November 28, 2010

As seen along the trail this week.

I hope you had a good one.


35) Imaginary Flop Day

November 27, 2010

A cold and dreary wind blows out my window.  If I could have my way I would stay in my jammas and spent the entire day inside.

List 35 – Things I’d do if I didn’t have to go to work today:

  • Have an all day film fest at the best venue in town… my couch.
  • Brew a pot of tea (peppermint, ginger, chai?), pull the covers up to my shoulders and dig into a great book. I’m itching to re-read The Year of Magical Thinking. I just saw the play at the Tarragon Theatre with the lovely and amazing Seanna McKenna.
  • Take a nice long, hot shower.
  • make a second coffee.
  • day dream.
  • Make a few long distance phone call/ figure out how to use Skype.
  • Grab a stack of New Yorker Magazines and dig in.
  • Pull out my knitting project from last year. This is a perfect day to get back into it – if I had the day off.
  • Give myself a luxuriant mini/pedi. A real splurge (for me) would be if someone else did it for me but that would entail leaving the house.
  • Do a bit of blog surfing on the net. I have to admit I love to do this but it can be a real time zapper and difficult to justify when I have so many other things to accomplish.
  • Hang out at TV5 MONDE in order to allow the french language to sink into my system. I try to hit this site about five days a week, usually on my lunch break, but it would be nice to spend more then twenty minutes in an attempt to hone my comprehension skills which, if I say so myself, needs a lot of sharpening.
  • Snuggle with B.
  • Snap my pod onto the Bose and listen to some music. Loud.
  • Order in.
  • Snooze.
  • Watch a few hours of bad television. A Flipping Out marathon maybe? Or, some not so bad… Like a few back to back episodes of Law and Order (only the original series even though it got canceled), Rescue Me (Dennis Leary. Enough said.), Sex and the City (the series – which I’ve seen a few times -not a huge fan of the films though.), The Larry Sanders Show (finally out on d.v.d. I need to get my hands on them!) Six Feet Under, The Sopranos, The Chris Isaak Show. I’d also love to check out a few I’ve never seen before like In Treatment and Entourage to name a couple.

Here’s a clip of Rescue Me to keep you warm. This clip could be construed as offensive to just about everyone and contains some foul language. It is not politically correct. The best way to watch a show like this is marvel at the writing (and all the hottie hots in the cast) and don’t take things too seriously.

What?!! I just looked out the window. I didn’t realize it was snowing…

And on that note I’m off to work.

November 25, 2010

The rising sun shedding some light on natural beauty.

I certainly haven’t been spending as much time as I would like to here these days. The morning seems to move at a pace that has me running just to keep up. I make it to the pool and trail at least once a week (better then nothing) and this has been a very good thing. It can be tough going, in the morning, breaking the seal of my duvet, but once I am out that door it feels good to be walking, swimming, whatever it is that gives my head some space. This change of weather can get to me. The windows are closed and the days are shorter. It takes me a bit of time to adjust. My body feels tired and sluggish and a my mind a bit too tight. Breathing in that crisp air at the start of the day can only make me feel a bit more… like me.

No matter how much fog, clutter or confusion I hide behind or am buried under, at the base of it all, I always know where to find me. Seriously, there are days I have no clue who I am and at times like that, I must breath, stay calm and gently focus otherwise what is most obvious can be extremely difficult to see.


November 21, 2010

Spotted in Grange Park, behind OCADU, while waiting for the sale to begin.

Yesterday morning, even though I debated over whether or not to go, I found myself at OCADU the Ontario College of Art and Design University (that is quite a handle that seems to get longer every few years) for the annual Whodunnit Mystery Sale. This is a fund raiser, for the bizarrely designed art school (I’m all for supporting creative minds but sorry, I am not a fan of that rectangular creature hovering over McCaul St) that raises money by selling several 5 x 7 works of art for $75. The name of the artist is not revealed until after you buy the work of art. Thus the whodunnit moniker. Personally, I love this idea. If you like the piece then buy it. You might get an added surprise when you discover who made it. The could be a student, teacher, celebrity? Who knows?  Check the website for the details if your interested in partaking next year.

The sale started at 10am and I arrived on the scene at 8:15 to secure my place in line. The number handed to me was… 108. Thud. I had two main choices and three on my back up plan in case one or both sold. There were over 1500 pieces to chose from and were on view since Wednesday. Once the sale began all of the choices were projected on a wall and you could see which works had sold and who the artist was. I felt excited sitting there waiting, each time my choices came around, to see whether or not they had been sold. I am happy to say I bought the two I was hoping for. One is a painting of a marsh and the other is a photograph if some flowers. I actually surprised myself with my rather tame choices but I’m pleased with them because first and foremost, they are both lovely works and second of all, I did want to support the school since it has contributed to the creativity flowing through the minds of a few very talented artists I know.

You can check out the pieces that were on sale, here , if you want to see what I purchased. The numbers I chose were 41 and 592. The three that sold from my back up plan were 13, 398 and 514. I was told that by tomorrow the artists names will be included on the site. I also wanted to mention, that considering how many people came out to the event, it was incredibly well organized. I was out of there by 10:45. Nice.

Art for art’s sake

November 18, 2010

Click on an image if you would like to enlarge it.

Yesterday, it was actually more like art for my sake.  I sometimes feel a very strong desire to surround myself with some creative energy. So I took myself on a date to the Art Gallery of Ontario to allow myself hang with some hangers. I do find it difficult to stroll around the AGO without dropping my jaw at how beautifully Frank Gehry transformed that building into a work of art. Besides snapping a few of the AGO curves, I spent most of the three hours perusing the Julian Schnabel show hanging on the fifth level of the gallery and the At Work: Hesse, Goodwin, Martin exhibit on the floor below. Lots of interesting stuff to take in but after a couple of hours I like to call it a day. I usually go an hour beyond my mind’s absorption point because I feel as if I might miss something fabulous just around the corner (tell me about it). My mind get a bit gooey after a few hours of art-gazing which can defeat the purpose of rejuvenation. I must plan another rendez-vous avec moi toute suite.

