Sunday, 23 December 2012

Words in Art

Thought it might be interesting to see the role words can play in art by painting something, taking a picture of it before words were graffitied on it, and after.

What do you think? Do words intensify meaning, or distract?


Thursday, 20 December 2012

Romanian Vegetable Stew

2 large onions, chopped
4 -5 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
3 -4 medium bell peppers, seeded and chopped (any color)
3 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons vegetable oil 
1/2 cup saurkraut
3 fresh tomatoes, peeled and chopped or 1 (14 ounce) can tomatoes, chopped and juices reserved
2 cups water
3 -4 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 (12 ounce) package frozen peas
1/2 teaspoon thyme
2 tablespoons fresh dill, minced
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
1/2 lemon, juice of
1 -2 teaspoon paprika


1.Heat the oil in a large stewpot or Dutch oven.
2. Add the onion, carrots, and peppers. Saute over medium heat until onions are transparent. (About 5 minutes).

3. Add garlic, potatoes, and cabbage. If using kohlrabi add it now. Saute for about 3 minutes.
4. Add water and tomatoes, salt and pepper, and thyme and paprika. Bring to a boil.
5.Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are almost tender.
6. Simmer, covered for about 20 more minutes or until the vegetables are soft and flavors have blended.
7. Add frozen peas, fresh herbs, and lemon juice. Cook for five minutes with the cover on.
8. Serve hot with rice. 

Monday, 17 December 2012

A Monk's Secret

Monastic living has always had some sort of allure to me. This lovely little documentary gives you a  great feeling for what that life is like. It brings together Quebec, the Prairies, Canadian History, and most importantly, cheese. Within the context of cheese (and I mean, who can resist a documentary about cheese?), the documentary takes on some of the challenges facing modern monasteries all over the world. Its also a good opportunity to listen to some french, which I appreciated, lol.

A Monk's Secret by Yves Étienne Massicotte, National Film Board of Canada

What's so bad about sad?

Call me crazy, but it seems to me that society today is moving towards a state where being sad for any reason aside from an obvious personal tragedy is unacceptable. Especially as someone who is diagnosed bipolar, if I randomly say "I'm sad", people immediately respond with "are you off your meds?"

No, I'm not. I'm just sad.

The recent tragedy in Connecticut is a very potent example of how the world and human society can sometimes be a sad place to be. Sometimes, its okay to put your finger on the pulse of that inherent sadness in human existence, and just feel sad.  Just like its okay to put your finger on the pulse of the joys of human life and just be happy, too.

Feeling sad . .. even feeling sad for no direct personal reason. . .isn't a problem. Like all things, it is only a problem when it is taken in excess. Sadness is only a problem when you let it overwhelm you and spend weeks in bed with the curtains shut and the doors locked and your phone off bawling your eyes out (although no one would grudge those who have experienced a true personal tragedy the right to do so). Sad is only bad when you let it paralyze you in the long term. Even being paralyzed by it for a short period of time isn't a bad thing. Its okay to spend a few days now and then feeling down in the dumps.

I guess what I'm saying is, there is no shame in occasionally feeling things on the negative end of the emotional spectrum. Our capacity to feel so much, so intensely, is part of what makes us human. If we were to sacrifice that, we would sacrifice a great deal of what makes us ourselves.

Everyone is working so hard to live a happy, perfect life. But that just isn't possible. Better to aim to live a full life, that takes the good with the bad, and appreciates both.

So go ahead. . .feel sad. Some terribly sad things have happened in the world here recently, and its okay to break down for a moment, have your own cry. It doesn't make you weaker, and it doesn't mean you are wallowing in melancholia. It means you are human.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Monday, 10 December 2012

death by chocolate


1 pkg. brownies mix
1/4 c. Kahlua or coffee (optional)
3 boxes Jello chocolate mousse
8 Heath (or Skor) bars
1 (12 oz.) container Cool Whip (optional)

Bake brownies; cool. Punch holes in brownies with fork. Pour Kahlua over brownies and set aside. Prepare mousse according to package directions and refrigerate. Break candy bars into pieces with a hammer (in their wrappers). Cover the brownies with the mousse. Cover mousse with candy bars. Cover with Cool Whip. Refrigerate for at least one hour.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Van Art

Camera Van

Lol @ the horns on top

I don't know if the van is more interesting, or the dude in
front of it

Random guy on segue: "wtf is that?"


A classic

I found so many star wars themed ones

Dazzling, indeed


mid-laundry doodles

Monday, 3 December 2012

Face Mask

decided to try making my own face mud scrub tonight.


Sugar (I used white)
Coffee grounds
olive oil (just enough to moisten)
bit of almond extract to make smell nice

so good! Smells like coffee and almonds, and my face feels as soft as a baby's bottom. :3

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Women and Play in the Modern Day

Something that came up in one of my classes the other day was the notion of modern gamespaces as being male-dominated. Obviously, this is, and has been the case in a number of sports through history (Football being the big one that comes to mind). But some of this seems to have transferred over into the virtual gamespace as well. Spending hours and hours every day playing video games (be they PC or console) has come to be viewed as a masculine trait, adopted by a few "cool" avante garde "gamer" females. A girl who can kick your ass gaming is seen as "hot" in the same way a girl who can fix your car is: its unique, and therefore sexy.


The rest of the gender, those who aren't deep into the FPS, the MMO RPG's, have been relegated to Angry Birds and The Sims, stereotypically more "female" games. Games which, by the way, tend to be seen as more mindless, or requiring less skill.

So why is there this polarization between skillful "male" game spaces, and less skilled "female" game spaces. Is it time for women to claim the male game space as their own, or perhaps we should just acknowledge that men and women game in different ways for different reasons? Or do they?

I don't have the answers. Its interesting to note that during the women's suffrage movement, according to this article, suffragettes set out to make their own game space. 
"Interestingly, these games were not simply a way to convey their ideas about womensʼ rights but it was also a strategy for financing their struggle"
The connection between women's rights and game spaces seems to have a history, then. I can't quite put my finger on why there is this important connection between play and gender issues, but there does seem to be. Maybe this is something I will explore more at a later date.