Sunday, June 27, 2010

Oh Canada

This kind of breaks my heart. One of the things I love the most about living in this country is that I've never felt afraid to voice my opinions and exercise my right to peaceful protest. Now for the first time, thanks to a combination of violent and cowardly "anarchists" and overzealous riot police like those above, I am.

More frustrating is the fact that the thousands of peaceful protestors with legitimate grievances and messages to get out will not be heard and the ones making the most noise really have nothing to say.

I'll be watching The Girl in the Cafe if anyone needs me.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

That's Amore

I spotted these two from my rooftop perch
overlooking the local Italian street festival this weekend.
Too romantic, no?.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Guest post

Hey lovelies,

The (also lovely) ladies over at BeautyGirlMag are featuring my thoughts on going gray. Check out my post here if you're interested!

Friday, June 18, 2010

What would you do with $1.9 million?

Apparently, if you're the Canadian government, you build a fake lake.

While it's just a drop in the bucket when compared to the total budget for hosting the G20 summit this month, the construction of the indoor "lake" as an effort to impress visiting journalists and increase tourism is just too preposterous to ignore.

Did I mention this construction is happening a stone's throw from an ACTUAL lake?

Evidently, it is a project that few will get a firsthand look at as the security surrounding the summit promises to be more elaborate than anything seen in the country to date.

The government has made damn sure to let protesters know they are not welcome, putting out warnings early on that security forces will be equipped with not only the usual gear, but sound cannons, which they will not hesitate to use to subdue a crowd deemed unruly, damaging the hearing of demonstrators in the process.

While I understand that of course there needs to be some level of security, I find the whole thing ugly and threatening, with the attitude the government has taken, immediately setting protesters and police up for confrontation. Nothing like a good dose of fear to ensure things get hysterical.

These issues have got me thinking about whether or not these vastly expensive, security heavy international meetings are even necessary, fake lakes notwithstanding.

With such a range of "skype-like" technology, is it even responsible and/or necessary for world leaders to be jet setting around the world to discuss economic issues, when they could surely set up an online conference at a fraction of the (environmental and financial)cost?

*Also, for anyone who is interested in these issues (or even if you aren't) and has not seen the movie, The Girl in the Cafe, I can't recommend it enough. Be sure to let me know if you watch it and what you think!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Food, glorious food!

It took years of my mother explaining, "this is not a buffet," in response to my seriously ungrateful requests for a peanut butter sandwich to replace whatever delicious and nutritious meal she had slaved over, but I eventually developed a real appreciation for a variety of food.

When I lost my job, it took us about five minutes to decide to move to the city. It took me about six to start thinking about what I would eat upon our arrival.

Our neighbourhood has not disappointed. With everything from cheap and cheerful falafels and sushi to the treasure trove of fresh produce, mouth-watering cheeses and fragrant breads that make up the nearby market, despite our budget these days, we are feeling seriously indulged.

Here's a taste:

Homemade cornmeal muffins
with berries and greek yogurt,
drizzled with honey

Smoked applewood cheddar,
tomato, avocado, mayo
and corn relish on fresh focacia
(I could eat this every day)

Pad Thai on the patio

Teeny, tiny homemade lemon, vanilla cupcakes
with butter cream frosting

Thursday, June 3, 2010

And we thought ants were bad

One of my favourite features about our little apartment is our very adorable terrace. It's a simple wooden affair that extends our over the roof of the back of the house. It offers both a view of the city skyline and of similar decks across the quiet alleyway behind the houses. At night it looks like something out of West Side Story, with the zigzag of fire escapes connecting the cozy glow at each little window.

It has, however, on occasion given me pause in terms of the security of our little nest as the series of decks on the surrounding houses are all on about the same level as ours. I have unnerving visions of some kind of ninja-burglar parkour-ing their way into our apartment.

So, despite the recent heatwave, I insist on keeping the door to the deck closed and bolted when we go to sleep. At least we have a little window by the stove that lets some air flow through that part of the pad.

It was this obsession with locking the door nightly that kept me from having a colossal meltdown this morning when I was awakened by crashing sounds coming from the kitchen.

Despite assuring myself that surely I would have heard an axe-wielding lunatic hacking his way through the steel door before he made it into the kitchen, I was out of bed like a shot, alert and wary while Sparta blearily peered at me from beneath the duvet, asking the very good question, "What is that?"

Having convinced myself it was probably nothing more than some kind of pantry avalanche caused by my precarious stacking techniques, I bravely peeped around the door frame.

Directly in my eyeline was the counter where we keep our toaster, microwave and cutting board. On top of the microwave was our paring knife, garlic pot, loaf of bread and live squirrel.

Fortunately, he was an astoundingly rational squirrel, and shortly after making eye contact with me, slithered right back out of the hole he gnawed in the window screen without incident while I tiptoed back into the bedroom to fashion some kind of anti-rabies, squirrel wrangling gear.

It may be time to stop bragging about living on a beautifully tree-lined street.