Sunday, May 31, 2009

bench monday

i've been loving all of the bench monday pictures that have been showing up in my flickr contact photostream these last few weeks. totally a concept right up my alley.

these last few days have been so socially busy that tonight i dedicated to lying on the couch with two purring felines, going in and out of napping and waking. but as the sun was setting i made myself get out of the house for a very small evening stroll, armed with my tripod (which i've missed so much...the logic in me not bringing it to california completely evades me) and my new lens i headed to the ravine nearby in search of some bench~like structures....and these two images show what i found....

Saturday, May 30, 2009

vancity goodness

dear vancouver.

i must commend you.
you're really doing your best to get me to fall for you.

i've been nestled back in between your mountains for a few weeks now
and i'm amazed at how much better i like you now compared to when i left you
(much to the chagrin of my toronto friends who'd like to kidnap me to their city).

you've been working hard at showing me your beautiful parts and people.
~the night market in chinatown
~gospel music at my favourite cafe
~folk and rock concerts galore
~a photoshoot with a beautiful friend
~homemade lemonade in wine glasses in the sunshine, complete with a laughing fit
~collecting shells on the beach
~seeing how much all of the babies have grown
~my beloved NIA dance class and the lovely ladies there
~feeling inspired to start running again
~sunshine, sunshine, sunshine, along with a beautiful breeze most days
~a few really lovely dear sweet friends (like the one along side me in these pics)

there are still plenty of moments that i'll think
"why don't i go to cafe gratitude today"
"i feel like taking pics in the mission today"
and totally forget where i am.

i still miss the east bay and san francisco like mad (and the lovelies i met there)
and would love to find myself back there some day.

but in general vancity, i think might like you after all!

now...if only i could manifest a way to winter somewhere else every year,
then vancouver, i think we could live happily ever after!

Friday, May 29, 2009

gratitude and rock n' roll

I'm just chock full of gratitude right now. So much so that i can't sleep. you know those days...that are just so lovely that you know waking up tomorrow you won't feel quite as blissed out. I've had one of those. One of my dear dear friends played a show in my city tonight and made time to spend the afternoon with me. Usually I steal him away from the music world for an hour to grab sushi and connect so to have the whole grateful!

I finally gave in and bought the "nifty fifty" as Kate calls it...the Canon 50mm 1.4 lens. I've been eyeing it for a long time, tested it out whenever anyone would let me. Then today while researching what lenses are most popular for indoor concert shooting everyone was raving about it and well, that was that! I'd held out long enough! And I'm incredibly happy with it. It really allowed for far more great shots of tonight's show than I could normally get from my small arsenal of lenses.

My friends band The Cliks was touring as the opener for a band called The New York Dolls. Once the show began I noticed 3 rather tall dudes with very large cameras and lenses bombarding the front of the stage. A friend and I with our canon rebel's and smallish (but powerful) lenses held our own. Can't say they were the friendliest people I've ever encountered nor do I really understand the need for a gigantic zoom lens when you're about 3 feet from the subject. That said, if they were taking pictures that will help promote my friend, I'll be nice to them none the less!

I love how photography and music intersect. They both have a way of bringing me into the moment. Thats one of the things I love so much about seeing live music...its a moment in time that is happening, creating a state of sensory bliss. Photography does that in a different yet equally beautiful way. I love photographing live music...if you haven't tried it I highly recommend just bringing your camera to a show and being brave and trying it. Sometimes its the best seat (or usually lack of a seat) in the house being right there with a few lenses and a camera. There are times though that I need to make sure I put down the camera and really be present in experiencing the music.

I'm listening to The Cliks new album right now and every song I hear amazes me even more.

I'm a very very proud friend. Its really really beautiful to see people get the success they've worked so hard for. Here's a few shots from the night (more will appear on my flickr stream as I process them)!

Monday, May 25, 2009

sameness and difference

slowly settling in.

simply going about my life here, in both its sameness and its difference from before. prioritizing connecting with a few good friends, slowly unpacking, eating nutritious food, making my home beautiful, dance class, running, going to concerts.

the other day i realized the biggest difference between then and now. before california and after. i was wandering on the railroad tracks, through a community garden on a solo adventure when i realized what wasn't there. loneliness. before i went away it was always there, wherever i went. over the last few years it got less powerful in my life but it was still there.

i don't miss it.

