Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Its falling apart!

Indonesia stop shaking around like this!
Soon you'll fall apart and I'll never be able to visit your beautiful country.

My heart goes out to those on Sumatra,
I hope my new friend is doing okay. Aditya!? tell me your okay and your family is too.
South Pacific is getting pretty shaken up lately - a morbid part of me wonders about any connections. There is obviously some very alrge shift happening under the pacific. I can't imagine an earth quake, or a tsunami. I am worried about all the familes and people at their epicentres something tells me that it'll far more difficult for them to recover than if it happened here. I'm coming Sumatra! I'll be there to help!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Limericks! And Art!

Oh no, I'm on the Limerick train too! I have decided that this week I'm going to get the students I work with to write poetry about their selected paintings.

I don't really have a lot of experience teaching highschool kids, so I usually work on an exercise and then practice it myself... to see it if makes any sense at all.

I think I'm going to get them to brainstorm a list of words inspired by their painting, write a few metaphors about it, and then transform those words and metaphors into an extended metaphor poem.

Also, as a bonus, I'm going to get them to write some limericks! HA!

Here is my version of the exercise:

H.M. King Edward VIII by Walter Sickert

afraid, nervous, awkward, royal, young, avoidance, fading into the background, slim, hiding, etc

Extended metaphor poem:

Avoiding his duties,
Red Prince
More likely to melt
Back into the crowd
Nervous and Vacant
The people await
To hear from their prince
Their Charming son

A mouse to rule a country.
None to committed to his duties.
Would prefer a hole in a wall
To this.
A quiet crumb
To the elephant to come.
Hiding behind his crown
Mom, I don’t want to.
But you must -
You must.


The young Prince was running away
With this crowd he did not want to play
They were throwing bad fruit
Glitter and disco to boot,
All because they thought he was gay.

Dear sir with the big black bear hat
I was talking with your young sister pat
She had seen you up town
Smearing it all over with brown
Which is gross, you dirty bottomed prat.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Competing for food in Indonesia with this!

Maybe there isn't any room for me in Indonesia anymore?

This little bundle of joy was born on Friday in Sumatra. He was 19.2 pounds! Are you kidding me? I am afraid to give birth to a normal size baby - what if this creature came out of me?!

His name is Akbar Risuddin, which translates to 'big' I think. His father aparently was speaking to reporters and said, "I'm very happy that my baby and his mother are in good health. I hope I can afford to feed the baby enough, because he needs more milk than other babies."
I bet he does.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Feeling Important

I work at the local art gallery. Sometimes (like today) I get to play dress up, feel important, and get paid to attend our press conferences.

Now, for those of you who don't know the gallery I'll direct you here. We are kind of a big deal. We have a two storey high Salvidor Dali (plus some other little ones), a Tissot, a Frued, a turner, Gainsborough, Botticellies, a Reynolds... the list just goes on. Which is so amazing for a city with less then 60 000 people.

Recently we were in a dispute with the grandsons of Lord Beaverbrook, our patron saint and founder. But that's recently been settled and all the famous faces turned out to celebrate our 50th Anniversay Bash last week.

All in all, I just like to say that I am really happy to have this job. I feel important without actually having to do much. HA!

Max Streicher's Four Horses

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Jessica's (but Peters) pickled peppers

The funny part about me making a post about Jessica's Pickled Peppers, is that my father's name is Peter. What make this story even funnier is that the peppers in question, are actually his.

And Peter picked these peppers.

Every fall I make pickled peppers from my parents excess peppers and I use them throughout the winter on my sandwiches, on my nachos and in my sauces. A grilled cheese sandwich is beyond words with some pickled peppers.
Also, this recipe is really easy because it doesn't really involve traditional canning. Easy peasy.

Jessica's Pickled Peppers which were picked by Peter

(I just realized writing this down in recipe format is going to be really hard because it all depends on the size of your jars and the kind of peppers. Its now going to turn into a step by step process)....

