Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sunday Review

I've been eating cookies like Cookie Monster lately. Half a cup of butter coupled with flour, chocolate and sugar makes life more than all right, I say. And what better way to spend a Sunday than eating cookies and reading/writing?

I also got a helmet. Finally. While I don't necessarily agree with all the propaganda helmet proponents put forth (smart cycling without a helmet is safer than stupid cycling with a helmet...duh), I figured I might as well have one for long or night rides.

The livre currently in my grubby hands is Bike Snob's fantastic book, which has me simultaneously spitting out in laughter and nodding as the book engages and informs the reader about the cycling world. An excellent read, and I highly recommend it. Not to mention the graphics and layout of the book is pretty cool. It puts me at ease like finally hitting empty, paved roads.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


I had the first tumble on my bike in the city a few weeks ago. It's been a long time since I've fallen off a bicycle, probably about seven years. Ouch. I went over the handlebars when I had to brake suddenly. My front wheel locked too quickly and my back threw me forward. Fortunately I landed in a way that didn't involve me smashing my face in or losing any teeth.

I was bruised and sore for days -- similar to when you work out and burn all that lactic acid, but without any of the benefits of working out.

Luckily there was little traffic, and I was able to get myself onto the sidewalk before any cars came by.

The perception of time totally shifts when you're facing danger. I know it must have been quite the sight to see. This girl riding along in a nice coat and dress and heels only to fly forward, going over the handlebars and land on the ground, chest and arms first. I'm sure the entire thing only took seconds, but when I was going over the bars, I had time to think, "Oh, I'm going over the handlebars, and I should land like this to minimize pain." The whole thing was simultaneously quick and slow-moving.

I'd like to think that we've evolved to adjust to danger like this. Or maybe my mind is just that quick.

Either way, I'm glad to be okay.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Summa, summatime!

It's shameful how long it's been since my last update. I'm not going to lie...the next update may be just as long if not longer.

The summer has been one of the best in my life. I've filled it with bicycles, taking lots of photos, hangouts with a myriad of characters ranging from the good, the bad and the ugly. Job aside, I've been swamped with outside projects that have saved my soul and given me many good things to look forward to in the fall.

Normally I feel overwhelmed in the summer simply because the number of activities and invites go up and the energy level is high. Sleep is non-existent and the pressure to constantly be doing something is too great. This summer, while I have felt stressed and overwhelmed a bit, I've also been quite happy and excited about the work I'm doing. I've had a couple projects that are near and dear to me, so I'm more than happy to sacrifice sleep and sanity.

And finally, finally, I have the opportunity to go abroad in the fall. I don't want to give too many details as the press release hasn't come out yet, but I'm helping some good folks plan a music festival in Europe. So if all falls into place, I'll be heading over in November. I figure I have to take this opportunity to do a bit of travelling and writing and simply recharging my soul and body.

It's been a great last few months and I'm learning a lot, but I'm also scared shitless. I've taken on a few new challenging roles, and I have no idea what I'm doing. Fake it until you make it, I guess.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Barista Competition

Photos from the Canadian Eastern Regional Barista Competition at St. Lawrence Market

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sunday, June 27, 2010


I am so disgusted right now. Disgusted and ashamed to call myself a citizen of Canada. The events that happened this weekend during the G20 Summit in Toronto has left a pock mock on the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

We weren't treated as citizens. The police descended onto the city about a week before, and their presence was felt. About 22,000 police from around the country came and almost $1 billion was put into security costs for this meeting of world leaders. The costs of human rights and justice was far greater as I witnessed police brutality for the first time in my life.

The police charged at people who were peacefully protesting, illegally arresting, detaining and searching innocent people. Their actions were so atrocious and it is shameful that none of our leaders or politicians have commented. It's unclear whether the police were given orders or simply acted in a manner that made them the aggressors, but either way, the police were the real bullies here. I am so angry, words cannot even begin to describe the rage I, and many of Toronto residents are feeling.

The police were the ones in black. The police were the ones in riot gear, with gas masks, shields, bullet-proof vests, batons and guns. The police were the ones who charged, the ones who stomped and kneed bare flesh, who hit people without any protection. The police were the ones rounding up journalists and detaining innocent bystanders in the rain for hours. They were the ones telling lies and acting illegally, yet I doubt that there will be any repercussions for the actions witnessed today.

