Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Finally...I've made something that makes me feel hot.

I've always thought that it takes a very specific type of person to knit through the EXTREMELY AWKWARD first 6 to 12 months of learning curve of knitting. There are always exceptions to this rule, but I am not one of them. My creations have been known to inspire comments like "Why hello Paddington" or "Sweetie, I love you, but your aunt, sister and I have tried this on and we can't imagine what kind of a person this might fit"

This has all changed! That's right, I, maker of soft but ill fitting garment has made something that fits AND makes me feel a tickle saucy. The book just adds some naughty librarian chic to the mix. If I wasn't looking so giddy I'd be sultry even with John Belushi looking over my shoulder. Now THAT's a conscience.


Man I LOVE IT. The colours. The way my breasts look. The detailing. I love it. This is made out of Noro, it's the Klaralund that I mentioned here.

My PIC received his first pair of handknit socks this month...and a junkie was born. He has described these (in writing) as feeling like little hugs for his feet. It may have been a ploy to mushify me...but it worked.

I finished the first of a pair of SWF socks (single white female socks) as well as all of the pieces to Squarey. I am a woman on set afire with love of yarn and trying new patterns.

February brings lace and beading challenges as well as the picture of the SWF socks and Squarey! I love the New Year.

Monday, January 30, 2006

President's Choice: Memories of Tank Girl

The perfect Friday Night:

a) 60 Minute Swedish Massage from Know Your Body Best
b) Home for a quick shower and glass of wine
c) Romantic Dinner at Lolita's Lust
d) The super surprise romantic gift of the Tank Girl series of graphic novels. This replaces a bunch of the original comics that an old liar of a roommate stole when she ditched me on the lease.
Romance is a bottle of tequila, a tank and some ass kicking.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Friday Random Ten

It's the "My kingdom for freedom Edition" With all this talk of Olympic feats of knitting I'd rather be training...outside, in a park it's so nice outside my window..

1. Morphine, Like Swimming: Lilah
2. Bruce Springsteen, The Ghost of Tom Joad: Straight Time
3. Stars, Set Yourself on Fire: Ageless Beauty
4. Cat Power, The Greatest: After it All (LG - you need to buy this album - you would love every song on it)
5. Simon & Garfunkel, Garden State: The Only Living Boy In New York
6. Johnny Cash, At Folsom Prison: Orange Blossom Special
7. The Bravery, The Bravery: Unconditional
8. Neko Case, Blacklisted: Blacklisted
9. The Darkness, Permission to Land: Get Your Hands off My Woman
10. The Killers, Hot Fuss: Andy You're a Star

2006 Torino Olympics

There an unbelievable buzz on the interweb about some WackJob's insane idea of a Knitting Olympics...Don't tell me you haven't heard about it!

When Kelly started putting together a Canadian Knitting Team she was worried that it would remain at a constant 6 members all from the self-professed centre of the universe, Toronto - we now boast over 50 spectacular knitters coast to coast involving the who's who' of Canadian knitting. Don't make me say their names...you know who they are.

We'll be having our opening games on February 10th, 2006 at local pubs in every city there is a team. I'm in Toronto so K and I are location scouting next week - I swear on my knitting that there will be wings, beer and yarn. There is talk of jersey's and swag to be found

Some stats about the 2006 Torino Olympics and the 2006 Knitting Olympics:

Torino: 2,500: Number of athletes participating
Knitting: 1852 and counting

Torino: 85: Number of countries participating
Knitting: Thus far 3 that I know of: Canada, US, Wales and while I think that the Caffeine Knitting Olympic Team, Merlot Knitting Olympic Team and the Chocolate Olympic Team are all worthy of nation status. Let me know in the comments if your country is not listed here!

Torino: 1: Number of U.S. athletes known to have competed as a piece of meat (Chris Witty, who ran costumed as an Italian sausage in a Milwaukee Brewers Sausage Race)
Knitting: I once dressed as a Wolverine which was the mascot of my high school..if you've dressed like a mammal other than the Homo Sapien for any reason let me know...