Ingredients (in unknown quantities) (Ha!)

Hot peppers (any kind!) - enough to fill at least one jar.
Garlic - 1-2 cloves per jar.
Sugar - 2 tsps per normal mason jar
Vinegar - enough to fill half a jar
Boiling water - enough to fill the other half of the jar

1. Grab your hot peppers. Maybe wear gloves before you grab them, because nothing is as painful as hot pepper juice in a paper cut. It doesn't really matter what kind of peppers - what ever you like. I used Banana peppers, jalapeno peppers, and some skinny long green ones that I have no idea the name of.

Try to leave them in the biggest chunks possible, scoop out all the seeds and inside bits. Sometimes if they are really small chillis you can leave them whole.

2. After you have cut up all the peppers you have access too, find a jar. I recycle my pasta sauce jars, but any ol' mason jar will do. Maybe sure it has a really tight lid though because we aren't canning in the traditional sense.

Crush up 1-2 cloves of garlic and place in the bottom of each jar you are planning on filling. Put in about 2 tsp of sugar too(this really depends on the size of your jar - adjust for abnormally sized mason jars).

3. Fill your jar with peppers! I usually make mine stand up because I can fit more in. Then fill your pepper jar half way up with vinegar. Fill the other half up with boiling water. Quickly screw on the cover and flip upside down.

4. Leave on your counter upside down for 2 days.

5. Place in your fridge for at least a week before eating, and make sure they live there for the rest of their life.

6. Enjoy!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Tofurky Kitten

Its my birthday and I would just like to announce this:

My roommate Maria made my kitten into a tofurky!

Another excellent giveaway!

I am a sucker for free things, even a chance at free things.

The Red Deer is having a little giveaway over on her blog. She has teamed up with Cute.n.boot to help everyone out with their penpal needs. Both my time traveling and working with Children's International Summer Villages, I have aquired a pocket full of penpals and I think having cards would actually make me sit down and write them all for once.
Usually I sit around and feel guilty about it.

I really enjoy her artistic style, Cute.n.boot you could definitely sell some prints! This polaroid one would look excellent on so many hipsters walls. Think of it!

In anycase go over to see and enter the giveaway!
(Come on little zoe! Pick my name!)

I think I might buy this one (even if I don't win) - because its too cute to be vulgar.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Yucky Art

Oh man, look at me go with blogging lately.

A long time ago on a social networking site I'm on (not facebook!)I found this:
(Three Girls)

How amazing is that! But unfortunately it was just in a stranger's album with no title or artist. Usually I don't care, but for some reason I really fell in love with this work.

Lucky for me, while on Fecal Face, I stumbled upon an interview with Allison Schulnik.Can I say WOW?

There has never been a time when I can remember specifically being so floored by an artist. I mean, I like art, I like paintings, but all of her work - especially her heavily textured oils are awesome.

(Detail of hobo clown #2)

There is so much beautiful despair in her work. They are so heavy - but so colourful. Every painting seems to be literally screaming with emotion. I mean look at this guy:

(Monkey Head #2)

In the Interview, Ryan Christian says:

"The way you handle your materials is really interesting. To me there is always this perfect balance of yuck and beauty."


This one reminds me of Jean Poutine - a terrible, lonely creature that lures you in with his cuteness.
(Boochie [New Years Eve Painting])

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Dinner with Jessica

[EDIT I did this late at night and the pictures are tiny... I'll upload them again but bigger!]

Finally something I made! I made an excellent squash soup last year, but I am pretty sure this soup beats it hands down. Which makes me really excited considering I made this up. I also got most of the veggies from the Mennonite booth at the farmers market. I've never seen garlic so large and juicy.

This soup is exactly how I like things in life - sweet and spicy.

