Thursday, December 31, 2009

loveliness 365

It is finally here: loveliness 365. I have been putting off the posting of this, in part because it is a bit shocking to me that this project is actually over, and I am both happy and sad about it. It has been a whole year of lovelinesses. And it has been a lovely year. I added an archive over there on the right, so now the lovelinesses can be easily browsed by month.

I had an idea to pick a top ten lovelinesses or something, but that would actually be pretty hard. So I won't claim that these are the best, but here is an assortment of ten lovelinesses that I was happy to revisit:

loveliness 20: Snow prints
loveliness 22: Resolutions
loveliness 59: Funny faces with the sister
loveliness 122: Representation of a representation
loveliness 162: A relaxed cat
loveliness 200: Easy loveliness
loveliness 219: Tiles in the wild
loveliness 278: Inspiration
loveliness 310: High park photo lesson
loveliness 352: The bears

Looking back at these and others, there are a few themes that emerge. For example, food makes me happy. So does evidence of coziness, and quiet moments. And science! Love that stuff. Actually, there are a lot of things that make me happy. But perhaps most importantly people make me happy. People like my family and my friends, and especially my P.

Which brings me to loveliness 365: Patrick, the pingtone, pingles, pingman, pingston, my pingram. This works because he really is a 365-day loveliness.... en-lovely-ing my every winter summer spring fall day.  Oh well this is getting mooshy but it's ok, he deserves it... he is really is the very best sweetheart a girl could ever wish for, and I love him with every murmuring heartbeat.




Hey P: Let's have many more years of loveliness together!

Several people have asked me what is going to happen to the blog now that 365 lovelinesses are in the vault. I think it will continue on, but in a more free-form way. I'm looking forward to being relieved of this daily commitment, but I already have lots of new things waiting to be posted.

New year, new loveliness!!!! Thanks to everyone who read this thing even one time -- dear readers, your comments on and off the blog pressured me (in a good way) to keep it going.

yours in love and loveliness,

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

pre-loveliness 365

It is coming, it is just taking a while.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

loveliness 364


Friday was Christmas day. Now this should actually be the final loveliness, since I started this thing on December 26, 2008 (<------ !!!!!!!), but somehow I have cheated and so we are going to get a bonus loveliness tomorrow, under the heading of loveliness 365.

Christmas was really very very nice this year. Everyone seemed to be enjoying good health and high spirits, and I had an excellent time, despite my grinch-iness. There were Christmas rolls, and a delightful visit with Betty; coffee, games (including some scrabble-inspired vocabulary expansion), a long rainy walk, knitting, peeling of beautiful beets, a Christmas meal involving turkey served over lentils, some delightful party favours, and a drawing game after dinner. I don't think it was because of the no-gift rule that Christmas was so good this year, but it definitely didn't hurt.



loveliness 363


A Christmas eve brunch with the Neeves!

Later, a quick trip to one of my favourite stores in all of Toronto: Value Village. I haven't been there in more than a year (shopping diet!!!!!), so it was probably good that we went with only one hour before they closed. I love all the colour and texture and history and possibility of the all that crap in there, it almost doesn't matter whether I buy anything or not. I'll probably go back in a few days.

I might say a little something about the shopping diet here. I really can't believe that it has been a year since it started (nor can I believe that 363 lovelinesses have passed by). But it has kept me away from VV and the malls for a full year, more or less. Of course there have been exceptions, and the *rules* always permitted certain practical things, like footwear (within reason) and exercise clothes (and I now have a lot of those).  In a sense though, I'm not sure that the diet really helped or changed me all that much. If anything, it almost made me more aware of the clothes that I was wearing, not less, which was part of the idea. But it definitely brought my attention to the fact that shopping can be a time-filling activity, and removing this as a Saturday afternoon possibility was pretty nice. At this point, I'm ready for some new (or new old) clothes, but I think that it'll be a more considered activity from now on.

loveliness 362


In the midst of all the rushing around, there is always this: the rickity-rackity oooold Roxy, whose furry and unhurried mrows are a constant and persistent loveliness.


loveliness 361


At long last, Graham and Mako are home. This is a very large, time/space/heart-filling loveliness.


