Starting our garden

After much deliberation, Bruno and I decided to tackle a bunch of changes in our yard this summer. We were originally going to put it off until next year, but then we figured since we're around a lot this summer we may as well just get things started so we can enjoy our outside space more. Mostly there has been a lot of ripping out things (especially a TON of cedar shrubs) that the builders had done initially. The yard was so sterile, it looked like landscaping around a parking lot.

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Water in my ears

Just got home from round one of the big day of crazy tests (as part of what is shaping up to be the month of crazy tests). Round 1: Vestibular (ENG) testing. Following the lights you see with crazy goggles on, followed by about 30 mins of having different temperatures of water shot into your ears while you can't see anything...apparently it makes you insanely dizzy--fun! *rolls eyes* At least the lady was really nice. I am now soggy eared and nauseous, and still a little dizzy.

Last Friday I got my neck xrays done, there are fun photos from that:

Tonight, I get to go back to the hospital for 2 more hours to get neck and head MRI's done... And next week, I have my 2nd opinion with the new rheumatologist.

Oh. And did I mention that my parents are getting into town tomorrow and that it's Northern Voice this weekend? Oy.

On a brighter note, I think it might almost be spring...shhhhhhhh......

Gotta go throw some lunch together and head to work for the afternoon (I am so glad I used a half day of holiday up this morning!)

People I know (or have known) doing inspiring arty things

So, about that inspiration stuff... I liked the suggestions of collaborative arty projects. So I've been thinking about people who I know (or have known in earlier days) that now do cool inspiring art stuff. And here is a list of them, loosely in chronological order of when I met them from earliest to most recent with links to their stuff for anyone who's interested (go Google skillz). (I've only used last names where people use their last names publicly in case you're wondering why some are missing.)


(Photo by Kirsti)

I've known Kirsti since I was three weeks old. Most of her creativity is not documented online, but she is a crafter-extraordinaire, trust me. She just started blogging her craftiness, and I had to include her in the list, if for nothing else than her sock making skillz.

Riley Rossmo

(Photo from

I went to elementary/highschool with this kid back in the day. He was the kid who constantly got in trouble for drawing and not paying attention. I always really liked Riley, and he was a great artist back then, and wouldn't you know it, he's an even better one now. He actually went to art college, and now is a professional illustrator. He's done work for magazines and illustrated the graphic novel Seven Sons, and is now illustrating the comic book Proof--first issue just came out a couple months ago (now on issue 3)--with his partner in crime, Alexander Grecian. Check out his illustrations on his Wrinkle Graphics site, and if you like comics I totally recommend you go out and find Proof--it's available at most comic shops.

Jude Griebel

(Photo from

I also went to elementary school with Jude, but I didn't really know him. His younger brother (who was also a really good artist) was in my class, and he was about 3 or 4 years ahead of us. Jude has become a successful painter, doing a lot of work around the themes of childhood homes, animals, and dreams/imagination. He is based in Vancouver as far as I know, and regularly has shows at Bau-Xi Gallery in town. I went and saw his show there last year, and was instantly in love with his work. When I can afford it, I plan to buy one of his paintings as one of my first real art purchases.


(Photo by Elissa)

One final elementary school throwback. Elissa and I actually reconnected pre-facebook, and she does great photography mainly of Montreal, transit/trains (Richard--you should check out her Flickr!), and restaurant food. I think her Livejournal is friends only, but if you have an LJ or OpenID account, request to be friended, as it's a great way to keep up with her best stuff. Last year, the municipality of Westmount in Montreal came across her work on Flickr and hired her to do freelance photography for them!

Leslie Biggar

(Photo by Sakura Photography - Vancouver Wedding Photographer)

Leslie is a friend I know through university friends. She is a great photographer, and has been getting more and more into portrait photography. She and her husband Mark recently started a full fledged wedding photography business, though she'd been doing it for quite a while, and I can safely say hers are my favorite wedding photos evar. I kid you not. She has this way of making romantic photos heartbreakingly cute without being cheesy. Also, check out her photoblog for documentation of her and Mark's travels through China and Taiwan. Amazing.

Gayla Trail

[Gayla has done something sneaky so I can't show you any of her'll just have to click on the links to her stuff below.]

