6) Gimme Five

February 20, 2011

List 6 – Five films I’ve seen recently.

I Am Love – Very good as I mentioned before. Tilda Swinton rules, always has since I saw her in Female Perversions. And I my desire to go to Italy keeps getting stronger. Wouldn’t mind learning the language either but one trauma at a time.

The Son’s Room – Also take place in Italy. Another good flick.

Eat, Pray, Love. I didn’t mind the movie much to my surprise. I definitely preferred the book which I read about three years ago (loved it). I’m actually re-reading it… in French. Mange, Prie, Aime. This is more an exercise in accumulating vocabulaire and patience more than anything – but it is sinking in. I’ve been able to figure out quite a bit although I am only on page 23. But back to the flick. As much as I thought Julia Roberts would be miscast for the part she was fine. Not mind blowing – but fine. In the same sense, the film was fine. This is not a heavy hitting flick, nothing to knock your socks off. But it’s an okay rental (or borrow from the bibleotheque) and if you take it for what it is (one of those Hollywood remakes of a best seller) you probably won’t be too disappointed.

Precious What can I say? This IS a heavy hitter. Not an easy film to watch but do not be discouraged. Actually, this is the message. Life is not easy. Do not be discouraged. Instead of the cup of tea one might watch a movie like Eat, Pray, Love with, you definitely want a glass of wine, or maybe just a glass of water while watching this. That and a big BIG box of tissue. I could have cried all night after watching this movie. The performances were good all around. That red scarf reeled me in as soon as the movie started.

Le premiere jour du reste de ta vie. This French flim centres on the life of la famille  Duval and their relationship with each other over the span of about twenty years. Also stars Canadian, Marc-André Grondin who starred in C.R.A.Z.Y. one of my favourite films.

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3) I love it when…

January 23, 2011

I can not tell you how many times I catch myself beginning a sentence with the words, “I hate it when… “ and I really hate it when that happens. Today’s post is the flip side to that phrase. For example, I love it when I find a good clip of a song I like on YouTube. Listen (and read) on…

List 3 – I love it when…

  • I think I’ve lost something like, say, my $111 monthly Metropass, mid-month, then discover it two days later when a kind stranger on the bus tells me I’ve dropped something after it falls out of the book I’m reading. Yay!
  • I make perfect connections on the TTC and get to my destination in record time.
  • something tumbles out of my hand like, say, a recently filled pepper mill, and crashes to the floor – but the top stays on.
  • something tumbles out of my hand, or, off the shelf, or, rolls off the counter (or… or… or…) and I catch it.
  • something tumbles out of my hand onto the floor – lid up. (I’ve been dropping a lot of stuff lately).
  • my house is clean.
  • someone I don’t know leaves a comment here or one of my Flickr photos. I love when anyone leaves a comment (go on… leave one) but it is nice to hear from a stranger.
  • I have the time to bake and the house smells like cinnamon and apples (or what have you) and it’s cold outside but oh so cozy in.
  • my shower has the perfect temperature and water pressure.
  • I feel positive, invincible and motivated.
  • I’m inspired by my family and friends – or strangers for that matter. I love feeling inspired.
  • I’m the one to inspire. Not sure how often this happens but I must have at one time or another.
  • I don’t feel guilty about lounging around with (depending on the time of day) a tea, or, glass of wine and nibbles – reading, watching a movie, day-dreaming…
  • I have a good book to read/film to watch/gallery to go to.
  • I watch a movie in French or overhear a conversation en français and I understand what they’re saying.
  • I cross something off my to-do list.
  • I complete a task I’ve been seriously avoiding.
  • I’m in “the zone” when I’m writing.
  • I’m reading a book I cannot put down.
  • one of my ideas not only gets realized but actually unfolds just as I had imagined it – or better.
  • I’ve gone to the pool. Feels so good on numerous levels making me wonder why I haven’t been in such a long time. People, I am telling you… The only habits you should ever break are the bad ones. I wonder why those are the ones that are so easy to pick up again. Weird.
  • I go for a walk on the trail. Nine and a half times out of ten this is a sure-fire mood lifter.
  • I’ve finished going the laundry.
  • I’m snuggling between freshly laundered sheet (beside B of course). Flannels in the winter, crisp cotton in the summer.
  • I take a good photo.
  • I read something I wrote awhile ago and do not get the urge to purge.
  • the sunshine streams through my window.
  • when I write a good and effortless blog post. These two do not always correspond.
  • I travel.
  • my flowering plants are blossoming. My orchids are on the brink of blooming – yay!
  • nature drops my jaw. The numerous shades of sky blue, for instance, or the way the breeze sounds (when there is not a windchill attached to it) as it rustles though the leaves.
  • I’m listening to and connecting with good music. You know what I mean? You’ve heard that song a million times before but, for whatever reason, at that moment its shooting goosebumps up your spine. Or it’s that kind of song that always shoots goosebumps up your spine. Mmmm…
  • I’m lost in the moment. When I’m working on something, listening to something, watching something, reading… (you get the point) and time seems to have evapourated or you feel like you are swathed in the most extraordinary, life-sustaining bubble.
  • simple things make me smile. A good coffee. Good food. Good company. Etc…
  • I find new people, places, things to love.
  • I realize I have a multitude of ways to end that sentence.

