Archive | September 2013

Digital Dozen – enjoy your reading while I traipse in Montreal!

I managed to get my shiz together in time to schedule this post for while I’m jaunting in Montreal for a long weekend as a birthday vacation. Wooohoo! Hope your weekend is delightful too, dear reader.

  • It seems like the geeky engagement shoot has become a thing. It’s pretty great, because there’s some creative and wonderful things that come of it. (Although I don’t understand the concept of an engagement shoot myself, it seems a very North American thing.) Anyhow! This one is great – even if it’s a photoshoot/photoshop hybrid – with some wonderful choices including my favourite:
  • Sometimes there’s a magical thing that happens, and a Tumblr account is created that fills a void none of us knew existed. I present for your viewing pleasure, Terrible Real Estate Agent Photos.
  • Have you ever seen any of comedian/musician Tim Minchin’s performances? You should poke around on YouTube and check them out. He’s a pretty smart and witty dude in general, and recently gave an occasional address at the University of Western Australia (where he attended). The video is below, but there’s also the text of his speech at his website if you’re not in a place to watch the video and/or would like handy text for quoting!
  • If you’re into Whedony things, this big interview over at Entertainment Weekly is a good read. I do so love his tone and humour.
  • Breaking Bad finale tomorrow! Oh gosh. Scott C did an awesome painting of all the characters upon the mountain. It’s amazing.
  • Late night shows are getting on the BB wagon too, with some great features for farewelling the show. Conan had a themed show this last week, here’s his cold open:

    And then Jimmy Fallon did a parody, “Joking Bad”:
  • Speaking of Jimmy Fallon, he’s just the bees knees. He has some great fun with guests, and I encourage you to get into a YouTube vortex with these: History of Rap 1 & 2, 3, 4; lip syncing with Stephen Merchant and Joseph Gordon-Levitt (and also with John Krasinski if you can find it, I can’t); and this ridiculous sketch he did with Steve Carroll and Justin Timberlake. Swoon.
  • There’s some wonderful Game of Thrones fan art out there, but I can’t think of anything quite as wonderful as this Lion-King-esque Lannister family portrait.
  • Kinetic Sand is amazing and I want some RIGHT NOW to play with. You will, too. Amazingness.
  • I want the Totoro one! Art deco-inspired Miyazaki prints.
  • This is how you advertise a science museum. Love the creativity!
  • And to end on a note to make you smile, have a dog playing in leaves:

Things I Love Thursday

  • That we’re getting some new stories in the Firefly-verse, post-Serenity, too! I love those characters so much, and while the fallout from Serenity will make for some tough stories to tell, I’m so into it. I want it now.
  • Speaking of things Whedon-y.. Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D (what a mouthful) is delightful! Loved the first episode & already want the rest ALL NOW PLEASE. Okay, so I get a bit grabby when it comes to this stuff..
  • I love hearing passionate people speaking about important issues that ring true with my beliefs and personal/social politics. I attended a panel last night all about youth & technology, and the issues of cyber-bullying & slut-shaming, and it was amazing to hear the ideas coming up and stories shared. Truly awesome!
  • Planning for travel is the best thing. I love searching Google Maps, Yelp, Happy Cow and generally poking the internet for Good Stuff. I have a great list of stuff to check out in Montreal! Coffee, baked goods, fine dining, board game related stuff! Woo! We even got a decent looking independant hotel through Hotwire, hoping it’s a good one. (…And they have cable to watch Breaking Bad on Sunday night.)
  • I had my first pay day! Having an income again is SO AWESOME! I got excited about budgeting last night, you guys. It feels great. I don’t want to say I love money and have $$ for eyes, but it makes me feel functional again, working for a living.
  • I love how I get to spread out my birthday over two days each year; from late morning on the 25th I start getting birthday wishes from the future (Australia), and then it all spills over into today in the time zones much closer to me. Take that, constructs of time!
  • And speaking of birthday awesome: getting to sleep in this morning, snuggle with Jake, and be surprised with breakfast in bed from my sweetie was an awesome start to the day. I love that mister of mine. And pancakes. I looooove pancakes.

    Banana and nut pancakes! Aw yeah!

Another irregularly scheduled photo post!

