in reverse...


Rather than try to catch up on what I've been up to with a series of separate posts I've decided to do one mega-post where I list them all in reverse. Some may call this technique lazy. I do not. I find summer to be the loveliest of months. June, July (and August) are filled with long and luxurious days that result in a more casual and carefree approach to life. People are less inclined to stick to their regular day-of-the-week routines, willing to sit on a patio after work on a Tuesday or spend an entire week gallivanting. Summer is chock-full of delightful activities, much like this post will be.

This past Sunday was a quieter day. After brunch with my sibs on Whyte I checked out the Sounds of Old Strathcona (SOS Fest). I've heard that the crowds improved later in the afternoon, but things seemed kind of sparse when I first arrived. I took a few photographs, but didn't linger for too long.

In between the street shots and scoping out the rain gear on parade, Sarah and I were shooting a tiny bit of footage for a collaborative summer project that we dreamed up earlier in the week over a morning coffee at Transcend, basking in the beautiful light streaming through the big picture windows.

In further preparation for this project (which will involve some sort of moving picture) I've been thinking about locations and cinematography styles and thinking about what kind of films I should watch to inspire me. That night the gentleman and I went for dinner with friends at mrkt and then headed to the cinema. I regret to inform you that the film we saw that evening was not part of my creative process, that is unless Sarah and I decide to include massive explosions and gratuitous shots of ladies legs and bums. Unlikely.


If you're wondering... yes, dinner was delicious and yes, we saw Transformers. I no longer have to see any other terrible summer blockbusters. This one takes the cake.

Speaking of summer blockbuster hits, I came up with one a few evenings prior while out for a late evening stroll with the gentleman. I was about to leave my camera at home, but was I cajoled otherwise by my lovely lad, him telling me that I was sure to find something beautiful to photograph during our walk. His words proved to be true, as on our way home we passed by this scene on Saskatchewan Drive. However, during our brief pause so I could compose this shot, we were assaulted by a constant swarm of killer mosquitoes. Nothing seems to be able to stop them this year. Which is why I want to produce Giant Bat vs. Mega Mosquito. Given the general sentiment towards mosquitoes this year I think I could make a tidy profit off such a film.

Perhaps my imagination for such a film was not only fueled by personal experience but also a particularly relaxing afternoon spent in my favourite nearby park with a Margaret Atwood novel and ample opportunities for people watching.

It was too hot for me out in the direct sun, so I spent most of my time in the shade. Unlike some of the others who were out in the park that day, I wasn't quite as interested in baking in the sun for hours on end.

My lazy afternoon was a little day-after birthday present to myself, since I spent the day of preparing for the rooftop celebration of my turning 29.

the spread

I have been dying to have a party on this rooftop ever since I first heard about it. Yes, I've seen far too many movies where people dine on their rooftops while watching the sun set over the city. But in order for the party to be complete I also needed to string up some lights. Because of budgetary and engineering constraints I wasn't quite able to create the full canopy of lights that I wanted, but this was a first and sort of last minute attempt. I'd like to host another rooftop gathering to end the summer.

birthday sunset

The lights will probably be better appreciated later in the summer when the sun sets a bit earlier. My birthday was on a Monday, which meant an early night for my guests (and rightly so, since we had all spent the weekend out and about following the Canada Day festivities). Most had to leave before my solar powered lights really got going. I didn't mind though. It just meant that the gentleman and I were able to enjoy a romantic couple minutes admiring the lights and the nighttime view before we finished cleaning up. I had a fantastic day and was so happy everyone was able to come out and help me celebrate. Everyone was lovely and I felt very loved. I appreciated all of their thoughtful words and gifts. 

Have I mentioned lately that I love summer, especially July? Who wouldn't like a month that starts of with a fireworks show? Pretty good excuse for a party I think.

Fireworks aside, we don't really need much in order to celebrate. What? It's Tuesday and it's sunny out? What other reason does one need for a group of friendly folks to gather on a Jasper Avenue patio?

And if the sun is still up in the evening why not go for a little photo excursion which leads to a trip down memory lane? I was actually finishing up a couple projects for work when the gentleman and I came across the newly renovated for the John Janzen Nature Centre (named after his grandfather).

Post-supper strolls are very popular in the summer. Sometimes we wander aimlessly, but other times we head out with a goal (gelato, a drink of some sorts). This particular evening we were foiled in both our attempts. DaCapo was cleaning the gelato freezer and the SugarBowl patio was packed. So we settled for momentary bicycle lust and then dessert nearby before heading back across the bridge.

And that's where we got the real reward. Free from the killer mosquitoes (one of the many benefits of cross the High Level Bridge) we were able to spend a few minutes admiring the twinkling skyline as the LRT rode past.

Walking back the apartment through the park, I was glad to see that we weren't the only ones enjoying the peaceful evening.

Our bon vivant lifestyle has included other functions. It's not just reading in parks or late night walks or sipping on cocktails in the sun. Sometimes, we have forced ourselves to go out and socialize with others at events like the SNAP Gallery fundraiser (with charming hostess Miss Sarah). Oh what a chore it is to spend time with friends, checking out a fashion with pretty clothes by local designers, bidding on hilarious t-shirts from local artists and creeping on adorably affectionate hipsters.

Carmen and her man Diego

I tell you, being a bon vivant is tough. You have to stay well fed, perhaps with produce from the farmer's market (which happens rain or shine).

And then of course you need to stay interesting with tales of your  work-related adventures... I've been photographing a series of public art projects around the city and on one day it's highly possible that I might have got on a bus going the wrong direction due to some shoddy directions. Hilarity ensued. That morning I had already encountered some funny scenes (a man drove into this storage facility with a shiny convertible and left by bicycle... I thought maybe he was having a mid-life crisis that he was trying to hide from his friends and family) and my afternoon was about to get a bit more amusing.

Once I realized I was going the wrong direction I exited the bus and found myself next to an establishment called Saint Pete's, otherwise known as a heavenly gentleman's club (13 angelic attendants the sign outside read). I had not eaten breakfast and it was well past lunch, so I ate a solo luncheon at the Vietnamese restaurant next door (I checked to see who was coming and out before I went in) where I listened to three guys at the next table discuss world cuisine including techniques for cooking goat in Iraq, the ingredients in Haggis, reasons why the British have an affinity for curry, as well as the French's tendency to add cream to everything including "Creme de Brule"

At the table to my right was a 65+ fellow on a date with a woman who seemed very unsettled by the idea of eating stir-fry. He asked the waitress for a fork and then proceeded to talk loudly about his "dead hand." For you see, back in '86 he put his hand through a window and they ripped the artery out.

When the conversations died down around me I realized we were watching the world championships of darts. They were riveting.

After my lunch I found the correct bus going in the right direction, but not before seeing a dude ride past me on his bmx in his pajama pants and then come back five minutes later carrying a small case of Budweiser. I wondered what his plans were for the afternoon.

I managed to enjoy myself in between sending text messages to the gentleman about where he could find me should I stay lost.

Thankfully I returned home safe and sound that night. I was able to have a couple minutes to sit and relax like I had many nights before.