It’s all in how you look at it


Drinks or Death? What do you see?

Recently, I changed careers. This change came with the need to downsize my lifestyle a bit. Currently I live in a two bedroom apartment and am making just enough to cover my monthly existence. That means no extra cash to go to dinner, a movie, go to Montreal Comiccon, or even to put anything into savings. I am not using my second bedroom anymore. It was set up as a massage room, but since I have changed careers, I haven’t used it at all. This led me to the decision that a one bedroom apartment, in the same building, at a monthly savings of over $400 is the way to go.

I was talking to my Mother about this decision yesterday and she said something that stuck with me. She said, “Don’t look at it as a step backward.” The thought hadn’t even occurred to me. I have long considered myself to be a pessimist, but apparently I have some optimistic tendencies. I am looking at this move as a way to a better quality of life.

 My apartment is like this glass, twice as big as it needs to be.

I will be in the same building with all the amenities that I have been enjoying over the past year. In fact, I will be living just across the hall from the apartment in which I currently live, making this the easiest (and possibly cheapest) move I have ever made. All my furniture will still fit into my new, smaller space, so I am not giving anything up… with the exception of a dishwasher (that is a tough one to take, but it’s more important to me to be able to take a trip in a year, than to have hassle free dish washing).

If I do this…

I can be in Berlin that much sooner.

I guess it really is all in how you look at things. So no, I don’t see this as a step backward. For me it’s a step toward the life I want to be living.

My top ten favourite things about living in Canada


I live in Quebec, which, despite what some people may say, is in Canada. In this post I will be listing some of my favourite things about living here, in no particular order.

UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE

In Canada we have universal healthcare. Our essential medical needs are taken care of no matter what.

REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS FOR WOMEN

Henry Morgentaler

Women in Canada can have an abortion if need be and it will be covered by Universal Healthcare.

WE ARE A SECULAR NATION

In Canada we have the separation of church and state… and we mean it.

SAME SEX MARRIAGE

In Canada same sex marriage is legal. The LBGT community enjoys the same human rights as every other Canadian.

CULTURAL DIVERSITY

Canada has become a successful melting pot of people from all races. Sadly, we are not yet entirely free of racism, but we are working toward that goal.

THE FRIENDLY FACTOR

Canadians are known world wide for being a friendly people, and it’s true.

CUBAN CIGARS

One of my favourite New Year’s Eve rituals is a chilled glass of single malt scotch and a Cohiba cigar. In Canada we have no trade embargo with Cuba, so I can indulge all I want.

WIDE OPEN SPACES

I love time alone. In some countries it is next to impossible to escape the crowds. In Canada, there are still plenty of wide open spaces in which to enjoy your me time.

SCENERY

Canada has some of the most spectacular scenic views to inspire even the most jaded among us.

WILLIAM SHATNER

The geek in me (not so) secretly loves that we Canadians get to claim our country as the birthplace of Captain James Tiberius Kirk, himself, William Shatner. Sure there are many famous people who come from Canada, but in my eyes, none are cooler than Shatner.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS

CORNER GAS RE-RUNS

Along with Anne of Green Gables and the Beachcombers, Corner Gas takes it’s place among television shows that have achieved the status of Canadiana… plus it’s frickin’ funny as all get out.

CANADIAN TIRE

 

A store that sells literally everything under one roof. A store so big it even has it’s own money. What’s not to like?

I will leave you with this hilarious video of the aforementioned, William Shatner talking about being Canadian.

WOW The world of wearable art



Lady Curiosity- one of the 2010 winners

You wouldn’t wear any of these creations to the grocery store, but whoever said art was practical? Every year in Wellington, New Zealand holds an exhibition of artists from all over the world who create wearable art. Held in September, this exhibit and competition is a two hour long, live theatrical show and it’s unbelievable what some of these artists come up with.

Lady of the Wood- one of the 2009 winners

The above creation was entirely made of wood, right down to the wood shavings used for her hair. What strikes me most about this piece is the fit of the bodice and the sleeves. The level of creativity is astounding.

WOW began in 1987 in the rural town of Nelson as a promotion for their local art gallery. It was the idea of Dame Susie Moncrieff to use the live theatrical show format and from there the show expanded each and every year. Now WOW enjoys international acclaim.

Hide in my Bone Shadow- one of the 2011 winners

New Zealand has long held a place on my bucket list and it seems, with each passing year, it moves up a spot. As a huge Tolkien fan, I have long wanted to visit Hobbittown.

Hobbittown

I am also enamoured with big cats must go and see the famous Lion Man.