Torino: 81: Highest mph speed limit on Italian highways
Knitting: Will be compiling the number of stitches knit at the end of the Olympics

Torino: 416: Number of hours of television coverage
Knitting: 2000 knitters world wide will be watching at least 95% of aforementioned tv coverage while knitting their determined brains out.

Torino: 6: Events added to the 2006 Winter Games (men's and women's speed skating pursuit, men's and women's snowboard cross, men's and women's biathlon mass start)
Knitting: Fair Isle, Lace, Cables, Socks, Sweater, Shawl, Stitches, Garter, Clapotis, Cat Bed, and counting

Torino: 32: The number of worldwide partners/official sponsors of the 2006 Winter Olympics
Knitting: Innumerable LYS's and dealers around the world.

GO TEAM GO!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Gorey is as gorey does

When my PIC and I started dating I was struck by how just goddamned funny the guy was. He could find the funny in the darkest of scenarios. As such, for the first gift I ever got him I had a poster of the Gashleycrumb Tinies laminated for his wall. So dark and so funny. I still think that this is one of the best gifts I've ever given him.

This is for you baby. Nothing says cottage fun like Fanny.

Being sucked dry by leeches isn't so bad.
You will be sucked dry by a leech. I'd stay away
from swimming holes, and stick to good old
cement. Even if it does hurt like hell when
your toe scrapes the bottom.

What horrible Edward Gorey Death will you die?

brought to you by Quizilla

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Cat Power - Meow!

I picked up this album tonight. Finally, I had heard the title song months and months ago at 3hive. This is not a paid advertisement but I'll tell you this - any music you want to get a taste of, you can find and download from here. Legal. And. Free.

I've bought a dozen albums based on songs listed on this site. I heart free music.

Monday, January 23, 2006

My name is Square...but you can call me Squarey

A status update for January. The Klaralund is blocking and I'm nervous and giddy like a schoolgirl...will it fit? will I actually be able to sew it together without ruining it?? I'm hung on the edge of suspense.
While contemplating the future of the first sweater of 2006 I got trapped by this. I was waiting for my PIC at the voting station, by waiting I mean knitting a sock and Squarey here. My head almost burst with nerdiness as I love voting AND knitting...I got to combine them all - and talk to a couple of the neighbourhood biddies about knitting.

Squarey is a lot of easy fun right now in bright colours as seen below in their natural habitat.

And the Stripes and Dots blanket is making appropriately slow progress. It's such a satisfying knit and fun to see the patterns emerge...luckily the bebe who will own it isn't due for another 5.5 months....

And finally in the spirit of the knitting olympics. My training shawl, the Meadow Flowers Shawl, from Knitter's Stash...in fine spirit, I have *no* idea what I'm knitting this with...but I have a ton of it to use up and of course the rate I'm going it will take months to finish - it's also a little boring so I might shake it up by knitting beads into the border. I suspect I have months until I get to that point..

And I know that Kelly has already referenced it - but thus far the worst quote of CBC election coverage is Mansbridge recommendation that we "snuggle up in front of the warm glow of the tv" for the night. COME ON.

Is it so wrong...

to cancel dinner plans with my friend because I forgot that today was election day and all I want to do after voting is watch the election coverage on CBC while knitting tensely? I'm sorry Nelson!!

I love Canadian politics. It's amazing to me how the Liberals have been plugging strategic voting to keep puffy face Harper out of power - when in most of the swing ridings the swing is between Liberal and NDP.

I think Paul Martin's a twat who's using the Conservative threat to distract Torontonians from the real liberal competition of the NDP candidates in many of the liberal strongholds in Toronto.

I'm hung on the edge of suspense.

Monday's are for knitting...

So, contrary to popular belief, I have been knitting. A lot actually. I have pictures and stories and such all ready to be posted up about my own project tonight. But to get you by until then there are some updates in the Dulaan Project from 2005.