Before I go, I think I’ll share another Chocolate Genius song since he’s on my mind at the moment.  My Mom comes from the fabulous album, Black Music.  I stumbled on this song one day about (wow) ten years ago when I was flipping through channels on t.v. I stopped when I heard Marc Anthony Thompson’s voice. I’d never heard of CG before but was transfixed this song and immediately bought the album. I can’t seem to locate the video I saw that day, but no worries. The heartfelt performance of it here is just as spellbinding. By they way, there’s a short interview with him, here, at NPR Music, a site I never knew about until now. Nothing like accidentally stumbling on a good fine.

I love it when that happens.

31) Blanche-ing…

October 5, 2010

In my french class yesterday a few people weighed in on how they felt about this year’s Nuit Blanche. Although the air and vibe in the ‘hood I was twirling in was cool that night, I have to say the responsive temp felt by my fellow classmates read more as lukewarm to tepid. I heard comments (in french of course) along the lines of, ” I was not impressed”, a shrug and “It was all right, however, the food in the area was great!” to “Why are kid so young wandering around DRUNK without their parents?” The streets were definitely jammed up but to me this spelled success since, I believe, one of Nuit Blanche’s mandates is to get people out of the house and “onto the city’s streets for an all-night exploration and celebration of contemporary art.” Generally speaking, some (not all!!!) of the contemporary art on display during Nuit Blanche can leave one feeling a bit empty. Or at least that is the way I have felt while viewing some of the NB’s city-wide exhibits. From my misty recollection, I believe I have wandered around les rues en ville pour Nuit Blanche, twice before. Last year’s highlight took place at Koerner Concert Hall where Bill performed along with numerous other musicians in a John Cage inspired musical swirl. But, other than that, it was a bit of a letdown. This year, however, I managed to enjoy most of what I saw. Read Murry (from The Toronto Star) Whyte’s take of the evening, here, I agree with most of what he said but keep in mind my NB experience was pretty much limited to some of Zone C. Kudos to Christof Migone who was the curator for the area. I had more hits than misses on Saturday night which from previuos experience is pretty amazing.

*for some reason I cannot “un-bold” the first half of this post without rewriting everything which clearly is not going to happen.

Erik Saitie's Vexation

The Endless Place

Arrivals/Departures

Later Than Night at the Drive-In

By the way, I was home by midnight, since I had to work the next day – argh. But, maybe that’s not a bad thing (the home by midnight part, not working on Sunday). Here are the exhibits I saw before I jumped on the all-night subway home.

List 31 – My Nuit Blanche in order of appearance:

*note: after spending way too much time linking all of these to their corresponding link at the Nuit Blanche website, I now realize it links them all to the same page. You’ll have to find the name in Zone C if you want to get more info. Sorry…

The Next Community

Erik Satie’s Vexations (1893) (My favourite.)

