Monthly Archives: September 2012

Niagara Falls

Photograph by Jubilare, 2012

Meet the cutest bit of graffiti I have ever seen and enjoy the first of what promises to be four posts on my Canada trip. I am sorry for the delay, but I had to sort through all of my pictures.

So, the story is that my friend, who has been to Canada before but never to Ottawa, wanted to make a trip this summer, and she invited me along. Her plan was to fly to Niagara on the U.S. side, take a taxi over the border, spend the day in Niagara Falls and take a train the next day to Ottawa.

Our taxi-driver was Kurdish, and when he learned that we came from Nashville, which has a large Kurdish community, he really opened up and we had a good long conversation with him. The border-crossing was much easier (and in consequence much less hilarious) than my last crossing into Canada.

We were dropped off near our hostel where we were greeted, interestingly enough, by a young and very friendly Irishman. The hostel was the most friendly of any I have encountered. The whole staff felt like a family, and were beyond helpful. Once, they even offered to share some chicken wings with me.

The area around our hostel was pretty run-down. I took many pictures of abandoned-looking buildings. There is something beautiful, as well as sad, in urban decay. Below is my favorite shot, with crumbling bricks like moth-holes in a tapestry, and wires like cobwebs.

Photograph by Jubilare, 2012

Despite the ravages of economic stress, beauty of past prosperity endures.

Photograph by Jubilare, 2012

And as I said above, the people at the hostel could not have been nicer to us. The friendly Irishman, in answer to our question about good lunching, pointed us to a Caribbean restaurant around the corner.  In my opinion, this Caribbean meal, suggested by an Irishman in Canada, was the best food we had on the whole trip. Behold!

Photograph by Jubilare, 2012

After lunch, we walked to the falls. As we moved towards the center of tourism, of course, the apparent prosperity of the place increased. We passed many nice-looking bed-and-breakfasts, but I wouldn’t have traded our hostel for them. We also passed a bridge that caught my eye. Oh how I love perspective!

Photograph by Jubilare, 2012

Photograph by Jubilare, 2012

Niagara Falls, which I had never seen before, are magnificent and beautiful. For those that don’t know, there are two falls, one on the U.S. side and one on the Canadian side. The U.S. side, pictured below, is smaller and lower, but also more natural in appearance. Of the two, it is my favorite.

Photograph by Jubilare, 2012

That is not to say that I do not also love the Canadian side. It is overwhelmingly powerful and beautiful in its own right. The two following pictures are of it.

Photograph by Jubilare, 2012

Photograph by Jubilare, 2012

The stormy sky was a great gift for my camera. The rain was overkill, though, as we were wet enough from the “Maid of the Mist,” a short boat ride near the falls. We also walked behind the Canadian falls in tunnels, which allowed us to see them from a different angle.

Sadly, Niagara is also a huge tourist-trap. It reminds me more than a little of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge (don’t get me started unless you want a loooong rant). Look below to see what I mean.

Photograph by Jubilare, 2012

Photograph by Jubilare, 2012

And no, that chap in the foreground isn’t an escaping ghost (though that would be fantastic!). I merely like to avoid posting pictures of random strangers without their permission.

Despite some frustrations with a bus-system in transition (the day after we left it was set to change) we had a good time. Being me, I grieve for the existence of a tourist trap next to such natural beauty, but tourist-trap culture is at least interesting to me. If you ever travel to this place, I suggest staying at this hostel. I did not take any pictures while on the train to Ottawa, but it was a pleasant trip. Next post will be set in Ottawa itself.


Following Up

Behold one aspect of the awesomeness of my sister-in-law! Sis, your knitting amazes me.


Early Christmas

I finally ordered the yarn for these and have been knitting away! The mornings are cool and crisp, and its starting to feel a lot like…well, you know. Not Christmas yet. But definitely not summer any more!

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Victorian Bot?

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Zombies vs. Bunnies

“Dream,” to me, does not have positive connotations. It does not have negative ones, either.

It is a neutral term.

I remember happy dreams from childhood, but since then even the dreams I enjoy are not really “good” dreams. I have had a few lucid dreams, always fun, but even they have deep shadows.

The dream I enjoyed most in the past decade involved a water-park and a hideous plague that turned its victims invisible as it killed them so that people were playing in water among corpses they couldn’t see.

You may wonder how I enjoyed such a dream. I didn’t enjoy all of it, obviously, but the overall experience was good due to some extenuating circumstances.

1. most of my nightmares, and some of my dreams, involve zombies. At least the invisible corpses didn’t get back up.

2. I am sure you have experienced dreams in which things that ought to have bothered you didn’t. I was once fine with being coated in spiders in a dream. I only freaked out when I woke up.

3. Instead of being a helpless victim, I had an objective Being active makes a big difference in fear.

4. In the dream I was a big, glowing dog who could run across water. I highly recommend being a quadruped in one’s dreams, especially a glowing one.

So I have dreams that I enjoy, and dreams that only perplex me, but none of them are truly positive.

Then, of course, there are the nightmares. I have already mentioned the zombie problem. That started before I really knew what zombies were. I was a child dreaming that I was in my back yard. My beloved dog looked at me, and she wasn’t behind her own eyes. Imagine a moment where you realize that your pet has died and been replaced by something malevolent that keeps her body moving.

From there, the zombie dreams have only gotten worse. The most distressing involved my brother and I trapped in a zombie-filled library. It ended with him becoming an undead and chasing me up an elevator shaft, but the worst part was my fear, throughout, that something would happen to him and then my utter horror when it did. Brotherbeast, if you are reading this, you had better not get bit on z-day.

Why all this morbid musing? Well, I am trying to process my completely un-morbid dream of last night.

It involved bunnies.

Baby bunnies.

For some reason I had three young rabbits in my care, each about the size of my fist. One was cotton-tail colored, another was spotted black and white and the third was albino. They were ludicrously cute.

They had not been handled much, or had been handled too roughly, for they were afraid of people. I was preparing food for them when someone (there were several non-identified persons in the room, as there often are in dreams) picked up the wee albino. The bunny escaped and proceeded to run around the room. Everyone tried to catch it, but I crouched down and waited patiently. I was aware, even in the dream, of being far more patient and much less panicky than I would normally be under such a circumstance. Several times the creature ran past me and I failed to catch it, but I waited. Then it came close enough and I got it.

I held it firmly but carefully to me, stroked it, and put it back in its box with the other two. Then I fed them. Somehow I was confident that I would be able to win their trust in time.

Then my cats woke me, wanting to be fed. It wasn’t until I woke up fully that I was struck by the unusual nature of this dream. There were no zombies, no plagues, no horrific injuries or deaths. Even the “threat” in the dream was mild. The bunnies didn’t bite me (I have been bitten by a hare before. I can’t recommend it). I might as well have been dreaming about unicorns and rainbows.

Baby rabbits, little balls of warm, soft, vitality.

For the first time in at least two decades, I had a truly good dream.

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