Thursday, December 30, 2010

procrastination

listen(ing) to this.
read(ing) this.
watch(ing) this.
only if you(I) want to.

feeling overstimulated.

i wonder why? TIME TO PACK

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Saturday, November 20, 2010

awakenings

i think i'm back now. for good. i have here a microsoft word doc that i've had open for about the past month with the beginnings of a post (started it one day w/o the net). i'm about to delete it. it's time for a FRESH start.

it snowed here last night. there was lightning too! and tomorrow it's going to be a full moon. lots going on in the sky. goodbye fall; your colors will be missed.

movie rec that i have yet to watch: awakenings

well it's time to go get pretty for a night on the town. i will be back soon!

ps. people in vancouver for new years, keep your plans free ;)

ode to fall:

Monday, June 28, 2010

numbered (meat-eating) days

time is going by so fast right now. i will refrain from saying it but you all know the cliche phrase that i'm thinking. tomorrow i'm going to the summer house for three whole weeks, then i have a week off and i'm going to istanbul. then nine days left in amsterdam, the first five of which i am looking after the boys while the parents are out of town. and then four days of freedom. so that only leaves technically six days (because when i have the boys i won't really be able to do my own thing) for me to soak up as much of this lovely city as possible. how did this happen? although it's coming to an end, i feel very ready to be back home. and i feel especially ready to be done with this job, HOLY SHIT YOU CAN SAY THAT AGAIN. it's not that terrible but i just can't wait for freedom. but of course i will be sad to say goodbye to amsterdam.

in other news, i've decided to become a vegetarian. well not yet, but when i move back to vancouver - i figure that while somebody else is making my dinners i should probably just appreciate that and suck it up for about one more month. i have frequently considered becoming a vegetarian in the past but have never felt ready to actually commit. it's sort of funny what solidified this decision for me now; it was at the world press photo exhibition (did any of you see it this year?). well there was one particular series that revealed the happenings of a slaughterhouse. inevitably, the photographs were quite graphic, and in fact, managed to capture the expressions of fear worn by some of the animals prior to being slaughtered (perhaps one would argue that i'm personifying the poor creatures too much but look at the photos yourself and tell me you don't see fear in those eyes!). the series really conveyed an eery feeling, almost as if it were out of a horror film. but despite the effect these photos had on me, what really got me was the caption. it read: Neatly packaged meat in supermarkets is often completely detached in consumers’ minds from the process of its production. of course this is no news to me and neither were the images for that matter. but for some reason, that statement, so simply put, made me feel extremely foolish. us humans, myself very much included, are so easily able to tune out the part of the story we don't want to hear. cliche phrase number two - ignorance is bliss. but how can we call it ignorance when the process of slaughtering animals is arguably common knowledge? all of a sudden it became clear to me that my already 90% veggie diet could live without 10% meat. i suppose this commitment is pretty easy for me seeing as though i don't crave meat, and in fact, lately i've been pretty turned off of it. i've come to realize that when i think i'm craving meat i.e. i'm drooling at the thought of butter chicken, it has nothing to do with the actual chicken but instead it's the flavor of the sauce that i want. if it were butter tofu i would be just as happy. so why not substitute one for the other? conscious eating is a new goal for me. it's a tough one though, for two reasons. one is that i tend to be a sucker for convenience and secondly, we aren't given a whole lot of information in the grocery store. just because something may be 'locally grown' doesn't necessarily mean that the production process was environmentally friendly and efficient. we often know nothing about the production and therefore ignore the issue altogether and instead feel good about ourselves for eating local.

i really don't like it when people condescend others for things like not being a vegetarian so just to silence some of your worries, this doesn't mean that i will now judge non-vegetarians and think they are terrible people for continuing to eat meat. we each pick our own battles and we all have different priorities, so it's okay. after all i am still technically a meat eater myself. i must say though, i'm not looking forward to the countless explanations i will undoubtedly have to give about my reasons for being a vegetarian. i've sat through one too many of those conversations with friends where i've secretly been relieved that i'm not the one trying to explain myself. now it's my turn.

i came across an old article from Granville Magazine and i thought it was a good read. it's about the cuts made to arts funding in BC a few months back. the author attempts to remind us that art is actually a valuable part of our culture and contributes to our communities on several levels. here is the end of the article where she addresses misconceptions about the cultural industries.

