November 27, 2007

Help Bring Comedian Dane Cook to Victoria!!

You may all not like Dane Cook as much as I do, but come on and help us get him to come to Victoria!
Comedian Dane Cook is touring places where he gets the highest demand.

Simply Go Here:




November 23, 2007

New Look & Holiday Tips.....

As you can see, I've redecorated my blog into a festive snowy theme for the time being. Do you like?

Also, I read this today and actually laughed out loud at work, so I thought I'd share the humour.



Holiday Eating Tips
1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Christmas spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they're serving rum balls.

2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. Like fine single-malt scotch, it's rare. In fact, it's even rarer than single-malt scotch. You can't find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as if you're going to turn into an eggnog-aholic or something. It's a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It's later than you think. It's Christmas!

3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.

4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.

5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Christmas party is to eat other people's food for free. Lots of it. Hello?

6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year's. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.

7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don't budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They're like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you're never going to see them again.

8. Same for pies. Apple. Pumpkin. Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or, if you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day?

9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards.

10. One final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention.

And always remember this motto to live by:
"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!"

October 28, 2007

Sunday Afternoon Walk on the Beach

For those of you not on Facebook....


Some fun photos from your friends....
Enjoy!


October 10, 2007

Turkey Day Road Trip!

Thanksgiving Weekend for 2007 started off with a busy week of preparing, finishing off projects and getting ready....perhaps not in the typical or traditional way you may be picturing.
My parents and I had been invited to spend Thanksgiving in Kamloops with my gracious aunt and cousins and by Friday afternoon I still was not completely 100% sure things would work out for me to go.

I had to find someone willing to cover my Sunday shift at work, which was definitely proving difficult. However, by the end of the day, about an hour before I had planned to be out at the ferry terminal to catch the boat over...I found replacements and all the jumbled puzzle pieces fell perfectly into place!

So I zipped home, grabbed all the last-minute stuff to shove into my already over-packed bag, gathered up my dog, Sophie's food and toiletries and off we headed to the ferries with a rider from my wonderful pal, Shantala!!

The BC Ferries are an interesting experience if you have to walk-on with a pet, as I had to do this weekend. I dragged Sophie through the very loud and scary mouth of the boat and we parked ourselves in the convenient, if not smelly and slightly uncomfortable, Pets Room on the upper car deck. There Sophie and I met two poodles, Zara big and black, and Bijou tiny and white, and their friendly owners. Sophie sniffed noses and rears, made friends but was as eager as I to go for a few gaunts around the breezy car deck.

Once on the other side of our pretty ocean, I was picked up my my wonderful parents, who had already spent a night and day shopping and whatnot, along with my great and formidable aunt Shirley. We spent that night at Shirley's with a delicious bacon and egg breakfast and great company and the next morning packed up the car for our road trip to Kamloops.

Ah, before the trek began, my folks gave in to my whim and we stopped off at Ikea, the magical land of inexpensive household items and decorative accessories!!! Mom and I purchased a few small items that quickly began to fill the cart and my dad picked up a set of cute kids chairs for my little cousin Brynn (both of which, the chair and the Brynn, you will later see).

Apres Ikea, and a few mutters from dad on how full the car was getting, we finally headed off up the highway to our Thanksgiving destination - Kamloops to see Candace, Roch, Brynn, Cruz, Auntie Bev, David, Angie, Tom and who knows who else!!!


Here I am, occupying the comfy back seat
taking mediocre photos from the moving car.....

and here is the start of the b-e-a-utiful Autumn colours
poking through the dark forests.

Splashes of Fall colour

and a dusting of snow at the Coquihalla Summit

Driving through the clouds at the Summit, very cool!

On the far side of the Summit the trees were even brighter and more vibrant!

Pretty scene just after the town of Merritt

and finally in Kamloops - BRYNN!!


My sister and brother-in-law, Angie and Tom, were also able to drive up
for a night and here is Tom in his usual position...napping....sorry, Tom!

And here is Brynn, showing off her brand new Ikea chair!! So cute!

Ta-dah!! Here is the new baby, little Cruz all bundled up to join Tom in an afternoon nap.

My brother, Mike, who surprised us by driving out for the day and cousin David relaxing with couch and sports.

David and Brynn (in new pjs!)

Auntie Bev, Cruz and Brynn


Brynn suddenly started to try jumping...here a few attempts.

Let's play...The Chins Game!! Who has more?? Baby Cruz or Unca' Bob or Mike????


Brynn, pretty in pink and saying good-bye...

...and Cruz and cousin Kirsten....me.

Mike doing his surprised Zoolander impersonation.

Brynn made a new friend right away...Tom and Brynn colouring.....

On the drive home...freshly snow-capped mountains!

Very cool type of rock on this mountain top

and me trying to take a photo of the cool orange, yellow and red bushes before we slipped through a tunnel....and good job Dad, 10 and 2.....

Front of the ferry photo....coming home

and Sophie being a good dog in the car.....

Well we had an excellent weekend! Absolutely wonderful family time with aunts, cousins, kids, siblings and parents! Superb food and dinners and desserts and late night game snacks!!! We chatted, we played, we ate and we enjoyed each other. Now isn't that what life is all about?

What a beautiful weekend!!!

