Monthly Archives: June 2010

Fab Weekend!

This past weekend one of my best friends-Travis from Windsor-was visiting. I took Thursday and Friday off to make it a long weekend. I met Travis in university and he is one of the most charismatic, funny and up-beat people I know, so it was a real treat having him come and visit, since it happens far too infrequently. After being delayed in Toronto due to that incredible waste of time and money known as the “G20 Summit”, he arrived Thursday at 8:30pm.

The next day, we went to the “Pop art exhibit” at the National Gallery. Here is the interior walk up to the exhibit spaces:

The pop exhibit began with a look at Andy Warhol and his multimedia approach to art and intense dedication to celebrity social climbing.

Next up was works by Jeff Koons, Richard Prince, Keith Haring, Tracey Emin, Damien Hirst, Takashi Murakami, Martin Kippenberger and other contemporary artists.

There were some really cool sculptures, like this one:

and this one, where the artist pokes fun at art critics and the whole industry:

There is a very sexual part of the exhibit with graphic photos, sculptures and newspaper clipings.  The above mentioned artist, Jeff Koons, created a series of works called “Made in Heaven” and wow! Naughty stuff! In one room, he enlarged photos of his porn star wife and him servicing each other orally. Travis is gay and was a little taken aback by all the female…parts. LOL. I’m no prude, but it is graphic. Another “artist” filmed herself having sex with a guy she paid for the experience. Yeah, that’s not art, that’s prostitution and porn, honey. (If it was art, then every hooker and porn actor and director would be “artistes” and be in galleries as well) We didn’t see the video, just photos of video clips. When I read about it on the wall though, I thought it was stupid. Thankfully the other sex stuff was more interesting.

Anyways, after the gallery we went shopping along the mess that is currently Sussex street under construction and I bought Hubby a Netherlands orange jersey underwear. (He really wanted a shirt but they are sold out everywhere, so I thought this was a good alternative. ;))

We then went to the small gay village along Bank street (I call it “The Gayborhood”)before driving back to my place to watch some movies. Saturday involved more shopping and gabbing. Travis also got fairly regular texts from his boyfriend, the first of which was a definite cause for concern.

The text from his boyfriend went like this: “Babe, our lawn is on fire! How do you work the fire extinguisher?!”

Apparently some a-hole set their garbage can on fire. Dickheads. Thankfully though, the fire died out before consuming their house. After that, Travis checked his phone much more often.

The rest of the weekend ran by fast and we had fun driving around the suburbs, Travis blasting ABBA and Madonna. The nearby suburbanites must have thought the Pride Parade came early, LOL. I took him out to bubble tea and sushi, which he loved since it’s hard to come by in a one-note town like Windsor.

Sunday we exchanged goodbyes and hugs. I miss him already!

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Night of Critique

Last night was my first night with an arts group in my area. This group has been around for a long time and provide feedback to artists, both amateur and professional. They also hold exhibitions and fundraising events.  Last night was  their “Annual Critique Night” where they invited esteemed painter-Pamela Cockcroft-Lasserre– to critique members works.

I arrived at the event with only my sketchbook in hand, but after seeing all the paintings floating around, I decided to quickly run back home to pick up my bellydance painting, so she could give me some advice.

Lots of people, entirely women, came to the event and it took awhile before she finally got around to the back rows where I was seated. Once it was my turn I shyly put up my insect drawing and my practice painting and told her that I have just recently started pursuing painting seriously again.

“You’re very good at drawing, she said in her fairly strong Afrikaner accent, looking at my sketch pad. “And as for the painting, how did you first design the figure?”

“I drew it first with charcoal and then used paint” I replied

“You must never, ever use charcoal with paint, she said, “because it will muddle up the paint and you will be fighting with it”

Fair enough.

“If you want to paint something, she continued, “draw it with your paint. Make sure you use paint retarder, so if you mess up, you can wipe it off and start again.”

After thanking her, I sat back down and this woman next to me invited me to join an online group that posts weekly drawing ideas, members sketch this object and then critique each other’s work.  Which sounds like great practice(Though I’m not usually at a loss for ideas)  as well as a chance to get feedback, hopefully constructive.