"Art and culture are public amenities and need public investment. We aren’t talking about a painting that you might or might not like, and if you like it you buy it. We are talking about an investment in our shared culture, in public spaces, in cultural production of all kinds—some of it immaterial, all of it supporting larger ecosystems that create and inform things like our shared identity, the nature of our dialogues, our approaches to life and experience.

These are larger and more complex fields of activity than a one-to-one relationship between an object and a purchaser.

10 points to address common misconceptions about the cultural industries:

1. Artists are not spending their time at champagne soirĂ©es at the taxpayer’s expense. Artists are among the most underpaid professionals in our society.

2. Culture is an industry, not something that just “happens.” You’re thinking of people who make pictures of owls using bottle caps.

3. Art is not about artists—it is about communities and culture. This discussion is not only art, it is music, dance, film, heritage, publishing, video, media, sound, design, theatre, creative youth programs, social outreach, community festivals, animation, fashion.

4. Culture is not a hobby. Running the Children’s Festival or arranging an international visual art exhibition is not something we can do in our spare time.

5. Just because you usually experience the effects of our work in your spare time doesn’t mean we produce it in our spare time.

6. Artists are not “fancy.” Art is a hugely important part of our shared culture. Were the cave paintings fancy? Do you like written language? Have you ever seen a movie or worn a nice shirt or walked through a public space?

7. Even if you don’t like the art, understand what the art is, or know what is involved in making it, that doesn’t mean it has no value, or that it isn’t part of an economy, or that the person who produces the art should do it for free. Most people’s jobs are a mystery to people outside their industry, and no one questions the validity of those jobs or suggests that their children could do them better. Do we raise those questions about people who work in helium detection, vine training, or indoor advertising management?

8. The provincial grants we’re discussing do not entirely pay for the operations of these cultural associations, so extract the word “parasite” from your economic counter-argument. These grants represent a small but crucially important portion of total support and income for a range of organizations. The amount of money being cut from the provincial budget that will be so crippling to the arts community represents only 1/20th of 1 percent of the total provincial budget. To put it in perspective, the contingency fund for the 2010 Olympics is more than twice this amount.

9. People in these industries work hard, hold jobs and have families. Artists support themselves through their art and their work.

10. Was there a reason you chose to live in a city and not in a closet? Do you want to be from somewhere?"

(full article here)

two more things. alison (roadburg) has a layover in amsterdam early tomorrow morning and we're meeting for coffee and i'm very excited about that.

and...HOLLAND WON LAST NIGHT!!!!!!!! this city was out of control. i took loads of photos but unfortunately my camera is dead and my converter appears to be malfunctioning. so this will have to be a future post.

i never know how to sign off on my posts because i sort of feel like i have just written a group email and therefore should conclude it with a 'miss you all so much, love tor' or something otherwise it feels like an abrupt ending. but i'm not going to do that every time so, this is it. xx

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

grey skies

i haven't been this wet since yesterday when i got out of the shower. but this time, i'm fully clothed. it's a rainy, rainy day here in amsterdam. i took hunter to the park as i do everyday and at first there was just a light drizzle. my boots unfortunately need some repairing so i was proud to make it a few blocks with dry feet. then the torrential rain arrived. my feet were sopping in no time. next were my thighs. luckily i was wearing a raincoat so my upper body remained dry and protected. after about five minutes of solid downpour, every inch of my body was drenched. my black jeans literally looked like shiny leather pants and the weight of the water was slowly tugging them lower and lower. i was walking through the park laughing out loud, having so much fun. i was unfortunately listening to this song, among others, and now my ipod seems to be broken. i'm hoping it just needs some time to dry off. hunter seemed a little irritated and tried to find cover under every passing tree. unsuccessful in his efforts, he didn't give up until the tennis ball was revealed. i shared a silent bond with the few other people that found themselves in the park today - some joggers, cyclists, two other dog walkers. most of them managed a smile as our eyes met but a few were clearly perturbed. i guess i would be too had i been off to a meeting or somewhere where being wet would be a nuisance. for me, i knew that i was returning to an empty house where i could throw my clothes in the wash and get dry and cozy quickly.

just wanted to share my rainy day with you guys but gijs is home now and m&d are out of town, so it's all me. better prepare myself for some fun!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

this and that

i've sort of been neglecting my blog for a while. i don't really know why; i think it has to do with being overwhelmed by how many photos i still have to upload. how silly is that? i have somehow turned this into an obligation when it' supposed to be far from that. here is the turning point. i don't care if i'm behind in uploading photos. i'll do it when the time is right. for now i will ramble instead.

