Thursday, June 20, 2013

Sign of the Times

The printed word has caught my eye several times in the last week.  Here's a sample:

I love this idea.  A grassroots strategy to get feedback about our neighbourhood.  However, the method by which to relay this information is extremely limited.  The website is abysmal and no one responds to any comments posted.  Instead, we're supposed to comment through Twitter. 

Well, what about those people like me who are only on Twitter to follow and have never posted a single tweet?  I'm a taker, not a giver when it comes to 140 character thoughts.  They don't even have a Twitter account, just simply a hashtag #walkthedelta.

I think I might just print directly on these posters with a Sharpie, where my answer is surely to be thrown away.  Mostly, "I would walk the Delta, but...there are no trees, no green space, no planters.  It's a concrete expanse."  Truthfully, I do walk the Delta and have grown up around here, but it could certainly be visually improved a great deal.  I love this concept, but it needs to be implemented in a more effective way.

Well, this is just awesome.  Some cheeky business owner knows the nature of his profession and that time will indeed tell if his customers come to regret this tattoo.  My money is on yes.

This frustrates me so much.  Both the blatant grammatical error, as well as the massive size of it is so embarrassing.  If you're going to make a mistake, it's best that it's small enough to be overlooked.  You know, like when I make a spelling mistake on this blog, and it is only picked up by two or three readers.  A silver lining, if I've ever seen one. 

The other thought I have whenever I see such insane errors in newspapers or on signage, is that there were surely at least 6-8 people who saw this before it showed up on my doorstep, so why did no one bring up the gaffe?  I understand that it is not the publisher's responsibility, but if I were them, I would have made a quick call to the business, as a courtesy.  Or who is their graphic person?  Did they not notice the error?  It's so unfortunate.

This makes me happy.  In the location that previously housed Tower Pizza in my neighbourhood, I am pleased to learn that this meatball shop will be soon opening.  And free delivery!  Hurray
South Sherman.

This was just an unexpected part of Art Crawl on James Street North last week.  A massive protest and parade, overseen and protected by....the police made its way through the gallerinas and hipsters.  It's fairly timely since there was a civilian shooting death a few weeks ago that has not been fully explained, but it was a jarring sight.

Potato Head

It is officially bicycle season.  My trusty $15 garage sale bike continues to be amazing for tooling around, visiting the library, Ottawa Street, local friends and warranting my "Share the Road" bumper sticker.

The other evening I made my poorest bike decision to date.  I had dinner plans with friends a few blocks away and had committed to bringing potatoes.  I made these amazing scalloped potatoes and took them out of the over just as I was about to leave.  I decided to place piping hot potatoes into my bike basket, which was a) too small and b) too easily covered in dripping Gruyere.

It was the most stressful 10 minutes as I cringed at every bump in the road and watched the potatoes lurch out of the pan right before my eyes.  Then, when I arrived at my destination, I couldn't extract them from the basket.  In the end, they still tasted delicious, but not the best use of my brain.

Friday, June 14, 2013


I've also been a person who loves mid-day naps and I've recently learned that there are three types:

1. Planned napping - taking a nap when you know you'll be up later that night

2. Emergency napping - when you just can't keep your eyes open anymore

3. Habitual napping - when you take the same nap each day

I've been a fan of all three, but my favourite is the habitual nap.  Working from home has many benefits, chief among them, the ability to plan a nap into my day.  I get into a little routine that recently has included mashed avocado and Dijon on toast while watching an old Seinfeld or Flight Of The Conchords episode, followed by the most delightful couch nap.

I fear that if I ever leave this job and have to return to the restraints of typical employment, I will be severely disadvantaged.  I will need to negotiate daily naps into my contract.

I've always had the ability to nap almost anywhere:

Once I started looking, it was surprising how many pictures I have of myself sleeping.  Weird.
I will always remember fondly a little "trick" I used to pull when I was really small, around 5 - 8 years old.  When my family would be driving home from somewhere late at night, I would fall asleep and usually awake right when we pulled into the driveway.  But I would keep my eyes closed and pretend to still be asleep so that my Dad would carry me into the house.  I'm sure he was totally on to me, but it was one of my favourite things.

Gala Gal

The Art Gallery of Hamilton annual gala is always one of my favourite events of the year.  I attend the cocktail part through CLiC, the young professional AGH group and then we join the "grown-ups" for the dance portion.  It's always a great opportunity to mingle with the movers and shakers in Hamilton (I'm using that phrase in the event that my friend Kevin reads it), dress up, get hair and make-up done and have a fun night out.

