Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Berlin

After an excitement lacking, anticipation filled 7 hour train ride, I made it to Berlin last night. I am staying with some friends, Guy and Kyo, in their neat little East Berlin apartment above a shisha bar and a cafe that sells doners and falafels for a euro. Food, and rent too apparently, is incredibly cheap here. Where they live there are a plethora of ethnic diners where three people can dine for under 10 euro. That is unheard of in good old Eindhoven.
It has been grey and rainy so far, giving the city quite a melancolie atmosphere that I feel is appropriate as I check out the East Side Gallery and what not. It got dark around 5pm and this city is somewhat lacking in street lighting so I didnt get to see as much today as I would have liked, but it is still so so cool.
East Side Gallery is the longest remaining stretch of the wall, and for the 20th anniversary of the collapse, artists that had painted works on the wall were invited to refinish their pieces. It was really beautiful. The pieces had so much emotion in them and understanding the social turmoil of Berlin at the time made it quite the experience.
This morning Kyo and I went to a vintage shop called Colors where half the store sells clothes by the kg. Clothes are surprisingly light and I spent under 5 euro for three shirts. The other half of the store has more expensive vintage clothes but on Tuesdays everything is 30% off. I got a cardigan and shirt for Dana, and a fur hat for myself. I had been looking for a fur hat for a while now. Mostly in Paris where my search turned out fruitless as the French are quite petite folk. I am glad that Germans seem to have larger heads.
On that note, there are quite of few rounder people here. Too much currywurst and beer.

I love the font used on the street signs and train stations.


image via Ask Meta Filter
 The train stations are decorated in coloured tile, all different and very pretty. I like them.

This city is huge. I already know that I will need a second visit.

v

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Currently...

I'm making a playlist for African ladies.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

New Stuff

I've been putting off updating because I have so much to write about, but then I decided that I'll just get to it when I get to it. I'll just continue to post day-to-day things for now.

Since I've had some request for it, I've added a subscribe button. I know it works with such things as Google Reader (which you automatically have if you have a gmail account, but probably didn't know about), but there might be an email option (to get emails whenever I post something new), but I'm still figuring it out. Google Reader is actually pretty handy, especially if you check the same sites every day. The reader just keeps them all in one place. To subscribe just click on 'Posts' under  'Subscribe' (in the righthand column), and click on the Google logo. If you don't want to bother with that, there is a 'Subscribe by email' button right under that.

Moving on! I've started a series of paintings called the Dirty Birds of Paradise. I won't go into a full deal explanation but be sure to check it out (the link is in the column on the right).

The Work Situation
This week I've been working evenings at a gallery called Design Huis as part of an exhibition called Glow. Glow is a city-wide demonstration of light and art (since Philips Electronics was started in Eindhoven and lots of light bulbs were made here) so people will wander around the city checking out the different installations. I worked at Design Huis during Dutch Design Week as well, which was pretty boring work. I just wandered around, telling people "neit aanraken astiblieft!" (don't touch please). This week isn't all that much different, but this time I either count how many people come into the exhibit, sell coffee, tea and gluhwijn (mulled wine), or stand at the doors saying "Here for Glow? Trop up en den links" (Here for Glow? Go up and then left) or "Toilette es duur door en den links" (bathroom is through the door and then left). See, I'm learning!

Although most of my emails to companies have resulted in fruitless "thanks for your interest but no thanks we have no vacancies" responses, I've managed to get myself an interview with a cool company called Edhv. They do mostly graphic work, but have openings for freelance designers of all kinds. The interview is next Friday.

I also exchanged a few emails with a local furniture designer by the name of Joost van Bleiswijk about possibly doing an internship with him.

So there are a few things going. I'm happy. Getting a serving job here isn't as easy as I had hoped, as everyone wants you to speak dutch (understandable), so I hopefully will get real work soon.

Life in General
Next week Dana and most of his classmates head off to Namibia for two weeks. Dana's working on a project with a company called Penduka designing a tool to make embroidering leather easier (I'm actually helping him with it). On Monday I'm heading off to Berlin for a few days to visit friends and get out of Eindhoven for a bit. Other than that I just cook, clean, go for runs and do pilates. I feel so very housewifey sometimes.

v

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

progress

After two small breakdowns (from me feeling like I have nothing to show for working a year at a job that didn't particularly give me much design experience, moving here, not having a job, getting low on money and gaining weight), I woke up this morning and felt SO much better.

I put in a full day of working on business cards and portfolio. I contacted a gallery called Design Huis to work part time during Dutch Design Week (which is next week... and I noticed that someone hasn't bought their plane ticket yet, COUGH Chris COUGH) and no joke, a minute after I sent the email, I got a call back asking me to come in on Saturday. Excellent.

I have lots of stories to tell. I hope I get to it tonight somewhere after I go for a run and make stew, and between painting portraits of pigeons and crows.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Paris and things

Hey folks! It's been two weeks but I haven't forgotten about this blog thing. I've just been busy with illustrations, portfolio making and hanging with my mom.

We're in Paris right now, enjoying four days of walking, shopping, museums and food. I'm testing my body's capacity to pile on pounds. So far, so good. I do miss my collar and hip bones though... I'll find those later.

It's my mom's birthday today, wish her a good one!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Mom Time!

My Mom got here today! Yay! Nothing feels more homey than when parents come to visit.

I added some pictures to my previous post on Paris. Go check em out (they're on the next page).

I'll hopefully post about Liane's visit and Normandy soon.

That is all. Have a good weekend!

Mums and I drunk in Mexico,
trying to demonstrate what we would look like with eye lifts

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I deserve a reward.

Yesterday I bought a sewing machine.

I was eying this one I found at a second hand store (Het Goed, it's called) for 12.50 euro. It was old, but seemed to be in good condition, had all it's parts, and a four week guarantee from the store. So I figured why not. I got Dana to fashion some elastic bands to the flat part of my bike over the rear tire and made my way over there.

I was pleased to find that the sewing machine was still there so I promptly purchased it, and hobbled out the door trying to carry the thing. I'm guessing it was at least 30lbs. I had a really hard time carrying it. I also loaded up on cheap fabric, a print of some birds, and two small flower pots that occupied all the available space in my messenger bag.

So I get to my bike, and realize there is no way the bungee/elastic cord things will fit over the entire sewing maching and it's respective case. So I take out the machine, remove the guiding foot and needle, and slide the flat part of the machine under the elastic. I had my over stuff bag slung over my right shoulder and resting on my left hip, and the case of the sewing machine in my right hand (and somehow I was still able to have both hands on the handle bars).

This is probably no big deal to any Dutch person that's probably moved furniture with their bikes, but holy, that was a difficult ride home. I nearly crashed in the middle of an intersection in front Het Goed, but after some adjusting and picking up momentum I did alright. I dreaded any corners or red lights, as everything would start to wobble.

But alas, about 20 minutes later, I arrived at home. Sweaty and a little shaken, but unscathed.

If living in the Netherlands was like Girl Guides, I think I would have a new badge for my sash.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

weekend of bluh.

On I think Wednesday night, something tripped a breaker in the middle of the night so we woke up with no power. That problem was easily solved with a call to the landlord (aka Mr Jacobs/Jacobs/architect man).

Fast forward to Friday when Dana and I are making sandwiches for lunch using whatever was leftover in the fridge (a chicken breast and a pork chop). Dana heads off to school, I start doing whatever. About an hour later I get a serious case of stomach cramps and upon texting Dana, discover he has them too. Some fresh mint tea seemed to calm mine down, but I still had a nagging headache. So I popped an anti-inflammatory and went about my evening of making pasta salad and headed off to a friend's birthday bbq. Lots of fun, but I was still visited by the occasional stomach cramp.

Saturday I eventually manage to pull a hurting Dana out of bed and over to Emmaus (second hand sale that's open on Saturdays) and the Polish Market to look for a couch. We found a neat ornate cabinet (with carved owls and fish and skeleton keys to open the doors) for 40 euro to go in the living room, and lucked out at Polish with a 27 euro leather couch (but broke one of the legs getting it into the elevator). By about this time my headache had returned with avengance, and no matter how many pills I popped it would not go away. So to make myself feel a bit better (and soothe Dana's hangover) we made homemade macaroni and cheese, and watched a movie, taking advantage of our new couch and temporary coffee table made of wooden crates*.

Throughout the afternoon my headache progressed into the back of my neck, the stomache cramps returned and brought along a fever. Dana had pretty much the same thing, and let's just say I'm glad we have two bathrooms in the place. We're not exactly sure what brought all this on, but I'm suspecting the food left in the fridge when the power went out, the same food we put into our sandwiches a couple days after. I have no idea how long it was off for, but that's the only thing I could think of.

