Sunday, December 25, 2011

Look up, way up...

What wonderful things one can find when they take the time to look up amongst the rooftops of houses and buildings in any given neighbourhood. My fascination with looking up to the roofs of buildings began with my urban hunting of old painted advertisements. An interest in all things graffiti related soon followed and with that, a whole new world of looking up, had opened up to me.
There are endless possibilities in terms of what you will find on rooftops, whether it be downtown amongst taller buildings, or in a more residential neighbourhood. Next time you find yourself going for a walk, talk the time to look up, and embrace the opportunity to explore urban rooftops.


Saturday, December 24, 2011

When nothing goes NOT do a driving exam...

So yesterday I failed my driving test....yes very sad news...I felt the same. But...I came home, cried a little, took a 6 hour nap, drank a bottle of wine, wallowed in my own self pity, went out...and now I'm feeling over it and ready to move on...

so here are a few tips that, after a lot of analyzing why on earth this happened to me (again...shhh) I started to realize and decided to jot down for those who are currently going, or have gone through this turmoil...(please tell me I'm NOT the only one!?)

Tip #1: When you are driving to your driving exam and you encounter not 1 but TWO major accidents that are blocking both major intersections surrounding your driving exam location, I suggest that you (unlike me) cancel your test and take it another day...just a thought that did not even ONCE cross my mind...this tip is #1 because not following this tip will leave you driving with a 1000000 other cars that are stuck, confused and scared...NOT a happy driving test atmosphere....if you did not follow this first tip...please continue reading.

Tip #2: This one is for those who did not follow Tip #1 and chose to regardless of the situation do their driving test. If you are driving with a nervous (and they are always nervous) instructor, do NOT test their reflexes, or how well they know how to not ever so slightly cross that horrid white line (where the people are supposed to walk). Your driving instructor will yell at you...loudly...and make the overall mood in the car SUPER unpleasant...

Tip #3: At this point you have not followed Tip # 1 or 2 and are stuck in an uncomfortable setting for at least the next 10 min, in a car that is usually super comfortable....So make the best of the situation. I do this by either talking to myself...out loud, ever so quietly hum x-mas tunes under my breath as I stick my head out and bite my tongue while making a right on a red light (this makes me nervous after living in MTL for so long)...really you can sing anything, since these are all seasonal tips...perhaps an awesome angry RnB tune would be great...or just repeat everything the nervous man beside you says....ex "at the next street make a left, make a left at the next street".... I would loudly respond "OK! At the next street MAKIN a left" and then continue to hum my x-mas tunes. This behavior will in fact lighten the mood if not for the both of you, at least for yourself.

Tip #4: Always have a bottle of wine ready for when you get home (regardless of the time of your test...mine was at 9:20 am)....This is important because the results could go both ways...That bottle of vino should be there either for celebration purposes (that is if you have nowhere to drive that I do not condone drinking and driving) or as a drink and cry yourself to sleep tool. Either way, this is an essential attribute to any driving exam...this might not be the first thing you think of, but this is why I am writing it out for is always important and drinking it is necessary and justifiable no matter what the circumstance (unless you are driving...anything...or flying get the point)

That is all I got for now...let me know if you have any helpful tips as I will be redoing my test in January.

Safe driving everyone...and no matter the result...just remember it could have been worse!

also...if you have not seen this
funny...and in a car...and talking to herself...enjoy.


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Put a smile on your face...

It's amazing, the things that can cause someone to smile and laugh. It can be something as simple as a thought, a sight, spoken words. While drinking a coffee today, I saw a group of youngsters huddled around a novelty "Hurricane Simulator" at a local mall. As four of them crept in and put money into the machine, their remaining friends (spared of the viciousness of "hurricane" force winds), slammed the door shut and began smiling as those on the inside developed worried looks on their faces. As
the winds started to blow, everyone began laughing including those enduring the terror. Their laughter slowly attracted larger crowds, who they themselves could not contain their inner children and began smiling and laughing. In viewing this scene I could not help but laugh as well, topping off a nice morning.

Enjoy the video below, it will be a challenge not giving in to the infectious laughter of individuals on a Berlin subway.


Saturday, December 17, 2011

Love is all you need...

