Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Christmas and Merry New Year to All

This is my first Christmas without my two sweet monsters, Word Wizard and Erratic Genius. I miss them, but I raised them to be free and independent, so I am proud and at peace with their choice to be away from home and travel Europe during the Holidays.

Above is a picture of Magi in 2004 when she was six months old. She thought we had put up the tree for her amusement. Every year since then, she gets very frisky when the tree comes out. I hope that she forgives me if I don't put up the tree this year. I have decorated a giant hibiscus instead.

Joyeux Noël et Bonne Année à tous!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

My Lady

Robin, at Watawa Life, took a picture of Our Lady's head in Winter, and I took one of her feet this past Autumn.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Of Pigeons and Feathers

Last August, I came upon this insightful gentle man. I was intrigued by the feathers protruding from his backpack, and his slow interaction with the birds surrounding him.

He was picking at something in the garbage and feeding it to a pigeon perched on the garbage can. I missed the shot of the pigeon calmly eating out of this hand.

I leaned over to see what he was picking at, and I saw a dismembered pigeon - only wings and head remained. (I hope that he was feeding the live pigeon cheese that was next to the partial pigeon)

We chatted and he informed me that he knew why the pigeon had been mutilated. According to him, there are people who love pigeon meat. They scatter rice and grains for the pigeons to feed on, which when ingested expands and ruptures their stomach and kills them. The pigeon meat aficionados then come along and collect the carcasses, leaving behind heads and wings. Could it be that this explanation resolves the murder mystery?

Before parting ways, he asked that I take time to look at pigeons as they take flight, so that I might be astonished at the colour of the feathers under their wings. He also urged me to hold a feather up to the sun and look at the sparkling light produced by the sun filtering through it.

I encourage you to do the same.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Crazy for Snow

I asked these committed bikers if they were enjoying the snow.

They saw my exuberant happy smile, my frost pinched cheeks, my wild sparkling eyes and the accumulated snow on my hat and coat, and they knew I was one of them.

"Yes, we love this snow. Don't worry, you're not the only crazy one."

Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Amazing Technicolour Dream Treat

If you want to make me happy - don't bother with flowers, diamonds, or French cuisine - just leave small, colourful, artsy-craftsy things on my desk.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Pencil Angst

"Has anyone seen my pencil? I just had it!" I say feeling a tad annoyed.

Marijuana Girl looks at me, laughs and points to the back of my head.

I sigh.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Labanne c'est pas banale

I have a weakness for boys

with red hair.

My first fiancé had red hair and freckles.

We were nine.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

UMI Café

a strong cappuccino gently served
on a cold day

Thursday, November 13, 2008

We Clicked

She wouldn't stop staring at me, so I took her picture!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Making Pies and Rememberance

On Sunday I volunteered to make pies at St. Luke's Anglican Church for their Lunch Club and Drop-In Centre.

There, I met a young woman whose sweetheart is on a peace-keeping mission in Afghanistan, and it made me think to remember the sacrifice our present soldiers and their loved ones are making in the name of peace.

As I was rolling out pastry tops, I remembered my elderly friend, May, who lived through the bombings in London during WWII. Her father would insist that they make tea, eat biscuits, and sing happy tunes while the bombs fell all around them. "If we die tonight, we will die happy," her father would tell his family. They survived, and May recounted those terrifying times with a tenderness in her heart for her father's brave attempt at keeping them sane.

I was using my maternal great-grandmother's rolling pin to roll out the pastry, which made me remember my grandmother's cousin who survived a grenade blast in World War II. He was saved by his best friend who threw himself on the grenade. My grandmother would get misty eyed whenever she told me this story. I always wondered if she had been sweet on the boy who died so bravely.

We made the pastry,

peeled, cored, and cut up apples,








and we produced over one hundred pies!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Morning Heartbreak

"He's covered in some kind of sticky resin. He's screwed."

The pigeon was calm and seemed at peace in this young man's caring hands.

"I am going to have to do him in."

Who or what did this to this poor creature?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Downtown Air Service

Zoom is so lucky, I mumbled to myself today during a stroll, she always sees the coolest things during her walkabouts.

And then, I saw the woman sitting in the airplane seat on the sidewalk!

She seemed unscathed, and she was agreeable to chat.

"I am waiting for my husband to pick me up," is all the explanation she offered.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Capturing Woodsy

While our mayor is busy shopping for street furniture to make our city swellegant and in sync with the nature of its good citizens, Lise (pictured above) is working hard at trying to earn an honest living. Lise is a talented pixie-like young woman who for $5 will draw almost anything you request.

It is her goal to complete her high school diploma, and she is aspiring to apprentice in a tattoo parlor.

I liked Lise immediately – she was amiable and talented.

