This morning I was rudely torn out of a warm bed and about 5 layers of sleep by my alarm clock.
To add insult to injury, I was in the middle of a very beautiful, complex and detailed dream.
Pathetically, subsequent analysis of the dream reveals only that I've clearly been spending far too much time on the interwebs reading blogs.
I was in Paris. Having been invited there by the recently relocated Jordan Ferney to stay with her family at their new apartment. In the dream, her husband (in this case apparently her husband was being played by John from Kitka) was giving me a tour and taking me around to all these amazing used/vintage shops. He kept finding the most incredible things, including a beautiful multicoloured silk dress that he said his wife would adore. I was just starting to explore a bookstore stacked to the vaulted ceiling with gorgeous leather-bound volumes when this unholy beeping racket started up outside.
It took me at least a minute to rouse myself, locate my alarm and slap it back into silence.
I wonder if it's snowing in Paris.
The specific dates always change, but the basic assignment goes something like this: Beginning Thursday, October 21, 2010, do a design operation that you are capable of repeating every day. Do it every day between today and up to and including Friday, January 28, 2011, the last day of the project, by which time you will have done the operation one hundred times." ~ Michael Bierut via kottke
I love this idea. I think it's perfect: elegantly simple, but incredibly challenging. Challenging to come up with an interesting idea. Challenging to do it for 100 days.
Now I'm wracking my brain to try to come up with some inspiration.
Edited to add:
Done and done: http://thedailyfortunecookie.blogspot.com/
I debated trying to come up with a cocktail-a-day but I'm really hoping Jen decides to do that one since she's the pro.
There's certainly plenty of evidence that all the chemicals we slather on our bodies (while they smell wonderful) are probably not that great for us and at a minium disrupt our body's normal balance of beneficial oils and bacteria. However, ultimately, I decided to ditch the shampoo and conditioner because I'm cheap. And bored.
I decided to use the popular baking soda and vinegar "no poo" technique (discussed here) to get started. At first I used it every day, then every second day and now every third day. Having short hair has definitely made this quicker/easier I'm sure but plenty of longer-haired people claim it works for them too.
It's been a few weeks now and I can honestly say that my hair feels and looks great. So far none of my fellow cubicle dwellers has mentioned any hinky odours or greasiness eminating from my area. I even forced the husband to sniff my head (aside: poor guy I know, but I like to remind him that he knew I was weird when he married me. I let my freak flag fly freely and he still proposed so it was informed consent the whole way) and he couldn't even smell the vinegar odour that some people notice.
So ya, I'd call this experiment a success. Next up: barefoot running. Well, after all the snow melts anyway.
Lately she's been fighting like a rapid badger to get out of our arms as we carry her to-and-from the car across the slippery, uneven winter ground.
No longer content to be portable. She wants to walk everywhere. With small, shuffling, cautious steps. Arms out to the sides for balance. Loudly demanding a helping hand when a challenge arises. A big step. A patch of ice. Deeper snow. Giggling and chatting the whole time.
The other day it was warm enough for the perpetual ice on our entrance walkway to have melted (just a tease, it's back). She would have happily walked up and down for hours. And, naturally, as her geeky-proud parents we had to capture the moment. We laughed at ourselves. At our willing embrace of yet another parental cliche.
We laughed even harder when we noticed the neighbours enjoying the parental-paparazzi spectacle from their living room window.
And later, looking at the photos, embracing one more cliche by realizing it's incredibly wonderful. The uncomplicated joy that a happy child can elicit in others.
We were introduced to Pearl by friends-of-friends who met our daughter and promptly declared her to be Pearl incarnate. And it's true. Except, thankfully, our daughter doesn't have quite that, um, detailed a vocabulary. Yet.
But she does do a nice belly-chuckle everytime we say "I WANT MY MONEY!"
Starving Artist Ink
you are the river
le dans la
What Possessed Me
Joshua Tree Update
This house in PEI
tiny.k is back!
mentor and mentee (is that even a word?)
Happy thoughts. Happy thoughts.
Everything is sepia today.
I managed to get out for a run and not break my ass on the wonderful thaw-and-freeze pathways.
The regular hits of endorphins and mega-doses of Vitamin D (in pill form sadly) seem to be helping me avoid falling to my knees in despair over the total lack of natural colour in the world right now. A February-in-Ottawa first!
Now excuse me while I go and troll MLS looking for cheap real estate in places with 24-7-365 green trees. Vitamin D can only do so much.
My mother married him when I was about 2. We're both August Virgos and, to make matters even more astrologically-complex, Horses. It would be putting it mildly to say that many times when I was growing up, we butted heads. Not literally but definitely mentally. And often. And loudly. In my late teens, I didn't speak with him for over a year after my parents divorced.