Today the digestive stuff is better, but instead have those lovely monthly cramps that make me wish I wasn't female. Dana's mostly better too, but we still have fevers and I still have a headache. We're pretty irritable at each other right now, but we managed to (mostly) successfully make our first Dutch pannekoeken (thin, crepe-like pancakes), and some "hammekoeken" (our name for pannekoeken with ham in it). The mix was some cheap "Euro Shopper" brand mix, but it was still pretty tasty. Although I must say I miss maple syrup. The 'traditional' syrup here tastes like molassas.

I think Dana's trying to configure the living room furniture right now, and normally I would go help to save the floor from being scratched, but I'm lying in bed and lazy and comfortable so I'll let that go.

The churches outside (there are five I can see from our roof terrace) are going nuts right now. Bells a ringin'. Such is a Sunday in the Netherlands.

v

*Dana found two wooden crates outside a store in the city centre, and my plan is to make a coffee table out of them. That will be done once we make it to Praxis (the Dutch Home Depot)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Things are coming together

Yesterday I had my appointment with the IND (Immigration and Naturalization) to register as a citizen of the Netherlands. I had all my proper forms, passport photo, and copy of my return ticket. I was nervous as the whole work visa process up until now has been nothing but delays, miscommunications and frustration. But yesterday, aside from waiting for about half an hour, went very well. The woman I dealt with was incredibly friendly, spoke excellent English, and was very knowledgeable. I walked out of there with a sticker on my passport permitting me to work, and a huge smile on my face.

I finally got a mobile as well. It's the Samsung E1120 and cost me 25 euro, plus 20 euro on a prepaid plan. It is so budget. No customizable options and the most annoying automatic keypad lock. But it makes up for it in cheesy ringtones, most with names with drug references, like "get happy", "flying high", "secret life", and the more blatent "tripping".

My mom's coming for a visit in a week! She'll be here for 2 1/2 weeks which will be nice. We have plans to go to Paris for her birthday (the last weekend she's here).

Life is good.

v

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Paris, the Expat Blues, and some chairs

Paris
After the whirlwind of last week, scrambling the basics of an apartment together, we hopped on a bus and traveled six hours to Paris. And I'm happy to say that I still love Paris. First off, I love the food (for the most part, we had an entire day of food mishaps, which I'll talk about later). We had a fabulous dinner on Friday night at L'Ebauchoir, eating to the edge of discomfort and intoxication.

This was tasty

One the way back to our hostel we walked along the Seine a bit, discovering groups of people gathering and dancing to music, practicing Capoeira, or juggling fire. It was so amazing to see such a variety of stuff happening in a public space. I really think that the quality of a city can be seen in the amount of activities it's residents engage in outside the home, with each other, in public areas.

Capoeira circle

Saturday we visited the Pompidou for some modern art goodness and checked out their female artist exhibition. We grabbed a falafel for lunch and did some shopping in the Jewish Quarter, where there are a few excellent and cheap vintage clothing shops.

Le Centre Pompidou (Mon musee prefere du Paris)

That's me! With Dana's design! In a book! In the Pompidou!

Headed back to the hostel, we sat out on the patio, drank beers and chatted. We had noticed that we were a bit older than the majority of the other hostel guests, and after a bit of sluething we figured out that it was orientation week for the American University of Paris. And we were the only non-university people there. It was strange, but made for great people-watching.
Several beers deep we headed out to Rock en Seine (the music festival that originally brought us to Paris that weekend) to catch Faith No More (that being one of their more laid-back songs) and Birdy Nam Nam. All I can say is wow, I've seen Faith No More live, and it was fabulous. Mike Patton's voice can melt me into a puddle of goodness.
I then fell asleep on the metro home.

Sunday we woke up too late for the hostel breakfast, so we grabbed a baguette, some proscuitto, cheese, and a tomato to eat on the hostel patio. The baguette was good, but both the meat and cheese were rancid. Gross. So to supplement our bread, we each bought this veggie and sausage dish from the hostel cafeteria. The vegetables were soggy, and barely resembled vegetables, and the sausage tasted like it was made purely of salt. A few bites in and we were done, and returned to the room to nap. We set out again to get a meal in us before heading to Rock en Seine again, and since it was about 4pm no restaurants were serving dinner, just drinks and coffee. And we are famished. We walked for a good 20-30 minutes before finding a restaurant that served food, and we dove into greasy plates of roasted chicken smothered in gravy with a side of fries.

