Friday, December 23, 2005

more taxi cab wisdom

took a cab today and the driver was talking about wealth in terms of being humble. being the type of person who would have dinner with the president but would go over and speak with the staff afterwards with the same respect. he didn't have a family and was worried about spending new year's eve alone. i hope he finds his sally this new year's eve. it was a short ride but therapeutic. it was good to be out in the land of the living again.

may sugar plum fairies dance in your head this holiday.

Friday, December 16, 2005

artifact found: 4 polish journals

and an old black purse, stuffed in the ceiling in the farthest black corner of the basement, along with an old wine barrel tap. the journals are the black vinyl, lined types with pages and pages of neat writing in polish, smaller pages and envelopes tucked in and the odd newspaper clipping loosely folded between. are they prayers? deep dark family secrets? it's the corner of the basement where the wash basin and washer sit, a boarded up window. dank. we are guessing it was the mother of the house who stashed these books here. the writing style looks feminine. hopefully we unleash some cherished memories, we're going to give these journals to thelma next door, stay tuned...
posted by indigo herself @ 9:14 AM

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

hope faith courage

delving deep into the inner reserves. if you have any to spare, feel free to share. funny stories also appreciated. is anyone listening?

Monday, December 12, 2005

the neighbours: the berlin wall has fallen

behind the garage, a line of evergreens sits, covered in snow. peace. in the end, they gave up the quest for the berlin wall and all is silent, all is right between the two sides. a nice bit of christmas cheer.

Friday, December 09, 2005

bluegrass fridge

close to lunch and an eruption of squawking bluegrass noises boom momentarily from the fridge. it also faintly sounds like a baby crying. definately louder when you open the door, proof that i've gone off the deep end?

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

bright sun peeks thru

the lead glass windows splash patterns across my bedroom, photographs and mirror. in the living room there is a bizarre triangle of rainbow, the collection of light is like a necklace. bits of hope to hold on to. the world is full of beauty, if you can just take note, peace.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

words to remember

when everything is fine. don't take anything for granted. appreciate the people who love you. take photos, make artwork, travel the world, do yoga, run for miles, dance. don't give in to the temptations of chocolate, pie, chips, pizza. take your vitamins and make sure to get your rest. laugh lots, stress not.

Friday, December 02, 2005

steak queen

SQ has arrived! Steak Queen: the house of the famous homemade burgers and steaks, of course. SQ inherits the space formerly occupied by Coffee Tip on the SW edge of christie pits, next to AFC (Adjuker's Fried Chicken). Coffee Tip was one of our favourite laughs on the way home. The sign was a rip off of Coffee Time, home to an interesting cast of characters, mafia types and lost souls. it was like the discount version of Boulevard of Broken Dreams. anyhow, the haphazard Coffee Tip sign is gone and replaced with the new but old style blue and yellow Steak Queen sign, S and Q interlinked in powerpoint graphics style. just wanted to make you aware in case a hankering for steak overcomes you. Where is the Steak King?

bin 4

bin 4 arrived without witness. the abandonned tv set has left the yard. the house is quickly unraveling, the attic is the space most changed -- raise high the roof beams! everything is exposed. the wall between the two rooms is almost completely gone. last night when we swung by to tape our permits to the window, we toured the place and marveled at the state of undress. the upstairs side window overlooks the neighbour's apartment. he isn't used to having an audience. in the amber light, we caught a glimpser of him pacing his apartment, tv on, dinner in progress. snow fell from the heavens last night and today the yard is sunny with a perfect layer of white rolled across.

Thursday, December 01, 2005


i have been out of my mind afraid lately. today, my wisest friend said - fear doesn't change anything. And he's right. Plus it actually makes the situation worse. so, picture me as a super hero flying in the face of this dark fear. she lands softly at the top of the mountain in time for a cocktail.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

random act of kindness

ol'e next door had a surprize guest today. as i was waiting for a cab i noticed a fellow pull up in a truck with flowers in hand and ring her bell. he used to live in my house, in the basement apartment and thought he'd surprize her with a random act of kindness because he was in town and thinking about her. of course, ol'e is security aware so she doesn't answer the door unless she knows you're coming. so, i ran inside to call her to let her know to answer the door, a nice surprize was waiting. anyhow, just in case you though toronto was full of cold snobs. you're wrong!

bewitching hours

every night, between 4 and 6am my dreams are hit with a wave of restless, practical, worry-filled dreams. a sort of slow brooding venom. oh, sleep fairies -- please swoop in and kiss these black clouds away.

Monday, November 28, 2005

abandoned tv set

someone left a tv in our yard, next to our over flowing bin and hidden behind the tree. looks like a 30 inch, have no idea if it works or not. likely not.

our place is overflowing with wreckage. the bin delivery has been delayed because the cars are parked on the opposite side of the street until the 1st and the bin folks can't get in to replace it. dec 1st is when the switch happens.

we toured the house today and caught a glimpse of a few wet spots, one in the basement, one on the main floor. fingers crossed it's an easy fix. better for leaks to be exposed now, vs. when there's dry wall and hardwood to fret about.

it's looking like march will be move-in time. fingers crossed. ouija board tv to be broadcast from the tree later tonight. freaky voo-doo.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

a gem

my crazy grandmother called today. (crazy as in quirky and endearing, wildly unpredictable, prone to wearing sparky things, leopard print and leather) anyhow she was telling me about a trip she took to Switzerland in 1975. she won the trip for selling a lot of swiss watches (she used to work at Birks in yorkville) and was charmed by the deluxe chocolates they left on her pillow. She stayed 14 days and gained 10lbs. she also loved the sophisticated trains. you could escape to another country in a matter of hours. she is mailing me a map from that trip.

she offered up this gem from my youth. she told a story of when i was a baby and had not even learned how to use a spoon yet, but i insisted on feeding myself, fingers and all. cottage cheese was my meal of choice. apparently my mother would let me loose in my high chair; the cottage cheese suddenly became couture. she offered it up as proof that i have been an independent, feisty type for years. note to self.