He is, without an exaggerating, one of the most intelligent people I have ever known (despite his frequent bragging that he tested not once, but twice as "educate-ably retarded" on IQ tests as a child). He speaks at least 5 languages fluently (his native German, English, French, Dutch, Spanish, some Arabic, etc.). He can easily talk to field experts about ancient Muslim mystics, quantum string theory and techniques for making lemon sorbet.
He is also hands-down the most ethical and least hypocritical person I know. He's incredibly generous and kind. He adores my daughter. And, despite our previous history of frequent and fervent animosity, I admire and respect him in a way that I reserve for very few people.
But, he's a touch Asperger's on the whole social-interaction thing. He's good if you're talking about something or doing something he understands but if you venture away from that realm then he'll throw out all sorts of oddness. He also likes to feed people. A lot. He's obsessed. The first time my husband ever met him, we were having dinner at my Dad's house. When my husband had finished eating, my father looked at him, declared that there was no way he could be full and started attempting to force feed him more chicken from his own plate. Despite all of my poor husband's protests and entreaties from my brothers that he should stop.
So ya, basically, he's freaky-smart, socially-maladjusted and German. It's a killer combo.
So, since by now you're really wanting to know where this story is going, yesterday we dropped into Chapters to have a look around and let the kid beat on their toys [weird aside: apparently the kids section of our Chapters is the hot place for teens on Valentines dates to hang out. Seriously, there were like 3 couples just hanging out by the toys and potty-training books. What the hell is up with that? At that age I wanted nowhere near small snotty children if I wasn't being paid in cold hard cash. Actually, not much has changed, but I digress...]. Anyway, I grabbed a couple of books I'm hoping to find time to read in the next year and went to get in line to pay.
The girl (age maybe 18-19) at the register noticed one of the books I was buying and proceeded to go on a 10 minute monologue/rant/diatribe/ode-to-oversharing. All about how seeing this book gave her flashbacks to Grade 6 when she'd read it as part of an avalanche of books that she'd had to read in this advanced English class she was in and then when she got to grade 12 she was in a regular class and the teacher gave them a list of books that they'd be reading and told them that if they'd been in advanced English then they probably would have read most of them already but they'd have to read them again and do 12 page reports on them and then she had to pick an author to read and do a bigger project on and she'd picked de Sade and was a bit shocked to learn that he'd earned that reputation for being a bit of a perv and she'd actually had trouble reading all of the books she was supposed to read for this report because she'd read like 2 pages and then need to take a break.
She was sweet but we nodded, smiled and backed away slowly.
As soon as we'd made our escape out the door, my husband looked at me and said "I think we just met the teen girl version of your Dad". And he was very very right.
Source: The Idler - Idle Parent
Had a really lovely hike in Gatineau with a friend and his son on Sunday.
We took snowshoeing trail #74 from Lac Philippe to the Renaud Cabin (great directions here). It was about an hour each way (it was a well packed-down trail so walking was easy) and we had a nice picnic break by the fire at the cabin. Hot chocolate, cheese, apples and crackers really hit the spot.
Using the snowshoe trails (and parking) is free so this is perfect for anyone wanting a cheap winter activity. Apparently Gatineau also rents showshoes but these aren't really necessary unless there's been a lot of fresh snow.
A word of warning: stay well away from the cross-country ski tracks. If looks could kill, those people would murder anyone who so much as thinks of walking near their pristine run. And those poles they use look pretty pointy so I stay well away from them.
This is his recipe for roast chicken:
"Preheat the oven to 450°F. Rinse the chicken, then dry it very well with paper towels, inside and out. The less it steams, the drier the heat, the better.
Salt and pepper the cavity, then truss the bird. Trussing is not difficult, and if you roast chicken often, it's a good technique to feel comfortable with. When you truss a bird, the wings and legs stay close to the body; the ends of the drumsticks cover the top of the breast and keep it from drying out. Trussing helps the chicken to cook evenly, and it also makes for a more beautiful roasted bird.
Now, salt the chicken—I like to rain the salt over the bird so that it has a nice uniform coating that will result in a crisp, salty, flavorful skin (about 1 tablespoon). When it's cooked, you should still be able to make out the salt baked onto the crisp skin. Season to taste with pepper.
Place the chicken in a sauté pan or roasting pan and, when the oven is up to temperature, put the chicken in the oven. I leave it alone—I don't baste it, I don't add butter; you can if you wish, but I feel this creates steam, which I don't want. Roast it until it's done, 50 to 60 minutes. Remove it from the oven and add the thyme, if using, to the pan. Baste the chicken with the juices and thyme and let it rest for 15 minutes on a cutting board.
Remove the twine. Separate the middle wing joint and eat that immediately. Remove the legs and thighs. I like to take off the backbone and eat one of the oysters, the two succulent morsels of meat embedded here, and give the other to the person I'm cooking with. But I take the chicken butt for myself. I could never understand why my brothers always fought over that triangular tip—until one day I got the crispy, juicy fat myself. These are the cook's rewards. Cut the breast down the middle and serve it on the bone, with one wing joint still attached to each. The preparation is not meant to be superelegant. Slather the meat with fresh butter. Serve with mustard on the side and, if you wish, a simple green salad. You'll start using a knife and fork, but finish with your fingers, because it's so good."
