October 31, 2011

No One Here But Us Chickens

There were no formerly heroic times, and there was no formerly pure generation. There is no one here but us chickens, and so it has always been: a people busy and powerful, knowledgeable, ambivalent, important, fearful, and self-aware: a people who scheme, promote, deceive, and conquer; who pray for their loved ones, and long to flee misery and skip death. It is a weakening and discolouring idea, that rustic people knew God personally once upon a time - or even knew selflessness or courage or literature - but that it is too late for us. In fact, the absolute is available to everyone in every age. There never was a more holy age than ours, and never a less.

from For the Time Being by Annie Dillard

Thoughts, anyone?

October 30, 2011

Coldplay, Cold Burns, and Coldness.

Coldplay

Someone asked me recently what I thought about this article that references a quote from Coldplay lead Chris Martin, admitting that their lyrics "are a bit sh*t."

So this is what I think:
a. An artist can say that they aren't super-fond or proud of some of their works - but I don't like how the article then picks which lyrics they think are dumb. What if those particular ones are ones Martin is proud of?

b. In a song/poem/work of art, not every single stroke or line is the focal point. On their own, they may even seem bizarre or pointless. But if, together, they make a piece of art, then that is the point. And I happen to think that, as a whole, Coldplay's songs are certainly above par, both musically and lyrically.

c. I also think (in an only vaguely related thread) that it is strange how Coldplay is doing so much publicity around their new album. Have they ever done this before? Why are they doing it now? It is making me slightly suspicious and more reticent to buy Mylo Xyloto. (I'm such a snob about popular music. I want to work on this.)


Cold Burns

The chef has a stainless steel bowl in front of him. First he pours in liquid nitrogen. Then he pours in a litre of creme fraiche...

"This is about 190 degrees below zero," he tells us as he stirs, "If it touches you, it will burn you."

So he stirs it up to an edible temperature. Garnishes it with various fruit flavours and textures, then serves it. It. Is. Delicious.

Y'all should visit Origin or Colborne Lane.


Coldness

Ugh. It's here. It's cold. This brings all sorts of new dilemmas to my life. Like whether to replace my holey socks with more cheap socks, or try an upgrade and hope that they'll last longer than one season... And if I upgrade, what brand to go with. I also need mittens. I was thinking of waiting til Christmas, but I won't last til then. So that is one less item on my still-unwritten list of wants. BUT my cold-ears dilemma has inspired a little creativity this weekend, and I have picked up my knitting needles for the first time in several years. not that I knit much back then...

The cold also brings us apple cider and scarves and cozy meals with my family, eating chili and birthday cake and laughing about funny things my dad said. Well, that's what the cold brought yesterday.

October 26, 2011

Civil Wars and Internal Battles

Today has been a great day, except for the part where I got sucked in to watching Glee.

Which is completely my own fault.

But previous to this caving-of-the-self-will, I had the most encouraging and terrifying conversation of the year.
And earlier in the day, it was confirmed that I will now have one job and one job only.

Let's round off the day with a song. A song I hope to see performed next Tuesday, when I see this duo in concert!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

And now maybe another song.


October 25, 2011

This is ME!

I'm on a major literary/creativity kick. I have stacked up seven library books that now need devouring. The first one I cracked open is called Road-side Dog by Czeslaw Milosz. In it, he writes:

My knowledge is limited, my mind puny. I tried hard, I studied, I read many books. And nothing. In my home, books spill from the shelves; they lie in piles on furniture, on the floor, barring passage from room to room. I cannot, of course, read them all, yet my wolfish eyes constantly crave new titles. In truth, my feeling of limitation is not permanent. Only from time to time an awareness flares of how narrow our imagination is, as if the bones of our skull were too thick and did not allow the mind to take hold of what should be its domain. I should know everything that's happening at this moment, at every point on the earth .I should be able o penetrate the thoughts of my contemporaries and of people who lived a few generations ago, and two thousand and eight thousand years ago. I should. So what?                      ("Narrow-Minded")    

October 24, 2011

Cleaning Up the Site

For those of you who actually visit this blog instead of just reading it through a feed (Mom & Sarah and maybe a few others?), I updated the look! I also added my "Letters to Strangers" as a tab right at the top of the page, and then formatted that blog to have a unified look. I wanted something super streamlined.

Thoughts? Any other changes I should instigate?


October 23, 2011

A Weekend Ramble

I had a fantastic day in Hamilton yesterday.

I know that Hamilton is a town many people love to hate, but I kind of like it. As I drove down from Mississauga, in a UHaul driven by my delightful friend Amelia (who could hardly be seen by other drivers), we came into the city, and she said, "You know, if you could just cover up that part, it's a really beautiful city." And she was right, with a hand out to hide the factories/industrial whatever-they-are from our view, it was beautiful.

"Varun calls it Mordor and The Shire," she concluded.

I think I made a new friend as we painted some accent walls in Amelia & Varun's new place. And then, after an afternoon of unpacking and cleaning and painting, I went off for coffee with another friend.