Monday, November 21, 2005

backwards and inside out

raked my first 5 bags of leaves at the house on sunday. the orange bags are stacked along the fence, like awards. it was one of those days that felt like a blur. in my mind it was cold out. in reality it was warm. i wore a thick cream sweater and a toque and ended up having to buy a t while i was out, along with work gloves from mark's work warehouse. i am now officially outfitted for home renos. the yellow work gloves are the proof. after the rake-athon, went to shoppers to pick up a prescription. no dice, they hadn't even ordered it yet. then i went to the bank machine at the grocery store. used to be an rbc machine. now it's one of those shady ATM ones. anyhow, i left my card in the machine after i took my cash and had a panick attack when i realized it was missing half an hour later. we went back to the shady atm and it was no where to be found. not in the lost and found, no where.

the other backwards and inside out moment occurred at lunch at swiss chalet. i was about to order the chicken on a kaiser and asked about the sides. what are fresh vegetables? i asked...meaning what kind of fresh vegetables are included and how are they prepared? the waitress replied, they are fresh vegetables. duh. i nearly lost it. there are many kinds of vegetables and many ways to prepare them. anyhow. i guess it's one of those things, i supposed i would turn off my brain too if i was stuck working a sunday afternoon at swiss chalet.

anyhow, i am off to a big party tonight, details to follow tomorrow. hopefully it won't be a backwards and inside out night.

Thursday, November 17, 2005


an arctic chill swooped into the city today. bring on the mittens. the funny thing is that my mind is still set in summer if not fall. however, i had a flash forward moment last night when i stepped into the sun room and imagined our new street and the umbrella tree covered in white. we were stumbling thru the darkened house with the hvac guy, beaming the flashlights into the rafters, nooks, and crannies. we found evidence of old wallpaper. there were rooms filled with piles of rubble. when the snow has come and gone, our house will have walls filled in, all the fixings.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

silver suitcase

the doorbell rang and a package arrived. a shiny silver suitcase filled with uncle rico time machine-esque gadgets and crazy instructions for the device inside. it's called an ion cleanse. not for the overly analytical or non believing types. the gift brought on spy antics and "give us the micro film, i will never give it up!" banter.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

freaky friday

it all began around 8:30am. i was trying to get somewhere, went to the wrong building. on the way in, i saw this crazy homeless man in a grey trench coat and red scarf. i went downstairs, this doesn't look right. maybe they redecorated. went back upstairs and onto the street. the crazy man said to me "can i help you? can i help you? can i help you?" spooky, surreal. so i ran back in the building, tried again. looked on the door, oh, they don't open until 9. thought i'd kill time at the starbucks on the corner. on my way there, i passed left over spagetti spilled out on the street, assorted clothes and a long piss stain on the side walk. the window at starbucks was all done up with christmas cheer and it's early enough in the season that it made me feel happy, not cynical and overwhelmed. ran into someone i knew who offered to buy me a coffee, i looked around for a place to sit and there he was again. "do you want this?" he asked and held out a napkin. he was making small talk about remembrance day with anyone who would listen but in general his entire vibe was twilight zone. anyhow, 9am rolled around and i ran back to the building only to realize i did in fact have the wrong office and i ventured up the street to find the right one. which was open at 8, and would have meant no crazy guy, coffee etc. had i just gone there in the first place. my mind was a blur in the rush of unproductive and oddly unsettling events. i jumped in a cab and headed for home.

Friday, November 11, 2005

blue light special

woke up at 4am and decided to have a glass of water. as i downed the glass, a strange blue light blinked at me. seemed to be coming from the tap itself. was it a sign? i must have imagined it. just as i was about to turn around again, it flashed again. freaky voo doo. maybe there was a prankster in our alleyway beaming spy cams into the place. turns out that light goes off when the filter needs to be changed. perfectly logical. and here i was thinking aliens were sending me a message.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

happy new year

snapshot: romantic dinner by flashlight on a makeshift table, in front of the vintage fireplace surrounded by the bare bones of our house. we wandered around and marveled at the new structural beams holding our house up high. when you see the place this undone you really feel the magnitude of the project. this is a big job.

this week has been a bit of a wake up call on many fronts. i went to a workshop on business development on monday and learned a few things.

apparently, there are two types of people in this world, those that stay in bed and those that get out there and put their oars in the water and row. (sounds ridiculous now but it will make sense when you read the next part)

everyday you have to make a choice about whether you want to live above the line or below it.

O - Ownership
A - Action.
R - Responsibility

B - Blame
E - Excuses
D - Deny

it's new year's eve a little early. time to pick up those oars and row, baby.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

proof of work: lean green t

made this t one for turtle boy, age 2. actual t size: age 3-4.

