Thursday, April 30, 2009

      Hmmmm, well we are off in less than a week. I have been home (to my parents house in the boonies) for the last couple of days and we have dial-up! It is the slowest thing imaginable! Thus I have not posted. Nothing of interest has caught my eye for the last couple of days, life has been catching up on movies and reading and trying to get Steve comfortable at my parents. Steve is our bratty cat (who my parents lovingly dubbed 'demon cat'). Otherwise, over the last few days:

1. We picked up our euro's!
2. We booked our hostel in Munich (Munich is surprisingly expensive!)
3. Moved all of Jack's stuff to my parents place for storage for the summer
4. Finished doing taxes (hallelujah!) 
5. Went and saw the four-hour epic that is Che Guevara (amazing- we will write a post on that soon)
7. Finished reading the Carhullan Army
8. Executed a practice pack (which went very well I must say)
9. Got my first roll of film developed from my new camera (oh, how I long for a dark room, maybe one day)
10. Bought travel insurance

   Jack is at work, finishing his last shift! Finally! Almost bon voyage! Will post a follow up about Che!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Lucy in the sky with Diamonds!

I took this picture on my return flight from Scotland! I am pretty sure it is Greenland? 

Some lovely advice from a travel expert at my favorite blog yesandyes:

More Travel Advice From Galadarling!
Goods tips on Code for Something; Avoiding Jet Lag and Other Long Haul Tips.

     So, I am pretty much ready to pack my bags. I am traveling light, with the exception of books! I am only bringing my skate-backpack and a side messenger bag (carry-on), Jack is bring the big bag. I definitely took some advice from fellow bloggers, who have much traveling credo under their belts. I invested in a shampoo bar and face wash bar (which is amazing by the way) from lush which minimizes the risk of spilling gooey shampoo all over my luggage. I have my travel journal (check), pencil crayons, tape, scissors (check), and books! Jack and I are battling over which books to bring...we have quite the pile to go through!

Over and out, Delilah!

Friday, April 24, 2009

In times of trouble...

"In times of trouble a man should immerse himself in wilderness." -

    This is Jack's plan if the economy completely falters or the world ends in 2012... On a higher note....

     The painting is by Paul Morin;  a local Canadian artist whose work was hanging in my favorite coffee shop. I absolutely love his oil paintings which remind me of Group of Seven, of which I am also a huge fan! I particularly like the way he captures the late afternoon sun filtering through the trees. It reminds me of trudging through the bush on a crisp winter's day. The real paintings are much more impressive as they are huge!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Trip Update!!!

    We rented a furnished flat in in Beyoglu near Taksim and Tunel  in Turkey for a month! So exciting! Beyoğlu is a district located on the European side of İstanbulTurkey, separated from the old city (historic peninsula of Constantinople) by the Golden Horn. Presently this figures prominently into the art/ music/ shopping district of Istanbul. Less than two weeks until we leave!

Monday, April 20, 2009

"Fighting Ignorance Since 1973"

     Want to procrastinate...and learn? Always wondered why do men have nipples? Will eating tape-worms help you lose weight? Is the grass always greener on the other side? What is the holy grail? Look no further! Cecil Adams will answer the questions which have been plaguing you on the Straight Dope Archive, a site (and a column in a Chicago newspaper) dedicated to unraveling the worlds mysteries and fighting ignorance. 
     In high-school I used to pass this house built right next to a graveyard. I was interested in science at the time, reading Bill Bryson's Short History of Nearly Everything and I wondered a lot about particles and organic matter. I wrote to Cecil asking 'Are people living near graveyards at increased risk of exposure to biohazards? ' Cecil tells me to "get a grip champ!" When I received the email telling me that my question had been answered and that a gruesome illustration by Slug was to accompany it I was ecstatic! I recently went to the Straight Dope to ummmm, research? or ummm, waste time! and I searched out my question....neat huh? Check it out!

We are destroying the earth, period.

