Archive for June, 2008

June 18, 2008

Happiness = Books + Sushi

Posted in books, happiness

parc, park, library, Verdun, Mudd Lavoie

Happiness is all about the little things in life. The more you stop and notice the little things that make you feel good, the happier you get.

library, park, Verdun, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Mudd Lavoie

For me, going to the library is always a treat. First of all, I get to take a nice long walk. I love to walk. To choose which route to take, I often toss a coin; each one offers interesting sites and possible discoveries.

library, Verdun, Mudd Lavoie

Once I reach the Centre culturel, there’s always some sort of exhibit going on in the main hall. Two weeks ago, it was all about puppets, dozens of them, each created by a different school kid. Averaging three feet in height, with papier-mâché heads, they rested on shelves or hung from the ceiling; colourful and comical, they seemed ready to come alive and form a crazy conga line. Good thing I wasn’t on acid.

When I went by on Monday, there was a series of drawings by Cathy Cahill entitled Life, Death and Rabbits. The notice said it was an “autobiographical story peopled with rabbits who symbolize reproduction, vulnerability, and steadfast vegetarianism.”

I started to glance at the bunny covered canvasses, but couldn’t concentrate enough to make out what the artist wanted to convey; I was too eager to walk through the glass doors and into the library. I could hear the books calling, “Pick me, pick me.”

Book Pickings

book, library, Random Illuminations Conversations with Carol Shields, Eleanor Wachtel, read, reading, Mudd Lavoie

First one to catch my eye: Random Illuminations – Conversations with Carol Shields, by Eleanor Wachtel. According to Alice Munro, for whom I have the greatest respect and admiration, this book offers “An illuminating revelation of a writer’s life and thought.”

Eleanor Wachtel is described as being one of the very finest interviewers of authors in the world. Having met and interviewed Carol Shields for the first time in 1987, the two quickly became friends and over the next sixteen years, Wachtel conducted numerous interviews with the Pulitzer Prize-winning author.

This promises to be a very interesting read. I enjoy peeking in on a writer’s mind and their everyday life; it often inspires me and moves me to kick myself in the butt and be more productive, to let go of the judging little perfectionist devil, to have fun.

Deepak Chopra's The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire, book, read, reading, library, Mudd Lavoie

Next is Deepak Chopra’s The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire. I’ve read a few books by Chopra, mostly the ones about health and quantum medicine, so I know I won’t be disappointed.

I’m a firm believer in the messages “coincidences” have to offer. Chopra says that everyday coincidences are not only meaningful, they actually provide us with glimpses of the field of infinite possibilities that lies at the heart of all things. Thus, by gaining access to this wellspring of creation, we can literally rewrite our destinies in any way we wish. Well now, I say let the magic begin!

La théorie du grain de sable, une bd illustrée par François Schuiten, écrite par Benoît Peeters, book, read, reading, library, Verdun, Mudd Lavoie

Last but not least, La théorie du grain de sable, a bd (comic book) by François Schuiten, illustrator, and Benoît Peeters, writer. I’ve already thumbed through it; the drawings – in black ink with white and beige backgrounds – have a dramatic intensity that reminds me of a 1940’s film noir. Looking forward to reading it. Only bad note: I discovered – at the very end, of course – that this is Tome 1 of a two-part story. Very crooked of them not to have specified this on the cover. Wondering how long it will take for Tome 2 to come out. Tsk tsk tsk.

As usual, I had to restrain myself from picking more than three; I need to stop reading if I want to keep writing…right? So off I went on my merry way.

What’s For Supper?

By then, my stomach was growling, and sushi came to mind. Within the last year and a half, four sushi restaurants have opened in Verdun. The most recent one, Sushi Time (how appropriate), is less than ten minutes from my home…very convenient indeed. Not only is it close, it’s also across the street from IGA where I buy most of my groceries. This often makes it tempting for me to skip the hassle of cooking a meal, because “Helloooo? Easy yummy sushiiiii.”

sushi, restaurant, verdun, montreal, quebec, canada, sushi time, Mudd Lavoie

In I went.

This was my third visit, and I decided to introduce myself – Hi, my name is Mudd – and ask if I could take photos for my blog.

Alex, the owner, and Zara, his assistant, were sitting at a table, getting menus ready for what I suppose will be a massive distribution throughout the neighbourhood. Alex was more than happy to let me take pictures, and afterwards, as I waited for my take-out order, he told me a bit about his young life, how he was born in Verdun, went to Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes school when he was a kid, and how he now recognizes the occasional old school buddy who comes in for sushi, surprised to see that Alex has become quite the businessman. Cool!

sushi, restaurant, verdun, Sushi Time, Mudd Lavoie

Alex was also eager to mention that the outdoor sign is only temporary; he has to wait for the city officials to approve his sign proposal before having it installed. It seems this may take a long time. I told him I’ll take a photo of it once it’s up and post an update for all of you to see. How can I not do it? He’s the sweetest!

While we were chatting away, Vu was busy preparing my usual: one Kappa Maki (cucumber) and one Avocado Maki. I sometimes order the vegetarian Miso soup, but I figured I was too hot from my long walk, and skipped it.

(Would regret it once I got home…*sigh*…it’s never too hot for Miso soup.)

Here’s the chef, Vu, with Alex at his side.

sushi, restaurant, verdun, Sushi Time, Mudd Lavoie

And here’s my marvelous feast, all ready for me to savour – slowly – in my lovely little corner of paradise.

sushi, Sushi Time, balcony, supper, summer, home sweet home, Mudd Lavoie

Make it happen!

*** Sushi Time is located at 4537 Wellington Street, between Willibrord and 1st avenue, close to both Verdun and de l’Église metro stations.

June 4, 2008

Aviary Crash

Posted in happiness

pigeon, balcony, Verdun, Mudd Lavoie, visitor, summer

So I was sitting on my balcony, thumbing through magazines, clipping yet more pictures for my Treasure Map (update coming soon, promise), when this pigeon came flying full speed ahead, hit my hanging plant (the one with the red scarf), and crashed onto the floor, rolling a few times before coming to a halt.

Poor thing got back on its feet, wobbled off to the end of the balcony, and just stood there, staring at me.

I got up and went towards it. The bird didn’t budge. When I was close enough, I noticed it was missing a claw on its left foot. It was clearly an old wound. Geez, that pigeon must have had it tough. Wasn’t one of the good-looking pigeons, all slim and shiny. It was bland, overweight, looked like it hadn’t showered in a long while.

I went back to my comfortable chair at the opposite end of the balcony, but couldn’t take my eyes off my impromptu visitor. Time went by, and I figured the only polite thing to do was to give it something to eat. Off I went and back I came with a handful of roasted sesame seeds. The pigeon suddenly came alive and started pecking away, stopping now and then to stare at me with what I interpreted as a look of surprised gratitude.

pigeon, balcony, Verdun, summer, Mudd Lavoie

After another twenty minutes or so, I got my friend a bowl of water.

Later on, I added some delicious organic Kamut bread crumbs.

Eventually, the bird stopped eating, pooped twice, and left.