Monday, November 07, 2005

leaves like gold

the umbrella tree out front of our new house has dark leaves. almost black. all the trees on the street have been turning golden shades of autumn bliss for weeks but our tree remained steadfast. we thought we had a mutant on our hands. as i turned the corner up the walk on sunday, i galloped with glee. our tree finally came around and shined a golden smile. a smattering of gold, carmel and pumpkin leaves splashed across the lawn and from above. skipping thru and kicking up leaves, celebration ensued. one wing in heaven is definately done up in this shade.

neighbours: the drama continues

after the mad camera incident, the drama continued. gretchen and thom made things difficult for the workers by making it clear that not one drop of dirt was to fall onto their property as the work continued. this meant the workers had to go to extra lengths to accommodate, making the whole process more arduous and time consuming. every time the workers were even close to a tree on the other side or the property line, gretchen exploded out from her log cabin to yell at the workers. hassle city.

in the meantime, the garage on dN's parents lot went up as planned. this caused a new source of anxiety. under the cover of darkness, gretchen and thom hired their own team of workers to build a 10ft high fence behind the garage. (the average fence height is 6 or 7ft) i guess they thought they would sneak it in. dN's mum happened to be onsite early that day and noticed the commotion of foreign workers tromping across her lot, dirt flung on side. apparently the same rules don't apply.

dN's mum decided to investigate. she spoke with gretchen and thom's construction manager and told them this was the first she'd heard about a fence and had not authorized their workers to come onto her property to do the work. she said that ordinarily it would have been no problem, but that gretchen and thom gave them such a hard time when they were doing construction recently that it didn't seem fair not to impose the same restrictions.

outraged, the construction manager confronted thom, saying "what are you doing?" he demanded payment immediately for work done and ordered his workers off the job until further notice. he was mad because he didn't want to be sued. usually neighbours need an agreement before work on shared property can begin. he told thom that if he was to build the fence they wanted, without going on the other property he would have to move the fence two feet in and remove a half dozen trees in the process.

now, gretchen and thom were in the mood for compromise. they called for a meeting. dN's dad took to referring to the fence as "your Berlin Wall". he even mentioned adding another storey above the garage next year. dN's mum said ideally she would like to plant trees instead of a fence between the two houses.

who knows what will happen next? stay tuned...

Thursday, November 03, 2005

bin #3

nov 1, the day after fairies and spider men tromped thru the neighbourhood in search of loot, bin #3 arrived. i waited on the stoop for 45 minutes, watching the golden leaves from across the street swoop to the grass below. i probably looked like a bizarre remnant of halloween sitting on the porch dressed in black, with my rock and roll hat pulled low, like a kid from the hood. anyhow, the bin was going to be late so i left a cheque in the mailbox in a borrowed envelope. it was a slow 45 minutes, nothing to read, no one to talk to, nothing to do but wait and listen, watch. inside the wires and boards hung like skeletons in a haunted house. a murky cloud of dust erupting from the place as workers smashed. most of the electricity has been turned off. looking into the sky from the porch, i tried to muster the power to see into the future. imagining the place one year from now. signs point to good.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


went up north last friday to drop off some of the plumbing fixtures etc at dN's parents cottage until they are ready to be installed. his parents are retired and living in their cottage while their new home is being built near by. the new place is a kit home, kind of amazing that in a matter of a few months the whole thing will be complete. the builders brought the home to the lot, pre built in three pieces. anyhow, next door to their new place, gretchen and thom have had a log cabin home. for years they have looked onto the lot next door, covered in lovely swaying trees. gretchen and thom are also retired. they are political types, he is the president of the neighbourhood committee. at first it was all smiles, nicey, nicey. but slowly, their alter egos surfaced.

they kept pushing to see the plans and pushing to have a say where dN's parents placed their house on the lot.
neighbours dropped by and mentioned that gretchen and thom were bad mouthing the new house around the hood. annoying but somewhat understandable since obviously any house is going to lose out when compared against a lot full of trees. it's an odd social phenomenon though. not only the bad mouthing but the reporting of bad mouthing back to the offended. then the drama began. everyday, thom pulled out a camera, stood firmly planted on his lot, without a word to anyone and an air of hostility, and started taking photos of all the workers and the house going up. their own paparazzi. why would he take photos of a house he loathed? it began to make the workers uneasy. at first, he was ignored and tolerated but finally, dN's mum confronted him. asked him why he was taking photos and to please stop. supposedly he was making a photo album as a gift. a nice foil but pretty unlikely given the bad mouthing and growing angst between the two sides. give the gift of stalking this year, fill your neighbour's hearts with paranoia and venom. push them to threaten to call the cops! yes, a lovely spirit of giving.

aside, somewhat related: our own german friend next door has been observed smoking out his window and butting out into a tiny gold pot sitting on the roof of the bay window. all we see is an extended arm out the window depositing ash into his pot of gold.

Friday, October 21, 2005

a theory

amid all the racing antics of drivers last night, we came upon a theory. we were talking about a radio show on salt that was on air recently and remarking how amazing it is that our blood has the same make-up, same levels of salt as the ocean years ago. it's like we are fingerprints of an ancient time. so we got to thinking, if we are all made of star stuff, maybe soul mates come from the same cosmic matter and there is a magnetism in the universe that wants to unite all the broken pieces. so our lives are guided by this hidden magnetic pull that forces us to collide again and reunite. just a theory. did i mention it's 6:30 am? you heard it first here.

the mind, she races

it is just before 5am and my mind is racing again. i wish there was a gigantic off switch that could turn the racing practical flood into zen-like blankness. even yoga had limited effectiveness this week. sounds like someone is taking a shower upstairs so i am not the only early riser this friday morn, i wonder if it's the aftermath of the full moon. jumpstarting our collective souls into restlessness. by the 31st we'll be full on zombies.