Sweet Roasted Squash Soup with a little spice

2 acorn squash
1 cup butter
1 medium onion diced
2 (or more) cloves garlic diced
2 apples diced (I used Gala)
Salt and pepper to taste (I used 1/2 tablespoon salt and 2 tsps pepper.
3 cups apple cider
3 tsp cayenne pepper (I used more but I like spicy things)
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp cinnamon (I accidentally put a lot more in and it was delicious).
Roughly 600-700ml vegetable broth.

Also, a dab of cream cheese or a drizzle of heavy cream when served.

1. Preheat oven to 350 C. Cut your squash into four and lather with olive oil. Place on a cookie sheet and back for 45 minutes. Turn about halfway through. When they are soft and cooked through, you can take them out to cool.

2. In a very very large pot, melt the butter at medium heat. Saute onions until they are softened (5 min). Add diced apples, salt and pepper, and garlic. Saute until tender.

3. Add apple cider, and the rest of the spices. Simmer.

4. When it cools and you can hold the squash, scoop out the goodness into your soup pot. Add vegetable broth. Bring it to a boil and the reduce heat.

(I'll let everyone know now that I'm unsure how long I reduced it for, and how I knew when it was the perfect timing to take it to the blender. I probably simmered it for about 40-50 minutes though, until I got tired of waiting....)

5. Blend! If you find its too thick - add some vegetable broth and if its too thin put it back on the stove top.

6. When its all smooth, add the creamy goodness to the top.

7. Eat!

Also, This is Jean Poutine - my kitten :)
(Look at his little ears! I didn't even realize until I looked at this nicely illuminated picture... Poor kitty needs to visit the vet!)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Speaking of Boys and Fighting...

I know I know I shouldn't promote fighting, wrestling and violence. But this is just too good. Everyone is probably going to think that all my friends who are boys do is wrestle. I promise you they only do this 50% of the time and are normal for the rest.

Long story short, after some practice rounds with Bob (which he lost) Neil was humiliated, and decided that he was going to have a round two to prove his manliness. Its been three or four months now, Neil has been training the whole time (He even broke a rib in the beginning), and as planned I am releasing the training video I filmed as a lead up to the real thing.

Get the hype going, you know.

If you haven't noticed yet, its styled in the oh so classy UFC-esque angry music lead in.

So LAAAAAAAAAAAADDDDDDDDDIIIIIIIIIEEESSSS AND GENTLEMEN, let me introduce to you, the man, the myth the legend..... NEEEIIIILLL SIEEK!

[I just want to emphasize this is NOT SERIOUS. We are in no way shape or form actually hosting a real fight. Do not worry. Neil and Bob are bff's in the real world]

Birthday's and Blogging

Well I feel a bit sad about my blog lately, as I'm not really in it as much as I should be. Mind you, I did only get my flooded router replaced, so I've really only had the interweb at home for less than 24 hours. But I figure if I am going to have a blog I should probably be featuring things that are mine, or I experienced, or I made. Instead of just talking about things that I like.

So under this umbrella, and also because it's my birthday on Monday, I'm going to take a look back at my birthday last year.

Here is a photographical ode to JessFest '08 - Photography mainly not taken by me.

Enjoy and don't be scared!

It was an overall-party ;)

Notice me, the spotted shirt and overall combo (funny enough I originally wrote spotted shit and overall combo).

This is probably when I started to love the mustard.

And even though I'll never understand boys and wrestling - there were some friendly matches in the morning.

... don't worry though - the big fella won.

Finally, I obviously survived til morning - but others.... did not.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Ode to Moustaches

I love moustaches a lot. I just remembered I loved them so much after visiting Inkling Paper's shop on etsy. I went to go have a peak after reading about The Red Deer's Give Away Contest featuring Inklings work.

Go have a little on peak yourself!
I've decided to make a montage to all things that are beautiful and full of the stache'Starting of course with the Inkling:

Moustache Greetings by Inkling Paper

Salt and Pepper Moustache by paperdollwoodshop

Another stache for your kitchen: Pintglasses by Breadandbadger

My Father, who has arguably the best moustache of all

My friends, who frequently get rowdy and taken over by moustaches.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Where the Wild Things Are

I have one in me.