I have attended the last three years.




Inevitably, the night ends up at Embassy, where my gown gets booze spilled on it and my hair falls down as I lose a dance-off with a drag queen.  I like an evening with a bit of variety.  I also look forward to when I am no longer a "young" professional and get to/have to go to the formal dinner portion of the event and bid on auction items that are not a wine tour.


Spring Shots

This is how my spring has shaped up so far.

I'm not sure what I was thinking in purchasing all this fresh produce for one small girl.  Needless to say, most of it didn't make it.  Well, I mean, it made it to the green bin.
I love to see creativity like this (made with a garden hose) and especially when it's downtown.  How can you not be happy when you see this?
Morbid Curiosity
It took me at least ten minutes of intense, yet at-a-distance, staring to determine that this is a bird's head.  Dead head.  Then there was another ten minutes of wondering what had happened to the body.
Illegal Exercise
A friend and I decided to "start doing the Wentworth stairs three times a week! YAY!"  This lasted for exactly two days, and one of these times we veered a little off the beaten track and ended up hopping a train like a hobo.  We were ultimately chastised by a strict neighbour.
Well, isn't that lovely?
We were too late.  This amazing black/bronze hutch unit was sold for a mere $13 dollars!  I couldn't believe it.  I tried everything - offered her scads of money and first born children (not mine, my friend's) but it was not to be.  She was loyal to the original purchaser.  It's probably for the best since I have exactly zero places to put it in my house.  But, still, so beautiful.
There is nothing like balloons to lift spirits and celebrate birthdays, especially on an dreary day.  Balloons are the #2 thing that people can carry down the street that makes me happy.  The #1 thing is a bouquet of flowers being carried by a man.  Beam.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Personal Evaluations

Any questions?

Personal evaluation time is always interesting. Honesty, humility and hard work are all put to the test. I am a big fan of making goals for myself and checking items off the list. Personal goals are a lot more entertaining than work ones. I have been making resolutions, goals and monthly To Do lists for years. Here is a sample of some of the more ridiculous:

- go horseback riding
- don't lock keys in car this year
- delete ___crush's name from 2001 inserted here___ voicemail on my cell. Finally!
- learn how to knit
- grow my nails
- be more discreet at work
- be more caring to others
- do 25 sit-ups each day
- join Scrabble club
- be on TV
- cut out mayonnaise
- figure out how the heck to play backgammon
- become ambidextrous
- try on a blond wig to see how I'd look
- ride a skateboard
- complete a Rubik's Cube
- pick up dropped change

As far as a personal evaluation goes for these items, I've been mildly successful with some and downright dismal with others.

I still have decades to achieve these, right?

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Hess Ho

Hess Village.  For any Hamiltonian who has lived their young and stupid years here, this block of bars, clubs and patios has been the scene of many a messy night.

One club in particular, Koi, was my local haunt and even spawned a nickname for my group of dancing friends - the aptly and alliteratively named Koi Krew.  There was a period where we headed to Koi at any opportunity to dance, drink and strut around until we stumbled out for street meat and to watch the inevitable street fights that followed.

I haven't been to Hess Village after dark for a long time, instead preferring to take advantage of their patio collection on summer afternoons and happy hours.  There are fewer eighteen year old idiots learning how to drink and forgetting how to be useful members of society.  I fully recognize that I was once that idiot, although never at eighteen, and that I will one day look at people my current age and lambast them for being dumb thirty year olds who think they know everything.  So it goes.

Anyway, I was driving down Hess Street the other day and saw this advertisement on a bar that seems to be eternally under construction:

Is this not the saddest example of marketing you've ever seen?  Who decided this was a good image to promote their establishment?  It's like you have drunk goggles on when looking at it.  This girl looks like she had too many Singapore Slings and is waiting for her more sober friends to help her stumble home.  She may or may not have just thrown up.  To dudes looking to seal a deal by 2am, this girl is the definition of "low hanging fruit".  She looks about one well placed, "Hey girl" away from going home with a mistake.

Dear Ora (also - terrible bar name): with this marketing strategy, you will be attracting the worst of the drunken worst.  Seriously, fire whoever advised this and take it down immediately.  Put up literally ANY other image.  You should be embarrassed.

Sure, some of us have been this girl at one point or another, but I guarantee none of us would want photographic evidence of it.  To my friends in particular, I thank you for your continued respect of the privacy agreement we have in place regarding such images that may exist.