Can I get a "FUCK yes!!"? Or, maybe I'm just a lone weirdo with a roast chicken fetish.
via Debbie Carlos
Well, yesterday went from utterly mundane to bat-shit insane in about 5 minutes.
1) My most popular post to date by far is about a brindle boston terrier.
2) People have found this site by searching for many things that make me laugh, some in an uncomfortable kinda way:
- cussed brute
- i'm not sure if i slept last nast
- license to repair esculators, in ottawa canada
- nasty brute
- nasty yonng women
- short hair porno
- the nasty brute family
- unable to sleep more than 15 minutes when taking neocitron
Welcome everyone! I never thought it would be possible to disappoint so many people in so many different ways.
Ug, I have rarely been so devoid of any desire to write.
I have nothing to talk about. Actually, that's not true. Interesting and amusing things continue to occur but I don't think I have the ability to capture them in words or images. So I just don't bother to try. Pathetic.
The other day, a genuine Canadian rock icon slept in my spare bedroom. True story. Of course, the lame part is that I still haven't actually met him yet. We passed like ships in the night: me going to bed long before rockstars finish their gigs and then getting up to go to work long before brunch. But! Nonetheless! if you come spend the night at my house I will let you sleep on the same Ikea futon on which he crashed. I'm generous like that. Apparently he's a very nice normal person in "real life". Which I adore. Because Canadians, even the legitimately quasi-famous among us, should always be appropriately humble and self-depreciating.
We've gotten out skating a couple of times. One of the wonderful winter things about Ottawa is all the local skating rinks. The park near our house is basically just hosed-down and cleared-off but it's almost always empty (there's a nicer "proper" outdoor rink a couple of blocks away). The other night, the air was a perfect cold with softly falling snow. There was enough of a layer of snow on the ice so the kid had a blast just toddling around the rink in her giant pink michelin-man snowsuit while we skated. She adores the baby swings too. Giggling like mad the higher and faster we push her. She might look like her Poppa but she's all me when there's a chance for an adrenaline rush. We were also cracking up watching her "luge" down the playground slides and onto the snowpacked-ground.
I've been baking and cooking up a storm. Maybe I'm weird this way but I've been so inspired by our dietary restrictions. Cutting out the grains has had both health and food-enjoyment benefits for us. Some people see dietary limits as a huge burden but I've always enjoyed a cooking challenge. Tweaking old recipes and finding new ones that meet the requirements. This weekend I made a killer cheesecake with raspberry coulis and a second successful run at an incredible pumpkin cake. I've also perfected my recipe for meatza - done properly, I promise you'll never go back to a flavourless flour crust again. My new zucchini-instead-of-noodles lasagna is phenomenal. Some time I'll invite you for dinner and you can confirm it. Then you can sleep in my spare bed.
Seriously. Coconut? A "crackable" egg? Steak? How fabulous would these be for my little paleo kid? That very important 18 month half-birthday is just a few weeks away...
Now, if I can just get the bacon sold separately from the pancakes, we'd be all set.
"You are suffering from Barnheart. It’s a dreamer’s disease: a mix of hope, determination, and grit. Specifically targeted at those of us who wish to god we were outside with our flocks, feed bags, or harnesses and instead are sitting in front of a computer screens. When a severe attack hits, it’s all you can do to sit still. The room gets smaller, your mind wanders, and you are overcome with the desire to be tagging cattle ears or feeding pigs instead of taking conference calls. People at the water cooler will stare if you say these things aloud. If this happens, just segue into sports and you’ll be fine."
"Barnheart is a condition that needs smells and touch and crisp air to heal. If you find yourself suffering from such things, make plans to visit an orchard, dairy farm, or pick up that beat guitar. Busy hands will get you on the mend. Small measures, strong convictions, good coffee, and kind dogs will see you through. I am certain of these things." ~ The Happy Homesteader
via Cold Antler Farm
An amazing article well-worth reading. Especially for anyone thinking our healthcare system is not sustainable.
With the kid currently mostly rocking a totally au natural, lightly feathered on the sides, frizzy sleep-induced rooster fro at the back, kindermullet, I'd say that we're somewhere along the lines of gender-conforming-independence-fostering-hipster parents.
Or just two people devoid of hairdressing skillz or inclinations with a child who refuses to keep a clip or elastic in her hair.
I'm glad that's settled. I was feeling so undefined lately.
Today's hairstyle captured by my husband.
And, lest you think that it's a "daddy thing". It looks like that again about ten seconds after I do a wet-comb through it to try to waterdown the appearance of parental hair negligence. She's got some stubborn hair and I'm just not ready to bust out the Dippyity-Do.