A Werewolf in L'amoreaux Park?

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011 · 2 comments

If I grow

I want to grow through you
like a tree through a chain link fence
sap flowing slow through cold
hard metal bars, passing on slow
news from the lips of my leaves
to where my horizon touches your center
where we intersect

I want to swallow you
on my way
to rooftops, birds, balconies, kites, clouds, power lines
a silver locket
I wear in my stomach
for safe-keeping
they’ll have to cut me down dead
to get you out

Friday, August 19, 2011 · 1 comments

Adventure fulfillment

Another exercise from that interesting book on creativity I'm reading has me thinking a lot lately about adventure -- what it means to different people and to me.

Here's the exercise: Draw a circle and divide it into six slices. Inside each slice, write spirituality, exercise, work, play, friends and romance/adventure. Place a dot in each slice to represent how satisfy you feel with that area of your life -- the closer the dot is to the center of the circle, the more satisfied you are. Now connect the dots. How balanced is your life? How can you improve the balance?

I had a decent balance in my life, with the exception of romance/adventure, which really lagged behind. I'd like to boost that up a bit, but when I start thinking of it, I'm not really even sure what counts as adventure and what would be exciting to me. What do other people do to fulfill their need for adventure?

Things people consider adventurous

  • Obviously thrill-seeking activities: sky diving, bungee jumping, car racing, riding roller coasters, etc.
  • Outdoorsy sports like kayaking, hiking, mountain biking, etc.
  • Contact sports like football, martial arts, etc.
  • Dating and new romantic relationships
  • Sex: casual, kinky, mind-blowing, with someone new, for the first time
  • Experimenting with drugs and alcohol
  • Gambling, including as a profession (ie. stock market)
  • Getting a tattoo?
  • Work, for people who are very passionate about their jobs or have very exciting ones (paramedics, police officers, fire fighters, etc.)
  • Traveling, moving to a new place, exploring an unfamiliar neighbourhood
  • Going out to eat, trying new food, cooking a new recipe
  • Commiting minor crimes (vandalism, shop-lifting)
  • Handling or being near potential dangerous animals -- snakes, large dogs, sharks, even large bugs
Other thoughts about adventure:
  • Can creating art be an adventure? What about more "risky" types like graffiti?
  • Can talking to a stranger be an adventure?
  • Can learning something new be an adventure?
  • Can people fulfill their need for adventure through books, movies, video games?
  • Does a person's definition of adventure change at different stages of their life? How would a 7-year-old's definition differ from a 17-year-old or a 70-year-old? Is the difference based on life experience, emotional maturity, physical capability or a bit of everything?
  • Is potential danger or some form of risk a necessary component of adventure?

I'll need some more time to muse on this topic, but what about you? What do you do, or what do you desire to do, to fulfill your need for adventure?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011 · 0 comments

20 things

I'm currently reading an interesting book on enhancing creativity (The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron) and I thought I'd post my response to one of the exercises in case anyone wanted to give it a try (also, I haven't blogged in a million years and I need to bite the bullet and post something). To paraphrase the exercise:

List twenty things you enjoy doing (this is actually way harder than it sounds). When was the last time you did these things? Post the date of the last time beside each one. Now pick two you haven't done in a while and try to do them this week -- even if it's only in a very small way.

