Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Perhaps it is the season.
Perhaps I am becoming more observant.
Perhaps humanity is just becoming cooler.
Whatever it was, this is the convergence of beauty that I witnessed today on the subway.
A man walked on the car with 2 young daughters. Two people got up to move to allow the children a seat with their father.
A elderly man walked on the car, which was packed. He was having difficulty standing and had no where to hold on. A woman sitting about four feet away had a procession of people try to get his attention to offer him her seat.
An old woman entered the train, and then another young woman with a collection of packages. People got up promptly to give them seats.

The only explanation I have is that
I enjoy when kindness is just...present. Not a revolutionary act that we are suprised about, but something that seems as normal as breathing.

Monday, December 20, 2010

ain't no sunshine.

I came across this today.........You may have already been fortunate enough to hear this version of Bill Wither's "Aint No Sunshine". But if not, its definetly worth checking out. This is one of my favourite Bill Wither's songs, second, for me, only to "Grandma's Hands"......Anyways, I like this arrangement by Selah Sue and Ronny Mosuse. Check it out: "Ain't No Sunshine"

Friday, November 26, 2010

chicago blues

some music is so powerful it feels as though the whole room is electric.
Just one of the many awesome things about music and seeing live performances.
I saw this woman perform earlier this year in Chicago at the Buddy Guy's Blues Club.
She has this voice.....that literally.....fills the room. She was such a huge presence on stage, that I would of sworn that she was about ten feet tall. I was suprised when she walked by us after the show, and realized she was actually not very tall at all. :) 

At any rate, shes a great performer and storyteller, and getting to enjoy her show in Buddy Guys club, was an amazing experience in itself.

Check her out: Sharon Lewis

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween!
Hope wherever this day takes you, it is an enjoyable one :)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Finding the truth....a speech by John Legend

An interesting lecture given by John Legend at the 2009 University of Pennsylvania convocation. Worth a viewing, and interesting food for thought.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

mother nature reminds us

It was a warm August evening. Before the storm hit, earlier in the evening, as I got into the car, I could feel a warm breeze, the sky was a strange colour and it all felt eerily familiar. I ignored the familiar feeling, turned off my senses and got into my car. As I was driving west across the city, headed home, I looked into my rear-view mirror. The view was bright. When I looked ahead, the sky was turning blue and black, and sheet lightening was threatening to strike. There was no rain. But you could clearly tell it was coming. I pulled into my driveway, and drove into my buildings parking lot. I got to the elevator, just as the lights started to flicker. Not an encouraging event when one is entering an elevator. By the time I reached my floor, the water was pelleting the window so hard you couldn't see out. It reminded me of the way the water pushes against your windshield when you go through a car wash. The storm went on for hours, or it felt like it anyway. It wasn't until the eleven o'clock news that I got a sense of the damage it had done.

Reports that I read, say multiple tornados touched down in this Southern Ontario storm. The storm was reminiscent of the Wizard of Oz, with swirling debris, trees uprooted, cars turned over, houses completely destroyed and thousands affected by power outages. Even more tragic was the loss of one young life, a little boy attending a summer camp. In the city, we were hit by the strong rain, and some lost power. However, north of Toronto, there were houses which have since had to be bulldozed because this storm caused so much damage in literally under five minutes. This all felt very familiar.

When I was 10, a Tornado (or series of tornadoes) hit the town where I grew up. This set of tornado storms reminded me of that day.That set of storms made the top ten list of Ontario's worst ever storms. I guess it stands to reason - eight people died in the numerous tornadoes that touched down in those few hours. Houses were destroyed and debris was scattered for literally kilometres. The devastation left by that storm was sudden and fierce.

That day, my father, on his way home for work was stopped by a police roadblock, about 10 minutes from where we lived. It was before cell phones, so he was tied up in knots worrying about our safety. I can only imagine what he felt as he could see the damage of the storm, but had no way to reach out to my mother and I.

At the time, I didn't feel a sense of urgency, I stood out on the deck of my parents house and watched as the sky ominously turned black. There was no rain. It was warm and the energy felt uneasy, but I don't remember being scared. My mother sat at the kitchen table nervously smoking. A few minutes later we left so my mom could take me to soccer practice. Practice that day ended up being cancelled. By the time we got home my father was now home and nervous because he was unsure where we were. What I didn't know at the time was that the reason for the roadblock was because an elderly lady in my community, who owned a house on a big hill, and was host to at least a couple dozen cats, had been killed in the storm. The tornado had ripped her house apart and had spread it across a number of farmers fields. It was tragic. it was the reason for the road block my dad had passed by on his way home. I can only imagine the emotions that must have captured him as he raced to our house to see if we were ok, only to find us gone when he returned home.

I remember the devastation of that storm and the scars it left on my community.
It reminds me of how tenuous and fragile life is. Sometimes I think we get lulled into this belief that everything is safe and that we are unaffected by these types of disasters, but then Mother Nature reminds us ...........who is really in control.

