Friday 30 November 2012

Edmonton Tarot: The High Priestess (II)

Interpretation: The High Priestess card signifies guidance, teaching or wisdom of a spiritual or moral nature which comes from a mysterious source such as dreams, intuition or the unconscious. Inner knowledge and deep perception are the gifts of the High Priestess to those who listen and pay attention.

Image: This beautiful and mysterious Geisha is painted on the side of a building in Edmonton's most vibrant shopping neighbourhood -- Old Glenora's High Street shops on 124 Street. I don't know who the artist is but she appeared a few years ago and has graced the area ever since.

[Photo by Debra She Who Seeks]

Thursday 29 November 2012

"Thank you for looking so tired"

Japanese people work very, very hard. Exhausted salarymen (corporate businessmen) sleeping on the Tokyo subway are a common sight. When we were in Japan, our tour guide told us that the greatest compliment anyone can receive from their boss is to be told: "Thank you for looking so tired."

This must be why there are a gazillion vending machines in Japan selling an infinite variety of canned coffees. Endless caffeine is what keeps salarymen and other workers going.

I snapped this photo of a typical canned coffee machine in a hotel near Mount Fuji. BOSS COFFEE / COFFEE BOSS says it all, really. Drink coffee, work harder, keep your boss happy!

In this ancient land of tea, tea houses and the tea ceremony, coffee is marketed as a hip foreign American drink. In advertising, Japanese canned coffee imagery often uses western spokespeople and English words or phrases.

[First photo from the internet; second photo by Debra She Who Seeks]

Wednesday 28 November 2012

Cat-Friend vs Dog-Friend

What if our friends behaved like cats and dogs?

Thanks to my bloggin' buddy Ricky Shambles -- I found this crazy video on his blog, Cause for Concern!

Tuesday 27 November 2012

Open Wide!

So I'm off to my annual dental checkup today. Wish me luck! It's so important to have a beautiful smile.

Monday 26 November 2012

Gimme My Crying Towel

Oh, the thrill of victory . . .

. . . and the agony of defeat.

Final score -- Toronto Argonauts 35, Calgary Stampeders 22.

What can I say, except -- Next year! NEXT YEAR!! The West shall rise again.

[First photo by Sean Kilpatrick, The Canadian Press. Second photo by Nathan Denette, The Canadian Press]

Sunday 25 November 2012

It's Grey Cup Sunday!

It's finally here! The 100th Grey Cup championship game is being played today in Toronto between the Calgary Stampeders (Western champs) and the Toronto Argonauts (Eastern champs).

The Calgary fans have all arrived and checked in at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel . . . .

. . . . while Torontonians are already confidently parading the Cup in front of City Hall.

And the Big Game's half-time show should be . . . interesting . . . too: Justin Bieber, Gordon Lightfoot and Carly Rae Jepsen. Jeez, something for everyone, eh?

Okay, Calgary! GO, STAMPS, GO!! Make the West PROUD!!!

Friday 23 November 2012

Edmonton Tarot: The Magician (I)

Interpretation: The Magician draws energy from the universe (ideas, creativity, spirituality) and directs it into practical applications. He transforms ideas into action and makes potential manifest. The Magician has tremendous powers of concentration, focus and determination. He knows that magic is not performed by magic.

Image: Who else could possibly be Edmonton's Magician except for the NHL's greatest hockey player, Wayne Gretzky? When he played here in the 1980s, the Edmonton Oilers was the best team in the league and won the Stanley Cup five times. This statue of The Great One stands outside the hockey arena where the Oilers won their many victories. Gretzky and the Oilers made Edmonton "the City of Champions."

[Photo by Debra She Who Seeks]

Thursday 22 November 2012

Happy American Thanksgiving!

To all my American readers -- I hope you get lots today! Lots of turkey, that is. Why, what did you think I meant?

Wednesday 21 November 2012

Grey Cup 100 Tour, Part 2

The Grey Cup 100 Tour train consisted of three cars for the public to visit -- the Team Car, the Grey Cup Car and the Hall of Fame Car.

The Team Car focused on the stats, history and uniforms of each CFL team. As you can see, the Edmonton Eskimos have won the Grey Cup many times --

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have a decent track record too but have been in a real drought since 1990 --

Here's their team locker display --

The Saskatchewan Roughriders enjoy fanatically loyal and patient fans who unfortunately have had to wait many, many years between Grey Cup wins --

Here's their team locker display --

The next car displayed the Holy of Holies itself -- the Grey Cup! Here's my not particularly good photo of it but I could only take one shot because they were really hustling people through the car. Yes, I touched the Cup and had my picture taken with it -- alas, the photo didn't flatter either one of us but whatchya gonna do, eh?