From Mossy Cottage Knits:

Per Meredith, the Executive Director of F.I.R.E.:

“[This first set of] images was taken at Kindergarten 59, a particularly poor school. We arrived with our hand-knitted items on the day of the first snow. Most of the children were under-dressed. Being under dressed for school in Mongolia is a big problem. If you are not appropriately clothed, you will be sent home. These children refused to take off their new hand knitted clothing. They were so excited they wore it all day in a very hot building.”

There are more details at the Mossy Cottage site. Ryan organized this project from day one. It's amazing how much has been given as a result of her efforts.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Meme!!

I've never been tagged for a meme before. Unfortunately, it was by my Secret Pal so I can't link to her website otherwise she'll find me.

Four Jobs You Have Had In Your Life
1. Treeplanter
2. Ice Cream Server
3. Tree Checker for a Forestry Company
4. IT Project Manager

Four Movies You Could Watch Over and Over
1. Kill Bill Vol. 1
2. Wallace and Grommit: Curse of the Wererabbit
3. Spirited Away
4. Spellbound

Four TV Shows You Love to Watch
1. CSI – The Original
2. My Name is Earl
3. The Daily Show
4. Arrested Development

Four Places You Have Lived
1. Leuven, Belgium
2. Matagami, Quebec
3. Granisle, British Columbia
4. Halifax, Nova Scotia

Four Places You Have Been On Vacation
1. Mexico City, Mexico
2. San Fransisco, California
3. Colorado Springs, Colorado
4. London, England

Four Websites You Visit Daily
1. www.gofugyourself.typepad.com
2. www.yarnharlot.ca
3. www.marmalade.ca
4. www.peskyapostrophe.com

Four Of Your Favorite Foods
1. Tzatiki
2. Poutine
3. Avocado
4. Cheese

Four Places You Would Rather be Right Now
1. At a coffee shop knitting
2. With my ManBoy on a train in Europe…knitting
3. At the gym
4. At Lettuce Knit…knitting

I’m going to add some books/reading to the meme to shake it up – Four favourite books
1. One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
2. Live From New York: An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live
3. Cereus Blooms At Night, Shani Mootoo
4. Life of Pi: Yann Martel

4 People to tag:
1. ADiva
2. Jill
3. Kelly
3. My Secret Pal.

Flash Freezing or My Take on My Girlfriend's Shit Ass Day

Updated to add: This is my description of a close friend's day on Monday - my week, though busy has not been eventful at all. Thanks for everyone's kind words!

If you've ever experienced flash freezing you can understand the mental state of any sane, independent and successful person waking up in the dark only to face the impact of 4 hours of rain and snow that had been flash freezing. It stopped just in time for me to have to deal with it. That's when the dry snow started.I ripped my self from the womb that is my warm bed and begin the marathon that is a standard Monday.

Checklists Checked:
- Breakfast of Champions made - Check
- Lunches - check
- Hockey Gear - check
- Competitive Cheerleading Gear - check
- My own day schedule - check
- Dogs walked/let out before we leave - check
- breakfasts eaten - check
- Dogs let back into house before we leave - check

We (my partners in crime BoyMan and Ladybug) go out into the minus god knows what weather to get into the car only to realize that the flash freezing has ensured that we have to CHIP THE ICE OFF OF THE DOORS in order to actually open them and start the car. Then while the car idles peacefully we have to chip the quarter of an inch ice of off all the windows in order to ensure that we can see oncoming traffic. Sigh.

Car - Check

7:15 am: As we exit the driveway we run over the bags and bags and bags of Christmas and New Year garbage that has been unceremoniously ripped apart and tossed jubilantly around. It was scattered elegantly and evenly across my property line by my beautiful asshole dogs. I had forgotten to put the garbage out over the holidays and there was so much garbage it blew my mind dudes - then as I see a diaper in the pile I realize that not only had my asshole dogs shredded *my* 14 bags of garbage, they collected garbage from the neighbors down the street BROUGHT IT TO MY YARD and shredded that. A bit of my soul dies while we do a "surface" clean in order to prevent getting a fine before I get home from work to clean up the rest of it.

