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Jan. 28th, 2010

05:14 pm - Bugs and bunnies.

I'm unlikely to be the first person to have had this thought, but I haven't seen it elsewhere yet, so I'm sharing it.

In Holland, Pharming has set up a commercial rabbit milking operation. As you might guess from the name, they're a biotech company. In this case, they've modified rabbits to produce milk that contains commercially viable concentrations of C1 inhibitor, a protein that, in humans, plays a role in controlling inflammation. The idea is to extract the C1INH from the milk, and use it to treat people who don't produce enough of it, as well as to reduce transplant rejection rates and tissue damage resulting from strokes, heart attacks, or physical trauma.

Bio-engineered, self-replicating, mobile, semi-autonomous, bio-reactors that you supply with raw materials and then harvest useful product from. Kind of like the Vorkosigan butter bugs, only in this case, their transgenic creatures are cute.

I did find the line from the Times "The first commercial milking of rabbits, using specially adapted eight-teat machines, is already taking place at a farm in Holland." amusing for the implication that the major adaptation needed from the usual milking machines was the number of teats.

Story in National Geographic and The Sunday Times.

This post makes no statements about how I view this development ethically. That is intentional. If people want to discuss it with me, or would be interested in statements of that sort, I could be amenable to doing that in person or over e-mail.

Current Mood: amusedamused

Jan. 19th, 2010

12:18 am - Book of Love, temporally proximate theatre stuff

at youtube: Book of Love - Nataly Dawn

Years ago, when I went to small independent music stores more often (back when there were more of them that hadn't closed or moved entirely online), I was browsing and was excited to come across a copy of The Magnetic Fields (a Stephin Merritt project) album 69 Love Songs. I had heard Patricia O'Callaghan cover Book of Love, one of the songs off of that album, live several times by then (My favourite performance being the one from the first time I saw her at Hugh's Room, I think, about three albums ago. All preferable to her album version, alas.) and though I didn't 'agree' with all of the possible interpretations of what the song could have been saying about love and relationships, loved the song nonetheless. I also remembered Neil Gaiman's enthusiasm for Merritt's music prompting me to go and check out articles about him and The Magnetic Fields, and finding the descriptions appealing to me. While they had come to town at least once that I knew of, the timing hadn't worked out, so I was still curious to hear their sound. So I put it in my stack of stuff to buy and kept going. Two guys came in, one talking enthusiastically about this album that he'd seen that he wanted to come back and show to the other one, buy and listen to together. He saw it, noticed that I'd pulled it, and got this look of disappointment. I don't know if they were just friends, boyfriends, or one was a potential boyfriend who the other hoped to impress with his taste in music/to move along in that direction with an album of the above title by a band with at least two queer members (depending on their lineup at the time), but I'm enough of a romantic that in case it was, I let him get it. Either of us could probably have gotten another copy another day, but his afternoon, and possibly more, could work out much better for him if he got it at that particular moment (yes, or it could make little difference at all, but you aren't actually going to know all of the consequences of your actions), whereas if I got it then, it might be months before I listened to it.

Since then I've heard a few other covers of songs by The Magnetic Fields, but I still don't have a copy of their albums and haven't heard their version of Book of Love. A few days ago, when I decided to see what else Pomplamoose (from my previous blog entry) had done, I heard another one. This one by Nataly Dawn, who is half of Pomplamoose (Her Master's degree is in French literature, and she lived in France for years before coming back to the States, so AFAIK the spelling is intentional.). It's a good bit slower and more deliberate than the others that I've heard. It reminds me of somewhat of Kim Richey's style. (Aside. I first payed attention to her music thanks to A Place Called Home being used to such powerful effect in Angel, during the end montage of the episode, or the episode after, depending on how you look at it, in which Fred died. Like Joss's style or not as a showrunner/storyteller, he can pick music to go with his style.) The vocal has more hiss in it than others, among other technical transmission aspects, but they don't matter enough to keep this from being my favourite recorded performance of this song that I've heard/seen yet (not better than O'Callaghan's live, but that's not re-playable.)

