Archives for posts with tag: toronto

Leonard Cohen’s ‘The Hat’
via CBC



This comes about a month too late, but I just got the hankering to put together a list of the books I read last year. It’s an interesting way to reflect on a year past. I definitely went through a female-authored “novel-from-life” phase — but so does/should everyone who reads Sheila Heti’s How Should a Person Be. I would say the best book on the list is Grapes of Wrath; Steinbeck is phenomenal and the themes of the book (the division and control of wealth, agri-business, racism, the American dream, ect.) are still incredibly relevant today. I also fell in love with Edith Wharton a little after reading Age of Innocence and will definitely be reading more of her (House of Mirth is next). The title sounds like a book you would be forced to read in high school (and the Bantham Classic edition I got from the library didn’t make it any more visually appealing), but her portrayal of 1870s New York City is dramatic, feminist and totally well-written. Health O’Neill’s Lullabies for Little Criminals was also a favourite; I bought at least two copies as gifts after reading it.

So thus begins my list. It’s not very long, but I may have forgotten a book or two and I also run a business and drink a lot.

Everything is Illuminated – Jonathan Safran Foer
Freedom – Jonathan Franzen
The Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
The Age of Innocence – Edith Wharton
Lullabies for Little Criminals – Heather O’Neill
How Should a Person Be – Sheila Heti
The Middle Stories – Sheila Heti
Kafka on the Shore – Haruki Murakami (I only read half of this one… No one tell me what happens to Kafka)
The Easter Parade – Richard Yates
Bossy Pants – Tina Fey
How Happy to Be – Katrina Onstaad
The Devil – Leo Tolstoy
Come Thou Tortoise – Jessica Grant

I am currently reading Cloud Atlas because someone gave it to me for Christmas. Sadly, the cover has Tom Hanks on it, which is just not who I want to think about when I think about fiction, ever.

Also of note, 2012 is the year I determined that Jonathan Safran Foer is my nemesis (this is likely in a one-sided relationship). The fact that he published Everything is Illuminated at 25 and that for me reading at the age of 26 was a huge struggle proves that he is smarter than me and thus, I shall be forced to battle through whatever he comes up with next… except for Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, I watched the movie instead.

I dreamt of New York City last night.

A recurring problem in my young adult life is that I am rarely satisfied with the city in which I am living. This statement may lead you to presume that I have lived in many places; I haven’t. But I am ready to, and not just on a whim caused dissatisfaction.

Since making the decision to move on a month or so ago, my dreams have been full of voyages and travels. So at least my subconscious is on board. And my boyfriend. We are going to make the token Canadian pilgrimage to Australia to live on a beach, talk to people with accents and carry all our belongings around in backpacks. The plan is to suffer out the rest of the winter season in Toronto working two jobs apiece so we can hop on a plane in June or July. From there, who knows.

Who wants to watch my cat?

starry starry nightHolly’s husband Jeff shared this photo a couple of weeks ago and I keep going back to his Facebook page so I can look at it again. I think that means it’s ready to be shared here. The photographer’s description of the photo says it shows the southern sky with the constellations Orion and Sirius from Canis Major. Pretty incredible.

Also, if you like space, follow Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield on Twitter. He is constantly posting photos of Earth from space and photos from inside the international space station.

If you love eccentric billionaires, you could also check out the photos Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté took from space. They were on display at the Thompson Landry Gallery in Toronto a few months ago. It’s not really the photos that interest me, more that the crazy performance artist from Montreal paid the Russian space program $35 million to take him to the moon for 11 days.

Happy winter weekend!

Photo in post by Adam Hill.

By far the most hilarious Christmas present I got this year was a book called Coloring for Grown-Ups from my little sister.  Illustrators Ryan Hunter and Taige Jensen portray the low-points of adulthood in the style of children’s colouring book, complete with mazes, fill-in-the-blanks and word searches. But instead of searching for animal sounds, Hunter and Jensen ask you to search for important key words for pretending you know a lot about beer and to maneuver through a maze to escape a toxic relationship.

I have been meaning to buy some crayons so that I can colour in the fun, but that was three weeks ago and apparently I am too much of a cheap, jaded adult to go through with it. More images are available on the book’s website.


Sometimes nobody wins…

If you want to become a friend of civilization, then become an enemy of truth and a fanatic for harmless balderdash.

–Kurt Vonnegut, 1970 (Not yet a crotchety old man!)

Various visual and theatrical interpretations of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream — not because I think the play is balderdash, but because it celebrates the magical, and we should all try to do more of that. Also it is midsummer and that is a beautiful thing.

The Canadian Stage theatre company is putting on Shakespeare’s play in High Park all summer. I plan on heading there soon to see the fairies and drink wine on the outdoor theatre’s mossy stone seats; how dreamy…..

Some photos from Pride weekend in Toronto. A great place to check out people in high spirits, Lady Ga Ga music on repeat and partial full nudity. The drag queen performing as Tina Turner was definitely a highlight, because, as you know, I love that fringy dress.


Photo taken on the grounds of the Spadina Museum in Toronto. Adventures in your own backyard!