We had found online photographs of about 7 or 8 Space Invaders in Bonn, but when we arrived last week, only ONE remained, the rest having been removed or taken down. DON’T THEY KNOW WHO ‘VADER IS?!
All these photos (and GIFs) are by LET, copyright remains with him. When I found this one and only Vader, I did a little moonwalk dance down the street. I’m too much Estima for these Germans to take.
And then I flew off the bridge and into the sky.
Check out my Space Invader category for all of his work that I’ve photographed around the world!
We went to Bonn, the former capital of Germany and birthplace of Beethoven. Perfect place to dance off the walls.
Don’t forget to take the time to dance today, munchkins.
Something strange happened to me last week, which propelled me this week to bleed. Literally. But it didn’t hurt. In fact, it felt pretty tingly.
Here’s what happened.
Last week I was headed to an event in my grandmothers car. Lately I have had a distaste for driving. I prefer public transit and cycling, but because I live uptown, when I’m in a hurry or running late (which is often), I grab Sitto’s car (“Sitto” is Arabic for granny) and zoom downtown. Transit would take about 1hr 15mins, and cycling would take 90 mins to 2 hours (and leaving me rather sweaty in my cocktail dress and pumps). Driving takes maybe 20 minutes, but I have had several bad experience with traffic cops and traffic court lately that makes me hate getting behind the wheel.
What I hate most about driving is looking for parking. It’s expensive and it’s hard to find. Luckily on this evening I found a spot in a parking lot on the first try, but as I approached the metre to shove in my hard-earned twoonies and loonies, I noticed something strange.
Here in Toronto, when you fill the parking metre, a computerized ticket slides out the bottom and you place it on your dash. As I exclaimed to no one but myself how expensive the price of parking was at this particular lot, I noticed that a computerized ticket was already sticking out of the bottom slot.
I retrieved it and visually scanned it. Usually people discard their expired tickets in and around the metre, so I was expecting more of the same.
This was a ticket that had been fully paid for, and just left there. It hadn’t expired. In fact, it was valid until 7AM the following morning (12 hours later at this point).
WOO HOO! FREE PARKING!
Sometimes, people who swipe their credit cards in the metre think that because it’s taking so long to authorize, the transaction didn’t go through, and abandon the metre. So I scanned the ticket to look for credit card details.
There were none. This ticket was paid for in cash.
So there were three explanations. Either the person who paid for this ticket was horribly inept and baffled by a simple parking machine with clear instructions stickered to it, or this was part of a sting operation/hidden camera show to catch people red-handed taking other people’s parking tickets … or, this was some kind of pay-it-forward act of kindness from another person in my little city.
I spent about 5 minutes looking all around and over my shoulders for an unmarked cop car or a hidden camera crew to no avail, so I ruled that out. That left either someone’s stupidity or someone’s kindness.
And because I like to believe in the inherent kindness of strangers à la Blance duBois, I chose to believe the latter.
I put the ticket on my dash and enjoyed free parking all night.
I kept thinking about this for hours and hours after the fact. Well into the next day and night. It even kept me awake.
I like the pay-it-forward ethos and practice, although I haven’t actually put it into action, as far as I can recall, since I lived in Quebec as a little girl and left money purposefully behind in a park so that some other kids might find it.
I was jonesing for another opportunity to pay it forward, but wasn’t sure how.
As you guys know, I am embarking in a few days on a huge transnational extravaganza to Asia and Europe, so all of my money is currently being funnelled into those activities. So my pay it forward would have to be something beyond the realm of consumerism.
Besides, as the late great John Lennon said, you can’t buy me love.
I struggled with what I could do for days until one night I was engaging in my usual night time ritual of watching Christopher Hitchens debates on YouTube whilst doing Sudoku (both are exercises in improving your brain power, believe you me), when Hitchens proclaimed in one of his debates that his admiration is reserved for people who do good for their fellow human beings for the sheer joy of giving, rather than those who do it in exchange for prosthelytizing about their religion or out of fear of hell and the wrath of God. He said that one of his ways of doing such good was to give blood. He said that it was something that gave so much to your peers, whilst not really taxing you at all seeing as how your body replaces the blood anyway.
So at 11 o’clock at night, I called the Canadian Blood Services, made an appointment, and a few days later went into one of their clinics and donated a pint of my blood. I also signed up to be on the donor list for bone marrow and stem cells.