last night we checked out taps and bathtubs in the home design hub of town. we met this quirky lady m who wink winked at us when she found out dN was an architect, saying she'd give us a 20% discount on some of the architectural designer taps we were looking at, if he registered with them as a professional. obviously they want to encourage people in the industry to recommend their wares to clients. the streets were alive with quasi-race car drivers, speeding ahead at lightning speed, ignoring decorum and swerving with abandon. on our way out, we ran into sweet ol'e from next door and we had a chat. when we asked how halloween was in the neighbourhood, if lots of kids come by, she said -- no, would you let your kids out with all the kooks out there? apparently they parade up the street in costume and then head to the school for a safe shell out of treats and halloween fun. no tricks only treats.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

flashback: bolinas, fall 2004

one week spent in a tiny portugese fisherman's cottage on fern avenue in bolinas, CA. there was a calendar of tides left by the front door and nooks and crannies filled with nature books. the clawfoot tub overlooked the garden. we discovered manka's, a deluxe former hunting lodge with incredible food, simple beds. there was a smattering of pumpkins up the walk, and dribbles of poetry beside each table, an illuminated globe, vintage chess set and fur throw next to the roaring fire. starry eyed flounder blinked up at us. bolinas is the kind of place that keeps to itself, adamantly. we explored the curves of the coastline, laughing at oddities like a gas station with operating hours that excluded those between 9-5.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

is it a full moon?

noticed an increased level of crank-ola in dealings with co-workers, neighbours, and the like over the last two days. is it a full moon?

Friday, October 14, 2005

another bin: gasp!

went to the house this morning as the first bin was carted away and the second, (extra volume) bin was delivered. even fewer branches were snipped as it shuffled into place this time. Definitely makes you hold your breath while the event is going down. had a moment bonding with the structural guy demolishing our kitchen upstairs. he mentioned that he met thelma recently. of course! did she mention she used to live there? you're kidding. that woman gets around.

the structural beam in the basement was removed and temporary walls are in place until the new beam is installed. the place has a general cloud of dust lingering at all times. the back room is filling up with all the trim dN has salvaged. we'll have a big job stripping and refinishing but it will be beautiful.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

trench coat chill

for some odd reason, the misty, trench coat chill weather yesterday brought on san francisco memories. maybe it's because it was vintage sf winter weather, or maybe it's because i really don't need too much of a push to leap off into daydreams of that blissful place. three and a half years is more than enough time for the bay area to captivate a soul indefinately, for some it only takes a weekend, an hour.

anyhow, last night after yoga, as i walked to bloor to pick up some soup for dinner with cold mist swirling around me, it hit me. it was one of those nights where we would have been walking back from city lights books stopping for a cafe latte at cafe puccini or maybe one of those deluxe coffee house drinks at tosca's. the kind of night where you tug your collar up a bit higher and feel relieved at the warmth when you step inside. the mist reminds you of every cell in your face. i imagined the darkened washington square park en route home (with lurking odd characters in the shadows), the chinese laundry guy on stockton folding blue paper around a fresh bundle, the low rumble of the fog horn on the bay and the smell of wet cedar and sweet vine outside our building. ahhhh...

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

welcome back carter

welcome back, welcome back, welcome back! highlights of thankgiving 05: good eats (apple pie, turkey, mashed potatoes and auntie alice's perogies.) laughing with my sister from across the table as we sang along to ray charles after dinner. (closely followed by dancing in the kitchen to ray charles as we filled up our plates with more food.) watching raccoons dig holes and scamper across the wooded back yard in the wee hours of morning on sunday. short but sweet walk to castleglen sunday afternoon. stellar snapshot (captured in memory not film): the electric yellow leaves against the bright blue sky witnessed through the ruins and curving arch way.

Friday, October 07, 2005

artifact found: 1920s overdue library

it's a small wine coloured hard cover book, title: Great Musical Composers, from the Queen and Lisgar branch. the pocket at the back tracking lending has Feb 16 stamped as the due date. next to it, the page declares the lending rules:

and may be renewed once.

A fine of 3 cents a day is charged if the book is kept after the last stamped date below. No books issued while a fine remains unpaid. Two books may be taken at a time, only one of which may be fiction. Books can not be exchanged on the day on which they are drawn.

the inside front cover has may 7, 1925 stamped in. that may be the date the library acquired the book.

dN researched the house when we bought it and he found out that the McBurney family owned the house from 1920-1944. the size of the family ranged from 5-11 over that time. when they bought the house, the man of the house was david mcburney, a 45 year old engineer for the GT railway who later became a fitter for the CNR. he was married to josephine. we know they had at least one son, stanley, because we found teenage letters from stanley to his mother telling her not to worry about him. there were a few drafts as though he was trying to phrase things just so. the letters are dated june 11, 1926.

at the time, the lot was worth $1253, and the house $1700. they were Anglican, and supported public schools.

so it seems that one of the mcburneys owes the city of toronto library dept. roughly $853.20. shhh...

Thursday, October 06, 2005

artifact found: coal card

last night while dN was demolishing walls for the structural work to begin, he found an old business card.
the card reads...

Furniture carefully moved
Local and Long Distance Cut Rate
Phones: Ken 2614J, Ran. 4434

Give us a ring.

he found it near some cement casing stamped in 1870.

The phone numbers don't even have area codes! more research is needed. we laughed this morning as we imagined leaving our business card in the walls now, and the people in 2140 saying - can you believe they still used email addresses?

