Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Sunday, November 28, 2010
The cantankerous old Christmas cactus, which did not deign to grant a single flower last year, has decided to bloom!
Every season needs something to light it up.
Monday, April 12, 2010
Z came home with a Wii Fit balance board today and we've been trying it out. I wish we'd had this thing about 6 months ago during the crappiest winter weather.
On the one hand, it's just a balance board, and it has no idea what you're really doing with the rest of your body. On the other hand, I played fun little fitness games in front of the TV for 30 minutes and now my core muscles are pleasantly sore, so it seems to be effective.
The virtual trainer lady is such a bitch though. She called me a couch potato!
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Once a month, I make a long-haul public transit trip to the suburbs to meet with the mentor that my professional association has assigned me. I'm amazingly lucky to have the ear of this experienced, smart and well-meaning guy and talking to him is totally worth the epic suck that is the trip out there.
The last leg of the trip is a winding bus connection from the end of the Skytrain line to my mentor's office. At the Skytrain station at the End of the Earth, I sat knitting while waiting for the bus, and was very surprised to look up and see that a giant crowd of teenagers and adults had appeared at the bus stop. It was like they had snuck up on me.
Once we all squeezed on the bus, it occured to me that this was a field trip for a school for deaf teenagers. Everyone was in high spirits and rowdy, punching each other and enthusiastically communicating by sign language. The bus was packed, yet almost silent. It was uncanny. The only sound the whole trip, other than the big old bus engine, was all these kids constantly cracking up, laughing and laughing.
Saturday, February 28, 2009
OMG, internet, the Rietmans clothing chain owns the Smart Set, RW & Co, Thyme Maternity, Addition Elle and Cassis chains! That's, like, half of every mall is owned by Rietman's. No wonder all the clothes in the mall look the same!
I may be guilty of doing unnecessary amounts of research before buying pants.
In other acquisition news, this morning yielded an especially fruitful haul of scavenged patio-gardening accessories from the alleys near my house. I am collecting big buckets to try expanding the capacity of my patio by growing carrots and maybe radishes or potatoes in buckets. Can't wait for fresh food season!
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Ahh, spring break. I could seriously get used to this. Any minute now, I'm going to meaningfully start my homework.
If the internet does not already hold enough distractions for you, I can recommend the 2008 Massey Lectures. I've been listening to them 30 minutes at a time while cooking dinner, which is a bit of a novelty attributable to spring break. In the lectures, Margaret Atwood is talking about debt. So far I've only listened to #5, which came highly recommended from Joanne over at the Terry blog. It considers environmental degradation as a natural capital debt, and presents a modern retelling of the Scrooge story which is simultaneously hillareous and depressing, in true Atwood form.
Mmm, dinner. Tonight we have black beans. Every time I cook this recipe, I hope it will turn out exactly like the beans at La Casita. It's not quite the same but it will do.
An electric saw is buzzing away in one of the neighbouring apartments, and Stella is going nuts running around with her ears twitching, looking to FIND that noise and POUNCE on it.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
I never post crap like funny videos of people's dogs, so I hope you will forgive me for this one. It's my former co-worker's dog who sings along to his human's accordion playing. They made a special Christmas video.
Since I completely fail at sending Christmas cards, please accept this video of a wickedly awesome singing dog as a token of my best wishes for you all this midwinter.
Friday, October 31, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Life as a student is pretty dry stuff these days, between poring over Canadian Census data and spending last Friday night at the library. My bandmate recently accused me of being "clean living to the point of boredom", and he is a policeman.
However, there is some glamour and excitement - we now have Fermenting Compost! The lad and I made it down to the last Kits farmers' market of the season on Sunday to snag some mind-meltingly tasty carrots and to buy buckets and magic bran powder off the Bokashi man. Part of his sales pitch is to show you a bucket of somebody's two-month-old compost, which I guess is supposed to be astonishingly ungross. It was still pretty vile, so I will try hard to empty the bucket more often than that. We've been composting for a whole two days now, and so far so good. I confess to being a little afraid of the fermenting compost bucket in the closet, but our relationship is bound to get more comfortable over the coming winter.
In other riveting news, my dear resident computer expert set me up with an ergonomic workstation. Hunching over the laptop for hours every day was increasing my demands for backrubs to unsustainable levels. A keyboard, mouse and monitor together are rocking my world. Well, they are rocking my desk. My innovative contributions to the workstation include a little box for a foot support and a wrist support made from a sarong, three rubber bands and a paper clip.
Another highly recommended source of relief for bodies forced to hunch over computers is The Office Rat, a blog started by my friend Larry, who is a massage therapist in Seattle. I am a fan of his self-massage tips for sore shoulders, tension headaches and the like. You can sign up for Twitter alerts for new posts. Ah, Twitter. I confess to a bit of an addiction. Short attention span, you see.
Now I'm off to go count the unoccupied parking spots in the parkade and write a report about it. Yes, that is a homework assignment for transportation class.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
This weekend I have the honour to sing sea shanties with this guy and other salty dogs down at the Granville Island docks for the 2008 Wooden Boat Show. Free sets tomorrow at 10:30, 1pm, and 4pm, and again Sunday at 11am and 2:30pm. It's remarkable music with very, very interesting people.
Singing with these folks on Thursday, someone made a comment about performing that very same song together "just across the harbour there for Expo '86", pointing over at the whole neighbourhood of highrises that was a cleared industrial site at the time. I might even have seen them perform at Expo, but I wouldn't remember, having been six years old.
So far this week, singing sea shanties beats the hell out of working in the office*.
