Friday, July 1, 2011

144 Years Young

I've assembled a collection of Canadian photography here for you to enjoy... the images may not all be iconic, but they are all Canadian, taken coast to coast. It's a beautiful country. Most of the images are available through the webstore, but if you can't find it, and you love it, just e mail me.



Thursday, June 30, 2011

Rainbow Feature

We did it again! Check out our Rocky Mountain Rainbow featured here.

This was taken through the windshield as we were on the highway on our very first ever trip to Banff. In fact, a lot of fabulous shots were captured on that trip, most completely by accident. I'll be featuring a few in an homage to Canada on July 1st. Check back tomorrow! especially if you're into Canadiana or heck, like the colour red. I'll be featuring mostly photographs, but there might be the occasional anecdote to entertain the masses. See you then!

100 Days Old

My Oliver turned 100 days old on Tuesday. It's a big thing in Asian cultures, the 100 day thing. If we'd been back in Japan, he would've been dressed up, plonked on the lap of the oldest family member, and grandma or grandpa would've pretended to feed him fish. It's a symbol of health and strength and that he'll never go hungry.

Unfortunately, all Oliver's grandmas and grandpas are about a 10 to 12 hour flight in either direction, so we did the best we could... dressed the kid up in a jinbei and went out for sushi. I don't post pics of family, but the look on Oliver's face as my husband pretended to feed him a piece of raw salmon is priceless. Oliver's eyes seem to be  reaching across the table pleading for help!In the meantime, here is one of the sushi shots I have from dinner. I'll be uploading some sushi and tea shots eventually to the gallery, some artsy, some in their original states. In the meantime, try not to lick the screen.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Double Feature!

We made it again! My husband jokes that the dock photo looks better than the real thing... We went to a lakeside retreat about an hour from -shire. There was supposed to be a beach... there was... it was a little squishy (that's the best word to describe the texture of the beach, I swear), and we had to discourage our schnauzer from eating the pelican poo... BUT there was this dock, and it fulfilled one of the items on my bucket list: photograph dock to infinity. Here it is! Chosen from hundreds and hundreds. Featured on Poppytalk.


Check us out! Featured. Can you believe it? Here's the photo that turned heads. It was taken on Etajima, an island near Hiroshima. It was the beginning of summer. I've often described the humidity of Japan to liquid air. That day was no different. Etajima is not known for having a lot of sakura... in fact, the island was covered, and I mean covered, in citrus trees. The ground was littered with rotting orange orbs. Imagine the smell? Kinda glorious. These steps went up and up and up to a temple? shrine? can't recall (will have to ask hubby, who has a steel trap memory) and happened to have the dried out petals from a lonely, lonely cherry blossom tree-- not the typical wimpy pink, as you can see. Captured this shot with a Canon point and shoot.

Our Facebook page just about had a heart attack. It vacillated between 47 likes and 1,291 likes for about an hour. Glitch, or the fickleness of the adoring (or not so adoring) public?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Jamaica Me Crazy

A couple of years ago, we took our late honeymoon in Negril. People (and Lonely Planet) swear up and down that it's the most romantic part of Jamaica-- a quiet, long, white, sandy beach with spectacular sunsets. (True) The beach is also supposedly home to the best jerk chicken joint in Jamaica. (Also true. You'd never know it to look at the place, it's just a small grill on the beach where the jerk chicken guy not only listens to Michael Bolton but knows all the words...And while we're on this note, I feel you should know that you're going to hear a lot of Celine Dion when you're in Jamaica. To a reggae beat. I have an unconfirmed theory slash suspicion that Jamaicans listen to rap and reggae and R&B in public-- gotta keep up appearances-- but have secret stashes of soft rock and light jazz under their beds.)

So when we went, I thought we should avoid the whole resort thing and experience the 'real' Jamaica. I thought this would add to the romance. (False)

Let me tell you, there is nothing romantic or sexy (or remotely enjoyable) about having every inch of your skin covered in sandfly bites. We had become literature for the blind, Hamlet in braille written all over my epidermis (Tale of the Genji for my husband). Folks, do the resort thing. Seriously. From what I hear, they don't let the sandflies (or the hustlers) on the resort beaches. Fer real. If you do decide to stay off a resort in one of the smaller (and yes, very pretty) beach-side hotels, bring your Benadryl. Pill form. You'll thank me later.

