Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Love This

"No feeling is final."
Encouraging in low times, but saddening in high times. Ah well, such is life.
These words have stuck in my head all day.

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Autumn Fridge

It's that time again - when I tire of seeing the same memories on my fridge and need to change it up a bit.

Here is the old Summer Fridge:

And here is the new Autumn Fridge:

It seems to indicate that I need one of two things: a larger fridge or a smaller ego.

In the meantime, this fridge edition highlights several photos of my friend Naomi's wedding to my dodgeball teammate Tim, Melebrations in Chicago and New York, random trips west and dancing at an 80s party.  Each one of these pictures make me smile and reminds me of a wicked good time.  Do you have to be from Boston to say "wicked good"?

What's Best?

 I recently started reading Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, which is one of the most influential books of the 20th century, according to Indigo.  This is obviously a tactic to get us to purchase old books - ha!  My library card and I showed them.

So far, it's the tale of the writer and his son taking a cross-country motorcycle trip and his observations and wisdom throughout the ride.  I'm only as far as the fifth chapter, but this nugget really stood out to me:

"'What's new?' is an interesting and broadening eternal question, but one which, if pursued exclusively, results only in an endless parade of trivia and fashion, the silt of tomorrow. I would like, instead, to be concerned with the question "What is best?", a question which cuts deeply rather than broadly, a question whose answers tend to move the silt downstream."

I really love this.  As normal, functioning adults in society, we likely ask the "What's new?" question several times a week as a foray into idle chit chat or to catch up.  But I love the idea of cutting through that all to get to the gist by asking "What's best?"

Isn't that a better way to make people think about what really is good that is going on in their lives and to evaluate?  For me, right now on a Monday morning, this is what's best:

- My lunch - a bacon and spincach quiche I made from scratch
- Not running out of gas or suffering any car failure on the trip to and from Ottawa this past weekend
- Several friend dates scheduled for this week with dear people I haven't seen in a while
- The adrenaline high I get from dodgeball, even if we lose

What's best with you?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


Summer is officially over.  I know this because I have started wearing socks to bed (sexy!) and I turned the heat dial in my car to the red part.  However, I have not turned my furnace on yet and, handy landlord tip from me to you: it is not legally required to do so until October 15.

I actually really enjoy autumn, and it's not just because the outfit options are the best of the year.  First, the activities - where every day spent outside is considered a valuable treat and not just another sweltering day like every one that month.  Late afternoon sunshine in October hitting the vibrant leaves is one version of heaven on earth.

Second, the holidays - two amazing days that focus on food and candy without the stresses of gifts.  As I write this, I am eating candy corn and, I'll admit, I've eaten so much that I feel some gut rot or a cavity coming on.  But, with some self-control, particularly on November 1st, the food is the most spectacular part of this season.  Root vegetables are so much more forgiving and it's not a race against the clock to use them up, like the high maintenance summer berries.

I can't remember where I was going with this post - a likely sympton of candy cornitis - but in any event I'm going to turn it around and look back fondly on the summer past.  For me, it was a phenomenal one. The fact that each thing I look back on was the best of its kind is something that I am most grateful for in my life.  My life is forever improving. 

It was August before I even realized that I had amassed a collection of "Summer Lap" shots - which sounds perverted, but it's not.  It is simply a view of the summer from my perspective.  Lap it up:

Flight to Banff, Alberta - Always a treat to get the emergency exit seat.  And yes, I'm quite confident in my ability to push open the door and inflate the slide, or whatever.  But I'm even more confident in my ability to get into a sleeping position here, usually a plane impossibility.  (note the light reading about Luka Rocco Magnotta - "The New Face of Evil")

Canada Day post-beach - Enjoying a mojito and key lime pie with my namesake friend on the porch after a stunning day at Crystal Beach (one of the best in the province, although they check your bag for bottles).  I remember feeling so content and happy about the day and the summer ahead.

Blake's trailer - My first trailer experience with great friends, bottled soda called "Spritz Up!", birthday wine for Ryan called "Birthday Cake", and an 80 year old poolside deejay called "DJ Snowbird". And by the end of the weekend, I almost completed the Saturday crossword puzzle - a major feat.

Naomi's Birthday BBQ - You gotta love a wealthy uncle who opens his home to their niece-to-be and her motley crew.  This is where I learned to dive and spent the rest of the time tending to my waterlogged lungs by lounging on cabana chaises reading about Kate Middleton's fashion choices -a pretty sweet afternoon.  One of my favourite things to do is just hang out with so many of my friends together in one place.

Lazy Day - Possibly hungover after Dan and Blake's (Blan's) Christmas in July party, this was one of those perfect days in the middle of a perfect party-filled weekend.  Every night for four days straight was some sort of epic festivity - I could barely keep up.  Which is why I spent the daylight hours refueling by watching Project Runway on the couch.

Jason Mraz concert - This was my first time at the Molson Amphitheatre and it was exactly the scene I had expected - communal, relaxed, smelling of pot, and the perfect way to spend a Sunday night with friends.  Jason Mraz is awesome, albeit pretty hippie-dippie, and it's impossible not to feel like you're experiencing magic and love sitting under the stars listening to him.  This could be because I have strong, positive associations to his music or maybe it was the adjacent aromas. 

Our cottage in Muskoka - the 2nd Annual Little Clam Bam Thank You Ma'am...or something like that.  We keep messing up the name.  This was such a great weekend, with typical cottage stuff - epic Jenga tower, my first introduction to pulled pork sandwiches, Swim Challenge 2012 and an unfortunate fire ban and lots of lazy dock time.  This weekend is definitely one of my favourite traditions of the year.

Melebration Chicago - I remember this moment so vividly (ok, so it was only a month ago, but still...) as I had gotten up before anyone else on our last day and taken a cab to the Lincoln Park neighbourhood to discover something I could connect with in this city.  So far, I had been disappointed, but on this sunny morning of my 31st birthday, I found Chicago's redemption.  I spent the day at the zoo, the conservatory, the beach and the Greenwich Village-esque neighbourhoods, gleefully reading texts, emails and Facebook birthday wishes from loved ones back home.  Perma-smile.

Christie Antique Sale - I love any opportunity to wear my Wellies, especially when it's not cold out.  They seemed to be a pre-requisite for the crowd that day and as we slopped through the mud, it made my incredible mink muff seem even more of a luxurious find.  You heard it here first, I will be the one to bring this forgotten accessory back this winter.  If you don't know what I mean, and are thinking something dirty, this is to what I am referring:

The fur handwarmer thing Jackie O is sporting here. (Never hurts to show Jackie O when trying to resurrect a lost fashion trend.)  Mine has a wristlet and a handy cell phone hidden pocket.

So, that was a snapshot of my summer.  Sorry, a lapshot.  Nope, strike that.  It sounds bad.

Onto autumn!!