110 – Calm After the Storm

201102_03_01i - Calm After the Storm

201102_09_01i - Snowfall

201102_09_02i - Branches

One of the small things in life that I truly enjoy is the calm after a storm. One moment, it’s thundering and lightning bolts touching down all around, and the next, the sky is clear and the sun is beaming, as if it’s happy to be back. Maybe it’s the quick reversal of weather that intensifies the beauty that’s all around that makes me not take it, at least for a short while, for granted.

Last week, I had a moment when I was waiting for a bus, after the big “snowmageddon” (and I use that term in quotes, because it wasn’t a bad storm at all, at least not by Ottawa’s standards) where, yes, it wasn’t the best weather to be commuting through, but the next morning had a certain crispness to it. It was calming, despite the traffic zooming by. It’s that feeling that, if it could be bottled, I could make a fortune. I took a picture instead.

And yesterday, it had started snowing in the afternoon. Seemingly out of nowhere, huge flakes began to fall slowly, as if each one was taking it’s time. The thickness of the snowfall muted everything, which also created a certain serenity. If every snowfall in winter was like that one, nobody would be as quick to have groundhogs see their shadows.

I want to get using this blog (again) the way I wanted to when I first created it. A blogging hero of mine, Joseph Mallozzi (http://josephmallozzi.wordpress.com/) says that a writer should write everyday. And in the three or four-plus years that he’s been blogging, he hasn’t missed a single day. Then again, he is a writer. And he eats a lot. I’m not committing to updating this that frequently, but I would like it to inspire me to take more photos so that I can share them here (and of course, on my flickr account, http://www.flickr.com/photos/myutopian).

Last year, despite going on two (2!) trips, I only took pictures on 77 days, which is the lowest it’s been since I got a digital camera! I would love to get back to 100+ calendar days this year, though probably not my peak year of 190 days back in good ol’ ’06. So, please enjoy and tell me to take more pictures!

066 – Gloom

200902_27_02 - Pluto

200902_27_03 - Wines

200903_04_01 - Arm

200903_04_02 - Traffic Pole

200903_05_01 - Fuzzy Ice

200903_05_04 - WInter Park Dream

200903_05_06 - Underpass

200903_05_07 - Canal

Pictures: Pluto, wine, traffic accessories, ice photos from the gloomiest day ever

Today was the greyest day I’ve ever seen. With the melting snow, overcast sky, salted pathways… there wasn’t a colour to be seen. It was enough to depress Winnie the Pooh, or to at least show him the gloom that Eeyore experiences on a daily basis. Instead of waiting 25 minutes for the bus, I chose to walk home surrounded by the dread that is Ottawa pre-spring. Musicless, I managed to take a couple of breaks along the way to take pictures. Of the dread. They turned out so grey that I used Photoshop to help them out a little bit.

Plans were to go skating tomorrow. Tomorrow is supposed to be gloomier than today, 10C and raining.

On the upside of things, I’m off for the next 2 days! Disney is in less than 55 1/2 days! My sheets are a bright and cheery yellow! And Tigger is bouncing on the mug I was using earlier.

Mad Men
is a compelling show. It doesn’t hit you hard or fast, like other dramas might… but the slow burn is worth it. Here’s hoping for a season 3, and sooooon! I recently watched all 6 episodes of Drive, an action character-based show that was cancelled well before it should have been. While I have my reservations of how a second season would have worked, it could have told a great story over the course of one season. I also feel bad for Nathan Fillion, who seems to be in these shows that get cancelled. Speaking of Nate, Castle starts soon!

056 – Day 36

200901_11_01 - Bucattini DS

200901_14_01 - Cold Trek

200901_14_03 - Bus Stop

200901_14_04 - There's a Path Here, Somewhere

It’s been cold walking to school, today in particular. Lauren Stone of Live 885 warned me at 6:45 this morning that it was -39C with the Windchill. Skin can freeze with 10 minutes of exposure at that temperature. As I snuggled the warmth of my bed, I wondered if it was really worth it to walk to school, a trek that could freeze my skin five times over. “Damned bus strike.” Reluctantly, I pulled myself out of bed and spent the next half hour deciding exactly how to dress. Before stepping out the door, I had the following:

I learned this morning that I have as much experience wearing scarves effectively as I do tying a Windsor knot, possibly because I never wear the darned things (both ties and scarves). Despite this, the scarf was instrumental in keeping me warm for my 50-minute journey.

All that preparation made me late leaving the house, effectively making me late for class. I was also slowed down by my inability to think ahead. Wind usually blows snow around, even though it wasn’t snowing, the path that I described in an earlier post was partially snowed-in in some places. The one time I don’t bring my snowshoes…

In other news, I’m really starting to like Clive Doucet. He’s a city councillor for the Capital ward, central Ottawa. He speaks his mind, and usually his mind is on the people whom he represents. He thinks the 15ish million saved from the bus strike so far, and what they’ll continue to save, should be funnelled back into making OC Transpo free for as long as possible once service resumes. This is probably the most brilliant thing the city can do to gain as many riders as possible. I’d also like to have $40 put in my pocket for the unused December pass I have at home (they cost just over $60 for students… a reasonable request considering I was only able to use it for a third of a month), but I’d settle for $20 February passes. $30 even. At least, this strike better not last beyond the confines of January!

I recently bought Nintendo’s Personal Trainer: Cooking game – and I use the word “game” loosely. It’s more of an interactive cookbook. I finally used it to make bucatini with tomato and pancetta, even though I substituted bucatini with linguine, pancetta with a mix of bacon and pepperoni, and romano cheese with medium cheddar. The result was actually pretty good. Many gamers complain about DLC (downloadable content) and how it can increase the overall cost of a game if you aren’t too careful. I bought Cooking for $20, and spent another $20 gathering the necessary ingredients! And that was for one recipe. How’s that for hidden game costs?! I use the word “hidden” loosely as well, even though there’s no label on the front of the box saying you have to buy food to get the best use out of the software.

I bet I could sue Nintendo for that one. I’ll keep my receipts!

047 – Wind Gods and Ringtunes

October is here, and my room is freezing cold. I really think I need to reinsulate the window area, and possibly get a new window. My plan is to go, hire the worst guy possible, then complain to Mike Holmes. In response, he’ll come here, ask how on earth someone whose job was to insulate a wall and replace a window used 17 junction boxes in the process. After a few words like “unbelievable”, he’ll fix it for me, add a shiny new seat and electrical surge protector, and proclaim that he “love his job”. Simple, no?

In other news, I’ve dusted off my Wii. It’s sad how I’ve become accustomed to not having the time to play such fandangled devices. In a rare spurt of energy, I went and beat Lostwinds, a WiiWare game that I bought back in May and stoppe dplaying after all of 41 minutes. It is a great little game, one that I’d love to have seen more of (seeing as I beat it after another 3 hours). Hoping to continue the trend of actually playing the games that I’ve bought, I moved the Wii back to the living room. It gets more light there.

My DS is far from neglected though. After I get to finishing Kirby, I’ll get back to The World Ends With You until the new Castlevania arrives. I hope there’s a last minute pre-order bonus with it, though.

Which leads me to movies. The last ones I saw were Bee Movie (cute, but not Pixar by a long shot), A Dog’s Breakfast (funny, but not as amazing as I was hoping, despite Rachel Luttrell yummy cameo), and National Treasure : Book of Secrets (much better than the first, surprisingly). I’m working on Hello, Dolly. Walter Matthau is about 30 years younger than what I know him as. It’s quite something.

Lastly, I have a new ringtune for my phone, in celebration of Halloween. Listen.