Oi, end of November – that means all my goals should be 92% complete or better! Let’s have a look.
- Goal: 12 for the year
- Attended: 10 events including two 3-day festivals, saw 39 bands
- Status: Exceeded
Rom and I went to one concert this month, The Sheepdogs with Yukon Blonde. The Sheepdogs are a shaggy blues-rock band from Saskatoon. They won a contest for unsigned bands to be on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine (August 18, 2011). They’ve had two big hits on rock radio stations: The Way It Is and Who (Do You Belong To). They played to a full house and everyone had a good time!
We don’t have any concert tickets for December, so I expect this goal is completely polished off. I have a new concert plan for 2013 already!
This month we also bought tickets to attend an author reading. It is only the second time I ever paid to see an author – I am a librarian, and our libraries host free author readings all the time! Rom and I went to see Jian Ghomeshi in support of his memoir, 1982. It was right up our alley because it was his story of how music changed his life at the age of 14. For those of you who don’t recognize the name, Jian Ghomeshi is the host of the CBC radio and television show Q, where he is known for his interviewing skills. He was formerly a member of the Canadian band Moxy Fruvous. He is very personable and did a warm, charming reading and talk.
Movies and DVDs
- Goal for the year: 52
- Watched: 29
- Status: Failing fast
“All happy families are like one another; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” I scored free tickets to see Anna Karenina! I read the book back in university when I minored in Russian Literature. I had heard the film featured modern dance and other experimental stuff. The director alternated between straight storytelling and very deliberate cinematic tableaux, so the movie had a sumptuous “Look.” The costumes and arts production were spectacular. As in all 19th century Russian literature, one of the themes was the worthiness of the proletariat versus the aristocracy. Let’s not forget that 🙂 I really liked both Jude Law (Karenin) and Domhnall Gleeson (Levin) in this movie. I was absolutely floored to find out that the lad who played Vronsky was the same actor who played Robbie in Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging, a teen flick I saw earlier this year.
The only other thing I watched this month was a few episodes from the first season of Big Bang Theory. I watch those guys and say to myself, “Yes! These are my people!”
- Goal: 52 for the year
- Read: 49
- Status: On track
I got stuck. At the end of last month, I was co-reading two books, and it took me weeks to slog through them. I’m glad I finished them because I wanted to know the outcomes, but I just wasn’t in a frame of mind for reading. Rare for me!
Too Big to Know: Rethinking Knowledge… – by David Weinberger
This is a book about information science in the Internet age. Still reading this paragraph? The author summarizes how our ideas about knowledge have changed, from experts doing research and publishing books to seal their knowledge within, to all knowledge being collaborative, continually in process, and endlessly debated. The ideas I liked most in the book were about dealing with information overload. Weinberger says we will never find a filter that manages information for us – we have to develop skills to become that filter. For anyone adding content to the Internet, even through blogs like this, the current best practice is to add metadata such as categories and tags.
Angelmaker – by Nick Harkaway
I was attracted to this book because it was loosely a steampunk novel. I mean, c’mon, the main character was a clockmaker! The novel is extremely plot-heavy and I won’t give it away, but in brief, the son of a gangster lives a quiet life repairing clocks until a client asks him to repair and activate some mysterious pieces of intricate machinery. Little does he know that he sets into motion a machine that could bring perfect knowledge to the world, and in the wrong hands, bring about mass destruction. The book was very unusual in that it combined action, noir, and laugh-out-loud humour. The style reminded me somewhat of Neil Gaiman’s work like American Gods.
So that is the sum total of my reading this month, except for a browse through Young House Love by Sherry and John Petersik, based on their home decor blog. It gave me ideas for some art projects. Just because they make all of their projects useful, doesn’t mean I have to!
Rom and I had a great eating experience at a new Greek restaurant, the Blue Olive Taverna. We like Athens Greek restaurant across the street, but it is diner-style. Blue Olive has a more upscale feel, but with comparable prices. Opa restaurant downtown has closed. Blue Olive had a fine selection of vegetarian options. Their Greek salad and horiatiki are made to order and generously sized. I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of feta and olives. I ordered spanakopita (spinach and phyllo triangles) which were crisp and light. And of course I finished it off with a large piece of decadent baklava. We’ll definitely be back.
My family got together for my parent’s 50th wedding anniversary this month at our favourite family gathering place, Fan’s Chinese restaurant in Dartmouth. We each ordered a dish and shared, but Rom and I had easy access to our vegetable dishes which didn’t attract the others so much! However, my 10-year-old nephew asked what tofu tasted like, gave it a try, and liked it!
At home, I tried out recipes from two library cookbooks: The Vegetarian Family Cookbook by Nava Atlas, and 125 Best Vegetarian Slow Cooker Recipes by Judy Findlayson. Rom is continuing to cook exclusively from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. I only had a tiny slow cooker, so I bought a new large one at a close-out sale, and I can now make crock pot meals with 8 servings. So, less cooking! I am loving the slow cooker recipes, but finding the family cookbook rather bland. I realized later that the author would have been cooking with children’s tastes in mind.
I haven’t made any further progress on the home offices rearrangement.
I completed one organizing project: from 2007-2010, I wrote a music blog, and the site is being taken down this week. I backed up my posts so I could reminisce about my first blog when I am old. There used to be a wonderful music community on the site, and a core group has kept in touch via Facebook, so fortunately, that chapter of my life hasn’t closed!
I keep trying to downsize my wardrobe, which I reported on lately here.
This has been my most difficult month in recent memory due to my parents’ health, my child being unsettled, and working full-tilt. My parents rapidly rebounded and enjoyed their anniversary. Link is coming home for the second half of December. And work carries on in its own inimitable way. All is well now!