Wednesday, April 25, 2012

I'm back, bitches.

Nothing is quite so therapeutic as writing.  In my case, I write in order to communicate with others, so keeping a diary seems pretty futile to me.  The same type of feeling of futility seems to arise anytime I've been in the position of trying to explain "blogging" to someone and why we do it.  The best I've been able to come up with is the comparison to a weekly column in a newspaper or magazine; an occasional blog update from someone you know, whose writing you enjoy, or a personality you find interesting can be a great way to break up your day.  But really, in the end, blogs are almost always in place as a form of self-satisfaction, promotion, or verbal masturbation for the writer.  That being said, I have no qualms nor do I offer any apologies for what you will (or won't) read here.  It's my blog, and I'll write what I want to.

On that note, I offer you the below.  A series I'm affectionately calling, "Not Cool," through which I will explore the dos and don'ts of big city behaviour. 

Not Cool: The Cafe Edition

Cities.  Metropoli, if you will.  They're-big-ass places, and they're up to the gills with people.  This gives a whole new meaning to personal space.  I figure, the only way that we're all going to survive while wedged in like sardines is to remember that everyone around you is equally human, equally exhausted, equally easily-upset, etc.  I believe that common sense and courtesy are the best ways to get along with each other, and I'm well-aware that this is not a new idea.  Human beings have been claiming to live by this idea or one like it for centuries.  But that being the case, you would think it wouldn't be so hard to get people to behave like they're not the only person in the entire city.

Today's case-in-point, one of my biggest pet peeves, people who take up too much room in tiny cafes.  It seems pretty self-explanatory that one patron gets one chair, and one table. Two patrons, a chair each and they split a table, if they're together.  If not, then they should feel free to spread out to two tables and a chair each.

So when I see stuff like this, it really drives up my blood pressure:

These lovely people clearly felt that not only did their butts each need a chair, but their stuff also needed to rest after a gruelling day of being a jerk.  This was in a crowded cafe in one of the busiest areas of the city with only a few spare spots left.  I just don't get how they can sprawl so freely without feeling the least bit uncomfortable about how many people might also like to sit down.

Not cool.  Move your stuff.  It's fine on the floor.  The floor is no dirtier than your hands or the table off of which you're having your snack.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


You know those friends who you sometimes don't see for months or even years, but then when you get together it's like no time has passed and you can't imagine them ever having been gone? I had a wicked visit these past few days with one of my friends who falls in to that category. Georgeanne has been off the continent for most of the last two years, and although we kept as up to date as we could, I haven't seen her little face since July 2008. She's one of those people who makes you feel so comfortable that you begin to push your own boundaries without even realizing it. She has always been an agent of newness and unfamiliarity in my life, from the smallest thing like listening to some weird new music, all the way to allowing myself to be set up on a blind date (at least, as blind as dates can be in the age of delicious privacy-invasion). This visit was no different, and she drove away today leaving my mind feeling exhausted but expanded and I'm so thankful she stopped by.

The last time we were together, I was dealing with some major emotional baggage that I had just picked up and have been carrying with me since then. Included in this emotional carry-on was one very concrete mistake in the form of the Flying Fox, seen here (by CanarySanctuary on Ravelry). I was originally attracted to this pattern because it was pretty, but mostly because the name matched with my cell-phone number, and the gauge matched with $50 worth of Knit Picks Comfy in "Blackberry" that I already had.

Problem was, I SO don't have the body for this top. I'm not fishing, I just simply know that I need something with more structure and less emphasis on the upper arms, so while it looks lovely on this lady, there was no way I was going to be rocking this. I chose to ignore that fact as long as possible which resulted in my carrying the knit-baggage around for almost two years.

Two months ago, in a fit of house cleaning and searching for ways to knit without spending money, I ripped my 75%-finished Fox out completely and started in on a completely new project: The Lillian Tank Top by Amanda Reed. Through a combination of two years' worth of acquired knitting skills and a more mature outlook on life, I have now completed a top I am in love with. It fits, it emphasizes lots of good places, it's feminine without being ruffly or flouncy, and since it's cotton, I can even wear it in this ridiculous heat wave! (42 degree humidex today = NOT OK).

So the summary of this story is that I am rather proud of myself for managing to take the physical manifestation of two years' worth of emotional baggage, rip it apart, and make it up anew in to something that fits me as I am. And the best part is, I was wearing this top when Georgeanne helped me to confront, accept, move past, and even make the best of the emotional element of my two-year-old issue. Today my life feels stronger and richer because of it, and I'm pleased to be looking good throughout. Better pictures to come when I have them!