Another wave of photos uploaded to Flickr but not yet shared on social media means photo dump time! Click to see larger on Flickr.

Alley Flowers


Zodiac by Ai Weiwei, Toronto.

Ferrous liquid & Magnets, Ontario Science Centre

Vertical Garden, Ontario Science Centre

The things you find on the side of the road in the Annex..

Lonely Window

Lovebot @ A&C Games

Cottage in laneway not far from my place, near the UofT

Flowerpot stand from our friend Rob & Stacy’s wedding looks nice with my random flowery plant!

Alley couches

Spiderweb of streetcar lines at Queen & Spadina

Fahrenheit Cafe Toronto, one Sunday morning

State of the Jake

We’re coming up on our three month anniversary of Jake coming to live with us! Since we last spoke, he’s settled in with us a lot more. He’s definitely playing a lot more (and that’s for sure his favourite thing to do with Adam) and it’s so adorable to see how giddy with excitement (leaping up in the air and bouncing off our legs being just the beginning..) he is to see us. My favourite new thing is how he has to come over to say good morning to me after coming out of his kennel before he’ll happily go out for his morning walk with Adam. Aw.

The visit to Winnipeg was fine as far as travelling with him goes. The flights were a little stressful, but he dealt with it by mostly napping. While we were there we stayed with Adam’s parents, and Jake got the run of their beautiful big backyard. Lots of running about and sniffing, exploring – and eating raspberries right off the bush. Hanging out with friends’ dogs was tough, but he eventually started to benefit from the socialization. Still really bloody hated seeing cats though 🙂

I’m not sure it was the greatest to have such a break in environment and routine, however. He’s been terrible with walking beside us on walks because we didn’t get out so much in Winnipeg.  His response to training commands has taken a hit also, and that’s really our fault for not maintaining the homework with him. He’s also started to have occasional accidents in the house which is tough – he’s an adult dog after all, so we’re not sure what the cause of that is. We think we’ve narrowed it down to him perhaps doing it as retaliation when our attention isn’t 100% focused on him at home – if we’re in the kitchen or something  like that. It’s tough to know how to curb that behaviour, because we simply can’t focus on him constantly!

Something else that’s been worrying me, but i’m sure will settle down over the next few months, is his often random reactions to people. He’s fine one minute and then leaping and barking the next at someone. (This happens with some dogs too.) It’s hard to know what sets him off. There’s also workmen in our building constantly at the moment and their boorish behaviour is not just tiring for us humans, but they often antagonize Jake when they see him barking like mad. (He seems to have an aversion to any and all workmen, possibly all men in some sort of service uniform? He’s reacting like this across the board without anything other than the sight of them to set him off.)

For now we’re trying to get him to sit calmly before meeting another dog on a walk (which sometimes helps) and socialize more generally with other dogs (he’s going to hang out with some friends of ours with Corgis while we’re in Montreal this upcoming weekend which is really good for him). And having to carry him when our lobby and elevators are busy is easier and definitely better for my peace of mind right now knowing he won’t step over the line to bite anyone. He did really well at a big outdoor festival I took him to at the start of the month, though – with people, no problems, and with dogs only some. Well, it’ll be a process to watch.

I tell you what, though. The bonding is well and truly set in for me especially.. Now I’ve gone back to work I find myself missing this little guy’s company throughout the day, which means packing in extra snuggling in bed in the morning when I can!

Jim Bryson, and “our” album. (Warning: sappy ahead.)

Jim Bryson, Lee’s Palace. 21 September 2013.

Back in early 2011 when I was hanging out with Adam & getting to know him, we talked about music, as budding friends often do. I knew he was from Winnipeg, so naturally the Weakerthans came up in conversation. They’re one of my favourite bands, and had collaborated with Ontario artist Jim Bryson on his album The Falcon Lake Incident. When one of your favourite bands collaborates with another musician it’s like the real life equivalent of a streaming radio service going “you listened to [x artist], so you may enjoy [y artist]!” so I’d planned on going to see Jim play with the Weakerthans band at Lee’s Palace on their promo tour.

