Thursday, January 07, 2010


okay, so january is going BERSERKER right before my very eyes! weekends are booking up like whoa and i'm already looking into mid-february for social stuff. like, wtf? add to that yesterday i logged mad OT at work because things at work are also intensity in ten cities. and they're not even sitting at the moment!

speaking of sitting or not sitting...alls i gotta say about this stephen harper situation is I TOLD YOU SO (about micheal ignatieff.) you can't trust a guy who looks like that, with his crazy, craggy eyebrows. anyone who was getting down on stéphane dion for being too intellectual and mousy is now paying the price with ineffectual leadership of the liberal party. you guys were all seduced by glitz and glamour. quiet intellectuals all the way! our federal politics are an unfortunate farce!

you know what else is a farce? this 10 nominations for best picture oscar business. i was reading my beloved "entertainment weekly" last night and they were giving the rundown on who they think is going to squeeze in now that the nominations have doubled. "an education"??? please!!! "invictus"??? snooore! "avatar"?!??? i can't tell if people are ACTUALLY getting stupider or not. "avatar" was dreck! whatever happened to substance, wit, a light hand? and don't even try to sell me on "precious" - that's torture porn for the "new yorker" set. no thank you. i'll watch it just to see how right i am about it.

okay, now that the righteous indignation has settled a bit, i can recommence with my book reviews. the last 2 and then i'm all caught up. i just placed about 40 holds at the toronto public library and signed up to participate in ANOTHER book club, so methinks the likelihood that i'll have a backlog shortly is a foregone conclusion.

i read "the lovely bones" cuz i wanted a quick, easy read for transit and it showed up on the book swap truck at work. a big, fat, MEH. it's okay, i guess. i was kind of spectacularly unmoved by everything, other than having some heebie jeebies at the murder and sexual assault of a young girl by a sociopath thing - which shows that the book had an AFFECT, i guess, but WHO WOULDN'T GET THE HEEBIES at the thought? the book is mildly interesting...everything about it is kind of mild - mild humour, mild look at family relationships in the wake of tragedy, mild imaginative use of the perspective of a 12 year old girl, mildly affected faux, literary style. just not my thing...i didn't get what the fuss was about.

"important artifacts and personal property from the collection of lenore doolan and harold morris, including books, street fashion, and jewelry" is ever-so-clever, stylistically. i didn't know what to expect going in, just that the book was generating buzz so i ordered it from TPL. what the author leanne shapton gives you, is a tantalizing, meticulously curated glimpse into the progression and eventual dissolution of a relationship as told through personal belongings itemized for an auction catalogue. how perfect for our consumerist, voyeuristic times! the two subjects, lenore doolan and harold morris are impossibly privileged - she writes for the new york times and he is a professional photographer, for crissakes! and they're oh-so-hip in an aged, slightly bohemian way (i'm an ageist so i find aging hipsters in general off-putting) - wearing designer commes des garçons and marc jacobs clothes and travelling the world with novelty figurines and first edition prints in tow. what's fascinating for a nosy parker such as myself, is how the collection of items and the careful, clinical descriptions seductively conceal and reveal. you really do feel like you're allowed access into the inner workings of the two individuals' private lives (i found the tale was told more from the perspective of lenore) and it's fascinating what the detritus of our possessions or snippets of our daily communication (excerpts from emails, to-do lists, pages ripped from journals) can scream to the ignorant outsider. it makes you think: what would the story of my belongings be? would it be accurate? what hidden clues do we leave behind in the wake of our consumption? the text also works on the meta-level: how does one construct a "story" out of objects? what is the role of the reader, the cataloger, the historian, the chronicler? i thought this was a very successful attempt at this kind of thought-excercise - compulsively readable, too. i'd borrow it from the library though - this isn't one worth buying.

tonight for dinner i made us a veggie udon noodle stir fry with broccoli, japanese eggplant, red pepper, snow peas, mushrooms, scallions, and tofu all bound in a standard cornstarch ("wonder powder" to you stephen yan acolytes)-enriched soy/sesame oil/ginger/garlic sauce (the photo is a little shaky cuz i had hungry "heroin" hands.)


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