At the festival we saw Eagles of Death Metal, MGMT, and the Prodigy. We had seen the Prodigy a few years back in Spain at a festival, and it was a less than stellar performance. They seemed disinterested in the crowd (and vice versa), played for 45 minutes then left without an encore. This performance, however, was incredible. The played all great songs, and even had little remixes inbetween some of them. And two encores. At one point they got the crowd to make a circle and someone set off a flare, which was (incredibly dangerous, but) so cool. I'm not sure if it was someone from the Prodigy, or just a random crowd member. Looking at that video, the crowd was HUGE. We were on the other side of the flare and back a bit, and we were only about a third of the way back in the crowd.
The dust at the festival was out of control. Some people were wearing masks, and when it all ended you could barely see through the thick air. Everyone was coughing and covering their faces with their shirts. Later that night and the next day, both Dana and I got nosebleeds.

Monday we visited the Pantheon, visited the crypts beneath it, then bussed it back home.

Expat Blues
The emotional rollar coaster I'm riding. On the bus to Paris I started feeling homesick. I wanted so bad to return to my easy, English speaking country with a familiar and comfortable bed to sleep in. I want to call up some friends and hang out. I miss my parents and my cat so much. I was tired of feeling like the only one setting up the place while Dana layed around being all jet-lagged (which I was too), feeling like both a housewife and a mom. I was frustrated with the fact that I had to register at city hall and report to immegration, fill out forms and make an appointment to get a residency card. In Canada I just lived. It was easy. I had an annoying and frustrating couple of days in Paris while I worked all of this out with Dana, letting him know what was upsetting me and why and how to deal with all of this.
Going to Paris and experiencing a new wave of culture shock made Eindhoven feel more like home. At least I had something somewhat familiar to return to, my place where I have clothing in drawers and a place for my toothbrush.
Then I remembered why I moved here. I wanted a different life, something out of the ordinary. I didn't want to have everything to be easy. I made my bed and have to sleep in it. So I decided to just roll with it, and learn to love the adventure of living in Europe with all it's quirks and cultural differences. It might be difficult at times, but at least it's not boring. I'm still in awe sometimes that I'm here, making this happen. I now have my residency forms filled out and the appointment made. Things are fitting together.

My close friend Liane is coming to visit tomorrow, which is so exciting, seeing a familiar face from home. She just moved to Edinburgh for school, so I'm sure she's going through a similar shock to the system. It'll be a great week hanging out with her and showing her around!

Chairs
Yesterday we went to the 'Polish Market' to look for furniture and other household things. We got some small stuff, like floor mats, garbage can, mugs, etc, but the only furniture we could agree on were these chairs. And they are perfect. They are a great aesthetic jumping off point and has given us some ideas on what else we'd like. Dana and I are both so in love with them.


Until next time,
v

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

First few days of Eindhoven

(the following was copied from an email I sent a bunch of people... just in case it seemed a little familiar)

The flight over was good, beside Frankfurt airport was ridiculous. It was hot and muggy, long lines, customs closed the desk we were lined up for (which was a full line up) creating mass chaos and annoyance for everyone. Then we walked across the airport to security, which was another long line, then redirected to another security desk where they did a very thorough search of our bags and electronics, then walked downstairs, across the terminal, upstairs, then started running for our plane. All this while we're carrying two heavy bags each. We were pouring sweat by the time we made it to the airport.

When we got into Eindhoven we dropped by to see the apartment we were interested in, and it was amazing! So we signed the papers and moved in the next day. We have all our bags (mostly my stuff however) unpacked and we bought most of the basic necessities besides furniture. Last two days we've been sleeping on an air mattress and eating while sitting on the floor, looking out of the window at the traffic below (there's floor to ceiling windows across the whole place).


Here's the current state of the living room... that's our air mattress in place of a couch or anything else. It's really the only comfortable thing in the apartment. I'm making one of the many lists of stuff you have to do when you move to a foreign country and own nothing but clothes. We've done nothing but shop and start the registration process for me since we've gotten here. My feet are tired from all the walking.
Those black squares are solar panels that generate electricity for the geothermal in floor heating and water systems. The building is pretty energy neutral and we don't have to pay for water or gas heating like most other places.


Our kitchen. From left to right there's a microwave-oven combo, below it a small fridge, then a steam oven with a dishwasher below. Then a flat ceramic cook top, corain (sp?) countertop that flows into the double (but still small) sink.
We used the steam oven today for some chicken and veggies and it's awesome.



Our room, which is messy. That white door leads to a walk in closet.


The main bathroom. We also have a half bathroom next to the kitchen.