Editor's note, Friday, Oct 7: We realized that it was Coal, not Goal hand-written on the top. Makes sense because there were mini ovens for heating throughout the former boarding house.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

pumpkin pie

last thanksgiving, my brother, dad, dog zoe and i careened the backroads of collingwood in search of the Ravena general store's famous pies. my sister moaned that thanksgiving wouldn't be the same without pumpkin pie, all the grocery stores had run out. so we went on an early morning hunt and sure enough found...freshly baked, homemade pumpkin pie from a country store no less. we brought it back home and tip toed into her bedroom and left the pie box open so that the smell of cinnamon, nutmeg and glorious pumpkin would fill her room as she woke. we had pie for breakfast!

calm in the middle of a storm

the goal of my existence lately is to remain calm in the midst of a storm. work is busy but come on, we're not curing cancer. p e r s p e c t i v e.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

proof of work

a sleeper for a baby, age 3-6 months.
text on the back: (sleep, wake, dream and then) - e.e. cummings.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

strange but true

discovered in front of our house and in our bin. i kid you not. plastic bags filled with...wait for doo. today while dN was on the roof fixing gutters he spotted someone dart across our drive way. he went to check it out, that's when he peeked in the empty bin and saw "the package." a few weeks ago we noticed a pile of small tied bags left right up against our house. bags of doo. it's not even like it was close to the sidewalk, this pile was left near our house in the far corner near the drive way, right below our bay window. is it some kind of message to us or just a disposal issue? what to do, what to do...we thought of leaving a note to the crap bandits or installing a security cam but anyone rude enough to leave the bags in the first place wouldn't be swayed by a note and a security cam would be expensive and difficult to install in an omni-present way, covering all angles. if you are reading this - crap bandits - deal with your shit and quit dumping on us. literally.

the royal flush

home depot was the hot spot last night. we were checking out trailers, and then racing thru the aisles looking at bathroom fixtures. the toilet "showroom" was surreal. it's funny to see people analyzing the seats and the rational behind various features and designs. ultra flush (or was it turbo flush?), that one really cracks me up. the toilets hang from the wall above you a bit like sculptures or monsters and you stare at them from an angle atypical in any real world bathroom. maybe it's to elevate the mundane to some heavenly state so that you can justify spending the cash on the price tag.

the other odd thing we noticed was that the staff seemed over-run with young women wearing tight low riser jeans and with a bored gum-chomping state of address. personally, i think it's the avril lavigne factor but it may be the home design shows showing hot carpenters (here's where i'll meet my Ty!) or just that working at home depot has a cool tough appeal that mc'donald's just doesn't. really wishing home depot would bother to train these young bright things.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

the bin

we arrived at the new house at 8:00am this morning to await the delivery of the bin. while we waited, the neighbour from across the street waved a hello and introduced herself to us in a chorus of charmingly broken english. she's a sweet portuguese woman who boasted that everything inside her historic home was "new." funnily, she knew exactly how much we paid for our house. no secrets in this hood. loose lips from thelma next door, to be sure.

our big tree lost a few branches as the gigantic bin tiptoed itself into place on our driveway. i let out a gasp watching the event unfold. somehow everything fell into place. let the renovations begin.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

fall for you

the cold crisp in the evening air is back. i have always loved walking home on a fall night, the amber windows across the neighbourhood inviting you in from the cold. the end of flip flops is in sight.

Monday, September 26, 2005

burn baby burn

what began as a deluxe spa weekend in wine country ended with a half moon shaped burn above my left eye. (purple welt discovered this morning) the remedy? apply special cream 2-3 times a day and no sun (baseball hat duty) for 2-3 weeks. hopefully it won't scar. happy anniversary!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

last day of summer

the last of anything good merits a little nostalgia. my imagined summer comes without smog, limited heat waves and features endless sunny bike rides and trips to the beach, swimming by moonlight in algonquin or canoeing alongside the occasional moose or loon. it includes flip flops and mango popsicles. this summer was not a lingering one. it was productive. we bought a house! we skipped algonquin, not a beach day in the mix. only one killer 50km bike ride which i am still recovering from. went to nyc for a deluxe weekend in soho, celebrating dN: age 30. learned how to silkscreen on fabric down at harbourfront in a small workshop running 5 weeks. found bliss and inspiration that will definitely last. i started this blog. worked like a mad woman. worked with a sports therapist to fix a sports injury, tried to avoid carpel tunnel and natural gas poisoning. there were some best-ever highlights and the heaven on earth project falls in that category. (will do it justice in a detailed flashback post i promise) new friendships and renewed classics. enjoyed my new quirky neighbourhood for the sole summer of our relationship together. next year, it'll be a new scene. fell into the ritual of a new (to me) yoga studio. nameste.

one phrase, in summary: thank you.

yes, insomnia strikes again. it's 3:30am and i've been wrestling with work dream demons since 1:30am. not to worry, we are going on holiday this weekend. (3 days) up to wine country to celebrate our second anniversary. i am hoping it will pull me out of the obsessed vortex and remind me, as this post did, of all the things to be glad about.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

lotus moon cake

any festival that combines fairies, gazing at the moon, fortunes for happy couples, and secret notes from revolutionaries delivered by cake, deserves some respect in my books. read about the moon festival here.

here's a note that i would leave in my secret lotus moon cake for you, you know who you are.

beware the cacklers... and dance by the light of the full moon.

lavender honey would replace the salty duck yolk in my cake.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

indian summer

careening around toronto neighbourhoods early on a perfect indian summer sunday morning. we were up to meet with bob, the engineer so that he could sign our drawings for permit. afterwards we stopped by kinkos to make copies (of course), the staffers seemed kinda dead, hoarding paper clips like they were rare coins. then we decided to visit the deluxe wine shop in summer hill. it's set in a converted train station and oozes elegance. dN was in heaven, lost in the aisles, surrounded by glorious wines. we imagined an organic farmer's market out front, california-style.

then we headed to our montreal bagel place in search of 6 steaming hot bagels (sesame seed, of course) for a picnic at a secluded neighbourhood park. we laughed and read the paper on a nearly collapsing picnic table beneath a shady tree. back home, i ended up crawling under the covers for an indulgent nap at 1:30 in the afternoon. i wish days like today could last forever.

