Sunday, April 30, 2006

Sunday Click-Around

Waifs and Strays is a site that gives you a glimpse into the lives of homeless children in Bristol c. 1890 to 1918. The little girl pictured here, showed up "clutching a penny and a chestnut".
Recently, my Tetka Ljuba divulged that when she was born in 1944, her family was living in the woods close to the town of Pakrac, Croatia, and were sleeping in a burrowed hole..being Serbs and all...hiding from both Ustasa and Bona Fide Nazis.
The resilience of humans has never ceased to amaze me.


Benjamin Krain is a photojournalist. I don't think I'd be allowed to post a picture.
...he looks pretty serious.

Montage a Google makes a montage with images you request. It's kinda cool. I know it's old, but it's worth looking at again.

If you think that you're relatively normal with few phobias...think again.
Phobias will name every phobia for you. Is it a joke site? I hope so.

Do you have a word or words that you really like?
I do. I like the word "Gonzaga", and the mister thinks it's really funny when I giggle everytime someone says it..but, it's not really a word.
It's a Cardinals' surname. I like the word "amenable" too. There are lots of words that I like, for different reasons. My Favourite Word is a collection of random people's favourite words, and why they like them. Catchy Colours is a blog that "showcases the best of colours from FLICKR" (except, they spelled colours wrong...I corrected them here. ;) ).

Bright Feet is a company that sells house slippers with headlights. Obviously, we're looking to the Japanese now for inventions. Is there a problem with turning the lights on? Perhaps a miners helmet is needed for these people.

Test your geography here. Believe me, you're not as smart as you think...ehrm...I'm not as smart as I think.
I hate that.

Looking at this site helps you understand why fine dining costs so much for so little.
It's really edible art.

And last but not least, as a Canadian..how can I not be interested in a 1,700 pound chocolate moose. What's shameful is that it was done by an American.
Well...at least he lives in Scarborough.

That's all kids...

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Pineapple Cheescake

YES!
It's another pain in the ass, but worth it recipe!
This is one of those thick cheesecakes with the pastry up the sides.

Pastry:
1 1/4 cups of flour, 3/4 cups of softened butter, 1/4 cup of sugar, 1 large egg yolk, grated peel of one lemon. In a bowl with mixer at low speed, beat all ingredients until well mixed. Shape dough into ball; wrap in plastic and refrigerate for one hour.

Preheat the oven to 375F. Press once third of dough into bottom of 10" springform pan; keep remaining dough refrigerated.
Bake the crust for 8 minutes or until golden; cool on wire rack. Turn oven up to 450F.

Filling:
While crust is cooling, in a large bowl, using mixer, mix together 5 8oz pkgs of cream cheese, 1 3/4 cups of sugar, 5 large eggs, 1/4 cup of milk, 3 tbsp flour, 2 large egg yolks, grated peel of one lemon until smooth.

Press remaining dough around the sides of the pan (as best you can..it's not as easy as it looks) and then pour the cream cheese mixure up to about a 1/2 inch below where the crust stops.
Here's the real pain in the ass part:
Bake cheesecake 12 minutes. Turn down oven to 275F and bake for another 35 minutes longer. Turn off oven; let cheescake remain in the oven for another 30 minutes.

Cool cake on wire rack.
While it's cooling, open a can of pineapple (yeah..I'm lazy..what of it?) and pour into saucepan, when the juice comes to a boil, stir in one package of gelatin until disolved. Put it in the fridge until it starts to set, and then pour it on top of the cake.

Boxing tonight...people coming over...

Friday, April 28, 2006

Oprah Knows Everything...

I'll start off by saying that I actually like Oprah. I think that she's come up with some really positive organizations, ideas and programs. I think that when she switched over from Jerry Springerland daytime talk show format to a more organic/positive/self-help kind of show, she helped a lot of people focus their lives.

See, for me...that's the scary part.
There are so many people who see Oprah as some sort of a demi-God, rather than the wealthy, ambitious woman that she is...and I think at times, Oprah sees herself that way too. The whole beef industry thing, the lashing of James Frey, are just two examples. I know that I might piss off the Oprah/Dr. Laura/Dr. Phil disciples with what I have to say....but, whatever.

It irritates me that so many people let Oprah do their thinking for them. I've noticed that many people depend on her for an opinion, and that's just frightening.

