My Grandmother and her sister Helene, May, 1955

My Grandmother and her sister Gisele, February, 2009

Memories, 1966

(click to embiggen)

Family heritage

'It's too bad that things have changed so much, and yet people today are not as happy as we were then with the little we had. Unfortunately, people today seem to need and want so many things and so many distractions. Perhaps it is time to think about what is really most important in this life. Is it what you have that is important? Or is it more important to be thankful for what we do have, and to remember our beginnings and what it is that helped us become who and what we are today?'

(From the memoir of my great grandfather, Edouard Carignan, written shortly before his death in 1982. Born in 1900, he and his family immigrated from Arthabasca County, Quebec to Notre Dame (Ponteix), Saskatchewan in 1910. He married my great grandmother, Marie Anna Lallier, and had 16 children between 1923 and 1945. This picture was taken in 1920.)


Lance Black wins 2009 Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for 'Milk':

'...When I was 13 years old, my beautiful mother and my father moved me from a conservative Mormon home in San Antonio, Texas to California and I heard the story of Harvey Milk. And it gave me hope. It gave me the hope to live my life, it gave me the hope to one day live my life openly as who I am and that maybe even I could fall in love and one day get married. I want to thank my mom who has always loved me for who I am, even when there was pressure not to. But most of all, if Harvey had not been taken from us 30 years ago, I think he’d want me to say to all of the gay and lesbian kids out there tonight who have been told that they are less than by their churches or by the government or by their families that you are beautiful, wonderful creatures of value and that no matter what anyone tells you, God does love you and that very soon, I promise you, you will have equal rights, federally, across this great nation of ours. Thank you, thank you, and thank you God for giving us Harvey Milk...'

Sean Penn wins 2009 Academy Award for Best Actor for 'Milk':

'...For those who saw the signs of hatred as our cars drove in tonight, and, I think that it is a good time for those who voted for the ban against gay marriage to sit and reflect and anticipate their great shame and the shame in their grandchildren’s eyes if they continue that way of support. We’ve got to have equal rights for everyone...'

Happy Birthday Darwin

Recent poster design for the Graduate Student Association at Trent University
Today is the 200th anniversary of Darwin's birth, and the 150th anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of Species.
(please click to enlarge)

Life is good.

So Happy by Andy Warhol

Parking fail

Just too juicy for Fail Blog.

This is what you shall do

'This is what you shall do: Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul; and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body.'

-Preface to Walt Whitman's 'Leaves of Grass', 1855

If I could fly to New York...

I would get tickets to this:

Mary Louise Parker in a new production of Ibsen's Hedda Gabler

Words to live by

1. Be Impeccable With Your Word
Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

2. Don't Take Anything Personally
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won't be the victim of needless suffering.

3. Don't Make Assumptions
Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

4. Always Do Your Best
Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.

(from The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz)

The children

Meet Milo and Cheddar.


New template. New month. New me.

Let the blogging begin.


'All of this has happened before and all of it will happen again.' (Battlestar Galactica)