Thursday, July 05, 2007

Later skaters!

I'm gone, Toronto! Try to have fun without me! And I'm gonna say goodbye to this blog, at least for the time being. Keep track of my arctic adventures (and misadventures) in Iqaluit, Nunavut at my new blog: Baffinblog.

Luckily, before I left town, I got to say goodbye to some friends. Here's some pics from my going away party:

Later in the night, I decided to take pictures of my friends looking tough. If anyone in Iqaluit gives me a hard time, you'll have to deal with these rough-looking folks:Awww... isn't that a touching farewell?

Friday, June 29, 2007

Ready to Launch

Only 3 days left until I'm off to Iqaluit. Less than 2 days left in Toronto. The countdown is on. I'm not sure it's entirely hit me yet. Over the past week, I've been a bundle of highs and lows, of super-excited-ness and sadness at leaving. But the excited part of me is definitely winning - I'm gonna be up north for almost endless light (at least for now), the sealift, Nunavut day, and countless other unknown adventures. I've never been away from southern Ontario for this long, and I've never been so uncertain about what to expect in a destination. But, I'm about as prepared as I can be, and I know I'm gonna kick ass in the vast treeless expanse of my new home.

Besides my preparations for going away, I've started taking an ESL teaching course online. I get to research websites like this one, featuring an ESL song sung by someone with an accent so Australian it hurts. Not unlike Crocodile Dundee's large knife stabbing you repeatedly.

Tonight, as most people who would be reading this already know, I'm having people over to say goodbye, drink some beers, and generally have a blast. So come on by!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Brewin' up trouble

Here's a picture of my new friends, the carboys of beer that I brewed with Evan. Well, to be honest, he did most of the work. Ryan is also involved financially in our venture of 100 large bottles of homebrewed beer - an enterprise we've dubbed "Dr. EvRy's." Don't think of it so much as beer, but as a prescription with numerous health benefits.

My recent beer brewing foray, I hope, will help me survive my upcoming year plus in the north. The clock is ticking on Iqaluit, because I've booked my ticket for July 2nd. I was freaked out about leaving so early for a bit, but I haven't been too terribly busy with other things lately (besides my job search), so I'm mostly packed and almost ready to go. It'll be a hectic couple of weeks until then, however.

Mainly, I've been working weekends, doing the Keep Cool campaign for Toronto Hydro and the Clean Air Foundation. Today I'm recovering from a hot weekend of working outside.

Oh, and before I forget - I'm hosting a going-away party Friday, June 29th. The bottles of Dr. EvRy's should be ready for drinking, and the porch is looking fantastic these days, so come on out!

Monday, May 28, 2007

How to be Entertained

Not too much to report with me. To be honest, I'm not sure where the past week or so has gone. I've watched a bunch of movies, drank a bunch of beers, applied for a bunch of jobs up north, and tried to organize a bunch of my stuff for my impending arctic adventure.

One of the highlights of the week was Tuesday, when I went to see the Gillian Welch & Bright Eyes show at Massey Hall. It was great. Gillian and her collaborator David Rawlings played an acoustic set with just their two guitars, with mostly songs off of Revelator. Bright Eyes, on the other hand, had a fairly ornate band in place, with a string section and two drummers (both girl drummers, who always rule way harder). They played mostly songs off their newest, but
played them well, and threw in a few older favourites for good measure. The highlight of the night was towards the end when the Bright Eyes band accompanied Gillian as she played her song Look at Miss Ohio.

In regards to movies, I went to see Inland Empire, the new David Lynch film. If you can call it a film, since it doesn't have a plot, and I'm not sure it has characters either. I do know that it was three hours long, and Laura Dern is a really good actress (even though I'm not sure what role she was supposed to be playing, exactly). Ryan and I have taken to punctuating our conversations with the phrase, "well, at least we're not watching Inland Empire." Because it really does mess with you.

I've also been spending alot of time sitting in parks or on my porch, enjoying the weather and reading. I just finished reading How to be Idle by Tom Hodgkinson, editor of the magazine The Idler. It's a great read, and I highly recommend it. In addtion to giving some great, intelligent excuses for being lazy, it also makes an argument against our society's frenetic drive towards overwork and consumption. The book gave me an idea to start a political party, called the Idleness Party of Canada. Its main goal would be a 30 hour work week. Unfortunately, some people in BC beat me to the idea:

Oh, and last, but certainly not least, I made a strawberry shortcake:

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Fond Farewell (for now)

May has flown by so far. I've been trying to spend as much time as possible with Karen (aka Kate Nova), to stave off the inevitable, which catches up with me tomorrow when she flies off to the Arctic. I plan to follow her in a couple of months - wish me luck on my job search. The weekend before last, we went to Ithaca, New York, home of the famous vegetarian haunt the Moosewood Restaurant. as well as the Ithaca Bakery, which is solar powered and makes a mean breakfast sandwich. Basically, it was a little lefty haven in the Finger Lakes of New York State, where we camped among gorges and waterfalls. After eating at the Moosewood, we were especially excited:
The last week has mostly involved making the most of Karen's last days in Toronto for a while. It's gone way too fast. We partied last weekend, where I developed a drink in her honour - The Arctic Urbanite:
- 2 parts vodka
- 1 part blue curacao
- 2 parts ginger ale
- twist of lime
Combine vodka, and blue curacao in cocktail shaker with ice. Shake. Pour into glass, add ginger ale and lime. Substitute club soda for all or part of ginger ale for a less sweet drink.

So, Toronto, you have 24 hours left with your most awesome resident. Enjoy it.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Video killed the radio star

In case you were wondering what I was doing with my time off this week...


Thursday, April 26, 2007

School's Out!

Well, at least until I get a job teaching. In the meantime, I had my last class as a Bachelor of Education student today! And after 8 months, I've gotta say... teaching pretty much rules. I get to be a nerd, wear cardigans and corduroy jackets, and I can justify watching art films, reading books, and pretty much every other activity I enjoy doing by saying I'm prepping for class. And kids are not nearly as bad as reported. In fact, they're pretty much like us "grown-ups," except that they're far more open to possibilities than most of us care to be.
On top of that, the weather's getting warmer. I plan to spend most of the summer "prepping."