Tag Archives: journal

change is afoot


oof. the past month has been busy, more so than usual. i spent a couple of days in nyc, started teaching at ocad, had a bit of holiday and tried to wrap up the summertime loose ends before the season changed.

the biggest change of all, though, is that i’m no longer with the beal institute for strategic creativity. after 2 years of fun, great people and absolutely lifechanging work, it was time for something a little different. the sweet spot had shifted, so to speak. i’m sad to be moving on, but am looking forward to future collaborations with the brilliant minds there, as well as having the time to pursue other projects.

in the present, though, i’m pleased to say that i’ll be working part-time with interactive ontario, as project manager and content developer. they’re a great bunch of people, and i’m happy to be a part of their team, getting to know them over the next while. to new things! :)

*to commemorate yesterday being international talk like a pirate day. yar.

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it’s really hot. like +35 with the humidex. it’s making me sluggish and woozy to move betwixt the arctic climate at beal and the rainforest of my apartment (yeah, the east and west windows have a great crossbreeze on the third floor. SURE…:P ).

although a thunderstorm is currently on route (eta: 2hrs), the past few days have not been very conducive to my recent resolution to eat at least 80% of my meals from food that comes out of my kitchen, as a way to save a bit of cash and not get tempted by instant gratification delectables. so i’ve been pulling out the recipes that do not involve even making eye contact with the stove. or toaster. etc.

this was from monday, when i was in need of a super boost of energy from the weekend’s perpetual travel (friday pm to sunday am: tdot>nyc>nj>nyc>tdot. by bus/train. :\ ). super easy and extremely tasty. and i find that the kale has noticeable brain results (clarity and energy) immediately!

summer salad

  • bunch of kale, washed and chopped, stems and ribs removed
  • apple, cored and chopped
  • can of beans (pigeon peas are my recent fave, tho romanos are also good. and use fresh if you’ve got ’em)
  • chopped walnuts (optional)


  • extra virgin olive oil (preferably a fine finishing olive oil, infused with lemon or ginger. neat site)
  • lemon juice
  • mustard seed
  • fig vinegar (or apple cider, white wine, etc)
  • honey
  • salt and pepper

add it all together and toss with dressing. enjoy!

i just learned how to make fresh goat’s milk cheese in an artisan cheese workshop – updates to follow soon!

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interlude – canal du midi and languedoc

a few nights ago over dinner we had a wine from languedoc, an area in the south of france alongside the pyrenees. this brought back some pretty strong memories of an autumn cycling trip i took a few years back – how beautiful the countryside and the people were, and what a serene experience it was to have nothing but your bike and a map. a bit of a change of pace (especially given the prior rant), but what i hope to be a sweet and recurring interlude…

canal du midi, languedoc

autumn 2004, canal du midi, languedoc. from my journal…
The ride was incredibly wonderful, this region is beautiful. The first 45k were along the Canal du Midi, built in 1681 in order to link the Atlantic to the Med (240k). The canal still functions, though not for trade; there are over 300 bridges and 90 ├ęcluses (locks), little stations and villages at each ├ęcluse. The cycle path, well-maintained and semi-paved (no cars!), that hugs the canal in the fairly flat section I travelled. A double row of huge maple trees lined the canal the whole way, sheltering you in a gorgeous and secluded green nest. Animal count: herons, ducks, and a turtle. I ate my lunch, which included some cured Basque sausage and cheese and figs from the area, on the banks – completely in awe of the beauty of this country. I forgot how quiet and peaceful it is to ride like this, after a week of cities and people and trains.

Eventually the bikepath finished and I moved onto the road, although it was smooth sailing and little traffic. The landscape is something else… I rode in a rolling valley, with huge foothills rising up on either side of me, blue and smudgy with rain. This is Pays de Cathar, and their ruins are everywhere- churches, castles, houses, windmills, all made with gold stone that jumps out of the landscape in overcast light.

Languedoc translates into “Language of Oc”, from the Occitans, a culture whose roots reach back to the Romans. A woman I met in Toulouse whose family had been in the region for generation upon generation shared a little history over a pain au chocolat and espresso before I headed south. France is a country full of wonderful storytellers. (And a bit more history of the region here.)

About 25k outside of Carcassonne the Armagnac vineyards appeared, giving off a redolent, musty smell. I had a bite to eat in a little farmer’s lane between a vineyard and a small patch of tiny sunflowers, probably seasonal seconds which won’t make it past another month. I arrived in Carcassonne with about an hour of sunlight left, tired and stinky and good. It was my longest ride since I’ve been here- 120k! – though when I arrived I was not exhausted… satiated and at peace.

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