Hmm. The Magnetic Fields are going to be touring February and March. I might get to go see them. We'll see. There are a few things I want/have wanted to go see that I won't attend while coughing uncontrollably. Even if I'm wearing a mask, you don't do that at a quiet live performance. I got to see My Mother's Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding at the end of December, thanks to my sister, but I've already missed Next Stage's Fringe Festival remounts. Cloud 9starts its one month run tomorrow today. The show's themes would be enough for me to want to see it, but they've also got Alisa Palmer directing and her wife Ann Marie MacDonald on stage (She's mostly a writer these days so chances to see her acting live are not all that frequent. I missed her in 2007 at Soulpepper. Related recommendation: I've Heard the Mermaids Singing, kind of a film about art and appreciation of it.). (see also: Cloud 9 Toronto and this article in The Globe and Mail. Dance Ontario's DanceWeekend 2010 starts this Friday. And I haven't had this cold that long. It's only been 16 days. I don't get colds that often, but they tend to run long when I do. Sorry for the scattered approach. I've had separate blog posts about each of these things in mind for several weeks now, but given the time and that I haven't written them, I figure, better a mention than nothing.

Youtube video embedded behind the cut for those who prefer embedded video.Collapse )

Current Location: bed
Current Mood: optimisticoptimistic

Jan. 6th, 2010

03:25 pm - Zoe Keating and Pomplamoose - Always in the Season, also Lhasa de Sela

I've been a fan of Zoe Keating for several years now. She's a cellist, composer and electronic artist who does all sorts of modern experimental art stuff (and business stuff too). I think that I first became aware of her work, approximately simultaneously, in the context of her being, at the time, one fifth of Rasputina, and some of her earlier stuff when I was searching for new music and artists from the starting point of the album Saturday Night Hay Fever, Bluegrass artists cover Disco Hits (really, better than it might appear on first inspection), by now defunct labour-of-love micro-label "Skipping Discs" (through which I was exposed to "Tegan and Sara" earlier than I would have been otherwise).

Anyway, she recently recorded cello for Pomplamoose on their song Always in the Season that points out that charity, generosity and companionship need not be seasonal virtues. Even if you don't give a goat, the indie-bedroom-studio video is really quite endearing. Embedded behind a cut for those who prefer not to click to another pageCollapse )

I've mentioned Lhasa de Sela to some of you before. Words in the family of wonder and magic crop up a lot in descriptions of the performances and recordings of this multilingual, multidisciplinary artist. For those who like poetic lyrics that tell a story, I highly recommend her. Read ANYWHERE ON THIS ROAD, and SOON THIS SPACE WILL BE TOO SMALL for example. For a taste of the skill of her composition and performance go here and sample PARA EL FIN DEL MUNDO O EL AÑO NUEVO and CON TODA PALABRA off of her second album The Living Road.

She is one of the artists whose recordings I strongly prefer to listen to uncompressed. According to my iTunes, I haven't listened to any of her music since early 2005, nor have I heard it many times. I attended only one of her performances, and that back in 2003. Nonetheless, it figures highly in my consideration of favourite artists. Her work sticks.

She died five days ago, at home in Montreal, at 37 years of age. She is, and will continue to be, missed.

Current Location: bed
Current Mood: mixed

Nov. 1st, 2009

04:00 am - Canwest Cabaret, day three

Okay people, this year, it is indeed fantastic again. Brief thoughts:Collapse )

Current Location: bed
Current Mood: anticipatory
Current Music: Leonard Coher - Gypsy Wife (as performed by Patricia O'Callaghan)

Oct. 30th, 2009

03:11 am - Fresh Blood - Presented by The Chimera Project

Quick post. Today held the evening of Fresh Blood, a program of short modern dance pieces by new choreographers selected by The Chimera Project's Artistic Director Malgorzata Nowacka. I left for it a bit late, so didn't make the trip to the post office I'd hoped to (but likely will do that tomorrow), but was in time for the shows.

I had a great time. Enwave Theatre was practically full, there was a good range of ages, and the atmosphere was open and warm. The acts were picked based on Malgorzata's taste for originality and individuality, so there was quite a diverse range of styles, subjects, approaches and outcomes. So there was media deconstruction, meditation on getting a handle on place, exploration of the human body, camptastic re-imaginings of social rituals, and more.

I especially appreciated one of the perennial things that draws me to dance. Communication - means, media, techniques, conventions, etc... - occupies my thought much of the time. One of the things that I like about certain kinds of modern dance is that it's a bit like, in a piece they're teaching you a new language rooted in human forms in motion, specifically for that work of choreography, that you're only going to use for the next two minutes, or hour, or whatever. It's like an extremely concentrated burst of demand for pattern matching/analysis that, in a sense, happens completely privately and with lots of room for failure without consequence. There is some relief about getting to exercise some mental faculties and being able to enjoy doing so.

On a related note, just a reminder for those in Toronto, that at the Young Centre for the Arts in The Distillery District, the Canwest Cabaret Festival is on until this Sunday. Last year was fantastic. I expect no less this time.

I should look for a dance and theatre icon.

Current Location: bed
Current Mood: satisfiedsatisfied

Oct. 24th, 2009

02:10 am - One of these things is not like the others...

Again, doing the easy post rather than the informative one - slice of a day.
Context: Online searching for the designer of a jacket I bought about seven years ago to see if they still make something in the same style (Christian Dumas). Unfortunately, no luck, though I did find a Pierre et Christian Dumas who are in the somewhat related area of soft stuffed things that go on beds (pillows, mattress toppers, blankets).

The thing I'm finding worth a remark, and the question that comes from it: One of the places I found a listing for the above company was a directory of European firms. (www.euro-compagnies.com) One of the sub-categories was "Drapeaux, les bannières et les salopes". Wuh?Collapse ) Several of you who read my lj have greater fluency in one or more of the above languages than I do. Anyone have any theories?

Current Location: bed
Current Mood: quizzical
Current Music: ...one of these things just doesn't belong

Sep. 11th, 2009

02:22 am - Tiles

As a design material, I very much like porcelain; the beauty, longevity, variation, flexibility, it's almost fantastic. As a thing that I have to pick just one family out of umpty-zillion to go with for a room, (or a few rooms), and then stick with for, potentially decades, it gives me a feeling somewhat like being thirsty and drinking something thick and viscous through a really long and narrow straw, from a little cup on the other side of the room, over something you don't want to drip anything on. You can see it coming, you know it'll be so good when it gets to you, but you're a little breathless from the effort, and you really want to get it right because if you don't you'll be stuck with the consequences.

Then there's the whole shopping experience where, beyond how well what you actually end up getting fits your application, how you feel about it has so much to do with how good the staff are, how well you can communicate what you're looking for, how much and how useful the information the displays have available is, how much your budget is vs. what you might want to do, what pieces you can get within your timeframe, and it goes on. It's probably not surprising how much more I enjoy the part where I'm on the computer looking at and comparing designs, technical specifications, standards, and prices, than I do the part where I'm walking around the showroom looking at the prospect of haggling.

Here are a few of the things I'm looking at: Networks, Ec(c)lettica, E-motion, Habitat, Glamour, Sense, Ecowood, and because it's a flash site and I can't link to specific lines, Grespania. And here are some of the places: Olympia and Centura.

While I'm on the subject, if anyone's interested in about three wheelbarrows or part thereof of formerly ~ 1' x 2' to 2' x 4' ~ 1" natural finish greenish grey paving stone, they're free for the taking (or claiming for shipping/mailing) until such time as they go to Mississauga get recycled into road-fill or whatever. I don't know natural stone, but they're kind of slate or limestone looking. The pieces vary in size from mostly whole slabs to chips, with most being roughly triangular or trapezoidal in the 1' range. I have heard of freecycle, and a couple of things like them, but I don't really feel like dealing with more strangers at the moment. I do know that people on this list have lots of interests I don't know about, so it is conceivable that for one or more of you, cheap or free rocks, even if some of them have got some mortar on them, would be of some use.

Current Location: bed
Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful
Current Music: Tiësto and Tegan and Sara - "Feel It In My Bones"

Sep. 9th, 2009

10:08 am - Home updates

Having decided/accepted that one is going to have contractors coming in, and the attendant effects on scheduling etc... etc..., some of the usual barriers to getting home improvements done go away. So along with getting some tile in, improving drainage, re-grading and waterproofing, painting and shelving, you can get switches replaced with timers, some tuck-pointing, upgrading the ventilation and filtration, switching to a smaller, better insulated hot water tank + instant gas water heater, fixing some light fixtures, upgrading insulation, replacing gate valves with ball valves, replacing cartridges and aerators, installing an exhaust fan, re-locating electrical outlets, etc... etc...

That work, research, decision making and management is about where most of the free time has been going. In case you were wondering.

Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful

Aug. 9th, 2009

07:08 am - Pensive

Friday night msagara and I had a long conversation outside the hotel. It covered a fair bit around the family of topics that we usually talk about: theory of mind, interpretation of behaviour, blind spots, safety, comfortable-ness/awkwardness, sex/gender, sexuality, cultural backgrounds, upbringing, balance, normal behaviour vs. difference, family dynamics, education, family, rule sets, analytical and instinctive approaches to communication, generalizations and specific applications. It was different from the usual in a few ways. It was outside of the usual contexts (bookstore or event) where I'd worry even more about taking up someone's time than I would generally. While as usual there was a great deal that I thought of later that I would have preferred to have thought of at the time, the nature was different in that they mostly took the form of improvements to things relatively poorly or incompletely expressed, rather than things not-expressed at all (a benefit of a mostly uninterrupted three and a half hours as compared to a more normal 20 minutes, and more private conversation as well as a different dynamic). The largest difference was the centering of specific cases of sets of behaviours of mine that required evaluation and critique in discussion, which when there was a smaller shared data set covering more superficial effects was unnecessary or impossible. Being specific, there are actions and considerations regarding particular people which I'm now thinking about. I strongly dislike being oblivious and stupid, but I've been advised by a number of people that thinking more and harder before acting is not likely to be a good or useful response for me given how slow I am already, among other reasons, some directly related, and others not. This is somewhat frustrating since I patently cannot trust my intuitive processes to provide useful behavioural direction either. I'm going to continue to try and figure out how I should act, and improve my ability to communicate accurately, effectively, and in a representative fashion, since going through life without interacting with people is probably not healthy.

So it was a very useful conversation. It is of a sort which I would be interested in having again if the opportunity arises, with Michelle of course, but also almost anyone who has thoughts about behaviour and communication, providing the presence of a sufficiency of time, energy, lack of risk, mutual comfort, and linguistic compatibility. In particular, if anyone has a question or concern about what something I say, write or do, or have done (aliseadea I do intend to get back to you on your message when I get back home), means, I encourage them to raise it with me for clarification. While in the main I expend considerable time, energy and care in the attempt to express myself as appropriately and in the best (including being considerate of others) way I can think of, I am painfully aware that I'm just not good enough to succeed all the time with all people in all circumstances on the first try. Also there isn't always time, energy etc...

Current Location: hotel
Current Mood: Certainly more than one.

Aug. 6th, 2009

03:42 pm - Montreal trip

Well, I'm off to Montreal for my first Worldcon. I'll be back in about a week. So much for writing about Mill Race beforehand. After I signed off last post, I woke up at lunch time on Tuesday. I thought that I might write in between moving laundry around and packing but I didn't get past the reading up that I had planned. I've got a twitter account now. I thought I'd try it out for the 'where am I' value while I'm travelling. I've got my sister's iPod touch with me to see how an iPhone might work out as opposed to a UMPC.

edited to add: Silly me. On twitter as LJseabream

Current Music: Stan Rogers: Barrett's Privateers

Aug. 3rd, 2009

04:10 am - The Mill Race Folk Festival

Phew. That was fantastic. I just got back home a few hours ago after three days away, so I'm in that in between state of elated and exhausted, but I've got pages of notes (albeit, out of a not very large notebook), so, presuming that I write it up before I go to Montréal and my memory buffer overflows beyond the stage of keyword reminder memory triggers, I should be able to give a good supplemental account beyond the sketching out I'm doing here.

The Mill Race Festival in Cambridge Ontario had its 17th year this August long weekend. As one might expect from the name, folk music from British traditions made up the largest part of it, but less than half. Also represented were French Canadian (second), Métis, Cajun (I now have a better idea of what zydeco means), flamenco, French (Kudos to Angus Audio's sound people for knowing how to handle a hurdy-gurdy.), Peruvian, Appalachian, and probably others that I'm forgetting.

A few exclamatory remarks:

The Swamp Ward Orchestra puts a hurdy-gurdy, an accordion and a banjo together on stage. They make it work, even though traditional french folk doesn't properly use the banjo. I think that it was Alfie Smith who said, "Now if you got a bagpipe that would trigger the apocalypse."

Speaking of Alfie, my goodness what a voice. If you like bluegrass, and you can see him live, I highly recommend it.

Pub sings: Okay, so, there's a lot of content which is offensive or nasty towards a wide range of people, but if you can get past that, and you've got a good community of people, it's a powerful thing. This despite a few of the locals likening it to karaoke before television. If you can have a solid core of the crowd be professional touring musicians, or at equivalent skill level, so much the better. ...even if the Scottish accent on the verses is so thick that you can't tell exactly what the jinkies are that you've never seen the likes of "at McGuinty's Beer and Ale with a piggen on the spree".

Bette & Wallet (Marie Beth Carty et Gabriel Ouellette) Recycled music! While they also do traditional east coast/Quebecois jigs and reels, they also write songs about modern issues and put them to traditional-ish tunes. "Aubaines" about the excesses and imbalances of retail culture and "Squeegees" describing sacrifices people make for their cultural identity.

Swamperella and Tanglefoot both live up to their excellent reputations as performers. I think that I've found my new favourite hockey song (Seven on a side).

Tags: , ,
Current Location: bed
Current Mood: ecstaticecstatic
Current Music: Bette & Wallet: Automobiles

Jul. 28th, 2009

05:24 am - Pokey

I have been awake now for going on 28 consecutive hours. That being the case, I'm perhaps a bit less alert than one might expect someone to be at close to 5:00 in the morning. But I have a few things I'm going to get out before sleeping, while I have the excuse that I'm too tired to be too self-critical and over-thinky.

I had a pretty good day today, so happy mrissa's birthday to me as well as, slightly belatedly to her.

I got about six errands done today, some of which have been on the list for quite a while now, none of which I was late for, all of which were successfully completed, and none of them involved a significant waste of time. I bought a pair of shoes that are pretty close to what I've been looking for since around 2004. The salesperson at New Balance was friendly and outgoing enough that we had a wider ranging conversation than I would normally expect when I'm shoe shopping. Particularly odd for me was that I was pretty comfortable. I'm considering giving her a contact method and asking her if she'd like to continue in a similar vein in a different context/venue. Really really odd.

Something recent cries out for me to put up the/series of sexuality and gender essays that I've been working on for long and long, but really, for that kind of subject, I still think that I want to have it go up as a personal, satisfying and joyful expression, over a reactive, externally focused, and tightly controlled piece.

I came across an interesting article in either The Globe and Mail or The Toronto Star, about what was described as the first known positive human autoimmune function. IIRC, the study showed that the immune system produces specialized T cells that target fat cells located in dangerous parts of the body (mostly in and around internal organs). There was some mention of implications for people with Type II diabetes and related insulin/chemical energy management conditions, with studies to follow. (Somewhat related: Sorry about the delay sheyrena on the e-mail. I was seeing what arrangements I could make around the VIA strike. With it over, something should be coming soonish.)

Definitely related: On CBC Radio 2 this morning, I heard the following song, by Arianne Moffatt, which is fitting since I've finally decided to go to Montréal for The 67th World Science Fiction Convention: Anticipation. I'm really looking forward to the people, conversation, and a better view of francophone SF. Here's Montréal. Enjoy.

Montréal - Arianne Moffatt
Uploaded by x-MmM-x - See the latest featured music videos.

Current Location: *blink blink*
Current Mood: floaty
Current Music: Arianne Moffatt - Montréal

Jul. 5th, 2009

07:03 pm - Fringe... Fringe? Fringe!

So the Toronto Fringe Theatre Festival began on Wednesday (runs until Sunday the 12). At some level I knew this, but somehow I thought that that day would feel longer. Foolish of me, I know, because replenishing my stores of clean clothes, social energy, and get out of the house-ness after a trip very rarely happens that quickly. However, my sister, suffering under different conditions has managed to go, so I have a program guide and some recommendations of things for me to try out.

Among them:

The Silver Stage - Playing at The Bloor Cinema, full length presentations of films and video with live cast on stage shadowing the action and interpreting it in engaging and rewarding ways, audience participation encouraged. Rotating screenings of David Lynch's Blue Velvet, Joss Whedon's Buffy Musical, Repo: A Genetic Opera and Jurassic Park (SIC SEMPER TYRANNOSAURUS REX!)

Out of Character - at the Cat's Eye Lounge, from the people who did Shadow Court at the Fringe in 2005, love and drama in a LARP context.

Current Location: bed
Current Mood: sillysilly
Current Music: Nikka Costa - Everybody Got Their Something

Jun. 30th, 2009

05:18 am - Back from Minneapolis

I'm home from about 11 days in Minnesota, during which I attended Fourth Street, and saw friends. Having cooked, eaten, flossed, brushed, and showered (Oh the feeling of the water here, and better controls, and, and, my shower!), I'm going to bed. Yes I know what time it is. That doesn't keep me from being tired. More to come when I've got more brain.

Current Location: bed
Current Mood: pleasedpleased
Current Music: Sarah Harmer - Go to sleep

May. 16th, 2009

07:25 am - Inside Out + Daniel MacIvor

Welcome to new readers mt-champion and xb95.

This post was mostly written Thursday afternoon, but I wanted to finish it before posting. Given reading patterns, I'm just posting it as is rather than posting it using "date out of order".

Inside Out begins + Daniel MacIvor in the cityCollapse )

Current Location: bed
Current Mood: rushedrushed

Apr. 30th, 2009

02:42 am - My brain this week

1) While pausing to turn on the light at the bathroom, I exhaled. Upon stepping forward, an unconscious associative process whose purpose seems to be providing life with a soundtrack kicked up for my conscious mind's consideration the melody of Cutting Crew's "(I just) Died in your arms" with the phrase "Something died in your mouth tonight". Another unconscious process, the sort of pedantic one that checks accuracy, sent up the note that this statement is highly likely to be true insofar as at least a single bacterium probably did, and in this context the accuracy is not very important; The combination of these two being sufficient for it not to object to the use without verification. A second note followed some minutes later with the observation that the statement would likely be true regardless of detectible odour, but it's less funny if not present.

1.5) Oh brain. This sort of thing is one of the reasons why I like spending my time with you. It also presents a good opportunity to link to Squishy the Neurotransmitter and the related Squishy Climbs The Neuron, mostly to show to kattas that yes, I did not hallucinate that someone (ursulav in this instance) did actually make art of this description.

2) In other news, last week appears to have been a good one for seeing geeky musical comedy in my area, with Flight of the Conchords at Massey Hall on Tuesday and Wednesday and Jonathan Coulton at Lula Lounge on Thursday and Friday. I was at none of these events. From what I've seen of Flight of the Conchords, I don't know that I would find a continuous set the best way to appreciate them. I would have been interested in trying for Jonathan Coulton's had I known about them before they sold out. I'm glad they did though. Had I found out about the shows afterwards and he hadn't I might have felt some guilt.

2.5) I'd been thinking about Flight of the Conchords due to a recommendation by my sister of their song Robots. She called it a song to listen to when finding humanity irritating. I would also say that it suits circumstances when one is finding computers no less irritating in ways that remind you of humanity.

3) My sister is now in "Special Projects" at her office. Which is a fun thing to have on a business card isn't it.

4) Plans to go group tree planting on Saturday were foiled by variously: a family birthday party, a distant afternoon engagement, and cowhunting. So I went to lunch with my Mum and an Aunt. (For whatever reason, in my family, the "ie" falls off the end of "Auntie" unless it's used like Mrs. As in, if pointing her out in a photo, I could say "That's my Aunt S." or "That's Auntie S." but not combine them.) What with the cowhunt, I did wonder whether the guy we saw walking down the street wearing a Monty Python shirt with image of an airborne cow under the words "Fetchez la vâche!" was purely coincidental. Actually I'm not sure whether it was "vâche" or "vache".

5) Happy Birthday Brackett! May you find the growth you are searching for.

Current Location: bed

Apr. 21st, 2009

02:01 am - Neko Case, Librairie Champlain

Thanks to sunhawk's having a spare ticket, I was able to go to Neko Case's sold out Saturday performance at Trinity-St. Paul's United Church. Seeing her perform live, the image of her standing on a car holding an upraised sword makes vivid sense.

I'm saddened by the news that Librairie Champlain will be closing at the end of the month. It is the only place in the city of its kind that I know of. Other stores sell french language books, but they'd have so few that they'd be all in one section rather than by genre. At Champlain, they carry a full range of books, from beginner books for toddlers, children's books and YA, to general fiction, art criticism, history, classics, reference and more. In addition to books, you can find music, puzzles, even games. The staff is fully bi-lingual, friendly and knowledgeable.

In the country's largest city, where we have stores for Greek works, Tibetan works, Polish works, I think I even remember one for Romanian works, it is a great pity that we cannot sustain even one to represent our second official language. My understanding is that since the 1970's, Canada's francophone communities and families, historically more distributed and stronger in Central Canada and Eastern Canada than at present, have been under greater pressure to move to Quebec, or let go of the language. C'est dommage.

Current Location: bed
Current Mood: sadsad
Current Music: Neko Case - Hold On, Hold On

Apr. 12th, 2009

01:27 am - Friends

kattas has been accepted to teachers college, so a he invited a bunch of people out to celebrate this evening. I got something less than two hours of sleep last night, after a long day and not enough sleep the night before either. It could have gone either way, me going or not. I'm glad I did.

The group who made it to the first while was mostly from his LARP group, only one of whom I'd recalled meeting before, and him I'd last seen years ago. I arrived about 30 minutes after things started, or six hours into the conversation, depending on where you started counting from. I've done some tabletop and computer role playing gaming, but much of this conversation involved specifics to their shared experiences, so I had a good excuse to eat my food and gauge people's conversational styles and signals and settle in a bit before doing much active participation beyond referencing related anecdotal material.

After going to one of the party's apartments, conversation opened up with more topics and more simultaneous conversations. People were good about offering hooks and being inclusive in geeky ways. Later on, witchnyn and her housemate joined us, and more fun conversation was had. I left early because we're doing some family stuff tomorrow, but I left with a feeling that there were several people with whom investigation of opportunities for future conversation might be interesting.

It was so nice to finally get back into a sort of fast, free flowing conversation again. Thanks for the invitation kattas.

Current Location: bed
Current Mood: optimisticoptimistic

Mar. 27th, 2009

10:03 am - Dreamwidth

Dreamwidth is a fork of LiveJournal that I've mentioned to a few of you before. There are a number of things about it I like better than LiveJournal. Open Beta just got announced as starting on the 30th April 2009. More after the cut and miscellaneous stuff.Collapse )

Current Location: bed
Current Mood: excitedexcited
Current Music: Jem - Finally Woken

Mar. 25th, 2009

06:39 pm - "after"

I'm curious about a word usage pattern. I've seen the phrase "the week after" used as:
A) the week after the week that had been under consideration i.e: the next week
as well as
B) being short for "the week after the next week".

To restate for clarity, say Week One runs from the 4th to the 11th, Week Two from the 12th to the 18th and Week Three from the 19th to the 25. If one is offered an appointment on the 8th, but would rather have it in Week Two, in case A, one could inquire as to the availability of a time either by asking about "the next week" or "the week after". If in case B, only "next" would be correct because "the week after" would refer to Week Three.

From two non-authoritative sources, Case B is the generally taught and understood form in England and some of its current and former colonial territories. In my experience in Toronto, A applies more often than not, but B is sufficiently common that the usage is ambiguous unless you are familiar with the person using it. Based on this, I suspect that somewhere, A is what is generally taught and understood, but I don't know where. If it is similar to the bigendian vs. mixed endian state that we see in the case of dates, (i.e.: British - d/m/y, U.S.A. - m/d/y, Canadian - depends, trending American), then that would be the U.S.A.

Something else I'm curious about is whether that usage of after is also used with other units denoting a period.

So poll for those who use and are familiar with Case B.

I would (or have seen) use(d) 'after' as short for "the [x] after the next [x]" where [x]= check all that apply.


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