It All Happened So Fast

April 30, 2010

It all started innocently enough. I decided to go for a quick stroll on my dinner break at work yesterday and found myself headed toward the lakeshore. I didn’t have enough time to make it all the way to Harbourfront (or else I would have gone to check out these and this) but figured it was better wandering aimlessly in the sunshine, during rush hour, in a tourist heavy area, than sitting in a stuffy room, in that uncomfortable chair, with my legs squashed beneath the desk. I wound up behind the CN Tower drawn towards a group of red and white tulips. The way the sun filtered through the flowers caught my eye so I join a small group of multilingual, camera wielding visitors feeling somewhat like a tourist myself. I love to travel and any opportunity to take a vacation, regardless of the duration, I consider a bonus (although I’d usually avoid an area like that but one must work within their restictions). I had snapped a few shots when I noticed a thin feather of dark smoke drifting across the horizon. I can’t tell you how often I see dark, pollutive smoke clogging up the skyline but this looked different. In a few minutes the scene looked like this:

A fire had broken out on the roof of a condominium on Queen’s Quay West. When I asked the folks in my radius if anyone had called 911 (I don’t own a cellphone) one man was on the line – on hold. It seemed to take a bit longer than I would have imagined to start hearing the whir of sirens in the not so far distance but once we detected the wail of help on its way, the man snapped his phone shut and made a bee-line for Union Station to catch his train home. According to The National Post, two women were taken to the hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation, but thankfully, no one else was hurt. The fire was still raging when I turned my back to the action. Only thirty minutes had passed since I started out on my stroll. By the time I walked back through the doors at work the thick black cloud floating across the sky had faded. And, I have to say, I was pretty impressed by how quickly, once they responded, the T.O.F.D. had it all under control.

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12) …ing

April 29, 2010

Blooming

Reading – Me Talk Pretty One Day, by David Sedaris. Loving it. Like, laugh out loud on the subway, loving it. I keep reading various lines over and over again. So good… I look forward to tucking into his other books.

Listening – A song by Mosaic called, St James, written my the multi-talented Bill Parsons for his album titled, Passing Time. I love this album. And I’m not just saying that because Bill is the Bill I’ve been known to refer to in a post from time to time. Check out at clip of St. James, here, at Mr Parson’s website, Mosaciland.

Drinking – at this early morning hour, a glass of water with lemon squashed in it. Later in the day, however, I’ll be sipping a glass of Apollinaris Mineral Water infused with a touch of Ceres Youngberry Juice. This weekend, most likely, I’ll be tipping a glass of red. Hopefully, Sterling Vinter’s Cabernet Sauvignon from California (about $14.95).

Studying – French.

Avoiding – Working on my writing project.

Sleeping – better than usual. Meaning, I’ve been catching about six hours worth of zzz’s each night over the last three days.

Watching – I just saw Milk on DVD (liked it!).  On television – Law and Order reruns on Bravo (always hits the spot).

Regretting – placing my 300 lbs (exageration) bag on top of a piece of chewed up and spat out sperriment gum, even if it does match the colour of my knapsack.

Wondering – Why someone would spit their gum out on the floor? Uh… Hell-oh!

Hoping – My African Violet springs back to life. She’s looking a bit droopy around the edges these days. : (

Enjoying – These wonderful blogs I’ve stumbled onto to. There are so many great ones out there my bookmark tab is about to expolde. Here’s a brief sampler of some of my recent finds. Schorlemädchen, The Blue Hour, Gluten-free Girl and the Chef, Prickly Pear Bloom, Smitten Kitten, The Purl Bee, The Cleaner Plate Club.

Knitting – An beautiful orange blanket. Still have just over half to go. Maybe by next winter…

Missing – the time to take oodles of photographs. I seem to be in an image capturing slump these days.

Planning – To go for a walk before work this morning so I better hit the road.

Grabbing – My camera.

Going – Out the door.

Wishing – You have an amazing day. Everyday!

Mayday… Mayday…

April 27, 2010

Isn’t there a bit about when (or, is it the less inevitable if) you’re down, out or just plain bored and the hands of time start whipping lemons at your head, you’re supposed to pull out the citric pulverizer and make some sort of tasty beverage? Well, it’s soon to get a bit more juicy around these parts because one of my favourite months is only a few days way.

