Sunday, April 13, 2014

Life in Pictures: San Francisco

I'll have to come back one day with a pal or two in tow,
maybe during the spring or summer,
when I'm not spending most of the hours indoors,
conferencing, filling my brain with data,
(albeit really really good data),
and bring a pogo stick for getting up those insane hills.

Still, it was good and nice and necessary,
to leave the snow for a little while and head to
fog, and many coloured people,
and baked goods with edible flowers on them.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

How to: Make Cheese

I made cheese. Therefore, I now win at life.

A. How to Make Paneer (an incomplete, out of focus, step by step guide):

Stuff you need..

  • whole milk (not UHT pasturized, though)
  • lemon juice or lime juice
  • big pot
  • cheesecloth / hemp cloth/ lightweight dish towel

We used 2L of whole milk, and the juice of one lime. Enough for two people to eat for dinner (if you are not as much of a maenad as B and I, you can prob. feed more people than two)
Easy to double, if you want to make more.

Friday, March 21, 2014


I've had some posts lined up in my brain: one on San Francisco, one on making cheese, another one for Pi Day. They are rattling around somewhere in the spiderwebby attic of my cerebral cortex.

But instead, I am going to write about money, honey.

Yeah. I've been thinking about it non-stop lately. In good ways! In grown-up, empowering ways. It has always been a fascinating topic for me, as opposed to a taboo, awkward, private one. I'm turning 30 this year, and money is on the agenda of my 'sit down and thinkaboutit' horizon.

(If this topic is not interesting to you, I would skip this post.)

Here is a brief look at my history with money (inspiration here):

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

On Becoming a Sourdough

- photo(s) by Margaret Liu

Cheechako: A greenhorn, or newcomer to the Yukon.

Sourdough: A Yukon old-timer; a true or veteran Yukoner.

On February 17th, 2014 at 1: 13 pm, I realized that I had unequivocally become a sourdough. I was on the last leg of my travel back home, after a tasmanian devil of a trip from HJ -> WHSE->VAN->SF. I was wedged in between two unfriendly ladies in the plane-shaped tin can, hurtling through the biosphere, feeling dehydrated, unsettled and a bit morose, to tell you the truth. It is always nostalgic and bittersweet for me to visit my old life, especially solo.

Engrossed in a book, I hadn't looked up from my own ego and woe in an hour. The captain's message stated that we were about to prepare for our descent into Whitehorse, I wearily glanced out the window, and..... Mountains.




My heart literally plumped back from its Grinchian lump of coal, and I grinned like an idiot.

I was back in the Great White North.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Where I Stand

Windsor St, Vancouver, 2013.

It is 2014. Did you realize this? I know that you must have scribbled it a few dozen times by now; writing a cheque to your landlord, or filling in another white form, or scrawling it on the chalkboard so that your kids know that it is a school day, and no you cannot go to the bathroom classjustSTARTED.

But it is. 2014, I mean. Blink blink. It's also February. Blink. You've been meaning to write a post that means something, for quite some time now.

Summing up a year, looking ahead to the one up next-- it has such oracle-like, wisdom-shouldering Shawls that wrap around it. It's always easier to not. And yet-- not doing so is unfathomable, since you have pretty much done one every year since you were an itty bitty newborn in this Internet world. You can't send 2013 to bed without tracing its braille one last time with your fingers.

Meditation rock, Saturna Island, 2013.

So. Two thousand and thirteen. My lucky number, my lucky year. My phoenix rising from the embers of some serious stuff. If I was a life meteorologist, I would see that the ebb and flow of joy waxes and wanes from year to year, season to season. 2013 felt like a whole season of light.

I'm still not good at recaps-- this hasn't changed as I've gotten older. Longer in my soul. The most we will arrive to, will likely be nonsensical to you. Incomplete.

The High Line, New York, 2013.

You were love. Every morsel of you was full of it. Not neccessarily the kind that is sopping with roses and beautiful photos, taken just so. Beyond the portrayal of you on my Facebook page or this modest project here, which can be so misleading in all its camera angles and edited turns of phrases, you were love. The real kind. The kind that builds itself up, and heals pain, and joins fingers together in friendship. You were a chortling, brimming, 'we did it', 'but i'm exhausted' kind of love. You restored my heart back to its rightful rack; heaved it from the second last rib; elevated it so it could elevate me.

My back deck, Haines Junction, 2013.

You were adventure and power. That's right. That word that I shy away from. Why? Power doesn't have to be connected to greed or wealth or harsh tones. Power is sinew and limbs and nerves and verve and vivre. Power is the ability to stay a course on a rocky sea, or ask for someone else to row you to shore, if it needs be.

The Auriol Trail, Yukon, 2013.

So, I thank you, friend. I will tell my grandchildren about you, how all my memories of you are tinged with the soft glint of a pale yellow. It isn't true that you were the beginning of something, since all my years (even that kick in the shin 2012) began me. But you were a checkpoint, for sure, and you told me that I am running the right road.

The trek behind Rick's Cabin, Yukon, 2013.

Monday, December 30, 2013

2013 in Pictures


Some people stay away from it; I embrace it with obsessive fervour.

On a glum day, my favourite thing to do is to put my head on a pillow, and click through old albums of London or the first year we moved up here, or that time we roadtripped all summer throughout BC.

Sometimes, I pretend I'm a stranger as I glance through these photographs, and imagine what I would think of this girl and her boy and their adventures if I really were to be looking through these for the first time. I am aware that this is fairly self-conscious, if not outright vain. I guess I find it intruiging to view my life through the lens of another.

I already know this collection of photos will comfort me in future grey times. The stranger in me agrees that whoever this girl is, she is lucky to have had so much love, ocean, woodland, friends & family and parades this year.

Happy nostalgia-ing and your last days of 2013, everyone.


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Today, it was -40.

On the eve of November 30th, I breathed a huge sigh of relief because December was on its way, and with it, a brand new month to spill our colours on.

November was a trying month. Lots of hard moments at school, colleagues losing family members, young people in pain. And it was dark-- you can't forget about the dark. It gets so confusing to leave your house in the morning darkness, only to return to the same inky darkness as you are trudging home, on the slippery ice.

We are now only two more days until the Christmas Break, and I don't know that December fared much better.. it has been a strange semester. And, like with every year, the impending holiday never seems soon enough, even though the days zoom by (seriously, how is it that Christmas is seven days away?), and everyone gets a little more squirrelly in their core, the finish line seeming so far.

But. The end is near. (She says to herself.)

The snow is fluffy, and pristine, and untouched.

The four minute walk to school lights my hair on fire, turns it white, and I can't think about anything except for the present moment because it's so cold.

This Friday, if I collapse in a heap of adrenaline that has exhausted itself, at least it will be in the company of friends.

We feed our woodstove lots of food, and in return, it licks our haunches back from the brink of hypothermia.

48 hours left between me and the rest of it. Wish me luck.