Monday, May 30, 2011

Orange juice halo

I lived large today. A humid run this morning, then a bike ride to work where I sat for nine relentless hours. Bought a weird protein bar with peanuts, caramel and - get this - pretzels, and a massive apple that took about an hour to eat (crunching for an hour in my quiet cubicle farm is probably as passive-aggressive as it sounds, hehe). An hour at the gym. Packed my cloth bags at the grocery store and walked home, arms full of new food.

Then I poured me some sweet art in a martini glass. Whoever thinks this picture of the virgin sunrise (OJ and grenadine) has a religious tone, raise your wing.

Monday, May 16, 2011


Rainy day in Capital City.

Dark coloured coats and bent heads filled the bus seats this morning. I sat in my own seat and tried not to soak up the grim vibe (it wasn't hard). People in this city work to live, and on mornings like this I miss my bike and the traffic wrestling adventures even more than usual. Wah wah.

I ran last night without music and noticed the trees. The tips of the first courageous leaves are pushing through, and the air smelled of spring. The wind across the bridge felt strong but warm. A breeze of that intensity two months ago would have been bitter indeed. About 45 minutes before the end my trick knee started to feel tender, so I shortened my stride and it was alright after the run. During those two hours I met only a handful of runners and cyclists and one rollerblader, on a cell phone. Lonesome highway.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Sunday's run was fast and tiring. Today's run was all about sunshine and chillaxing, and finding my groove. I wanted to run along the path slowly but surely; get in some distance without freaking out my knee, which is still a little tender, plus my long sleeved top felt a tad warm. I ran about 40 minutes, an appetizer to tomorrow's meal.

Dinner was a hodge-podge tonight: felafel, stir fried veggies and mac & cheese, eaten in courses, in exactly that direction.

I can't believe I returned from Nashville a week ago. I have yet to sleep in. I am looking forward to enjoying some Saturday morning shut-eye.

~ I'm like an omnivore, but for booze ~

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The great balancing act

Been spending a lot of time in clubs lately, and I don't just mean the seedy karaoke bars like the one from last night where, after downing two minty polar shots that inspire feelings of headiness and dental hygiene, I belted out my very best Meatloaf to a rowdy crowd. No, by "clubs" I mean the those one joins to barricade one's nutty obsessions from the rest of the world, and last week I spent 6 days with a run club and about 75 minutes with a writing club; time being no measuring stick for dedication and love.

This morning, during our writing club meeting, I realized that technique is a hot topic, and it resurfaces almost every time we meet. It's such a grind: the words have to spring from somewhere and land on the page, so we often trade tips on how we get er done. There are lots of way to do it. Morning writing, and writing after work for an hour. There's writing while at work, on the sly, but it's unencouraged to the degree that we refrain from examinating that one. Sure, you want to write and the days are horribly short, but no one's saying you should go ahead and get yourself fired before you write the Great Canadian Novel.

This leads to the concept of write-life balance: exercise; coffee breaks and a good night's sleep to keep one's sanity while immersed in a project. One member is currently committed to a heavy writing project with a firm deadline, and she told us how she diligently maintains a schedule that supports the continuation of these valuable activities, the ones that are too often cancelled when we feel pinched for time. I admire her for this.

Also helpful for writers: lazy vacations down south. With cold cans of cerveza.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Miami diner

Last dinner in Miami: Polar beer, ceviche (pickled shrimp with onion, a disturbingly bright shade of pink), plantain chips, a platter of calamari with red dipping sauce, and a plate of lime wedges which compliment everything on this table!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Mystery mayo

We found this fascinating Cuban answer to mayonaise on a picnic table near a beach, under a roof and thus out of reach of the sun. Yet, it seemed like a fantastic time to reach for the ketchup.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Hemingway's Havana

"There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed."

Ernest Hemingway rented a room at the Hotel Ambos Mundos in Old Havana between 1932 and 1939. He stated that the room was "a good place to write." Quotes such as this keep writers' dreams alive, baby.

Next to the hotel, Papa Hemingway found this tiny bar a good place to drink. They say it's always as crowded as the day we stopped by.

Signatures from travellers are plastered on the smooth cement above and beside the bar. Writers who shared a bit of elbow room where the old writer used to hang his hat in the heat of the day.

He was a notorious drinker, but because of time constraints we didn't peer into any other bars he frequented, and anyway, this place emanated enough smoke rings of mythical aura for several cheap bars and tropicana clubs.

I picture him tripping over uneven cobblestones at night, lightbulbs hanging from naked wires on second floor verandas, swearing gruffly at thin dogs, chomping a cigar stump, tumbling into bed fully clothed, stinking of sailor's rum, characters yelling behind his door and inside his head.