A Toronto vegan blabs on about crafting, food, and her life in general.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Post #3 of the day :)

I have my Vegan Pal package almost complete and ready to send! I have to make 1 stop on my way home tonight to pick up the last item and I'll ship it away either tonight (if my freakin' post office close to home stays open past 7) or tomorrow when my co-worker takes me to the post office near work to get the box that's waiting there for me. Either way, it'll be happily enroute by tomorrow.

The beautiful beads

I mentioned a few months ago about some beads that I bought but could not bring myself to use because they were too beautiful. Well, I got my chance to make something out of them. I think the style is perfect and does not over-power the beautiful details on the beads.


In a few days, this will be sent off to a friend, and its new home with someone special.

Music and Milestones - daily goodness

Wow, day 2 and this "identifying good stuff" got hard. I suppose this is the reason for me ditching my other attempts.

Okay... think goodness...

  • Discovering new music. I recently discovered Nouvelle Vague - Bande a Part. Whoo, I am in love. From Amazon.com:
    In 2005, the French duo's eponymous debut introduced their singular take on post-punk nuggets by the likes of Joy Division, Depeche Mode, Tuxedo Moon, and The Undertones, recasting them as svelte, sophisticated bossa nova-inflected chansons. This follow-up is a beguiling, retro-futurist odyssey, containing covers of Echo & The Bunnymen, The Buzzcocks, Lords Of The New Church, Billy Idol, U2, Blondie, New Order, The Cramps, Bauhaus, The Smiths, and more. "...a beautiful, melancholy exercise in deconstructing familiar songs and reassembling trace amounts of the melodies into fresh music" - Boston Globe. "Fresh (and refreshing) takes on these classics...The songs are so wildly different in their dreamy form that they stand on their own" - Flaunt.
  • Reaching milestones.
    Today is 2 years minus 1 month for the boy and me. We'll be spending our actual 2nd anniversary somewhere in the Rockies *love*

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Happiness of the moment - 29.11.07

A couple of times I have tried reviving my One-a-day Goodness posts, and this is yet another attempt. I think it is really important to help put things into perspective and focus on the positive things in life. Living the way most North Americans do, it is far too easy to get caught up in the negativity that is rampant in our culture.

The format for this new attempt will have to be worked out. I'll just start by listing a few things off the top of my head. The list may be updated during the day as I think of new things.

And, now that we've hired 2 new people at work, I'll have a few extra minutes during the day to put my list up!

  • Getting to meet one sweet baby. Monday night, Tara and Jean-Paul had the boy and me over for dinner and our first eager meeting of their adorable and teensy baby, Vincent. Tara is one of my oldest friends and the second of my friends to have a baby. I know most people go through phases when all their friends have babies, but when most of your friends are gay men you rarely get to experience this. Vincent is now 1 month old (although his official due date just passed) and he was on his best behaviour. He even settled a bit and fell asleep on me. I think it had to do mostly with a feeling of solidarity - I was wearing a black top. Like him. And like his mother does :)
  • Swapping gifts with near-stangers with similar interests! I have a package waiting for me right now at the post office that I expect is from one of my swap partners. I am trying to find someone who will drive me out there to get it :) It's very exciting and is giving me something to look forward to!
  • Urging myself to go out running last night. It was the first run since sometime in September and I did much better than I thought I would. I couldn't run the entire route that I used to, but I came very close. Feeling the chilly almost-winter air stinging my lungs was actually quite rejuvenating.
  • The personality and talent shift at work. We've hired 2 new people and it feels like we're succeeding in overthrowing the evil. The atmosphere is not as heavy as it used to be and the influx of different design styles is going to make our work so much more interesting.
  • The TV series "Planet Earth". The boy and I have been watching this nature show every night - oooing and aaaawing over baby animals, giggling at running penguins and watching in astonishment as a pride of desperate lions take down a full grown elephant. Although it constantly shows us how human existence is severely tampering with the earth's resources, it also reveals the incredible amounts of beauty there still is to see and experience and respect.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

My wishlist...

... for those of you who have asked, can be found here.

Does this confirm my obsessiveness?

Thanks to Ellie for this fun diversion :)

You are The Lovers

Motive, power, and action, arising from Inspiration and Impulse.

The Lovers represents intuition and inspiration. Very often a choice needs to be made.