For me, May (if you didn’t know what month I was referring to) is all about the Contact Photography Festival, a month long event, in Toronto, that has been known to bring me oodles (yes, oodles!) of sensory joy. I’m not saying I dig every piece of art I look at but I thoroughly take pleasure in the opportunity to check out what’s going on. Last year, I must have spent hours at the Albert Lambert Galleria in Brookfield Place staring at this exhibit – ten years worth of daily shots of Jeff Harris (taken by himself or others). I was captivated. I just quickly perused the Contact Photography Festival website, here, and my heart started pounding. Nothing like squeezing in a visit (or two) to the gallery on my way to work, or, on a day off, to inject a bit of creative buzz into my system. And, since I just got back to “the office” I think it’s the perfect time to mix it up.

BTW, Did you know, according to Wikipedia,  the distress signal Mayday comes from the French phrase Venez m’aider (come help me)? How apropriate is that? I can’t count the amount of times a talented gallery curator has come to my resuced. Merci beaucoup….

It's time to start twirling again.

In approximately two and a half months I’ll celebrate yet another birthday and this looming reminder of the passage of time has sent me flipping back through blog-posts-past to the entry I wrote the day of my last birthday. I wanted to see how many of the 44 Things To Do Before I Turn 45 (and remember I gave myself two years to accomplish this unrealistic feat) I have actually been able to cross off. To date, I have slashed through, with complete honesty and sincerity, (are you ready for this ’cause I wasn’t?) only one. Slump…

For this very reason, I have decided to refuel my drive by grabbing a more manageable handful of To-Do-Befores and see if I can get these done before my 44th celebration. The following is what I chose:

List 11: Ten Things To Do Before I Turn 44

  1. Go to NYC.
  2. Begin a new level (I’ve already complete a few) in my French class.
  3. Create a plan and budget scheme for my trip to Europe, in 2011 – and implement it.
  4. Finish (or should I say start) the next draft of the writing project I’m in the midst of.
  5. Get back to the pool. I seem to have fallen of the diving board with that one.
  6. Do two of the following: Paint my dresser, paint the bedroom, paint the back porch area, get photos printed and framed for the living room, paint the upstairs hallway and ceiling, tear out carpet and refinish stairs (ugh…)
  7. Book a trip to Winnipeg.
  8. Go for a five minute run without complaining, collapsing and/or throwing up.
  9. Write (although not necessarily post) at least one sentence a day.
  10. Once a month, do something I’ve never done before. Note: I may already be doing this without knowing it.

Let’s see how this goes. Wish me luck!

April 23, 2010

Settling back into my work routine has been a bit hectic. My last few days have been busy, not necessarily bad, but I guess I’m trying to jam in much of what filled my days, over the last little while, all into an hour or two before I need to head out the door. At times, I feel myself sinking. I keep bolstering my spirit with injections of reality because the truth is – I’m in a pretty good situation. It’s the little bits of dissatisfaction, I guess, (which I can’t necessarily blame on my job) that keep blurring the page, which in turn, makes all the good stuff seem out of focus. I wonder why I allow that to happen? Human nature, maybe? I need to watch that.

Focus, Kim. Focus.

Back Where I Started

April 20, 2010

After being off work for a little while (again) I’m on my way back in. I somehow fell under the illusion I would have accomplished more than I have, not that I wasn’t productive. So many other things got taken care of although some I had planned to get done are still waiting. You know how it is? You choose a particular period in time, the beginning of the year, maybe, or reaching a certain age to make something happen. That birthday, by the way, is hovering a bit too close for comfort but I have been known to work better under certain kinds of pressure.

For me, this was one of those days. And now here it is with nothing major shifted except the date I had hoped to accomplish what I had set out to complete. Thankfully, I’m not feeling too devasted, just a little stunned. The time seemed to pass by so quickly. I wonder why, at this stage of the game, that should surprise me?