Saturday, September 17, 2005


the saddest, yet most realistic and compelling film i have seen in awhile. gwyneth really delivers a stellar performance. her complicated relationship with her father and new beau captivates. her struggle with grief, possible insanity, and genius feels real. who knew mathematics could be so dramatic and even cinematic? the dialogue is refreshingly original. it is a true gem, see it soon.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

love angel fuschia baby

oh là là, went to holt's last night for their Stila and LAMB by Gwen Stefani party. sassy cocktails splashed with blackberry lemonade and guava served amid swirling silver platters with tiny cup cakes, tarts, and spring rolls. the dj worked the turntables behind a futuristic green pod. holt's introduced their new logo, an art deco-esque beauty on fuschia bags. as we rode the escalator up to the party, a tumble of fushia shopping bags artfully fell from the sky. got my make-up done and felt like a queen. at the end of the night, they sent us off with our very own hot pink Holt's goodie bag. (LAMB t-shirt, Stilla mascara, lip gloss inside) deluxe!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

culinary kitsch

trekking across the queensway in search of our site survey, we pulled into the World Famous IZBA Restaurant. Hey Mambo! on the playa. schnitzel's the dinner special, 30 years running. mrs. izba herself took our order. plate o'perogies and a bowl o' borsch, polish beer on da side. we sat in the corner booth in full view of the christmas lights extraordinaire meets polish meets scandinavian meets german decor. dessert, anyone? last stop tom's dairy freeze, a george jetson-esque roadside ice cream joint. two chocolate dips on a picnic table, view of the queensway included.

Monday, September 12, 2005

perma patio loungers

lifesize Plaster of Paris sculptures spotted near the corner of Shaw and Garnet. this duo of perma patio loungers are gossip hounds by day, and either witches or janitors by night. we've received conflicting reports from undercover spies.

Friday, September 09, 2005


it's almost 3 am and i'm awake. WIDE awake. sleepless yet completely exhausted, mind racing. purgatory must be like this. i had a coffee two days ago and i'm still living thru the aftermath. who knew a cup of joe could wreak such havoc.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

leave a note, why dontcha?

just added Anonymous Comments. don't be shy.

a tour of the hood

knight's limo at your service. never seen cruising the hood, but damn she's got style.

for a moment, she declares herself to anyone who will listen.

where impossibly high sunflowers dwarf seemingly ordinary houses.

more to come...

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

smoking gun

here's a rant: why must smokers ruin outdoor patios with their fumes? it's the end of summer, perfectly blissful outside and everytime i settle into a patio chair about to announce to the world the delight of it all, someone lights a cigarette and their habit imposes like a cancer cloud. toxic and rude, passive aggressive. it's always surprizing to me that the smokers seem immune to adverse reactions from non-smokers. boldly they continue to smoke in the presence of small children or babies, even. damn you, smokers. keep your habit to yourself. keep our patios and public spaces smoke-free. pretty please and thank you.

Friday, September 02, 2005

the kissing bandit

she looked at her watch, (late!) and stepped into the elevator clenching her briefcase. a middle aged man in a grey suit was in the corner of the elevator already. they exchanged the briefest of nods.

as the elevator numbers crept higher and higher, he nudged closer and closer until she could no longer ignore him and enjoy the few moments of daydream enroute to a meeting.

by the 20th floor, his grey suited elbow brushed against hers. holding her breath and wishing for 26, she caught a sideways glimpse of him. quietly grinning to himself. do i know him? she thought.

at the stroke of 26, bing! she was there. the grey suited man leaned over and kissed her. on the lips. barely blinking, stunned. she escaped in disbelief. did that really happen?

the kissing bandit strikes again.

next time, she would arm herself with a strong defense. travel size garlic spray. the anti-breath mint. a deterrent for any mad kissing fool.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

her life on sale

on the corner of christie and yarmouth. it's not what you think. the sunflowers towered, then withered just outside her window. the signs began appearing weeks ago. then finally it appeared, the definitive sign.


she lives in a strange converted store with ample display space in the window front. tea cups, pots and pans, jade plants, a collection of earrings and necklaces on display. in a moment of supreme marketing inspiration, she hung party balloons and painted yet another sign in the window announcing the sale again, decorative flowers included for that added personal touch.

my personal favourite sign reads...(spelling is hers)


she used to have a sign reading "Ring Bell, Enquire Within."

one day as i passed by her place, i noticed the front door flung wide open, inviting the sidewalk in. she was a gypsy queen sitting at an old formaica table doing paper work with some insurance salesman. the talk seemed to be private, yet she continued to keep the sale running. i snuck a peek at the huge 70s loft space, the indiscriminantly stacked sale items throughout the place, the electric blue spiral staircase in the middle of it all, and then i had to leave. not a word.

i dread the day when she is gone, no SOLD sign, just empty window fronts and deflated balloons.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

vintage CRANK 5000

Another Lost Robot sign found on my new street...

vintage CRANK 5000

1999 model with internal organization.
good dude, don't fix what ain't broke.
last seen finding parts for oversize toaster oven.
we need/miss Crank more than you can know.
please e-mail


Just doing my part in the quest to return lost bots to their adoring owners.