The Lion Man- Craig Busch

As both an art lover and a bit of a fashionista, and having only recently heard of the World of Wearable Art Show, I have yet another reason to want to travel to New Zealand. As I mentioned earlier, artists world wide exhibit and compete each year and one of last year’s winners even comes from my own home country.

Skin, Marjolein Dallinga, Canada- one of the 2011 winners

 If you would like more information about WOW, the World of Wearable Art, or to view more of these amazing creations, go to their website  or take a look at some video footage of the show on their YouTube page.

The next best thing to being there


The Coronation of Josephine- Jacques Louis David

I’ve been to the Louvre Museum in Paris. I remember standing in front of the Mona Lisa and thinking, ‘I don’t get what all the fuss is about.’ It’s a tiny painting behind reflective glass and armed guards. Yes, it was painted by Leonardo Da Vinci, who had one of the best eyes for human anatomy ever, but standing there staring at this masterpiece left me cold. There was a painting I was wowed by that day titled The Coronation of Josephine. The rich, saturated colours and almost photographic detail were like nothing I’d ever seen in a painting. If I hadn’t been in the Louvre, chances are I would never have discovered this beautiful painting. Conversely, if I hadn’t been in the Louvre, chances are I never would have been so underwhelmed by the Mona Lisa.

Inside the State Hermitage Museum

 A museum that is currently on my bucket list is the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. It’s likely that I will never get the chance to be witness to it’s opulence in person. There are quite a few museums on my bucket list from all over the world. While I may never get to see their contents right in front of me, Google has created the next best thing. http://www.googleartproject.com/ which gives access to 155 art collections and counting. The images of the artwork are all high resolution and each collection features a virtual tour of the gallery in which each collection is housed.

The Hall of Mirrors in the Palace of Versailles

From the comfort of my home, I have been to the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, the Tate Gallery in London, the Palace of Versailles, the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and yes, even the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. While it’s not the same experience as being there, it is the closest I may ever get to seeing some of the world’s greatest artistic masterpieces inside some of the world’s greatest architectural masterpieces.

So thank you to Google for creating the next best thing to being there for those of us who dream of being there.

Learning geography


Last week, WordPress introduced it’s bloggers to a new feature. We now are treated to an accounting of where in the world our site visits are coming from by country. It’s a very interesting feature. I had no idea that there were people visiting my blog from all corners of the globe. This feature definitely piqued my curiosity, if not my wander lust.

Until this feature came into my life, I considered myself to be pretty adept at geography. I thought I had, at least, heard of all the names of all of the countries in the world. Then, on the first day of this new feature along come the pleasant surprise of 6 views from a place I had never heard of. So I did a little research (for me, a day without research is like a day without breathing) and found out a lot about a tiny country called the Republic of Mauritius.  At a scant 2040 square kilometers, Mauritius is hard, if not impossible, to find on the above map, but there are over 1.25 million people living there.

Port Louis, the capitol city is only 42.7 square kilometers, but looks like a stunning place to visit.

File:Evening Port Louis.jpg

For those of you who like hot weather, Port Louis enjoys temperatures above 24 degrees Celsius all year long.

Thanks to WordPress, I may have just found another travel option for my bucket list. If it was beautiful enough to inspire Baudelaire and Twain, who am I to argue?

File:Port Louis Panorama.jpg

The anti Bucket List


Like a lot of people I have a Bucket List of things I’d like to do before I kick the bucket. Most of the items on this list are travel oriented, like going to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, attending the Cannabis Cup, visiting New Zealand or buying an apartment in the south of France to spend winters in.

I also have another list. A list of things I have tried, but will (likely) never try again. I call this my Suck It list, because these things can suck it.

MY SUCK IT LIST

Religion

Skiing (both snow and water)

Skating (both Ice and Roller)

Camping

Living in the United States

Marriage

Being a mistress

Anal sex (unless I’m on the giving end)

Lesbianism (not that there’s anything wrong with it, just not for me)

Submission

Watching Piers Morgan

Dropping acid

Doing extacy

Snorting cocaine

Horse back riding

Listening to Katy Perry ‘sing’ (same goes for Britney Spears, Justin Beiber and Beyonce)

Watching a Kardashian do anything (or not do anything)

Visit the Dominican Republic

Go on a cruise

Visit Venice (I can still smell it)

Visit Manhattan (also still smelling it)

Getting drunk on tequila

Date a much younger guy

Eat venison

Babysitting

And the list goes on from here. I’m betting that most people have their own Suck It list. What’s on yours?

** Note to self. Add Guys who respond to list with “Why isn’t my dick on it?” to list.