Feb 18, 2012


I received this tag a few weeks ago. (Thanks Heather)

Here are the rules:

  1. Post these rules
  2. You must post 11 random things about yourself
  3. Answer the questions set for you in their post
  4. Are jokes about "there is no Fight Club" still funny?
 11 random things about yourself:

  1. I'm obsessed with octopuses. And other oddly adapted animals like the Aye Aye and Kiwi.  
  2. I cannot comprehend the logic in why people replace original building materials with new inferior ones (ie wood windows for vinyl, wood floors for laminate)
  3. I always take on way more than I can handle. Then get overwhelmed and just end up watching bad tv and drinking wine.
  4. I love road trips.  One of my lifelong dreams is to rent a winnibego with my closest girlfriends, visit the 'Biggest of [ball of string, honeybee, logger]" along the way and wind it all up with a beauty pageant somewhere in Texas. 
  5. I have a fear of revolving doors.   
  6. I am terrible at mailing things.  Abysmal.  I have packages waiting to be mailed in my house that I should have mailed 7 years ago (through 4 moves)
  7. I believe that most ailments can be cured with local honey and fish oil. 
  8. I have phone phobia (is there an official name?)
  9. My house is for the most part, clean and my closets are neurotically organized (colour coded and labelled).  But my car is always a disgusting pigpen.  
  10. I have dance parties with my kids in the kitchen every night while making dinner. 
  11. I love chips. 
What is your #1 best memory – the one that will always make you smile?
Oh, so many # 1 best memories.  One was finishing a 10 day hike in the Stein Valley, BC, when I was 16 after being lost for 4 days.  

If you could do anything (career wise), and money was no object, what would that be?
I love what I do (heritage consultant / conservation specialist) but.... probably a naturopath. Then I could encourage more people to eat local honey and fish oil. 

What is the most awesome place you’ve ever visited?
Comanche National Grassland in southeastern Colorado is the most spectacular place on earth. I worked there for 4 summers in Grad school and try to go back every year.  

What is your go-to comfort food?
I'm a big fan of rice crackers and hot sauce. I lived on it when I first moved out of my parents' house at 22.  

What is your guilty pleasure (that you’re willing to admit to in a public forum?)
I have an unhealthy addiction to Mamma Yamma's tweets (@mammayamma). She's a yam puppet on kids CBC. I'm in my 30s... 

Favourite way to relieve stress?
Hot yoga.  I think about going a lot.

Favourite book?
Tale of Two Cities. 

Favorite movie?
The Sweetest Thing with Cameron Diaz and Christina Applegate. When Harry Met Sally. I am hoping Hunger Games will be added to this list {please don't be crappy}.  

What are you good at that hardly ever gets recognized? (example, are you a masterful karaoke singer? do you play a mean harmonica? is your hidden talent hopscotch?)
I'm quite unusually skilled at making children's Halloween costumes using primarily glue and iron ons. 

What did your 10-year-old self want to be when you grew up? Do you still want that? (Are you that?)
From a very young age I wanted to be an archaeologist.  Then I grew up, became an archaeologist, and didn't want to be one anymore.  I used to bury toys in the fall in my dad's garden and dig them up in the spring. 

What's holding you back?
I don't like digging in the snow. 


Feb 1, 2012

A Break from the Present

My mom says the 70's were boring.  I don't know.  Looks like that guy with the moustache lacking irony, with the hot chick drinking gin & tonic's midday on the back of a hay truck are anything but boring. 

I think my love of mid century period spurs from a fascination with our society's abandonment of the traditional model of everything during this period.  How does this...

Grace Presbyterian Church - Calgary (1912: Gothic Revival) (Sean Perrin)
Change to this...

St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, Calgary (1968-69 - Expressionist)

What happened to our society that made us rethink an entirely new way to live, eat, pray? Burn our bras? Protest wars. Sit wherever we want on the bus? Colour our hotels butter yellow?
Holiday Inn - 8th Ave Downtown Calgary (Delcampe.com)
Modernism in the west began in earnest after the Second World War. And the initial rolling out of post war mortgage and educational programs, suburban development, embracing this new modern aesthetic were accomplished with military precision. The generations who lived and experienced a prolonged period of wars and depression (1913 to post WWII) probably yearned for a break from this past.  But despite an embrace of modern in the early 1950s, there was an undercurrent of entrenched traditionalism and conservatism. A lot of women didn't work after marriage.  

But it was the next generation in the 60' and 70's, who really shook things up with music, sex, drugs. And architecture was radical and experimental and expressed a cataclysmic shift in values of a society who were eager to formally break from the past and redefine a new future. 

A perfect hyperbolic paraboloid roof - Waikikian Hotel Lobby, 1960s (Sourced from a Flickr group on hyperbolic paraboloid roofs - amazing)
We lived in a condo for a few years downtown Vancouver and when we moved in, one of our friends gave us an interior design magazine for apartment dweller from the 1970s as a housewarming gift. 

What really strikes me about the following images from the issue is how the 'radical' was so mainstream.  And what a stark contrast with our society today (which, when you think about it, has really reverted back to this conservatism the previous generation had fought so hard to shake off).  Can you imagine a  key party spread set in a bedroom in Dwell?  It seems absurd. Yet, there's an overtone comfort and connection in these images that seems to be lacking today. 

And what?  

Look at those goofy  plates. And the lobster on a bed of grapes. 

Imagine this image in today's interior design context - complete with the stoned guy with the Puerto Rico t-shirt and rainbow window art? 

Every image contains some combination of moustaches, booze, sex, feasts or cigarettes (for my fellow gardener bloggers).

This time the alcohol matches the couch.