Here's the view from our window. It's a busier street but our place is really quiet inside. We also have a balcony near the front door, and a roof terrace. The only other tenants in the building are the architecture firm that built it (the key arch lived in our apartment for three years and moved out for a bigger place), and a flooring company. So after 6pm we have the building all to ourselves.

So like I said we're off to Paris tomorrow for a music festival and back on Monday, and I'm really looking forward to it! When we come back we'll be getting a proper bed and some other furniture so it should feel more like home soon.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Read this post in reverse. I'm going back in time.

Wow, it's been a month?

Well, for starters I didn't make it to Austin. My passport was stuck in Dutch-visa-land and wasn't sent when I was told it was supposed to be sent. Loads of tears and phone calls ensued, and I had to cancel. I was so disappointed. Rachelle was disappointed. It cost too much to change my plane ticket to come a day later, and I had no idea if my passport was even going to arrive the following day (which it did, visa and everything). I guess on the plus side I had a weekend of lying around, which has been nonexistent for months now (I can't think of the last time I've had a weekend without anything planned), and I still have a flight credit that I will use to go to Austin, probably around Christmas time.

The previous weekend I spent in Saskatoon. I visited my Grandparents, Aunt, and Uncle. It was nice, chill, with lots of great food and convo. Gma made my favorite, ribs and saskatoon berry pie. We walked and rode bikes around the river, and visited my uncle's family at their cabin before driving home.

For August long weekend (we're going back in time more here), and half of the week, my mom and I headed to Shadow Lake Lodge. We were blessed with beautiful weather, a day of rain, then a cool day. Met people from all over the world.

Before THAT I had my last days of work, and a going-away party in Edmonton full of general Whyte avenue debauchery, however I managed to reasonably pace myself and was able to drive the three hours to Calgary without wanting to fall asleep at the wheel.

So here I am now, DAYS (oh my god) away from the move day. Everything is in place. I have my visa. My car has appointments to get minor repairs done for it to be sold when I'm gone. I've packed, repacked, unpacked, packed some more, then plan to repack again when Dana arrives in Calgary. Friends are coming into town to see me off, and more friends and family are gathering on Saturday for a last big hurrah until Christmas time.
I'm looking forward to this weekend so much, and to everything past it, when every experience is new.
I will miss everyone here SO MUCH, but there is far too much to look forward to, to be nostalgic. Those close to me will still be there, and as Dana says, I'm just broadening my territory.

xo

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

chipping away

More news on the moving front.

Shortly after the last update I drove down to Edmonton International Airport and picked up Dana. It was such a cheerful reunion and I am so glad to have my buddy back. After living apart for close to a year we've both developed various habits and routines that are different from what we left with, and thus have spent the last week getting used to each other again, and for me at least, getting used to someone being in my space. Probably a combination of my somewhat introverted-ness and growing up an only child (plus never having roommates), I find it quite foreign having someone stay with me. I find myself feeling very protective of my things, my routines, and my solitude. Living with Dana I have to learn to let things go and allow some change and flexibility without feeling irked. This process is going quite fine. I think I'm adjusting well. I hope he feels like he's adjusting well living with someone who's a little more particular than he is.

I have my visa application appointment at the Dutch Consulate on Thursday, and everything I need is slowly trickling in. My ticket is purchased, I just need the confirmation and itinerary (thanks Dad!). My authenticated birth certificate (thanks Chris and Ali!) should arrive tomorrow (or else heads will roll at Canada Post). I have money in the bank, and will get proof of this tomorrow. At the same time, I will purchase health insurance. I have a Dutch address and phone number to put on my application (thanks Luke!). I have my passport, and passport photos (in which I look hideous).

I booked a ticket to Austin! To visit my cousin Rachelle. Apparently she has the weekend all planned out for us, including a trip to the Junk Cathedral, runs along Town Lake, probably a museum or gallery, loads of live music, Mexican food, Texas Barbecue, and other weird Austin things that she finds for me. Times with Rachie are always so much fun, as she is a goof and one of my best friends.

we have fun

Looking at the calender for next week, I realized that I'm finished work next week! Time flies.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Holy... what am I doing?

I have such trouble putting things into words. Ideas and thoughts and all sorts of stuff float around in my head all day but when I sit down and try to write or type them out, I freeze. I can't recall anything I wanted to write about or express. This is my current challenge, and I figure to get past this block I should write about that very topic. I think if I keep writing something of value will come out.

