Sunday, December 28, 2008


Christmas was lovely.
We were alone in the city, so it was very quiet and laid back.
We didn't have a spot in the apartment for the tree ( a twenty dollar Army and Navy special) so we used the kitchen table.
The weather here was terrible, incredibly snowy - which, on it's own, isn't so bad. It's the fact that transit grinds to a halt and taxi's aren't equipped with snow tires . . . no one knows how to drive in slippery conditions.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

A Novel Completed

Kind of, anyways.
It was incredibly rewarding to take part in NaNoWriMo, and I look forward to having a go at it again next year, lessons learned tucked confidently in the crook of my elbow.
The first draft is finished. There is some serious work to be done: twisting the story line around to make sense, characters cut/added/switched around, rubbish to be chopped out, and a title to be found; but in the meantime it's nice to not have to look at the beast.
Familiarity breeds contempt.
I am, however, really looking forward to starting some new stories. I've got lots of ideas, both for novels and short stories, and am very excited for a break in my social-events calendar so that I can make the most of them.
Speaking of which, I'm preferably a solitary animal. To my happy surprise slash utter dismay, I've got a lot going on this month including, recently, some social event to attend every night for over a week. This never happens, and it would appear that I lack the stamina for it. Trying to juggle Christmas shopping, sorting out personal paperwork, and every day life things around all of these festivities is really taking it's toll on my mental state. I need some alone time.
My hair is still purple and still at my shoulder blades, despite longing to get it cut and dyed back. There just isn't the time lately, and it's bloody frustrating.

Monday, November 03, 2008

So I'm writing a novel. . .

And my hair is purple. But more importantly, I'm writing a novel.
November is National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo as it is affectionatly called. Basically it's a challenge where many many people slave away for 30 days to pump out a 50,000 word draft. Pretty nutty stuff. This breaks down to 1600 words a day, every day. Having heard about it previously but too late to actually partake, I decided to tackle it this year. My novel is about zombies. Yep, zombies.
After a weekend of sketchy beginnings and today's long hard day at work, I only have 3700+. It’s a little depressing, falling behind on my daily quota so early on in the game, but I’m betting I’ll be able to get a bunch done on the weekends, when I don’t have to be talking to people/fully clothed/focusing on anything other than writing. There will be peaceful times with many words.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

What Day is Today?

It's Piquette's Birthday!

She's seven. Holy hell.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Our Weekend In Kelowna - PART I

We went (rather last minute) up to Kelowna for the long weekend. It was lots of fun, very hot, and we left very happy.
The bus ride there was pretty pleasant for being so long. It was raining in Vancouver when we left, so the gradual transition to desert was a little shocking for those of us who had never been so far inland. I don't have any photos of us on the bus, so here's a cute dog!

We spent a lot of the time in the pool, John trying to teach me how to swim. I can't say that I'm any more skilled, but we had a lot of fun making forts out of pool noodles and throwing things at each other.
The first full day there was a big family affair. I met a few of John's cousins for the first time, and saw some people I hadn't seen in a long time. Brian and Theresa made an awesome meal and there were some more pool shenanigans. John and his dad had a showdown, which resulted in a tag-team beat-em-up. It was pretty entertaining to watch. That's Brian underwater.

The second day we were on our own, and decided to got for a long walk around the neighborhood. I was surprised to see so many vineyards and wineries, but the climate is perfect for it. It was incredibly hot and dry, but we got a good workout and saw some really nice views.

We then decided to go up to Knox Mountain Park to see the city. The view was incredible. Also, a fat kid, sans parents, was acting like a goof and fell on his face. So that was kind of entertaining.
Here is a picture of the clumsy fat kid.

I'll have to do another post later. Blogger makes posting pictures probably the most awkward and difficult task related to blogging.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog

If you haven't watched it, then what the hell are you waiting for?
Unfortunately it is no longer available for free, so all you hardcore Whedon/Fillion/Harris fans are just going to have to pay for it or. . . *ahem* piratethatsuckertogetyourfix. I have done the latter, but rest assured I will be purchasing the DVD with all it's glorious extras. This is too awesome not to support.
What is it, you ask?
It's a musical. About a super-villain (Dr. Horrible (NPH)) and his arch nemesis (Captain Hammer (Nathan Fillion)) and his love interest (Penny (who is played by the girl from the Guild)). And it's awesome.
So awesome that I have had songs from it stuck in my head since it's arrival on the scene. So awesome that it's affecting my dreams. So awesome that I watched the third act countless times so that I could type up the lyrics (at the time of me doing this, they were nowhere to be found. If you want a copy, let me know. . .). So awesome that I, too, want to hold a PhD in Horribleness. What the hell am I talking about, you ask? Better watch it!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Saturday Afternoon Walk - Part II

Just some pretty flowers.

This is our favourite park. The stairs down to the train bridge is just down and to the right. Plus it's got a great name. Though we would have named it something else. Like "Train Conductor Park" . . . or something.

