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All In Hand

4 bloggers, 3 bakers and a brunch

Miss Vicky Tue Jun 14, 2005

Fear not, Faithful Legion! I am working on a piece of vitriol about Randall Denley's column about the city's vision for change (or lack thereof), so you'll have plenty to chat about soon. In the meantime, a gal's gotta earn a living...

But I did want to post a quick plug for a newish place on the Wellington mainstreet, 3 Bakers & a Bike. It's next to Bridgehead, so Webgeek and I pass it every morning on our walk. I've been curious about it for a while.... they specialize in cakes, cupcakes, cookies and pie, so who wouldn't be? When I saw their sandwich board advertising Sunday Brunch, I decided it was time.

Webgeek, Special Patrol Group, WG's brother (let's call him Chefgeek) and I strolled over on Sunday morning to give it a shot. It's a cosy place, with only a few tables inside and one outside. There isn't much room for groups of more than 2, so we took the back corner, where there's a 2-seater couch, 2 chairs and a coffee table. A bit snug for brunch, but we managed. On the menu: a nice range of omelettes, pancakes, french toast and the usual eggs/toast/bacon combo. SPG and Chefgeek ordered pancakes; Webgeek and I opted for French Toast.

The food arrived in short order. It was lovely. The portions were generous - 6 pieces of french toast, made with a fresh raisin bread, plus fruit and bacon (not too crisp, not too rubbery - just the way Miss Vicky likes it!). SPG and Chefgeek were offered second helpings of pancakes as well. Everything was delicious. I'd definitely recommend the place - maybe not for your softball team, but as a sweet spot for a leisurely Sunday breakfast with a friend or loved one. A nice alternative to the Carleton, that's for sure!

Band Together: Make Poverty History

Miss Vicky Mon Jun 13, 2005

Just received this in my inbox. Sounds like a must-see event.

Local independent artists will be coming together on Friday June 17, 2005, bringing their own unique musical, poetic and visual art forms to the stage at the Babylon Nightclub, located at 317 Bank Street.

Band Together promises to be a soulful cabaret, showcasing exquisite artistic and talented outfits in a free thinking politically bent atmosphere. These artists join the (un) organized collective to show their support for the Make Poverty History Campaign.

Here is the line-up:

John Akpata, a local artist, writer and poet, will be your host.

Patrice James, Ottawa documentary filmmaker, will show her short documentary "Flava Sistas Flava" a look into the lives of three exceptionally magnanimous women.

Gabrielle Alexis Aarons, local singer songwriter in the cabaret genre, whose work encompasses strains of opera, theatre and jazz, will introduces us to a new set of rolling Blues style songs.

An exhibit by The Poster Factory.

Oni the Haitian Sensation, local polymorphic writer, poet and arts educator.

Presswon, will bring their unique style of Afro funk jazz with a hint of hip hop.

The white band of the Make Poverty History campaign was agreed to by the unique worldwide coalition as the one symbol to unite all activities in this Global Call to Action Against Poverty. By wearing the White band, you are part of a worldwide effort in 2005 to end extreme poverty. You are sending the message that you have the will to act and that you want poverty to be stopped.

The (un)organized collective will be giving away White bands on site June 17. Visit the Make Poverty History campaign ebsite to see more detail on what we are calling for together . Stay connected to find out when the whole world will be wearing the White band.

"Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings".
Nelson Mandela, Trafalgar Square, 2005.

"2005 is a year of great opportunity we can really do something to change the world and make it a better place. The time has come to stop talking and start taking some action. If everyone who wants to see an end to poverty, hunger and suffering speaks out then the noise will be deafening. Politicians will have to listen".
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, 2004.



Miss Vicky Mon Jun 13, 2005

I've more or less recovered from the WESTfestivities. The sunburn is gone, and I've perked up a bit since my slight heat exhaustion on Saturday evening. It's too bad, as we attended another fab wedding reception and a 30th birthday party that night and we were both too pooped to enjoy them properly. What brought me over the hump, though, was the 2 hours we spent in an air conditioned movie theatre last night....