The Grey Cup Car also had a large glass cabinet full of honkin' big Grey Cup championship rings.

The final car was the Hall of Fame Car but I just breezed through it because the enormous crowd of people was getting on my nerves by that point. The only display I really looked at concerned the evolution of football uniforms over the years. The first uniforms and helmets were pretty primitive and didn't offer much protection at all.

Okay, so I hope we're all set now to watch the Grey Cup game on Sunday? I know I'M raring to go!

[Photos by Debra She Who Seeks]

Tuesday 20 November 2012

Grey Cup 100 Tour, Part 1

In mid-September, the Grey Cup 100 Tour train arrived at Edmonton's VIA Rail station. The lineups to see it were long, long, LONG! I was on site for two hours, of which one and a half hours were spent standing in line to enter the train cars. Luckily it was a gorgeous fall day and the event had a festive atmosphere.

I liked this big blow-up Edmonton Eskimo.

The Canadian Mint and Canada Post both had a big presence at the event. The Mint was pushing its shiny new Grey Cup loonie. Canada Post was selling a whole series of commemorative stamps -- one for every CFL team as well as a general Grey Cup one.

The train engine was beautifully wrapped in CFL and Grey Cup imagery.

The train cars were wrapped with images of Canada Post's team stamps. I took photos of my three favourite teams:

The Edmonton Eskimos --

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers --

And the Saskatchewan Roughriders --

I'm a prairie girl so I cheer for prairie teams! Here's a shot of the Grey Cup stamp with its football players of yesterday and today.

Tomorrow -- I finally get inside the train and see the Grey Cup!

[Photos by Debra She Who Seeks]

Monday 19 November 2012

100th Grey Cup Championship

The 100th Grey Cup Championship of the Canadian Football League will be held this Sunday in Toronto. The Grey Cup is second only to hockey's Stanley Cup as the most coveted professional sporting award in Canada.

The original silver cup was donated by the British peer Earl Grey who was Governor-General of Canada from 1904-1911.

Purchased in 1909 for the then-princely sum of $48, the Cup was meant to be the championship trophy of Canada's amateur rugby football league. And that's what is still engraved on it. Since 1912, however, the Grey Cup has served as the championship trophy for the professional Canadian Football League.

In the past 100 years, the Grey Cup has had its fair share of scrapes. It narrowly survived a major fire, was once stolen and held for ransom, and has also been broken four times (three of those breakages by Edmonton Eskimos . . . oops!)

To celebrate this year's 100th Grey Cup game, the Cup has just completed a cross-Canada tour by train. And yes, I went and saw the Cup when the tour came to Edmonton. Tomorrow -- photos of my pilgrimage!

Friday 16 November 2012

Edmonton Tarot: The Fool (0)

Interpretation: The Fool is the first card in the Major Arcana. This card denotes unconsciousness, spontaneity, naivety, adventurousness -- someone with "beginner's mind." The Fool represents unlimited potential. It is numbered zero because the concept of nothingness contains all possibilities within itself. The Fool is open to new ideas and experiences and is willing to take risks, sometimes quite recklessly. The Fool is a seeker who is just starting out on the path to consciousness, transformation and wisdom. But the Fool's tremendous energy is unfocused and without direction.

Image: The Edmonton International Fringe Festival is North America's oldest and largest annual festival of alternative theatre. This Jester (Fool) is the logo of the Edmonton Fringe. It's found on a large donor recognition wall in the Old Strathcona Arts Barns where the organization is headquartered. My Rare One and I enjoy fringing every August, along with thousands of other Edmontonians.

[Photo by Debra She Who Seeks]

Thursday 15 November 2012

Edmonton Tarot: Introduction

Those of us who love tarot know that its imagery is all around us -- sometimes in the most surprising forms and places! I'm going to do a series of posts focusing on tarot imagery that I've found right here in Edmonton where I live. As usual, these posts will be intermittent although I'll try to post a new Edmonton tarot card every Friday.

The series will focus on the 22 cards of the Major Arcana. I'll briefly describe the meaning of each card and then tell you about the Edmonton photo I've chosen to illustrate it. All the photos have been taken by myself, My Rare One or by friends. I deliberately avoided using Edmonton photos that I could simply find on the internet because where's the fun and challenge in that? My only other rule for this series was that all the photos must be of public objects or public locations so that anyone can easily see them in Edmonton if they want to.

