Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

synth pop forever

source: peru21

danced my a** off at new order last night! SO GOOD! the energetic performance, accompanying videos and laser light show was just fantastic and fun. and the clarity of sound at the intimate queen elizabeth theatre.

i felt like a teenager again. without the angsty bee-ess and drama. i was reminded of how much new order's music had truly impacted my formative years, having first been introduced to them via john hughe's 1986 movie, pretty in pink.  (even though ceremony, temptation, thieves like us and perfect kiss were released in 1981, 1982 and 1984 respectively) you can bet that my new order's substance tape (!) was played on repeat on my walkman (!) for months. and then in my early clubbing years, dancing up a storm at luv-a-fair, twilight zone and graceland.

seriously, listening to new order songs can't help but leaves you blissed out and euphoric. i was even chair-dancing at work, getting pumped up for the show.

my favourite parts of the concert:

#3 - tweaks to the introduction of such songs as, bizarre love triangle (if i recall correctly, there were even horn samples in the synths) and true faith. kept the audience guessing until the all-too-familiar notes dropped.

#2 - bernard sumner dancing like the rest of us (!) to his own songs.

#1 - tribute to joy division's ian curtis.

voila, the setlist:

although they didn't play run, world in motion and touched by the hand of god, it was a very satisfying set. and even though i was half deaf by the time we swaggered out of the QET, i had the biggest ear-to-ear grin on my face.

if you missed out, (and boy, did you miss out!) here's their complete set at lollapalooza in sao paulo, brazil a couple of months ago.

forever joy division. forever new order.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

the want list: the world at night

souce: fancy

it's safe to say i'll never be an astronaut at the ISS (in this life) and chances are slim that i'll ever see the earth from orbit. that is, unless space tourism comes down to a ridiculously reasonable price level.

i'm all about the lights - the aurora borealis, lightning strikes, twinkly city lights...

which is why i'm digging on this illuminated city lights globe.

using a special induction system, one simply places the globe on its base to see it light up and revolve.

shut off all the lights in the room (save for this light source) and i can imagine myself floating in space, trying to make my way home a la gravity.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

a swinging getaway

sleeping, suspended in the trees, in a gently swaying sphere.

dinner with resident bunnies at an old english country pub.

an encounter with a cougar in the woods.

a black bear running across the highway in front of us.

roadside llama and deer.

owls, eagles and turkeys at the wildlife recovery centre.

listening to a black bear quietly snoring, not more than 5 feet away from us.

spiders the size of your frickin' hand.

swimming in a mineral pool grotto.

and goats on a roof!

sounds made up if i tell you this all happened to us in the span of our 2 day island getaway, doesn't it?

but it did. and it was a fantastic little trip with the fella.

for pics, press forward arrow or click here for my flickr.

aqua therapy deluxe

it's hard to top sleeping in the trees and dinner with bunnies, but that didn't stop us from trying on day 2 of our island getaway.

after our unique and woodsy stay, we would be swinging the other way to comfortable and luxe accommodations. as we had a few hours to kill between checking out at free spirit spheres and checking in at tigh-na-mara resort, we brunched and explored the small towns between qualicum beach and parksville.

we stopped off in errington to tour the north island wildlife recovery centre. the rehabilitation facility is home to several bird species including eagles, owls, falcons, turkeys and black bears (!)

we were slightly bummed to find out that we could only view the 10 bear cubs through a TV feed. as part of the center's bear cub release program, contact with humans were prohibited (understandably), as they were to be re-released back to the wild when the cubs reach 18 months old.

however, we were visit with the resident black bear, knut. rejected by his mother when he was a 5 lb cub, the centre took knut in and raised him to the point where he is not releasable into the wild.

knut was sleeping in his hay-filled pen and we were no more than 5 feet away from him. we could see his black fur and brown nose through the fencing. and what's more we heard him snoring. he did open his sleepy eyes a couple of time to have a peek at us. having been reared by humans, he's doesn't seem to mind people at all. too adorable.

what was not at all adorable were the turkeys. nature didn't gift them with the best looking appearance, did she? and the wall of spiders. it's only because the spiders on display were dead, that i was able to look at them in fascination. i think i would shriek like a little girl if i ever saw these hand-sized arachnids crawling across the floor.

our next stop was the little town of coombs. because goats on a roof!

oh, and the coombs country market was a great place to visit too. for a small town, they sure do have a lot of great food stuff that even big city markets don't carry. it reminded me new yorks' dean & deluca, but more rustic.

after our afternoon of animals, it was time to check into our spa bungalow studio at tigh-na-mara.

source: tigh-na-mara                   

i couldn't wait to open those french doors and try out the jetted tub. and i'm not a bath person. other great features in the 500 sq.ft. room included: gas fireplace, kitchenette, private patio surrounded by forest.

sean, of course, couldn't wait to take a swim in the grotto mineral pool, plus indulge in the 2 story cool-splash waterfall and whirlpool.

source: tigh-na-mara

the 2,500 sq.ft. warm water pool, designed to look like a natural grotto, is infused with 18 minerals from hungary to help with detoxification and rejuvenation. and holy poop - it worked. as i was partaking in their selection of complimentary drinks and fresh fruit in the relaxation lounge, i swear it felt like i was going to sink into the couch - i was that relaxed, in my terrycloth robe. and i'm not a hot tub slash jacuzzi slash whirlpool person.