October 2, 2007

Stormy Day - Video

This past weekend was quite stormy and I wanted to share the thrill of watching our West Coast weather with my friends from other places. I love walking along the ocean with the crazy wind lashing around me and the waves pounding and rolling into the shore.
The audio from this video clip is a little crazy since the wind was buffeting my camera, but in the middle you can hear the waves sucking back the small rocks all along the shore. The noise it makes is incredible, I love it!
You'll also get a glimpse of my dog, Sophie trotting along the shore.
Later on this week I'll post some spectacular new photos from this stormy day along with a few cool close ups of nature and insects...stay tuned!


September 30, 2007

A few creative randoms....

A few random photos:

The rhododendrons in the courtyard where my parent's live....so pretty, and I caught the sun at a really interesting focal point above the flowers.

Some interesting drawings that Shantala and I drew while waiting for our dinner one evening at Montana's. This is her conception of a dragon's face...very cool, quite horse-like which would be in keeping with one of our favourite authors, Anne McCaffery and her Dragonrider books.
My sketch of a dragon. Whenever I sketch, I am reminded of the very first Art lesson of grade four. Our Art teacher was the principal and he came in to show us how to sketch a scene with a cliff, not too unlike my dragon's cliff below, but with the ocean and a boat below. For some reason that Art lesson always stuck out, maybe it was when I first really saw my own artwork look realistic instead of colouring in the pictures bought in some children's colouring book.

I wish I could draw better than I do. I wish I had taken more Art lessons, or at least paid attention more in Art class all throughout my school years. Anything I ever drew or moulded or painted or created always felt a little juvenile, at least more so than the other 'artists' in the class.

I'll admit that I feel that I am a creative person, but I think I can create in a more abstract way then realistic, like a sketch or drawing. I enjoy manipulating photos and images into something interesting and unique, I enjoy using colour and shapes and layout to create the few websites I maintain, and I love even taking photos, trying to capture that one image that pops out and awes someone, if only me.


September 27, 2007

New Favourites - Classic Drama

These past few days I have come down with a most dreadful cold, suffering aches and pains, various maladies of the head and throat, with added congestion and now coughs.
Therefore, I headed to my local movie rental house, in which I always seem to find treasures of entertainment and amusement of all kinds.
On these last few occasions I happened upon a quite large British Drama section housing many famous titles and proudly displaying the BBC logo. I passed over many I had already enjoyed, and in fact own, such as the BBC mini series "Pride and Prejudice", and the films of "Mansfield Park" and "Sense and Sensibility". I roamed on over the various selections and found several new mini series and films I had not yet discovered. As I was in need of some relaxing entertainment on my days off work on sick leave, I ventured forth and decided to take home a few new-to-me discs.

First I played the mini series "North and South", based on the novel by Elizabeth Gaskell, and was thoroughly delighted! I hadn't even realized that I had only brought home disc 1 of 2, so on the abrupt ending of the first disc late one night, I cried out and eagerly bundled up and walked back to the store the next day to find disc 2 and finish off the tale.
For more information on this series see the brief description on the BBC website
here.
The second series I delved into was another work of Gaskell's called "Wives and Daughters". Apparently this was the last novel written by the 18th century author which was left incomplete as she died before she tied all the loose ends. Having not read the novel and have nothing to compare the film to, I greatly admire the way the BBC ended this series.
See more information on the Internet Movie Database website
here.

Finally, found a Jane Austin novel adaptation of "Persuasion" that I had not yet seen. This film had me enthralled by the tension, the mishaps and miscommunication. All the characters come to life in a very realistic way, more so, I think, than any other period drama I have encountered. Somehow, these families look and feel so very lifelike and plausible. I am also now in admiration of the actor CiarĂ¡n Hinds (yes, I do realize he is way too old for me!)

More information on the IMDB here.

I am now inspired and determined to find these novels and begin reading the original texts.

I highly recommend all of these films to you, if you desire a strong dose of romance, silly dysfunctional families, lovely dear friends, heart-squeezing reconciliations and throat-closing proclamations of love!!!


September 16, 2007

Foggy Dayz - for those of you not on facebook...

I love summer for the hot days, the sunshine, the beach trips, the suntans and the sandal weather. But I must say, I love the Fall and Autumn season! Evenings cool with crisp air off the ocean, days with sun but clouds or fog rolling in, I love it all! I love the sweater season, wearing warm vests or hoodies and bundling up for walks. I love a mug of hot tea and a cozy quilt while watching a movie and my little dog Sophie cuddling up all snug.
I am happy to say...Fall is Here!!
Lately we've had quite a few foggy days and evenings, and here are a few cool foggy photos I took. Sophie and I down on Gonzales Bay, then Sophie, Shantala and I along the Ross Bay area.
Enjoy!



Shantala taking some neat shots of the fog and ocean.


Sophie just would not stay still for a second for me to get a shot of her on the rocks with the fog.


Although this last Sophie photo is kinda cool.




This one of me is dark but I really like it!

Where's Shantala? Can you spot her?


Sophie spots her, and is watching her clambour over the rocks...


I felt like a ship from Pirates of the Caribbean would come sneaking out of the fog any second!


The water was so smooth and silky, like blown glass or rippling satin.




Ross Bay - so foggy we couldn't see the other side where Clover Point is. Crazy!