building new castles every day

Archive for the ‘I like’ Category

a video to take example from

In I like on September 27, 2011 at 9:53 AM


Not only is City Harvest an amazing organization (and does Vancouver have an equivalent?), but Hayden 5 has produced a beautiful short video to showcase their efforts.

the Great Pumpkin Cookie

In I like, Makings on October 2, 2010 at 5:47 PM

Along with Christmas, Hallowe’en is my favourite opportunity to get all nostalgic-like for my childhood.

I grew up in the small city of Vernon, British Columbia where the valley hills were filled with a mix of deciduous and coniferous trees.  A canvas for some spectacular autumn sunsets.

On my eager walks to a new year of school, I would try to linger longer on the tree-lined boulevards just to take in the smatterings of colours above my head and below my feet. Even at 25, I still go tearing into a pile of gutter-accumulated yellow leaves. The sound of their brushing and crunching, the smell of their earthy wood and grass, the astonishment of my fellow walkers at a grown woman sprinting and yelping — I just can’t help myself.

The other thing I love about autumn is PUMPKIN. And I don’t mean pie, darn it, give me cookies!

My mom loved making these moist and spicy creatures as soon as the Okanagan Valley air turned cool. And I had my hand in the cookie jar the moment I got home from school. I’ve never asked if the name was inspired by Linus’ late-night belief in a field god but this recipe definitely deserves a title of greatness. “I’ll gobble you up!” was my mantra to the Great Pumpkin, and they’ve become a staple in my own abode since I moved out.

Now, I like mine more pumpkin than sweet and buttery but if you prefer a standard cookie with just some pumpkin, put in a whole cup of butter, a cup each of the sugars, and just a cup of pumpkin. But note that where I cut sugar I make up with an ample amount of chocolate chips (obviously).

Also, this recipe makes about 4 dozen so don’t be afraid to put half of the mixed batter in the freezer (in an air-tight container). Sometimes it’s nice to have some in reserve.

The Great Pumpkin Cookie

1/4 cup butter (or margarine, as my mother would)
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
healthy dash of vanilla extract
14 ounce can of pumpkin
2 cups flour
1 cup oats
1 teaspoon (and then some) cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

  1. Cream the butter with the sugars and beat with a wooden spoon until creamy.
  2. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until it’s a beautiful creamy, brown.
  3. Throw in the can of pumpkin; combine.
  4. Then what you really should do is in a separate bowl combine all the dry ingredients. But because I work in a one-bowl kinda kitchen, I just measure the flour, oats, spices, soda and salt on top of the wet mixture before stirring it all in! So it’s your call.
  5. Mix in the chocolate chips and use a small teaspoon to make heaping dollops of batter on a baking sheet (slightly greased or not, depending on your sheet; I don’t grease).
  6. Bake for 20 minutes in a 350*F oven.

And from my experience, it’s best to retain your excitement and let those cookies cool slightly before gobbling up four or five. Otherwise your scorched tongue, though thinking it happy to taste pumpkin, won’t get the full, blissful autumn effect. Ok? Now tell me what you think.

alphabet graffiti

In I like on September 28, 2010 at 11:47 AM

Alphabet graffiti, you’re clever.


book trailers got nothing on LeVar Burton

In I like, Thinkings on September 10, 2010 at 12:38 PM

You may have seen one on Indigo’s website. Or maybe you peruse your favourite romance publisher’s blog from time to time and saw a, what, trailer? For a book?

I think it’s a pretty neat marketing tool. Simple too. Essentially like a movie trailer, these short videos act as viral advertising, targeting our highly visual readers (a paradox, I realize).

But do book trailers ‘spoil’ the raw experience of reading? Does it fill in the blanks for the reader, where she creates images in her head, of her own accord, based on her own tastes, experiences, etc.? You know, like when some producer turns a book into a film. A lot of readers exclaim, “That is so NOT how I pictured him” or “I pictured her more plump, with redder hair”.

I’ve also noticed that many book trailers use animation rather than actors. Though this may seem a little Second Life-ish, I suspect it’s a budget-smart choice. Seeing as marketing budgets for books are set around $1/copy (that is, if the book even has a marketing plan), the affiliated professionals have to spread those pennies far and wide.

Anyway. Enough critical thinking. What my real point about book trailers today was how they got me remembering Reading Rainbow. Do you remember that show? When LeVar Burton from Star Trek: The Next Generation (minus the sight-permitting headband) would bring two-dimensional stories to animated life. And the show did it so simply too, with Burton’s soothing, dynamic voice and the slow zooming in, out and around the illustrations. Oh, and there was some animation too.

Did you know Burton also lent his voice on Captain Planet? Yeah, yeah, he was Kwame!

