Mostly, it is... — LiveJournal
Jun. 23rd, 2012
02:35 am - Fourth Street Fantasy, Franco-fête
Goodness me, I'm tired. Sadly the timing didn't work out, so I'm going to miss attending Fourth Street this time around. Wishing all my friends who aren't missing it a good time. In some cases, I'll have the chance to see them again at Farthing, which everything is booked for, and less is happening around it than this year's Fourth Street, so it's likely that I'll make it there. Come to think of it, who of you are going to Farthing this year?
You can answer the poll here, or there. I'm reading both. I can't seem to get the lj poll to display correctly. Go vote there.
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May. 26th, 2012
07:34 am - A classic five things
1. Yes it's been awhile. I've been reading still, albeit less frequently than in the past, but a series of events flattened me in terms of my belief that I could write intelligibly, so I've been holding back from saying much. I'm not done dealing with that, but it's been long enough.
( InsideOutCollapse )
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( Reader welcomeCollapse )
( Birthday wishesCollapse )
edited to fix site account links
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Jul. 29th, 2011
11:40 am - Long weekend - Mill Race
Well I'm tentatively optimistic about the Executive Committee meeting, but that's not based on a great deal of information. @leahbobet and others on twitter mostly. We'll see how it shakes out.
Off to Cambridge for the Mill Race Folk Festival in a few hours. My sister isn't coming this year so I may not be eating at the Black Badger this time, but I'll still almost certainly have something at Cafe 13. My parents aren't sure what they're going to do as far as their usual at The Golden Kiwi Pub with new food restrictions. Hopefully this helps the Tri-city area's communities a bit. With the Galt Knitting Company, COMDEV, and RIM situations sponsorships and employment aren't doing as well. For those of you who have it, I hope that you enjoy the long weekend.
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Jul. 28th, 2011
For those who might be interested in seeing Toronto City Hall's proceedings in today's Executive Committee meeting, Rogers is streaming it here. If one is in Toronto, it's on cable channels 10 and 63. I'm unfortunately not, and I need to head out now, which means that when I get back, I'll be behind, and won't have a recording that I can view. If there are particular speakers one is interested in seeing, the list of speakers is at the calendar listing here. Note that the order of speakers may change subject to motions carried by council. The one there is out of date as deputants with children and with disabilities will be permitted to speak first.
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Jul. 6th, 2011
Greetings to new reader tiger_spot. It was nice to see you at Fourth Street. Your journal looks interesting, so I'll probably follow you, but I haven't actually gotten to know you, so it'll wait till I've worked through my old posts privacy settings.
( topics covered in the title are in the cutCollapse )
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Jun. 23rd, 2011
02:48 am - Going!
Hah! I might have decent pattern matching, but I'm not so good at seeing an individual object I'm looking for in a mass of others. Which is to say that it was on a shelf I had already searched at least four times. Now to sleep. And then to packing.
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Jun. 21st, 2011
09:03 am - Fourth Street Fantasy
Bah. It's looking increasingly unlikely that I'll find my travel documents in time to make my flight. While I haven't cancelled my hotel bookings etc yet, I don't know that one should expect to see me there either. As problems go, this is comparatively minor, but it's still disappointing since for a number of friends, this is the one time this year I'm likely to see them in person.
Well, likely if I don't make other plans anyway. Some of them don't live/are moving soon and won't be living all that far away. Perhaps I can visit another time.
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Jun. 19th, 2011
01:21 am - Luminato 2011
I just came back from seeing Part B of One Thousand and One Nights at, and commissioned for, Luminato (big multidisciplinary art festival in the city, runs about 10 days, this year's major theme is the Arab World). I'm seeing Part A tomorrow. It's a big work, fairly large cast, pretty diverse. A lot of the stories in the Shahrazad cycle are fairly simple, but like many tales of that nature don't suffer a lack of significance just because of the lack of complexity (Just for reminding me of that is something that I'm grateful for. I may not be able to apply it in my writing, but the awareness helps.). One of the running themes of course is different ways in which storytelling, or the stories that people tell, have power, give power, though frequently not enough to keep one from harm. It's definitely a big, ambitious production, not in a showy special effects kind of way, but in a show you and affect you sort of way. There's shared history, and experience, ancient and recent behind it. I don't think that it's entirely successful at it, but it's impressive nonetheless, and I'm really glad for it and Luminato.
A show I'm looking forward to is a double bill of (re)Birth: E.E. Cummings in Song; and Window on Toronto, created by the Soulpepper Academy. I got to see a preview of the former at the Cabaret Festival last Autumn, and came away deeply impressed by Mike Ross. It's closing this Wednesday, which still gives me time to see it. Check out the clip if it seems like the sort of thing you'd like.
