Three hundred and forty-three

“Curry”

Mmmm… chickpea curry!  It makes my mouth water just looking at it – and I just finished eating a big bowl full!

What more can I say about vegan cooking that I haven’t said already?  I feel like one of those hippy stereotypes that talks about drinking green smoothies and spouts off all the advantages of hot yoga (for the record, I don’t drink green smoothies, although I’d love to tell you all about how downward dog and tree pose make me feel…).  I admit I am a bit of a hippy – especially when you compare me to my meat-eating family.

I won’t try to convince you of anything, though.  It’s everyone’s personal choice what they eat.  We all have beliefs – some more extreme than others.  My beliefs – especially since my month of being a strict vegan – are that cooking and baking without any animals products is delicious, much healthier, and really did completely change my relationship with food.

I’m no longer a strict vegan.  I eat a bit of chicken and fish.  And I did have a slice of Baileys cake at my friend’s house the other day.  But generally I stay away from dairy, pork and beef.  I would still, however, prefer to cook vegan foods.  And I love photographing the beautiful colours of the different vegetables, herbs and spices.

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Three hundred and forty-two

“Why I don’t eat Mickey Dees…”

These photos are how I feel about McDonalds.  This trash lines the streets of my neighbourhood.  Everywhere you look there’s another cup or bag or crumpled-up napkin.  On my front lawn, on the path to a house, shoved in between twigs in a bush – everywhere.

Mickey Dees is the antithesis to many of the concepts I researched this year.  From the horrible things I learned about factory farming during vegan month to the prevalence of obesity among poor neighbourhoods, fast food is a major player in both.  I couldn’t even bring myself to use the coupons I had acquired for the clown of fast food chains during extreme couponing month.

Three hundred and forty-one

“Here is a flower for a beautiful girl…”

Yep, I kept them – the notes attached to two sets of flowers from one of my dates in date month.  There were yellow flowers for my mom and a pink rose for me.

“Here are some flowers for your mother on Mother’s Day, because I’m the kind of guy you can take home to your family.”

“And here is a flower for a beautiful girl, because I’m the kind of guy that you can keep all to yourself!”

It was one of the most romantic and sweet gestures that’s ever happened to me on a one-off date.  He is a writer, though, so I’m not sure if he’s always that romantic, or just putting it on for the sake of the blog…  Either way, I absolutely loved it!  And you can tell by the numerous thumb tack holes, they’ve been moved around my bulletin board a few times.  They always make me smile.

Three hundred and forty

I’m back in the city with the wonderful invention of wireless internet.  As much as I love visiting my parents in the country, oh how I love my apartment and am so grateful to have access to the world wide web in my home.  Without further ado, here is the photo I wanted to post yesterday, and what it reminds me of…

“Yellow fields, big sky”

The big sky, the yellow ground, the vast fields, the feeling of being so small in our huge country.  My trip across Canada in September was a life-changing experience.  The beautiful, although very wide, Saskatchewan was a highlight.  We were a tiny speck driving across the flat landscape for days.

Driving through parts of southern Ontario gives me this same feeling, although not quite as yellow fields or as big sky.  This photo was taken in the town of Lincoln, just outside Beamsville.  There’s something so visceral about farming that I love.  It puts my mind at peace.  That is, unless I start thinking about what I learned during vegan month and what happens in those buildings in the background…

Three hundred and thirty-eight

Welcome to A Photograph A Day month

The last month!  I can’t believe it’s almost been a year since I started this project!  And what a crazy year it has been.  Through lots of ups and downs we’ve made it to the month chosen by you, the reader.  You chose that I take a photograph a day, post it, tell the story behind it, and work the photos into a little recap of certain events from the past year.

I’m still figuring out exactly how I’m going to structure this.  I was originally thinking of working on photos in a chronological order from extreme couponing to poverty line, but I think I’d rather be inspired and post what strikes me as important on the day.  I’d like to add anecdotes and perhaps some stories I didn’t write about on the blog because they seemed too personal at the time, but now that time has passed I feel like I can share them.  I’m also going to try to work in those things that I didn’t get a chance to do during the months, but wanted to (ie. stand-up comedy for out of my comfort zone month – yes, Peter and Chris, I will be doing this still!).  As this topic was chosen by you, if you have anything you’d like to see be part of this month, please comment and let me know.

“I’m blogging this.”

Without further ado, my first photo.  I thought this was appropriate as a beginning to this month, and a representation of some of the struggle I went through this year balancing blogging (and trying to share as much as possible) with deciding what I should keep personal (for my own sake, or for other people in my life’s sake).  Sometimes my decisions in this regard worked out better than other times…

(Oh, and the underwear were a Christmas gift from my friend Meredith.  Thanks Mere!)