Thursday, April 24, 2008

Tagged - I'm It! - 20

Thomma Lyn tagged me for this 7 Things Meme. The rules:

Tell seven random and/or interesting things about myself. Get five blog buddies to play, too and link to their blogs. Don't forget to post the rules.

Well, that was painless. Let's go -

1 - Night Watch and Day Watch

As you may know, my current obsession revolves around two amazing Russian urban paranormal films, based on a series of books by Sergei Lukyanenko. I've recently finished the first book and I'm in the middle of the second book right now.

I just love this shot from Night Watch. Anton, played by Konstantin Khabensky, is trying to see through the dimensions to ward off an attack by a vampire.

The sequel, Day Watch picks up where Night Watch leaves off. Basically, it's a modern fable about the forces of Light and Dark, filtered through a post-Soviet Russia. There's lots of Cold War references, where each side closely watches the other to ensure their Truce is observed.

Pictured on the poster here is Alisa, a witch and a Day Watch agent who keeps tabs on the Light. Anton and Svetlana are magicians and Night Watch agents who keep tabs on the Dark. They also have a romantic relationship.

In this shot from Day Watch, Svetlana has pushed her way into a deeper level of the Gloom, and Anton cannot follow. She's chasing a young Dark One. This sequence is really amazing. In reading the books, the challenge of shooting the scenes that take place in the Gloom would seem daunting, but director Timur Bekmambetov found a fabulous way to do it.

2 - Animal Totems - Polar bear and Panther

An animal totem is a spiritual guide who gets our attention by being something we are drawn to throughout our lifetime. Is there an animal with whom you've always felt a deep kinship? Do you run into images of this animal over and over again? Do you collect images of an animal? Conversely, is there an animal of whom you are terrified? Or have you been bitten by an animal? Sometimes the totem seeks a sharp means of connecting.

My husband Brad's animal totem is the polar bear. He's a lifelong fan of Coca Cola, and its polar bear mascot just intensified this connection. He has a small collection of Coke bears, and whenever I see a photo of a polar bear, I immediately think of Brad, through size, body language and its remoteness out on the tundra.

"The white color associated with the polar bear is very significant. It represents 'purity of spirit'. Polar Bear serves as a valuable ally in overcoming fear, both physical and mental. Known as the 'Ice Man' in some tribes because of its preference for hunting on sea ice, Polar Bear's environment is symbolic. It points to the frozen emotions stored within oneself and the need for allowing those emotions to express themselves. Those with this medicine have karmic challenges associated with flexibility, change and stubbornness.

They know how to conserve their strength as well as their energy and use both at the most appropriate time for the best outcome. Polar bears weigh up to 1600 pounds and can knock a 500 pound seal out of the water with one blow. They are the most aggressive and carnivorous of all bears. Polar bears have no enemies in the animal kingdom. Their only enemy is the human hunter." -

I've always been attracted to the black panther. Significantly, I've been allergic to cats all my life, no matter that I've taken two sets of allergy shots with 'cat' included in the serum. I'm better than I used to be with them, but there's no pet cats in my future I'm afraid. That tells me how strong the cat totem is for me. I have several panther prints and statues, including a little one by my bed.

"The Black Panther has perhaps the greatest mysticism associated with it. Panther is of a lunar significance and often signals a time of rebirth after a time of suffering. This implies that an old issue may finally begin to be resolved. As a totem, it awakens the inner passions, signaling not just a time of coming into one's own power, but reclaiming one's true power. The Black Panther always brings a guardian energy to those to whom it comes.

This often means facing aspects of the self or of life that have been painted over, or covered up to be forgotten. A powerful and ancient totem, it is the symbol of the Goddess, ferocity and valor. Panthers are solitary creatures and develop an inner knowing. They can be absolutely silent when stalking their prey: with a Panther totem, you will find your greatest power in silence and stealth, as you pursue your goals and aspirations." -

3 - The best thing about Canada's East Coast Navy

I live in Halifax, which among other things is a naval port. Growing up, we also had an airforce base here, and many of my friends' fathers were in the military. The airforce base is unfortunately an aviation museum these days, but the navy chugs along.

Which brings me to my next door neighbor, Mack, a sailor aboard HMCS Preserver.

This is a photo of the Preserver in action, refueling the USS Ingraham during Operation Apollo on the Arabian Sea several years ago. Mack was at sea for this operation.

Photo - Replenishment at sea by MCpl Brian Walsh

When he's not at sea, Mack moseys around on his roof putting up Christmas lights (that's him behind me, two Christmases ago.) Mack is the World's Best Next Door Neighbor. He shovels our shared driveway before I can get out of my pyjamas. Mack and his wife Freida, that is - technically it's a tie for the World's Best Next Door Neighbor.