Monday, August 29, 2005

cosmo & jess

friday night we visited the new house and decided to walk down to the place on the corner and grab a bite. we had scarely closed the gate and started down the sidewalk when a couple and their two dogs asked if we were the new owners. yes, that's us. they told us that they have the exact same house as us, they are even on the same side of the semi so we have identical floor plans/space to work with. they introduced us to their dogs, cosmo and jess who seemed delighted to dance and giggle snort in our direction. they were renovating and invited us in to see what they had done, and what they were planning to do. it was a bit deja vu because some of the decisions we were thinking of, they had already done. christmas future. they already created a main floor apartment like we had planned and actually helped us solve a major issue with respect to the entrances and stairs. she is an artist, moving to Tuscany for four months to teach. he is a carpenter working on deluxe custom homes. cosmo decided to show off in the attic space by lounging and posing (as though for a photo shoot) on his "where is cosmo?" rug...identically matched to his fur.

cab driver philosophy

one of the little known gems of city living is the free advice offered by cab drivers en route. maybe it's not completely free, but it's there, in addition to the ride, if you are open to recieive it. today, i found myself in Solomon's cab, a smiling Jamacain man.

i noticed how happy he looked and he said "it's a way of life, it's what it's all about. you have to find ways to make yourself happy, then you will be happy. other people don't have time to make you happy, you can't rely on others to make you happy. If you're happy, you'll make other people happy."

hmmm...he may be on to something.

Friday, August 26, 2005

a trip to shangri-la

sounds perfect, doesn't it? you imagine twinkling lights, lush greenery, maybe an oasis in the distance, calm smiles from yogi masters sipping organic wheat grass tea in Japanese cups, don't you?


not this shangri-la. we pulled into the camp ground near Niagara on-the-Lake, and found it to be a haven for the Trailer Park Boys' less trendy cousins. they were nice enough to include us in the raffle for a case of beer. welcome to wine country!

RV living is quite funny. you press a button, boom! you've got a living room. you press another one -- boom! there's a bedroom. they're called Slide-outs. imagine what a slide out could do to the average tiny apartment. boom! boom! office, guest bedroom.

(context: we were on holiday with my parents, the weekend after the tunnel of love sojourn.)

touring the wineries was "like diamonds." Jackson-Triggs lingers in my mind, modern bliss erupting from the mundane. we felt, oh-so-Sideways careening the back streets with a hint of cabernet on our breath. (except for the driver, of course)the lush greenery rushing past our windows.

just so you don't think, it's all "hints of dark chocolate and a touch of French oak" of the highlights was a steaming piece of homemade pizza from a local bakery, eaten under a rainy awning on the main street. gulped back with black cherry pop shoppe pop. ah... shangri-la!

Thursday, August 25, 2005

these eyes

burton cummings tribute, live from Canadian Idol. savour the cheese, share the love. we were in the nosebleed section, upper balcony, row gg. surrounded by neon signs screaming -- I love you Rex, Grandma's Idol: Melissa, Guess Who? and various other declarations of support. my dad knew every word of every song. my brother was too cool for school, especially with his new sorta girlfriend in our company. my mum, with her martha stewart-esque cardigan thrown around her shoulders was a constant grinner, tapping her feet and swaying to the tunes.

it will be one of those shows that years from now, we look back on as a Canadian phenomenon. in fact, we're already encouraged to look upon it that way. from the boo-ing of judges with critical things to say, to uproarious cheers, pandemonium ala Beatles style, we are encouraged to get off our asses, to care, to vote. the karoake show that wears its' heart on its' sleeve. there is something to be said for diving right in. taking a side. singing like it's your last song. thank you, thank you very much.

Friday, August 19, 2005

artifact found & lost again: ancient nativity set

wandered thru the house last night. it's starting to take shape. the wall between our kitchen and living room is now gone and you can really get a sense of the flow of the space. we discovered old gas pipes for gas lamps, as well as the remnants of a fireplace in our living room on the second floor. last week, dN stumbled across a nativity set found in the basement as they were doing structural work. it's gone missing though, so i never had a chance to take a peek. an odd thing to steal but perhaps angels swooped in and recovered it.

on the weekend we met with tony, our fixtures guy. his shop is a funny non-descript place on the edge of town that has good prices on name-brand stuff. his phone rings to the tune of Dallas (the 80s soap opera) and his voice is mafia scratchy. if we ever disappear without a trace, look for tony.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

30 minutes in the tunnel of love

even on the best of days, 30 minutes of jack hammer and night club noises with your head velcroed into a brace in the "tunnel of love" mri, is no picnic. i am sure my alter ego is a super hero, capable of zen-like peace in the tunnel, for days on end, rich pastoral images floating past her in the style of The English Patient. "Can I stay longer?" she asks. "Did you get what you needed?" she enquires. She looks over at me. "Is it me or is there a lack of air in this thing?" I say.

Hell, no! She is an oxygen-machine, activated upon entry into the tunnel, capable of providing top grade, rain forest clean O2 for an entire village in Peru. I look at her, out of the corner of my eye, with a smirk. You win!