Okay, maybe the paid parking was just left there by a neurotic space-cadet who had no idea how to navigate even the simplest of tasks. If that’s the case, then they are probably horrible drivers. Horrible drivers cause accidents. Car accident victims almost always need blood transfusions.
The system works.
If you’re reading this, please consider this your invitation to pay it forward in your own way to your community.
And if you do, please let me know how you get on
***The first photo at the top wasn’t actually taken as I donated blood. That was taken back in 2008 when I was hospitalized for three days for acute tonsilitis and glandular fever in London, England. You can read all about that clusterfuck here!
In a few days, my Thailand-Cambodia-SituAsian and my Eurail.com campaign begin, which will see me travelling, exploring, and adventuring away from home until at least 2013. And as this year turns into the next, I realize that I have just endured the hardest 12 months of my life thus far.
Avid readers of this blog will remember this post from August 2011, just over 13 months ago, from the same week that Jack Layton died. That day I was diagnosed with a scary medical condition – dyplastic cells with the ability to become cancerous.
Since that day, I have been cut, bled, swabbed, examined, biopsied, cell-scraped, blood-tested, ultra-sounded, reduced to tears whilst on the examining table, and pumped fulla immune-boosting pills.
Last week I had another one of my regularly-scheduled examinations at the hospital, and my doctor said that after having so many negative lab results (“negative” meaning “no occurrence of abnormality or cancer”), I’m in the clear. My body has fought this thing and flushed the dyplastic cells out of my body.
She had predicted my body would do this anyway, but she had said it would take two years. My body did it in one.
I’m relieved, I’m elated, and I can stop with the dress rehearsal of my life and actually resume living it. The hospital is still going to monitor me for certainty’s sake, but I only have to go in every six months, as opposed to every other month.
It could have been so different. Almost all of my friends who have also been diagnosed with this have had to have emergency surgery to remove the cells. What’s even more worrying is how many women this affects.
I haven’t really spoken about this condition on here over the past year, mostly because I feel like people’s medical history is a private matter. But I will also say that far too many women are not going for their annual check ups because of apathy. If caught early, dysplasia is almost entirely treatable and curable.
If left untreated, it becomes a killer of women. Worldwide it kills approximately 253, 500 people a year. Remember, dysplasia has no symptoms, so just because you feel fine doesn’t mean you’re in the clear.
If I hadn’t gone for my annual check-up, I would still be in the dark. As would all of my friends who had the surgery, who would now be fighting for their lives.
Yes, this is my public service announcement post. There is nothing more important than your health, everything else can wait. Just make the appointment and go.
I’m talking about this now because my upcoming backpacking-extravaganzas are the epitome of living life, of loving life, of having new experiences, of meeting new people, of seeing the world, and the never-say-die-run-til-you-drop joie de vivre.
Armed with good health, you can do anything.
Mae West once said, “You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.”
‘Course, comedian Jamie Lee once said, “My body is like my temple . . . because sometimes my Rabbi is in it.”
L’chaim, my little munchkins!
this is how i weed out substandard suitors.
she’s not aware yet but she’s yours. she’ll be saying use me, show me the jacuzzi.
get off the bandwagon and put down the handbook.
your pastimes consisted of the strange and twisted and deranged.
fuck yeah alex turner!
enjoy the weekend, munchkins! make sure you spend it listening to your favourite band while dancing around your room in your undies with the blinds WIDE OPEN. (Hi neighbours!)
Eva: Why didn’t you kill me?
Kevin: You don’t want to kill your audience.
last week, i let you munchkins know that several publishing houses across north america were now reading my debut novel. (my fingers are still crossed, no real news yet to report, this will take quite some time).
anyhoo, some impressions have already been sent to my literary agent!
here’s what one lovely editor at a major USA publishing house had to say:
“… Her writing has an almost feral energy to it and the exuberant prose, and thematic ambition are very impressive. She also has a cutting wit which buttresses her descriptive powers….”
that is so awfully kind of them to say, and i am truly ….er…. i was going to say humbled, but really, i am truly shitting myself.
that being said, i am so excited for the future, i cannot tell you!