Waffles and Decorating

On Saturday morning I had breakfast with a girl I met online. (Through that womens online group I mentioned earlier) We went to Ada’s Diner on Bank street.

This girl-I’ll call her Sheila-was waiting for me outside. After we went inside, she chatted warmly with the owners, who recognized her and asked how she was doing. Turns out she lives in the Glebe and used to come to Ada’s pretty regularly with her ex-boyfriend.  Anyways, we talked about all sorts of stuff-Work, travel, Toronto, etc. Although to be frank, I did most of the talking.  I would ask her a question and she would answer and that was it…silence. I find this odd about certain people, you ask them stuff, they answer, but then they don’t ask you anything. So there is this weird, awkward silence afterwards. Not wanting to appear boring, I talk and talk, make silly jokes and continue to ask them questions, like I’m interviewing someone or something. This irked me after awhile. I’m not saying there should be non-stop chatter, but a little bit more inquiring and input on her part would have been appreciated. But maybe she was having an off-day or maybe I should just learn to become comfortable with long silences with strangers.  Anyways, the food was fantastic and the owners wonderful. We both had the strawberry waffles and there were perfect.

The interior of the diner also has all sorts of nice pictures and paintings and it was actually air conditioned which surprised me.

After eating, she agreed to accompany me to Ragtime, where I bought two sweaters. Ah Ragtime, one of the best consignment shops in Ottawa. It brings back memories of when Hubby and I were dating and he lived downtown, practically around the corner from this awesome store.  I was at his apartment all the time and we used to eat and shop on Bank street, play video games, rent movies from the local corner store and watch them at his place. It was just me, him and his previous cat, Sasha. The loudest, most co-dependent white cat ever to grace the earth! Good times!

So back to this past weekend-Sheila and I parted and I spent the rest of that day finishing that wine box.

This weekend, I also managed to hang this beautiful picture found in a furniture consignment store:

The name on the back says “Sue Fawcett”. Sue, if you painted this, I love it and it looks great in my art room.:)

We also went to Michaels and bought a giant frame and Hubby hung the “Reservoir Dogs” poster that I bought weeks ago:

It looks great next to our “Return of the Jedi” picture don’t you think? Michaels is having a 40% off all frames sale right now, so go if you want something framed.  While we were browsing, I was looking for something to hang over our bed. Something relaxing and soothing. Then Hubby pointed to a poster of Dwight Schrute from The Office.  Yeah, not exactly what I was picturing falling asleep under and undressing in front of in the morning, but thanks for the suggestion Hubby! LOL

Today also marks the first day of my “30 Day Shred” with big-wig trainer Jillian Michaels. Last weekend I bought a different exercise tape and didn’t like it. This annoying chick directs you to do the same cheesy dance moves over and over again to what sounds like porno music. So after hearing the favorable reviews of Jillian, I decided to buy her video and I really like it! No B.S.  Just hard work and her honest words of encouragement.  If you’re looking for a good exercise video, I recommend this one!

My Latest Work

Feeling adventurous, I have started painting on wooden objects. The first wooden thing I bought was a wine carrying case from a consignment shop. I primed most of it and painted grape vines on the sides and a wine bottle on the front. Since this will be a gift to Hubby’s parents and they make their own wine, the bottle will have Hubby’s last name on the label.

Now let me tell you, if you don’t put gesso on the wood, like I opted not to do, wood is harder to paint on, as mistakes are more challenging to fix.  But I do love the idea of functional objects being creative, so I’m going to keep painting on various objects-trays, signs, bread boxes, chairs, etc.

Perhaps next I will paint Mocha-our friend’s cross-eyed kitty. Isn’t she sweet? We met her after brunch a couple of posts ago.