7:45 am: Drop my PIC's off at schools

8:45 am: Go to Gyno appointment where I have to break a new doctor in. I have some piping that is more high maintenance than a tortured man boy. It requires a lot of delicate circuitous conversation and TLC. As all the ladies know, high maintenance pipes aren't easy to explain to new doctors and I am specifically interested in birth control. It takes me 30 minutes to explain the impact of
Ehrler Danlos. Apparently, common birth control methods are not compatible with my body's insistence on being a high maintenance machine. Grrrr...a tick is appearing on my left eyelid. Why DOES EVERYTHING HAVE TO BE SO F'ING COMPLICATED....
Leave appointment - spend 20 minutes scraping ice and snow off of my car...again. The tick has moved into my right eyelid as well.

10:00 am: Am feeling discouraged by the news that any chance of getting sweet loving is complicated by pregnancy, spend some time contemplating men's unwillingness to have vasectomies en masse after the age of 45. What IS that about.

11:00m: Work flow in my veal pen is disturbed by boisterous discussion of RAW on Xbox 360 by late 30 year old male coworkers. Much of the debate seems to be surrounding large breasted skanked up ho's that the video game characters trade like misogynist baseball cards. As James Frey claims to feel...The Fury comes fast and hard - that fool, he has no idea the fury. Being a childless impotent junkie is nothing compared to MY daily challenges.

My impotent rage at the simpletons in the veal pens next to me is exacerbated by what I feel is a gross mistake made by my manager at my monthly sales numbers. Even after proving himself correct I find myself sincerely believing that if I was a whored up bimbo with giant tits ... somehow I would win this debate - The Fury grows.

The rest of the day is a blur but as I stand chatting on the phone with my girlfriend in my kitchen that night I note with relief that while there is no wine - there is a full bottle of Crown Royal. Then I see my dog barfing what looks to be the remainder of a diaper on my kitchen floor next to my feet and I am struck with wonder as to just how many diapers babies nowadays can produce....

Note to general public: Crown Royal straight with a rare steak and nothing else is the only way to close a shit ass day. Seriously, try it. Vegetables and ice are for pussies.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Why We fight

Oh my god. I can't wait until this movie comes out.

I just got the shivers: Why We Fight

thanks Sweetney

Can you smell the impending sarcasm

This is my niece Maddy - she is the most perfect of children. Maddy came to stay with my Manboy and I in Toronto this weekend. Unfortunately, she only got here at dinner time on Saturday and had to leave on Sunday but still she managed to demonstrate her disapproval of my wild wild ways.

If she can make this face at age 5 - imagine the looks she'll be tossing around at the age of 14...shudder

She looks quite fierce here but it's only because I challenged her straight up ways. I explained that the string I was using to 'sew' Uncle J's socks was made from Lucy's ear and that was why it was bandaged up so carefully - so that Lucy could make more string dontcha know.

Even thought Mad's and I don't see eye to eye on the silly quotient (I am *much* more silly than she) We both share a unifying love of the sheep.

On that note - my first finished project of 2006. J's Christmas socks!! I knit them in Lorna's Lace - Pinstripe in a simple stockinette pattern. He said that they felt like little hugs for his feet.

I was completely mushified.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

We'll all be sitting on our cans watching tv anyway

I'm signing up for the knitting olympics (click on the button for more info).


I'll be knitting the Lace Leaf Shawl by Fibre Trends and I'm giddy with anticipation for the challenge..

BRING. IT. ON.

Monday, January 16, 2006

How to tell if you are overcomplicating your own life

This morning I mentally went through my list of items necessary for a successful completion of my day (success here is defined by being able to do everything scheduled in my day: gym, knitting etc)

Often this requires a backback, a handbag and a yoga mat but today it only required a yoga matt and two handbags containing:

- sock recipe book and the yarn for new project I'm starting at lunch with some girlfriends
- sock recipe book that I borrowed from one of aforementioned girlfriends
- scarf recipe book that I'm lending to another of aforementioned girlfriends.
- The second Christmas sock for my manboy that I'm going to finish in the next couple of days (YAY) and the first sock to use for comparison
- clothes and mat for yoga after work
- Cell phone, iPod, bus pass and keys

What is missing from this list of accessories? My wallet without which I can't go to yoga OR eat because I was so busy getting all the books and yarn together this morning that I didn't have time to pack my lunch or snacks.

