Thursday, November 24, 2011


The clobbering of one K. Lagerfeld, Esquire continues! But the weekend is in sight and if I work very very very extra extra extra hard, then I will have my literature review done and I can have my super-packed weekend of fun unencumbered.

I finished reading Bonnie Jo Campbell's Once Upon a River the other night. I really enjoyed this book and the frustrating cipher heroine at its center, one Margo Crane. Margo takes off at the age of 16 down the Kalamazoo river in rural Michigan in search of her mother, armed with a stolen .22, her copy of an Annie Oakley biography, and her own preternatural still, reflective, observant nature and drive for survival. She is beautiful, remote, and as more than one character refers to her, "a throwback" in 1970s Michigan with her ability to hunt and fish and provide for herself. I haven't met a character quite like her in modern fiction and I enjoyed that this quasi-survival tale was told from the perspective of a woman, with the unique challenges faced by women trying to make their own way and choose their own life, given their due. The novel is spare, a little haunting, and draws you into this small-town world by the banks of the river. In a way it reminded me of Winter's Bone, with alternating periods of more and less menace that that depicted in the film burbling below the surface. The book can be maddening at times, with Margo's innocence and ignorance coming together again and again to undermine her naive attempts to "live her own life." I highly recommend it.

These are last night's perogies:

Tonight we're having beef stroganoff with a sweet potato, regular potato, and celery root mash and sautéed brussels sprouts. Dr. Rei and possibly Hanbo are coming over for dinner and then we're all going to bundle up and partake in the Leslieville Wanderlust - a night of shopping and nibblies and live music at the various stores in our 'hood. I LOVE MY NEIGHBOURHOOD! Not for nothing has the New York Times proclaimed us the Williamsburg of Toronto (which I don't think is true, but n00bs will buy it and I can deal with that cool-by-association pedigree). I had to manage Dr. Rei's expectations...last year's Wanderlust, while fun, wasn't like some kind of winter-wonderland/Rockefeller Centre tree-lighting extravaganza...but it was still fun and it's worth it just to sample Bobette and Belle's hot chocolate with the torched marshmallows and poke around all the vintage/antique shops.



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