Thursday, March 29, 2007

the Long Way Home


ah love. i just read Issue #1 of Season 8 of
Buffy the Vampire Slayer ("the Long Way Home"). ninety-million good plot starters were introduced. it's so weird to read it instead of watch it, and weird to go inside Buffy's and Xander's heads. (Willow's MIA at the moment.)

there's this awesome set-up: a bad military dude compares Buffy and her gang, or "army" as he calls them, to a terrorist organization,
and calls her a threat to American interests. Is this gonna get political in a way that the show never really did? hmmm. as long as Riley doesn't show up, I'm all for it.

Issue #2 comes out next week & Nikki and I have our copies reserved at our local comic book store. Guess what it's called? Watcher Comics. Yup. Perfect. I hope Giles is there next time.

I love a boycott

from the StopGlobalWarming.org newsletter

GLOBAL WARMING AND KLEENEX

Kimberly-Clark, parent company to Kleenex and Scott brands, refuses to stop using virgin paper fiber from the endangered North American Boreal forests, which represent one quarter of the world's remaining intact ancient forests, vital to fighting global warming. More than 700 businesses have pledged not to use Kimberly-Clark products, and we encourage Marchers to do the same. We also encourage you to join Greenpeace in taking action, by visiting KleerCut.net and voicing your opposition to Kimberly Clark's clear-cutting.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Écoutez moi. Je suis le professeur. Répétez après moi.

Guess what the TPL has on hold for me??
An American in Paris.

I caught half of it the other day (and totally forced R. to watch it) and now get to see the whole thing in one sitting. Or the whole thing twice in two sittings. Or two sittings and one dance-along.

J'ai du rythme,
J'ai du la musique,
J'ai du ma cherrie
Who could ask for anything more?
J'ai the daisies
Dans green pastures,
J'ai ma cherrie
Who could ask for anything more?
Old Man Trouble,
I don't mind him --
You won't find him
'Round my door.
Vous comprenez ça, maintenant?

Non!

In less jazzy news, I finished Never Let Me Go. Non merci. I agree with Sir Redekop (I believe he used the word "silly"). It was something I would have stopped reading, never finished, if not for the book club. Next up (also from the TPL): Open (stories) by Lisa Moore.


Monday, March 26, 2007

hello poem by clazza g.

i had porridge for lunch today at near noon
i'd rather eat cheeseburgers with you soon
drinking more long island iced teas than we should
and dancing about - wouldn't that be quite good?
wandering london with never a care
i hope that i dream not in vain sweets, love claire
xx

Thursday, March 22, 2007

book learnin'

i have just been to two days' worth of seminars! (well, 1.8 days...i missed the last discussion on both days. also, 1.8 [i learned] is the average print run of those print-on-demand vendors like lulu.com and so on.)

there was much to take in but i will tell you this instead: there were tasty sandwiches and cookies both days. the other exciting bit was i met an internet person in real life! julie from seen reading was at the booknet day and we now know each other virtually and actually. the downside is i've ruined my chances of ever being seen reading. balls!

i forgot to tell y'alls about the awesome/weird email marketing thing i got:


From: RawShark Texts
Date: Mar 19, 2007 5:22 PM
Subject: Crissy: First things first, stay calm.
To: crissy

Crissy,

First things first, stay calm.

If you are reading this, I'm not around anymore. Take the phone and dial 416-619-5469. Tell the woman who answers that you are Crissy [Calhoun]. The woman is Dr. Randle. She'll understand what has happened and you will be able to see her straight away. Take the car keys and drive the yellow jeep to Dr. Randle's house. If you haven't found it yet, there's a map in the envelope-it isn't too far and it's not hard to find.

Dr. Randle will be able to answer all your questions. It's very important that you go straight away. Do not pass go. Do not explore. Do not collect two hundred pounds.

The house keys are hanging from a nail on the banister at the bottom of the stairs, don't forget them.

