Tomorrow Never Knows


I don’t like to get overly personal here…so let’s just suffice to say some shit came down and it made blogging feel like the very last thing I wanted to do. But I am compelled to shout into the void, or to be read by you Dear Reader, in regards to my final thoughts on the recent ending of Matthew Weiner’s brilliant tale of a decade…the super happy fantastic fun dramedy known simply as “Mad Men”.

I am an admitted cynic with a serious case of CBS (Canadian Born Sarcasm) and yet in opposition to those traits I am also a hopeless romantic and, if the wind is blowing right and I’ve had enough sleep, an eternal optimist. So I desperately wanted Don/Dick to find an experience/way of life that could make him joyful.  And I wanted that the consequences of the actions which would bring him this joy would not result in making someone else miserable. Because more often than not, Don’s legacy has been to sow some very fertile seeds of discontent. Through all 7 seasons Don’s neurosis and failures have taken a heavy toll but there were moments of tenderness that informed Don as not being unredeemable.

So when Mad Men ended with the Coke ad ( which I have always loathed as a corporate co-opt of a movement that had nothing to do with consuming a chemical laden, health compromising , tooth rotting fizzy beverage ) I had a fist balling red hot anger…Don didn’t make it out. And I SO WANTED HIM TO MAKE IT OUT! And then, in the blink of an eye, my happy ending hungry mind changed the narrative. Don didn’t go back to McCann Erikson! He stayed at the retreat, got his poop in a group, rented a nice house by the sea and took up running on the beach. He learned how to brew beer and started one of the very first micro-breweries. Or something nice like that. Yeah. That was it. That was the ticket! “Don’t worry Birdie. Everything is going to be fine.”  The Coke ad was a sarcastic take on what McCann Erikson did with a get to know yourself, embrace the other and find peace social movement. Don himself used the movement to become enlightened and healthy! Yay! Happy ending!

And then, I read the AV Clubs review and saw this…


Not cool man. I know an action oriented signifier when I see one. So this knocked my hopes back a bit. While trying to suss it all out I had a nice twitter chat with a fellow who felt Don going back to McCann Erikson to make the Coke ad was a little a-z-ish and I agreed. I thought (hoped?) maybe what we had here was the cosmic unconsciousness at play. Readers familiar with Repo Man will understand. Shrimp. Plate of Shrimp. Maybe the Coke ad lookalike was a Plate of Shrimp moment!

But I’ve been thinking about it. And I don’t think it was. I don’t think Weiner was indicting the ugly world of advertising and it’s part in driving an insatiable consumerism that has resulted in a plastic laden, toxic planet on the brink of a critical climate tipping point. Honestly, it blows chunks to come to the conclusion that it’s a very precise telegraphing of Don’s off screen (and fan imaginary!) future. Don went back to McCann Erikson to be a very expensive piece of horseflesh with a taste for CC whiskey, where he jumped on each and every chance to have soulless opportunistic sexual intercourse and every second weekend with the kids. Except, knowing Don, it’s more like every sixth weekend with the kids. If that…*insert unhappy face here*

Besides the clear symbol of girl/s with the same braids, Don’s story line of needing to be wanted is what sunk it for me. When he did seek sobriety, he took up swimming…the only time I ever saw him exercise and he happened to practice that which is most womblike. Unwanted by his birth mother, unwelcome by his stepmother and emotionally unconnected with his father, Don’s need to be wanted was hardwired in from childhood. Throughout the whole series the only person who wanted Don, who kept at it, through all the ups and downs was Jim Hobart at McCann Erikson. Nobody else wanted to put up with his shit for very long. And while he was welcome in Anna’s life, she never hungered for him. Jim Hobart did. And when Hobart barks at Roger about being sold a bad apple it’s not even Don, who has totally done a runner, that he wants to fire. Don will *always* have a job with Jim Hobart. And why not, in theory upon his return from the retreat  he was a part of one of the world’s most beloved ads of all time.  Although I’ll say it again. I hate that ad. And I hate the Dove Real Beauty campaign ads too. Taste good, clean my skin but back up off latching onto and co-opting social movements to sell your shit because it’s just super creepy. And it’s really creatively weak, which also galls me.

