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Valentine’s List for the Single Woman

Saturday, February 13th, 2010

As a single woman, Valentine’s Day is a time for me to focus on reaching out to the people I love the most in this world, treating myself well and spoiling myself rotten!

1. A jojoba and lavender oil bath with beeswax candles – Baths are the best! Growing up, working class in the UK, we didn’t have a shower, so we had yummy warm splish sploshy baths. Once I moved to North America showering became the new mode of cleaning; they were quicker and faster, pretty much like most things in this culture, but I still love a nice relaxing, steamy bath once in a while. Jojoba, a lovely carrier for essential oils, is a great moisturizer and lavender is a calming fragrance. Beeswax candlelight is super cozy; it also improves indoor air quality, because as it burns it produces negative ions that have air purifying effects, much the same as some houseplants.

2. Pomegranate green tea – This is my go to tea during the winter months. I also enjoy it chilled with ice and honey in the summer. Both pomegranates and green tea contain antioxidants, and have a brilliantly refreshing taste alone and more so when combined.

3. A bottle of Jackson Triggs Delaine Vineyard, Riesling (06) – One of my favorite rieslings from Ontario under $20. This wine is a golden wheat color, has medium body, and sports the flavor of apricots and peach with slight petrol notes. Sounds gross, but tastes delicious!

4. A cup of Casi Cielo coffee and mini almond biscotti – Yeah, it’s a Starschmucks coffee… but it’s not acidic (most of their coffees give me gut rot!) and only comes out for a limited time in the winter months. It tastes like coco and blackberries and it’s smooth and mild. “Casi Cielo” means “Almost Heaven,” ’nuff said.

5. A snuggle with my coon hound/beagle cross – Brooklyn is my 2.5 year old dog. She’s energetic, mischievous, stubborn as all hell (just like her owner!) and is a super-duper suck, a 40lb ginger furred beauty with big, floppy ears  that are as soft as velvet. This dog is awesome. I’ve had her since she was seven weeks old and love her to bits!

Leanda is a writer based in Toronto. For the past 13 years she has hosted & produced music radio shows, managed bands & worked in online music PR. She now runs a music site & also writes for music & culture magazine `Relevant BCN`. Read more of her writing here - http://www.bloggertronix.com

Valentine’s List

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

1. My Wife: Who says running away to Vegas and getting married doesn’t work?!

2. Winter Olympics: Every four years, I end my patient wait to pour a glass of wine after a long night of studying or working to be blown away by a rebroadcast of the day’s snowboarding, speed skating, or cross country skiing until the wee hours of the morning.

3. When My Friends Become Successful: The past year or two has seen some hard working friends of mine get to the next level. It warms my heart.

4. Going Away to Spain on Holiday: Okay, it never happens, but… I love the thought of it.

5. The Echo Lab: I’ve recorded two albums there with Shiny Around the Edges and it is like being on vacation with the most awesome recording studio at your disposal. Tucked into the rolling horse country of Argyle, Texas, you can grill, shoot BB guns, enjoy a cocktail or two, engage fireworks, and have Matthew J. Barnhart tell you the story of what it’s like to try and transport lobster from Maine to Texas in a van while on tour in the middle of summer.

6. Huevos Rancheros: I could eat this everyday.

7. Recent Jam: Florene’s “Deal With It.” Our former rehearsal space mates released this jam on a new Waaga Records compilation. Like a lost Jean Michel Jarre track from the Oxygene sessions.

8. Intelligence: Canadian television never lets me down. This series inexplicably lasted for only two years. It utilized many of the actors from the Da Vinci’s Inquest series and a handful of X-Files regulars — as is the case with most Vancouver-based shows. My wife and I love this show and still talk about the characters on occasion. Unfortunately, despite strong fan support, it hasn’t been brought back for more seasons.

9. Temporary Art in Temporary Spaces: The urban landscape ebbs and flows in rhythm with capitalist accumulation. Why not allow local artists to have a voice and create temporary cultural spaces for the community?

10. Denton, Texas: It’s the small, Texas town full of music that your mother warned you about.

Michael is a doctoral student in urban planning and public policy at the University of Texas at Arlington. You can follow him on Twitter here, visit his website here, and listen to his band here.