  1. Read - Last night; I'm currently reading four books at once, and that's a bit too much even for me
  2. Play Piano - Yesterday
  3. Sing (preferably with others) - Yesterday (alone); June 30th (with others)
  4. Draw - Friday afternoon, just doodles
  5. Have a really good conversation - Friday night, with Andrew
  6. Explore new areas - I walked Queen East yesterday
  7. Dance - This morning, if you count playing Dance Central; Friday night in my dining room, if you don't
  8. Climb things? (Okay, this is a silly one, but it's so true) - Spontaneous drunken climbing contest last Friday night
  9. Learn new things - Watched Ocean's Deadliest last Tuesday, but I'm not sure it counts because I realized I'd already seen it and stopped watching halfway through
  10. Interact/Connect with strangers - Did a little public art project last Saturday night, but it ended up underwhelming; Also, I gave a stranger directions this morning
  11. Ride my bike - I made the potential mistake of biking to a thrift store and bulk food store on Saturday and had to ride back with an obscenely heavy bike basket (still, better than lugging it home on the subway)
  12. Make web layouts - When did I make this one? January?
  13. Write poetry - I wrote a couple for a poetry course I took in the fall, but wasn't pleased with any of them
  14. Read poetry - Nothing substantial since the fall; a little Glen Downie here and there
  15. Knit/Crochet - January (I only really get the knitting/crocheting bug in clid weather)
  16. Hunt through antique/thrift/junk stores - Yesterday; FYI, Gadabout near Queen/Leslie is officially my favourite store in Toronto
  17. Play video games (only a handful of them) - Dance Central this (and most) morning; I love that this is my primary form of cardio
  18. Hang out with Friends - I went to a "board game night" on Saturday that turned into "lets-get-drunk-and-go-swimming night"; still a good time
  19. Journal - This morning
  20. Blog - RIGHT NOW! (One down, one to go)

Monday, July 25, 2011 · 1 comments


Lately I’ve developed a kind of paranoia of being without a book. Not a fear of sitting down on the subway and realizing I forgot my book at home, but a fear of the dark, empty space between finishing one book and starting another. And what if I start another and it’s a dud? What if I run into a string of duds before I can find a book worth getting into? It’s like book limbo.

To cut my risks, I’ve taken to reading two books at a time.

Friday, June 17, 2011 · 1 comments

Letters: Shark Finning

One facet of the Coquelicot Projects is my getting back into letter-writing for environmental and political issues. I've been feeling out of the loop, especially since I haven't been agreeing with a lot of the big leftist issues in Toronto these days (ie. I'm glad we're scrapping Transit City -- the slogan for Transit City ought to be "Well, It's Better Than Nothing").

And then Brantford became the first city in Canada to ban the sale/possession of shark fins, and councillor De Baeremaeker said he'd propose Toronto do the same thing. Ah, finally something to reunite me with my hippie brethren.

If you have five spare minutes today, I hope you'll consider sending an email to your city councillor about this (if you don't know, you can find out who your city councilor is by clicking here). If you're in a rush, feel free to just copy-and-paste my letter below. When writing political letter, make sure to always include your full mailing address (so your councilor knows you're in their riding) and CC any other relevant political players.

TO: [my city councillor]
CC: councillor_debaeremaeker@toronto.ca, mayor_ford@toronto.ca
BCC: [all my friends]
SUBJECT: Let's be the next city to ban shark fins!

Dear [my city councillor],

I'm writing to express my complete support of Glenn De Baeremaeker's to-be-proposed bylaw to ban the sale of shark fins in Toronto.

Although I understand the cultural significance shark fins hold in Toronto's Chinese community, I think this is greatly outweighed by the cruelty and environmental impact of shark finning. The practice of shark finning generally consists of catching sharks, cutting off their fins and throwing them back into the ocean to sink and die. Also, according to WildAid, one-third of the world's sharks are at risk of extinction, largely due to the demand for shark fins.

I hope that Toronto will seriously consider joining our neighbour Brantford in banning the sale of this completely unethical item.


Shayla Duval
[my full address and phone number]

Thursday, June 2, 2011 · 0 comments

It sucks to be DIZZY

I haven't posted in a bit because I haven't been feeling the greatest lately. To cheer myself up when I'm feeling down, I always listen to the Avenue Q soundtrack, especially a song called It Sucks to Be Me in which all the characters talk about how much their lives suck. It's actually a happy song, because the point is that everyone's life sucks in some way and we're all in this together.

Anyway, my new thing is every time I'm having a really terrible day, I'm going to write my own verse to add to the song. Here's why
It Sucks to Be Me today:

I'm young and healthy, well-slept and well-fed,
I have a job I like, I'm happily wed,
But one big problem swirls around in my head:

It sucks to be me! It sucks to be me!
It's hard to relax when you're scared,
That you're gonna fall right out of your chair,
It sucks to be me!

Thursday, April 14, 2011 · 1 comments