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Monthly Archives: September 2010

i realize everybody thinks that their own pet is god’s gift to petkind, so i’m going to continue that tradition and gush about my fuzzy critter, rohe (pronounced ro) boat, for a post (or two.. or more…).
i adopted rohe (aka chatty) from the SPCA in victoria in the fall of 2008. my good friend Gabrielle was in town visiting, and she had adopted 2 cats from the SPCA, gryphon and schooner, and so i was glad that she was able to come along with me for support! after the glass sponge symposium (yes, glass sponge symposium), we headed to the SPCA and went in to meet some cats! the main location was only housing adult cats at that time, and i had hoped to adopt a younger cat, since i was new to cats and wanted to be able to meet it at as young of age as possible. gabrielle and i travelled to a nearby petcetera, where they were separating the kittens (to protect them from any upper respiratory disease that the adults were carrying at the time).
rohe and i locked eyes the second i looked through the window (i know, i know, everyone says that).  we went in to the room and i saw that in front of the cage where rohe, or “chatty”, a sign was posted “adoption pending”. my heart sank. he was the fuzziest, fluffiest, cutiest little guy and i’d felt an instant connection as he watched me and followed my movements as i moved back and forth in front of the cage. good thing gabrielle was there, for at the time, i was quite timid and didn’t feel as though it was important to ask about his adoption status.  gabrielle pushed me to ask, just in case, and so i did. thankfully, it turned out, the tag was for another cat that had already been removed from the cage and adopted, and rohe (chatty) was available! eee!
the technician removed him from the cage and put him in my arms. he lay on his back like a baby, touching my neck and purring away.  i had been planning on adopting a cat for a long time, i had always just planned that things would happen in smaller, slower steps.  i’d had no idea i would be walking out w/ a kitten THAT day! i’ve always been someone who thinks things over VERY carefully before acting, but as i had to remind myself that day, i had been planning for a long time to do this, and there would never be a 100% perfect time.  the assistant warned me that they were adopting out approximately 6-7 kittens per day at that point, and it was likely that rohe (chatty) wouldn’t be there if i didn’t submit an application in motion to “reserve” him.
rohe sat quietly in my lap as i filled out the paperwork and then handed it to the assistant. he checked it over and then said “ok. take this up to the till”. i did a double take and asked him stupidly, “you mean, i’m taking him right now? like today?”. the assistant said i could leave him overnight if i wanted to and pick him up tomorrow if i’d prefer, but i looked at gabrielle and she was beaming. i thought “what difference will today or tomorrow make? i’ll take him now!”
gabrielle and i picked up everything i needed for him: carrying case, food bowls, food, litter, box, treats, toys, and we were on our way!
ryan was in halifax when i adopted rohe, but he helped come up with his name. we named him after ludwig mies van der rohe, an architect that ryan was interested in at the time.
this is turning into a long post, so i’ll leave it at that and save more for another time!

[photo credits: 1. illustration, unknown ; 2. ropos submersible image of glass sponge reef, lab of S.P. Leys; 3. me, bubble shell gastropod & 4. me, adult moon snail]
my undergraduate “lightbulb” moment occured in my second year invertebrate zoology course at the university of alberta.  i remember sitting in lecture thinking “you mean i can study these critters as a job?!”.  my brother and i had been playing in tidepools in roberts creek and in and around vancouver and vancouver island since we were babies, and i always feel like a kid at christmas when i discover a new tidepool to explore.

my undergraduate career, from my second year until my fifth, was focused on marine invertebrate zoology and i volunteered and worked as a research assistant in a sponge biology lab.  i attended as many marine biology courses at the bamfield marine sciences centre as i could, some of the best years of my life and where i met some of my most fantastic friends!  my honours project focused on the reproduction and development of reef-forming glass sponges and got me out on an oceanographic cruise on the jp tully, the canadian coast guard research vessel that deploys the ropos submersible.  this submersible was used to collect my samples and images that i used to write my undergrad thesis.

from sponges to snails, when i moved to victoria to start my masters, i began work on sea snails or gastropods.  i’ve been raising them and studying them now for nearly 3 years and am now working on finishing up my thesis! finally! living in victoria has allowed me to go on many intertidal field trips, seeing weird and wonderful invertebrates along the way (and a few vertebrates)! one thing that keeps me always in love with invertebrates is that, even though i’ve been studying them in my university career for nearly a decade and loving them all of my life, i can learn something new every day and can see species i’ve never seen before any intertidaling trip! i’ll post inverts that amaze me every so often on my blog! 🙂

[photo credits: 1. patrick demarchelier for vogue; 2. me; 3. peggy sirtoa for marie claire]
ever since i was a young teenager, i’ve been obsessed with fashion magazines. i used to get my mom to buy me the latest magazines when she’d make her monthly pilgrimage to costco 🙂
and now, even though i’m still a starving student, i can’t help but indulge in my monthly vogue, harper’s bazaar and house & home magazines… and sometimes marie claire… and elle…

i’m a little behind the times and only discovered scott schuman’s blog, the sartorialist, a year ago. as i am still in the early stages of establishing this blog and my sources of inspiration, i thought it might be a good idea to post about his beautiful book by the same name. i bought it at chapters last year and its my favourite coffee table book; i never get tired of flipping through it.  i really love seeing the amazing, unexpected style that ordinary people put together, that scott schuman finds and photographs. the colour and texture combinations inspire me to try to put together some new mixes of my own of things i have in my closet…
(ps. this vogue turkey cover of jessica stam is my favourite vogue cover to date. i love its simple power. i would LOVE to have a copy of this limited release issue. the rodarte dress worn by natalie portman for the marie claire photoshoot caught me off-guard, i’d never would have imagined wool, tie-dye, neon and plaid could look so beautiful together. i learn something new every day!)