Yesterday Mystic got me thinking about Oprah.
During an interview with Charlize Theron:

"There's no such thing as luck," Oprah tells Charlize. "There's only preparation meeting the moment of opportunity. … If you weren't prepared when the opportunity showed up, nothing would have happened."


This is only partially true, because luck and chance is part of what brings that "meeting of the moment of opportunity" that you've been preparing for in the first place.
I found this statement by Oprah incredibly arrogant.
One thing that I've noticed is that the wealthier you are, the more that "luck" and "opportunity" presents itself.
So, Oprah can afford to talk.

We all know people who have to work twice as hard to get half as much...what's wrong with them, Oprah? Are they just not siezing their opportunities? Or are opportunities just not presenting themselves because these people are just not in the right place at the right time with the right people? How do you get with the right people...how do you get the chance to meet them?

What about those people who seem to have a horseshoe up their ass?
The people who do fuck all and seem to have opportunities fall into their laps.
Jobs, windfalls...the people who make bad decisions and always seem to land on their feet? What about them? Are they trying harder? Or are they lucky? Do they "sieze the opportunity" to take advantage of others?

I think that Oprah's so lucky that she can afford to believe that there is no such thing as luck.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Am I Crazy?

One of the parents whose child is enrolled with us is due any day.
She informed me today that her eleven year old son is her "Coach".
Her "Birthing Partner".
I asked if he would be with her through the whole process, and she said that he would.

Am I nuts to think that she's nuts?
Help me out here.

Should an eleven year old be in the delivery room?

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Sunny Bar



...at Annette & Clendanan.
These storefronts are not for long, my friends.
There are a few peppered around the city, tucked into old neighbourhoods...but it won't be long before they go the way of the lakeshore, to be replaced by glass and concrete condos.

More around town adventures at Look Up Radmila

Adventures in Driving


The Mister noticed these two license plates close together, and luckily
I had my camera with me...

Dose of Dorothy

Interior

Her mind lives in a quiet room,
A narrow room, and tall,
With pretty lamps to quench the gloom
And mottoes on the wall.

There all the things are waxen neat,
And set in decorous lines,
And there are posies, round and sweet,
And little, straightened vines.

Her mind lives tidily, apart
From cold and noise and pain,
And bolts the door against her heart,
Out wailing in the rain.

~Dorothy Parker~

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

No Man's Land

This morning on the way in to work, the topic on talk radio was the case of Israeli Canadian, Dan Drori.
Apparently, countries that are in dispute over land are left with just the city of birth on passports.
With borders in certain parts of the world constantly changing, I guess this is a way to kind of...I don't know...keep up diplomatically or something.

Recently, I went to get my passport renewed and was pointedly told that it would say "Serbia Montenegro", and was that "ok" with me?
I laughed when she said it, because what did that mean?
Could I say, "No, actually...it's not ok with me...I would like it to say Paris, France, it's so pretty there" or should I say, "No, actually...I'm ashamed of being Serbian, can you leave that out?"

WTF?

Anyway, when my passport showed up, my place of birth came up as Novi Sad.
Period.
No country.
Does that mean that the land is in dispute still?
It's the Balkans.
It's possible.

In a way, I would like it to still say Yugoslavia, because that's the era I was born in, the time in that area of the worlds' life.

Weigh in on this for me.
Is it important?
I know that for some cultures, this kind of thing is worth blowing people up in cafes and underground for.
I'm just not sure where I am with this.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Today's Quote:
A friend of The Mister's family commenting on a braless woman in a skimpy top at a family function:

"Somebody must talk to she.
She breasts hangin' like a murder charge."

Monday, April 10, 2006

Wag the Dog

Over the past 10 years or so, the one outweighing the many has become du rigeur.
If someone is allergic to nuts, no nuts allowed in the building.
If someone is allergic to bananas, no bananas allowed in the building.

Last month I had to go to a government office for something.
While I was in the reception area, I noticed that both entries to the offices were covered with warning signs:
"Nut Free Environment"
"Scent Free Environment"
"No Bananas beyond this point"
(I shit you not)
"Aerosol Free Environment" and a bunch of other stuff that I wouldn't even think to bring into an office...I guess that was for "just in case".


I realize that there are people who are suffering with allergies that are serious, and I'm probably going to sound like a Superior, Grade A, Top Sirloin Bitch when I say this, but gimme a break.
I say that if your life is unbearable in public, go on long term disability.
For the rest of us, it's worth it.
The workplace has enough to tolerate.