I mentioned the show to Adam to see if he was interested, as he liked the Weakerthans. (I was oblivious at this point to the fact I effectively asked him out on a date.) The show was terrific, and the album was something we really latched onto, listening a lot together as we hung out in the beginning of our relationship. Even to this day as I hear the opening notes of the album I get a rush of emotion. Super sappy, eh?

When I saw Jim would be playing a support slot to Jenn Grant at Lee’s Palace this month, it was pretty much a given that we’d go to the show and celebrate a proxy anniversary. I even won tickets to the show by sharing my heartwarming little story with the promotions company! We stopped by the merch table to buy a CD before the gig started and introduced ourselves to JIm, and thanked him for being the reason for us getting together, effectively. He asked if there was anything we wanted to hear specifically, and before he played it during the show gave us a little shoutout. N’awww.

It was a really terrific show. Low-key and intimate, with a little audience singalong for Metal Girls (our request), some non-Falcon Lake stuff that was lovely, including a song about Ontario and a bizarrely amazing sounding cover of Kanye West’s Holy Grail. (Bryson had seen the lyrics and never heard the song, and just penned some music to fit some of the lyrics and it’s wild.) There was a lot of wry stage banter and little stories about the tour so far and his family which was just such a nice and familiar way to have him be between songs. A thoroughly enjoyable show, and a super romantic and wonderful way to spend an evening celebrating the fact that as a couple we don’t just have “our song”, but we have a whole beautiful album.

I encourage you all to check it out, starting with Constellation (with the most – and i’m not being sarcastic here) mournful and gorgeous trumpet riff ever:

Digital Dozen for your reading and internet vortex pleasure

Grab a cuppa, settle in and soon enough you’ll look up in a haze of “Oh, have I been looking at stuff on the internet for 3 hours?” Enjoy!

  • Let’s start with something heartwarming and equality-affirming, shall we? Have a look through the photos at Hold Hands In Sochi, the Same Sex Hand Holding Initiative. This is a “campaign to ask everyone present at the 2014 Sochi Olympic and Paralympic Games to take every opportunity to hold hands in public with a person of the same sex to denounce the anti-gay laws in Russia and to call the IOC to action to end discrmination in sport”.
  • I love to see animals in their natural habitats, and this series of images of the Glowing Bobtail Squid are an incredible example. Keep them where they belong!


  • More nature awesome – see what it looks like scooting about on the back of an eagle. The parts where it’s gliding are so amaaaaaazing.
  • Nothing specifically Adventure Time this week, but if you’re into that show you’d probably dig Bravest Warriors from the same creator. There’s a very short first season (all online to watch!), and they’ve made some mini videos to bridge into season 2, so get watching!
  • I’ve never seen anything quite like this “motion graphics-infused” dance piece before, it’s super engaging!
  • Ever wanted to see the Galapogas Islands? Now you can! Google street view, bringing wonderful natural habitats and animals into your computer boxes daily. (And at least we’ll always have street view of the Great Barrier Reef too, seeing as PM Tony Abbott is out to destroy it.)
  • Geena Davis shows off her Olympic-level archery skills in support of gender equality in film, television & …archery 🙂
  • I’ve linked to some awesome themed bedrooms before, but this Super Mario one obviously takes the cake. So super!

Time to TILT – Things I Love Thursday!

  • I love Belsoy Dark Chocolate pudding. Their other ones are okay, but when I see the Dark Chocolate one on the shelf I am COMPELLED to purchase it. So chocolatey. So smooth and puddingy. Mmm.
  • So far I’m loving working at my new job. Even though I have none of the front line skills, it’s amazing to help support a not for profit community health centre with the skills I do have behind the scenes.
  • After I moaned about not being able to keep motivated with photo challenges, I’ve managed to participate in the FMS one each day since then! I love that it’s got my creative thinking process going again.
  • I love counting down to stuff – it’s my birthday in just one week, and then the following day i’m off to Montreal with Adam! (I don’t love the prospect of being away from the little furry monster Jake for 4 days though. Wah.)
  • Tea. Love it. Sometimes I am so into coffee I forget this leafy wonder. I’m having a few days off coffee because it seems to be giving me stomach blahs, and having a nice mug of English Breakfast is terrific each morning. I might pay a visit to the David’s Tea in my ‘hood and see what their fall mixes are like at the moment and treat myself.

What’s everyone loving up today?