Monday, July 30, 2012

Best Fortune Cookie Fortune Ever

Received in a fortune cookie in Norwood, Ontario, on Hwy. 7.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Two More Cutes

Two more shots from our travels to the cottage that I couldn't resist.

Norwood has a great little music store that also serves good espressos. It's right on the main street (Highway 7). You can pick up your campfire instruments here if you've left them at home! While there, Bruce the Bat made a new friend. This bear was indescribably soft.

And this chipmunk. Check out the position of his little feet!

Saturday, July 28, 2012


The hunt for the Perfect Red Purse continues, but in the meantime I have my vintage find and then this, half-price. leather Fossil purse that I just had to take home with me.

Friday, July 27, 2012

They Make me Happy

Sobeys had some great flower options this week. I bought this big bouquet of daisies, with gorgeous green centres.

With the little trimmings for the bedside table...

Thursday, July 26, 2012


During any kind of outdoor activity, such as hiking or picnicking, I always keep a bandana or two on me. They make great cooling tools (pour some water over yours and wrap it around your neck), impromptu serviettes, protective headwear, and purveyors of dry picnic goods.

If your life is more exciting than mine, they can also be used as:

~ tourniquets
~ face masks during sand storms
~ bathing attire (ladies, you might need, say, three)

Any other ideas?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Not Quite 1,000 Cranes... More Like 10

The humidity has lifted. Tonight will be cool... what a relief.

It left me wanting to make something pleasing with my hands (and I'm not baking much these days so that was out)

A few weeks ago I bought a sweet mobile hanger in The Paper Place (one of my new favourite stores), and some more origami paper to add to what I had already. I've wanted to try my hand at origami for a long time. So, I decided to make a flock of cranes, to bob and hover over my work table. The crane symbolizes happiness, good luck and peace, and, if you string 1,000 together, you are supposed to have a wish come true.

I had a good evening of it.

My first attempt (left) next to the enclosed sample in my kit (right). Not bad for a first go.

Two Good Things

Monday, July 23, 2012

BPG Summer Movie Awards 2012 Part Deux

Best Use of Norwegian Settting in a Film This Year or any Year (Although I saw Neither Blue Parrots or Mighty Fjords)

Headhunters (2011)

"Too ridiculously good looking." (Me, as well as Derek Zoolander)

I saw the movie last Tuesday, the hottest day of the year. The temperature reached 37 C (98.6 F) with a humidex (what the humidity makes it actually feel like) of 48 C (118 F). The movie theatres were packed with folks just needing a break from the pizza-oven atmosphere of the city streets. Headhunters was one of the showings that wasn't sold out.

Norway is right at the top of my list of countries I want to visit. Years ago I saw a not-terribly-good British mystery series set there, but there was something about it that captivated me. I think part of it has to do with the similarity of the scenery with northern Ontario. Anyhow, I don't think I've seen a Norwegian film before. But it was full of Norwegian scenery, which, along with Swedish actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, is all too ridiculously good looking, and I'm not complaining.

The story is based on a book by Jo Nesbø (I have The Snowman by him on my bookshelf, as yet unread). It's a thriller and the movie, which has had mixed reviews, is certainly that. I enjoyed it tremendously, probably more so because it was Norwegian. I have a feeling that if it had been English-language, I would probably have taken more care to pick it apart. Such is the glamour of the exotic and unknown. Yes, Norway, to me you are exotic.

Aksel Hennie plays Roger Brown (where did that name come from?), a man with a self-confessed short-man complex. In an effort to keep his towering blond, beautiful wife in beautiful surroundings and jewellery (and therefore, he hopes, loyal to him), he works not only as the country's best headhunter, but also as a part-time art thief. Enter the chiseled and distractingly gorgeous Clas Greve, a model-handsome special-services soldier (or something like that), and Roger gets in over his head, literally. Oh, boy, literally, in the film's grossest scene.

I won't go on, I recommend it. It's a good summer yarn.


Best Song to Relieve General Droopiness: "Video Killed the Radio Star"

Take This Waltz (2011)

"Life has a gap in it... It just does. You don't go crazy trying to fill it." (Sarah Silverman as Geraldine)

Michelle Williams (always so excellent) plays Margot, a woman married to Lou (Seth Rogan) and infatuated with Daniel (Luke Kirby). I got the odd sensation that whatever the movie was telling me was at odds with what I was getting... sort of.

The relationship between Margot and her husband is infantile; they're like squabbling, affectionate siblings, down to the revolting game of telling each other what sort of damage they'd like to do to each other (skinning alive, that sort of thing). But when she meets the handsome and charming artist/rickshaw driver Daniel, she falls into the same sort of pattern... hurling insults at him, and unable to commit to her attraction to him physically: in one scene she bursts out laughing when he tries to seduce her verbally. She's emotionally backward, and I don't think there's a scene where her eyes don't well up with some sort of intense emotion. The woman needs help! So what happens instead?

