Archive for August, 2011

First Thaw/Color Awakens

When I was between the ages of eight and twelve I had an obsession with LL Bean. I wanted to grow up and live in New England and have a dog and a life that required the regular wearing of duck boots. LL Bean’s catalogues appeared frequently in our mailbox due to a mistaken address; not one of my family members had ever ordered anything to merit the subscription. Nonetheless I’d hoard them and pore over them and construct some sort of potentially achievable adult life that included drawstring anoraks and upland slingpacks. This is what kind of kid I was.

FFWD twenty years. My life is not being lived in New England and the twenty year-old faux-Bean duck boots are in Ottawa being worn occasionally by my mother or if one of us has to throw on some quick footwear to go down into the basement.

Recently, I’ve come face-to-face with a small collection of Coldwater Creek 2011 Spring catalogues. The LL Bean fantasies are now flooding back.

Coldwater Creek trumps LL Bean with the descriptions of its wares. So ridiculous are some of these descriptions that the rest of this blog is dedicated to a handful of the best of them:

Soft on soft
Think “mixed media” and gallery works come to mind. But it applies here, too, in a spring scarf. Gauzy-soft knit is overlaid in translucent crepe, mixing both fabrics and florals. The effect, textural and lavish – a terrific pop of Spring to flaunt in February. Imported. Blue (070)

New worlds viewed
Like tiny planets circling the sun, multi-glass beads, halo’d with metal, pause in their elliptical orbits. Be first to discover how nicely they fill a collar’s vee or display themselves on a sweater. Imported.

Natural attraction
They say time stands still when you’re in love. And this watch, braiding together the wide-sky romance of the West with a simple femininity, is easy to fall for. Thin leather strips the color of sandstone, flank a polished stainless steel case. Quartz accuracy.

Iced cocoa
Let this sweater satisfy your deep craving for chocolate.

A shower of gold
Fluttering like a quaking aspen at season’s end, these leaves have all the gilded radiance of the real thing. 50″ chain long enough to double or knot. Gold.

Cross cultural
Though a hint of the folkloric influences these peasant-style shirts – most notably, a gathered neckline and bib placket – they’re grounded with an urban-chic softness. Generously shaped with the flattery of a curving hem.

Beautiful streamers
Fresh as snowmelt, rivulets of color stream across a short-sleeved tee in arcs of sheer and opaque, knit and woven fabrics. Lightly contoured for a curve-aware fit, so it’s a natural for jacket layering. Machine wash.

The inside story
Wayward breezes divulge this shirt’s secret when they flip its hem to reveal a splash of stripes. Other surprises include a half-hidden button placket and roll-option sleeves.

Get creative
Paper-light and soft as a watercolor sketch, this semi-sheer tee is almost an art form. Its wash of pale grey-greens, etched in curling chrysanthemums, adds a splash of interest under jackets and sweaters.

Smart choice
With an IQ – interest quotient – in the genius range, this seersucker plaid jacket has a bright future.

So true
Flattery will get you everywhere with a cowlneck tunic like this.

The best of all worlds
Comfortable as a sweatshirt, substantial as a jacket, soft as a sweater. Fortunately, categorizing this cardigan is not a prerequisite for loving it.

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I have new wheels, crank, rubber, pedals. My bike is probably 8 pounds lighter. Brilliant. It’s my most favourite thing I own, although this has been true of all of my bikes. Scamp, however, is the most special. I don’t need anything but him.



Enroute to Mississauga, only Mimico called for the lens. Even stronger than did the Royal Botanical Gardens one day prior.

Proof of the amphibiousness:


I’ve been winning a lot of races lately. This is from the Toronto Women’s 5K. I placed 1st in my category where I finished 11th out of 340 females:

Last weekend I placed 19th out of 433 females in the 30K Midsummer Night’s Run.
Totamo sugoi!

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Another post from the past.

This one reminds me of a time not too long ago when I was happily officeless. My days were hot and long and carefree, all year ’round. I was cooking up a storm on the regular, marveling in everything about my new locale, and living each day to the fullest as it presented itself to me. A piece of my heart will always exist in Los Angeles.


My life my life my life my life in the sunshine

We all know it’s happening: The Hills is entering its final season. Guilty Plej Alert: I have a relationship with The Hills. LA is a monster of a metropolis and as The Hills entered the world, LA entered my world. Recognising bits and pieces of my new town on a show that is so glammed-up is really quite fun. I’m going to miss all the swooping heli-shots of Runyon Canyon, The ‘bu, Urth Caffe, etc. My fondness exists because I hang at these places too.

