February 26, 2009

Chapter Three

I have not abandoned my new year’s resolution to update more frequently. But, ten days back home and weeks of looong days at school has left little time for breathing let alone blogging...never the less. If anyone finds breathing room, maybe I can suggest a good read or two.

1) The Seamstress by Frances De Pontes Peebles.
A long but well written novel about two very different sisters, Luzia and Emilia. Set in the 20's and 30's in Brazil, this coming of age story follows the very different paths each girl takes as they weave through the rural and urban centres of their country. A good book to take up if you have the time to tackle 700 plus pages, cause once you start, you wont be putting it down.

2) Sweetness In The Belly by Camilla Gibb
One of the best book's I've read recently. Gibb's story of a white-Muslim from England, growing up in Morocco, and becoming a young woman in Ethiopia, is equally enthralling and heartbreaking. Lilly Abdal struggles with looking like a foreigner in a place that feels more then anything like home. While not nearly as long a read, it's another novel you won't put down once you pick up.

3) The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs
A great book if you don’t really feel like thinking. Definitely a lighter option, Friday Night Knitting Club follows the story of a group of women who, well, get together on Friday and knit. There’s friendship, romance, babies and tales of empowering women too. What’s not to like? Perhaps the end, which I took issue with, if only because it’s not what you expect. And that could be the best reason of all to pick it up.

Go get reading, or breathing, or both!

February 10, 2009


Commercials are something that I find beyond ridiculous. However, without them I know getting my weekly source of Jack Bauer and Chuck Bass would be impossible. So I deal. It's called mute. My roommate and I both have our commercials we absolutely despise. For Rom it’s that Maria Menounos hair commercial about volume...just no. For me it’s that new yogurt one where yuppies ask me if I’m feeling Yoptimal…I’m not. While both are beyond annoying, we have coping methods to deal.

There is one commercial however that has just gone too far. Not only does it make me feel weird, but it completely freaked me out the first time I watched it. I’m talking about the peer into a soul ones…where various characters walking up to an unknown window and then “peer” into it. There is no dialogue, merely text directing you to a website, peerintoasoul.ca. After seeing the commercial multiple times we thought it could be about anything from mental health to safe driving –oh how wrong we were.

Finally we checked it out. I was literally terrified at what may pop up on my screen, but when I did peer through my fingers, what was staring back at me…a freakin KIA. A car. A stupid little dumbass car. Needless to say we were choked. What the hell were they trying to portray with their ads? That wearing a really creepy mask and breathing heavily onto a window will spur the masses to purchase a new ride? Maybe they are just trying to get people to check out their site, generate some mystic? This, I'm sure, can be done without cauing mild panic attacks at opening their home screen. KIA...I’m not convinced...I'm just disturbed.

February 2, 2009

He's At It Again

No, not Michael Phelps and his bong (HA!), but that pesky Philly rodent. And you know what he saw --his shadow. Which means were in for a loooong winter, six weeks longer to be exact. This is the second year in a row that little jerk groundhog saw his shadow. It could be more then the second actually, but I will never forget last years winter in TO and I will never forget hearing the news of its extension. Nothing could have been worse. But if winter look’s anything like it has during these last two days, I think I can survive.

February 1, 2009

The Truth

"The trouble is that we have a bad habit, encouraged by pedants and sophisticates, of considering happiness as something rather stupid. Only pain is intellectual, only evil interesting. This is the treason of the artist: a refusal to admit the banality of evil and the terrible boredom of pain." Ursula K. Le Guin.

This quote is from The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas, a short story I had to read for class last semester. Probably the best short story I've ever encountered, Le Guin discusses the indiscernible parallels between utopian and dystopian societies. Something that is not as far from our current political discussions as it initially appears.

The quote is so close to the truth for me. There is a real appreciation for that which hurts. That which plays on our tragic realities. That which incites thought provoking melancholy. And I’m over it. Optimism may yield unrealistic results, but it’s much sweeter then peering through our present looking glass. I only wish that I had been introduced to this quote when I was in high school. The hours spent dissecting lyrics and the days spent capitalizing on what ifs could have been so much more productive.