There are so many things at this year's Luminato that I'm interested in but I haven't gotten to see, but that's always going to be the case in a city like this one and being a person with broad interests. I could schedule myself to see more, but more is needed than just bum in chair. My head and energy need to work with it too, and it's just not happening at the moment.
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Apr. 16th, 2011
05:36 am - Caution, Care, and Communication
I'm a cautious person, conservative when it comes to risk taking. When under the influence of strong emotion I am wary of acting, of doing something ill considered. The phrase 'in the heat of the moment' is a thing of some horror to me. This is partly by way of explanation of why I shut down most participation in online dialogue for about eight months.
My sole remaining grandparent is and has been in particularly ill health of late - in and out of hospital a few times, organ failure, heart valve infection, stroke like symptoms, etc…etc… none of which are all that unexpected in a person less than a decade from being a centenarian, and it could certainly be worse. Care is not all-consuming, but certainly consumes a lot. There's a loss of connection, neither of us can really recognize the other anymore. There are generational/cultural issues around behavioural norms for care, ethical issues around responsibility for past behaviour affecting how to relate to the person there now. There's seeing the effects of care, emotional stress, the not knowing (multiple instances of death in days being likely will do that too) on other family. The draining effect has also been a factor in not saying much. It's been difficult. It is difficult.
I am aware that others whose situations are worse have certainly responded differently in ways one could say are better socially speaking. Kudos to them.
I'm not writing this because it's over, or for sympathy, but I do have things I want to say now, people I want to stay in touch with (I have been following along mostly), and energy to do so for the moment. I just had to say this first or it would have felt like a sort of lying. I think... I'm okay for conversation again.
And that's about all I feel comfortable saying on a public blog. Yes there's a lot that's been left out. Not that I don't want to talk about it. I could see talking being helpful - but more in e-mail or verbal format. I'm going to take expressions of general support and sympathy as having been made because I think I know you well enough to take a degree of empathy as a given, and thank you in advance, in order to save you from trying to think of a way to say it that isn't trite, or emptied of meaning by force of repetition. Expressions of specific support, anecdotes, offers of conversation, words of advice I might not have heard or need reminding of are of course welcome. If I'm mistaken about someone and they are delighted or have an otherwise unusual reaction to this situation, I won't necessarily feel good about it but I would prefer it if I knew so that I could update my mental model of that person accordingly, so don't feel restricted to only saying things that are in the normal realm of appropriate.
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Oct. 20th, 2010
03:47 pm - So long Eric So
For some reason, the most immediate culturally prompted impulse when I encountered this piece of news about an hour ago was to swear. I didn't, because it didn't personally make sense to me, but the part of my head that presents my conscious mind with normal social behavioural options was prompting it pretty hard.
He's the second person out of my high school cohort of ~83 people that I'm aware of to have already died. Both of them good people. Both of whom I liked and admired.
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Sep. 17th, 2010
This time, though I'm better rested, I'm talking about one film over the others because the others were disappointing. Which is not to say that You Are Here isn't good. It is that, as well as ambitious, artful, and on a non-trivial subject. It is also done well on the technical side, with good sound, sure framing, movement, acting, pacing, colour, and design. Writer/director Daniel Cockburn takes several philosophical perspectives on the self, identity, growth, choice, discovery, and the search for meaning, and makes them, in a way, concrete. Visually in each frame, almost everything is something that you could imagine seeing in reality. In sequence, that isn't necessarily the case. Certain objects are symbolic, or concrete in a way that is not literally accurate, but conveys the sense, e.g.: the instruction set in Searle's Chinese Room thought experiment, the flicker of the crowd named Alan. It's influenced by Douglas R. Hofstadter's Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid, both in content and structure. While none of the subjects are particularly rare to explore in film, it's done in a way that is unusually engaging, accessible, appealing, touching, and gently humorous, for one without what would normally be considered a plot. I liked it.
There was a sweet moment after the screening between cast and Don McKellar, whose wife, the late Tracy Wright had a major role in the film. I'm happy that he was able to come.
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Sep. 15th, 2010
Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale You know the Scott Pilgrim promotional phrase "An Epic of Awesome Awesomeness" or something like that? That was what came to mind at various points while I was watching this film. I highly recommend it to those with the right sensibilities. From the description, mrissa and matociquala would likely be interested. Having watched it, I think that kattas will love it. It's a blend of fairy tale, fantasy, horror, adventure, and action. Unusually for me, I'd recommend avoiding spoilers for this one, not even watching the trailer or teasers if you can help it. Because this story, of a clever little boy (6-12?) saving the day had so many moments where my jaw dropped in awe at how they put this or that trope in, or genre movie moment, juxtaposed with this character and sense of wonder, and made it work smoothly, flowing naturally from the buildup of what preceded it, when on the face of it, these things don't go together. What I worry about is that seeing the trailer without the context will damage the experience by misleading the viewer's expectations. What you lose most I think is the little boy. Who is just amazing. I was surprised that he happened to be the director's godson (his big sister's son), because there's a poise and control in the acting that is well above the feel one gets from vaguely comparable Hollywood fare.