Coffee turned into dinner, and before you know it, she and her husband and I were passing around a crossbow and talking about hunting. NO JOKE. We talked about a lot of other things too: mostly life and Jesus and things we find difficult and how long before food poisoning kicks in. I felt so happy to just hang out with them.

---

On Friday night, I partied hard at karaoke (read: sang at the top of my lungs for a couple of hours). I just love singing, even though I know I'm not particularly adept at it. But what could be more fun than sitting and singing/dancing along with your friends in the back of a Vietnamese restaurant at quarter to midnight!?

I wore my suede boots. I love them, but feel they are underused because I care too much about keeping them in good condition. ALSO, the left one always slouches more than the right one, and that bothers me. 

---

Today, I am feeling a great resurgence of creative energy. Three months ago, I had none. But right now there are a good half-dozen ideas swirling around in my head. Hopefully this week I will start tackling some of them... I am only working mornings and want to put these afternoons to good use!

Related: by next week I may have full-time hours at my morning job. This would thrill me greatly. Here's hoping!

I ate too much Indian buffet at lunch and am still not hungry. This is also the fault of a cookie the size of six regular cookies from Te Aro, a cafe on Queen St. E. I love an afternoon at an independent cafe with a book, a friend, and a treat to eat.

I finally did laundry and now I'm going to put my clean sheets on my bed and sleep under my cozy duvet. After this phone call with the lovely Lynsey...

October 19, 2011

Dancing & Doing

It is too bad that "going dancing" always takes a sour turn. And is inevitably a kind of sad reflection of our culture's distorted longings. (Cougars? Weird. Old men with young women? Weird. Men circling the dance floor watching women? Weird. Women getting all sexy with strangers? Weird.)

I just want to dance.


There are several creative things I want to do this month. I have a collaborative creative project on the go (read: neglected). Then I came across two international collaborative art-for-the-masses projects:

Inside Out
What Does Your Soul Look Like?

I'd like to submit an article to this.
And enter this contest.


Instead, I am currently watching Ellen interview Taylor Swift.

October 12, 2011

Fours.

1. Life is full of things to do and thoughts to sort out* and those are the two things that keep me from blogging. Neither is showing any let up, so who knows how much I will post in the rest of this month. Also, WHERE DID OCTOBER GO?! It's pretty much over, according to my calendar.



2. On the weekend, my older brother mentioned how he was pleasantly surprised by the message behind Lil Wayne's How to Love. Even this brief comment was enough to get that hook in my head. (Earworm: the only type of bug I like more often than not.) Well done, Lil Wayne.






3. I have a dilemma. A ways back, I gave myself a little challenge that was actually quite fun for awhile. But now, I'm not sure my motivation is  healthy anymore. Or if it's even possible to complete it. But I don't like to be a quitter. And time is running out while I hem and haw and stall. What to do!?



4. Tomorrow I leave for a weekend of celebration in Vancouver and Whistler. It is the birthday of my delightful friend Laura and we are congregating to party like the world is ending (apparently that is the weekend after). There will be pedicures, new dresses, mingling, slumber parties, dancing, mountains, laughter and tears. I expect I will have a fantastic time.



*I'm back to Beth-ing things up. After a brief respite this summer, my Beth-ing has returned better/worse than ever...(and why can't I find the entry where I made fun of this over-analysis of my life? Or did I only imagine blogging it?)

October 4, 2011

Before I Go to the Polls...

It's voting season; I think we Ontarians go to the polls on Thursday.

I am, as usual, an uninformed voter.

Time is running short.

I won't vote Conservative, I'll tell you that. I dislike that their attack ads started before the election was even called. I dislike that they referred to McGuinty's "sneaky eco-tax." The whole thing bothered me. Immensely.

I don't feel confident in the NDP - although they're popular these days, are they actually prepared to lead the province?

That leaves the Liberals... Although I find their TV ads convincing (Dalton McGuinty seems to have accomplished a lot in the last four years), I am sure there's more to the story.

The problem is, I don't fully trust anyone to be who they say they are during the lead up to an election.


Opinions? Thoughts? Pressing issues that you would like me to consider in casting my vote?

October 2, 2011

Decisions, Decisions.

Help me, please. Which concert should I go to?

Die Mannequin
Anna Calvi
The Civil Wars
Hey Rosetta! (The Jezabels)
The Rural Alberta Advantage
Deer Tick
Elliott Brood (One Hundred Dollars)
Hey Ocean
Dan Mangan (The Daredevil Christopher Wright + The Crackling)
Besnard Lakes (Malajube, The Darcys)
Ra Ra Riot (Dinosaur Bones)
Neon Indian (Com Truise, Purity Ring)
Loney Dear
Wakey Wakey
Star Slinger


(I'm too lazy to link to videos for each band. This is what happens after two consecutive night out until the weeeeeeeee hours of the morning. It's 9:30 and my eyes will hardly stay open. Totally worth it, but don't know how people do this more than once every four months or so.)