no matter how lame or insipid, and either post it in the comments here or on your own blog with a link to it in the comments.

Truly, your effort can't possibly be worse than mine, can it? And it feels great to tell the inner critic to feck off!!!! :)

Update: Jamie's poem can be found here. It is really far better than mine.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Eclecta baby photo retrospective III

Originally uploaded by Noisypond.

Since it’s been a long weekend and I sanely (surprisingly) decided to keep my calendar open so I could address some things around here that have been driving me crazy, I’ve finally had a chance to scan the rest of the photos from my childhood. I won’t blog all of them at once, as that would be a total bore, but I will do a couple at a time.

This particular photo is likely the first one taken of me with my brother. Really, the title of this blog posting should read something like, “Boy, THAT sure was awkward!” Maybe it’s fitting; throughout our 36-year relationship, there have been glorious moments of friendship (which you will see in other photos), bitter rivalry, intense mutual embarrassment, and then periods when we have felt like strangers with one another.

I was 17 months old when my brother Joe was born (ironic since my parents tried for about 8 YEARS before I showed up). Not really twins like Lorelai and Reece, but fairly close (and with far more physical resemblance than that particular brother-sister duo!). I hope that Lorelai and Reece will enjoy countless hours together being silly and building forts and biking and playing games and eating cherries like Joe and I did, but I think they’ll also show each other more respect than Joe and I did. Fortunately, it’s never too late to learn. :)

Techie note: Picasa rocks! Picasa is a FREE photo-editing tool from Google that is incredibly easy to use (far easier than Photoshop!) and really helps with image quality. I’ve run all these scans of old childhood photos through Picasa to sharpen them and sometimes to crop them. While the quality of these old photos is generally quite bad, Picasa does make most of them a little less blurry. Definitely worth the minute or two per photograph. I process all my photographs in Picasa first, using Photoshop only if I need the additional tools that Photoshop provides. Picasa will also convert RAW files (the format used in digital cameras that captures all the information possible for every pixel) into JPEG very easily.

Eclecta baby photo retrospective II

Originally uploaded by Noisypond.

Here again is behaviour that modern-day parents would probably be too afraid to do – and certainly would not allow photographic evidence to be taken!

Dad and I are “riding” Dixie. Based on her ears alone, Dixie isn’t too thrilled about the whole situation. However, as far as I know, no mishap ensued. :)

You heard it here first

It’s been a great Canada Day. I slept in for the second day in a row (GOD I LOVE LONG WEEKENDS) and felt truly reborn when I got up this morning (20 hours of sleep in 48 hours can have that effect. Sorry, Joe – I don’t mean to make you jealous. You’ll be able to sleep in like that once the twins are teenagers – maybe. LOL).

I just came back from a barbeque at my friend Ada’s. She has some of the most interesting friends – I love going to her parties.

One of her friends (whose name I never caught because I am a dork) is an assistant director in Toronto’s film industry. He has also drafted a screenplay of his own life, first as a small child in Nicaragua during the civil war, then for a time in Mexico, and then as a Spanish-speaking teenager thrown into an affluent English-speaking school in Toronto. Friends, when (not if) this movie is made, you will want to see it. It will have some humour, some dark moments too, I think, but overall I think it will have a lot of heart. I’ll try to keep tabs on this project and let you know more as it develops. And when it’s a huge hit I will feel very superior and remind you that I told you all about it tonight. :)

Sunday, July 01, 2007

≈ orange...

≈ orange...
Originally uploaded by Jennifer Esperanza.

Amazing photograph!

I surf the Internet so you don't have to

The context would take too long to explain (just read this blog post), but here is a cute little story by DoneMamma (found in the comments of aforementioned blog post):

Well, my 3 year old already thinks I'm an idiot. Yesterday I gave her four pieces of fruit. She said, "Mommy, after I eat this one, I will have three left." and I said, "Good job, that is called subtraction." In THE most condescending voice she replies, "No MOM, that is called EATING."

Re-worked portrait

Originally uploaded by Noisypond.

Changed to black and white, sharpened a bit, and contrast adjusted. I think it's a lot better, and I'm pleased that I've been able to salvage this portrait. If you're interested, you can see the original here.

A portrait I took a few weeks ago

Originally uploaded by Noisypond.