John and I like to come down to this bridge and watch the trains. It's really nice at sunset. They go right underneath the bridge. It's right next to an inlet. There's always boats out there, and apparently a pile of sulphur that they filmed an episode of SG-1 on top of. I would think that would have been unpleasant for the actors.

A sticker that we liked. It's meat!

Down by the tracks. There's all sorts of good stuff to look at from the old bridge.

We ran into the sea star again on our way back home. He had moved slightly, and was now completely dead. I suggested that a dog sniffed him. John thought maybe he was kicked. I guess we'll never know. And neither will he.

This is a pretty mural by our house. See the grey squirrel on the balcony rail?

And finally we end up on Our Street. It was about 6 by this time. We went out for sushi at this awesome new restaurant by our place. The service is incredible, the food is great, and the prices are good. Perfect balance.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Our Saturday Afternoon Walk - Part I

John and I went out for a long walk today. I took lots of pictures.

We ran into this guy on the sidewalk. We suppose he was dropped by a bird. He was very dry and dying/already dead when we found him. We considered dumping slushy on him to help him out, but thought that sugar and extreme cold was probably not good for sea stars.

Just so you don't think that we really had slushies.

One park that we went to had lots of initials carved into the trees.

And very pretty moss.

And neat things in stumps.

The sidewalks becomes trail at one point. It smells really nice along here.

We are really close to an ocean inlet, and there's some pretty intense industrial areas. Lots of seagulls.

I guess they were testing out the road-line painters or something here. The shadow is John's head, in case you weren't making the leap.

Dreams, apparently.

I took some excellent photos of John while we were walking. I think they look slightly CD-insert-ish. We also found the best seesaw ever. It was huge and sproingy and very confortable. You could stand in the middle. This might be the best photo of John ever taken.

Friday, June 06, 2008

My Newest Obsession,


I decided to go visit Birkeland Bros a few days ago to look for a nice yarn for John's upcoming Tomten sweater. While I was browsing I noticed some drop spindles behind the counter. I've always wanted to learn, but never had anyone to teach me. I bought a small bag of Shades of Narnia (from Chilliwack) at the PNE a few years ago, and had no idea what to do with it.

So I bought a student drop spindle and 2 lbs of roving in two lovely greens. Pearl showed me how to use the spindle and I headed for home.

It took me a while to be able to spin the spindle and a) not drop it and b) know when backspin was going to destroy what I had just made. My first yarn was lumpy and ugly and wonderful.
I made about 6 yards. I seriously have no idea how much of it there is, but definately not enough to do *anything* with. I'm just going to keep it for sentimental reasons.

My *second* handspun is more like real yarn. I'm still not sure on the yardage of it, but it's about 100g of fibre. I should be able to actually make something out of it. It's a two-plu aran weight, made from the bag of Narnia roving. It's incredibly pretty. I've just got it drying at the moment, but I'll post photos of it when it's all clean and dry and wound. I can't wait to knit with it.

I also got a great steal at Value Village the other day. A large men's wool sweater, handknit. I'm in the process of ripping it all out. The yarn is a fingering weight, I think, and a beautiful blue-green colour. I'm looking forward to doing something with it, though I'm not sure what yet.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Neighbor Cat

He's a creeper, see?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Charbonne On The Needles

The Cozy V-Neck Sweater from Fitted Knits. Or rather it will be. Really nice to knit, though there is a bit more ribbing than I enjoy. I'm using a bag of Shetland Chunky left over from when Lewiscraft closed. A little worried about the yarn not holding up over time after all this ribbing, but I can't justify not using it for something.

I also took a nice picture of John's hat. I think I may use this when I post the pattern. I just need some photos with him in it and I'm set.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


My third painting in Vancouver.

This is a portrait done from a photograph of a maintenance man that I met in Jamaica. He was very kind, and took care of the convent that I was at during my stay.

I still don't know to this day if "Fajoey" was his name; his accent was very thick and I had a hard time understanding him sometimes.

It's acrylic on canvas, measuring 11" by 14". It took me close to 6 hours to complete. The edges are painted black.

I'm not totally happy with the background - I find it a little too dark. I'm still learning this stuff though, so I can't have regrets about it. I'm sure someone somewhere likes it.

Friday, May 09, 2008

So Here's What I've Been Up To. . .

I've got it in my head that I can sell my paintings for a living, and will be giving it my best shot this summer.

The first painting that I finished here is on a warped canvas, so I can't sell it. This pains me slightly but I love it and want it for our apartment so. . . I can cope with the warped stretcher bars.
It measures 16" by 20" and is in acrylics. It took me about 20 hours to paint and I was very happy to see it finished.

Next I finished a smaller landscape of a military base that I visited in Jamaica. I've found a lot of photos of Jamaica (this being one of the less desireable ones) that I would love to paint. I'm going to be popping out today to get some larger canvases to do so. Everything that I've been reading strongly suggests having works of all sizes and a fair range in price so as to appeal to a wider audience. This makes a lot of sense to me.
This one is 8" by 10" and is also acrylic. This little guy only took about 5 hours, but I'm also not happy with a lot of it. The power lines, for example, are crap. There comes a point where you have to call something finished though, I suppose.