Originally, this card was called just LOVE. And that's actually more apt than "Lovers." Love follows in this sequence of growth and maturity. And, coming after the Emperor, who is about control, it is a radical change in perspective. LOVE is a force that makes you choose and decide for reasons you often can't understand; it makes you surrender control to a higher power. And that is what this card is all about. Finding something or someone who is so much a part of yourself, so perfectly attuned to you and you to them, that you cannot, dare not resist. This card indicates that the you have or will come across a person, career, challenge or thing that you will fall in love with. You will know instinctively that you must have this, even if it means diverging from your chosen path. No matter the difficulties, without it you will never be complete.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

*positive thoughts*

Been finding myself spiralling down with too many negative thoughts lately. Part of that might be because of the early darkness of this time of year, or it might be the depressiveness that is the consumer-driven holiday season.

Thing is, I love Christmas. And I don't want to be negative anymore. My goodness today is bringing a CD with me to work that is sure to make me smile and feel lighter.

It is an Elvis Christmas CD.

Thank you, mom, for implanting Elvis forever into my brain.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Getting Fit.

After I got my full license this past September, I started bugging the boy about getting a car. I'd actually rather be one of those happily car-free people, but, with our family in the northwest edge of the GTA, we have definitely seen more than our fair share of GO Buses. Plus, without car access, it is too difficult for us to get out of the city for other things - hiking, biking, seeing real stars, etc.

We talked about how we would love to buy a hybrid - being the environmentally aware people we like to be - but the prices are a wee bit out of our reach. Plus, after some research, it was discovered that with the trips we'd be taking, most hybrids will actually use the same amount of gas as a fuel-efficient gas-powered car. Boo.

So, regular car it is. Our criteria: must be fuel-efficient, must have enough room to cart camping equipment and/or 2 bikes, must have 4 doors and must be a hatchback. Well, those are the ones I care about. The boy knows more about other car things that I don't care to clutter my brain with.

He is wonderful at painfully researching things to death before buying, so I left this part up to him. For the longest time we were leaning towards the Nissan Versa. In fact, he was all over it. Until he took a look at the Honda Fit.

The Fit is very fuel efficient, has a hatchback and does this crazy transformer thing that allows you to move seats and create tonnes of space! Plus, the back seats fold down flush, unlike other hatchbacks where the back seats, when folded down, poke up a bit a couple of inches and creates a slope down towards the back door.

And, for me, the car is cute, small, comes in great colours (we *heart* the superhero blue!) and has the awesomest headlamps!

The plan is to buy in February/March - just in time for the snow to begin melting :)


Saturday, November 18, 2006

Almost-FOs and Jettin'

I have become one of those "it's the holidays now I must knit a bunch of stuff" knitters. While I was in Portland, Michelle got me started on a pair of socks and now I'm just about ready to do the heel on each. Michelle told me that it helps to knit one sock to the heel, then start the next one, just to make sure that second one gets done. I know if I had completed one full sock, I'd never get to the next one because I'd feel "done". By starting the next one before the first one is finished, it keeps the project in progress, and helps avoid that overwhelming feeling of "Oh no, now I gotta do this all over again??"

Pippi Long Stocking - in progress

Here are my socks so far (and the bamboo skewer needles I crafted). I may add a few more rows before I start the heel, but I'm pretty happy with them. Of course, I made up part of the pattern as I went along (because I can never just follow instructions) so the ribbing at the top of the socks is a different size on each. I'm okay with it, though, since the dark stripe is the same width on both socks.

Skinny Scarf

This is a scarf I'm knitting for one of my gift swap partners. I'm involved in 3 at the moment - Vegan Pal and a Holiday Gift Swap on Vegan Represent. The skinny scarf is knit in a 4x4 rib with some gorgeously soft EcoKnit organic cotton. After I finish this, I'm going to knit a neckwarmer in the EcoKnit for another swap recipient... just not sure which pattern I'll use yet.

Today the boy and I went to Flight Centre and booked our flight to Vancouver over the holidays. We leave early on December 26th and return on a red eye flight (I've never been on a red eye before... it feels neat to say <-- dork) on January 2nd, then head straight back to work (blah). I'm excited about the trip - I've never been to Vancouver and I've heard such great things. I know I'll have to do some research on good veg*n places to eat and shops to visit - but if anyone has any suggestions, you know what to do :)

Sunday, November 12, 2006

A weekend post

I often find myself wishing I could record my thoughts, and then upload those words to my blog. I spend a lot of time in transit each day and my thoughts could very well work as decent blog posts. But when I finally get to a computer those thoughts are gone, or life is too busy to rehash them. For example, after the last post, I had a really long conversation in my head about the use of potentially derogatory words in different contexts and how actual meanings of many words get ruined forever by those words being attached to specific circumstances. It was a pretty good conversation, too. And one that you'd be reading if only I could have recorded those thoughts.