With regret and also hope,

The First Crissy [Calhoun]


Go ahead and call the number. You will hear that I am batshit crazy. (I got this email the day after seeing the craptastic movie Premonition. You know, about a woman losing her mind. So good timing. I was feeling very dissociative on Monday.)

Some googling revealed I am not crazy. But now I am compelled to read the book. Well done marketers.

In other reading list news, I flipped thru Anansi's spring catalogue and have to read The Deserter's Tale, reviewed by Nathan Whitlock here.

On the other side of the importance spectrum, let's all remember the best moments from last night's america's next top model, when the girls had to slink through a "crazy laser maze" while posing for Bobby Ninja, a Vogueing expert, who would say "correct" each time a girl hit a pose and who awarded the best poser with a $40,000 diamond bracelet.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

how long...how looooong


(taken at the nyc protest. from flickr...follow link above to see more. thanks t-bo.)

Monday, March 19, 2007

Riot at the Dollarama

EMILY SCHULTZ and JASON ANDERSON discuss filmmaker WERNER HERZOG

EMILY SCHULTZ - Songs for the Dancing Chicken (ECW Press)
Wed, March 28, 7:30-10pm (doors 7pm), free
Gladstone Hotel Ballroom, 1214 Queen St W, Toronto
Free, more info: www.pagesbooks.ca ; 416-598-1447

Pages Books & Magazines, ECW Press, and NOW presents a This Is Not A Reading Series launch: Toronto author EMILY SCHULTZ celebrates the launch of her Werner Herzog inspired poetry debut SONGS FOR THE DANCING CHICKEN (ECW Press). SCHULTZ will be discussing filmmaker WERNER HERZOG with EYE's JASON ANDERSON. See clips from the Herzog's career, and get your book signed by the author. Not to be missed!

Book will be on sale at the event.

In SONGS FOR THE DANCING CHICKEN, Emily Schultz's debut collection of poetry, the films and life of acclaimed director Werner Herzog become linguistic launch pads, jumping off points for subtle investigations into everyday life. Like her subject, Schultz uses hypnotic images to imbue that everyday life with profound insight.

While fans of Herzog will recognize the details of his amazing life and words from Grizzly Man, Fitzcarraldo, Stroszek, and Nosferatu, Schultz finds the intersection between Herzog's art and her own poetic voice with authority and verve.

Songs for the Dancing Chicken is part fan letter, part dark cultural translation, and much, much more.

EMILY SCHULTZ is a writer living in Toronto. Her first book, Black Coffee Night, was shortlisted for the Danuta Gleed Award for Best First Fiction. A story from that collection was adapted by Lynne Stopkewich, director of Kissed. Schultz edited the anthology Outskirts: Women Writing from Small Places in 2002. She is the former editor of Broken Pencil Magazine, and also the former editor of This Magazine.

Her novel, Joyland, was called "mesmerizing" by The Globe and Mail. Her poems, Songs for the Dancing Chicken, are partly inspired by the films of Werner Herzog. Her poetry has appeared in 18 different publications, including The Walrus.

JASON ANDERSON is a writer from Calgary who lives in Toronto. He is a film critic for Eye Weekly and his arts journalism appears in The Globe and Mail, and Toronto Life. His first novel Showbiz was published by ECW Press in 2005.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

In Review

1. Taming of the Shrew
The dancing was lovely. The costumes were beautiful. But man, does the story fill me with rage. It didn't help that the ballerina playing Katherina looked 12, so in addition to it being a story about destroying a woman's spirit, it was reminiscent of Law & Order SVU. Drunken ass kidnaps 12-year-old and starves her into loving him. I've seen that episode more than once.

2. Anti-war rally
Excellent turnout, sunny day, good to state one's opinion. New buttons on my bag.

3. St. Patrick's Day
The gang: S'rain, Michelle, Sarah, Forbes, Ola, Nadine for a minute, and S. Markle for an hour.
The booze: 5 Bloody Caesars. 5 extra shots. 6 vodkas. 8 Bailey's. 2 whiskeys. 8 Long Islands. 4 Tom Collins (called for the day "Michael Collins"). 12 half-pints of Guinness. 4 Amsterdam Blondes. 3 pints Guinness. 1 Moosehead. A few free rounds of Jägermeister.