And, speaking of art gazing, before hitting the AGO, I slipped in at the Ontario College of Art and Design to check out what was going on at the Whodunnit? Mystery Art Sale. This is a fund raiser the college does every year. You should check it out, just steer clear of the pieces I’m interested in.

Project Warmth

November 16, 2010

My morning walk just before sunrise.

I thought I would mention a fabulous cause I friend of mine started here in Toronto a few years ago called, Project Warmth. Project Warmth is “a Toronto-based grassroots initiative, that aims to help families in need by creating beautiful gift packages of gently-used children’s items.These lovely gift packages are then sent out to women in need just before the holiday season, a time that can leave those struggling to make ends meet feel the strain that much more. Click HERE to see a list of ideas if you’d like to lend a hand by making a donation or volunteering your time. Once again I’ve left this until the eleventh hour as the donation deadline is…  this Saturday, November 20th. Ugh, I apologize for leaving things so late. Rest assured the word pronto will be one I hope to use more often in the new year. But, please don’t let my tardiness stop or delay you. Take a a few minutes, now, to roam around your closets, or, shelves, or make a quick stop to the drugstore to purchase some reasonably priced products for baby or mom and let the giving begin. Check out Project Warmth’s website for drop off details or information on how to volunteer on November 26, 27, 28 or 30th.

What better way to kick off the holidays then by making some extra space on your shelves while spreading some kindness to someone in need. I can feel the warmth already.

Here comes the sun getting ready to warm things up a little.



November 14, 2010

Cutting through the fog on King Street West.

It’s was oh-so foggy out there yesterday and the day before. It’s been a bit foggy in here, too. I’ve had a quiet week, as far as blogging goes, finding it difficult to cut through the haze of it all (a.k.a. – life in general) in order to traverse those misty routes winding through my mind. They say the best way to make your way through murky weather conditions is to concentrate on what is directly in front of you. If you strain to see too far into the distance it’s too easy to lose your bearings and wind up in a ditch somewhere. Just because you can see exactly where your going, or, what’s waiting at the end of the road, doesn’t mean it isn’t there.


November 12, 2010

A wee bit blurry but I can see its potential.

I’m feeling a bit foggy this morning. Let’s see how the day unfolds.

Happy Friday.

La Merceria.

A chai latte with soy.

After my french class the other day I found myself enjoying an impromptu mini-visit with my sister, sitting on what might be the tiniest patio in Toronto. I had my coat shrugged on to the back of my chair, with my head tilted back and up towards the sunshine. Trés formidable. That beginning of November sunshine made it feel a lot more like spring, which is exactly what I had in my step after tossing back a delicious espresso macchiato. Afterward, I made my way to Jules Bistro to grab a bite on my way to work. My day seemed to have un thème français, making me think of a few of the places in Toronto that leave me yearning for a trip to the City of Light. But really, what doesn’t.

Here are a few of the french offerings here in the city at the top of my list. Let me know if you have a handle on something I need to check out.

List 34 – French in the City.

La Merceria – La Merceria is technically dubbed an “Argentinian Cafe & Home Accessories Shop”, but strolling through this petite shop/café seemed to whisk me away to France. If I had the bank roll I’d buy almost every item in this store. I love La Merceria’s blog too, and most of their “Favourites”. These people have taste. Swoon.

Jules Bistro – I’ve eaten here a few times. Not as much choice for the me since I don’t eat meat (at all) or wheat (for the most part). I do, however (at least for now), eat fish and have had the Saumon Grillé and, on more than one occasion, have dug into the Salade Nisoise. Mmmmm…..

Didier – I dined at Didier’s last winter during Winterliscious and had an amazing lunch with a fantastic glass of red topped off with great service. I ask you, what more could you ask for?

La Palette – I celebrated one of my best birthdays at this restaurant located in one of my favourite nabes in the city, Kensington Market. I just heard it will soon to close its doors at this location but don’t panic(!), they’ve relocated on Queen Street West. I just perused the menu on-line and notice there is not much choice these days for a girl like me. This place is meat/dairy heavy – as is the want of many a French resto.

Patchou – I haven’t stopped in to Patachou’s since I gave up wheat (why torture myself) but used to pop into this sweet patisserie whenever I returned from Paris (once in 2000, then in 2005) in order to ween myself off from the ridiculously high number of chausson aux pommes I consumed, while away, on a daily basis.

Petite Thuet – For the same reason as I mentioned above, I usually only stop in here to buy gifts, such as, pain au chocolat or the almond croissant, for a special someone. I work fairly close to one of Petite Thuet’s locations and find it trés difficile to walk by without stopping in.

Alliance Française de Toronto – It is true that most of the things in Toronto that remind me of Paris involve eating or drinking (see the France section at the L.C.B.O.). But, if you want to slip into a bit of the French culture I suggest you pay a visit to L’Alliance Française, or, check out their Calender of Events. L’Alliançe is constantly offering events in Toronto reflecting the french way of life. They also usually have some interesting photos hanging in the gallery at their Spadina location. I’ve been visiting that gallery for years and am rarely disappointed.

Since I often have the travel bug it’s always nice to slip away, even when I’ve only got a few dollars and couple of hours to spare.

Bon vivant et bon appétit!

This morning felt exactly like, this, except for the part about the sun. It is overcast and rainy out there. And, the bit about having the entire lane to myself. This was almost true as there was only one other person sharing it with me – still damn close to blissful.