Anyhoo…in closing, the final nail in my hope for Don Draper coffin happens in the episode Lady Lazarus (Ep 8, 5th season) when Don has the chance to hear The Beatles hypnotic enlightenment driving “Tomorrow Never Knows” for the first time. I know he’s got a great stereo system, he’s in a comfy chair with a bevvie and he still can’t do it. The dreamiest song of the 21 century goes right over his head. In fact, he doesn’t even like it…he gets up less than halfway through and turns it off. Now that’s an indictment of his inability to find meaning, be it within or without! Weiner paid $250,000 to be able to play about 45 seconds of the song while we saw Don try to sit it out, as other characters underwent various transformations to that groovy meditative rock n roll mind tour, Don remained the same.

So whatever…a tiger never changes it stripes. It doesn’t mean I love the experience any less. I don’t. I’m so grateful to have lived to see it through to end.

No one is promised today, never mind tomorrow.


And now for something completely different… Here’s something from the studio I’m working on…trying to get a price list together and take a bunch of stuff down to the gallery but working on my Mad Men thesis has taken up a lot of time!

Happy Spring!


Ciao 2014! Hello 2015!


Isn’t that a lovely photo? I took it while doing a 5 k run last week. Rather a lot of hoarfrost made for a winter wonderland.

And speaking of running, I’m just back from my last run of the year, unless I change my mind and get in another 5 k tomorrow…which is tempting I admit…but we’ll just go with this for now…1agphotoasy

Yeah, that’s right. The elusive PR for distance was set by lil’ old me. I’m not the fastest runner nor do I run the longest nor do I run the toughest runs. But I do run. This year I enjoyed good health and therefore I never missed a single scheduled run. I even added a few during the summer, hence the new distance record. I’d love to break it again next year and I’m working on figuring out the math. I’d so love to nail 1000 miles or as we Canucks say 1600 kms next year. Only time will tell but in the meanwhile, I’m beaming with success and self love. Way to go button! We rock!

Other news from 2014 is that I went vegan this summer. After 20 years of being vegetarian a news story about animal abuse at a dairy in BC just made me realize that I wanted out. I thought this would be so hard. I rather enjoyed cheese and had yogurt every single day in my smoothie. (Eggs are no biggie, I stopped eating them years ago. 2 tablespoons of flax in warm water make an eggless egg perfect for baking.) After I quit dairy I started following vegan boards on pinterest and it totally opened my eyes about the connection between the dairy industry and veal production. I would never eat veal even before I went vegetarian and to learn that the side effect of my milk consumption was the veal industry made me feel so very sad and full of regret.

So sad and full of regret that I had a good cry about it.1agphotoz

On the upside I’ve found that cashew cream is super easy to make, hummus makes a great snack in place of a cheese plate, vegan protein powder is a fine replacement for yogurt in my smoothies and that I feel much better since quitting dairy. Live and learn and do unto others as you would have them do unto you and better late than never and forgiveness is a gift you give yourself and so forth and so on. We only have so much time to control our food destiny and I’ve grabbed the bull by the horns, no pun intended, and made the final big switch. Unless I become a Fruitarian as seen in the film Notting Hill.*insert winkey face emoticon here*

Finally 2014 saw my husband and I mark our 20 wedding anniversary. He’s such a good egg. He puts up with all my malarkey and stays steadfast and true. He’s the best.

And so Dear Reader, I hope you have had a happy year…I know we did. With that I’m off to stoke the woodstove and make some spicy sandwiches with the so awesome Veganaise. It is SO good! I totally recommend it. And it’s made with Solar power! You can’t beat that!

Peace out 2014!


Tis The Season For Winter Running Tips!


As the snow flies throughout North America the running boards on Pinterest are full of blogs with this season’s round of winter running tips. They’re usually pretty good. Layering is pretty much covered, as is staying visible, running with some sort of grip on your feet ( ICE SPIKES!!! ), logging your run with someone, esp. if it’s long or during very bad weather, and making sure you’re hydrated. What I haven’t seen is a post that says “Hey, if you’re going running out there, you should moisturize a good 20 minutes before heading out.” The cold is a cruel, drying, cracking master when it comes to the skin. And Alberta is drier than a lot of places, making it extra super important to add it to your pre run checklist. You want to give your lotion time to sink in and not be wet on your face or hands…it’s pretty nippy if you pop out before it’s soaked into your skin. Brrrrr.