I have never, ever, in my entire life been as excited and scared for a movie. The trailer makes me well up with tears, I've watched it over and over and over and still I cry.

This movie is going to move me.

Thank you Spike jones. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Thank you Maurice Sendak.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Light Readings

I haven't really been reading as much as I want too, especially considering I've been out of school and done with my thesis for over 4 months now. Thats a really depressing fact.

Probably my main hurtle reading is that I keep picking up really dense/academic related reads. One of which I'm reading (and only half-way through) is about Chief Plenty Coups and the fall of the Crow Indians, called Radical Hope. Ethics in the Face of Cultural Devastation. It is one powerful look into the total devastation of a culture. To see how a people were destroyed because their entire cultural being (buffalo and war) was taken away from them is tough to get through if you know what I'm saying.

(Plenty Coups)
For example, here is a little quote from Plenty Coup right before he died, "...when the buffalo went away the hearts of my people fell to the ground... After this nothing happened."

Needless to say, this read is getting me a little down. And I think its lost somewhere in my chaotic shambles of a flooded house right now.

But Dane thankfully gave me something to lift my spirits: The Sex Lives of Cannibals by J. Maarten Troost is amazing. I love a book that can make me laugh out loud on every page and even manage to tune out a television.
I didn't even know the Rebublic of Kiribati (kiri-bse)was a place, and now I am (almost) questioning whether I should go there and not Indonesia.

Anyway, basically Maarten is documenting is (mis)adventures living on this tiny, dot in the pacific ocean for two years. He survives off raw and boiled fish, and beer. But sometimes the beer runs out. And the water. And the electricity. He spends his days trying to write, and trying to find something edible. He also collects some of the islands toughest street dogs (White dog and Mama dog). His biggest problem though is literally avoiding the shit on the beach.

It just leads me to daydream about living on an atoll where there is one flight, if you are lucky, once a month. And a supply ship even more infrequently. Maybe I just need to find something a little like this in Indonesia?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Slight blogger updates!

Well thanks to Yvonne, over at Emy Augustus I seemed to have updated my comment system.

Does this work better?

Friday, September 4, 2009

Indonesian reading

First step towards any traveling experience - a guidebook.

So yesterday I picked up my copy (40$ OUCH) of Lonely Planet's Indonesia and began skimming through it. Really there is nothing so exhilarating for me as looking at all the places I can visit, the jungles I can get lost in and beaches I can roll around on.

I've already come to the conclusion that I have to figure out the Visa situation because apparently it is complicated and shifty. I've also decided that I need a nice/light/sweet rain jacket.

I randomly flipped to a page and found a little box talking about sea gypsies, otherwise known as Orang Bajau. They are generally regarded by other Indonesians in much the same way that the Roma in eastern Europe are, which is badly. I on the other hand fell in love after reading about 2 paragraphs.

There are many groups of sea gypsies all over Southeast Asia, all with a blurry history. Basically, in Indonesia, they live off the coast of Sulawesi surviving (barely) off of fishing by traditional means.

According to Lonely Planet, in the old days there were whole familes living out of their boat roaming the shallow seas. Fathers would take their three day old children diving in order to introduce them to the sea. What a romantic tale.
On the other hand, nowadays commercial fishing, and other fisherman with access to better technology are making survival much harder.

I did read that the Bajau's Thai neighbours who lived offshore on houses made of stilts, that an entire village was saved from the Tsunami . Aparently the chief saw the receeding sea and immediatly knew from recalling a folk tale that:

those same waters will soon reappear in the form of a huge man-eating wave, destroying everything in its path.

Obviously I recognize these tales of Sea Gypsies are overly romanticised, but my imagination has still be sparked. I'm going!