i'm lying on my couch right now, feeling a little under the weather. had a weird sleep last night, woke up many times during the night in a delirious panic. every swallow hurt like hell and required a serious effort. it probably didn't help that i started watching eva's celebration of love as i was falling asleep. lesson learned: don't do something that makes you really upset right before you drift into dreamland.

lately i've been feeling like my job has been a serious inconvenience. i'm so sick of my random hours and never knowing for sure when i have time off. i'm also getting frustrated with the job itself. one part of it in particular has been driving me up the wall. the feeling of complete powerlessness is not a good one and i'm just so glad to know that the end is near. but it's a bitter sweet feeling because though i'm wishing away my days of work, i don't want to be wishing away my days in amsterdam. i'm starting to feel a bit weary about leaving here and returning to vancouver. for a while i was so excited about it all but as it draws nearer i'm starting to worry that i've idealized the whole thing. i'm worrying about how much money i'm going to have left by that time, i'm worrying about finding a job that i love and i'm worrying about falling back into the same old lifestyle in which i seem to get nothing done despite my to do lists continuing to grow. i don't know where these thoughts are getting me but i can't seem to shake them. they've got me considering other (unrealistic) options like moving to london or perhaps even coming back to amsterdam. irrational passion does have the ability to create positive change after all (emily!), so maybe i should just go with it.

i'm literally half asleep right now so i think i should stop writing. i have a feeling i'll read over this tomorrow and realize it doesn't make much sense. we'll see.

Monday, May 31, 2010

THANK YOU malemjsarahfranjessapriladialex

i'm unbelievably overwhelmed by the thoughtfulness of my friends. jess was kind enough to deliver a whole bunch of birthday things for me and i honestly don't think i could have asked for a better delivery. every little thing is so perfectly suited to me and the care put into each item is so special...shall i share?

pop montreal poster, addition to my matchbox collection (box is titled 'victoria station'), elephant ring display, beautiful embroidered card, book&wishbone bracelet, poppy seeds&golden sewing scissors in the shape of a bird&a matchbox filled with many miniature trinkets, elephant hair clip&bookmark and a sweet sweet poem that gets me excited to move home. so many thoughtful words and photos too.

without you guys i'm sure the birthday blues would have been in store, being far away and all, so thank you for being here with me.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

photos of photos

technical difficulties

just realized that both videos are cut off on the right side. anybody know how to fix this? well you can watch them properly here (eve ensler) and here (lost things).

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

stop motion


i especially like the scissors. i'd like to make one of these soon.
well i'm off to the summer house for the next five days so i will be somewhat mia from the world wide web. probably a good thing. until next time!

embrace your inner girl

eve ensler (writer of vagina monologues and creator of V-Day) speaks about the 'girl cell' found in each and every one of us...a cell that has been both suppressed and oppressed for too long. she says it's time to start nourishing this cell in order to let it be seen and heard and felt around the world! so i think everyone should listen to eve and begin embracing their inner girls (you too boys).

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

barcelona

my goodness. there is a lot to be said here but do i have the time to say it all? our weekend in barcelona was so much fun. it was really wonderful to spend time with maggie and to be in the sunshine and warmth. i didn't realize how huge the city was until we were actually there. there was so much to see and do and despite the fact that we used almost every minute we had, there is still so much more to discover, perhaps one day i will return. i think this is my longest post yet because i added quite a few photos, so hopefully they will do the talking.

our first night:
guac, chips, mojitos, catch up

creepy sneaky

the trek up to park guell

live music on the way

park guell 1
main terrace (sagrada familia in the distance)

2

3
where's waldo?

4
you can't really tell but the entire roof is a mosaic

paint splatter at the beach

don't know the story behind this building but i liked it a lot

study of a perched crow

colorful laundry

hanging on our hostel terrace

croissant babies and beer

boqueria market

breakfast at the market - cappuccinos&pastries&fresh fruit

1 euro juices

gaudi's la sagrada familia 1

2

3

4

graffiti tells us that humans don't change..hehe

5
view from the top

6

7
peering over the edge

8

9

10
the way down

11
inside the sagrada

12
unbelievable stained glass windows

time for wine & cheese, cards & candy

right after a close call

this bar had a bunch of these light bulbs hanging around; i liked this very much

apollo night club

breakfast at oviso

walking up montjuic 1

2

more laundry

quick stop at the cultural center

it had some really cool photographs

our last supper then off to board our planes