And sunscreen! Wear your sunscreen! It’s still UV-ey out there and you want to avoid sun damage and keep your skin healthy and happy. You could kill two birds and do a moisturizing sun screen. BAM! Nailed it.
Another crucial bit to remember is to leave a little extra time if you have stuff to do afterwards…because winter conditions can bite you in the rump and cost you time. I’m a good 2-4 minutes slower than usual due to the sandy floppy road conditions so I’m booking an extra 5 minutes for due back by time. I hate rushing!

Finally, remember your ID. Because in the winter run dressing flurry of tights, more tights, a shell, running bra, shirt, zip jacket, shell jacket, earphones in, ninja mask on, putting the half mitts (on your jacket sleeve) up and over your thumb, then your gloves ( I’ve got the Nike ones that are gloves with a little mitt overlay and I love them. They’re great for venting and temp.control. ) grabbing your stick ( Yes, you grab your stick…you don’t have a stick? You should totes get one! ) and then doing your sneakers up it’s super easy to leave without your ID. I wear dog tags to keep things simple. I keep them with my keys so I don’t forget. I love the dog tags, it’s not wallety…it’s compact and sensible. I highly recommend if you want to de clutter your run.

Oh yeah, one last tip…I also tuck the cord from my listening device in through my jacket sleeve to keep it from freezing and rubbing back and forth thereby breaking all those tiny wires in the cord.

That’s my addition to the winter running blog tip world!


If you look up at the top of this pic you can just see the moon, making for a glorious trip in -20 c. Zoom zoom!

That’s it for today…chores are calling me…” button….buuuuuuutton….come clean the house…”
Every time I think I’m out, the chores pull me back in.
“I know it was you Sink Full Of Dishes, you broke my heart…”
( That’s a Godfather/Fredo reference in case you’re like “What is she talkin’ about?”.)



Collage Fever and Hula Hooping!





ACEO fever struck this long weekend, taking the freshly cleaned house from spotless to a hot mess of paper piles, books, magazines, various bits and bobs, paint brushes, glue sticks…all liberally sprinkled throughout the house. Oy vay! What a mashugana! Classic Amy.

Ah well…such is the creative process…it’s timing is often inconvenient! I’ve amassed a large collection to pull from including some great vintage movie magazines, an amazing 1940’s Sears catalogue, some horrific Sears catalogues from the 1970’s and a bunch of old knitting pattern books. I like to pick my lady and then go from there. I call the series of female based pieces “She” and the ornithological  based pieces are a part of my ongoing “Birds” series.

These are all available in the etsy shop.






Other news in the life is I LOVE hula hooping! It is so much fun! I do it everyday for about half an hour.

I started with this hoop. The trick to hooping is start large and weighted and then don’t bail on doing it when you can’t get the hoop to stay up. Just keep picking it up and doing it and before you know it you’ll be hooping!
I’ve since passed the big hoop onto a friend and I’ve moved down to a lighter, smaller hoop which is more of a challenge to keep up. You have to go really fast to not lose it. But that’s the fun, you gotta hoop hardcore to maintain the circle. Woot woot! I’ve made it into a hiit workout by hooping normally for 1 minute and then hooping with my arms up over my head for the next minute. Do that 5 times and you get some great heart rate action. Plus it’s SO FUN. HOOP! Do it. You’ll love it!

That’s it for now…gotta go get a 5 k in and then it’s vegan T Day leftovers. Yum yummy yum yum.





Run With A Stick, It’s Super Fun.

*awkward silence*


Yeah. No blog post since March. Got busy. Gardening. Relaxing in the sun. Hanging out with buds and baby LanLan! Making vegan smores. You know..summer stuff.

It was nice.

Anyhoo…a story about the next big thing in running (if I have anything to do with it!). When the weather got nice here I stopped running my usual long distance road work and took to doing cross country runs with a hiit protocol. This is the greatest thing ever ( for me anyway). I just LOVE it. It’s an insane rush to run so hard that you feel like puking. It’s really GREAT when you simply can’t do another step but you still do 20 more and then you totally collapse, after crawling your way into some shadow and sitting there for 10 minutes as you recover. Hills are now something I don’t pace myself up…they’re something I friggin’ RACE up. Zoom zoom.