I want to make an effort to record the next while in my life, as it's a major transition. I've sold my condo, I'm leaving my furniture, dishes, whatever else behind. Saying goodbye to not only my friends in Edmonton, but in Calgary and Vancouver. And to my family. Although I haven't lived in the same city as them for six years now, I've never been far from them, and always in the same time zone. I'm leaving the culture I am familiar with. The wide roads, giant parking lots, chain restaurants, half-ton trucks, hockey and what North Americans call football. English signage and familiar stores.

I'm moving to the Netherlands.

I'm sort of surprised I'm going through with it. It's so easy to feel comfortable and just fall back on the familiar, then settling for fantasies of doing something crazy and daring. Sometimes I think "what am I getting myself into?" but for the most part I know that if I stay where I am I will accomplish nothing, just become stagnant. I have every ounce of faith in the universe that while it might be a wild ride at times, everything will turn out fine. I'm sure my heart has never beat so fast for so long ever in my life, as it has in the past month or so (and will in the month to come) whenever I think about moving.

There is so much to do, I am so scared, but so excited!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Licking Problem

My cat is getting a cone today. He obsessively licks and scratches his elbow (or the joint one would most associate with a cat's elbow) until it's red, raw, and wet with kitty spit. It's sad. I don't like seeing him uncomfortable, and the sound of his constant licking is wearing on my nerves.



This is somewhat of a reoccurring problem, and sometimes seems in direct relation to the stress in my life. So when I see/hear him licking, I get all concerned, stressed, and annoyed and he just licks more and more frantically. The cycle continues.
It seemed especially bad today so I made a vet appointment and they recommended to get him a cone to wear until his appointment on Tuesday. This is the first time he's stopped licking today since I woke up to the "slopslopslopripriprip" sound of him doing it this morning about two hours ago. Poor little guy. Cones are just so sad.
I need a hug and a beer.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Plan B

So apparently grad school isn't going to be the big life change I'm looking for.

I had my interview this morning. It was two hours later than they scheduled (it was supposed to be at 4:30am), asked some ambiguous questions, told me what they didn't like in my portfolio, and I was turned down. Had I known how much they were on the fence about accepting me I would've done the interview in person, because I bombed over the phone in these circumstances.
I was a giant mess right after. I couldn't even text Dana to tell him, I thought he'd think I was joking. I've calmed down (thanks Mom), and as it still feels like I've let myself (and everyone who was rooting for me) down, it's not the worst thing that could happen. They didn't reject me outright, there's just things I need to work on. And that's not a bad thing, really.

Just for fun, let's weigh the pros and cons of this situation:

Grad school pros:
- new experiences
- new people
- challenging myself, thus (hopefully) creating awesome things

Grad school cons:
- holy shit, expensive!
- lots of bureaucracy and administrative disorganization to deal with (Dana's had a tough time with it)
- less time to develop other aspects of my life (running, art, music)
- stress: lots of it
- sleep: less of it

I need to refine my design aesthetic and philosophy, apparently. I think deep down I knew this, and maybe I needed this to really see it. Things have generally come fairly easily to me through my schooling, good marks and acceptance into university wasn't very difficult for me, which is why this was so shocking. So maybe I've become complacent and lazy, and I think forcing myself to reevaluate my aesthetics and philosophy will put me that much more ahead.

So what's next? I'm still selling my apartment, then getting laser eye surgery, and moving to Eindhoven. I just need to throw finding a job into there. A job in Eindhoven. It'll be cool, I won't be broke! I'll look into grad school again at a later time. It'll still be there in the future, and maybe I won't feel like I need it later.
As disappointed as I am, I'm glad I'm no longer wondering and waiting and I can start moving forward. Now the future seems full of possibilities.

Monday, May 4, 2009

abs

Adapted from a conversation with Dana:

"I almost have no love handles left!"
"But I like your love handles"
"But I'm trading them for an awesome six pack!"
"Oh you have a six pack?"
"Sort of. A six pack under some padding. Like someone through a couple blankets over it."
"Or someone hid a six pack in your bed?"
"Yeah, like that."

Yes. My stomach looks like someone hid a six pack in your bed. I think that's acceptable.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

woah look at that!

So no post about Mexico. I got lazy. Too much to write. Too far in the past for me to have any interest in it. Maybe some day, but don't count on it. Most people have heard the story already.

I feel like I should write in this more, but life is so stagnant right now. I am so ready for a major change (ie moving to the Netherlands) it's not funny, and it's coming, but I'm unfortunately stuck in this shitty limbo situation right now waiting for it to happen.