10) A Sure Thing

April 18, 2010

Sometimes I like to take a chance. I’m not talking about the kind that might seriously toy with my comfort zone (although I’d really like to jack up that number), I’m referring to the more gentle risk – like choosing a film or a play I know absolutely nothing about. Maybe plucking a book off the library shelf just because I like the cover (didn’t someone warn me about that?). How about waltzing into the liquor store to peruse the selection of reds and grabbing a bottle I’ve never tasted before. I’ve stumbled across many a hidden gem this way but I’ve also been disappointed on more than a few occasions. As much as I like to leave it to chance there are days I don’t want to risk it. I might not have the time to spare or dollar to drop, or it might be my state of mind that needs to play it safe. Whatever the reason, I definitely have those days when safe is the way to go. So, if I want a guarantee I’ll be satisfied you might find me reaching for, tossing back or hitting play on one of these things:

List 10 – A Sure Thing:

  • A Joni Mitchell song or album is always sure to rock my work. Especially the albums Court and Spark (where, for me, it all started), Song to a Seagull, Clouds, Blue, For the Roses, Clouds, Ladies of the Canyon, The Hissing of Summer Lawns and Hejira.
  • For a great read my list is long (stay tuned) but if I’m going to choose one, as difficult as it might be, I’m going to say From Harvey River, by Lorna Goodison. Reading this book felt like I was reading about my own mother’s life. Like my mom, Goodison hails from Jamaica and although they have different tales to tell I couldn’t help feeling as if reading From Harvey River was like take a look into where my grandmother came from and my mother’s life as a girl. BTW, my mother agreed and loved the book too. I can’t wait to reread it.
  • Hannah and Her Sisters is at the top of my all-time favourite movie list (stay tuned). I’ve seen this movie so many times I’ve lost count. And, I am positive I’ll see it again.
  • There’s a scene at the end of Spike Lee’s movie Crooklyn (which I’ve seen several times) that gets me weeping. Sometimes I like a good cry.
  • If I want to stop at a café and have a perfect macchiato I’ll pop into Broadview Espresso. Yum…
  • For a bottle of wine under $15 my choice is a California red. Sterling Vinter’s Collection Cabernet Sauvignon (Central Coast 2007). Did I say, Yum?
  • One sure fired way to piss me off is being in the vicinity of an ill-mannered cellphone users. Nothing like sitting in the park with a gentle breeze rusting through the leaves only to be assaulted by some cellphone wielding barker shouting into their mobile.
  • A safe bet to lift a my spirit is surrounding myself with nature. Sometimes I just need to get out of the city even if all that means is to head down to the nearest trail, walk over to the beach or stroll through park. I swear doing this very simple act has saved me on more than one occasion. Heck, even watching all the bulbs explode lately or buying myself a bunch of tulips has planted a smile on my face. Gotta love the simple pleasures in life.

April 18, 2010

I know… more cherry tree shots. What can I say? I took an abundance of them the other day in High Park and feel compelled to share them.

I plan to have a list posted later today. I hoping something will come to me. But now, I’m heading out to hook up with my sister to go on the MS Walk. I need to make the first subway so I better get out the door. Later…

April 16, 2010

April 13, 2010 in High Park

April 16, 2010 in High Park

Cherry Blossoms

It might not be June but it’s definitley busting out all over. The sakura (cherry blossoms) are swingin’ in High Park.  I’m no c.b. expert (even though I’ve been going on about them for the last few days) but I think now might be the time to head down since there were still a few un- or soon to open buds holding out earlier today. As much as I love to have a gallery to myself (and let’s face it, these trees, in their glory, are like a work of art) today I had to share. It was like the buzz of the papprazzi swarning around the Sukura Hanami in High Park. I had a difficult time getting a shot without anybody in it. But I was okay with that since it makes me happy to see people enjoying them as much as I do. Now… my shots could use a bit of work. They’re o-kay but I really need to play with the settings on my camera to get the most ideal snap. This white on white business is tricky to make stand out. And, to be honest with you, I need glasses to read (and to see detail on my cameras) so I basically hope for the best when I’m shooting because although I can see the set up of the shot in the distance, I can’t really see the screen so well to know how it turned out. Just thinking about popping my glasses on after each shot (today I took a lot…) makes feel nauseous. I was hoping for something a bit more unusual and interesting at today’s photoshoot. I think my compostion could use a bit of a creative boost and I can’t blame that one on my fading eyesight. I just need to work at it and thankfuly I really enjoy playing around behind the viewfinder. I enjoy getting lost in it especially with such a beautiful subject.

April 15, 2010

I took these photos on Tuesday (April 13) and the scent of what’s to come has hit the air. I’m thinking these babies ought to be in full bloom in a few days making the Cherry Blossom Walk in High Park look like a dream.