Monday, March 1, 2010

Mac and Cheese Hockey


Talk about time lapse! Welcome to the new and improved Jessica's Adventure Time Blog. No more crafts (because I'm not going to knit on the beach) but! It will hopefully be a travellogue of my adventures and mis-adventures. Sorry there won't be many pictures I'm lazy when I travel.

I left about 12 days ago from Moncton, NB, went by train to Toronto. Not to be negative about the initial part of my trip, but seriously can train food be more expensive and disgusting? Tiny cannolli for a huge price. Thank god they threw in two pieces of garlic bread croutons. I also got the lovely experience of sitting behind two love birds after switching trains in Montreal. I started counting their kisses to eachother about an hour into the ride but had to stop about 20 minutes and 100kisses later. A goth kid and I made many witty remarks about them.

Toronto was awesome. I had a Net Meet with a number of internet friends. Does that make me nerdy? Hopefully not, because they were all so awesome. Sneaky Dees (for anyone visiting toronto) is great for seeing skeletor hipsters drink cheap beer and wear sunglasses inside. I fit in!

My hosts in tdot were so gracious. I had a hard time spending money. They showed me some sights, let me snuggle with their kitties, and made me feel honoured to be their friend. I got to eat deep fried mac-and-cheese too, which is just as awesome as it sounds. They lived in what is called 'Jamaica Town'in Toronto. I got yelled at in a grocery store by a Jamaican lady about her missing her appointment. It didn't really seem to have anything to do with me, but she wasn't using her indoor voice and I was a little scared.

I flew on a shitshow flight from Tdot to Vancouver. First the flight crew didn't show up for an hour, then after going to the last possible runway at Pearson they found out their lights wouldn't dim for takeoff, which is illegal, so we had to taxi all the way back to fix it. Meanwhile the Canada Russia hockey game was going on and people on the airplane were checking their blackberries frantically and yelling out the scores. Eventually though a man in front of me hooked his iphone up to his laptop and we streamed it live. Talk about an exciting time with 20 of my closest seat neighbours.

After arriving I found my cousins house all by myself. I negociated not only transit but also part of Hastings street and found a key under a rock to let myself in. It was like I was in a mystery novel. Vancouver was freaking me out with the olympics and everything so I quickly made my departure to see my grandparents in Victoria. I had an excellent time even if they were not feeling their best. I got to drive my granny around though, crack jokes with my grandfather and relax. I love Vancouver Island - I cannot wait to move out here this summer.

Everyone kept wondering why I wasn't lapping up the olympic spirit though. I don't feel bad for missing most of it though. Its just not something I'm really into. I do love the competition, the sense of excitment and what the olympics came from, but in recent years the Olympics have gotten a bit out of control, like a crazy monopolizing monster. Although I won't pretend my morals kept me out of the city, more like my interest.

Anyway. I came in yesterday. Canada/US gold game. The city was absolutely glued to television sets. After trying for a long long time, my friend and I finally found a bar with space and a tv. Man. People were losing their shit! And I can't even begin to explain what happened when we won! Now I don't like sports, and I don't like patriotism so much - but winning a gold medal in hockey is what being Canadian is. The entire city had been waiting for this moment for years. Everyone went insane. Traffic was honking excitedly for hours, people were playing tin can hockey in the middle of traffic (we re talking like city highways).
I loved it!

Now I am just gathering myself to make the huge leap to Asia.

I am nearly through my Cana

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Crochet ville!

I know! I know! I can hear everyone saying, "Where have you been? You are unemployed and have nothing better to do than post a million blog posts!"

True! But I've been busy! Busy with nothing. It really adds up. You know coffee, napping, Taebo, episode upon episode of The Wire.... Speaking of which, if you haven't watched that show - I highly recommend it.

Anyway, I leave in a week so I've been trying to wrap up a few craft projects. I've finally put my quilt together, but I don't want to talk about the borders yet so I'll leave you guys waiting.

Its valentines day this weekend and while I don't condone the purely commercial value of this holiday, I do enjoy gifts from the heart. So I made my love this little valentine:

Its my internet debut of water colour! I had a slight accident and had to redo it about halfway through, so please forgive how George Costanza isn't quite up to par. The original was a better likeness.

Also on my list, my friend is having a baby. I made her these little abominable slippers:

And finally, because I cannot get away from doilies, I have found an incredible japanese yarn. Its hand spun and hand painted and glory of glory comes in Thread crochet weight! Well actually its technically called 'cobweb' weight, but that just makes me love it more. They wrap it up so that you can see all the colours. It really updates this entire doily thing. Imagine the possibilities!