My mom and I can't do enough for them, and they are always there for us. The best thing about the navy is having a sailor for a next door neighbor. 'Ready, Aye, Ready'

4 - My east coast family and my Toronto family

My world is all about family. I've only taken one trip that didn't take me back and forth to family and friends.

This is my Nova Scotia clan at a family dinner in February. Back row: Newt, my sister Michelle, Mom, Brad, me, my cousin Julianne, Heather and Emily
Front row: Uncle Charlie, my cousin Charlie, Sarah, Auntie Noel, Laura, Stephen holding Molly

This is my other east coast clan. Clockwise from Baby Ava, Matt, Natasha, my step mom Doris, Michelle and Newt.

And then we have my Toronto family who I miss SO much: clockwise from my mother-in-law Joan, Brad, our nieces Emily and Christi, Jeremy, Violetta and my brother-in-law Jeff (whom I featured as a guest poet on the Poetry Train) holding Christi & Jeremy's Baby Brianna.

These guys technically live in Ottawa but I usually see them in Toronto: clockwise from Baby Brianna, our godson and nephew Francis, nephew Peter, my brother-in-law Ken and Anna, whom I featured in my cyber gallery.)

And this is my sister-in-law Karen with Jeff's daughter Emily.

5 - The Aunt Sheila rose

My Aunt Sheila always loved yellow roses. When she passed away five years ago (wow, that seems crazy) we wanted to plant a yellow rose bush in our yard, in her memory. This is how it looked last summer.

This is the last time we were all together. She and Uncle Frank lived in Virginia, and they came up for a month-long visit when Brad and I lived with Gram in her Yarmouth house. Here in this picture we've got Gram, Brad, Mom seated and Aunt Sheila in red. Uncle Frank was there, just not in this picture. We celebrated the four November birthdays and Christmas early (it was September.) We laughed a lot!

6 - Toronto Romance Writers meeting, October 2007

When Brad and I flew to Toronto for his parents' 50th wedding anniversary, another big highlight for me was attending the TRW meeting. I got to see blog buddies in 3D. Here is Amy Ruttan, Leah Braemel and me.

Eve Silver gave the talk, and here is Amy, Eve, Wylie Kinson and me. Meeting you was so wonderful! ((hugs))

Next time I go there, I'll be able to see my long lost Romance Writers of Atlantic Canada buddy Christine d'Abo, shown here at right at last year's writers' retreat. That's Renee Field beside her.

7 - Jo Beverley

A few years ago, I couldn't believe my own fabulous fortune when our RWA chapter hosted historical romance author Jo Beverley for an all-day workshop. I'm a total Jo Beverley fan girl. She's my favorite, favorite, favorite.

Enjoying the workshop is Deborah Hale, my cousin Julianne MacLean and Lilly Cain.

Across the room we have Mary Louise, me, Kelly Boyce and Cathryn Fox.

And now - a-tagging I will go, a-tagging I will go...

and Anne
Samantha Lucas


Lo Kelween said...

Hi Julia,
good job on this Meme...after all the most interesting 'thing' about you (in fact all of us!) is still our lovely family! :)

have a nice day!

Anonymous said...

Oh wow, what a wonderful job you did on your meme! I learned so much about you, and I enjoyed reading all your items! :)

The pictures from the Toronto Romance Writers Meeting are fabulous -- I know quite a few of you gals through blogland, and it's always so much fun to see pics!

And animal totems: fascinating stuff. Mine is definitely the cat, though which kind of cat I'm actually not sure. Certainly domestic cats are a huge part of my life; I've always loved them and I share my life with four of them. But I'm tremendously drawn to the big cats as well, particularly to tigers and lions.

Fascinating that your totem is the black panther. I have a beautiful little black panther in miniature -- my little black cat, Dora the Explorer. :)

My hubby's totem would likely be the snake. He has always been drawn to snakes. I like snakes, too -- I'm not afraid of them except for the poisonous variety: naturally, one wants to have a healthy respect for those!

And I always smile, reading about your love and your closeness with your family. That's just wonderful. :)

Thank you for playing, my friend!

Addicted to crafting said...

great meme!!! :)

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Hee! I'm usually cranky about being tagged, but this was a lot of fun this time. I think it's just what I'd been needing, so thank you!!!!

Ann said...

Very cool. I'll post mine tomorrow. Too tired to make sense tonight. :)

Wylie Kinson said...

Great job on the meme, Julia. I'm just doing it too -- I guess I can't tag you, eh??

Flowerpot said...

thanks Julia I will have to get thinking!

Unknown said...

OMG That's fabulous! I loved all the photos and I LOVE Jo Beverly too!

Sorry, I'm kind of slow getting over here, but I'll do mine tomorrow. :)

Kelly Boyce said...

Hahaha...could I be more stretched out and relaxed in that picture??

Terance said...

I think everyone must read this.
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