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

loveliness 360



Today is the solstice, the shortest day of the year, the last day of adanceaday and the first day of winter.

I don't usually look forward to the winter, but it is actually nice to think of it as a time of introspection, of taking care, of conserving energy and of healing. I guess it is a question of outlook and intention, and I'm going to try to keep those themes in my mind over the next few months.

It is also nice to think of the fact that the days are getting longer again!!!!

loveliness 359

City self/ Country self.



We had a nice snowy tromp on the Bruce Trail before heading back to the city for more holiday festivity. And then, after all that, P and I enjoyed some much needed silence and quiet, which was gorgeous, and is what I am calling loveliness 359.

It will always come back to Rodney Graham, it seems.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

loveliness 358



The Stark family Christmas party! It is nice to be old enough not to dread seeing the once-a-year cousins. It was actually an extremely nice party.  Plus it gave us an opportunity to drive through the country and stay in a luxurious complete-with-tower beaver valley home, which included a session in the outdoor hot tub, white russian in hand.


loveliness 357


And it begins! Sara is home and the Lebkuchen is coated in chocolate.


loveliness 356


Lots of anticipation right now: of the season and the get togethers and the new year.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

loveliness 355

I'm enjoying a recently discovered fact that you can take CDs out of the public library, and they don't suck! Yesterday I was amazed to find a number of new things, namely the new Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Regina Spektor and the new K-os.

Now I kind of hate to offer this up, but my inner teenager needs to make a confession, which is that I find Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs utterly enigmatic, compelling and totally beautiful. Not to mention her insanely awesome styles, which aren't really copy-able in their extremes, but still an inspiration. So I'm calling her my loveliness of the day.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

loveliness 251


The final cottage loveliness! This is somewhat ill-formed, but here is a funny photo. I took it at the cottage. Just look carefully and try to tell me it isn't hilarious:


loveliness 250




loveliness 249


Back to the back-lovelinesses. I want to mention cottage fash here, as illustrated by this photo:
Note the sock-sandal combo, and the bat-wing sweater.  I will also mention that I was frrrrreeeeezing in this picture, but looking at this from the vantage of December 15th (!!!!) it looks plenty warm. Oh, and that is Sara harvesting bergamot.

loveliness 354

In downloading my pictures of the bears I found some photos that I had forgotten I took on our last night in WindZOR. We were watching a documentary about dinosaurs, and why they went extinct. It was pretty dramatic (though I feel asleep halfway through so I don't actually know what happened to them....), but I think the photos are even more exciting!



loveliness 353


Cat-sitting Fetzer the neighbor-cat. He is a jumper, and an aggressive purr-er. Plus he has a tail, which is enchanting.

loveliness 352


Holy shit the aerobathon. It happened, oh yes it did. An enormous parkdale gym full of crazy sweaty people, and a stage piled high with toys. Many of the toys seemed to be of the format large ape + two baby apes. I like this kind of thing.  But in fact, shopping for the toys for the toy drive I was made aware by how difficult it is to find nice stuffed animals. It reminds me how lucky I am to have these guys:



Monday, December 14, 2009

loveliness 351


The birthday kick-off! It almost felt like my birthday what with a such a delicious beginning to P's birthday celebrations. A big festive brunch, followed by a shopping spree and then a frantic cook-down in the kitchen. Everyone should have this recipe: the 6-minute chocolate cake from the Moosewood cookbook. Don't be put off by the fact that it is vegan. It is a delicious delicious cake, if I may say so myself. And they aren't lying about the 6-minute part. I made a modification of the glaze using very dark chocolate and a shot of espresso, plus real vanilla of course. Mmmyum. It is 9:19 am. Too early for leftovers? Gotta go.....