This post's photo is of a mural painted on the side of Sanctuary Curio Shoppe, a store just south of Whyte Avenue (one of Edmonton's favourite areas for shopping, bars and restaurants). Sanctuary is a wonderfully funky place specializing in pagan, goth and kink merchandise. The mural portrays the artist's interpretation of the Temperance, World and Star cards of the Major Arcana.

[Photo by Debra She Who Seeks]

Wednesday 14 November 2012

A Call to Sisterhood

Last month, Sarah of Enjoying the Epiphany gifted me with the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award! Thank you, Sarah, I am very honoured!

One of the many things I like about Sarah's delightful blog is her commitment to celebrating the beauty of women of ALL sizes. Her blog promotes the view that there is no "perfect" size to be. There is no "wrong" size to be. All women are entitled to enjoy their lives free of such size tyranny.

That's a worldview with which I profoundly agree.

Ideologies serving the power structures of this world control women's lives and neutralize our effectiveness by fostering negative body image obsessions. The media, fashion industry and consumerism are all part of this. Girls and women are constantly bombarded with messages that our natural appearance is not good enough or attractive enough. To be considered "acceptable," we must believe / do / buy [insert their message / product / unattainable ideal here]. And even then, we'll always fall short. ALWAYS.

But simply blaming these forces of control will not free women from this bondage. We must actively detox our thoughts and retrain our minds from a lifetime of indoctrination. We must truly understand that all women are beautiful just the way we are -- including ourselves!

Like all evil systems, the tyranny of the "beauty myth" cannot operate without our acquiescence and co-operation. We must stop giving our allegiance to ideas that oppress us.

Now, having said all this . . . .

Just disregard those posts I did last week admiring Jessica Rabbit and bemoaning Nutella's effects on my ass, okay?

Those posts just prove that detoxing and retraining our minds is not a quick 'n easy thing to do! But seriously, we must do so.

Monday 12 November 2012

Poppies From the Heart

In the year 2000, the Canadian government placed a tomb of the unknown soldier at the National War Memorial site in Ottawa. On the first Remembrance Day after its installation, Canadians spontaneously created a small but beautiful gesture to pay tribute to our Armed Forces war dead. After the official ceremony with all its dignitaries, prayers and wreath-laying was completed, the attending crowd did not simply disperse but surged forward and put their poppy pins on top of the unknown soldier's tomb.

Now this ritual has become an important part of every Remembrance Day in Ottawa. Seeing the grey granite tomb awash in a tribute of red poppies is one of the most moving parts of the whole ceremony for me.

It is a wonderful new tradition created by the heartfelt collective action of Canadians.

[All photos from the internet]

Sunday 11 November 2012

Remembrance Day

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

--from "For the Fallen" by Laurence Binyon


[Photo from the internet: Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the National War Memorial in Ottawa]

Friday 9 November 2012

Wheel of the Year Giveaway Winner

Thank you all for entering my Wheel of the Year giveaway. How I wish I could send a tapestry to everyone! But alas, there is only the one prize to be won.

All your names went into a large bowl and, by random draw, the winner is:

Mary / mxtodis123 of Moontides

Congrats, Mary! I have sent you an email asking for your mailing address. The tapestry will soon be winging its way to you -- may it bring you blessings and good luck for the upcoming year!

Thursday 8 November 2012

I'm Nuts for Nutella!

When I was young, Nutella was not marketed in Canada, at least not on the prairies. So Nutella wasn't something I grew up with. Once Nutella did finally become available in our stores when I was an adult, I pretty much ignored it. A chocolate hazelnut spread for toast? Ewww, the concept seemed odd to me.

Then I went to Italy.

Oh, those heavenly, flakey breakfast pastries with Nutella filling inside, purchased warm each morning from the neighbourhood bakery!

So I got hooked, man. Hooked bad.

And you know what? The biggest jar of Nutella in Canada is NOTHING compared to the supersized jars you can get in Italy. Those people are SERIOUS about Nutella. Just look at this photo of Caramella who lives in Italy and blogs at Hungry Caramella --

Now THAT'S a jar of Nutella! (Thanks, Caramella, for letting me use this picture!)

There's really only one drawback to my Nutella addiction. It produces a terrible, terrible side effect, one which is beyond all human understanding . . . .

Wednesday 7 November 2012

Two Important Matters

First -- congratulations to all you Murricans for electing the right guy. Now go make some magic in your second term, President Obama!

And secondly -- just a reminder that today is the last day to enter my giveaway for the Wheel of the Year tapestry. Click here to do so!