Sunday, May 23, 2004

Happy Birthday to It

Headspacej is one year old. 432 posts, 400 digital photos, hundreds of links out and a few coming back in...although I've sometimes been critical of the filtered view of my life represented on these pages, I do feel that it's a pretty neat collection of thoughts and images to have as a sort of informal documentation of the year.

That said, my temptation is to stop blogging today and burn the files to a CD, bury it in a safe place and then open it in a decade or so.


Neil hasn't been able to publicly show any of his new work for Teletoon yet, but he did give us a sneak peek on the weekend -- awesome stuff, with his signature style shining through. He got off the plane in Kelowna on Friday afternoon and drove straight here with Teri and Zach in nasty traffic (my crappy suggestion), but we had an excellent time. Nice to see them here once more before they move to Edmonton for good.

Friday, May 21, 2004

Girls, girls, girls...

I'm terribly bored with these posts that don't really say anything about the past week, reflect nothing about what's going on in my head, or even link off to anything of interest...but I have this vague sense that I'll be glad to have these things in one place at some point in the distant future:
  • Ella pretending to walk at the beach -- Ivy had us literally wrapped around her little fingers steering her around like this for months. You'd think we'd have learned our lesson the first time around.
  • Instamatic Ivy: this is currently one of my favourite photos of Ivy, even though it's kind of blurry and she looks sort of baked. I love how it could have been taken in 1976 with a bad camera, or even a Polaroid...weird colour, Beck-like expression, and the full-over-the-ears hair. She's got style.
  • Happy sisters: we weren't assuming that they'd necessarily get along or keep each other company at this point, but they're doing great. Ivy is surprisingly tolerant of Ella's lack of mobility and communication, while Ella pretty much adores her big sister without exception.
  • Oh, and a note about the b&w photo of Ella that I included at the top of this post -- you'd be cross-eyed too if your moron dad shoved a camera six inches in front of your face. HA haha...

Bring on the Music

I'm addicted to WebJay. It's a web site that lets you create online playlists of songs that are out there on the web for free -- the legal kind posted by bands and labels. Once you assemble a playlist, anyone can play back the whole list (high-speed connection required). Then you can download the songs you like along the way. My current lists, with tons of great music:
  • Mellow Mix: I think the first 25 songs in this list are really wonderful alt-pop-rockish tunes. Perfect morning music for me, helping me get into a thoughtful mode for the day.
  • Epitaph Mix: I found the Epitaph site a while back and downloaded nearly all of the free mp3s from bands that interested me, then boiled it down to the 30 that really shine. Mostly guitar-heavy indie-rock with fast beats and great melodies.
  • WebJay Mix: This one is a real hodgepodge...basically the place where I throw anything interesting from other peoples' playlists.
My current favourite five rockin' tunes from the Epitaph list, to give you an idea of what I'm really liking these days when I need to stay awake in the afternoons:
  • The Transplants - Diamonds and Guns, which takes me back to the first few times I heard License to Ill by the Beastie Boys. Just flat-out fun.
  • Bombshell Rocks - On My Way, combining a wonderful thumping intro, bouncing verse and the best men's choir in rock chiming in for the chorus. Inspiring.
  • Hot Water Music - Remedy is not for the faint of heart. The growling vocals and dirty distortion really set the tone for a straight-ahead rock tune that blows the carbon out.
  • Matchbook Romance - Promise -- I almost hesitate to include this one, because it seems likely to be overplayed on every crappy rock radio station in North America and has that sappy emo vibe in the verse...but the overproduced, overdubbed, overmelodic chorus is ridiculously catchy. Perhaps I'm just missing Def Leppard.
  • Bouncing Souls - Kids and Heroes, with another mellow intro before really kicking into this gang-vocal verse that sounds like a few thousand very tuneful soccer fans, all supported by a freight-train rhythm that makes you want to jump around.
I tried to pick my five current mellow favourites, but this is really just a taste. In case it wasn't obvious, stuff like this really makes me love the internet:
  • Sun Kil Moon - Carry Me Ohio has been playing over and over in my headphones while working these past couple of weeks, and I can't get sick of it.
  • Veal - Judy Garland is as close to country music as I'm willing to go. The verse almost hints at building toward some sort of rockabilly chorus, but the melody hooks you in a way that would be ruined by any twang.
  • The Long Winters - Blue Diamonds -- I have no idea whether this kind of music has a label. To me it's cleverly crafted indie-rock with just enough polish to keep me coming back for more.
  • Christine Fellows - Face Down -- slow, blippy-bleepy music with a rambling poetic melody.
  • The Weakerthans - Psalm For the Elk's Lodge, a song that's difficult to categorize, but it has a warmth that grows on you like a nice oatmeal stout.

Friday, May 14, 2004

Inspiration on the Web

A few links that inspired me this week, all requiring fast connections and Flash. James Paterson creates fascinating animations and he was featured this week on my favourite site: CBC Radio3. Gwen also sent me this link to a sort of photographic and cultural tour of four regions of Brazil. You will want to go there after watching it.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Not Whining About the Weather

I'm starting my masters program again, so between work and school and trying to have some kind of life, I don't expect to post very often here in the next while. Some photos for posterity:On another note, I'm still sort of blown away by the photos Heather posted this morning of the huge dump of snow they got in Manitoba overnight. It's May...that's just disturbing.

Food and Our General Store

Everyone eats, but I don't think that everybody really loves food the way I do. Maybe we all believe that about ourselves. Esther used to just howl when I'd pronounce that the meal I was eating right at that moment was the best one I'd ever tasted. "Jer, they can't all be the best." I'd make some vague rebuttal about the bar constantly being raised with each new culinary experience.

We're starting to enjoy seeing local natural foods popping up at the fruit stands and grocery stores in town -- it's one of the best things about summer. We're determined to buy and eat as much of our food as possible from local growers this year. We usually do pretty good with the basic fruits and vegetables but we're trying to expand that. Because it's still early in the season, we've mostly taken advantage of the great wineries around our mountain for local fare.

Our inspiration in this endeavour has been Our General Store, a site from from a brilliant woman on PEI who loves good grub and is trying to create a network of smart consumers and producers of excellent natural food on the island. She's also teaching kids about nutrition and offers practical cooking advice and amazing recipes. One of my favourite things about my parental leave was to have enough time to cook properly, and we've done pretty good with making tasty stuff every day since it ended, even though there's less time available.

Monday, May 03, 2004

Photolog #837

It seems like I only have time for little summaries of entire weeks in one post, maybe with a few photos. This is one of those again. Last week Plett and Heather came back through Summerland on their way back from the coast. We sat out on "our" side lawn in the warm evening air and later on Myron and Tracey came over to hang out for a bit. Good visit with some great laughs and solid conversation.

After a tiring and uneventful work-week, Angelo and Esther arrived on Friday to find us lounging on the side lawn again (apparently that's how we greet visitors now) with our brood. We headed up Giant's Head for a quick hike and a snack while the sun set.

On Saturday Tannis and Esther hiked to the top of our mountain and Angelo and I had a stellar ride on Cartwright Mountain on the other side of town. None of us brought cameras on our adventures, so I have no proof. Dad came to watch the girls while we went out for supper at Zia's, going from good times to better times in a hurry. To keep things interesting, our mutual friend Marj came down from Kelowna with my mom (via Winnipeg) and joined the party.

We took it pretty easy yesterday, with Tannis and I trading mountain bike rides (Tan on Cartwright and me exploring Conkle for the first time). In the afternoon, I took the girls over to Scherzinger, just around the corner from us and home to the nicest patio, some of the friendliest people and possibly the best Riesling in the Okanagan.