Sunday, 22 February 2015
Sunday, 15 February 2015
I’m sure you’re all far too familiar with how much I despise Hallmark-greeting-card-fakey-bullshit holidays like Valentine’s Day - or as I generally refer to it: Singles Awareness Day. The black parade continues year after year, not just because I’m bitter, but because the older we get the more pressure there seems to be from society to conform and join the masses of pairs. It sure doesn’t help that the dreaded holiday falls smack-dab at the three-quarters-through-but-not-quite-there mark of Canadian Winter, a time when seasonal depression is pretty much guaranteed to be at a peak.
But there are ways of getting through the dreaded day alone - we’re all still here aren’t we -and I figured that I would share what I did yesterday/today (this week has been one big emotional roller coaster-dumping ground of drama, so I needed 2 days to start feeling functional again) so that you all know that you’re not alone in this.
Step 2: Chocolate. Lots of it. (Who are we kidding, we have chocolate every weekend).
Step 3: Watch a favourite old movie, while painting your nails. For maximum nostalgia pick a 90s movie, since it’s guaranteed to make you laugh at how young you once were, and the nail polish will definitely be a flashback for any child of the 90s (how many Wet n’ Wild polishes do you still have that are probably calcified - don’t lie). A slasher film also works well if we’re feeling a little more violent than usual - though I usually save those for Christmas. This year I watched Almost Famous and painted my nails with China Glaze’s “Heart of Africa,” a nice heart-vein red, so I figure I struck a good balance between nostalgia and latent murderous tendencies.
Step 4: Turn on you iPod on shuffle, put on your most kick-ass shoes, and dance around your apartment like a crazy person. This isn’t something we can generally do with boys around (they don’t seem to understand the need for crazy dancing or our obsession with Much Dance 1997), so now is the time to live it up! I spent a few tracks wallowing in the awesomeness that is late-1990s/early-2000s music before settling firmly into a Green Day-fueled cycle of punk-rock. Their songs are bitter without being too angry, and they’ll always remind me of the various times in my life when things have been really awesome (their album releases are quite timely, coincidentally).
Step 5: Come to the realization that it’s them, and not you. Chances are you’ve been waiting patiently by the phone, or waiting patiently by the phone after being assertive, or getting blown off for the third time in a row (seriously). Trust me darling, it’s not you. When it comes down to it, we all know for a fact that there are a hell of a lot more Jack Bergers than Mr. Bigs out in the dating pool. Thankfully, those of us who are smart (read: practical) took another life lesson from Sex & the City to heart and let our BFFs be our soul mates - after all they generally don’t forget our birthdays, whine about how many shoes we own, stop talking to us for a week, or break our hearts.
So here’s to my girls, you know who you are!
*shoes by Michael Antontio; vintage necklaces
Sunday, 25 January 2015
There are some occasions when I take other people’s opinions seriously. When my BFF insisted that I see the first Sex & the City movie, when my dad gives me computer advice, when my ex-boss handed me the entire run of Locke & Key. Actually, that’s about the extent of suggestion that I’m willing to take. Question my taste in literature (Neil Gaiman is a god), movies (Wes Anderson can suck it), date-able men (cheekbones that cut like a knife & a taste for Mercedes-Benzes are a must), or shoes (6” isn’t that high) chances are my response will be “great, more for me.” I might have taken the lesson in agreeing to disagree seriously in kindergarten, but I never really learned to care about social norms. Peer pressure is for chumps, after all!
Delicious platform heels; Flying Monkey jeans
Sunday, 18 January 2015
At the dawning of a new day, we look into the depths of the universe and know that we are on a new journey. Choices are there to be made, new adventures are there to be taken, and the past is meant to be left in the past.
Here’s to the future; we know not what it holds, only that we are ready for it.
Sunday, 11 January 2015
Thursday, 1 January 2015
Sunday, 21 December 2014
Today is the Winter Solstice, so it is quite fitting that it is time for the annual book review as there’s no better way to spend the longest night of the year than curled up with a stack of wonderful books!
