Friday, February 16, 2007

Here I am in Banff...

So my winter vacation has finally begun. James arrived last night, and today we drove to Banff. It's so nice to be in the mountains again! James is at a conference this weekend, so while he is busy listening to people talk about the physics, I get to relax in our huge hotel room. I'm really looking forward to doing some stuff around town tomorrow. I think it's been about 10 years since I've been in Banff in the winter. We're not going skiing, but maybe ice skating and the hot springs? I've been feeling pretty down about the never ending winter lately, but seeing the snow and icicles here in banff, among the mountains, well it makes me feel a little better about this wretched season.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

I love Second Cup!

In many ways I'm very loyal to Vancouver. I still believe that 8 months of rain is better than 8 months of snow. I'd rather pay $300 000 for a condo by the ocean, than a house in the prairies. And I think my Tercel is a superior vehicle to a Ford pickup truck. But there is one thing about Alberta that I embraced almost right away... and that is Second Cup. Specifically the Second Cup by my house.

From the outside, it looks like any other chain coffee shop... but once you step inside you find yourself in a neighborhood gathering place. It's always packed with people visiting, reading, working, and studying. The walls are covered in posters for things going on around our neighbourhood, and there is something about the vibe there that feels so personal and comfortable. Never mind the fact that their coffee is great (I'm sorry, but I can't handle non flavoured Starbucks lattes anymore... is there even any espresso in them?), Second Cups have personality. No where is this more apprent than on Whyte Ave (Edmonton's attempt at Kits). You walk into the Starbucks, and you could be in any Starbucks. You walk into the Second Cup, and the pierced/tatooed baristas, the music that is definitely NOT light jazz, and the general dirtiness... well you could still be a lot of places, but it narrows things down. And that is why I love Second Cup.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

I love yarn!

This may make me the biggest granny of all, but I guess it's no secret that I love to knit. It still amazes me how a series of little knots can add up to a toque, scarf, mittens, throw pillow, blanket, you name it. It's so satsifying to see the rows increase as you work, each stich putting you into a kind of trance that is often very hard to break. I've spent hours at work, in movies, and sadly even out with friends, where all I could think about was getting back to whatever project I was working on at the time. I'm working on my first pair of socks right now, and it's wild to think that a hundred years ago, women did this everyday, and because of them, their family stayed warm.

But lets get to the root of this obsession. Knitting would not be nearly as fun if it wasn't for the beautiful fibers that it brings into your life. I've been working with acrylic yarn forever, because I was poor and it was cheap, and even so I would go to the yarn stores and stare at the shelves of cashmere, silk, mohair, and wool... in every colour you could think of. I've recently started buying some of the nice stuff, and it does not dissapoint. I think that I've reached the point of no return, and oh this might get expensive, but I don't care. I love yarn!