(now where’s my change of undies….)
i’ve noticed many people in the publishing world have started following me on twitter (and clicking on this blog). ‘Sup hombres!
welcome to my neuroses!
here’s something fun for the weekend. Chrome now has this wicked fun extension called “Dat Shit Cray.” It turns all the “like” buttons on Facebook into “Dat Shit Cray” buttons. the caveat is that it only works if your facebook language is set to english. Mine is set to French, so I had to switch it over just to test out the extension.
after installing it, i perused some of my more wackier FB friends walls, but of course, no other friend of mine deserves a “dat shit cray” than mah boy liam.
case in point:
only two people think this shit is cray?
anyway, enjoy your weekend munchkins. make sure there’s lots of THIS!
(and if you can’t do this in person, BBM will suffice for now )
Enjoy the sunshiney weekend, hombres! Try not to wake n’ bake.
shove your pink fingers down my throat.
don’t go through life without spending at least one full day jumping for joy.
of course, one does need to groom a bit before one hits the road.
and if you’re gonna jump through life, might as well do it with a friend!
even though sometimes you might wanna claw at their eyes and yank out your hair.
you’ll always find a way to laugh again and embrace the silly.
life’s so much better spent when everyone joins in the fun.
I’ll be your Emmylou and I’ll be your June,
if you’ll be my Gram and my Johnny too.
No I’m not asking much of you,
just sing little darlin’.
Sing with me!
(GIFs by SweetGif!)
i am still recovering from my mysterious viral infection that ravaged me a couple weeks ago. the lasting side effect is that i am extremely weak and dizzy most days, and easy to tire. so this weekend i am going up to cottage country to recuperate and get some fresh air. wish me luck!
gotta get back into this amazing thing called LIFE.
happy weekend, munchkins!
Vous, au moins, vous ne risquez pas d’être un légume, puisque même un artichaut a du coeur!
-Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain
listening last night to people talk about the creation of movies during the Oscars reminded me about my journey in writing my novel, all the years i’ve poured into it, and how this year will be the year that all of that effort pays off ….
happy weekend, munchkins!
hope your FASSBONER spends lots of time with you makin’ bacon.
clark gable: “what didn’t you take off all your clothes? you coulda stopped 40 cars!”
claudette colbert: “oh, i’ll remember that when we need 40 cars.”
-it happened one night
For me, Valentines Day is like the opening sequence of Saving Private Ryan, except every third person is a woman puking into her handbag, looking for her morning-after-Bacardi-breezer.
That being said, I hope your Valentines Day is full of …..
Ewan McGregor’s peen ….
… and not full of Richard Wright’s infidelity….
…with copious amounts of dancing The Lindler.
Mmmmmmm, Christopher Plummmerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrowr.
Exhibit A! This FUBAR email I just received (name has been redacted to protect their privacy):
I’m really nobody who means anything to you or for that matter of fact not much to anyone unless they want something from me and as luck would have it I have what everyone wants so I guess I’m somebody, right ? Anywho I read your blog listened to you, and took you in as I became very aware you are me, OK maybe not me exactly but in other ways we are the same. I was born a long time ago with normal parents I think and a normal upbringing, well sorta. What I found out about myself I saw in you, yes in you, you see I am an artist who unlike many who are like me and those who wish they were, another words I am an artist that gets paid to be me. So am I me or a product of my environment ? I tend to think of myself as a plant at times and what does a plant need ? Water for one, some light here and there but most importantly I need love. Now at the moment I am not loved save for those who have what I have what I want but it always seems to have a price tag on it. So I do like myself because I am kind and patient, with a lot of emotions to spill here and there, what I am saying is I would like very much to have a friend like you. I am not asking for anything from you but to be a pal and a pair we would make. But who am I your are asking yourself……hm-mm well I am German of Persian decent (Oh I am not really a ******** I changed my name because so many hate Germans however everyone thinks I am Persian anyways) so like you we are Middle Eastern and I of olive complexion. Look Christine I don’t believe in accidents or coincidences as I am a Shia so I believe I needed to write you. Now this is what could happen from here, 1.) You can except my invitation to become friends or acquaintances or 2.) You can spam my email and wonder as you will was that guy a man I should have known, yet you’ll only know if you write me back and see where this going. Remember I ask of you for nothing that is unless you want to give me some light. Well anywho I bet your busy so I’ll say I have to go to save you the trouble of saying goodbye for now. Peace & Hugs – ******
PS: I found your blog when I was looking for images of Polynesian flowers for a client and there you were, I also want to add that your the prettiest Polynesian flower I found.”
Does anyone else smell Velveeta Barfaroni?
This is embarrassing for us both …. mostly him.
(PS since when did “no worries” become an accepted greeting? Did i miss an internet meme?)