   Recently, my dog Jake was poisoned. We took him to the vet and they determined that it was pesticide poisoning that had attacked his central nervous system. We do not use pesticides nor do our neighbours. Really, the only possible conclusion was that it was the effect of 'spray drift'. My family lives in a rural farm area, surrounded by commercial agriculture. The effect of the farmers out spraying their fields on a windy day, combined with Jake having been exposed in a matter of twenty minutes resulted in us almost losing our dog. 
This is the second time it has happened. Luckily we rushed him to the vet who administered a universal antidote, pumped him full of charcoal and valium and we were left aniticipating for the best. The day this happened my Mom saw the tractors out, spraying chemicals into the air that both we, our pets and natural wildlife breath. One asks how this is affecting our bodies! What about children! Luckily Jake was O.K but we worry if it will happen again. 
   I did as much research online as I could, we contacted the environmental sector of the government and talked to our neighbours. Turns out, that day they were spraying spinach fields which uses some of the most potent pesticides. The pesticide likely used is called demethoate, which is an organphosphorus pesticide, which functions similarily to nerve gases used during the second world war. Inhalation of air containing elevated levels of dimethoate can lead to a range of health effects including breathing difficulties, headache, a lack of coordination, convulsions, incontinence, unconsciousness and death. Exposure to dimethoate over long periods of time can cause similar symptoms as those described above and may also lead to impaired memory, depression, irritability, confusion and insomnia.
    Dimethoate is very toxic to non-target insects such as bees and also to birds and aquatic organisms. It may also harm other wildlife and livestock. There is also concern that exposure to Dimethoate may interfere with the hormone systems - that it is an "endocrine disruptor". This makes me sick.This is the stuff we are spraying on our food. 
 It really reinforced the pertinence of Rachel Carsons, Silent Spring, which exposed the dangers of the pesticide DDT in the 1950s. Continual chemical warfare on the environment is going to continue to degrade our health and the natural world. I view Carson as one of the most influential people in history, who participated in launching grass-roots environmental awareness that continues to gain momentum. 

  "We stand now where two roads diverge. But unlike the roads in Robert Frost's familiar poem, they are not equally fair. The road we have long been traveling is deceptively easy, a smooth superhighway on which we progress with great speed, but at its end lies disaster. The other fork of the road—the one "less traveled by"—offers our last, our only chance to reach a destination that assures the preservation of the earth."  — Rachel Carson

      Consider buying organic. Protest against private pesticide use. Be aware of what is happening. Take measures to make your life more green today. Earth day is Wednesday, why not start there!!!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

My new camera!!!!

   So, I went to the city to visit my good childhood friend last weekend, because of our conflicting and busy schedules this is an unusually difficult feat. It was my birthday this past month and she got me a beautiful Asahi Pentax film camera! I was ecstatic. Han, being the photography buff she is (and bonafide world travel) could not fathom me traveling with only a 'point and shoot' digital (my Canon). This is the lovely camera (see above) taken on my computer camera (so you can kinda see). I have been practicing using it to make sure I understand shutter speed, focus etc and to make sure everything is in working order. I am very excited to get out and take some more pictures... yesterday I took a walk around campus and shot some of the old buildings... Hope they turn out ok!

Over and out, Delilah!

Fin! Dunzo! No more more books! (as in text books heh heh)

Done! Done! Done! Jack and I finished our last exams today, now I do not know what to do with I baked cupcakes! and cookies! It was awesome! 

Now it is "summer time, when the livin' is easy." Not much longer till the trip, it is kind of intimidating... 

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Down by the river, I shot my baby...

      Neil Young concert was last night!!! And man he can still rock out for a sixty-four year old! The set was about two and a half hours long, with Neil (in flannel no less) performing 20-minute jams during songs such as 'Down by the River' and 'Pocahantus.' We had floor tickets, and managed to find our way to the front; I could literally see the individual beads of sweat on his forehead. I would guess we were about ten-fifteen feet from the old Neilster...the closest I have been yet! It was fantastic! Throughout the show there was a mysterious red phone on stage, but the origin or reason it was there was never revealed, I am curious if it was symbolic of something? Overall, I had an amazing time, it was about my seventh time seeing him in concert in the last seven or so years, each time gets better. I am nervous he is going to retire one of these days so I go every chance I get...but then again Neil is all about "It is better to burn out then to fade away." So I do not think he is going anywhere for awhile, hopefully. 