Going with the flow…

Sorry I’ve been lacking in blog posts lately. I’ve been busy and stressed out. Even though it’s summer, lately there have been a million things to do and all I want to do is run away and avoid them all. (Or sleep through them, which would be easier)
Speaking of living a glorious life of dodging responsibility, last night I watched “Easy Rider“, the film that kicked off Dennis Hopper (RIP) and Peter Fonda’s respective careers. (Jack Nicholson also appears in the film as a perma-drunk lawyer) The movie is about two bikers who travel across the American south to New Orleans so they can attend Mardi Gras. It’s a great film with a wonderful soundtrack and as I sat there watching it, I kept thinking how amazing it would be to travel across a country on a motor bike, free and eager for adventure. Well, that is, until the end, which made me realize that living the life of a crazy, hippy biker is probably not as romantic as it sounds. 😉
One thing that struck me though is Peter Fonda’s character, Wyatt. Wyatt is cool, even-tempered and easygoing. He never complains or puts up a fuss. In other words, he seemed to me, to be an ideal travel companion. Before even seeing this film, I have lately been trying to adopt these characteristics. He is positive and goes with the flow, whereas I tend to be overly sensitive, controlling, uptight and complain loudly when stuff happens. He suffers quite a fair amount of verbal abuse and discrimination throughout his travels, but he ignores it and moves on, whereas I hold on to grudges that have been going strong for years. To be fair, Wyatt is probably a bit too easygoing at times and definitely indulges too much in drugs and alcohol,  but adopting a less extreme (and more sober) version of his mentality would probably do me a load of good, health-wise and make my summer much more enjoyable.
So here’s my current experiment: No longer whine or complain about stuff I can’t control, forget past grudges and become more flexible and be more open for new adventures. As well not to take other people and/or myself so damn seriously and expect constant perfection.
Have you been trying to improve yourself in your attitude lately? Have you any luck?

Grad Party and Brunch

This weekend was Hubby’s graduation party, organized in secret for weeks, by me. Honestly, it was kinda stressful planning it-There were a million things to do and buy, the backyard had to be spruced up, some people couldn’t be bothered to RSVP, etc. But, in the end it all worked out and lots of people showed, some even came from as far as Toronto.  Big thanks to everyone who came and to my mom for helping me out. This was one of the decorations strung up at literally the last minute.

I also ordered a cake for the event-Chocolate with vanilla icing and it was great! (The only downside was the blue icing kinda got smeared everywhere and left our guests with very sexy blue tongues and teeth!)

One funny thing happened-Midway through the party, Hubby and some people were in our backyard socializing and BBQ’ing when there suddenly there were yells and screams. I asked one of his friends what happened after he came inside and he told me that “someone” turned the hose on and Hubby stepped on it, which caused the hose to spray everyone in the backyard, particularly Hubby, who then had to change his clothes. LOL! Woops! (I knew I forgot something…)

The next day, we went out for brunch with some friends and of course, we had to stop by the Comic Book Shoppe a few stores down from the restaurant to browse the items. I quite like this sexy figure of Mystique:

and life-sized Yoda:

I also couldn’t resist buying two more “Preacher” comics, as well as “Hellboy” and “Sin City“. It’s funny, I was never really into comics when I was a teenager. My interest in them started just a couple years ago with my brother’s recommendation to read Preacher and ever since then I’ve started devouring them. (Most women my age read Oprah’s picks, chick-lit or romance novels, while I read comic books and horror novels.) But this stuff makes me happy and that’s what matters right? 🙂

Graduation and Anniversary

The main highlight of this past weekend was Hubby’s law school graduation ceremony at the NAC. Myself and his parents were seated way up on the rafters, so this is the best shot I got of the stage:

Blurry, I know.  I also videotaped the convocation, and tried to upload the clips to Facebook, but JVC Everio uses the WORST software possible for its cameras and this has made it very difficult to upload videos, which to me, kinda defeats the purpose. (Not to my readers: DON’T buy video cameras during a Boxing Day Madness sale at Future Shop. You may save some money, but the sheer frustration of it all afterwards makes me wish I researched better and bought a better newer camera)

Anyways, here are some more pics of the NAC. It was packed in there! Seriously claustrophobic!

After getting his degree framed, we hightailed it out of there and went out for a late congratulatory dinner.  Apart from getting crushed by students and proud (and slightly drunk) parents, it was a good night.

Today is our two year wedding anniversary. Hubby picked me up, handed me some roses and we went out to dinner for yummy Indian vegetarian food.

The time has really flown by. Hard to believe that two years ago today, I was sweating my butt off in a tiny dress and standing outside in plus 40 and crying tears of happiness.

I love ya Hubby! Here is to many more years of passion, joy and love together!