I never got any of these highs when I trained for/did the half by the way. All that distance running was just like a 5 k run, only longer. It was ok, but it wasn’t hard and it didn’t make my brain full of good brain crack like this new running style.

Anyhooo…this leads me to the stick bit. I was running cross country a few weeks, having a good time but still feeling like I was *missing* something, a primal something that took a while to filter down. I needed a stick. To run with. Like my ancient great grandmas had. Something to beat the bears off with! So I took some wood from a 5 year old pile of trimmings down the back alley and then I sort of whacked off all the braches and smashed the sharp bits so they were dull and then I ran with my stick.


All of a sudden you’re getting all this extra sensory information. Balance is heightened, your pace has more marking due to the swing ( or no swing ) of your arms, your fingers feel the beat of your feet and changes in ground surface. It’s just awesome. I told the hubs and he was doubtful but he was willing to try although he wanted a nicer stick than mine. He made himself a much better stick and went for a run and guess what? He Loved it too! So I went online to look for the special stick you want to commit yourself to for the rest of your running life. AND THERE WERE NO RUNNING STICKS! Crazy. I did find the awesome Kingfisher WoodWorks studio though…they specialize in Japanese bokken and other top notch fighting tools. (I found people on martial arts forums discussing and drooling over the Kingfisher made schwag. People in the know want it baaaaad.) They also make walking staffs and, and here’s where we come in, they do custom staffs! I got the hubs the 46 inch staff and I took a 44 inch staff, the same size as my Running Stick beta.

Running Sticks V.1

Running Sticks V.1

These Kingfisher guys were so nice. They put up with my crazy runner self ( runners will know what I mean…when you’re telling someone the why’s and how’s of why you’re a runner and you kinda go on and on and on…and on…because you’re a running CRACKHEAD.) and, within a few weeks, they sent up the most beautiful, perfect weight, smooth as silk, strong like a mofo Running Sticks. I’ve taken mine out every day since I’ve had it. One day I used it to move a big grumpy scary cat off the path. I’ve knocked snow off bushes (and right onto my head ! Duh.) and I’ve added all sorts of stick work to the hiit work. For instance, I am running as fast as I can run these days. To go faster I’d need to go into professional training, with clean eating and a Coach. Not gonna happen, right?  So now when doing a hill at 100% leg speed I hold the stick up over my head to keep my arms up and pumping even more blood through  the system. BAM. Increased heart rate and better hiit results. I also hold it in both hands horizontally over the waist area and twist back and forth to engage the core more and get a sort of salsa dance feel to bits of the run. And to improve my chi running form I hold it in my right hand straight up, like a maasai runner. You can use it to do all sorts of shoulder and core stretches and it will also support you as you’re bent double nearly barfing from hiit hill runs in a warrior style.

It’s just the greatest thing ever. So now we have these beautiful, sacred feeling pieces of art to attend us on our running practice. If you’re looking to swank up your run and connect with your inner ancient running self, get a random stick and give it a go. And when you see how awesome it is buy a custom stick ( or a bokken…mmmm….Kingfisher bokken…) from the nice fellas at Kingfisher.

This is my gift to the running world.

<insert wild eyed runner grin here


We just got 30 centimeters of snow so the garden is a hawt mess but I’ll try to blog again once or twice before 2015.

Sorry Dear Reader for the spotty writing over the year…summer here is SO short here you just have to grab it by the horns and be outside running and gardening and making babies cry!



March Came In Like A Freakin’ Frozen Lion Mr.Bigglesworth!

Sweet Mother of all that is Holy. It’s cold up here in the foothills! I ran alone on Sunday ( too chilly for the hubs! ) and it was the coldest run I ever did. I’m going to guess that when the wind really got going it was probably -38 to -40. I had to put the hood on my shell up over top of my ninja mask and that’s never happened before. It’s best to lather yourself up with some sort of lotion before you go out because the wind will dry your skin out in a flash. It’s just harsh. And it’s also kind of great. People driving by in their cars and trucks just STARE at you like you’re a total freak. It’s very potent. Yeah…I’m hardcore. I’m WAY hardcore.Heh heh. I’m not really. You just gotta dress up right and it’s pretty much just like any other run. If you a runner who doesn’t run outside in the winter I recommend giving it a go. I figure I’ll be winter running until maybe Mid April. So it’s a good thing I like it!

