Monday, January 30, 2006

Aloha and Mahalo

A wondrous two weeks in Hawaii. I am relaxed and as tanned as I ever get - just in time to return to the grind (and the winter weather) in Toronto. Highlights were the animals everywhere - the geckoes, mongooses, whales, and sea turtles. I swam with the turtles almost every day on my snorkeling adventures - such huge, gentle creatures. I gorged myself on good novels, tricky crosswords, strawberry daiquiris and chocolate covered macadamia nuts - often at the same time while lying on the beach.

Here are some photographs taken on the trip - though the photograph I most wish I could have taken was impossible. I wanted to point my camera at the night sky and snap away - with no pollution and being in the southern most part of the hemisphere, the stars were truly mind blowing. Better than any planetarium I've ever been in. Click on the photos for a larger version.

Sunrise Over Mauna Kea Sandy Fairmont Orchid 1

Surf's Up Gecko Sunset Over Pacific 1

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


I've been tagged by Robot Johnny and this is one I haven't seen before. So here we go:

Four jobs I've had:

1. Fiction Editor, Thomas Allen Publishers
2.Sandwich Maker, The Butchart Gardens
3. Visitor Services Agent, The Butchart Gardens
4. Exam Supervisor, King's College London

Four movies I can watch over and over:

1. The English Patient
2. Clue
3. Annie Hall
4. Can't Buy Me Love

Four places I have lived:

1. New York
2. London
3. Toronto
4. Vancouver

Four television shows I love to watch:

1. Sex and the City
2. Six Feet Under
3. Poirot
4. Whatever reality show is presently playing (so right now, The Bachelor and American Idol)

Four places I have been on vacation:

1. Ko Samui, Thailand
2. Mombasa, Kenya
3. Fiji
4. Prague, Czech Republic

Four of my favourite dishes:

1. Mom's chocolate sour cream loaf
2. Swiss Chalet
3. Pad Thai
4. A big, whopping fruit plate

Four websites I visit daily:

1. Robot Johnny
2. Book Ninja
3. Ask Metafilter
4. Daily Dose of Imagery

Four places I would rather be right now:

Actually, nowhere. I'm in Hawaii. But to play along...

1. Ankgor Wat, Cambodia
2. Machu Picchu, Peru
3. Great Wall of China
4. Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg

I should be tagging four people, but I'm just going to tag Dawne.

I Heart Meerkats

meerkat alert
Originally uploaded by sarah4855.

Fuelling my often absurd love of small creatures both furry and not, a friend sent me a link to Just a Little Guy. Scroll down until you get to the baby badger in the towel...priceless.

I thought I would post my own furry creature photos - I took these meerkat shots at the London Zoo last summer.

relaxed meerkat

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Aussie Open Predictions

Like I did (quite succesfully) with my US Open predictions, I'm going to do the same with the Australian Open which is currently playing down under. I'm making my predictions, like I did with the US Open, a week into the tournament when most of the upsets have already happened. And I'm also going to shake things up by not predicting the same winners from the last slam (plus choosing Federer to win a major is getting boring). prediction for the Australian Open winners are: Lindsay Davenport and Tommy Haas.

Because I'm in Hawaii, I'm watching the Open from the time zone furthest away from Melbourne time - which is the kind of useless trivia I love.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

A Catalogue Update

While visiting my parents over Christmas, I was able to input the rest of my books into Library Thing. There were 100+ books to input into my catalogue, mostly books that were read over many years of summer vacations and left behind or books from my undergrad and masters degrees that I didn't want to look at for awhile. All of these will eventually make it to my permanent library in Toronto, but bookshelf space in my loft is already lacking.

I didn't input any of my Shakespeare, partly because there are too many individual plays and I got lazy, but also because I hope to purchase a Complete Works sometime soon. I also need to finish tagging the entire library - I love this feature. I can, for example, tag the books I edited and see them on a separate page.

My updated catalogue is here and if you're really obsessive, you can subscribe to it via RSS feed.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

2005 in Cities

I thought this was a fun meme, so here is my 2005 in cities (minus the three I lived in - Brighton UK, Toronto ON, and Victoria BC):

Vancouver, BC
Ottawa, ON
New York, NY
San Francisco, CA
Sonoma, CA
London, UK
Salisbury, UK
Rochester, UK
Madrid, Spain
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Monte Carlo, Monaco
Florence, Italy
Ripoli di Lari, Italy (at the gorgeous Villa Delia)

Criteria is having spent one or more nights in the city (which cuts out a lot of the places I visited in Europe, but didn't stay overnight). Here's hoping that I get to a different continent than these two in 2006.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

My Galoshes Are Exhausted

24 consecutive days of rain....with no end in sight. Vancouver and Victoria about to set a record for this weather. Endless, dreary days, continually looking and feeling like dusk. Having grown up on the West Coast, I love the rain and find it comforting, but this is absolutely ridiculous. I am seriously considering purchasing some kind of lightbox.

But then this morning, a glimmer of hope as the skies parted and a rainbow appeared. And then mere minutes after snapping this photo, the rain began again. If I wasn't flying to Hawaii on Saturday, I would begin preparation for ark building.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Photograph: Peek-A-Boo

I spotted this deer staring wistfully at the flowers appearing in my parents' garden...unfortunately, the fence is too high for this little guy to hop over. Yes, Victoria = flowers in January.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Revenge of the Mouse

Man catches mouse in house. Man throws mouse into fire of burning leaves outside. Mouse survives, runs back into house aflame, burns house down. Serves you right, jerk.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Robert Mondavi Winery

While in Napa Valley, I had a private tour and lunch at the Robert Mondavi Winery. Here are some photos of the vineyard, the wine barrels, and the private dining room in which I had lunch. And where I plied myself with my favourite wine - the Mondavi Reserve Fume Blanc.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Jesus Inhaled

I knew I was going to end up digging Jesus for something...but who knew he was so progressive? Apparently, a new study of scriptural texts reveals that Jesus healed using cannabis.

My favourite selection from the article is, "If cannabis was one of the main ingredients of the ancient anointing oil - and receiving this oil is what made Jesus the Christ and his followers Christians, then persecuting those who use cannabis could be considered anti-Christ[ian]."

Jesus was also spotted checking his watch and yelling, "Dudes, it's 4:20!"

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Signage in San Francisco

I was almost run over by a cable car as I took this photo in San Francisco....but how could I not take it for Robot Johnny? I love the type and does that mean 63 cent cocktails?

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Inspiration for a Resolution

One of my New Year's resolutions is to read one non-fiction book for every fiction one - the perfect place to inspire this resolution was a bookstore I visited in San Francisco a few days ago. The famous (infamous) City Lights Bookstore was absolutely amazing. The store was packed not only with books, but with chairs, as well as signs posted everywhere inviting readers to pick a book, get comfortable, and read. Imagine Chapters doing that!

There was an entire floor (an entire floor!) of poetry. There were also sections entitled "Commodity Aesthetics" and "Muckracking". Not too many Republicans here....or in San Francisco at all, for that matter...

Spotted in an apartment window in the neighbourhood of Nob Hill: