Reading Watching Listening

Reading…

Cork Dork by Bianca Bosker. On the polar opposite of Wine. All The Time., which I read just before this, this book makes me want to run away from the wine world screaming. I am FIRMLY on Marissa Ross’s side when it comes to approaches to wine (aka I want to feel relatively confident discussing, purchasing, and drinking wine). Becoming a sommelier sounds horrifying, though in a way where I suppose I kind of admire these people? Bosker’s writing is fresh and entertaining, so the book is a good read. It just also makes me want to scream fairly frequently.

Watching…

Jane the Virgin. Okay, technically I watched this. I’m caught up and stoked for the next season. It took me forever to get over the premise of this show (anyone who has grown up in a religious household where virgin birth is taught as a real possibility is probably going to at least be residually uncomfortable with the notion.) I’m glad my friends persisted in telling me how much they liked it, because I’m loving the modern telenovela structure, the narrator is hilarious, and the characters are loveable and weird.

Listening…

A lot of CBC Radio 2 this week. Which is never a bad choice in my book.

Quoted

“Then I decided that this disorder and this dilemma, revealed by my desire to write on Photography, corresponded to a discomfort I had always suffered from: the uneasiness of being a subject torn between two languages, one expressive, the other critical; and at the heart of this critical language, between several discourses, those of sociology, of semiology, and of psychoanalysis — but that , by ultimate dissatisfaction with all of them, I was bearing witness to the only sure thing that was in me (however naïve it might be): a desperate resistance to any reductive system.”

— Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida

This is a beauty of dissonance…

Rocks of Peggys Cove cropped bw watermark

Spume and Blown Windrift watermark

This is a beauty
of dissonance,
this resonance,
of stony strand

— from “The Lonely Land” by A.J.M. Smith

 

If you know me at all, whether in person or online, then you probably know that my heart lies with rocky coastlines along the Atlantic Ocean (evidence: here, herehere, here, and here). I’ve also talked before about how when I was living in Halifax I would often drive out to Peggy’s Cove in the off season in search of new ways to look at what is a pretty iconic tourist destination. These two very different images come from one such trip on a very windy April day. It was cold, the sky was dramatic, the waves were even more dramatic. I also love that these two images capture very specific elements of what makes up the Peggy’s Cove experience. I think that dissonance is part of the appeal of most East Coast locations for me; I like that you can turn your head and experience something completely different. I like that the elements can be seen individually or in conversation with one another. I like that you can get vastly different images when standing in exactly the same spot depending on the time of year or how you aim your camera lens. The places feel familiar but they also always feel novel.

Images above: “Peggy’s Cove (No Ocean)” and “Blown Spume and Windrift,” both now available in the shop.

Wednesday Words

Renamed. Reworked. Same basic premise as the “Required Readings” I was doing before.

I recently wrote a review of Sue Sinclair’s Heaven’s Thieves, and I still find myself thinking about it almost daily.

Vacation

The shoddy balconies,
sliding glass panels,
reflected swirl
of leaves.
 
Why does everything
that appears in glass
look like a face?
 
The mirror-trees stand half
in this world and half somewhere else,
a place not necessarily better than this one
 
but faraway
and therefore enviable.
 

— from Heaven’s Thieves (Brick Books, 2017)

Reading Watching Listening

Reading…

Wine. All the Time. by Marissa A. Ross. The book has blurbs from both Mindy Kaling and Leandra Medine, so OBVIOUSLY I was going to get it. And it’s great. I’m now swirling and smelling and sipping and taking tasting notes. I’ve learned A LOT. Plus Ross is hilarious and I kind of want to be her best friend.

Watching…

Fleabag. WHY DIDN’T I WATCH THIS SOONER!? Phoebe Waller-Bridge is brilliant. It’s dark. It’s twisted. It made me sob. Really sob. The pacing is so spot on. The comedic rhythm is just off kilter in a way that works so well. Breaking the fourth wall has never worked so well. I’m already excited about season two.

Listening…

Vanessa Carlton. Because it felt really right the other night and still feels pretty right.

The Ocean Calls

The Ocean Calls (Summer) watermark

Ocean Calls Spring watermark

The ocean calls to me all year long. Honestly. I grew up landlocked, so I’m not sure where the deep-seated desire to be near the ocean came from, but it is definitely there. I miss proximity to the ocean on a daily basis and get a substantial thrill each time I get near a large body of water. These are two photos of what will hopefully be a four photo series.

Top: “The Ocean Calls (Summer)” taken on the boardwalk at West Point Lighthouse on PEI

Bottom: “The Ocean Calls (Spring)” taken at Peggy’s Cove, NS

Both available as prints and more in the shop now.

Quoted

Poetry is what in a poem makes you laugh, cry, prickle, be silent, makes your toenails twinkle, makes you want to do this or that or nothing, makes you know that you are alone and not alone in the unknown world, that your bliss and suffering is forever shared and forever all your own. All that matters about poetry is the enjoyment of it however tragic it may be. All that matters is the eternal movement behind it — the great undercurrent of human grief, folly, pretension, exaltation and ignorance — however unlofty the intention of the poem.

— Dylan Thomas

Reading Watching Listening

Reading…

Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick. I would like to be best friends with Kendrick, please and thank you. This book is hilarious and smart.

 

Watching…

Company. I’m am fully on board basically any time I can watch a filmed version of a stage musical. It’s as close as I get to Broadway. The cast in this production is phenomenal (though my deep love for Raúl Esparza may make me a touch biased…).

 

Listening…

The soundtrack to Violet. It’s weird. It’s good. It’s Sutton Foster.

Quoted

I gave up on being Nice. I started putting more value on other qualities instead: passion, bravery, intelligence, practicality, humour, patience, fairness, sensitivity. Those last three might seem like they are covered y “nice,” but make no mistake, they are not. […] I don’t put a lot of stock in nice. I’d prefer to be around people who have any of the above qualities over “niceness,” and I’d prefer it if that applied to me, too. I’m also okay if the most accurate description of me is nervous, and a little salty. But at least I know what I want to strive for.

– Anna Kendrick, Scrappy Little Nobody

Butterflies

The thing is, the longer I spend here — 3.5 years of the PhD and counting — the longer I spend here the more I think that I would rather be the one creating the things than the one analyzing the things.

***

Setting: undergraduate class
My favourite professor says, “Trying too hard to find a hidden meaning in a poem is like plucking the wings off a butterfly.”
The image never leaves me.
Almost 7 years later I wonder about how many butterflies I have killed and what all the death was for.

***

The thing is, the longer I spend here — 3.5 years of the PhD and counting, 2 years of the Master’s — the longer I spend here the more I think that I would rather be the one creating the things than the one analyzing the things.

***

Setting: elementary school classroom
The teacher asks us to draw a picture of us being whatever it is we want to be when we grow up.
I never answer the question.
Almost 20 years later I couldn’t complete the same assignment even though I am technically grown.

***

The thing is, the longer I spend here — 3.5 years of the PhD and counting, 2 years of the Master’s, 4 years of the Bachelor’s — the longer I spend here the more I think that I would rather be the one creating the things than the one analyzing the things.

***

Setting: conservatory gardens
Someone asks, “What is wrong with you? Are you afraid of butterflies?”
I stand as still as possible.
Almost 9 years later I can’t remember if I was scared to hurt them or if I was waiting for them to come to me.

***

The thing is, the longer I spend here the more I want to stop killing butterflies.