Friday, December 11, 2009

loveliness 350

Today I ate a magical lunch. And in the Eaton Centre!
But listen, for one thing, I didn't know they had a Sweet Rosie's in the Creton Centre, and I definitely didn't know that it was possible to have my mind blown by an egg salad sandwich, but it happened. Do you know what was in there? (In the egg salad, I mean). You will never guess. It was broccoli! Raw broccoli! Amazing. Really delicious and surprising!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

loveliness 349

Experimental dance performance on a cold cold whistley-wind kind of night. It was a good thing they need to keep the space very warm for the dancers, but I was still happier with all my layers on. Temperature aside, it was a lovely, fun and eclectic performance. Beautiful dances and dancers.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

loveliness 348

A surprise invitation from my new friend, the most genuinely positive person ever. I hope that it rubs off on me.

loveliness 347


A deep deep sleep in my very own bed, with the big Euro-style square pillows. Delicious.

Monday, December 7, 2009

loveliness 346

(Back on the loveliness track!!!)
Well I thought that Windsor was a little depressing, but nothing prepared me for the craziness that was Detroit. Let me first show you the nice side:
Detroit, from the good side

Unfortunately, it being Monday, none of the galleries or museums were open. I thought that I was primarily going on a photo and shopping mission, but in fact, I didn't even take many pictures or do any shopping (actually there was nothing to buy). Instead I just wandered around on foot and on the People-Mover ($0.50!!), which were both, well, scary. Still though, I had the impression that Detroit actually has an interesting and lively art scene. Next time I will take a friend and a car.



One of my primary missions in Detroit was finding the Michigan Theatre, which is a stunning 1926 building that is now used as a parking structure. I did find the building, but couldn't get inside to take photos.  For some good photos of this and other (shocking) Detroit areas/ruins, I highly recommend checking out this set, and some of this person's other photos. They are quite amazing.

loveliness 345


chain in Windsor

After a solid 2 days of doing nothing but sitting, mathing and eating, it was nice to have some time to walk (briskly!) around WindZOR with my camera. It was a nice, bright afternoon.


Windsor houses

cozy in Windsor

loveliness 344


I gave my talk on Saturday morning, which was nice just because I got it over with. The real loveliness kicked in later, however, when I was viewing a mathematical model using a stereoscope. It makes me feel very happy that I am in an area of math where this is normal. Well, I guess it is only sort of normal. But I think some of the number theorists were genuinely jealous when I told them about it, or at least that is what I like to think.

loveliness 343

We took the train to Windsor. Or "Wind-ZOR" as they say in French.  I love the type of French that gets spoken on the VIA. The train is a wonderful way to travel. It was teeming with mathematicians, however.

loveliness 342

THURSDAY (so behind!):

I shut my eyes in Guelph, and opened them in Toronto. It is so rare that I ever sleep on transit, and so so sweet when I do.

Also: department dinners that don't suck.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

loveliness 341

That particular sound of rain on the roof... little ticks of the eves. It makes me so happy to be cozy inside with no place to go.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

loveliness 340

I realized today that only twenty-five lovelinesses remain. How can this be true? It is amazing. But that means that my last loveliness will take place on December 25, which might be a challenge for me. We'll see. Until then: an advent calendar of loveliness. And what better way to kick this off, than with:

Loveliness 340: holiday planning. This is always nice, especially when there are other things you are supposed to be doing (i.e. making my talk for the Windsor CMS this weekend). On the agenda so far:  various parties and get-togethers, family gatherings hopefully with all sibs present, more reading aloud, the fifth season of The Wire, knitting a sweater (am considering something like this), doing an aerobathon (December 13th at 10am, come one, come all! Repeater knee for like, two hours!!!!),  a complete regimen of sorting/purging/selling and storing of all the junk in the basement (probably with the help of beer and other motivating foods/beverages),  seeing the Nutcracker with McQueenmachine, and a new years eve wedding. Oh, not to mention the termination of the Shopping Diet. It is shaping up to be gooood. I just need to get this Windsor thing over with.

PS. The moon is 100% of full, and shimmering through the clouds.