I asked if she could draw me. "Of course," she responded with unblinking confidence.

I am delighted with the way she captured my astral presence.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Hallowe'en Costume Contest Winners

Scariest Costume - M Girl as Sarah Palin

Sexiest Young Men Costume - Last Minute Men with One Woman

Cutest Witch Costume - Good Witch from the North

Spookiest for a Good Cause Costume - Guys Against Hunger

Most Clever Pet Costume - Magi as a Vampire

Best Cat Toy Costume - Jen G

Happy Hallowe'en to all!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I Survived a Zombie Invasion

On Sunday I heard strange noises in my little bathroom. When I looked in I found five zombies all admiring themselves and each other in the mirror.

What sweet monsters, I thought.

It seems that if you clap your hands in glee and smile with approval, and then offer to take their picture, you have a 100% chance of surviving a zombie invasion.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Blog Action Day - Poverty was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair... Charles Dickens

Monday, October 6, 2008

Merivale Mall Maverick

"Maverick, MAVERICK! MAVERICK, are you disobeying me?"

The Erratic Genius and I look at each other and start laughing, and I quip, "Well, if you give a kid such a name you, what do you expect?"

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Three Intellectuals

I was trying to get a shot of a church spire on Somerset West last Friday, when these three fellows addressed me.

"Hey, take our picture," they teased. I was initially a tad intimidated, but the vibes were friendly. I took a photo of them and asked, "Can I put you on the Internet?"

The young lad in the middle responded with hip hop moves and, "Ya, sure - and say that we are three intellectuals who like to have their pictures taken!"

The fellow on the left, is sincerely hoping to be a model some day.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Yellow Rose of Elmdale

About a year ago, my trusted friend dropped by one night, and invited me to the Elmdale Tavern.

"Oh, but I'm not a fan of country music," I apologized.

"Don't worry, it's Ball and Chain. You'll like them, I promise you!"

I have been back six times since, and not just because I keep missing Jody Benjamin flashing us her frilly underwear!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Bus Tickets

He is a young lad - he is maybe fourteen. He walks up to me and quietly asks if I would be kind enough to trade his two bus tickets for a loonie, "They are worth two dollars, you know."
Yes, I know.

I let him down for a second when I tell him that I don't need the tickets. "But wait," I say and encourage him with a smile. "I think I have a loonie that you can have." I search my wallet well aware that he can see that I have a couple of bills. I find three quarters, a dime and a penny. I place them in his slender hand.

"Here, you should have the tickets," he repeats.

"No, I really don't need them. What are you up to?" I ask cautiously, "Do you have a home to go to?"

"I'm just wandering around killing time before my curfew."

"Can't you go home before your curfew?"

"No, it's a shelter. I can't get in before ten."

As I write this, I've been home safe and comfortable for over two hours. He has just been allowed into the shelter.

He's about to walk away and I say, "Wait", and I give him five dollars. It seems such a pittance, but then I remember when five dollars was a fortune to me - it wasn't that that long ago.

We look at each other for a few seconds - he has gentle intelligent eyes shaded by a lock of blond hair.

He tries to give me the tickets a third time.

"I'll make you a deal," I tell him. He looks at me suspiciously. "Keep the tickets, and instead, one day when you are doing well, and I have a good feeling you will do well one day, I want you to pass on the favour to someone else, OK?"

He hesitates only a second, "I will."

I think that he believes me that I believe in him. And, I do.

As he walks away he shares his faith with me, "God Bless."

(In memory of Steven (Cactus) Beriault)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I Get a Kick Out of You

I get a kick out of walking behind these guys. Sometimes I imagine that they are holding hands and strolling along singing a little love duet.

I stopped a pair of them recently, and commented on my appreciation of their presence in the downtown core.

One of the two laughed, and responded by repeating my words teasingly, "Ya, we think it's cool too."

Darn, I hadn't noticed that I had used hippie talk to address them.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Is it Art?

My instant reaction when I saw the black ink splash on the orange newspaper box and grey sidewalk was, "Oh, cool, guerrilla art!"

Well, maybe it was just someone having a klutzy day, but as my favorite band, Astronaut Love Triangle, would certainly say, "If you see it as art, then it is art!"

Monday, September 8, 2008

Coyotes' Viewpoint

When I become familiar with the sights on my walking route and there are no people to strike up a conversation with, I look up.

It is interesting to see what I pass by every day and don't notice because I am looking at life at street level.

It has come to my attention that Coyotes also have a fondness for gazing upwards.

Recently, while looking up I saw sky high gardens,

a romantic looking balcony,

a cool tin cat on a roof,

swanky wonky reflections,

and a coyote's breakfast - pigeons!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Duty Calls

So, what do you call a congregation of bicycle policemen other then the obvious, "sexy"?