How did this happen? And why are our "leaders" staying silent still?

It's been a long day, and my emotions range from shock, anger, disgust, horror and shame. The summits may be over, but the scars are going to run deep. Toronto, you may not call yourself The Good anymore. Shame, shame, shame.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Why do I only know lady babes?

Let's look at the facts, shall we?

Minor earthquake. Check.

Lunar eclipse. Check.

Major protests against world leaders and incredibly wasteful summits. Check.

Tense World Cup matches. Check.

What else will the weekend hold?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

I am Liz Lemon

One of my besties, Julie, is away in Switzerland for two months, so we've been e-mailing back and forth. It's been nice to have someone in a different country to correspond with again.

When I was younger, I used to have pen pals from all over, and it was a joy to receive letters about every three weeks. The postmarks and stamps were in different languages, and it felt like such a privilege to have a foreign envelope delivered straight to my door with a message that was handwritten and for me only. Not only that, the stationary and stamps and envelopes were as telling about a person and their land as was the letters themselves.

So while this isn't a letter (yet), these photos are for you, Jules.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

May Daze

I got my first fiction rejection letter!

Maybe I need to redefine my definition of babe after my hangout with Maria. I love that chica. She's just so easy-going and honest.

Me: She's a babe! (Random chit chat about a bike babe.) She's one of those who can ride in heels!

Maria: Psssh! That's nothing. Show me a person who can play baseball in heels!

Fair enough. Well said, Maria. Heels or no heels, she's one of the best!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

I ride, therefore I am

Yes, yes, y'all! It's Bike Month in Toronto, and there is a whole whack of goodness cruising around until June 30th.

First, let me mention a couple good organizations and events that are happening throughout the month. Start off by checking out the Toronto Cyclists Union at the Bicycle Service Station at Union Station. You can get free air and safety checks as well as all-you-need-to-know cycling information.

There's also a bunch of urban fruit harvesting events with Not Far from the Tree, which organizes a residential fruit-picking program. Bike around, pick fruit that would otherwise go to waste, share with others, enjoy!

Community Bicycle Network is holding a number of workshops for beginners and those ready to tackle more advanced projects, like wheel building.

The Igor Kenk graphic exhibition is going on at Type Books until the June 30th.

As for individual events going on this week, check it:

Bluffs, Beers and Pizza in the Park - Friday, June 4, 6:30 departure Riverdale Park East, just north of Broadview and Gerrard East
Go for a ride to the Scarborough Bluffs and scarf pizza, guzzle beer with other hot cyclists while enjoying the romantic sunset.

Also on Friday from 6:30 until 8:30 pm is Diverse Bicycle City at the Parkdale Community Centre (75 Lansdowne Ave). The new Cyclists Handbook will be launched and there'll be lots of exhibits, snacks and intercultural performances.

I've seen a number of souped up bikes, but Donald Quan's Bikrophone is by far the most melodic. It'll be on display in the lobby of 401 Richmond St. I'll definitely be going to gawk at it. Quan will also be performing live on Thursday, June 17th.

The Bike Joint is hosting a Family Treasure Hunt on Sunday. Starting at noon, you can round up the kiddies and head to 290A Harbord St. to scour the city for clues and learn about local history. Yeah!

And finally on Sunday, June 6th, head to Bike Sauce! It's Toronto's newest DIY bike repair shop. They're organizing a joy ride to the Leslie Spit and a picnic by the lighthouse! Now, THAT's a Sunday!

Happy cycling this week! Please don't rain...

Sunday, May 30, 2010

What is going on?

The last little while has been a bit crazy, to say the least. I'm not that superstitious usually, but the events that unfolded in the last 48 hours have me freaked out.

First of all, let me say that it was a full moon on Friday. Weird shit happens during a full moon. Maybe it's myth, maybe it's lore, but a series of events that occurred on Friday and leading up to Friday have left me well spooked. Without going into too much detail, there were just some unpleasant reminders of the past popping up, a couple of high-profile deaths as well as a shooting in my neighbourhood. Yes, a freakin' shooting. I'm still majorly wigged out by all that's transpired.

As far as I know, the victim is going to be fine, but still. The whole feeling is unsettling.

The other thing I wanted to mention is I'm lucky. At the end of the day, I've surrounded myself with good people who are supportive, amazing, talented, creative, enthusiastic and genuine.