Is that insensitive?
Just as insensitive as expecting an entire work environment, perhaps consisting of hundreds of people to accommodate you.

I wear perfume.
I love perfume.
Scent is part of my whole feel good thing.
I love it when other people smell nice.
It's part of my whole feel good thing.

If you have to take me aside and tell me to stop wearing perfume, then you have to tell that woman whose skirt is too short for her age to dress appropriately (I find it offensive), and then you also have to take that guy whose hygiene is bad aside and tell him the merits of taking a bath daily (I find this disgusting and shouldn't have to put up with it). Tell that client that she needs breath mints (I shouldn't have to tolerate that). You also have to take that woman aside who smells of the dinner she cooked last night and tell her to lay off the heavy spices...and that other chick who put the fish in the microwave for lunch, tell her she can't do that anymore.

I know it seems a little intrusive, what I'm suggesting...but, fair is fair.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Sunday Click Around

Colors is a really interesting online photography magazine. Each issue is a different subject with photographs and commentary from both the photographer and sometimes the subject. I love photos of people and lifestyles. If you're like me, you can burn hours looking through the archives.

If you've got more time to kill, check out Dancin' Doughboy where you can choreograph dance moves for the Pillsbury Doughboy. Here's mine

Here are two recipes that I'll be trying. Mango Cheesecake, but I'll be substituting pineapple, and Homemade Marshmellows. Not even that I really like marshmellows...I just want to know if I can do it...you know, that the recipe works.

Husband on Strike is the blog of a frustrated and shut out husband/new dad. I wonder how making a whole website dedicated to how your wife is ignoring and depriving you is working out for him in the "gettin' some lovin'" department.

Recently, I googled an old, old friend, and found many little bios about her. Angela MacKenzie and I reconnected when I sent her an e-mail through her site and it's good to know that she's doing so well. In the Indie911 bio it says: "insistent on wearing jeans, sneakers, and T-shirts..."
When I knew her, and we were hangin' out, we doubled our wardrobe because the two of us had similar fashion weaknesses and we were the same size. The thought of Angela in T-shirts and jeans all the time literally makes me laugh out loud.
Never.
Unless she has morphed into a completely different being...and from the pictures I see on her site, she hasn't.
I'm totally proud of her. You should check her out.

You can file this in the stupid waste of space art section. I guess those little cherubs pissing in fountains, and those little jokeshop statues aren't enough.
Is pissing that much of an anomaly that we need to pay tribute to the act in the form of art? And when I say "art", I would say it with two tongues in my cheek if I had an extra.
I'm resisting saying "Piss on it"...oops, I think I just did.


Museum of Depressionist Art Is amusing to me.
How can you not find treasures like "Last Supper on Toast" and "Buddhist Monk Misses Nirvana Due To Cell Phone Interruption" irresistible?
Check it out.
It's not depressing at all...

That's all.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Indian Flute

I frequent a little East Indian Salon around the corner from our house to get my eyebrows threaded for three bucks.
I'm generally one of the very few whiteys in the place, and the ladies are absolutely charming. They call me "dear", and "sweetie" the whole time.
Over the past two years, they've gotten to know me, and I them.
I get little snippets from their lives:

"Oh, when the movie "Water" was being filmed, close to my home...they chased them out. They didn't want Deepa telling the truth!".

"My Mother in Law always gives me trouble when I do the laundry in the morning. She says that the hydro is more expensive during the day...even when I show her the bill to say it is not true!"

"I cook in the morning time, before I come to work. My husband doesn't like to wait in the evening. He is too impatient, my husband..."


Today while Kami was talking and doing my brows, Indian music playing in the background, the song switched to a Reggae tune. It took me a moment to realize that the lyrics were in Hindi. The duet in Indian style, a women's high falsetto and man's low baritone to reggae. I found it both amusing and pleasing to hear the blending of musical cultures.

I love sari fabric and make beautiful scarves from it.
This never goes unnoticed and often two or three of the ladies will "ooh" and "ahh" over my choices, telling me the proper names of the fabrics I chose, which I promptly forget, no matter how hard I try, or how many times they patiently repeat it for me.

Nevertheless, the warmth and comradery of these women shines and spills over onto me whenever I am in the shop.
It's gratifying to connect with people who are off my well worn and beaten path.