I wonder if it's possible to over accessorize to the point of not being able to function on a basic level. Maybe, but if minimizing my accessories requires leaving the knitting behind then there has to be a better way...do I *really* need the cell phone?

must contemplate this revelation

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Secret Pal 7...The Interview

1. Are you a yarn snob (do you prefer higher quality and/or natural fibers)? Do you avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand? I prefer higher end fibers but will knit with anything available

2. Do you spin? Crochet? I'm learning how to spin slowly. I love the fleece.

3. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in? I have a number of different systems: I have a case for circulars and travel case for straights from my last Secret Pal and vases for general needles in use

4. How long have you been knitting? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced? I've been knitting for around 5 years and I think I'm an intermediate level knitter. The reason I love knitting so much is every time I think I've got it all a pattern comes along an messes with my head

5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list? I do have an Amazon list

6. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.) I love sandalwood, cedar and vanilla

7. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy? I don't have a sweet tooth but I love teas and hot drinks of almost every description

8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? I embroider and cross stitch.

9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD) I love indie nerd music but am learning about Opra and classical too.

10. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand? I love burgundy, wine red, black, deep purple, orange - in general deep fall colours

11. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets? I have one cat Smudgie and we're thinking about getting another kitty - I have a manboy as well - I married him last year.

12. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos? As a Canadian I don't leave home without all of these except for ponchos which I get tangled in...I'm not a huge fan of them.

13. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? Any member of the Fleece Artist Family, Koigu pretty much anything soft and divine

14. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like? Anything that is fluffy or shiny or not containable. My rule of thumb is that if you can get it caught in your nose while smelling it...it's bad.

15. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s? A Sweater that fits, colourwork and lace.

16. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit? Notions, needles and yarn.

17. What are you knitting right now? I'm knitting the Klaralund, the Canada sock (from Knitting on the Road) and an intarsia baby blanket (from Adorable Knits)

18. Do you like to receive handmade gifts? Yes indeedy! My manboy and i collect them.

19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Straight

20. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic? Bamboo or plastic

21. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift? Neither but I'm saving the cash to get them.

22. How did you learn to knit? I've learned to knit 5 or 6 times. My mom taught me, my grandmother taught me a bunch of times, Janet Morton taught me a couple of times while we treeplanted. Finally when I was 23 or 24 I took a class at Romni Wool in Toronto and it stuck.

23. How old is your oldest UFO? 1 year old

24. What is your favorite animated character or a favorite animal/bird? Hmm...I do love hippos

25. What is your favorite holiday? Recently New Years...not necessarily the Eve party but the whole month of January I love...it's the fresh newness of the year that is so exciting.

26. Is there anything that you collect? Wool and knitting accessories. Also music

27. What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have? I have Interweave Magazine and I love it.

28. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? I'm dying to get a hold of Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush

29. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn? Mosaic colour knitting

30. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements? I love socks...my feet are 9 inches long from heel to toe and 7 inches in diameter

31. When is your birthday? (mm/dd) June 12

Friday, January 13, 2006

Balls.

A Friday afternoon email conversation between me, Curly Head Sister, Smartie Pants Sister and Man Boy.

Me: Is there anything fun happening anywhere? I'M SO BORED.

Manboy: I had to go around and collect money for a baby shower. That killed close to an hour.

Curly Head: Lucky you, I am sitting here drinking way to much coffee and hoping i can leave early... the problem is i just had a meeting with the boss about my performance last year and what we're doing next year and one of his comments was to 'step up to the plate'...

Manboy: Maybe he was literally talking about baseball. Does the office have a lob ball team? Or maybe dinner plate... he wants you to go home an eat. You're wasting away from malnourishment!