Friday, July 23, 2010

just a walk

in the absence of words, and some missing mojo, I present some beauty observed here and there.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Hockey is our national pride..

It is, our game, and we are fiercely proud of it. There are not many things that unite this country, but in my opinion, hockey is one of them.

This year, Canada won gold in both women's and men's hockey.It came down to familiar rivals USA and Canada for both events.

My friends and I watched the men's game in a small bar in downtown Toronto. What an intense game. The Americans tied up the game less than a minute before the end of the 3rd period, forcing an overtime. When Sydney Crosby scored the winning goal in overtime, all you could hear was the screaming. People in the bar leapt to their feet and hugged total strangers. When the medals were awarded, the whole bar sang the national anthem back to the screen.

What was just as awesome was the national pride that poured out into the streets all over Canada. Total strangers high fiving, cheering, united in success for our athletes. The number of Canadian flags I saw yesterday was more than I have ever seen on Canada Day. My favourite still was the guy I saw driving his mini van down Yonge street, horn blaring, and a Canadian flag tied to a hockey stick waving out of the window. Brilliant!

Way to go Team Canada, you did us proud !!!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The weekend of parking absurdities

I had a morning appointment with a friend and like usual I was running late, so I drove. I parked on the street in trendy borough swimming with yuppies and upscale stores. For the most part, I don't venture here, and prefer not to drive in this area, particularly on the weekends, because there are too many people and parking is always expensive and a hassle.

Turns out, if you park on the street here, there is a 3 hour limit. I don't know if its just the neighborhood or this could be a city by-law, I don't know, but its a pain having to run back to the meter to feed another $2 a hour into the machine. When I arrived, I paid for the maximum time of 3 hours. When I returned, 3 hours and 5 minutes after I paid, I arrived to find a bright yellow ticket on my car. The ticket was issued exactly five minutes after my parking stub expired. Oh Crap.

I go to dinner in the same neighbourhood. You'd think I would have learned.
This time, I'm even that more deviant. I park 30 minutes past the meter. Daring, I know. Who would think that I would get 2 tickets in 2 days? Clearly, not me.

I am rewarded with another bright yellow ticket. Double Crap.

So here's the kicker....each of these tickets came with a $30 bill. Which when you do the math on each ticket, works out to 15 times what I paid for one hour of parking.
Are you kidding me?

Am I the only one who thinks this is absurd?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A random note about lettuce.

Lettuce is one of those vegetables, I struggle to appreciate. I'm sure it has value, its green so that means its got nutrients.... right? didn't we learn about that in grade six science?

The thing with lettuce, is its sort of under the radar in terms of taste. There really is not alot of
it. And then theres the texture. Its almost anti-climactic. It can be crunchy, but under the wrong conditions, it goes soggy. I don't like soggy vegetables. I know, its weird. Not to say I don't like cooked vegetables, but I don't like it when a vegetable is meant to remain crisp, becomes soggy and gross.

Let me explain.

Lettuce for example, is one of those vegetables that needs to be crisp. When heat is applied to it, it acquires this rather disgusting, slimy texture. It becomes limp and lazy, you can see through it. When you dare to bite into it, when it is in this undesirable state, its anti-climactic, it has no crunch, it sort of just slides out of whatever you are eating. Gross.

Nachos are the perfect example of a dish to avoid using lettuce. You take chips, cover them with cheese, and assorted other things, heat them up, and voila...crunchy food.... for the most part. Add lettuce to this mixture and you have these globs of green sliding all over the place. Just wrong.....(and as a side note...does anyone know why people use shredded lettuce on nachos? I don't get it, and its one of my biggest pet peeves....again, weird, I know.)

The ironic example, perhaps an exception to my rule, is lettuce and chicken in a salad. If the chicken is not too hot when you add it to the salad, it doesn't have the opportunity to change the crispness of the lettuce. For some reason it doesn't always go soggy. Maybe its the dressing that cools it down, who knows the physics of it, I was an arts major...... I just know it doesn't always go gross.

When I was travelling this fall, I tried a Cobb Salad. I eat a lot of salad but usually not with lettuce. It is a rare occassion when I try a lettuce salad with some sort of hot item in it, namely meat. But I tried this one and I liked it. For the uninitiated, a Cobb salad, has romaine lettuce, hard boiled eggs chopped up, pieces of bacon, pieces of chicken, avocado, tomato, chives, chunks of blue cheese, covered in a dressing of olive oil, balsamic vinegar and dijon mustard. (I know this only because I looked it up after I got home, and have spent the last few months experimenting with my own versions of it.) I'm guessing this salad is not very good for you, given the amount of protein and fat, but its yummy just the same. And my discovery of this dish, has made me a hypocrite to my own code on lettuce. Celebrate my food hypocrisy and try this one, its really good.