Okay, so I've never met Gayla in person. But I've known her for quite a long time now. She's the mastermind behind You Grow Girl--the successful and hip gardening website and book for urban green thumbs. I used to help moderate the YGG forums for a few years, and also wrote a plant journal on the site back when she had a bunch of guest writers contributing. But what you might not know is she's also a totally amazing photographer (be sure follow the links from her sites to her partner Davin's work too...), crafter, and graphic and web designer. Basically, Gayla is a superstar.

Kelly Gilliam

I met Kelly through You Grow Girl originally, as she was one of the other long time moderator/plant journalers. Actually, to be accurate, I haven't actually met Kelly face to face either, but we have written each other back and forth plenty for me to consider her a friend and kindred spirit. She knits like crazy, gardens, and is a total photography nerd in the best possible way--she is the girl whose bathroom is a darkroom. Maybe that doesn't mean much to you, but to me, it is gold. She has lots of neato cameras too. Kelly has a unique style and is drawn toward subject matter that most people would overlook. For instance, she likes photographing old things in alleys, documenting things that have been left behind. She's also masterminded several rounds of Project Camera Release (see below) the most recent (and I believe not yet completed) one of which I participated in! She sends out a disposable black and white camera through a set list of people, each mails it onto the next taking a predetermined number of shots, and then at the end she prints them up in a little book/zine if she has the time and resources, or at the very least puts them up online. I can't wait to see how this one turns out! Kelly just started her own photography business a few months ago, and may well be (I hope!) moving back to Vancouver soon!

Emira Mears

I would say that I more officially met Emira through You Grow Girl as she was another one of the plant journalers, but by then I already knew of her from her old blogsite Soapbox Girls which she co-wrote with her partner in crime, Lauren Bacon. She now writes about all things home, design, garden, and food related at her blog, Domicile. She and Lauren started Raised Eyebrow, a webdesign company, in 2000 and in the spirit of full disclosure, as fate would have it, they are now my bosses. The have a book coming out in May geared toward women running their own businesses called The Boss of You, and participated on a panel on the topic at SXSW (there's a podcast of it available too, see below). Emira, as you will be able to tell from her blog and Flickr photos, is an amazing crafter/maker of things and has great taste in fabrics and textiles. I don't know where she finds the time to make all this fabulous stuff, but she is definitely a crafty inspiration!

Kris Krug

(Photo by Kris Krug)

Known to much of the world as kk+, Kris is someone from the geekery/photography community that I actually met in the summer of 2006 when I was only just sticking a toe into that community. I met Kris in Seattle at DrupalCamp, and I remember a bunch of us going to lunch, and he was sitting across the table, and I was thinking, "Geezuz, who is this guy???" Kris has a style and energy all his own, and as I've gotten to know him, I've discovered him to be very down to earth, and a creative force to be reckoned with. He, along with his friends and coworkers at Raincity Studios, drive a lot of what goes on in the tech community around here, and as if he isn't busy enough, somewhere in there he finds time to co-author the odd book, get his photos published in magazines, and do spots on TV and radio (see below). His side-gig slash hobby could easily be a full-time job on its own--he does photography (mostly in the fashion industry) for companies such as Arson (see their last couple catalogues--posted on his flickr) and also at events such as Fashion week, check out the Static Photography site and his Flickr for photos. Kris is without a doubt one of my favorite photographers, and his portraits are incomparable--he has this knack for being able to capture people in their most natural and raw state, it never ceases to captivate me. Oh yeah, and he might be one of the best and most prolific self-portrait takers that I know too.

Stephanie Vacher

(Photo by Stephanie Vacher)

I met Stephanie this year through...well, I can't recall exactly (maybe Boris?)...but through friends/geekery/photography type stuff. She has been doing the design program at Emily Carr and documenting a lot of it on Flickr and her blog, and she is just generally a super creative person and superb photographer.

Victoria Potter

(Photo by Victoria Potter)

Finally, I also met Victoria this past year through friends/geekery/photography stuff... Actually, I think we more formally met at a party where neither of us really knew many of the other people there... She takes great photos, especially notable are her polaroids, and blogs about fashion, music, and other stuff.

Wow. That took a really long time to write up! If there's anyone or any links that I've missed, please add them in the comments for the world to see! Now if all that isn't inspiring, I don't know what is. I need to get my shit together and do something awesome.

