Monthly Archives: October 2010

Halloween Weekend!

My last post was a bit grim, but I was in a crap mood, what can I say? It happens sometimes. Personally, I like blogs that highlight all the feelings and experiences of the author-good and bad. Hearing non-stop forced cheerfulness makes me ill and think the writer is either A) High, B) Full of shit or C) Ted Bundy. But of course, non-stop complaining can drag anyone down too. A more realistic,  balanced approach is much more interesting and that’s what I aim to offer here.:)

Anyways, things were better this past weekend. Saturday we helped my parents move, hosted a small Halloween gathering and on Sunday gave out treats to the little hungry little “monsters” that came to our door.

The moving day started bright and early at 9am. It was freezing, but excitement was in the air. For me, it was a sentimental day. They’re moving out of the house where I spent the later half of my teenage and early part of my adult years.  I still remember completing my undergrad in their house;  Studying, eating tons of oatmeal (It’s brain food don’t you know!), commuting back and forth from campus and watching old  Teletoon “Detour” shows at night in my room. My family has had all sorts of ups and downs in that house, but now they’re moving away, into a new house to start their retirement. I’m happy for them, but I am a bit sad that they won’t be in our neighborhood anymore. Ah well, things change and people go where they need to go and in their case, it’s to a quieter area.

Their new place is a beautiful bungalow, with a big yard and feeders really close to the kitchen. I got a shot of chickadee that was feasting on bird seed:

Hopefully I can get closer shots of the birds in the near future.:)

After the move, we had a small Halloween gathering at our place. Nothing too crazy, no costumes, just us, Carmen, Jen and her husband. (John and his significant other would have come, but due to unfortunate circumstances, they weren’t able to make it. We missed you guys!)  We munched on food and watched “Haunted Honeymoon” and  “The Burbs”, while outside it snowed like crazy!

Earlier on, I put out a witch cat decoration, which confused the hell out of the cats:

Pierre and his doppleganger

And that was it. Now we have about a million pieces of candy left over, cupcakes and caramel apples. This whole weekend has been an intense rush of coffee, donuts, salt and sugar. Anyone want some leftover treats?

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Channeling…

Today was not a good day. Stuff got muddled, communication wasn’t great and I spent most of the day wishing it was over already.  Today was awash with frustration and self doubt. How to let things just ‘roll off one’s back’ is still a great mystery to me. I really envy easygoing people who laugh nonchalantly at everything.  They truly are the lucky ones.

The days are already very short. I now leave for work in darkness and come home with the sun setting. My two hour commute is becoming more challenging to bear with every passing day. Squished in the morning, squished at night, on buses full of angry or oblivious people.  We live in a good area, but it is just too damn far away.

I felt so stressed out and depressed throughout last year’s winter and really don’t want to fall down that hole again. So when the negativity starts, I will try harder to channel it into something more productive. For example, I drew another owl:

When I feel angry, bitter, sad or lonely, then I will draw and/or paint. It may not “cure” anything, but at least art is productive right? At least more productive than complaining and feeling sorry for oneself. It’s important to have outlets and drawing and painting have usually only been mine to relieve boredom, but anger/sadness seem like good reasons to draw with pencils or paint too.

What do you do when you’ve had a bad day or are feeling unwell?

Snap Happy Weekend

On Friday, Hubby and I went and saw my friend Andrea Simms-Karp play at Raw Sugar café. Raw Sugar, for those of you who don’t know, is pretty..”cozy”, and both ladies were quite popular with the Ottawa crowd of younger hip folk and older hip folk.  So we were squished. But there was great food, drinks and obviously entertainment, which made up for the lack of space. Early in the evening, I also spotted Vegan Jennifer standing around the food counter and invited her to sit with us. Shauna Caspi(on the left) was the opening act and performed some songs with the lovely Andrea (On the right) before going solo:

I had to slink around the room to get some shots. The first ones were too dark, followed by ones with eye-assaulting bright flash and it wasn’t until I screwed around with my camera a bit, that they turned out better.

I liked this one of  Andrea the best, she looks so relaxed and happy. While she was playing, I also captured this picture of Shauna, while she wasn’t looking:

There were lots of people with their eyes closed grooving around to the music. It must be nice to affect people this way and I’m not surprised, Andrea and Shauna both have beautiful voices and are very talented song writers.

For the last concert pic, here is both of them with Andrea’s electric guitarist:

They look kinda red here and it was difficult getting some decent shots without a million heads and shoulders in the way.  However, this did provide ample opportunity to get more practice with the zoom feature on my camera. During the concert, I also spotted some very cool ceramics overhead:

Owls!

And before leaving, I took a snap of the new bridge to Chinatown:

Oh and that white stuff falling from the sky? It’s snow. Yes, it sometimes snows here in October.  But hey, at least it makes you appreciate summer more right? Right?

Saturday was a full moon. We set off for the off-leash dog park in our area, there is a crater there that is great for sky gazing. Here is my best shot:

There was also a man at the park taking pictures of the moon. He had his tripod and camera set up on the rim of the crater. I tried to talk to him to see if he was having any luck, but he didn’t speak much English. (This could have been another situation when knowing more Mandarin would have been handy but there was no guarantee that he was even Chinese)

Some crazy, moronic teenage boy was also zooming by on his bicycle, yelling: “Stop taking pictures of my f-ing house!” at us.