After seeing this picture I'm even shocked. It really is beautiful.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Cold Weather and Doilies for Friends

The weather has been pretty good these past few weeks, I've got to go out and test my new snow shoes a few times. I highly recommend any kind of snow shoe that has a metal pivot for your foot, and a huge claw attached to the bottom. Climbing any sort of incline in traditional snowshoes is pretty much impossible, but these claws sort of make me realize that humans are really missing out. The things I could do if I had bear claws!

Here are some pictures from one of our days out.

Also, doilies! I tend to really get into doilies, but upon their completion hold them up and think,"Huh.... Now what." Because really, what do you do with them? I have recently discovered though, that through Google Picasa you can browse public albums which just happen to be entire crochet books scanned helpfully by someone across the world. If you know the name of a specific book, I'm nearly positive that it will be there. Professional patterns have never been so awesome, or so free.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Dream Jobs and Heros

Somehow over the course of 8 months I've watched more MMA fights than I even dreamed possible. Watching meatheads pound the living shit out of eachother has really grown on me. Hopefully its not making me more violent or agressive.

After learning the ins and outs of what different fight organizations are like, I've really come to appreciate the Japanese ones. The new defunct Pride organization being my all-time favorite. Pride didn't have any rules! It was great! But unfortunatly UFC bought them out, and now you aren't allowed to soccer kick people in the head when they are on the ground. Sigh... the good old days.

Anyway. This entry is about my dream job - being a great MMA announcer. I usually get way more excited about a good announcer than the idiots trying to kill eachother in the ring. Mike Buffer (who works UFC events) is probably the voice you think of when you think of fight announcers. A la:

He's pretty damn good I'd say.
But he is a guy, and this kind of job is pretty hard for girls. Mainly because women nearly always get stuck being scantily clad ring girls who probably have two brain cells but just happen to have a nice bikini body. Also, and not to be sexist here, but women generally just don't have that kind of voice.

But Lenne Hardt. She is one hell of an announcer. She works primarily with Japanese organizations, so I assumed that she was some super sweet Japanese woman. But last week, for the first time in 8 months, we watched a fight that showed her announcing! Just look at her!

Listen to her in all her glory!

I want more than anything in life to email her and ask her to take me under her wing. A dream!

And just for the record, check out this glamour shot of her!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Crazy Heart

I'm a sucker for a sad western.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Neither Here... Nor There.

I'm going to take a huge assumption, and decide that many of you have either seen or heard about the documentary Jesus Camp (2006). Ironically, one of the least assuming but also most powerful documentaries on the evangelical, fundamentalist Christian right in America. It lets the pastors, children and bible camp activities speak for themselves, which portrays more powerful ideas than overlaying the film with a voice over, or leftist interviews.

In any case, I watched it (and was shocked by it) again with my roommate recently. He has never seen it, and growing up in a Baha'i family, really didn't know this section of society existed. He was stunned. So stunned that he began investigating his own faith, and subsequently so did I. We spent hours on wikipedia examining the Baha'i religion and not being in anyway religious myself, I was blown away.

I found many aspects of it different and appealing.

"Bahá'í notions of progressive religious revelation result in their accepting the validity of most of the world's religions, whose founders and central figures are seen as Manifestations of God. Religious history is interpreted as a series of dispensations, where each manifestation brings a somewhat broader and more advanced revelation, suited for the time and place in which it was expressed

Meaning, it sees the nine world religions stemming from Prophets (ie: Jesus, Mohammad, Krishna, Buddha etc) as steps towards a better understanding of God."

Also, I found the 12 Social Principles pretty interesting....

Unity of God
Unity of religion
Unity of humankind
Equality between men and women
Elimination of all forms of prejudice
World peace
Harmony of religion and science
Independent investigation of truth
Universal compulsory education
Universal auxiliary language
Obedience to government and non-involvement in partisan politics
Elimination of extremes of wealth and poverty

I'm also in love with their temples....

Most of Bahia's progressive and interesting bits are largely due to the fact it hasn't pushed 200 years old. Hasn't really had time to branch out, evolve, diverge etc.. to aquire any of the weird bits other religions tend to have. There are a few unfortunate parts though, like the focus on marriage being between a man and woman and a few other bits about homosexuality. Not saying that this mentality is necessarily followed by any Baha'i's I know, its just unfortunate they are there in scripture. In any case my roommate is going to take me to a Baha'i community event so I can get the full effect and see just how awesome it is.