I'm so glad I changed my mind and saw this instead of my, initially higher picks.
The director said that it has been selling pretty well at festivals, so it's going to open in theatres in many markets on Christmas Day. He doesn't know which ones specifically. If you're in Toronto though, there are two remaining festival screenings - Thursday at 3:30 PM and Friday at 9:00 PM, both at the AMC Yonge and Dundas 24.
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( The whole thing's behind the cut as a result of a lack of a desire to write an introductory paragraph.Collapse )
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Sep. 13th, 2010
03:13 am - TIFF - First Sunday
I'm at, I think, six hours of sleep, split into three parts, in the past 78 hours. So while I saw other interesting screenings, three with standing ovations, I'm just going to make sure to talk about "Trigger". My tweet immediately after leaving the theatre read: "Holy holy holy. "Trigger" is human, painful, and beautiful. It is what it should be. I love this city". That was slow and respectful, almost reverential repetition at the beginning. And the end was because this film, beautifully shot, is very much a Toronto film. Not just the setting, but in who took part in its making, in the choices of the particular parts of the city for the story to unfold in, in the way that it portrays the moods of the place. One of the audience members said that the movie clearly shows the city in a way that leads you to like it. And she's not from here. Which the director said was funny since people from out of town aren't supposed to like it. I'd agree with the surprise seeing as Toronto bashing is said to be the third unofficial national sport behind bank bashing, and hockey. I fall in love again. And the middle because it does explore, and ask, and portray our familiar, deep, questions about purpose, meaning, past demons, future ghosts, longing, living, love, and death, all the more poignant for being pushed forward to get it filmed before Tracy was going to die. There are lines of dialogue that, might as a sequence of words on a page be overly forced stagey poetry, the calibre of the actors is such that the sense is merely familiar, natural, and right. There were lots of people in the audience with reddened eyes before the credits.
"Trigger" will be returning for a run at the Bell Lightbox after the festival. I recommend it highly. Especially to those of you who are Torontonians.
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Sep. 12th, 2010
08:14 am - TIFF 2010 begins
A year when I not only didn't volunteer at, but didn't even see a single event at any of Toronto Fringe, Summerworks (similar to the Fringe in format, but juried), or Inside Out (queer film festival), seems like not a bad one to go back to the Toronto International Film Festival after years of absence. Especially when they're doing their big transition to the year round format at their new permanent facility opening today. Actually, the biggest reason was none of those, Tracy Wright's (Toronto actor I last saw at the Tarragon re-mount of Daniel MacIvor's "A Beautiful View", around when Cinematheque Ontario was doing their retrospective) memorial ceremony was Monday. Finding out that she co-starred in MacIvor's most recent screenplay (directed by Bruce MacDonald) alongside Molly Parker… I just thought that I should go.
The way I do TIFF is the way I do most festivals. Intensively. I'll probably be skimming people's ljs rather than reading them for the next week. (Yes I've been reading. I'm just uncomfortable saying the obvious and easy, whereas the nuanced and more complete, that I would be comfortable saying, takes a long time, so I'm really bad at commenting.)
That said, I started late getting into it this year. I only got my program book the day after the start, as opposed the weeks or months ago that would have made more sense. Reading and selecting prospects took about nine hours, not including breaks. Fitting them into the schedule and ordering what I could took another two hours. Since new tickets get released at 7:00 morning of, I'm unfortunately going to be waking up early, (or as tonight, not going to sleep), after having been out late, and snatching naps where I can.
I may be doing some off the cuff tweeting by text message at ljseabream during the festival, though I probably won't read replies 'till I get back home.
( Comments on the first screening of my festival experience this year after the cut.Collapse )
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Jun. 23rd, 2010
That's day one for me anyway. Officially the convention hasn't started yet, but I'm counting from the day I arrive in sunny, then rainy, then sunny, Minneapolis/Saint Paul and get to have conversations that have 4th Street nature. Today that meant meeting aedifica, anne /
txanne and jenett /jenett for lunch, where along with the catching up, was discussion of book culling, teaching/learning, knitting, ways in which one orients oneself in relation to a work of story and why, book valuing, and characteristics of various works. stfg joined us partway through lunch, and was welcomed along on our War of The Oaks tour (editions were compared), bits of plot were placed in their physical (though non-temporal) locations. Tea, phone tech and public transportation also made their way into conversation, alongside travel, attraction, massage, the upcoming Eagan Pride, and gendering. Then blinking fatigue sent some of us in search of rest, me not the least of us since I've now been up for about 28 hours straight. My apologies for my lack of clue in a few instances. And so good evening and good night. I'll see some of you at papersky 's play reading tomorrow.