John Lennon had it right when he famously sung "love is all you need", in in the 1967 smash hit All You Need is Love. Take the time to enjoy the video, and to tell those around you that matter the most that you love them. Whether it be a sibling, a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, cousin, niece, nephew, grandchild, boyfriend, girlfriend, wife, husband, friend; and whether they be near or far, take the time to tell them how much they mean to you.


Monday, December 12, 2011

A Christmas Miracle....

It's 2:00 pm. The invigilators do not have the exam.
I wonder why this always happens.
No body knows where the papers are! What to do?
The poor nervous man stands in front of obedient students.
Fidgeting, blinking more than usual. Pacing and looking at his desk.
Re-reading a set of instructions that tell him to first hand out the exam booklets.
I feel like he wants to scream "WHAT @#$%*&! EXAM BOOKLETS?!...
But doesn't.
He walks out of the room.
Walks back in.
Looks out of the small window in the door.
No exams.
We all wait.
Heads are being held up by fists, deforming faces.
Eyes are blankly staring at nothing.
Thinking about nothing even remotely close to the exam.
That is old news now...Minds have drifted.
We should have been writing by now.
The man is still looking out the window onto the empty yellow hallway.
The girl in front of me to my left is picking violently at her finger nails
yuck...they might bleed.
He is good looking though. There is something about his nervous smile. He reminds me of someone.
His glasses are awesome. Big old school frames.
He doesn't even know they are cool. But I'm sure he was cool guy when younger.
Nice cheekbones for an older man.
He leaves again.
He's back with a man that resembles Santa
...and look! Jolly old St.Nick has brought the Christmas miracle.
Out prof, who wears tacky shirts in his online lectures
and who looks like a nervous pedophile is also "dumb"-Santa said so.
"Don't laugh...You have a dumb prof"
- No one laughed except for Mr. Nervous,
look out the window, nice cheekbones man.
Now we wait.
"Don't panic" says Santa.
Why would be panic? Is the room going to blow up?
Are the exams so hard that we won't have time?! Panic?
Who is panicking...
This pen is leaving black marks on my fingers.


Friday, December 9, 2011


Today was spent doing some of our favorite things in our favorite city....Breakfast at Vieux St. Laurent...walking around the Plateau...Visiting used book stores and finding amazing things...All topped off with a delicious dinner at Chez Doval...

           Big warm hugs and kisses to someone who more than deserves them!!!


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Our Champ!

Just wanted to share some family talent. Our little star (well not that little anymore) made it to NATIONALS!!!

So a big congratulations, the hard work has paid off...You'd think they would give the kids a break...nope the poor guy was up at 5:30 in the morning and on the rink by 6....yikes. Def not my sport!

Well done buddy...we are all really proud of you <3

Click here to watch Dennis and Abby Skate :D


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

For Whom the Bell Tolls

An original copy of Hemingway's classic 1940 novel, For Whom the Bell Tolls, now has a new home. I picked up the novel at a local bookstore for what I thought was a steal of a price, especially when I saw the words "1st Edition" scrawled on the inside front cover of the book. As soon as I got home, I cracked open my laptop and the research ensued.

After roughly five minutes of researching the 1st edition of Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls, I found out that my copy was indeed published in 1940 but was a 2nd Edition publishing. The only thing this means is that my book is not worth the 100$ they seem to be selling on ebay (the seemingly low price is due to the fact that is has scratches, and is missing the  dust jacket. Oh well, it'll no doubt add a sense of antiquity and ruggedness to any bookshelf I decide to rest it on.


Friday, December 2, 2011

Re-engaging Boys at School

Below is an interesting point of view dealing with the re-engagement of boys in elementary school. Ali Carr-Chellman makes some interesting observations in regards to zero tolerance policies, the lack of male teachers, and the use of meaningful and educational gaming within schools.

 Carr-Chellman seems to share a similar point of view as Barry Macdonald, an educator in his own right, who started a website called Mentoring Boys, dealing with raising and properly educating boys to become responsible young men. I have personally had the opportunity to attend his Boy Smarts workshop, and it was definitely an eye opening experience to say the least. Carr-Chellman touches upon some statistics that seem to be awfully unbalanced, which were also raised by Macdonald during his lecture.

I'll sign off on a positive note, with an entrepreneurial tech-savvy twelve year old, who started up an Apple App designing club at his school, after having created two apps of his own. Enjoy.

"If we re-engage boys in their learning they will leave elementary saying I am smart"
                                                                                               -Ali Carr-Chellman