I'm loving using my studio-easel. It's really helping to ease any neck strain that I would normally have after 5 + hours of painting. It's a little clunky in our tiny apartment, but I'll have even more room when the weather gets really nice and our patio is set up - I'll be able to paint outside.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Vancouver in May

Here I am.
The first weekend here was wonderfully whirlwind - My arrival Friday morning was reasonably smooth - Pique travelled fantastically and we had lots of leg room on the plane. The weather was great and there were no small children in my immediate proximity. I couldn't sleep.
I was happy to see the spring trees in all their blossomy-glory. John was all smiles. We got a cab and had a bit of a time getting my over-sized luggage in a little hatchback, but were on our way soon enough.
That night we went to a going-away party for my friend Kasey, who is, typically, moving across the country to where I just left. We seem to do this frequently, and may never live in the same province at the same time again. We have the worst timing in the world. We encountered Toad, dancing ambiguously in the corner of the room. We also met and were cornered by the most boring man in the world, which admittedly made the night more memorable. It was potentially one of the most surreal nights of my life: On the way from the sky train to the party John was waved down by some young men through the window of the Spaghetti Factory. They were very convincing, but John is certain he has never known them in his life. After the party there were numerous sky train happenings. First we get on and manage to sit directly in front of a homeless man who then poops himself and starts mumbling gibberish and waving his arms about agressively. We were out of there and into another car at the next station. Next two burly gangsters try to sell us pot/other. They stood at our sides, unravelling a large handkerchief from a pocket. Begin advertising shpeal. They were clearly not talking to each other, loudly proclaiming, to us albeit indirectly, as to how great their copious amounts of illegals were. John and I nervously switched cars again.
The night continued on as such and we were grateful to be home and safe.
Saturday was a Brawl tourny, which I lost but had great fun at. John did well but was eliminated second tier. Sunday was lunch with John's cousins. We went to Granville Island and had a great brunch. I bought some stuff at Opus. All was right in the world.
I painted every day last week. I'm going to be trying to sell these things and make money at it. Wish me luck, as I'll need it. So far my plan to paint for at least 5 hours each day is going beautifully. I've got a big ol' easel now and everything. It's taller than me and pretty.
Mario Kart Wii is loads of fun. Get it if you don't have it already. Seriously. Fun.
I am going into withdrawal. I need yarn. Last night I knit a strip of redheart *shudder shudder* on 5 mms. I threw in a few stitch patterns. It's butt-ugly but. . . oh man. . . did it ever feel good. Our Greyhound shipment came in so I should be up to my eyes in yarn in the next day or so. Thank FSM.
More later. Lots more.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

John Sketch

This was a 35 minutes sketch of John using a Prismacolour pencil crayon. He sits very still when he plays Rez.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

John Sets Up My New Easel

John set up the easel for me. It's very tall and pretty.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Only 3 more days in Ontario.
I've been organizing my belongings for two weeks now: getting rid of stuff, recycling, returning borrowed items, and trying to figure out if I really need some things. I started packing yesterday and so far have been making pretty significant process. Luckily. Time, she be running out.
Piquette had her vet appointment last week to make sure that she was in tip-top flying condition. Her carrier is cleaned and ready. All she needs now is a lighter bone structure and wings. I made a new carrier-insert for the flight, as the original for her soft-sided carrier (the only type allowed as carry-on baggage) was warped and falling apart. It was only card covered in vinyl and hadn't held up to well to years of abuse. The final straw was last Wednesday, when she decided that being in a carrier at the vets (new rooms, lots to explore!) was not all that it had cracked up to be, and had the brilliant idea to roll the carrier around the lobby, hamster-ball-style, to investigate things. Needless to say the the bottom-insert was toast. I fitted a fabric sleeve over a piece of hardboard cut to size, with a quilted top (I only had stuffing, not batting, but it seemed to work quite well) and covered it all in polar-fleece. She should have a comfortable flight, for the most part.
I'm worried about Lady, as we have been closer than ever lately. She pined quite severely last time I left, and I doubt that this Friday will prove any easier. For either of us.
I feel that this week has really snuck up on me. There was lots that I never got to do (including some farewells to friends). I did manage to pop down to see my two best friends before I left, and we had a great weekend. I'm really going to miss them. I've got my fingers crossed that they are able to come out for a visit in the next year. That would rock (hinthintcoryandrobyncoughcough).
I have discovered another reason to be grateful for yarn: It's a fantastic packing material. All those little nooks and crannies in the rubber maid bins (I'm shipping all of my stuff Greyhound) that are dead space otherwise. . . ? Yeah. Yarn. Merino Wool makes terrific padding. Way to go yarn! Who needs bubble wrap?

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Like Lightning

The snow is finally melting from days of rain.

And, Pretty Cat:

She's so camouflaged!