Saturday, April 28, 2007

April Showers

After several days early last week of beautiful June weather (temperature in the 20's, sun always out) we've had what seems like every variation of rain possible for nearly ten days: drizzling, pouring, threatening to come down but not actually falling, big drops, hazy air but no drops to speak of...

This morning, out with my niece for a jog (she sits in the stroller, I push and run, not a bad workout ;)) I stopped to take some pictures of budding flowers (inspired by this photo on M's blog); to my grand disappointment, my 10 attempts did the exact opposite of M's picture, with my buds coming out blurry, and the backgrounds coming out clear! This is motivation to actually read my camera's manual and figure out how to increase the shutter speed for my pics, as I figure a big part of the blurriness was the slight wind that was shaking the flowers ever-so-slightly...
I won't bore you with my not-cool pics. Instead, here are a couple from the rainy week in downtown Ottawa.

on the roof a building across the street from my French class downtown, 14 floors up

before the fountain has its own water at Place de Ville

no one out on Starbucks patio

Monday, April 23, 2007

Pics are Back!

I took these before lending my camera to a family member a few weeks ago; now that it's quasi-back-in-my-possession, I've had a chance to upload my pictures.
Here are my favourites:
One of M holding his camera (yes, we truly are a photography-obsessed couple):

... and one of some wonderful yellow pipes:

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Something is very very wrong here

By now, everyone's heard of Virginia Tech. I have a habit of turning on CBC Radio One while I get ready in the morning, and for the last two days, as I listen, I tend to start crying at a word or two in the newscast. The whole situation is just so upsetting, but on top of how angry/sad/helpless the thought of these poor 32 people who lost their lives so senselessly makes me feel, there's a feeling that's poking around at the edge of consciousness and upsetting me even more. And it's this:

How many other deaths have I heard about while I get ready each morning in Iraq, in the Palestinian territories, in Afghanistan, in Rwanda, in Somalia, in Thailand, and in so many other countries and regions I can't even remember which ones they are anymore? Did I cry? Did I feel anything more than a twinge of frustration as I picked out my shirt/skirt/scarf/jewellery for the morning? Did my mind wander to other topics while that part of the newscast aired, and only snap back to attention when I heard something "relevant" to me, like the day's weather?

On Saturday, I was at a panel discussion on Promoting Peace and Healing between Muslims and Christians, and I spoke about how Islam ties the concept of Peace to the concept of Justice, how every believer has a responsibility to bring about justice in their day to day life, whether it be with something big or small. I quoted this prophetic saying:

That who sees something detestable, let him change it with his hand, if he cannot, then with his tongue, and even if he is not able, then with his heart, and that is the weakest form of faith

And talked about how at the very least, protesting with our hearts was the way to keep ourselves from becoming desensitized to the world's injustices. I am desensitized. I'd be willing to bet that most of us who live in safe countries with heating and stocked fridges and cable tv and shopping malls are desensitized. I definitely, definitely need to get myself sensitized again.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Food, Health, and the Environment

I've posted here before about my allergies (wheat, sugar, milk and milk products, some nuts, some fruits, and a few other additives and preservatives). I only discovered my allergies about 2 years ago after nearly 10 years of feeling sick and not knowing why, and it was a great challenge and an exercise in discipline to overhaul my bagel-and-cream-cheese-lovin' diet to something that wouldn't leave me in a constant state of nausea.
I slowly improved and eliminated the foods I couldn't handle, but because nothing made me so sick that I could never cheat, I often went back and had "just a little bit" of a chocolate bar, or a slice of cake, or a peanut butter sandwich. and then I would start the slippery slope to having "just a little bit" more, and on and on until I constantly felt sick again.
Recently, my "just a little bits" left me feeling much sicker than they used to, and I made a decision that it's just not worth it. Period. Full Stop. I've been good and strict about my diet for a few weeks now, and I'm feeling much better. I've also been looking at some of the other health trends out there when it comes to incorporating what you eat with how you treat the Earth. While I'm not yet ready to make the drastic adjustments required for some of these (and may never be) I still enjoyed reading about the hundred mile diet and raw food eating.

I have some opinions about why so many people are now developing food sensitivities, and I believe that it's definitely linked to mistreatment of both our bodies and the environment. The antibiotics we ingest, the pollution we inhale, the pesticides we put on our crops, all of this is fairly recent, and eventually, our bodies rebel, and the Earth rebels. One thing I discovered in trying to overhaul my diet and consciously eat healthy food is that too many people eat without thinking about what they're consuming, and more often than not, what's out there (and what we're eventually putting inside us) on supermarket shelves is shockingly worse than we may have ever considered.
I'm convinced it's all interconnected, although I'm not yet sure what I'm going to do about it.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

How to break a sports fan's heart

How could you, Les Boys? I believed in you. I thought you could do it, and you lose to the Maple Leafs during the last game of the regular season and surrender 8th place.
For all my loyalty, I will get no play-off hockey this year, not even a first-round loss to the Buffalo Sabres.
On behalf of Habs fans everywhere tonight: Ugh!

Thursday, April 05, 2007


This is an excuse, but I really do think it's a legitimate one: my camera is currently on loan to a family member who really needs it much more than I do. That's why there are no new pictures.
I've also been reading a lot more than I've been writing for the last week (more on that in a future post) and that's why there's no new writing...
If you're starved for cool writing, I suggest checking out Sajda's poetry section.
If you're starved for cool pics, I suggest checking out M's photos, especially this one.