Monday, August 08, 2005

papers in the wind

In a moment of "why can't I enjoy summer and work at the same time?"...I decided to mark up a report on the sunny front porch. first I brought the wrong binder outside, then I locked myself out, thankfully had a spare key. then i forgot my highlighter and went inside to get it. while i was gone, the wind rolled the paper weights off my papers. the papers stole away into the alleyway and into the neighbour's yard. page 6 could not be found. i suppose it was a jail break moment. i wouldn't want to live in the prison of my black binder either.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

p.lo (not jlo)

nick, the odd suit hired to gather samples for our life insurance application for our new mortgage arrived at our door at 9:00am sharp this saturday morning. his collection of gadgets and questionaires spilled onto our living room coffee table. we tried to act nonchalant as he enquired into every nook and cranny of our health histories. he even pulled out a scale to weigh us. we had to pee in cups and leave the jar by the sink so he could transfer it to a smaller vial. makes you feel so invaded. all your details adding up into some formula fed into a system that will either accept or reject you. you are a science project, not a person but a series of inputs and outputs. i kept wanting to hand a golden ticket to the gatekeeper at the carnival, some smiling buddha that would wink and let us shuffle by, cheating death and misfortune. fingers crossed. i'd take that over a life insurance policy any day.

tango in the park

it started with a couple, gliding in a tango, under the bandshell in the park. she wore a red dress and dangerously high heels. in a blink, there were many pairs of legs, tangled and tracing invisible patterns on the concrete, warm cuban music filling the sky. we spied them from our green blanket beneath the oak umbrella tree.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

a mile in your shoes

to whom it may concern, i am sorry for accidentally mistaking your running shoes for mine at the gym today. silly me. the shoes were not at all alike. yours had large patches of purple and had two holes in the toes and were some rare swedish brand. our stars were aligned in that we were both size 7s and our shoes were lined up together at the workout mats, in the "no shoes allowed" section. to think, i almost brought them back to Sporting Life to return them! the store clerks would have thought i was on crack. maybe i am.

anyhow, the 10 minutes in your shoes were quite comfortable. so thank you for walking around in your stocking feet in search of me, the daft shoe thief. you kindly returned my new pair, no up roar.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

blue milk box

just stopped to chat along the fence with my neighbour, sweet ol'e. she thanked dN (thru me) for his thursday night rescue. she had her place locked up tighter than fort knox and had locked herself out, she called upon dN to help her break in. they ended up using the old blue milk box to remedy the situation. apparently there used to be a dairy just up the street from us. (where fiesta farms is now) they used to deliver milk by horse drawn carridge. (e remembers a thick layer of cream along the top of the glass jugs.) since we moved in, I wondered what that tiny blue door was for. mystery revealed.

i think there are alot of people, me included, that just need a few minutes of chatter to lift their spirits.

speaking of...we stopped by our new house to show nn today. we were there only a few moments, safely by the sidewalk. when the current owner, thelma, raced out, cigarette in hand, in a frenzy. "yes, i was smoking inside but it will be aired out by thursday!" (as though we had been alarmed to see her smoking inside and were thinking -- how dare she! when really we hadn't even seen her at all and just wanted to admire the place for a few minutes from the sidewalk) she then offered to let us come inside, which of course, was not a good idea, nor expected. she chatted with us about the family home for a few moments, then abruptly excused herself saying she was on the phone! i just wonder what possessed her to run from the phone out to us in the first place. she's moving next door (other side of our semi), so expect more stories about thelma. what a character!

smiling ol'man in a wife beater next door quietly observed the entire exchange from his favourite perch of the front porch.

Friday, July 29, 2005

last night i dreamed in patterns & designs

strange snapshot from yesterday: dinner: veggie dogs at a picnic table beside harbourfront shared with rasta fellow in search of a new hat to fit his expanding dreads.

it was dinner on the run, art class style. the first class went well. time just flew! we ended up staying 1.5 hours later than expected, no awareness of time, in love with the joy of something new and indulgently creative, focused on the projects. it was a blur. last night i dreamed in patterns and designs. my first t-shirt (for dN) hangs proudly on the drying rack in the kitchen.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

china town wandering

today i found myself in chinatown in search of cheap tees for my silkscreening on fabric class that starts tomorrow. stopped into the kim moon bakery on dundas for a late lunch and ended up sharing a table with this elderly chinese man, both of us absorbed in our reading materials and absentmindedly filling our mouths with dim sum. for a moment, i thought he was going to offer me one of his three mini egg tarts. not this time!

bizarrely all the t-shirt places seemed to be in a cluster on the West side of Spadina just north of Dundas, near the gates to Kensington. on the Spadina car home, i ended up sitting next to a woman reading No Logo by Naomi Klein. We laughed at the coincidence - me with my bags full of no logo t-shirts and her with the book. the first chapter references spadina so we felt oddly connected to each other, the street, and naomi.

dN came home with maps from the late 1800s of our new street, we laughed at all the little oddities like Asylum lane which has since been renamed to Massey Street. Ossington used to be named Dundas! As it turns out our house was close to both a prison and lunatic asylum! our house grew up at the edge of civilization among the wild rough crowd.

note: our latest is a 125 year old house. :)

Tuesday, July 26, 2005 chapter one

This blog has been loitering on the verge of existence for awhile now. i felt like i couldn't begin until i had just the right title, the right idea to wrap around all the crazy adventures and stories i have been collecting and wanting to share. But it's like Woody Allen says "80% of life is showing up." So even the title of the blog is a work in progress but at least I've shown up. ;)

work in progress fits in many ways. sometimes it's a state of mind, sometimes a state of being, sometimes it's a lofty goal when my subtitle for existence could read:

(Should be) working in progress


Slacking in progress.

It's part art, part business, with an earnest streak of productivity and just a hint of procrastination.which is what i am doing now. procrastinating! need to finish a report.will write more soon...