I Cried For You

The Endless Pace (Variation for 60 Dancers)

1850

Church Intent

Endgame (Coulrophobia)

Auto Lamp

Arrivals/Departures

The Big O

_scape with 6 and 7

And from Zone B (west)

Later Than Night at the Drive-In

List 31b – If I can give a few words of advice for those interested in next years all-night art crawl it would be this:

  • Consult the Nuit Blanche website or find a map or brochure and plan ahead. There’s nothing more annoying than wandering about aimlessly when there are over 100 exhibits and several “zones” to negotiate.
  • Give up any illusion of seeing all of them.
  • Two or three hours is a good limit if you want to keep things fresh(ish). In my opinion that goes for gallery hopping in general. After two hours the brain (or is it just mine?) starts to vibrate.
  • Dress for it. Layers people.
  • Bring you camera.
  • Don’t be afraid to go it alone. I was on a solo-crawl and I enjoyed it. You can visit whatever you fancy (or not)  and can stay as long as you want to without worrying what the other person. Don’t get me wrong, going with a pal can be fun, as well, but one is not such a lonely number when you are surround my hundreds of strangers.
  • If you’re employed at the kind of place where a Sunday shift is a possibility… book the day off.
  • Remember, as in most areas of life, what moves a person varies so it is always best to check things out for yourself and make you own assessment about it.


Twenty-Nine

August 29, 2010

Hanging out at Buster Fest at St. Lawrence Market

The August Break – Day 29

I missed the 28th of The August Break but I’m going to blame it in the TTC. Rule number one – always blame someone (or something) else for your tardiness (especially an institution that can, at times, really pissing you off). I’m not going to get into that right now but I will say pretty much every route I needed to travel on yesterday had a problem leaving way behind schedule and to jammed up to post.

I did manage to finally venture over to The St. Lawrence Market, a Saturday ritual and site of Busker Fest, an event to support epilepsy, on for one more day. Today. So head on down if you can to check out the sights and drop a loon or two (or what have you) into the bin to support yet another worthy cause. There are so many out there.

*

Now, down to business:

Word of the day.

Kith . \ KITH \ noun 1. Acquaintances, friends, neighbors, or the like; persons living in the same general locality and forming a more or less cohesive group.

In my old neighborhood we were a very tight kith, always looking out for each other.

(and if you don’t like that rather lame attempt at sentence construction you can kith my ath. hahha… ?)

And from the day before (a.k.a. yesterday):

Couchant – \ KOU-chuhnt \ adj.  1. Lying down; crouching; reclining. 2. Heraldry . (Of an animal) represented as lying on its stomach with its hind legs and forelegs pointed forward.

I found myself, couchant and speaking softly to the little one in tears, who had lost his way home.

List 29 –  Twenety-Nine Songs I Dig From a Very Long List in No Particular Order:

  1. Hombre, M.I.A.
  2. Don’t Test/Wu Stallion,  Suga Bang Bang
  3. Don’t You Worry ‘Bout A Thing, Stevie Wonder
  4. Song For Sharon, Joni Mitchell
  5. Me an Arrow, Bob Wiseman
  6. Freedom, Richie Havens
  7. Aquarium, Moasic
  8. The Viper’s Drag, from the Original Broadway Cast Recording
  9. Cowboys, Portishead
  10. Do Something, Macy Gray
  11. That Ain’t Right, Original Broadway Cast
  12. Is This Desire?,  PJ Harvey
  13. Let The Wind Carry Me, Joni Mitchell
  14. My Mom, Chocolate Genius
  15. Trouble Sleep Yanga Wake Am, Taj Mahal, Baaba Maal
  16. I’m On My Way, Mahalia Jackson
  17. Little Red Corvette, Prince
  18. Give It Up , Public Enemy
  19. Strawberry Letter 23, The Brothers Johnson
  20. Gloria, from the Shine soundtrack
  21. Cold Blue Steel And Sweet Fire, Joni Mittchell
  22. Nulla In Mundo Pax Sincera, Vivaldi (from the Shine soundtrack)
  23. Heaven on Their Minds, Carl Anderson singing on Jesus Christ Superstar soundtrack
  24. To Cry About, Mary Margaret O’Hara
  25. I Want To Be The Boy, The White Stripes
  26. Find My Baby, Moby
  27. Freddie Freeloader, Miles Davis
  28. Matte Kudasi, King Crimson
  29. Stabat Mater, Vivaldi as sung by Michael Chance. I get chills just thinking about it. I will admit to you that until this very moment I thought it was a woman’s voice. This man sounds exquisite.

