Tuesday, April 14, 2009


I have so many things that I need to mention here right now that I'm feeling a little overwhelmed. I feel like it's been ages since I posted last. It's fairly obvious that I need to keep on top of this interspace and visit often in order to manage the things in life that are making me feel a little stressed out.

So, on six seemingly unrelated notes (not really though, it's always so much more complicated than that...just remembered a 7th item to mention), allow me to dazzle you with the going-ons in my life.

1. I try really hard to eat like a vegetarian. I'm by no means perfect and I definitely do through some meat-eating phases. These usually coincide with special occaisions when large family meals are traditionally served. Summer BBQ time is also tough. The thing is, I really an a bit of a foodie and I truly miss the flavours that get left out when I don't eat certain food groups. A long time ago Em and I came across the term umami in biology class. Umami is a Japanese word that means something along the lines of meaty or savoury. It is the fifth taste to go along with sweet, salty, sour, and bitter. So, I'm hunting for some good ways to eat more veggie umami tasting foods. As I type, there is a large crock pot of chili bubbling away in the kitchen. It's full of cremimi and other little mushrooms that I can't remember the name of right now. I also added a whole bunch of vegetable protein because I need more of that in my life too.

2. Awhile ago I had personal information cards (I'm not exactly part of a business) printed by a really cool company from the UK called Moo.com. I uploaded images from my work and travels last summer then designed the info part including a picture of myself. I used 23 different background pictures for 60 cards and I could have used 60 different ones if I so desired. Moo.com is a really cool website and a great company to work with. I would highly recommend them for any of your printing needs. You can also make personalized postcards and stickers at the site and I will definitely be partaking in the future. Last time I attended a conference I ended up ripping about 6 pages out of my notebook to scribble down my contact information. I hope I'll get to hand out a whole lot of these this summer instead.

3. Today I received a phonecall from the mother of one of the students I tutor. Apparently he achieved a Gold Medal at the science fair I judged last week! There were just so many displays at the fair that I didn't come across him at all. He didn't see me either, and only knew I was there when he noticed my name as one of the judges in the handout from the award ceremony. Awards were handed out at 8:30 pm and I was only at the fair during the morning. I'm disappointed that I missed him, but I'm very proud of his work.

4. Last week, my good friend Bronwen, from Ottawa, sent me a package in a colourswap. This was a little mail exchange I organized with a few of my crafty friends. Everyone had a secret person to send a package to full of knit, found, made, or thrifted items in the recipient's favourite colours. One of my favourites is blue and she sent me a lot of really neat treats along with a handmade, bound notebook. Bronwen is a great bookbinder and I love receiving notebooks from her. This one is called good notes. I'm going to write in all sorts of little quotes and poems I come across that inspire me. The first one is a favourite of mine by e.e. cummings. He was on my mind from two posts ago.

5. Before and after this post I've been working on a new crochet project. I rarely crochet, it jsut isn't my thing, but I will always love the mindlessness that is the creation of a granny square. The most traditional pattern in all of crochet has to be one of the most aesthetically pleasing patterns in Canadian history. Image a cottage without a granny square afghan? Last weekend, I was home and Belva gave me a giant bag of cast-away wool. Even though I'm trying to pare down my belongings, I will gladly accept any offering of wool. In the bag there were 11 balls of Shetland Chunky Tweed in horrible, coordinating colours. So, now I am making a giant granny square tweed blanket and taking into consideration everything I know about colour theory to make this mix into an appealing blend of warmth and coziness.

6. Yesterday and today I received e-mails from the ESA conference in Albequerque, New Mexico and Perth, Australia, saying that my abstracts for oral presentations were accepted. I'm very excited to travel a bit, but I really need to get my thesis finished. Today I caught a little snag in the results section and it definitely brought me down. I was feeling pretty rough and had to leave work and get some fresh air. Tomorrow will be a new day though and I'm going to forge ahead with the discussion.

7. Last, but definitely not least, this morning Doug was talking about the Guelph Guitar and mentioned that Robert Bateman had offered him a piece of Tom Thomson's coffin for the guitar or case. The thought of this is sort of overwhelming and the entire web of stories about art, science, history, life, people, culture, everything inbetween that I can't even think of right now just blows my mind. I'm so glad Doug is putting this all together and I've had the chance to see behind the scenes. I'm a huge fan of early 19th century Canadian landscape art, the work of the Group of Seven and everyone associated with them. I could go on and on about this part of the story, but my fingers are getting tired. I don't know if Doug will take this piece for his work because how will he ever sum up the circumstances that led to this offer in one chapter of his book?

That felt really good. Getting all of this out of my brain allows me to realize that there are many more important things to consider in the world besides my protein intake levels. Got to stay humble,

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