Craziness! And what a narcissist!

When I muttered: “Freaks come out at night”, Hubby, replied: “Well it is a full moon!”

Touché! Anyways, paranoid idiots aside, it was a good weekend. Hopefully there will be even more photos next weekend, because it will be my parents moving day and Halloween!!

Recent Developments

After speaking to a coworker about my new camera issues, she called up a friend of hers who works at Henry’s and told me that he would be more than happy to look at my camera. After work and eating dinner, I zoomed on over to the photography store to get the scoop on my equipment.

The friend-I’ll call him Ben-was very helpful, patient and knowledgeable. It turns out that I wasn’t using the right shutter speed and other settings for some of my pictures. In Ben-speak: “Your camera is controlling you and not the other way around”. I have been tinkering with it,  but sometimes it really is better to have someone show you how to work something.

He said that I should take some pictures and come back to visit him. We’ll go over the photos and see if are still any issues. We talked for awhile at no charge, but Henry’s does offer classes and I will be enrolling in a December workshop.

On another note, last night I went downtown and finally paid for those allergy shots. The “stabbing” should commence late this week or next. Can’t wait…:P (Now it’s your turn Kate!)

Last night I also went out with some of Hubby’s high school friends, one of whom is visiting from Toronto. This group of guys are crazy. And by crazy, I mean hilarious. They just love to poke fun at each other and are usually quite witty about it. I haven’t laughed as much as I did last night in awhile. I seriously thought I was going to collapse at some point. It’s nice that Hubby and his group are still tight knit. Too often people grow apart, but they still seem pretty tight. Perhaps teasing is the glue that holds them together. 😉

Weekend of Meh

This weekend wasn’t super fantastic. I was tired for most of it, because my allergies were keeping me up all night. (Yep, time to just bite the bullet and get those allergy shots already!) But I did manage to paint and take photos:

The moon was hanging behind a tree in our backyard, so I decided to whip out my camera and capture it. I just got a new camera and am still not sure how to use it, so my photos are mostly trial-and-error at this point. I think a photography course is in my near future.

I also watched the British thriller “Peeping Tom“. This film is about a disturbed young man named Mark who, in his spare time, enjoys murdering women while filming their expressions. Here is an unfortunate lady about to get axed. I photographed his footage:

It’s a great movie. 60s-70s movies are very fun to watch. The clothing, colouring, lighting, music, slang…it’s so different from movies nowadays. Back then, there wasn’t so much gore and profanity, it was left more up to the imagination, which can be more interesting, I think.  This film brought some much needed entertainment to my weekend of meh!

Fall Photos

During another one of my wanderings, I took some more photos of the fall foliage. Even though the trees are dying and winter is slowly creeping in, fall really is one of the most beautiful times of the year:

Isn’t it cute how this red bush seems to be hiding behind this tree?

More bright red against a darker colour:

I love tree trunks and roots. They are all seem to have their own unique appearances and personalities like people. I will definitely be painting some in the future.:)

So that’s it, but hopefully the weather will stay cooperative so I can post more  in the near future.

Thanksgiving Weekend!

This past long weekend was good, busy, but yet still relaxing.

On Saturday, we bought a brand new vacuum. Our last one, a Hoover, died a far too early death in my opinion. According to the manager at the vacuum store, Hoover has gone downhill since it was purchased by another company and there are practically no parts for them. And if you do find the parts, they cost more than the vacuum themselves. Thus, prompting people to buy a new one. Also the plastics in many vacuums aren’t recyclable so they end up in landfills. (Just something to think about next time you buy a vacuum.)

Anyways, we bought a Miele and for the amount of money spent, I hope to God it lasts a loooong time! After that exciting trip, we went all the way down Bank street for Tofurkey. Turns out the Real Canadian Superstore didn’t have any Tofurkeys, so we had to go to Loblaws on Bank. When we arrived at Loblaws, we picked up the last frickin’ Tofurkey they had!

Afterwards I was starving, and while driving down Bank, we found a new vegan/omnivore lunch place, called “Cafe my House“. The service was good and the food was even better. We had two macrobiotic burgers for lunch, both came with potatoes and fruit. If you’re looking for a new lunch place, I recommend this one. There are even meat options, though they aren’t as plentiful as the vegan and vegetarian ones. (Which is a nice flip from the usual ‘restaurant experience’ where there is next to nothing for vegetarians) After we got back home, Jen came over, and we went over our lesson. I was feeling frustrated with one of my paintings, but she managed to calm me down. Sometimes you need someone to come over and tell you to relax. (Or in my case, more than one person, more than once.)

Sunday was Turkey Day and I baked my best apple pie ever. Voila! Ze masterpiece!!:

I haven’t made pie in awhile, but with the ice cold ingredients and my handy food processor, the pastry came together, and stayed together, which for pastry, is not always easy. The recipe was my grandmothers and the homemade caramel apple filling was from foodwishes.com.

On holiday Monday, our new closet doors were installed by my father-in-law and Hubby, while I managed to paint, as well as take some pictures. Here they are:

There are more photos, but nothing really blogable. I’m hoping to get out to some parks soon, so I can catch the Fall colours before they’re all gone!

Hope you guys had a great weekend!