If you've been to Negril, you'll recognize the shot of the fisherman's village at one end of the beach. The indigo-stained river meets the ocean here. By the way, the river is indeed shallow enough to cross if you want to get to the road (there's a Burger King on the other side), and the indigo won't dye a permanent pair of denim socks to your calves... only be forewarned that one of the local fishermen will offer to help you across, and promptly ask you for lots of money.

I have not posted many of the Jamaica shots for sale. For one, sandfly bites do not make for a steady hand, and the image quality is lacking in a lot of the shots. Two, it just seemed wrong to sell the pictures from my honeymoon. You'll find a couple scattered in the webstore's gallery (a bird, a boat, a sunset...), but don't go digging through the gallery looking for a ton of Rasta shots. If you're in the mood for Jamaica, pour yourself up a glass of rum punch and thrown on Bob Marley. Or Celine Dion. Or both. A Bob and Celine mix. And you're there!

Monday, June 27, 2011

String Theory...

...or, A Good Yarn.

When I was a child, my mother had her wisdom teeth taken out. I think she was in her 40s, and I remember the dentist gave her one of the teeth because it was shaped like a whale. I don't know if she still has it. My mother is a sentimental and nostalgic woman. She keeps everything, but for some reason, I don't think she kept the tooth. Probably a good call.

My wisdom teeth were taken out when I was a teenager, which I believe is the usual timing for such things. It was Hallowe'en. (I, too, am nostalgic erring on the side of old-fashioned and still use the apostrophe in All Hallows Eve's abbreviation Hallowe'en.) They were putting me totally under since I don't respond well to the general anesthetic, which we discovered the hard way having had a number of baby and adult teeth pulled in my lifetime. I was wheeled into surgery by folks dressed up like zombies, princesses, mummies and witches. I was nervous that the folks dressed like doctors were only wearing costumes and not licensed practitioners at all, but they were drugging me, and I wasn't thinking clearly. Needless to say, seeing Elvis at the hospital may or may not have actually happened, and it's entirely possible a giant squirrel removed my wisdom teeth and kept them with his acorns. (Notice how I chose not to say nuts?)

The fun didn't stop there. Of course, when they pull your wisdom teeth, they send you home with enough Codeine to sell in the junior high schools of Canada. Of course, if you've ever been on Codeine, you think you're perfectly fine, lucid, sentient... which you are not. I, a teenager, woke at the crack of dawn the morning after the squirrel pulled my teeth . It was a Saturday. I promptly proceeded to go flying down the stairs, landing in a heap on the hardwood, legs splayed up the wall, new dent in the drywall. Of course, being drugged, I didn't know how to respond when my parents asked me if I were okay... I wasn't sure if I was registering pain. And my sister's sleepy voice drifted from upstairs, "Is Aim going to the hospital again?"

Several hours later, I'm microwaving a towel for my aching jaw. The squirrels at the hospital tell you to do this. Of course, they also tell you to thoroughly moisten the towel before putting it in the microwave. Evidently, I must have missed a few spots in the moistening process, because I lit the towel on fire. I often wonder if my mother was sneaking a few of the Codeine, because when I went running through the house and out the front door, clutching the flaming towel in a pair of BBQ tongs, my mother registered nothing unusual about this event.

We will not discuss the essay I attempted to write for my Honours English class while taking the Codeine. Yes, I was determined to carry on as normal. My teacher has promised never to mention it.

Now, losing your wisdom teeth is not supposed to leave any permanent damage or lasting scars. Except in my case. If you've had your chompers removed, with or without squirrels, you know that the stitches they use are supposed to dissolve and come out on their own. They did, painlessly. Except now, for about thirteen years , I have had consistent and regular dreams... nightmares... about pulling meters and meters of string from my teeth. Psychoanalysis, anyone?

Alternative string story, for the squeamish: in Japan, they say you are connected to your soul-mate by a red string.

While you ponder which yarn you like best, here are some images of twine, yarn, and string taken from a trip to the local living museum.