She leaves her husband for the rickshaw driver (who nonetheless manages to afford a pretty nifty looking loft) and then begins a strange sequence of scenes, where the new couple indulges in sex, at last, and then sex with other people along for the ride. Wha~?! That seemed to come out of nowhere. Their relationship is all about sex and the thrill of the novelty of some forms of that. Ok. So... then she ends up kind of unhappy still because, you know, she's still the woman she is, and that is depressed, and sex with her new rickshaw driver won't solve that. There then follows a reprisal of a scene where she enjoys a fairground ride (on Toronto's Centre Island), set to "Video Killed the Radio Star", so that was a sweet moment of nostalgia.

Maybe that's the point of the story, that she's just never going to be happy, that maybe that's a foolish dream anyway, but, for adult-children, I definitely preferred Dark Horse.

In Take This Waltz, an excellent cast features Sarah Silverman as the sister-in-law; both she and Seth Rogan are surprising choices, and I liked that. Toronto stars as itself (yay!).


Film That Provided me with Sleep That I Actually Didn't Need at all

To Rome with Love (2012

"Honk... shoooo, honk.... shooo" (Me, except not, because I don't snore. Actually I really don't, but I do talk in my sleep sometimes, or make what has been described as "lamenting sounds" - how creepy!)

Well, you know that I was aching for this film to be wonderful: I love a lot of Woody Allen movies, and I love Rome (it's where half my family is from). I didn't like the trailer, and then I fell asleep four times during this movie. So... I can't say I saw the whole thing, but what I did see felt disjointed, deeply so.

Fabio Armiliato, the tenor, plays... a tenor. An all-star cast includes Penelope Cruz, Alec Baldwin, Judy Davis, among others. Woody Allen, in one of the ensemble roles, is actually my favourite part of the film, of the bits I saw.

Most Brilliant, Charming and Uplifting Screenplay, and Film That Stands Best Chance of the Summer of a Repeat Viewing

Safety not Guaranteed (2012)

"There's no sense in nonsense, especially when the heat's hot." (Aubrey Plaza as Darius)

I read a comment on where someone wrote after seeing this film, "The world just got a little brighter." I agree. This film, quirky and fresh and original, was a delight from start to finish. None of the casting was predictable, the screenplay was full of charm, insight, depth, and wit.

This is a generous film, in every sense. A somewhat shallow reporter from Seattle takes two young interns on a little road trip to investigate a classified ad, in which a man is seeking a partner to travel in time with. In his ad, he specifies that they have to bring their own weapons, and... safety is not guaranteed.

I'm still sifting this one through my mind, as it's one of those films that gives you a lot to think about, or you can just leave the theatre smiling and not think about it. Time, personal history and regret are at the core of the story. Isn't that what time travel is all about, anyway? I think more people yearn to go back, than forward.

I don't want to say anything more, because this is a film I hope a lot of people see. Let me know if you do, and what you think!

Recent Treats

I bought new prescription shades, which give great coverage, helping delay (shyeah right) too much wrinkliness! They're a purply brown. I wore them on the sun-dappled dock. They're available here.

Shreve Stockton, of The Daily Coyote, isn't just a talented writer and fascinating woman... she makes great jewellery, along with her cowboy boyfriend, Mike. I bought an elk antler last year. My current love is this obsidian arrowhead. I wear it most days (but forgot to take it off before swimming... I'd have hated to have lost it, but luckily didn't). You can shop for more Daily Coyote creations here.

I cannot resist hammered silver, so this bracelet, available in Wellington Souvenirs and Gifts in the little town of Apsley came home with me. I don't believe they have a website.

The acorn was free, found while swimming. It's now in my treasures collection.

Back to Hanlan's Point

Sunday afternoon was spent on Hanlan's Point on the Toronto Islands. A delicious picnic for three, but I forgot to take photographs - how unusual.


It's always there... Dave took the next two shots.

Laying under trees...

Then things got exciting as a huge deluge came down. First I was convinced we'd stay dry under the trees. By the time the monsoon-like rain had been falling for about five minutes, we realized we might as well be out in it. By the time we'd reached the ferry we were soaked to the skin but having a great time, as was everyone else, splashing in puddles and enjoying the relief from the heat! As the ferry pulled up, the skies cleared and we saw a beautiful rainbow.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Apsley Country Bakery

Remember this bread?

Well, the excellent bakers of Apsley Country Bakery have an updated website and I urge you to visit it and then them, in person, if you're within, say, a day's drive. :)

Reading their pamphlet I see that their breads are naturally leavened and they use local, organic, stone-milled flour. As usual we bought the ciabatta (shown below), heavenly dipped in melted butter.

The seed bread was as amazing as ever and it's my personal favourite.

This time we tried the E49, so named for Ezekial, 4:9: "Take thou also unto thee wheat, and barley, and beans, and lentiles, and millet, and fitches [spelt], and put them in one vessel, and make thee bread thereof, according to the number of the days that thou shalt lie upon thy side, three hundred and ninety days shalt thou eat thereof." A delicious way to consume some protein.

We also bought a large scone, scored to be cut into individual pieces. The rest of the party consumed it with whipped cream and jam. I had mine with butter and good, aged cheddar.