*Three days left at the office job.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Wordle is a site that generates pretty "word clouds" from text you select, or from a website or feed. You can tweak the font, colours and layout.
Here is what Wordle made from all the text I posted to Livejournal so far in 2008.
I like the part on the far right that reads "just get going."
Friday, July 25, 2008
The Captain and I should win some kind of award for laziest vacation planning. We burned about 15 calories a few months ago deciding that I should keep the BC Day long weekend as a holiday by not accepting any gigs. "We'll go somewhere," we thought.
Now that weekend is coming up pretty soon. In fact, it's next weekend. As of yesterday, we were still entertaining a trip to San Francisco, but it turns out it's pretty expensive to book last-minute plane tickets. Who knew? A simple trip to Powell River is still an option, and a pretty seductive one at that, since loads of our dear friends will be up there that weekend, with blackberries, family to feed us and lakes to swim in.... but now that we've considered the opportunity to go somewhere else for a change, we're kind of excited about it.
As of about 2am this morning, we are considering going to Portland, Oregon on the merits that we can drive there in 6 hours. Portland strikes some excitement for me because I've been reading about its new streetcars, and have a burning desire to ride them and see how they work, both because something like that might one day work for Vancouver and because I have an total crush on european-style trams. I do, however, recognize that a weekend spent riding the aerial tram and exploring the downtown Transit Mall may not qualify as a romantic vacation in and of itself.
So - have YOU been to Portland? Any recommendations for good stuff to see or cheap places to stay?
( List of Portland Attractions behind the cutCollapse )
And Hey! - This will be the weekend of Portland's Hottest Day of the Year Ride a giant 15-mile urban critical-mass style bike ride which ends in beer, ice cream and an optional water fight.
I will run all this by the Captain when he gets home Sunday night from the madness in Pemberton.
Monday, June 30, 2008
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Some friends are looking to sublet their Vancouver apartment for Sept 2008 - April 2009 while away on academic exchange. It's a perfectly fine, roomy, older one-bedroom apartment on the fourth floor of a walk-up on Broadway about two blocks from Commercial Drive. Rent is a very reasonable $800/month.
If you know any students or other folks who need a place for the school year, this might be perfect for them. Just let me know, and I'll put you in touch with the current renters.
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Wednesday's trip to the farmer's market brought the wonderful discovery that the local harvest has grown much more diverse over the last week - now so much more than potatoes, carrots and leafy greens.
( What we ate for dinner, with photographic evidenceCollapse )
Speaking of food, the tomato plants on the balcony have been really digging the past few days of sunshine. It's mind-blowing how a few days of sunshine affected them. They went from looking wimpy and pathetic after a long stretch of rain to clambering vigourously up their wire supports. There are lots of yellow flowers, so I'm getting hopeful for some fresh salsa at the end of all this.
Sunday, June 15, 2008
The Philidelphia-born concept of "One Local Summer", appeared in the blog of catalyst75"'s friend Amberism* and sounded like a wonderful idea. It's a challenge to eat one entirely local meal each week from June to August. (Non-local spices/ sauces are fine.)
I meant to write about this earlier, like at the end of May, because this information might have been useful before it was already mid-June. Sorry about that. Bad blogger. On the bright side, now might be a good time to hear about the idea because a good variety of local produce is just starting to roll in.
The last two weeks, Zach and I have eaten a rather thin local Sunday dinner which involved some variation on potatoes, carrots and fish. The chives which have been flourishing obscenely and inexplicably in the damp shade of my balcony have also been featured. To tell the truth, I don't particularily like chives, but it is a cheap thrill to eat a token amount of actual food that is growing on the balcony.
No plans for this week's local dinner yet, but I hope to drop by the Riley Park farmer's market on Wednesday afternoon and score some local something. Whatever it is, the meal will certainly feature a salad made with fresh lettuce from the lush back yard of the lovely Rain City Gardener.
In more mundane news, I got a filing cabinet. ( Yeah, filing cabinet!Collapse )
*2.5 more months to go at my job. Thank god for the well-written, engaging blogs of total strangers with interesting thoughts and lives.
Monday, June 9, 2008
I've been offered a gig playing fiddle at the wedding of an Indian woman and an Irish guy in August. They're hiring a tabla player as well, and we are to invent our own musical fusion. I'm a long-time fan of tabla, and can't wait to try this out. The question is whether any traditional Indian rhythms get along with the rhythms of Irish tunes. I'm optimistic; there is a myth in the Irish music community that the style descends from Indian music. Also, I vaguely remember playing fiddle with a tabla player at a house session many years ago and it being awesome.
On the other hand, I once had this awful gig where I ended up playing fiddle tunes with a salsa percussionist and it was the worst-sounding thing ever. Those are two incompatible rhythmic traditions for you.
Eee! Tabla! I can't wait to set up a rehearsal.
(x-posted to fiddle)
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
I slept in a bunch today, courtesy of my morning off, dreaming of a futuristic dystopia with dirty, overcrowded hospitals and long marches carrying all my possessions on my back. In case you are worried about the honeybees, I am pleased to report that honeybees will survive into the future in sufficient swarming numbers to really torment anyone marching around with all their possessions.
This little gem from today's news courtesy of Doonesbury's "Say What?" feature:
"There was a pray-in at a Chevron station in San Francisco on Friday led by a minister asking God for cheaper gas, and an Arco gas station in San Mateo, Calif., has already raised its price to a sky-high $4.62."
-- from story in New York Sun
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Is it normal to use colourful language in Microsoft Outlook notes to oneself?
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