Of note: No one barfed. We wrote a lovely song called "Happy St. Patrick's Day" and wore sparkly green top hats.

4. Battlestar Galactica
Forbes & I are nearly caught up. Just one more episode (well, plus tonight's). Which means we saw the very exciting "Maelstrom." I adore this show.

5. Premonition
Erino and I should have known better. What a suckfest. It felt about 3 hours long (and was only 90 minutes). There was one kinda spooky creepy part ... that's it. About 3/4 in, out of nowhere, the movie hits ya on the head with its traditional Christian values. Wha? And Sandra B. wears about 90 different pajama outfits. And there's a hugging montage. Not even joking. However, on the plus side, the fountain pop at the Market Square Rainbow Cinema was top notch.

I think I'll watch The 39 Steps now so I can remember what good thrillers are like. Peace and carrots.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Who Are Three People Who've Never Been in My Kitchen?

I really wish I saw this episode. Snap.

Three 'Jeopardy' Contestants End Up Tied

NEW YORK - All those years of answers and questions, and it's never happened before on "Jeopardy!" What is a three-way tie, Alex? The three contestants on the venerable game show all finished with $16,000 after each answering the final question correctly in the category, "Women of the 1930s," on Friday's show. They identified Bonnie Parker, of the famed Bonnie and Clyde crime duo, as a woman who, as a waitress, once served one of the men who shot her. "We've had a lot of crazy things happen on `Jeopardy!' but in 23 years I've never seen anything like this before," host Alex Trebek said. The show contacted a mathematician who calculated the odds of such a three-way tie happening — one in 25 million. The three contestants, Jamey Kirby of Gainesville, Fla.; Anders Martinson of Union City, Calif.; and Scott Weiss of Walkersville, Md; were all declared champions and taped a rematch that will air Monday.(AP)

Friday, March 16, 2007

pas de deux

tonight: the taming of the shrew, national ballet of canada
tomorrow: demonstration + st. patrick's day
sunday: work + work

nearly at the end of the neverending story (ha) and things are getting very dicey.

and that is it, kids.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Fantastica

I can't remember the last time I saw The Neverending Story but I can remember the first. We watched it at Westney Heights Public School on some sort of weird day -- a PD day, or a weekend. The school was empty except for the group watching the movie in a classroom. What I remember most clearly is the walk home on one of those exceedingly generic Ajax suburban streets. We were walking down the center of the road, not on the sidewalk. And it was chilly but not cold. And my mind was racing and dreaming. I was either 5, 6, or 7 years old.

So 20 odd years later, I'm reading the book for the very first time. And at first was using the movie's version of the world in my mind's eye. But there's so much more to it in the book (as there always is) and the point is to use your own imagination, isn't it? Otherwise, how can you fight the Nothing?

I'm only 1/3 in but this book has been added to the list i keep in my head of books that i will have on a shelf in the bedroom of my future kid(s). it joins his dark materials and the little princess. and the harry potters (since i bought copies and they should be read more than once). irish fairy tales for children. that a.a. milne book of poetry i hope is still at my mum's. a copy of that beautifully illustrated edition of beauty and the beast. hmm. there's more on that list but i can't remember... (evidently i should make the list a real paper list instead of a brain list.)*

the other thing reading this has sparked (besides tears on the streetcar. the conversation between atreyu and the werewolf is heartbreaking) -- the abandoned tattoo plan of the auryn. i couldn't figure out where to get it and then the plan got lost in the shuffle. where is a good spot? suggestions welcome. (as are additions to the children's library list.)

next up in the reading list is book club book: Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Shiguro. borrowed today from the TPL along with a dvd of The 39 Steps. i have 41 steps to my apt door. so close. snap.

also: march 17th is not only st. patrick's day but also a day of worldwide action against the war(s). it's the fourth anniversary of the invasion of iraq. in toronto, at 1 p.m. outside the u.s. embassy, university north of queen. you know, by the Staples. some info here and lots elsewhere too -- there are always a million different groups there, all with slightly differing ideas about what should be done and what the problem actually is but there's unity in the march of people through the city. so cmon out. and then we'll drink green beer.