Now to decide...

     Which books to bring on the trip! We are trying to decide what to bring and what to leave behind. I imagine we are going to be doing a fair amount of reading (we are both kind of book worms), especially during travel time (plane, bus and train). We have a tentative list of books we want to bring, hopefully our bags will not be too heavy!
  • Long Walk to Freedom- Nelson Mandela
  • Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books- Azar Nafisi 
  • The Story of B- Daniel Quinn
  • The Alchemist, The Pilgramage- Paulo Coelho 
  • Brick Lane- Monica Ali
  • Earth Democracy- Vandana Shiva 
  • What is the What- Dave Eggers
  • The Sleeper Awakes- H. G. Wells
  • The Yacoubian Building- Alaa Al Aswany
  • Clash of Civilizations- Samuel Huntington
  • Young Stalin- Simon Sebag Montefiore
  • Power, Faith and Fantasy: America in the Middle East 1776-Present- Michael Oren
  • Aman: Story of a Somali Girl- Virginia Lee Barnes and N=Janice Boddy
This is another picture by Jennifer Zwick.

I  am almost done exams (last one tomorrow) therefore I will have much free time to read what I wish (AKA Non-textbook material, yahhhhhh!)

Monday, April 13, 2009

A word from Mr. Nietzsche

"And those who were dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music"
-Happy Monday! P.S:  Man could Friedrich Nietzsche grow a mean moustache! 

Thursday, April 9, 2009


"I am not a vegetarian because I love animals; I am a vegetarian because I hate plants." 
-A. Whitney Brown    So I get often get a hard time for being a vegetarian, but I had a harder time when I used to be a vegan! I was vegan for a year (I did not consume meat, dairy, eggs or any product derived from an animal), it was an experiment of sorts, it was difficult at times but it got easier as time progressed. When I started working at the East Indian restaurant I decided to eat dairy, because (a) I previously was not familiar with many indian dishes, (2) people would ask me about most of the food and I would have no idea because I could not eat it and (3) my love of butter vegetables with paneer cheese! 

   There are quite a few reasons morally I choose not to eat meat. I have no problem with its actual consumption and I have nothing against hunting game for food. The problem lies within factory farming and the brutality which occurs within. Animals raised for food are treated callously at all levels of production, from breeding, to raising, to slaughter. Furthermore, the amount of antibiotics and hormones pumped into the animals surely must have an adverse effect on the humans who consume them. 

   The second argument I would have to say would be based on environmental degradation. From the amount of energy it takes to produce one cow (in terms of feed, travel to the slaughterhouse, travel to the grocery store, in the freezer) it would be much more economically sound to promote the consumption of plants. The meat industry is extremely wasteful. Livestock consume 70% of all US grain production. Yet 20 million people starve each year. Americans could feed 100,000,000 people by reducing their meat intake 10%. On todays market there are more than enough options for a vegetarian diet to supplant the eating of meat, both in terms of vitamins and taste. 

  Thirdly, health benefits of eating fresh organic produce! Vegetarian live on average seven years longer than their meat-eating counterparts, with a significantly decreased risk of many serious diseases (cancer, heart disease etc...)
     I don't think everyone should just give up meat, but I believe that more responsibilty and sustainability are needed and the elimination of factory farming. Today, many people eat meat at every meal. This is not necessary! Cutting down consumption, even marginally will benefit your health, the environment and your wallet (meat is mush more expensive) try to experiment with a vegetarian meal or cutting down on meat and see what happens!

Check out your local farmers market for organic produce, humanely raised meat from local farms: See bottom of page for links to find your local Farmers Markets
Here is a convincing article: "How to Win an Argument With a Meat-Eater"
For more info: Wikipedia article Vegetarianism
Good article: Huffington Post

Picture of market in my town via: Sue Richards

...How I long for summer mornings at the farmers market, eating homemade donuts and fresh strawberries!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Delilah + Jack =

I found these pictures online (somewhere, I can't remember! Sorry I can't cite them!). I thought they were pretty representational of Jack and I...except I grew out my blunt bangs and I am not quite so serene :( But they got the freckles and the beard on the mark!