Curly Head: Maybe he was implying that I should stick a base ball bat up his ass. "Step up to the plate.... and stick that bat up my ass Curly Head."

Or 'step up to the plate... and swing at my balls'

Smartie Pants: Seriously, I think he needs to define his terms and understand the conceptual framework he's his ideas and rationale are coming from what word would you use to describe the fake sound you make when you pretend to stick your finger down your throat...kaaacckk? Gaaaack? k-k-k? blah.

wtf?! how much over-time does he expect from you? and in March you worked like 20 hours a day outside and in -40 weather were you preceded to get a fever of hell fire temperatures. I'll show him stepping up to the plate.

Curly Head: Nah, i know what it's about. it's about not being friends with the operators, being confident and getting the operations group seeing me as a leader and being confident in my leadership. I need a little more training.

Or it could be about nudging his balls with the end of a baseball bat....

ManBoy: I want you to scream BALLS as loud as you can.

Smartie Pants: AAAAH! MY BRAIN IS EXPLODING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! balls.

ManBoy: I think Smartie Pants is okay with blogging it.

Friday Random Ten

The Shit Ass Mother Fucker Edition. This one's for you T.

I have to say that this is the most appropriate random ten to date. My head is pounding from drinking consolation red wine with my heartbroken girlfriend and my lungs are filled with hand knit wool socks from smoking heartbroken cigarettes all night.

1. Kathleen Edwards, Back to Me: Old Time Sake
2. The Flaming Lips, Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots: Fight Test
3. K’naan, The Dusty Foot Philosopher: If Rap Gets Jealous
4. Stars, Set Yourself on Fire: Your Ex-Lover is Dead
5. Mono Puff, Unsupervised: Distant Antenna
6. The Magnetic Fields, 69 Love Songs, Vol 1: Come Back From San Fransisco
7. The Bravery, The Bravery: The Ring Song
8. The Cure, Mixed Up: Never Enough
9. Propellerheads, Decksanddrumsandrockandroll…: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
10. Jason Collett, Idols of Exile: Hangover Days

Bonus track: The New Pornographers, Twin Cinema: The Bleeding Heart Show (Click the link to listen to it - then go buy the album it's awesome)

As published in the Globe and Mail

By-line: Ernest Bruce Fenner, husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, friend, gardener, fisherman, surveyor, storyteller and artist

Written by: Jennifer Hendriks with stories from David Hendriks and Family

Born Dec 26, 1912 in Toronto
Died July 27, 2005 in Barrie

Bruce, to his wife and peers and Poppa to his family lived his life to its fullest potential from day one to his passing at the age of 92.

My grandfather embarked on and instigated many adventures in his life. Of these adventures, his most cherished was Margaret Quance, the love of his life and wife of 70 years. In 1935 they met, and on August 5, 1938 they eloped to Kirkland Lake from Toronto on the back of a motorbike. It was not always the case in their generation that one’s true love and one’s wife was the same woman. He inspired everyone with his love and devotion to my Mimi. They proceeded to have two talented and driven daughters Anne, who was born in 1939 and Barb in 1947. Eight grandchildren and six great grandchildren later, his family continues to be Poppa’s greatest living legacy.

My grandfather showed his stubborn streak early when he refused his father’s wish that he become a doctor having had no taste for the sight of blood instead he used the three years at university to play varsity football, tennis, and enjoying the “collegiate social life” (read: football parties). Poppa would often brag that although the brace slowed him down on the field it sped him up on the dance floor and legend has it that even Bette Davis once enjoyed Poppa’s talents.

Like so many Canadian men, he served overseas for five years in World War II and it is a part of his life he did not mention often. It wasn’t until his passing that we found out his division was responsible for cleaning up the Dutch villages after being destroyed by the Nazis at the end of the war. His division is still commemorated by a village where they dug the graves for the dead left behind by the Nazis. For this and the work he did building airport runways in Canada, Poppa was awarded the Canadian Centennial Medal in Ontario.