The only difference is that I’m older than most of the characters on the show, and that my life is utterly boring in comparison. While on yesterday’s run, I amused myself with thoughts of what would happen if The Hills happened to be about my life. The helicopter would have to continue over the Hollywood sign to the rows of studios behind it. There, it would zoom in on our little gated community. In the beginning of one episode, I’d be hanging out on our limited-space balcony, likely watering my pansies/affectionately squeezing the grapefruit hanging off our tree (checking for doneness). E and I would exchange some boring words about taking out the garbage (which will later be juicily edited), and then there’d be a cut where the next scene would be some swooping bird’s-eye view of the 222 Sun Valley as E rides the bus to work up near the Burbank airport. Emo music would blast as they’d film him pensively thinking about what might be on the lunch menu.


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I wrote this blog a year ago.

It’s of last Summer. So much has happened in a year. The list I made in the first paragraph brings back a lot of memories. One year can be so different from the next.

This Summer has had its fare share of BotS but it has also has brought a lot of joy. I don’t feel the need to namedrop quite as much this year as I did last year (for whatever reason) but if you spent some time with me this Summer and made me laugh, thank you.


My Summer was top-notch.
I really soaked it up and made sure I took in all of my most favourite things as frequently as I could.

Select shout-outs: Halifax & Cape Breton with the ‘Busters; never-long-enough visits from E; Tobermory with A; flaneuring my way about with C; grinding my teeth at Hatch; Idomeneo and all that SOC with S & N; vegan Bachelorette dinners with A & P; endless bike rides to/from work; IMAX suburban life-shutdown; Pride; FIFA with A & M & K; Beaches Jazz Fest and island visits/RATFest with I; weekly Moonbeans with K; Alaska with the Germans; brunches; E’s work visits; my buds R & P leaving on an exciting Indian odyssey… the list of excellence goes on. Oh, and I started a new job.

If each of these memories were a pearl and I were to make a necklace of them, I’d make sure the string was equally as beautiful. The common theme of my Summer – the string that tied all of these disparate memories together – was the constant of running.
W, L & A, you were the string of my Summer.


As the fond memories flourished, naturally there would pop up a few sour moments. C’est la vie, non? So, while relishing the happy, I was also tallying the Bummers of Summer.

Shoelace unties when you’re carrying farmer’s market groc home? Bummer of the Summer. Laptop catches a virus? Bummer of the Summer. Germany loses to Spain? BotS!


BotS (more often than not) was a fitting reaction phrase to nearly each of Summer’s misfortunes and woes. It’s a silly exclamation in that, obviously, it’s a bit of a jingle. When my BotS started adding up, I’d look back to the first BotS I’d had, and, over time, I began rating them. Germany losing to Spain would be a bigger BotS than having to set my groceries down, yet the virus BotS would trump these two. BotS big and small would reveal themselves throughout my Summer, and the more they happened, the more of them I had to rate. Graudually, just as silly as the phrase is, so too became the BotS. Even the BIG BotS. What’s left became the tally and rank. How silly it was that a tally and rank of such things even existed!

Now, it’s Fall. The other week, just before the turn of Autumn, A & P and I were trying to come up with an appropriate phrase to be carryed on. It’s officially Gall of Fall.

So far, the GoF count remains pretty low. Last week, my Windows crashed so I had to take ze laptop in for a warranty-covered repair. I lost my Alaska photos and video. But, c’est la vie.

To be continued…

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Sometimes I write posts and keep them as drafts forever. Later, I remember about these drafts and peruse them.
This one is particularly old; dating back almost a couple of years. Enjoy.

Route 210/What would you do for $20?

On Friday, I Metro’d my way down to Marina Del Rey’s University of Southern California campus to participate in a computer messenger/technology study. The commute South meant transferring between three buses.

I don’t have my driver’s license. I’m teased about this – especially when I go home to Ottawa. In all honesty, I think I’d make a terrible driver. I have a strange fear of movement-outside-of-my-control (if that even is a fear – doctors?). Downhill skiing, downward escalators, and being in a fast car all slightly spook me, for example. It’s not THAT bad, I’ve gone skiing and I (very rarely) take the downward escalator, but there is something going on with this “fear” of mine which makes me very happy to Metro my way through life. I will likely always live in a big city with a good public transport system.

I’d never before taken the 210 South Bay/Galleria. This 45 minute ride was nothing out of the ordinary, yet, it filled me with warmth and happiness. Americans – Angelenos from my perspective – are really quite a different species.


Riveting, non?
Later that night, chances are VERY HIGH that I watched this:

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