Fall Winter YYZ Cougar Diary

As I write this, Dayna has completed 221/365 days of her Cougar For a Year project. I am in no way a “fashionista” and when I began snapping photos for Cougar Sightings, I had no idea how popular animal prints are. I quickly realized that this was a much larger phenomena than I ever imagined. I have gone from taking photos of every animal print I encounter to being more selective. At first I photographed clothing that was for sale, but that is such an easy target that I rarely do it now, unless it it something exceptional. Sometimes I shoot from afar, sometimes I shoot from the car. Often I ask permission and give a vague explanation that a Montreal artist I know collects images of animal print clothing for an art project. I am surprised at how willing strangers are to let me take their photograph. I give them the option of recognizable face or not. Most often they don’t mind their face being exposed.

This batch of photos was taken from the end of the summer of 2012 until January 2012. The photos have been taken while walking, visiting and shopping with my mother, driving, watching TV, going to the doctor and attending events, such as Calgary’s first Nuit Blanche, the Calgary International Film Festival’s gala opening, Banff Wordfest, La Nostalgia Remix: Solid Gold performance, ACADFA Pizza Party and a 100th birthday celebration.

By the way my mother is 89 and has just become “friends” with an 84 years old man in her apartment building. She probably doesn’t know what a “cougar” is, but perhaps she is one.

PattiD’s Roadtrip!!!

ROAD TRIP! Five book group members: an artist, a newly retired teacher, an engineer, a citizen engagement associate and a women’s centre director. One rental van. Destination: Vail, Colorado. Object: to meet mutual friend’s new husband and have an adventure together (not the first one we have had). He arranges 5 night’s deluxe condo accommodation in Vail, Colorado, at his place of employment for greatly reduced rate. We like him already! Each woman makes a reservation for one night’s accommodation on the road: Helena Montana, Rock Springs Wyoming, Denver Colorado, Casper Wyoming, Great Falls Montana. Stop along the way for groceries, picnics, ice cream cones and points of interest: Helena Montana State building, Dillon Montana outdoor community market + cappuccino bar/boot shop, Kemmerer Wyoming home of the J.C. Penny Motherstore and the Oyster Ridge Music Festival for “authentic” Mexican food. Vail offered the Bravo Music Festival and the New York City Ballet in the Lyndon B. Johnson outdoor amphitheatre. Our friend cooks for us. New husband cooks for us. His friend cooks for us. All is good and new husband passes inspection with flying colours and marriage is sanctioned by the book group. Day trips from Vail to Eagle, Edwards, Leadville, Minturn, Aspen, Glenwood Springs. Denver offered art galleries, a major league baseball game, plenty of book stores + 20 minutes stuck in the hotel elevator with a panic stricken deaf transgendered person. Return journey featured stops at The Occidental Hotel in Buffalo Wyoming and the Little Big Horn Battlefield Montana. Eleven action filled days and then back home to Calgary Alberta.