*forgot roald dahl, particularly the giraffe, the pelly and me, but tons more too.

Monday, March 12, 2007

spring morning

kerry of picklemethis land posted her spring poem a few days back. now i shall post mine. it is not written by me but has been read by me many a-many-many time. sometimes a few lines will just trip-sing through my head for days. and it certainly reminds me of the old plain hardcover book where i first found it, which is hopefully still somewhere around mum's casa.

and the picture is from my now-long-ago trip to see claire in londontown. i sat in that park and looked at the row of houses where miss adeline virginia stephens lived, in gordon square.


Spring Morning

By A. A. Milne


Where am I going? I don't quite know.

Down to the stream where the king-cups grow -

Up on the hill where the pine-trees blow -

Anywhere, anywhere, I don't know

Where am I going? The clouds sail by,

Little ones, baby ones, over the sky.

Where am I going? The shadows pass,

Little ones, baby ones, over the grass


If you were a cloud, and sailed up there,

You'd sail on water as blue as air,

And you'd see me here in the fields and say:

"Doesn't the sky look green today?"


Where am I going? The high rooks call:

"It's awful fun to be born at all."

Where am I going? The ring-doves coo:

"We do have beautiful things to do."


If you were a bird, and lived on high,

You'd lean on the wind when the wind came by,

You'd say to the wind when it took you away:

"That's where I wanted to go today!"


Where am I going? I don't quite know.

What does it matter where people go?

Down to the wood where the blue-bells grow -

Anywhere, anywhere. I don't know.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

end of days

in less than 10 minutes, i will be watching the very last episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer: "Chosen" for only the second time. Tash will be watching it for the first time. My heart is already heavy, primed for the battle.

i think later tonight i'll write my buffy appreciation essay. it's only appropriate.

i keep finding out more of my friends are into the slayage. tammy and i passed six hours on a bus ride together yesterday (return trip to guelph via every industrial wasteland in southwestern ontario) and we were never short of conversation. and that is thanks, in small part (cause we're quite chatty), to our favourite vampire slayer.

anyway. i love Buffy. and wish her a happy 10th year (plus a day) anniversary. long may she slay.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

holiday

last night i went to a very funtastic America's Next Top Model viewing party at Mick's house. her roommate thought Ola and I were sisters and S'rain was the wacky cousin. Prolly cause Ola and I have matching blazing red cheeks (at least when watching ANTM).

in addition to learning how to correctly do every single pose from tyra and learning how to be crazy from every single model, we also did the 'round the circle one-line-each poem game. that's the mix-up below.

AND mick's roommate (Sarah) just happened to have a bag of clothes for giveaway so we also had a real-life version of one of those trying-on-clothes movie montage scenes.

sounds like i stayed up late on a school night, eh? well, i did. cause i have two days of holiday for a super extenda mix weekend. weeeeeeeeee. so far i have slept in and it was glorious. (sorry to those at work....well, not that sorry cause it's been a long ass time since i took a vacation.)

also, look at the nice C pic my sister took. she found it in her breakfast.

one line each

from Fort Girl Power:

Synapsis snaps like my mind vacant searching forever tonight. and you're gone
with the water, i'm synchronized
the humble stallion's whisper creates a vicious vine of breath
ravish the moment gone, wind blown, long torn.
therefore i want to be on top.

