Thursday, May 28, 2009

I Want to be the Girl With the Most Cake...But I'll Share...

There is always great enthusiasm to travel to Europe, or down to San Francisco to visit my sister, but there is also my enduring enthusiasm for all foods when i particular for coffee, chocolate, and sweet things...ALL sweet things.

Already i am plotting and planning and preparing for the epicuran and gourmand delights of Italy...

Such as a visit to Gaetano ba pasticceria in Firenze (Florence). How can you not be enticed by their pastries and cakes??

And what about Patrizio Cosi? How can anyone not lose themselves multiple times...surrounded by these pastries?

(photo credit: I Dolci di Patrizio Cosi Pasticceria)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

American Psycho

I'm stuggling my way through "American Psycho" by Bret Easton Ellis, struggling being the key word here...and it's slowing me down from getting to all the other waiting books.

Perhaps having seen the movie first, years ago, is part of the problem. Or perhaps just recently having finished a rather psychologically violent book is the reason i'm paging it through this book.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Psst...I've Got a Secret

The most adorable little toadie boy is arriving here at the end of next week.

He'll wear his Prince Toad crown, and crawl all around.

He'll take more steps, and fall boomze to the ground.

But he's brave and he's fearless,

Prince Toad will rise up quite tearless.

Hip hip hooray for our toadie!

(illustration by Ruth Palmer)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Tuscany Becomes Reality

My mama and i have booked our flights to Italy. And this is when, for me, a trip actually becomes a reality. When i've bought the ticket and sold my soul to the airlines.

I'm excited about this trip for so many reasons. It's been a long time since my mom and i have had a vacation together like this, although my recent Easter trip with my family was a bit of a good tease.

So now the search is on for an apartment to rent, what sights we can't miss...and of course a list of cafes in ANY city or town i MIGHT find myself in.

As i search here and there for information for our trip there are always websites i want to share with my mom. And e-mailing links to my mom can be frustrating (sorry mama). So an ideal way will be to insert information here...with a quick link. Easy access.

Like this one....for the Lucca Wall...a small city with a strong Roman imprint.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Vancouver Greenness Reaches Global Audience

It didn't take me long, while searching for something "green-like" to post on our intranet at work, to stumble onto this North Carolina green advocacy group called "The Charlotte Green Team". At first i was just impressed with their blog design...gorgeously green...wonderful navigation from page to page. But what makes this blog mentionable is that there, right under the "news" tab, was our very own Vancouver in an article titled, "Vancouver's Greenest City Action Team Releases Recommendations".

Apparently Vancouver has a goal that i've yet to hear or read about: to become the greenest city in the world by 2020.

The article on the blog was originally written for an online news site based out of Seattle. And someone way down there in North Carolina deemed it worthy of mention. So there should be some pride here...that we live in a city whose initiative is being recognized beyond our own Canadian borders.

There are 44 recommendations to enhance and promote greenness in Vancouver. My personal favourite is edible landscaping: recommendation for a policy where a miniumum amount of the trees and plants on city owned property be edible. This would include herbs, fruit, nuts, edible flowers, nuts, and berries.

If you live in Vancouver...or not...the Vancouver recommendations are definitely worth a look. Followed by an attempt to get involved, which is easy as it pulls you in and makes you proud to be a Vancouverite...or some other ite of somewhere else.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Actively Seeking Publisher...Finally

I'm now ready to look for children's book publishers. I finally have two pieces that i feel are ready to be submitted. Off they'll go to await sentencing, their fate out of my hands, their creator.

I've been writing for so many years that i usually forget, or just brush aside, my dream of actually being published. There's that little voice in my head that tells me i'm not good enough, that no one would or could want to publish something i wrote and put my name underneath the title. And too many years of "ghostwriting" haven't helped either. I'm so used to writing and sending to someone else to get the credit that i've assumed it's just going to be forever.

Perhaps the good thing is that i really like these two pieces i've written... "Liam and the Valentine Thief" and "Liam and the Easter Rose". Maybe i'll post them here sometime soon....

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

"Last Days" Worth the Time?

I'm reading a book about crime by Brian Evenson...about a cult following of amputees who classify themselves as a one, a six, an eight...depending on how many amputations they have. More notoriety given to large amputations such as legs and arms. I bought the book based on a reader review. And i thought i should branch out and try something a bit different. Well, i got it. I would give up reading this book but a) i bought it, b) its a slim book, and c) author has won some awards. I'll see if this worth my time.

I think it would be interesting to write a thesis or article on why people choose the books they do.

update: Finished reading odd book...Bizarre beginning, middle, and end. I can't even begin to fathom a moral, an ethic, a definitive plot for this book. But i did finish it. Excerpt from book:

And this, he realizes, is only the best possible outcome. In all probability it will be much worse. The hatchet will strike wrong and he will have to strike a second time. He will wooze and fall before cauterizing the wound and then lie on the floor bleeding to death from the wound. The guards will catch him at the gate and kill him. Or even worse, all will go well, the arm coming smoothly off, but Borchert, smiling, will say "Very good, Mr. Kline. But why stop there? What shall we cut off next?'

He raises the cleaver high. His whole life is waiting for him. He only needs to bring the cleaver down for it to begin.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Tilford Park

For some reason I rarely think of posting about this amazing city that I live in. Time after time Vancouver is featured in international magazines. This is an awe-filled place to reside. And I think I take it for granted. I'm certain I do.


Caitlin and I went out for lunch and then down to Tilford Park, which is hidden here on the North Shore beside Starbucks and other local stores.

There are eight separate small theme parks here, all connecting together: The rose, oriental, and white gardens. The rock pool and native garden. And the herb, display, and colonade gardens.

It was a nice, sunny May day. So we wandered through the park, took a few pictures, and sat in the sun for a few minutes.....

...and I told Caitlin the story of the bleeding heart...which I told her so often when she was little as we had a pink bleeding heart plant right by our front door.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Time Has Wings

Oh...look...another couple of months between blog postings. There has just been no time to find to write anything here. The real job, the on-the-side writing job, trip down to San Francisco for my darling nephew's first birthday, the need to read...time consuming but a great time.

Perhaps the most exciting news is that I've got the okay from my supervisor to book my trip to Italy. I was a bit nervous about requesting because I needed to ask for an additional five or six days off without pay. I've used far too many vacation days this year...much different from the last two where I missed out on a lot of time off because there was no one to take over my job for me. But I'm deserving, I work hard and now it's time to play.

So mama and I can really plan. First up is finding not only reasonably priced flights to Florence from Vancouver, but a flight that is as stress-free as possible. If it looks good cost-wise, the connecting flight is too soon to allow for anything but smooth flying with NOTHING hindering everything being on time.

If the connecting flight makes us feel okay's TOO much time that we're waiting. But at least the search is on...and we can book. And once I have those e-tickets in my little all becomes reality.

Planning is ecstasy.