Saturday, June 26, 2010


So much has been said, on the radios, the TVs, on Twitter, Facebook, and blogs everywhere, and I know that I don't have anything earth-shattering to add to the discussion in regards to the G20, the protesting, and the rioting going on downtown today. All I want to say is that it was an unreasonably idiotic idea to hold this meeting in the downtown core of the most densely populated city in the country. This violence and destruction might be more than was expected, but it can hardly be a surprise that small groups of demonstrators have turned violent.

It's too bad that the media seems to be having trouble distinguishing between true and passionate protesters and pointless and angry anarchists with nothing especially poignant to say. It's too bad that a few people are going to be taking attention and funding away from the most important issues by causing all of this destruction. It's too bad that the most powerful governments can't detach themselves from the romantic idea of meeting in person in a big beautiful city. Why not skype? Why not go somewhere really really small?

Instead of entering in to a full-fledged rant, I instead offer you readers this photograph. I found it touching, saddening, and beautiful all at once. Let me know what you think.

No Blood to Spare

Yesterday, like a good blond, I showed up for work two minutes late. While chatting with a few coworkers on my way in, one said, "Wait, why are you here?" Turns out I had switched shifts with the girl downstairs and wasn't supposed to be working that day. So instead I volunteered to go get a goodbye card for my friend who's just quit the store, and while shopping, I remembered that Canadian Blood Services has an office in the Manulife centre, so I dropped by to see if they'd take some of my precious life serum.

Now, I have tried to give blood twice before. Once, I didn't have enough iron because I was a teenage girl and that's what we don't have, and the second time I had a cold. Turns out you can't donate if your blood is sick. Who knew? This time, I was prepared. I have been taking iron supplements on an off since my anemic diagnoses at age 16, just so that I would be able to give blood. And so that I wouldn't sleep in so much. You'd think I'd have clued in since I showed up two minutes late for work because I had slept in that I was going to have the iron problem again, but I figured it was worth a shot. I was of course, rejected. My blood didn't sink down in the little vial of blue liquid, and so they put me in a room with this lady who told me that although I had enough iron for my own self, I didn't have any to spare for anyone else. Then she to eat red meat, liver, spinach, and raisins, and to help myself anyway to the complimentary Starbucks treats around the corner.

Problem is, I like raisins. But that's it. I was vegetarian for four years, and it seems my tastes kind of held on afterward, and I haven't liked red meat since. Except for salami and bacon. But they're not really red meat, they're little bites of heaven. And spinach is simply for fools. And who in their right mind would eat LIVER? It's the body's filter!!!!

However, I was not to be defeated. I went straight to my local No Frills, bought a giant bag of salad spinach, and headed for the meat section. Turns out, I have no idea how to purchase red meat. I left the store with a package of almost-expired hamburger, and a bottle of Diana Sauce, teriyaki flavour. So I ask those of you with more experience: what do I do?

Until I figure it out, I will continue to eat spinach salad, and lots of raisins with my granola, and I will continue to knit on this puppy:

This pattern is Cheesylove from, with a few major changes. I've removed all the fussy ruffles from the waist and sleeves, and will be shortening the sleeves to about a 3/4 length. The yarn is a great scratchy upcycle from an old-man sweater I got for about $9 at Value Village. I have yet to decide what colour my hearts will be, but today I'm leaning toward a nice heathery grey. I'm a bit concerned that the heart section will be a bit stretched across the...bust area, but Ravelry (see linKs) shows a few well-endowed ladies whose hearts look just fine. Speaking of busts, I'm also entertaining the idea of cutting the neck of the sweater a bit lower. We'll see...

Thanks for reading!

Friday, June 25, 2010


So I'm back to blogging. For those of you who were around during the Tourbillion years, the aim of this project is a little different. For those of you who weren't, welcome! My name is Amelia, and I live in Toronto. I play the flute professionally, and I knit, spin, design, and crochet obsessively on the side. This blog will chiefly serve as a place to share the craft-related aspects of my life, as well as anything else that is on my mind.

As this opening blog post is tot ally the hardest one to write, I'm not really going to spend much time fussing over it, and just say 'hi, this is me' and then dive right in. If you've already met me, there's really not much new to say, and if you haven't, I'd rather you just read these posts for what they are and not concern yourself so much with who's writing them. You'll get to know me as we go along, or not. No biggie!

And because photos always make a post better, here's a picture of my cat jamming his large body into my flute bag, since it' s funny and adorable.