Edited for name accuracy.
May. 22nd, 2010
06:32 am - All knowledge is contained etc...
So, I'm looking for a thermal mass to use as a moderator for my fanless (or minimal fan use) computer setup. What I'm thinking is a water volume of around 18 litres (0.085 kilowatts x 2 hours = 0.17 kwh, or ~146173 calories. Mass of water needed in kg = 146.173 / ∆T. In this case 8 K, gives ~18.27 kg. Water weighs ~1 kg per liter.). Ideally this would be in a thermally conductive watertight container with a flat bottom, approximately rectangular, with dimensions of >9" (~22 cm) on one side x >16" (~33 cm) another side x >13"(33 cm) tall. Since this is going to be on a wheeled cart, a container with tight lid would be a definite plus, though I could move them separately if it came to that. If it weren't for the last part, the obvious thing would be some kind of unusually tall aluminum baking pan. If anything comes to mind that would suit, I'd be interested to know. Glass or plastic containers are easier to find, but they're poor heat conductors. I could stack a whole bunch of soda cans, but the contact area would be significantly reduced.
Apr. 30th, 2010
Happy Birthday aliseadae/sbrackett!
I hope your plans are fulfilling. Mine mostly involve sorting/assembling/dis-assembling and transporting objects from one building to another. Celebratory stuff is largely going to be deferred until another time, hopefully sometime in the next few months.
Apr. 9th, 2010
06:35 am - Ame Henderson's - relay -
For the past two evenings, I've gone to see Ame Henderson/Public Recordings production "relay". It's a dance/theatre work that has a lot of potential conceptualizations for different audience members. To me, it invites the audience to think about how social cohesion, communication of memory/experience, consensus forming, joint decision making, and collective behaviours happen, by showing people doing it with their bodies. It's very much a non-narrative piece, but it's not so conceptual that an explanation is needed to get something from it in that general constellation of ideas. As part of this there's some form/convention disrupting participatory stuff in there to assist in getting there. I am very glad to have gone.
Which leads to some frustration actually because I would really like to talk about it with people, share and compare interpretations, relate the experience to different personal histories and conceptual maps, and generally see where this piece leads in a dialogue in contrast to in my own head. But the likely-hood of friends and acquaintances of mine seeing it is quite low. Knowing people who might be interested is one thing, but interested and local, with time to go, with surplus funds to buy a ticket, who I currently relate to well enough to personally recommend that they see this, or of those I don't, who read this journal frequently enough to see this entry before the show closes Saturday, is something else. I'm certainly for quality of friendships over quantity, and I'm not someone who asks for, or wants onerous time investments for maintenance, but it'd be nice to have even a handful who I can have this sort of conversation with who I see more than three times a year.
I'm tired. I hope that this makes sense.
Feb. 25th, 2010
06:15 am - Quick arts updates, Blind Date
I didn't see the Magnetic Fields. I did go to Dance Ontario's DanceWeekend 2010, which led to my seeing Andrea Nann's choreography for The Flying Bulgars (Formerly The Flying Bulgar Klezmer Band) production "Tumbling Into Light" at the Young Centre, and running into Lauren, an old and dear friend, and her husband (who was also there with his mother), which was a nice surprise. I didn't make The Art of Time Ensemble's concert Shostakovitch: A Portrait, which Nann also did a work for, which was too bad. I was looking forward to seeing what Shostakovitch's jazz suite was like.
I not only went to Cloud 9, but returned for two more Friday evenings. Caryl Churchill is now a playwright on my To See list.
Here's a video of Cloud 9 (the song) from the play (Note: there's a certain amount of swearing). It's sort of about finding happiness in the unexpected.:
Tuesday I went to the opening of Rebecca Northan's remount of Blind Date. I mentioned the Speigeltent and show awhile back. This show developed out of it. witchnyn, I'm pretty sure that you'd enjoy it. Wonderful improv comedy. A fantastic show that I will regret you missing if you don't go. It's running until
March 6 by popular demand, extended to March 12 at Harbourfront in the Brigantine Room. You betcha I'm seeing it again.
Links and such:
Richard Ouzounian's review .
Blind Date (in decreasing order of usefulness) interview on Q with Jian Ghomeshi (Moxy Früvous), featurette, and trailer:
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