Thursday, November 26, 2009

Canada Reads


I'm not going to blah, blah, blah about why I've neglected you and our lovely little blog for the past few weeks. Instead, I'm just going to offer you my HUGE apologies and ask you not to give up on me. I'll make it up to you.

So today I heard our lover, Jian announce that the Canada Reads nominees are to be announced shortly. I can't remember if I heard next week or December 1st. Actually IS next week December 1st? Can that be possible? -Wow. Just checked the date. I feel like I've been in a month-long coma and have lost all track of time. So in honour of our mutual love of all things Jian and of the book, should we do a co-read of all the nominees? HUGE challenge, but I'm ready to take it on. Besides, you know you'll win.

Pretty please?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

1,001 questions

Hey Stace,

Missed you while you were MIA. Hope you had a wonderful time, I expect to hear about it. Any pics to post? Maybe I should win the lotto so I can send Sara of "Sarafied" to take some stunning photos of the maritimes & live vicariously through her images. Then again, if I win the lotto, I will be able to afford the time to go - and go in style. Rent a palatial getaway with ocean views for a month & have an open door policy for friends to come and stay.

Had this weird mental block that it felt like there was no point writing to you if you were internetless and unable to communicate. But you're back.... soonish... non? So, since I've encountered my first bloggers block, I'm retreating to one of my favorite activities: "survey says". But it's not a true survey, as in a poll. There's a single respondent - you - (unless any of our readers care to answer the Qs too, which would be delightful). My own personal DJ and Crossfit mentor has been playing this game via facebook with me & I wanted to get your answers too. I will try my best to keep a record to see when we get to 1,001 questions. But to begin (and this counts as ONE question):

10 things you can't live without (or your 10 favorite things)

I'll go first....

1. Crossfit, of course CrossFit. It has changed my life in so many ways. I suppose I should do an explanatory post on crossfit someday. Or steal someone else's... Here, read what the formidible ms t dot sio has to say about CROSSFIT

2. Hats. OK, hats AND scarves. Love 'em. Love 'em. Love 'em. Every season. They always fit.

3. my library card. i practically eat books & would need a mansion to house them all if I bought books. Toronto's fabulous library system allows you to browse/order stuff online & it is delivered to my local branch. Often times I've been the first to check out the book - the spine isn't even cracked. Something so exciting about a fresh new book. Not sure if that should be that I love books or my library card? Both.

4. my perfume. I truly am a scent slut. Would love to have a "signature scent" but can't be monogamous to a single fragrance - depends on my mood. Chanel Allure Sensuel, Helmut Lang, Philosophy soulmates, Perscriptives Calyx. Oh, and men's cologne. Mmmm... nothing gets my attention like a fine smellin' fella.

5. My iPod. For music & podcasts. Since I can't actually listen to an interesting program (usually CBC, BBC, or NPR)with the barbarians underfoot (or on top of me as the case may be) I download & podcast them. Esp. Jian Ghomeshi's (sp?) Q. Like having a brilliant conversation with authors, musicians, writers, & artists daily.

6. Brunch. In or out, no matter, but LOVE brunch.

7. My agenda. Every year I buy a beautiful leather agenda & my life is in it: clients, dates, birthdays, numbers, to dos, quotes, books to read, films to see, wish list. love the agenda.

8. Nice pens. Could never have enough pens (and notebooks, love Moleskine). After my MSW Petey bought me a lovely waterman fountain pen & I adore it. Makes me feels as though anything I write with it is a bit more elegant.

9. Lipgloss. Lipgloss. Lipgloss. Perhaps as important (or more?) than mascara.

ten already... whoa. Hmm... better make it a gooder.

10. ah, the most important of all: good conversations. I think that's why I love Q. I could sit for HOURS and HOURS, gabbing & gabbing. But it needs to be interesting stuff. Not necessarily intelligent high politics or literary criticism, but stuff that i find interesting (automatically disqualified: bitching about husbands & non-stop talk about kids. ugh).

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Lost in a Painting

Jennie Dearest,

There is a lovely little art gallery in Banff that Jacob and I discovered on one of our trips where we had enough time to do a little window shopping. A treat that isn't possible if we have the twins with us. Jake was only five or six and a painting in a window caught his eye. We ended up spending at least 20 minutes, staring at the piece entitled 'Faery Tales' by James Christensen. My understanding is that there are 24 different stories hidden within this painting and Jake managed to identify at least 19 of them.

Two trips back to Banff and we were drawn back to the gallery to stare at it again. Jonathan and I have gone to Banff for our every wedding anniversary since we've lived in Calgary and on our first such trip, Jonathan bought the piece as a family anniversary gift. VERY uncharacteristic of him, because it was most definitely an unnecessary expense. But it has brought us great pleasure and I never thought  I could say that about a piece of art. It now proudly sits in our library room, above our comfiest sitting chair. You'll often find one of the kids standing in the chair, staring up at the vibrant colours and intently studying all the different recognizable characters from childhood favourites.

Christensen has a unique style that I have fallen in love with. I don't know why. I just love the hidden meaning and references. I love his appreciation for traditional family values and his respect for women. I love his quirky sense of humour and his depiction of fairies, angels, trolls, Shakespearean characters, religious figures, etc.

Isn't this one dreamy?

A Place of Her Own

Responsible Woman

The Unopened Letter

This one reminds me of a story I recently watched on a morning news show. Five year old Elena Desserich, dying of cancer, left secret notes for her family to find after her death. Her parents compiled them in a journal of sorts, Notes Left Behind to leave as a legacy to her younger sister, to remember her by. In an interview with her mom, I heard her say that they had found two particular notes that were sealed in envelopes. She and her husband had decided that they would never open the envelopes, because (I'm paraphrasing) "they wanted the insurance that they would always still have a letter from Elena. It would never end." Incredibly sad and incredibly touching.

Back to Christensen, here is my gift to you.

The Listener

I will leave you to interpret this last one on your own. But please tell me that you understand why it so reminded me of you.


Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Better Way


OK, bear with me on this one. I know our blog is supposed to be about beauty and inspiration and culture and yadda yadda yadda. So I'm going to put forth the argument that this covers all three: the TTC. Yes, the Toronto Transit Commission. The buses, streetcars & subways that torontonians use to get around. I love it. Yes, you read that right, I love it. I feel as though I'm in the minority as usually people only whine and complain about our transit system. Is it comprehensive? No. Is it always on schedule? No. Granted, if I had to take it to work everyday, or if I was in a hurry, or was stuck on it in rush hour (especially in the summer, head firmly wedged beneath someone's less-than-fresh underarm) I may not be so enthralled. But because I'm an occassional user I can wax rhapsodic about it. I think it helps that my kids reignite the wonder & excitment of it.

I think my favorite is the streetcar. There's your fellow passengers, but also the carnival of everyday life that I pass by. It is a FEAST of humans: people of every size, shape, color, style, ethnicity is there. If not on the streetcar itself, then on the street. Because I'm not having to pay attention to other drivers around me I'm free to read, listen to a podcast, stare into space, or enjoy the scenery unfolding before me, eavesdrop - you name it. Maybe next time you're in TO we should hop on the streetcar to get to our resto of choice. A TTC date, all the gab with none of the hassel of driving (don't get me wrong - I LOVE driving - especially shift) but sometimes the slow way really is the better way. Wha'da'ya say - red rocket with me?

~ j. xo