Deer and Book Collections.

     If I could choose a favorite animal it would be a deer. I collect deer figurines (I especially like the porcelain ones from the 50s). Below are a few of my favorites (although I have about 30). Jack bought me the one in the middle for my twentieth birthday. Her name is Passion, at the time we were house sitting for one of my good friend's parents and their dog is named Phoenix. Jack, who has never been the best with names continued to call her Passion the entire weekend which I found hysterical, hence the name!
   In the background you can see a bit of my book collection, which as of late has been getting kind of out of hand. Right now my books, Jacks books and the ones we have collected together lay about in heaps or are precariously perched on the edges of shelves. The other day I was sitting, getting ready for school, and a stack of books fell on my head! When we get back from our trip we are getting a new apartment, so we have to pack them up. Until then, I wait in anticipation of setting up our bookshelves and putting everything in order!


Once Upon a Time.

       Not this christmas, but the christmas before I was doing a painting for Jack [see below]...which is still not complete! There is more done than shown in the picture, but it still needs some finishing touches. My goal before I leave is to finally, after almost a year and  a half,is to FINISH IT! The second picture is Jack's painting/ reinterpretation of 'Northern River' by Tom Thompson; mind you, he had never painted in his life until this time but I think he has some talent! Heh heh, I like that picture because of 'hair peace/ bed peace' in the background, annnddd Jacks showcase of artist talent.....

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Advertising Women's Inequality:

Outrageous Politically Incorrect advertisements from bygone days...think these would pass unnoticed today? 

See here for more!

I need to get back to studying...I have an exam in the morning for my Gender and Sexuality in Politics, I mean this is kind of pertinent isn't it??? Wish me luck!

Over and out, Delilah....

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Wise word from Mr. Karl Marx

"Anyone who knows anything of history knows that great social changes are impossible without feminine upheaval. Social progress can be measured by the position of the fair sex, the ugly ones included." -Marx

We leave in a month and a day!

The semester is wrapping up. Last day of class was on Thursday. Now I sit and procrastinate while I am supposed to be studying! Just doing a bit of last minute research for the trip. The one place I am excited to go to is Romania. Lots of castles, medieval towns and dun dun dunn....Dracula! I am sure the locals hate all the tourists coming through Transylvania on the intrepid search for vampires (especially with vampires becoming so popular in pop culture as of late...Twilight anyone?); being a tacky tourist I feel it is a must! Just to say I went to Dracula's castle, which inspired Bram Stokers "Dracula." I have been brushing up my Romanian history, learning about Vlad the Impaler. Also, I am thinking about picking up Dracula, written in 1897. Count Dracula (who is bad ass) could certainly teach Edward a thing or two about being a real vampire, heh heh (yes, unfortunately I watched Twilight, which consequently was a waste of an hour of my life).  
Next installment in the trip itinerary- Turkey here we come!!!

Friday, April 3, 2009

This is the blog thus far...

Random word generator...just enter the address to your blog!!!! Or what ever words you like! Very cool.

The Damsel in Distress...

Awaiting the arrival of her knight? no cowboy? 

   This is a graffiti stencil which I used to admire on my walk to downtown. It has since been painted over. I regretted never taking a photo, but I was lucky enough to stumble across one on Flickr!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

I concur.

Guerilla Gardening

     So I mentioned in a previous post (on Urban Agricultural Gardening) I was going to do a post on Guerilla Gardening. One day at the library I was lookingat the new books which had arrived and one in particular really caught my eye. On Guerilla Gardening: A handbook for gardening without boundaries by Richard Reynolds. Wait seed bombs? Seed guns? Gardening war zone? Graffiti with nature? All in the name of beautifying urban spaces!!!! Sounds like my kind of movement.