-- s'rain, ola, sarah, calhouner, and mick

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Reading Railroad

i have officially given up on The Historian. Five-hundred pages in, I got stuck. I would just look at it sitting on my little table and not want to pick it up. That meant that I didn't read anything (by any 'thing' i mean 'book,' for i read loads of other things: blogs and ads and emails and page proofs and food packages...) for two weeks. I'll try again in a few years. So I've walked it out to the my main bookshelf and put it away. The question is: will I read all the book club posts on it and potentially come across plot spoilers? I think I will.

I made an excellent choice for my post-Historian read: Housekeeping vs. The Dirt by Nick Hornby. I got this book for chrimbo from my aunt & uncle (well, technically for the winter solstice, cause that's what they celebrate). It's a collection of Nick's essays on what he's reading and his thoughts on reading/writing. A perfectly bookish present for your niece who works in publishing. When I opened it (not in their presence) I must have made a face cause my da said, oh good, I hate Nick Hornby too. The only thing he had read and I had subsequently read was How to Be Good. (I mistakenly plucked my da's copy out of a box on its way to Goodwill, along with The Alchemist.) I only vaguely remember the plot of it now but I do know I thought it was dreadfully useless, not funny, and trying very hard to be clever. Off to Goodwill it went with the half-read copy of The Alchemist.

So I wasn't too jazzed about more Hornby. But since I am SO open-minded, I gave him a shot. I decided my litmus test with Housekeeping v. Dirt would be his reaction to The Dirt -- the Motley Crue memoir -- cause I had a very strong one. Two years ago, I started reading it and had this to report after 50 pages: i abhor them [motley crue]. they are vile and nasty and have done and then reported to the world plainly & simply terrible things. I literally threw the book across the room in disgust.

The Dirt didn't pop up til late in this very slim book (such a nice change post-historian) and by the time it did, Nick and I were getting along quite well. I quite enjoyed reading about what he was reading about. He does try to be clever but I found him charming and most of the time, well, clever. It had the same appeal to me as Kerry's blog: how books come to you, how you read them, and what you think of them (among other bits & bobs about life) from a writer's perspective.

Reading the essay about The Dirt made me laugh out loud on the streetcar. He reprints one particularly awful sentence from the book in teeny tiny print so you must participate in your own corruption.

And weirdly, The Dirt isn't a bad book. For a start, it's definitive, if you're looking for the definitive book on vile, abusive, misogynistic behavior: if there are any worse stories than this in rock and roll, they aren't worth telling, because the human mind would not be capable of comprehending them without the aid of expert gynecological and pharmaceutical assistance.
....
Oh, but what do any of these things matter? Is it really possible that Motley Crue have destroyed all the literature in the world, everything that came before them, and everything written since? I rather fear it is.
So there you have it. I (of course) had a more rageful, less funny response to the book but Nick and I agreed. I'd read his essays again. (I'll still give his fiction a pass though and wait to rent the film adaptations.)

Next up: Lullabies for Little Criminals. Super Club Member Barbie B gave me a copy over Chrimbo and it's been waiting to be read. I picked it up off the shelf yesterday and do quite love it (about 100 pgs in). Excellent time to start it: yesterday it won Canada Reads.

On the way to meet Erin after work yesterday, I was reading it on the 501 streetcar and the woman beside me was spying on it, trying to read the odd sentence here and there. When I put it away just before my stop, she asked me what I thought of it so far and we had a very brief bookish conversation, which included us saying in unison, "Canada Reads!" What could be better than that?

After a very romantic candlelit dinner, Erin and I made our way over to Tasha's via the Eaton Centre. We stopped in Sephora (a make-up emporium) to smell some super-sweet perfumes (Brit's perfume totally won the smell test). And in addition to lip plumper & bronzer, they were selling a Sephora edition of Monopoly. Who the frak would buy that? That is absurd, right?

My mum just called. Tomorrow we are going on a wee road trip out to the Lake Huron hood (with da in the car and maybe a sibling or cousin too) to look at a house where my mum might happily live when she retires. Guess where the house is? CooCoo Valley. Perfect.