Friday, January 8, 2010

I'm rollin'

I have nearly my entire trip booked now, a big relief. There were some highs and lows during this process. The lows mainly being that I am no longer taking an epic train journey accross Canada. I just cannot afford well over $1000 for four days of my life. The highs? I got a sweet flight instead! At a fraction of a fraction of the cost.

I'm going to have to get my travel agent a mighty fine gift while I'm away.

Other ways I'm saving money?

For starters everyone who travels and is at all social should sign up for Couchsurfers. If you haven't heard of it is one of the most amazing ways to really be immersed into the place you're visiting. The premise is pretty simple: sign up and state whether or not you have a couch availible for strangers (not a requirement mind you). The next time you travel you simply have to search for your destination (even Iraq, if you're adventurous) and Ta Da you have a free place to stay!

Its actually pretty safe as well (considering). Couchsurfers always leave references for their visitors and hosts, and obviously creeps get banned, and you never stay with someone who has a bad reference. Women can easily stay with other women too. If you are uncomfortable staying on someones couch - many people have a full bedroom!

(One of my favorite surfers, I took him along to a music festival...and we found a couch!)

I've never surfed, but I've hosted many, many lovely people. Having said that I've only ever hosted someone who I wished I hadn't. He wasn't at all dangerous, he just really was lacking in the social skill department, told me many details of his life I never needed to know.

I've been using it to line up places to stay at strategic times and locations all over Southeast Asia. I've also joined a Travel Buddy Indonesia group, which is helping me meet Indonesians with the same travel goals as me.

And just for the record: I'm excited to swim with these guys again.
Ko Jum - Here I come!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Snake Scarf Revealed!

I finally tried to take some pictures of myself in this snake scarf. But its sadly dark when I get up for work in the morning, and nearly so by the time I get home. Pretty depressing if you ask me.

So here are some pretty lame pictures of myself, taken by myself - please excuse the rather... vacant look on my face. I don't quite have the camera skills (and camera!), nor the poise of one of my favorite self-portrait artists over at the clothes horse. She always looks so beautiful.

I digress.

Look at this mug!

I'm killing myself here.

If you want to make yourself one after looking at these appealing pictures, its quite simple - if not painstakingly repeatative. Get yourself one ball of yarn and one Knitting Spool. Etsy has some good ones available here and here. I might use a thicker yarn in my next attempts - it would make my neck a little warmer rather then simply just pretty.

Step one: start yarn on knitting spool.
Step two: continue to knit on spool until entire ball of yarn is used up.
Step three: wrap around your neck multiple times in a pleasing manner, until you've achieved the 'look', saving enough knitted snake to tie it together in a bow or something more simple.


Anyway, here are some rather belated pictures of my Christmas presents.

Looking back on these snowflakes, I've decided two things. One, compared to my most recent doily, my thread crochet skills have improved dramatically. Two, I really need to invest in quality patterns, rather then internet patterns which have multiple errors.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Lets get ready to DOOOIIIILLY

Happy Holidays everyone!

Merry Ayyam-i-ha!

(I just like saying it, although I do know that it isn't for a few months - its like a Christmas though...right?)

I've been recovering from our epic 24 hour marathon New Years Eve Party - which nearly everyone failed to reach - including me, I was one of the first fatalities. In any case, I have been very busy here with my crafts as all we have been doing is watching hours apon hours of UFC and other MMA-athons (don't ask why I love to watch meat heads beat each other senseless...).

Its been helped a little by a new craft club, a bitch and stitch if you will. Its really nice to have friends that force me to craft every week, because every once in awhile I slack off.

Anyway, so far I've finished my crochet snake scarf, I'll post pictures when its nice out and I have someone to take pictures for me. I've also finished this beauty. World, let me introduce you to the MEGADOILY. The ultimate in doily extravaganzas!

Isn't it beautiful? I've spent the 'recovery' days of this new year crocheting until my fingers have stiffened. I've very impressed with how it irons out, very professional.

I'm forcing myself to finish all my crafts before I leave for my epic trip. That also includes something I'll be taking with me:

A few cloth bags to divide my stuff up (you know, between dirty/clean panties etc) and a few secret pockets in my shorts and bras for money. I'm also debating a monk bag ahla this guy - mainly because they don't take up any space and mine got destroyed by fire.


Until tomorrow, or whenever I happen to take that picture of the snake scarf - what a mystery!