Friday, May 22, 2009

the nest

the first thing he said when i arrived this morning was "i want to make a nest for my baby bird".
he had woken up in the middle of the night with this creative idea and was excited to make it happen.

i, pumped that he came up with a creative project unrelated to star wars, could barely hold my excitement about making a nest either.

and i must say, we rocked the nest making. it took quite a while (in kid terms), lots of layers, half a bottle of glue, some sticks and leaves and a whole lot of cardboard to make baby bird a lovely, sturdy permanent home.

to top it all off, he who refuses to be photographed (except the time when i convinced him that someone using the force had taken over my camera and i had no control of it) even let me capture the moment.

i heart making art with him.

Monday, May 18, 2009

almost home

standing within the mountains in kaslo, british columbia was a pretty lovely welcome back to my province. driving across it, from the more arid regions towards the deep lush kootenays, i couldn't help but fall for this truly beautiful place. connecting with old friends, most of whom i haven't seen in a decade, has me feeling pretty fulfilled too. its amazing how much people change and how essentially we remain the same.

now physically home in my cute little apartment, slowly bringing boxes and bags back in to be sorted. i'm totally craving newness...being sure to not put anything back exactly where it was before. i want to acknowledge change and also to feel newness around me despite not being somewhere new.

being back around my dear sweet friends...that feels like home. i couldn't wait another day to see a few people in this city, so they have definitely taken priority over unpacking.

and what will truly make my heart feel like home is those two meowing beings that are presently on their way back home to me! can't wait to hear them purr! i don't know if i'll be much of a wordy woman this week, what with cuddling with kitters and taking my time unpacking and all (oh, and work) but i have lots and lots to due time!

Monday, May 11, 2009


the train slowly rambled through the darkness, over and through mountains, past baby cows running in fields, geese having a feast, rusty old cars and wood shacks sinking into the ground. it felt like the perfect way to get myself up the coast towards home.

now in portland (which i love just as much as i love the bay area) hanging out with my sister, drinking my favourite coffee, the best gluten free muffins and cracking each other up big time. tomorrow i'll keep going north, arrive home, only to pack up a small backpack and leave again.

i'll be heading into the interior of british columbia (which is breathtakingly beautiful) to meet up with friends i haven't seen in a decade, hop in a car together and head out to nelson to a wedding. only a quick trip though and then back i home to vancouver where it'll be time to get myself grounded, unpack, get out my beautiful green bike and go for a ride, see what's blooming, get ready for the arrival of my beloved kitters, hug sweet friends and see how much all the lil' ones have grown since i've been gone.

its kind of bittersweet (just like my fave cafe in oakland...sigh, oakland).
these last few months have been really good to me. my heart doesn't have the heaviness it had been carrying around for years and years. i don't feel that big ball of bitterness anymore. i was feeling really disheartened by vancouver when i left and now i feel much more open to seeing if i can make life there feel as happy as it was when i was away...and if not, well then i'll just follow where ever my happiness leads me.

Monday, May 04, 2009

i'm a cat lady

i've been avoiding a certain photo file on my computer for months now, knowing that if i looked in it i would need a full box of tissues handy to deal with the waterworks. its the file called 'kitters'.

while i've been in california my cats ladybug and elliot (the above photo is of miss lady) have been bonding with my parents in montreal. way back in the fall i called them in tears asking for them to help me after my potential cat sitter options all fell through. little did i know how lovely it would be to hear the way my folks talked about the kitters, hearing how they have bonded with my brother and gotten to know his amazing cat ulysses, knowing that they too have fallen a little bit (or a lot) for these miniscule feline beings that i so adore.

tonight i was finally ready to gaze at photos of their little adorable faces, ladybug and her alien-esque eyes and billy (elliot) and his cute belly. although i'm still in total denial that i'm leaving this lovely place, the thought of being back together with those adorable beings has me a wee bit excited to head home. 15 sleeps till i get to curl up with them again!

***be sure to follow the above link to a truly wonderful video by my brother's talented friend***