Anyway, I promised to report more on WESTfest. I must say, I am very impressed with this event. I've been surfing community events lately and this does stand out, for a number of reasons: its scale (Richmond was shut down from the Loblaws at Kirkwood to the end of the Westboro "strip" - around 10 blocks of activities), its diversity (a main stage with headliner acts like the Cowboy Junkies and Danny Michel, spoken word and dance performances, a gallery featuring work by local artists, tables for community organizations, great sales at the businesses, buskers and activities for kids), the amount of sponsorship (which is, I guess, how they manage to do it for free). What I like is that it seems to be a real collaborative effort. People like the event and they want to make it work. All the local businesses seem to pitch in. Really, they do a great job.

They need some more human resources, though. The primary organizers, Elaina and Shawn, were really busy all day. They could have used a few more bodies to help wrangle volunteers and help deal with the myriad of problems that come up in the day. What I witnessed was a real superhuman effort, especially given the heat and exposure to the sun they endured. And volunteers were great - folks pitched in where they saw a need. That's what Webgeek and I did - we helped set up in the morning and spent the day monitoring the trash situation and collecting donations from folks on the street.

Which brings me to my next point. This is a free event. It's a great event. And people were clearly enjoying themselves. But as we walked up and down Richmond shaking our donation buckets and offering funky buttons in exchange for spare coin, very few people contributed. Those who did were generous and enthusiastic. Those others, I just don't understand....

I will also say this about the event: volunteers were treated very well. We got two meals (Roses Cafe....yum!) and as much water as we needed, and we really felt appreciated. I'll definitely sign up to help next year.

As I said above, I really liked the multi-disciplinary focus - the mixture of music, visual art, literature, dance and busking. I'm a little sorry I wasn't able to catch a lot of the performances, but I did run into poetry curator rob mclennan in the beer tent as we were enjoying our post-volunteer meal and beverage. He handed us a chapbook with some of the WESTfest poets' work, we chatted a bit about blogging.... I may have to write more about rob's amazing work on behalf of the literary and small press scene in Ottawa and beyond, but that's a separate entry altogether.

What other highlights.... Cheryl Mazak's work,
Junkyard Jonny's performance, Ember Swift, Spring Action's trampoline demo, the samples from the Belgian Chocolatier and the Bridgehead Iced Latte we enjoyed on our break. I am sure I'm forgetting plenty, but the Webgeek will remind me...

Next up on the Kitchissippi community festival agenda: Mechanicsville Days, Laroche Park, June 24 and 25!


Heat Stroke

Miss Vicky Sat Jun 11, 2005

Well, we're back from our day of WESTfest volunteering. We spent the day walking up and down Richmond, collecting donations, handing out buttons and assorted other duties. It was really fun, and I'd love to tell you all about it, but I must admit the sun and heat took a lot out of me. In addition to the lovely shade of cerise I have acquired, my feet are in need of epsom salts and the rest of me needs at least 3 lukewarm showers. It was steamy out there! Fortunately they provided lots of water to volunteers, and the free grub from the Roses didn't hurt, either.

It was a fantastic event, and still going strong when we left. Lots of activites for families, a great way to profile the local businesses and services, good food, great music, art and spoken word. I was pleasantly surprised to see my cousin's trampoline and circus school set up a demontration (she wasn't there, unfortunately, but the kids were great).

More tomorrow.... must cool down now.

Wedding Bikes

Miss Vicky Fri Jun 10, 2005

Our friend Jenn is marrying her beau today in a (more or less) surprise ceremony at City Hall. We'll be celebrating tonight at Westfest (after the requisite bike parade, of course)!

Actually, Jenn's potlucks brought Webgeek and Miss Vicky together, so we're particularly indebted to her, and looking forward to tonight's festivities.

Congrats to Greg and Jenn!

But we digress...

Miss Vicky Fri Jun 10, 2005

My profound apologies to my Faithful Legion for yesterday's punning digression. I don't know what got into us. I'm going to blame it on the heat and smog, though. Yes, that sounds good. Much better than trying to find a way to avoid blogging about the depressing Supreme Court ruling on health care.