When he returned from the war he worked with the Department of Highways of Ontario where he surveyed some of the many highways in Northern Ontario. The vistas along Lake Superior reminded my family of my Poppa’s love of Northern Ontario as we drove home to Manitouwadge, ON from the cottage he built in the Muskokas. The next time you drive from Sault St. Marie to Thunder Bay you will crest a hill just north of Batchawana Bay and you will see a vista of Lake Superior that will take your breath away. If you haven’t driven this stretch of Ontario yet you haven’t seen the true north strong and free. It is spectacular.

Working for months at a time in the untouched northern forests turned Poppa into an avid fisherman, and created a lifetime supply of fishing stories that he subjected all of us to repeatedly. The day before I got married at the cottage he built, 14 days before he passed away, he told the same stories to my husband and I, clearly and proudly.

He set the bar high for how to live. He and Mimi travelled the entire world after he retired. Their system was simple, Mimi picked the country one year and my Poppa picked it the next year. They taught us about adventure and compromise without ever knowing it.

He took thousands of pictures and painted dozens more. Poppa wrote extensive letters and let his travels influence the many books he wrote and illustrated for all of his grandchildren and two of his great grandchildren. He had the uncanny ability to write stories that would reflect what would become key personality traits of each of us before we had any personality.

Even while establishing the roots of his own family, Poppa was always mentoring and inviting others to share in his life. His passionate and driven life was impossible to resist and because of this my family grew exponentially to include cottage aunts and uncles, coworkers and neighbours.

My Poppa lived his life with laughter, love, strength and determination but most of all he filled his life to capacity with family, friends and adventure
, thus inspiring us all to do the same.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Respect thine elders

My dad and I have been working on an essay to submit to the Globe and Mail about my grandfather since he passed away last July.

After about 2 weeks of back and forthing with the editor of the section it got published in the Lives Lived section of today's Globe. Am proud and just a little bit teary.

My Poppa was an amazing force in my life.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Shut up bitch and make me a samich.

So we went to see the Bodyworlds Exhibit at the Toronto Science Centre last weekend. I have to say it was one of the coolest museum exhibits I've ever seen. What Gunter Von Hagens did was plastinate dead people so that their bodies could be molded and examined. The educational value is obvious.
There was layered body parts, male bodies ski jumping, playing baseball, scratching their balls and generally doing active manly things. It was pretty cool to get that up close and personal. I was tempted to place my head so the testicles were resting on my forehead but then I got shy (or found a hidden reserve of class).

What was a little bit disturbing was that there were four full female bodies on display - doing yoga, ballet dancing, figure skating and one who's body was fully layered out so she looked like one of the aliens in Mars Attacks. Very weird.

The other main female focus was, predictably on her uterus. I wish there was a woman posed like she was fighting a forest fire...OR ANYTHING NON-TRADITIONAL. Ballet dancing is just so....traditional. Feh.

The only thing missing was a female form removing a cake from the oven or making a sandwich.
That stuff gets my knickers twisted pretty quick but all said and done I nerded out over the capillary models. I wish I could have taken pictures.

Some bon mots from the day:

- It's like beef jerkie for zombies
- What, no shboinking models?

Quote of the day:
- 5 year old girl smelling her hands after touching a plastinated human brain, "I don't smell the brain at all Dad."

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Note to the 17 year old ass on the streetcar:

If you're going to yell about your cock and your sperm on the streetcar at 8:45 in the morning with your friends you should get your facts straight.

Unless your friend was licking your balls (as you poetically put it) before you got on the street car this morning, YOU SHOULD KNOW THAT IT'S YOUR TESTICLES THAT PRODUCE SPERM NOT YOUR PENIS.

I'm sorry if I embarassed you in front of your friends with the biology lesson. My mother was a public health nurse so if you have any more questions about why your body is changing I can send you some information.

This is why I love cutting myself off from the world in the morning with my iPod.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Friday Random Ten

The Fresh New Year Ed.