Geez, I love that man’s voice.

And for your viewing pleasure, which theme tune do you prefer? My heart is with the older version.


it’s been a while, so how about a lolcat?

In I like on July 24, 2010 at 12:34 PM

At 9:45 pm last night, this was the funniest thing I’d ever seen.

Work is hectic these days. I’ve never walked so much within the same building. Nor have I ever ate out so much. With such fatigue comes a bit of lunacy so I reckon a lolcat is certainly appropriate here.

I was hunting for a substitute for a participant’s profile shot.

We work in publishing.

So I haz to find kittez wid books. Yes?

6 o’clock rise ain’t so bad

In I like on July 12, 2010 at 7:48 AM

Sitting out on my mini patio this past week during the welcomed Vantown heat, my wandering mind took me back to my childhood home in Vernon. That ‘great place to grow up, great place to leave’ place, where the heat is teamed with such dryness it sucks the breath from you. Where peak heat starts at 8:30 am and doesn’t relent until close to midnight (see my previous Okanagan Heat plug).

But the mornings on our deck were bliss. The perfect temperature. I would perch out there with my cereal bowl (a religious Corn Pops consumer) at 6 am, taking in the smell of cool grass meeting warming air. The birds chirped; I’d read. Our aptly named Sneakers cat would stalk through the grass, pouncing on a fly or munching a flower stalk; the Honey bunny would hide in the shade of the fence preparing for a day of cursing fur coats. The birds chirped, kids woke neighbours with their morning trampoline routine, and I would read. Well, read for about three minutes before getting distracted by everything!

And that’s exactly what happened, up here on my mini patio. Distracted by the world waking up.

craving muffins

In Eatings, I like on July 11, 2010 at 11:59 PM

hey birdie, nice cage

In I like, Sightings on July 11, 2010 at 7:45 AM

What a necklace! And I don’t just like it because it’s French, or being worn by another Jocelyn (obviously a tasteful name).  It’s the blue bird and the ornate antique brass cage that grabbed me. Plus, come on — it’s a birdcage around your neck! Yeah yeah.

Here are few available equivalents from Etsy (though my friend’s find was sourced straight from the Continent, or was it Quebec?).

by lunashineshine

by NewFashionedWhispers

by Japonicas (sans l'oiseau, but you could put in your own bird. or even a sneaky post-meal cat, ha!)

oh little fire

In I like on June 14, 2010 at 9:00 AM

Sarah Harmer is about to release a new album. June 22 cannot come soon enough.

Her voice has captivated me since I discovered her first album, You Were Here (2000), in Kelowna’s A&B Sound for $8. It was the best real-life Stumble I’ve ever had. I was hooked instantly.

That album happened to become the backdrop to the start of a long-term, long-distance relationship for me. That summer before my final year of high school, I lazed in the backyard sun, dreaming of new places, this new person, while listening to “The Hideout”, “Open Window” and “Basement Apartment”. The emotions her voice ignited were haunting. But in a good way. (You know?)

My favourite track — if that’s possible — had to be “Lodestar“. It starts as a sleepy, wave-rolling paddle. But then two-thirds in, her guitar picks up, the harmonica pipes in, and the drums start. She guides your boat into the sun, or maybe towards the island you were hoping to find.

And wait for it,
There are only two things now.
This great black night,
And the fire glow.
Listen, the darkness rings,
The darkness.
Listen, the darkness rings.
And wait for it,
There are only two of us now.
This great black night scooped out,
And this fire glow.
Listen, the darkess rings,
The darkness,
Listen, the darkness rings.
Take off your things,
And listen, the darkness rings.

It’s been five years since Sarah’s last album. It’s been a year since the relationship. As I listen to the first released track, “Captive” from Oh Little Fire, it’s a sweet heartache not to share it with that person, but I still can’t wait to be taken away on a new boat ride of emotions.

Listen for yourself: \”Captive\” by Sarah Harmer

Sarah Harmer is playing at the Vancouver Folk Festival this July. I hope I hope I hope I can get the day off work!

old apartments

In I like on June 13, 2010 at 9:00 AM

My sister and her boyfriend are making the move from East Van to the Granville/Broadway neighbourhood.

I like the older, well-maintained apartment buildings of this area. The years of new paint jobs layered over wall wire casings. The aged grouting between ceramic tiles. The odd placing of power outlets.

I’m excited for Sam and their new place of carpetless floors, white walls, large windows and fireplace. So excited that I couldn’t help documenting my friend’s bachelor place at Hemlock and 12th.

cardamom pods, cloves and cinnamon bark for homemade chai tea

glass cupboards

sneaky outlets

walk-up closet

bay windows and bench seats with storage (or bike parking)

hardwood floors and grandma’s trunk.