Frankly, I don't know what to say. What alarms me is that this decision has come at a time when our parliament seems incapable of doing anything but namecalling and jockeying for the best position when the government falls. Hardly the time to take concrete action to address the legacy of a couple of decades of underfunding and lack of vision for the future of our health care system. I mean, despite the work that went into the Romanow report, Martin has done little to implement any recommendations. The Health Accord is pretty sketchy, and there's some funding, but not the kind of real reform we need to keep our public system strong and avoid further privatization.

I'll wait to read the decision more thoroughly before I really weigh in. Plenty of stuff on the blogosphere today. It's also worth checking the Canadian Health Coalition for reaction from coalition members. I found this perspective on what this means for low-income Canadians to be particularly enlightening.


The Last Commute to Clarksville

The Webgeek Fri Jun 10, 2005

OK, Day 5 and, for most of us, the last day of the work-week. Still holding at 12 people on our team -- 11 of whom have entered their KM's commuted (*ahem* I'm looking at you Restless Hipster) -- but that's ok. Any of our readers still have till June 17th to join us and/or enter their numbers. So far our interim total is 455.80 KM 'saved'. For those of us with regular week day type job commutes, please remember that the challange does last until Saturday, so try and use alternate modes of transport for your weekend errand runs as well. I know Miss Vicky and I will be walking to our WestFest volunteer duties. As added incentive, consider that gas was up to $0.90 a litre at our local station.

Birthday Wishes!

Miss Vicky Thu Jun 9, 2005

Miss Vicky has three birthdays to celebrate this week....

Pookie celebrated his birthday on Tuesday (June 7). Haven't spoken to him but I'm hoping his children allowed themselves to be dragged out to fly-fish or some other appropriate pookie-ish form of celebration!

Gorked (a.k.a. my bro the eye surgeon) entered his mid-thirties yesterday. I am guessing his day started with early morning wakeups from his three daughters, chaos ensuing from there. Perhaps he had a ballet performance from Jane and Ellie (Jane likes to construct complicated ballet plots based on various fairy tales, directing her little sister and cousin Ben in a fashion slightly reminiscent of her bossy Auntie...). I'd give him a hard time about his age, but I'm sure he'll be quick to remind me that I'll always be older than him.

Westcoast Flake, who has registered but has yet to post, has his birthday today. He got hitched recently - perhaps he and his partner (what do you call an ex-stepfather's new wife, anyway? I'll have to stick to calling her Jo, I guess) enjoyed a candelit meal in their new house, followed by a stroll along the boardwalk.

Best wishes, you three! Many happy returns! Save me some cake!

Not your grandmother's craft sale

Miss Vicky Thu Jun 9, 2005

I've already committed to volunteering at WESTfest this weekend, but I must admit I'm intrigued by this craft sale. Check this out:

While you’ll find tea cozies and handmade teddy bears at a traditional craft sale, you’ll find iPod cozies and plush monsters at this one. Inspired by the growing DIY craft movement, the Not You’re Grandma’s Craft Sale features handmade purses and accessories, silk-screened t-shirts and underwear, guitar straps and photography… even decorated toilet seats

Mintyfresh is previewing her items on her blog.... very cool-looking handbags. Far beyond what Miss Vicky's ever been able to produce at any of her crafternoons. Although she does whip up a mean massage oil....

Lessons from Susan Delacourt

Miss Vicky Thu Jun 9, 2005

Susan Delacourt was excellent this morning. This is not a surprise to those of us who follow her work. She spoke frankly and honestly about the difficulties of writing about the issue of women in politics (how do you write about absences in a way that keeps the story fresh and interesting?), about the parallel lack of women in the press gallery (her informal analysis puts the number of women between 20 and 25% - pretty much in line with the numbers of elected women in the House), and the way women in recent weeks have been portrayed by political colleagues as well as the media. That is, women are allowing men to speak for them (think Belinda, Nina Grewal) or not challenging the tone, the culture in a way that allows for a real look at how women are framed (or how we frame ourselves).

It gave us a lot of food for thought, as Equal Voice is in the midst of planning its research and media strategy for the upcoming election. Obviously we want women's participation in politics to become a real priority for parties and for voters, and to do that we have to be smart about the message we're sending, the stories we want to tell. We have our work cut out for us, that's for sure.

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