It restores my faith in the general goodness of humanity.

Can We Tawk?

You're my good friend.
I feel like I can tell you anything....and I have told you so many secrets about my life and past.
I figure I can tell you a couple more...right?

I hate telethons, radiothons, any of those thons where things are pre-empted for incessant begging for a cause.

I know. I know.

They're necessary to raise money for all kinds of important causes.
But, I hate them anyway.
I hate children with disabilities being paraded out on display, and being required to "tug on America's heartstrings" as though life isn't hard enough.

I know.

How horrible of me to change the channel as soon as I see Jerry, a bunch of people in the background with phones, or sparkley curtains.
I donate to charity. I don't need a telethon to do it. I realize that it works, I just don't like 'em. Telethons I mean.

The other thing is that... I'm really starting to hate pedestrians.
I know!
Being that I'm a pedestrian on occasion it's... well...a little hypocritical.
But, here's the thing...I'm not a fucking idiot who steps off a curb without looking, or jumps out from in front of a bus to jaywalk the 50km speed limit street expecting drivers to just sense that I'm there.
I don't drag my stroller and toddler out to cross a busy street, and then stand on the yellow line that separates lanes and look scared, as though I didn't realize what I was doing when people can't stop to let me cross.
I can't be absolutely certain...but I think that's why there are fucking streetlights and crosswalks on every second corner.

That's all for now my little boycheks and girlikas...

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Sunday Click Around

Gallery Yin is the website of Lui Liu, a Toronto Artist. His art is interesting.
The "Yin" section is not safe for work.

If you're bored and have absolutely nothing to do, try Telephone Songs.
Play songs using the keypad on your phone.
There aren't many songs to choose from, so I'm assuming that the guy who put this site together got a job, or works for the government.

Speaking of phones, for those of you who are really pissed off that large companies have outsourced their call centres to far away places, here's a little movie for you.
I was surfing around last night and found T.O. Crime, a blog keeping track of crime in Toronto, with commentary.

I'm not a big fan of graffiti.
Maybe it's because I'm not 18 anymore, or maybe it's because I own property now and would be hella pissed off if some little yob spray painted all over a side wall of my business.
But mostly I don't like it because most graffiti artists are just taggers. They are not talented, just stupid enough to climb bridges and put themselves in the line of oncoming trains to put their tag in an awkward hard to reach place, in hopes that some other tagger can't reach it to spray paint over it. This short film is about graffiti artists, and I'll be honest...I didn't watch the whole thing. Most of what I saw was crap. But these guys really think that they're artists and that it's some sort of "movement". Whatever.

For those of you who took Home Economics in the 1970's and 1980's, this should give you a blast from the past

xoxo ++ c 7 11 23 is some sort of project, I'm not sure what..something to do with happiness... but I really like the sign language alphabet with matchbooks you'll see if you scroll down the main page. Very cool.

And last but not least: Naomi Campbell's newspaper ad via Best Week Ever Blog

Saturday, April 01, 2006

"Love shouldn't be so melancholy...come along and share the good times while you can...I beg your pardon, I never promised you a rose garden..."


Along the highways and byways, you can still see the old motels from the 1950's and 1960's. This one is in Niagara Falls, NY.
The Mister and I were on a road trip yesterday to Rochester, NY to pick up some techy piece of mystery something that The Mister procured online.
On the way back I made him stop so that I could get a shot of this old motel. It won't be long before they'll be a thing of the past, seen only in old photos in retro shops, and movies. For some reason, I have a real soft spot for this era. Maybe because the pictures of my parents are all from that time and I wove a kind of story about what life was like back then, using those pictures and the movies I watched as a kid.
It's funny the things that can make you melancholy.

I was really sad when they tore down the old motels by the Lakeshore to build those richy condos, and it seemed that even the construction workers knew that they were tearing down history.
One of the Lakeside Hotels clocks, done in the Googie style, stood until the very last minute, it seemed.
It stood, leaning a little to the left toward Lakeshore Blvd until the final landscaping was started.

It stood like The Little House in Virgina Lee Burtons children's story.
Remember that story?
About the little country house that was dwarfed by the building of a city around it?

Anyhow, I've gone off on a little tangent there...but one thing that I really wish, is that Toronto wasn't so in love with destroying it's architectural history.

I guess, that's what I'm really on about.