    " It is a call to reclaim the drab and neglected urban spaces in our cities through stealth gardening tactics'... Part manual, part manifesto, 'On Guerilla Gardening" gives you everything you need to join the revolution. Drawing on the venerable origins of the movement to reclaim our public land, from victory gardens to New Yorks Green Guerillas, the book takes us to sites of illicit cultivation from San Francisco to Singapore, London to Libya. Packed with photos, stories of battles won and lost, and practical advice- such as how to plan an attack, what plants to have in your arsenal, how to evade authorities, and how to use propaganda effectively- On Guerilla Gardening is an irresistible invitation to shoulder you shovel and strike out beyond your picket fence." -Book description from

THIS!!!! "Lets fight filth with Forks and Flowers!!!"...Resistance is fertile!

Sooo, Spring is in the air, at least here in Canada (it did snow last weekend but it was eight degrees yesterday!), so get out there, strap some plants to your bike/ throw them in the trunk of your car or grab a few seed bombs and start planting! Green = Beautiful!

Love Delilah

What I am Listening To...

     I really have a soft spot for Canadian bands... My all-time favorite Neil Young left Canada long ago and made the pilgramage necesary for all Hippies in the 1960s to California (in a hearst named Morte no less) he still heads this way once every few years, last time I saw him was in Massey Hall (best show EVER)...and I am going to see him again soon. Living in a University town we get a lot of Canadian bands playing in venues around town and I am a big fan of independent music! In regards to Indie music there are quite a few Canadian bands I would highly recommend:

Gentleman Reg: Jet Black; Subdued dance party, I love his style. Think tight turquois pants.

Arcade Fire: Neon Bible; This Montreal band made it big a few years ago, I love their use of non-conventional instruments (kettles?)

Timber Timbre: Medicinals; Blues/Gothic/Rockabilly, I saw him play at a local church in the dark and it was one of the most haunting performances I have ever seen.

Ohbijou: Swift Feet For Troubling Times; Violins!!!! I Love!!!! The lead singer Casey has the most beautiful, sweet voice/ it makes me happy. 

Corb Lund: Horse Soldier! Horse Soldier!; Country. Good Country. Plus I like his style. Kind of channels Neil Young live, with flannel and shaggy hair. 

Ghost Bee's: Tasseomancy; Twin sister duet from Halifax, I saw them in a small room at a show in Brantford, they had small tea cups, candles and painted faces. I sat crossed legged on the floor. 
The Bicycles: The Good the Bad the Cuddly; Kind of Beatlesque? Very Danceable, maybe jumping on your bed using your brush as a microphone?

Final Fantasy: Has a Good Home; Owen Pallet makes magic on stage alone with his violin, a piano and a sampler, which he records a section then layers it so it sounds like there is more than one musician. Awesome live. 

Golden Dogs: Big Eye Little Eye; They make me think of a roller disco...don't ask why. 

Hylozoists: L'ile De Sept Viles; Vibraphone anyone? Glockenspiel? Violin? I do. 

Cuff the Duke: Life Stories for Minimum Wage; Country/Rock/Pop Kind of? Hard to describe. I missed them when they played on campus. Boo. 

Great Lake Swimmers: Ongiara; Folkish? 

Black Ox Orkestar:  Nischt Azoy ; Jewish Folk; Eastern European Violin; Trumpet; unique and amazing! I would LOVE to see them live.
Forest City Lovers: Haunting Moon Rising; Sounds like: Walking through dimly lit streets of the city and watching the streetlights come on one by one (as their myspace says!)

Black Mountain: In the Future; Tres Psychadelic, good to crank while your cleaning the house on a Sunday morning...
      Hmmmm, thinking about it, I listen to ALOT of Canadian Music! Check out all the links by clicking on the band name, which will link you to their myspace page and you can sample their music for free! :) Also 3 Breaking New Sound plays new Canadian music which is a good source for finding new music, plus it has an awesome feed free of advertisements! 

O.K. I really need to stop procrastinating and start studying!!

-Rocking over and OUT, Delilah

Cheers to Imagination!

This is called 'The Explorers' by Jennifer Zwick. This picture is amazing, it makes me nostalgic for my childhood...