1. Propellerheads, Decksanddrumsandrockand....: History Repeating
2.Snow Patrol, Final Straw: How to Be Dead
3. Jason Collett, Idols of Exile: Tinsel and Sawdust
4. Les Nubians, Princesses Nubiennes: Embrasse-Moi
5. Rheostatics, Whale Music: Who?
6. No Doubt, Tragic Kingdom: Sixteen
7. They Might Be Giants, They Got Lost: I'm Sick (of this American Life)
8. Franz Ferdinand, Franz Ferdinand: Take Me Out
9. The Postal Service, Give Up: This Place Is a Prison
10. Emmylou Harris, Red Dirt Girl: One Big Love

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Chatty Kathy

I have been a chatty person since I discovered the wonders of my own vocal cords. Interrupting the bridge games, the telephone conversations and the sleep patterns of others (sorry Mom, Charlotte and Liz) as much as possible.

As a dedicated talker, no time goes unwasted and I will talk through the night regarding anything my subconscious tosses at me. If you're wily you can get me into a full blown conversation but then who wants to be wily at 3:30 am when woken up from a deep sleep by a slurring and charming me?

Last night I woke both J and myself up by yelling and laughing with overjoyed abandon:

"It's here! It's finally here! The new Spongebob Squarepants video game is here!!!!"

I don't know why I was dreaming about the Sponge or why I was just so very jubilant about the arrival of the video game but waking up to the sound of my laughter and J's laughter is the best thing ever.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

BRING! IT! ON!

I love January. It's a new year with a whole new set of resolutions. About 5 years ago a friend's manboy told me that he was sick of never achieving his new year's resolution so he started making a list of 50 to 100. Genius manoeuvre. Since then I've adopted his technique. Last year I had a pretty good success rate - close to 55% of my resolutions were adopted.

Here's a list of my resolutions for 2006 including some classics that have been there for years.

1. Continue my thus far successful endeavours in non smoking
2. Lose 25 pounds
3. Get pregnant....that's right I SAID IT (i think this is the most fun resolution - bootay!).
3. Knit lace
4. Learn to live in the moment instead of planning my next moment and ignoring the current
5. Enjoy more live music
6. Try getting back into improv comedy in Toronto
7. Write more snail mail letters to people I love
8. Send more cards
9. Go on an adventure that requires adapting to any semblance of difficult conditions
10. Take a trip off of North America
11. Go camping.
12. Go back to Northern Ontario for a visit
13. Get a bike (again - fucking bike thieves)
14. Read more CanLit
15. Read the Saturday Globe and Mail more
16. Cook more
17. Eat more
18. Get a career counsellor
19. Take a creative writing class
20. Try stand up comedy...once.
21. Get more adventure in my home town
22. Minimize the amount of time I spend with toxic people
23. Listen to more music.
24. Pay out my debt in 12 months
25. Never. Ever. Wax my own muff again.
26. Get a pedicure once every two months
27. Take better care of my body
28. Get my hair cut more than once every 6 months.
29. Max out my benefits on massage, physiotherapy and chiropracty(sp?) If they aren't going to pay for my dental and eye care than you'd better believe that they'll pay for my happy ending (too much info?)
30. Spend more time with people that make me feel great.
31. Choose to listen to music instead of watching TV. If I choose to watch TV I will respect my brain and my time enough not to watch Shit TV
32. I will try to meditate or practise yoga regularly.
33. My emotions will not come with me to the office.
34. Unlike in 2005 - I will not test the professional world's acceptance of mediocrity. It does more damage to myself than it does to anyone else.
35. Get published
36. Continue to volunteer for charity.
37. Floss and brush my teeth. It's been 31 years that I'm cavity free.
38. I will recognize that I am unable to function without sleep - CSI Miami is not worth the sacrifice.
39. I will watch the 2006 Oscars just to ogle Jon Stewart.
40. There is green space in Toronto that isn't in the Don Valley - I will find it and I will wander around in it.

There will be more added to this list but I've been working on it for days and it's time to commit...