A cure to much of my frustration is getting an interview for my masters degree with the Design Academy in Eindhoven. The date for the interview arrives (at 4:30am, nonetheless, which is half past noon dutch-time), and after a night of hardly any sleep waiting for their call, the interview gets bumped. It's rescheduled for next Wednesday, which is great. I just hope it's not bumped again. If it is, I'll go back to reconsidering Plan B, being moving to Eindhoven to work then looking at grad school at a later date and possibly different location.

My immune system has been crap this year. One possible reason for this could be the reintroduction of meat into my diet. When I stopped eating meat I hardly got sick, and since February I've caught pretty much every bug that's come around. It's also possible that my immune system is beated down by the stress and frustration of working two jobs (one of which I really dislike), packing to sell my apartment, saving money, and training for a half marathon. This stress and frustration has caused me to grind my teeth at night, subconciously clench my jaw and fists, and my period to be two weeks late.

Hence the desire for a major life change. I should have just left everything and moved over months ago. But what's done is done and I have to just stick this through.

In recent, non-complaining news I recently went to Vancouver and had some fun. Especially at The Presets concert. Dana came to Canada for a week and that was nice, although we both got sick and were busy running around to the bank (him) and work (me).
So. Much. Fun!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Eating

Granted I was not vegetarian for 8 years, but this article pretty much sums up how I feel about it at the moment.

Stay tuned for stories about Mexico.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

I'm manicured, pedicured, spray tanned, and off to the Mayan Riviera tomorrow.

Spray tanning is awesome. Besides smelling weird for a day. But I can handle that.

See ya, suckers.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Green and Greedy

Have you heard?
New Orleans is totally fixed!

This got me thinking, and a little depressed. Here I am, designing (well, sort of, helping design is more accurate) houses for people with money to purchase to ease their ecological guilt with a company that is so high on themselves they fail to see their obvious hypocrisies (like locating themselves in an area in the city that is hard to get to by everyone, constantly asking to print things, loosing them, and having to print them again, to name a couple). Meanwhile, there are displaced families living in third world conditions in our neighboring nation.

Why are we doing what we're doing? Does we really need an ecological suburb? Does that sentence even make sense?! WTF, an ecological suburb. Why not retrofit or replace homes in New Orleans with carbon neutral models and foster sustainable community re-development, just off the top of my head? Or, if that's too much for you, pick a run down community within the city and retrofit that? I don't understand this whole green movement, coming up with all these fancy NEW products, when we can really make do with what we have, reworking the old into new.

I feel a little guilty ranting about this while I'm supposed to be working, but hey, apparently everything runs on hypocrisy these days.

In totally unrelated news, I just saw a woman walk by outside, then stop and beat on a section of ice with a set of pliers.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Places I Don't Plan on Eating at Again

Wok Box
Tofu that isn't burnt shouldn't taste burnt. Low on sauce and flavor. Constant source of disappointment.
Badass Jack's
Not as bad as Wok Box, but why should I pay 6 - 7$ for a wrap mainly consisting of peas, corn, and bean sprouts? Aren't those the cheapest vegetables available? Shouldn't there be falafel in here too, swimming in the crappy veggies and weird thai sauce? Also disappointing.
China
If the dish is mostly containing oil, it probably shouldn't be eaten. If you don't know what it is, it probably shouldn't be eaten. Most food in China breaks these two cardinal rules, and I've consumed more than enough of it in the past couple years. Less disappointing, more frightening.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

oh jesus!

I'm pretty sure Dana will disagree, but I think these are pretty cute.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Fell asleep last night on the couch around 5:30am watching Buckminster Fuller. Woke up this morning on the couch around 11:15am with a massive gin-fueled headache.

Also I wish Wok Box delivered, because I'm not the mood to put on pants and go out into public.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

y'know what sucks...

Going to Mexico and not being able to eat ceviche. Dammit!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

allergies are fun

Most people know that the only meat I eat is fish and seafood, but recently (that being the last two years or so) I have been experiencing some mild allergic reactions to canned fish. When I eat some, the insides of my ears and tongue itch, but nothing incredibly serious. That was, until yesterday.

