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I longed, for quite some time, to travel to Europe. When I was younger I desperately wanted to see Britain, but that sort of waned over time and I became more interested in seeing Italy and Japan. Later as I got to know members of my new family better Spain moved to the top of the list. Well I have now seen Spain and Italy, but they're still on the list since I now intend to return.

Andre and I just spent one week in Barcelona and an additional week on a Mediterranean cruise.
Barcelona was amazing and a perfect introduction to Europe. I have always said I couldn't imagine living anywhere but Toronto. Having seen Barcelona my imagination has now broadened it's horizons.

Our cruise took us to Monte Carlo, Florence, Rome, Naples, and Palma de Mallorca. Monaco is beautiful, but way too snooty. Naples gave us a chance to climb Vesuvius and see Pompeii, both of which blew my mind, but the city of Naples itself is really filthy. Florence was a frenzy of crowds and beautiful art. Tantalizing but ultimately a little unsatisfying; I felt like I was missing so much and many of the buildings were in poorer condition than I expected. Rome was amazing but like Florence impossible to enjoy in just a day. In Palma we didn't even try to see it all. We just wandered till we found the most perfect little beach on the planet and played naked in the surf.

It's hard to sum up so I wont. Europe didn't change me in any special way other than providing me with an even greater interest in traveling to Europe. I may also be going through withdrawal from a Lemon Fanta addiction I acquired. That could also be jet lag though.

Jan. 14th, 2010

It's official. On Feb 1 Andre and I will be moving to a new apartment in the Hazelburn Co-op at 178 Jarvis St. So much work to do before then.

Review of Coco Before Chanel

Coco Before Chanel is an emotionally sophisticated movie with a mostly unsophisticated plot, so depending on your tastes for storytelling you will either be engaged or bored to tears. I give the film full marks for portraying nontraditional relationships without falling back on emotional cliches and histrionics. Granted, this would be more noteworthy if this were a Hollywood film, but it's done well and I appreciated the obvious effort put into not having the characters act like 13 year old schoolgirls.

Perhaps less praiseworthy is the notion that a movie about a woman searching for her place in the world needs to revolve around the men in her life, which this film embraces, but by doing so gives the audience a glimpse into the rigid social structures of male power that ruled the times Coco lived in and, as the film postulates, represent the genesis of her style and design ethos of effortless elegance. In this case the phallocentric conceit works in the films favor giving the narrative a bit of lift

Audrey Tautou is fantastic, adding intrigue and sensitivity to a character who is for the most part cold, selfish, and sullen and she brings to life the pride and strength that carry her character through the many indignities and moral compromises that lead to her future success without disguising her self absorption and willingness to use people as anything other than what it is- a survival instinct.

All that said, this is a movie who's story is told in furtive glances and raised eyebrows, and has only a tentative relationship to the world of high fashion. The drama you might expect from the early life of such a pivotal figure in fashion's history is told with a minor score and may not be what the viewer might expect. The now classic Chanel basic black dress comes to mind as a relevant comparison.
lots of room for improvement

White Cake with Strawberry Buttercream

My first attempt at piping frosting and there's lots of room for improvement there. Some planning and practice could do wonders. The cake itself was a disappointingly dense- it's a meringue based cake, and I have yet to get a successful rise out of any angel food recipe I've tried. It's either me or my oven that's fucking up. Also in the negative column, when I served out the cake I discovered I'd left the parchment paper attached to the bottom of the top layer. That was good for a laugh. On the plus side the strawberry buttercream icing is delicious.

This Weekend In My Kitchen

Ready For The Oven.

André and I made Pies. Turkey Pies! He made the filling and I made the crust.
Wonder Twin Powers Activate!

Photo of the Finished ProductCollapse )



This Week In Comics

Umbrella Academy Series 2 Issue #3 by Gerard Way & Gabriel Bá

The Umbrella Academy
Series 2 Issue #3
Words - Gerard Way
Art - Gabriel Bá

I find this image is even more enjoyable when taken out of the context it is originally presented in. Irrespective of the setting I particularly like how Klaus' Hawaiian Shirt has become intertwined with the car commercial Space Boy was watching on Television.

A very good series so far, but is also teetering on the edge of trying a little too hard to be off kilter and wacky for the sake of being so. Fortunately I'm a big fan of silliness and the obvious attempt to make fun an important factor in every issue renders most of this forgivable.

Fucked Up

Hot Music + Hot Shirtless Antics = Good Times

More Here

October Chrome Photo Challenge

Dream Cars

I didn't really put anything outside the box in my concept for this challenge, but I like how the photo turned out.

Canatara Park -Thanksgiving Weekend 2008

Milkweed Swarm
Originally uploaded by plaidninja
Since it was Thanksgiving I drove down to stay at my mothers house. I Spent some time on my own this weekend wandering around Sarnia when I wasn't visiting with my family and I took photos of what I saw.

These photos were all taken in Canatara Park, which is beautiful this time of year.

Click Photo to see full set.


More of St Marie Among The Hurons


Ice Tongs
Greg Duke

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