This was reinforced when I went back to Edmonton for a visit. Not only do I have good peeps here, I have good peeps there. Despite the problems I have with Edmonton, I'm so blessed to still have incredible friends there. So, so, so blessed. So, thanks.

Plain and simple...thanks.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Dear Diary

There was an interesting piece in the Globe and Mail this weekend about the demise of diary-writing in this age of Twitter and blogging.

I often talk about letters, and how they are an absolutely lovely medium for communication, but sadly, no one does it anymore. Journals and diaries are along the same lines -- even if they don't provide communication between individuals, they provide an outlet for emotions, experiences and observations that are private as well as a treasure chest of thought. To an extent, blogs offer a similar purpose, but the difference lies in the audience. Blogs are meant to be read by the public, friends and strangers alike. Diaries are for one set of eyes only. I'd say there's less hesitation nowadays to air grievances, fears and hopes publicly, but when you do, it's actually less honest.

In the article, Irving Finkel, curator at the British Museum and passionate diary collector puts it perfectly:

"Yes, there are blogs everywhere, but the blog is orientated toward everybody in the world reading it. Diaries are truthful, never corrupt, because there's no agenda. There's only one person reading."

Despite the popularity of revealing what is supposedly our innermost thoughts, I think people are still fascinated with secrets (or the illusion of secrets). Look at the popularity of Post Secret. Diaries are traditional keepers of secrets. If you can't tell your secret to anyone, you can always trust your diary.

It's a shame that diaries are going the same way as letters and handwriting. I guess as long as there are angst-y teenagers, there will still be a few diaries kicking around. Somehow Anne Frank's Blog doesn't have that same ring as Anne Frank's Diary.

Sunday, May 9, 2010


I am over TCAFfeinated! The Toronto Comic Arts Festival was this weekend at the Toronto Reference Library, and it was fun, fun, fun! I volunteered at the Broken Pencil table and got to people-watch and drool over all the amazing artwork and talent there. TCAF is one of the best literary arts festivals in the country, and this year it delivered with Daniel Clowes (eeee!!!!), Jim Woodring (eeee!!!!), James Sturn (eeee!!!!) and the Igor Kenk graphic novel not to mention a whole shit tonne of other amazing and talented local artists like Jeff Garcia, Koyama Press, Michael DeForge, Jesjit Gill and Free Drawings, Ryan Dodgson, Selena Wong, Wowee Zonk and so, so, so much more.

Today I feel as if I have a "social hangover." It was packed with so much good stuff and wonderful friends, it was overwhelming. Not to mention, I got an East Coast injection when I ran into Halifax pals, Colleen MacIsaac of Little Foible and Laura Kenins!

Lindsay at the Broken Pencil table

Some goodies I picked up

TCAF made me realize how much I love small presses and independent publishing. There's something really lovely about limited runs of books and prints of zines. It's more about producing art than business.

Oh, yeah, and the other thing that made my weekend rule? I ended up winning a good chunk of change at Bingo. Yep, Bingo. Sara's birthday party + Delta bingo = me supporting TCAF artists and getting lots of goodies to boot! Yeah!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


"Those three things -- autonomy, complexity, and a connection between effort and reward -- are, most people agree, the three qualities that work has to have if it is to be satisfying...Work that fulfills those three criteria is meaningful."
-Malcolm Gladwell

"Sometimes it's better to fold than to keep on playing, even with a flush of hearts."
-Hooded Fang

"How do you get God to laugh? Tell him your plans."
-John Cleese

"Sometimes in life you just have to suffer."

*Thanks, Dad. I guess it is what it is.*

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Like the perfume of a city

I finally saw Helvetica. Aside from loving all the typography and graphic design talk, I loved all the shots of Germany and Switzerland and Europe injected throughout the documentary.

Anyway, it's a been a "words" kind of day for me as I spent most of it reading, writing and mulling things over. Oh, and I got this amazing typewriter. I stumbled upon a street sale near Trinity Bellwoods. I've been looking for a typewriter for months and the price was reasonable, so I bought it.

It comes with a stylish case. Half of the zipper is broken, but I still felt like a lawyer carrying it around.

18 is my favourite number

Oh, and I finished a kite today!

Here are some other random shots of slide transparencies I picked up when I was in Montreal a few months ago.
Themes de vie!