then of course, after dinner, we just had to indulge in the jetted tub. with so much relaxation, it's no wonder that we slept so soundly and deeply that we only awoke 10 minutes before breakfast was finished being served at the resort's onsite restaurant. 

there goes our $18 per person breakfast credits?

no - the very wonderful and accommodating staff extended our credits so that would could have lunch at cedars restaurant. such a pleasant surprise and a great way to end our 2 day getaway.

i would so recommend this getaway to any of my friends who are in need of a little therapy a la animals or nature and only have a couple of days off. plus i don't think i have any problems with convincing sean to go back again.

in the trees and in the woods

we finally did it. we got to spend a night at the free spirit spheres at qualicum beach! i've always wanted to go there and after a failed attempt last summer, sean and i were psyched that a cancellation opened up and we got to go.

after the 2 hour ferry to nanaimo, it was just an easy 40 min drive on highway #19 (or island highway as it's locally known) to horne lake road. our hosts, tom and rosie, were friendly and welcoming. they even gifted us with a welcome basket of drinks and nibblies.

we booked the newest sphere, melody, for our stay. to get to our sphere, we had to stroll over a short bridge and climbed up a few stairs that goes around the tree. the black walnut interior is open concept, with a pull-down murphy bed. when not in use, the sphere offers bench seats and 2 fold down tables slash work stations. the 5 windows, including the skylight, offered amazing forest views. this is how it feels to be an ewok.

not without modern conveniences, the sphere is electrically heated, has built-in speakers and wired for 120V AC. and of course, we brought movies to set the ambience. like return of the jedi and princess bride, amongst other selections.

although melody has its own private composting toilet, we opted to use the more traditional facilities. the shared bath house building is a short walk from the spheres and include 2 washrooms, 2 showers, sauna, partial kitchen, small fridge, sink, microwave and covered deck with a BBQ. so you're not completely roughing it.

after settling in, we drove 15 minutes into town to buy some groceries and get some dinner. we decided on fish tales cafe, one of tom's recommendation. we were charmed by look of the tudor looking, english country restaurant with attached garden as we drove in. but what really delighted us were all the bunnies in their garden. seems that they are wild bunnies who just happened to take up residence in the garden just this past spring. we were so enchanted at being around them, that our poor waitress had to come back a few times to take our order.

but really, how could you not be distracted by all these adorable bun buns?

we got back to our sphere as it was becoming dusk. tom had said that around this time, bats would come out and fly around, above our heads and i wanted to witness that.

sean went to the bath house to wash up, while i was chilling in the sphere. he had been gone for a while and i didn't really think too much about it. i thought he might have just been exploring the grounds. turns out that he had a face-to-face encounter with a cougar! he was on the way back on the walking path, when he saw the big cat in the woods, looking at him. luckily, sean did everything right - he made no sudden movement, maintained eye contact, did not run and most importantly, did not panic. he spied a pole leaning up on a table in tom's workshop, by the bath house, and used it to tap on the ground, making noise to scare the cougar back into the woods.

i was so happy he was alright. i can't imagine what i would have done in that situation! after shaking off our fright, we walked up to the main house to tell tom and rosie about our feline encounter. so that they could inform the other guest on the grounds.

tom had warned us of possible bear sightings that would start in august, but never a cougar. turns out, he had never seen one ever since he's lived on the property these past 8 years. however, he was excited at the prospect, after we told him of sean's encounter and sean showed him where it happened.

i was a little bit scared to shower and wash up, as it was dark by this time. but i rationalized that if nothing happened when he came across sean, the cougar had most likely ran off and was not going to come back. still, i had sean come back to meet me and walk me back to our sphere.

we even braved it one more time for a final bathroom trip before bedding down for the night, tapping on the ground with a walking stick, flashlight in front of us, flashlight behind us. it's dark and it's the woods, after all.

all safe and sound, we cuddled up to watch a couple of dvds before drifting off. there was even some gentle rocking of the sphere, by the wind during the night. i didn't feel it at all, but sean did. talk about being rocked to sleep like a baby.

Friday, June 27, 2014

goats and a horse!

one is almost always guaranteed a good time at maplewood farms and we always try to go whenever we're in need of an animal pick-me-up. last month, maplewood farms held their annual sheep shearing and although we missed the sheeps being shaved, there was still lots of fun to be had.

like getting on a horse!

a pleasant surprise, as i thought that was reserved for kids only, but the farmhand asked if i wanted to get on top of the horse and have him take our picture. erm, yea! giddyup.

but of course, my favourite thing about maplewood are the goats. every single time we're there, we have to say hello. i love goats - they're so friendly and sociable. i already warned sean that if ever we bought a farm, we're going to get ourselves some goats.

i don't think i would even mind the gumball poops in the yard. 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

a sea of trees and stars

source: bc reflections

adventure time! sean and i will be heading to the trees and staying at the free spirit spheres at qualicum beach on vancouver island. so in need of a (re)treat after a fairly stressful time at work.

i've always wanted to stay at the free spirit spheres - being suspended by wires, gently rocked by the tranquil breeze and completely immersed in nature. and although we're be away from the distraction of the city, we won't be roughing it. just purr-fect.

i'll be able to fulfill my childhood dream of living in the trees a la ewok village.