Instead, I am posting other words and some visuals.

Friday night, the boy and I went to the Royal Ontario Museum for what used to be their free Friday evening event. It's now $5, which I didn't know until we got there. Luckily the boy had a credit card. It's been about 5 years since I've been to the ROM and I was pleasantly surprised that our admission included the current Italian Arts and Design exhibit in addition to their permanent exhibits.

It was really nice to walk around and look at the Greek sculptures - I showed David the one I had to draw while I was in college as a part of my Life Drawing class. I got 100% on it. Yay me! - and the Egyptian artifacts, and even shed a tear for the taxidermied animals in the Biodiversity exhibit. That one really got to me. Again. I do understand and appreciate that these animals are so out of reach for most of the population, and that we never get to see them up close, but I do always wonder *how* they died. My hope is that their deaths were natural. No matter what the cause of death was, though, I still looked the tiger, cheetah, owls, sea birds, moose - and all the other creatures continuing their lives after death in the ROM - in the eyes and told them I was sorry they died. David caught me looking at them and petting the glass boxes the animals are kept in. He told me I looked weird and creepy.

The Italian Art and Design exhibit was a bit of a let down. I was looking forward to seeing lots of great product design samples, but I couldn't help but think that I'd see more interesting Italian product design at William Ashley. Thankfully we didn't pay the full $18 admission.

After the museum, we walked down to the Night Lights event being put on at the U of T campus. The event was planned by a group called Newmindspace. From their email:

Due to light pollution, some of our night lights have disappeared!
To bring back the sky's twinkle, we have decided to make some stars of our own.
Join us for an evening of starcraft, constellation installation and a tower of light visible from across the city.

I was very excited about this event. The installations that were promised:

Stars* Hundreds of LEDs will be suspended from helium balloons to create an artificial starscape, creating our own constellations and a twinkling Milky Way that should be visible for miles.

String of Diamonds* Long strings of LEDs will be suspended from a weather balloon. As the wind and participants move the cord, the string will appear to glitter.

Faeries* Much like the shoes hanging from our telephone wires, pairs of LEDs will be strung together and hung from trees in Queen's Park like couples of faeries.

(fly)light by Pearl Chen* An animated sphere of 500 green LEDs.

But when we got to the muddy field to see the spectacle, there were only 2 balloons flying with some LEDs hanging from them and not much else. We took a few photos before heading home after what was still a great evening out.

Lights and balloons at Night Lights

one of the balloons with lights strung to it

Streaky lights at Night Lights

streaky light effects

Streaky lights at Night Lights

more streaky light effects

That night, a distraught sounding email was sent out by the Newmindspace organizers. At the beginning of the night 300 lights were stolen, costing the group over $500. I still can't believe that some disrespectful and inconsiderate idiots would do something so vile. There is a donation button on their homepage - if you live in Toronto and know about the events Newmindspace has put on in the past, maybe you'll consider a small donation to help them recover what they've lost, and encourage them to continue their positive projects.

Saturday was the most easy-going day I've had in a while. After a lazy start, I got a cart full of groceries then headed back out to shop for my Vegan Pal downtown. Somehow a few extra items just for me ended up in my basket at almost every store I went to. When I got home I had the urge to watch a movie. I'd heard about Me, You and Everyone We Know from Michelle and it was on Movies On Demand, so I put it on. I watched about 10 minutes, got a phonecall and then ended up turning the movie off in favour for a nap. A 3 hour nap. It was gloriously self-indulgent. The boy was working on a project while I snuggled up with a cat on the couch and woke up only to move to the bed. I'd been horizontal so long that my feet felt a little sore when I walked on them this morning!

Today we met up with a group of people for some photo takin'. This is a monthly group and our first time hooking up with them. The photos are uploaded to a flickr pool and are based on a theme. This month's theme: Toronto Transit. Here are two of my favourite shots from the day - though not related exclusively to Transit.

Pigeons on the ledge - Union Station

Birds on the (l)edge

Sculpture - Union Station

Sculpture outside Union Station

I didn't get many inside shots because we were accosted by security, who told us photography is not allowed inside the station due to potential security risks - and they'd just got off a level 2 security alert so all personnel were on the lookout. In other words, there was a recent bomb threat. Yipes.