Now, let’s quickly take a boo at what’s off the button press…

My shout out to True Detective’s Rust Cohle character. Image

I’ve read a lot of critiques about the show saying it’s misogynistic but I think it’s *about* misogyny, and not in a “isn’t it great to depress, use, abuse, enslave, cheat on and murder” women kind of way. It’s a crime drama version of Louis CK’s reflection on how dangerous men are to women. There’s a sad, frustrated humanity about the show that it appeals to my pessimistic nature. It’s good when we look in the mirror. Awareness is the first step to making bad things better. That idea seems to be what will drive the two main characters into whatever their finale is…they have acknowledged their failures and they will try to make amends.  As a bonus for me, it’s a green tinged program…like, literally green tinged in a good 80% of the scenes. And I like green…it creates a really dreamy, intensive vision that is almost hypnotic. It’s sort of the opposite of Steven Soderbergh’s use of blue tinting in many of his films. Blue tinting always makes me hyper aware that what I’m watching is in no way real. I can’t connect and get lost in the storytelling in blue tinted films or tv. With this greening of the scenes in True Detective it’s easy to feel pulled into the conversations, the rooms and the characters themselves. It’s bloody brill!

Anyhoo…all that talk about misogyny and that asshat that left the note for the female pilot on his airplane seat the other day (telling her women shouldn’t be pilots, they oughta be at home in the kitchen yadda yadda yadda)  made me create this piece…Image

I wanted to say “Hey, men who do their best to fight rape culture, encourage the education of girls and women, support equal pay, stand up for a woman’s reproductive rights and through all those and other various actions, free themselves from the effects on men via the patriarchy are the men that I hold in high regard and enjoy spending time with.” 

And finally it’s time for fresh comics for a fun filled wedding! The last set sold out to a super nice Mama whose seeing her last baby get hitched this summer. Mazel Tov! Good Things! Image


And that’s it for today. I’ve got to go stoke the wood stove. Because it’s March. In Southern Alberta…




Hoarders – The Seitan Edition

This year marks my 20th year without consuming the flesh of my fellow earth beasts. I’ve had a lot of nuts and beans since then…I make a mean chili and a darn good curry but sometimes you want something other than tofu in your asian inspired dishes. Hence, the seitan. This strange but yummy protein is still available at the Superstore, hopefully it will be for years to come. Every now and again when the hubs has business in the city he drops by and grabs a dozen cans depending on what is on the shelves. This time he bought 24 cans! 24 CANS! Awesome sauce!

You give it a little bit of a fry and then you can make a yummy Vietnamese sub sammy with a whole wheat crusty roll with some grated carrots and cucumbers and a schwack of cilantro and some hot sauce. Best sammy in the world, imho. I also make a nice veggie and noodle soup and right before I serve it I drop some seitan nuggets on the top with some chopped peanuts and cilantro. Tres bon!

You can also make a heap of fried rice and veggies with this stuff in it and then you use the leftovers rolled up in a spring roll wrapper the next day. So.Good.

Once in a pinch I even used it in a “beef” stroganoff and it was worked a treat. So…behold once again, my hoard of weird food items.



On other news fronts I heard from my gallery that my “Chinook Honey Bee Queen” painting sold last month. So that is awesome.That was a work I made after the nice lady working the counter at Chinook Honey’s store counter told us that the Queen had left the hive that is *in* the store ( it’s contained in a plexiglass wall with a bee tube leading outside) when the hive got too full but instead of flying off into the sunset she plopped to the ground as she was too fat to fly. Half the hive came out and swarmed around her bringing the bee keeper around to see what all the fuss was about. They had to move her to a new location since she wasn’t going to be able to wing it on her own. How cute is that? I’d post a pic of that piece but I accidentally deleted that photo folder. Way to go Ohio! Image


I’ll post this painting instead…they were made at the same time so they’re they’re cousins of a sort. This is a Snake Charmer who now resides in Praha aka Prague with some other works I made in 2013. It was a good year for paintings last year. I should get on it again and put in another bulk order of boards to work on. (She says ignoring the 3 paintings waiting to be completed in the studio!) No rest for the weary!

And now Dear Reader, we lace up our shoes and throw on our layers and go for our Sunday run.Thanks for dropping by! Stay warm out there.