Coriolanus by William Shakespeare
To start off the list, I’ll begin with the oldest book that I read this year. Penned sometime in the first decade of the 1600s, this marvellous play still resonates today. Themes of war, familial obligations, breaking (or keeping with) tradition are ever-present in society, and are emphasized as conflicts across the globe cause strife for civilians and the loyalty of participants is tested as beliefs trump national obligations. Coriolanus was one of the last tragedies that Shakespeare wrote before his death, and it is clear that he has come quite far as a writer. Simplistic themes of star-crossed lovers have been replaced by greater societal motifs that revolve around a citizens duty to the populace - a topic that may have been on Shakespeare’s mind since his popularity as the leading playwright of the era demanded fresh performances for royal audiences and the people alike. What struck me most about this play are Shakespeare’s explorations of the various relationships that Caius Martius Coriolanus has with the people around him; he is a loyal son who follows the path that his mother made for him, but he is also driven by the ambitions of his pseudo-father Menenius, yet is also influenced by the domestic obligations to his wife and child. His relationship with Tullus Aufidius is the most fraught throughout the play, and is one that reveals much about the nature of competition and friendship between men.
Trolls by Brian & Wendy Froud
Part whimsical picture book, part pseudo-scientific textbook, the Froud’s collaborative exploration of the Trolls of the wildwood was a quick pick for this year’s top 5 books. I’ve been a fan of the Froud’s artwork for years (getting my first taste in the macabré Lady Cottington’s Pressed Fairy Book), but Brian Froud hasn’t produced a book this comprehensive in many years. The wait was worth it though, as each page is packed edge to edge with Wendy’s sculptures and Brian’s illustrations, which are carefully balanced with whimsical (but still readable) typefaces to create a wonderful designed book. The layout was often reminiscent of the classic scientific series for children Eyewitness (which explored various topics such as Ancient Egypt or gemstones), which some readers might think detracts from the fragments of “collected troll stories” but which I found absolutely charming and offset the truly fictional portions.
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
I’ve read a lot of books on World War II, both fiction and non-fiction (and sometimes in-between the two), but nothing is quite like this stunning novel about a young German girl who is orphaned and adopted at the beginning of the war. Unlike most young protagonists in WWII novels, Liesel is not Jewish. She isn’t really much of anything in fact, yet this is what makes her story so intriguing and so unique. Liesel sees her adoptive parents struggle to make ends meet (life isn’t easy for a painter - especially one who has Jewish sympathies), sees them risk everything to hide a young Jewish man as a favour to her stepfather’s deceased friend, and sees their eventual deaths as their city is bombed. What struck me most about this novel is that Liesel is an observer of everything horrific that is going on around her - not always realizing the severity of the situations - but is still able to learn and grow into someone who takes risks for the things that she loves (books - she is definitely my kind of girl) and retains the ability to live a relatively happy life by finding the joy in small things.
The Fifth Beatle by Vivek J. Tawary & Andrew Robinson
To me, the Beatles are synonymous with art from their creative album artwork to their carefully styled fashion choices, so I was very pleased with the presentation of this graphic novel. It tells the story of Brian Epstein (the manager of the Beatles), but the artist clearly drew on the artistic motifs of the Beatles themselves to depict his fascinating story. Presented in a larger format than in standard for a graphic novel, and published as a book rather than serialized and then collected, this piece of art breaks a lot of boundaries for the graphic novel industry. Relying on the most unified sense of story and art that I have seen in years, this book elevated the story of Epstein - which is actually quite tragic - to a place that is much more accesible. Themes of inspiration, music, adventure, youth, and love abound in an emotional play that is extremely successful. I hope that this collaborative team continues working on Beatles stories and artwork, since they are the perfect fit!
Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor
At the outset of the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy Taylor paves the way for what could have been just a love story; with the final novel she proves that the story of a reborn chimera girl, Karou, is so much more. Once realizing who and what she is (clearly not human) Karou must face the choice to rejoin her warring chimera brethren and their savage leader or to reject them in favour of her angel lover and the wrongs committed in the past. Her choice is unexpected, even for readers, and the strategic gamble that she enacts is one which finally brings an end to the war between the races. Much more occurs in this novel than can easily be summed up, to the point of Taylor setting up an entirely new series and mythos (please, please, please make it happen!), but she still makes time to reunite Karou and her angel in the final pages, which is sure to please longtime readers of the series. Sometimes we all need to have our cake and eat it too!
*images courtesy of Goodreads