27) Eighteen Again

August 13, 2010

New Growth

New growth pushing through mature leaves.

The August Break – Day 13

Word of the Day.

Atter – \ AT-er \ n.  1. A perfume or essential oil obtained from flowers or petals. 2. Also called attar of roses; rose oil.

Her loving words of wisdom felt like a cool, atter scented breeze on a hot and muggy day.

*

A week ago, a friend of mine posted, on her blog, here, this Q. : What advice today would you give to your 18-year-old self? If you were magical granted the opportunity to wind back the hands of time, what enlightened words of wisdom, culled from the years of hard-earned experience, would you impart on your younger self? I love this question and I immediately began to think of a response when I sniffed a new list coming on.

List 27 – Eighteen nuggets of knowledge I’d render to my eighteen year-old self:

  1. Get a good therapist, now. I think we could all use several hours on the couch. The earlier we start the better. Eighteen is a perfect age for it.
  2. Don’t be afraid to fail. I can’t tell you how many dreams/ ideas/ opportunities I’ve let slide for fear of screwing it up. You can never fail in trying – even if things don’t turn out he way you planned.You only fail when you allow that special something you truly want to fizzle out and die.
  3. Okay Ms. Eighteen, listen and listen good. If he ain’t treating you the way he should be walk, no – RUN – in the opposite direction. Only invest in relationships that support the amazing person you are.
  4. Make it a habit to look in the mirror every morning and say, chant or sing in a strong, diaphragm-powered voice, “Thank you. I love you. You are beautiful. I know you can.” And believe it – because it’s true. Don’t see yourself through someone else’s reflection.
  5. Stand up for what you believe in. Learn that it is okay to disagree; that you don’t always have to do it their way but there may be times when you have to compromise.
  6. Don’t, as they say, sweat the small stuff. Choose your battles and walk away from the smaller ones with a lesson learned.
  7. Save 10% of anything you earn. I’ve never been that great saving money but I think tucking away 10% (or more) of your earnings is a good rule of thumb.
  8. If you haven’t already, learn to drive and maintain it. I got my license on my first try when I was 16 but have rarely driven since. Now, I pretty much consider myself a non-driver. I absolutely love someone choosing to walk or using public transportation instead of hopping in the car, but there are times when you need to jump behind the wheel. It’s no fun having to rely on others for a ride.
  9. Decide if you want to have children. This is a big decision. Remember, regardless of society’s slant or the way you were built, not everyone needs to have a baby. That being said, if you decide this is what want to do, think about the things you’d like to accomplish before entering the motherhood, then get busy. Don’t leave having your kids too late.
  10. Follow your dreams even if they don’t meet others expectations.
  11. Find your voice. Learn to express yourself creatively. Embrace your unique qualities. It’s cool to be different.
  12. On New Year’s Day or you birthday, make a list of FIVE things you’d like to accomplish in the year. They don’t have to be mind-blowing (but they can be) but choose things that will shake it up a bit. It’s amazing how routine life can get.
  13. Let your guard down.
  14. Set solid goals and respect yourself enough to follow and achieve them.
  15. Keep yourself in check. Don’t be afraid to change your mind if your life starts to veer away from what you thought you wanted. Avoid hanging on to things that no longer fit in your hand. Let go and keep moving forward.
  16. Ask for help when you need it. Find the person who to advise you if that someone you usual ask for advice can’t help you this time because they don’t understand where you’re coming from (not everyone has to), have no real understanding of the question, or are too busy to go there.
  17. Learn to listen to your gut.
  18. This is the perfect age to spend sometime on your own and meditate on what you want. Head to a park or lake shore with a note pad and pen and let you mind go. Forget about what your parents, teachers or even friends have to say. Don’t worry about what seems realistic, or not, or what at first glance seems crazy or unattainable. Get out of your way for two to three hours and admit to yourself what you yearn for in life. You need not write in any particular order, just let it all flow. You might stumble onto a hidden jewel you never saw sparkling before. Or, perhaps you’ll reinforce what you already knew. But remember this: This…. Whatever it is you are doing, or not doing, right now, at this moment, is your life, so live it as fully as you can. And enjoy every minute of it.