At about 2pm I have a couple bits of tuna from a jar. It was some really expensive stuff with flavoured oil that I've had before and didn't have a reaction to. I got a bit of a reaction, but again nothing serious. I just made a mental note to not eat it anymore. At about 5pm I have some salmon that I cooked myself and was fine. I go to the gym at 7, and start out by running on the treadmill. I notice some stomach cramps, as if I've eaten too soon before running (which rarely affects me since I'm more used to running). I decide to quit after a mile and go to do some weights before returning to the treadmill. While I'm pumping iron, the palms of my hands start getting hot. VERY hot. And red. And my scalp starts itching. And behind my ears. And armpits. I look in the mirror and I see hives on my neck. This isn't good I thought, and run to the change room, grab my stuff, then head to my car to go home and get some Benadryl.

I make it across the low-level bridge and to 97 ave when my heart starts POUNDING FAST. I got really dizzy and notice that my lips are swelling. Nearly hyperventalating, I pull over and call 911. They talk me down to a near-calm state so I don't panic myself unconcious and send an abulance to fetch me. Abulance comes, pumps me full of antihistamine (I didn't need epinephine, thankgodandmycatisonmykeyboardandIcan'tpressthespacebar there we go he's off now). They took me to the University hospital to monitor me until my rash goes away (right I didn't mention that I also had a rash all over).

Dana's dad picks me up and I stay at his parent's place for the night to make sure nothing else happens, because allergies sometimes like to flair up a little even after they're treated. But I was fine. Today I had a little bit of the hot palms and felt a little funny, but Benadryl helped that and now I'm merely existing in a druggy haze.

So yes, that was my Tuesday night. And I don't think I can eat fish anymore. I'm going to play it safe and stay away from all seafood until I get an allergy test, even though I think shellfish is ok because I had shrimp on Friday and was a-ok.

This sucks big time. I LOVE fish. I LOVE sushi. I'm very active, and don't really want to have to start eating meat again, or eat more tofu because of the phytoestrogens in soya. Beans and legumes are great and all, but not as lean as other forms of protein. So I don't know what I'm going to do.

I think it's nap time.

Friday, January 30, 2009

After a week of obsessively checking Canada Post's package tracker, my portfolio has apparently arrived at the Design Academy. And I thought the suspense was bad before... but now I have to wait to hear back from them. Jesus. And there's no tracker on that. And I already emailed them (knowing they'd just receive it today).

I can't handle not knowing! The stress!

Monday, January 12, 2009

They can't be serious.

Barf!

This is less disgusting (for most), but still weird and I obviously wouldn't drink it.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

making stuff

I wonder if raising a child is much like designing and building a piece of furniture. I really hope not.
You get this great idea, and decide to act it out, carefully planning all the steps you will take. Seems like a piece of cake.
You get so excited to see the finished project, having full confidence that you'll be able to pull it off juuuuust fiiiiiiine.
You fuck up. Numerous times. Then try to fix the problems so no one will notice.
You look at the finished project, wondering if that idea you acted out so long ago was a good idea, and hope that it ends up accepted in the world.

Ugh. No offense to anyone with/having kids. This is just me venting about a chair I'm trying to finish for my grad school portfolio. A chair I started about two years ago, and finally finished today.

Also with the furniture-kids comparison... names. What to fucking name the thing that accurately represents what you want it to be. Right now, I'm thinking "Stupidfuckingchair".

I have a rating scale inside my head for the difficulty of the projects I've completed based on the blood, sweat, and tears that have gone into the project.
Sweat is 1 point.
Blood is 2 points (per time injured).
Tears is 3 points (for each time I've sobbed with frustration).

The concrete frames were a 1. Nothing complex or frustrating, but dremeling and mixing concrete can work up a sweat, or at least a slight glow to the skin.
I'd say the chair is at least a 10. Welding is quite physical, same with punching holes and threading the leather ties to attach the seat and back (I'll put pictures up later. You'll understand). One point. I have a sweet scar on my arm from the hot metal scalding me back when I was making the frame. Two points. And I'll group all the times I've pricked myself with a needle stitching the original leather seat onto the frame into two points. Then today the leather tie breaks as I'm pulling on it and I hit my hand on the metal, skinning a knuckle. Two more points. Then there was the time part of the frame broke at 3am when I was SOCLOSE to being finished. Cried with frustration and threw the part across the room. Exhaustion and chair induced tantrum. Three points.

But now, I think it looks alright. At least acceptable enough to put into my portfolio along a long description on the nature-industry juxtaposition present in the materials chosen, and the human connection to both blahblalbhalbhalbhal something about it being handmade blahblahblah.
I'm glad it's done. And you can even sit on it!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Words I don't like.

Juggernaut.
Harlequin.

I don't know why. They just bug me.