(ps. if anyone is not ok with me having any of this up here, esp. photos, please let me know and i'll take em down. thanks!)

1st day of fall

I know, it's not really the first day of fall quite yet, but it sure felt like it. The air has been getting chillier on and off over the past week, and it really hit all of a sudden today. Even though we really got cheated out of a proper summer this year, I am ready for fall. Despite being my first summer since finishing school, it's been one of the most challenging summers I've had, and I can't say that I'm sad to see it go.

Scott, Boris, and a bunch of the other geeky types have headed to Barcelona for the next ten days or so for DrupalCon and judging purely from Facebook status updates, have made it there safely. It would have been great to go, but regardless of whether or not I would have been up for it, I have already committed the rest of my vacation days earned to date to going to my cousin's wedding in LA at the end of October.

(Friday night hanging with Tall Scott on Denman.)

I took the day off of socializing today after staying up too late the past couple nights, and decided to catch up on a few things. First order of business was making my weekly trip to the gym. I would be thrilled if I could keep it up to twice a week, but it just hasn't been happening. Once a week and at least I can justify keeping my pass. Did my regular workout in my new leggings that I got for $12 in the sales bin at Roots (the sales bin at Roots rocks).

Decided to head over to Capers and get some groceries--luckily had dressed extra cozy, as it was pretty darned chilly out! It turned out that the Sustainability Fair, which I thought was only on yesterday, and I'd missed, was on again today! Lotsa food to sample, I tried some mint-green tea. The owner of Twice Shy had a booth there and was selling stuff from last year's line at mostly well over half off! Got a couple tops (I really must profile them on SpendLocally). Wandered around, then went in and got my groceries. Came back out and sat down to eat some lunch, and shortly DNA6 took the stage...I'd never heard of them, but it was a GREAT set! Had to get a tea to stay warm enough to make it through the show, but enjoyed it thoroughly. They seemed way too good to be playing the Capers Fair, but what the hey, I'm not gonna complain! Hoping to be able to catch a full length set sometime and get the full experience. It was just starting to spit again as they wrapped it up, so I snapped up their CD for $10, and headed home.

Haven't really been overly productive the rest of the day, but when it's drizzly and grey outside, I never really feel bad about it. I don't feel much like making my lunch for tomorrow, so I think I might finally try out one of the local eateries by the office. I've been there six months without buying lunch once!

Oh, and my seagull (I call him/her "my" seagull cause (s)he hangs out on my balcony frequently) barfed up mussel shells on my balcony today. I opened the door, and looked at the seagull, and it puked. It was disgusting.

(My hens and chicks finally bloomed!)

Work's been pretty crazy the last week or so, as our tech guy Chris left us to go do grad studies in Belgium, in fact he flew out today. His 'replacement' (I hate that word, cause you can't really replace someone, but I can't think of a better one) has been with us for two weeks now training and getting caught up on everything. I will miss having Chris around, he taught me sooo much, and is a really level-headed person to have around.

(Lunch on Chris' last day.)

Hoping for a less hectic week, getting back into the routine...getting my zen back. Zen-master Parveen must be slacking, cause I've been feeling really allovertheplace lately!

Monday blather

I was really excited when I picked up a backup drive from a friend yesterday, but what the hell--I can't get it working! I took a sick day today, cause my stomach went haywire last night and I'm still recouping, and spent the better part of the morning trying to figure it out. I've pinpointed the problem to lack of mac support! How is it that mac users still get this kind of crap? I went and downloaded the supposed mac software from the company's site, and from what I can deduce, the files in it may be meant for Windows. Then again, I kinda have no idea what I'm doing, so I could be wrong.

But soon... I will be able to back up my laptop's entire contents and will be able to live in slightly less fear that I'd lose my mind if anything ever happened to my laptop.

In plant news, I finally found a basil plant that didn't die instantly!!! I have probably tried to grow ten different basil plants over the years, and the only time it was a success was last summer in the community garden plot. But (knock on wood) I may have found one suitable for balcony life! Previously any basil that I've tried to grow either on a patio/balcony or windowsill has either gotten mites, gotten aphids, withered away for no apparent reason, or gotten burnt by the heat and died. I recently bought a red basil plant, though, and it appears to be looking quite well! Might I finally be able to look forward to an affordable and convenient (and tasty!) source of basil? Let's hope...

red basil

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