Three months into the year and I am making progress on finding things to celebrate every month! I’ve been trying to avoid long stretches of staying in, and also the “boom and bust” cycle of making up for it by going out too much.
Rom and I had tickets for two very different music events this month – a metal show and a symphony (there is such a thing as symphonic metal, of course…) We went to see In Flames, one of the original Gothenburg (Sweden) metal bands. I know you all listen to melodic death metal, too! Later in the month we went to the symphony for some of Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos and some Vivaldi. I am not knowledgeable at all about classical music but I like baroque.
My movie viewing was limited to two. Life of Pi had returned to take advantage of its Academy Award nominations, so we got to see it at the theatre in 3D. I had read the book a few years ago and I was very impressed by the film adaptation. It kept me at the edge of my seat from beginning to end. It was both intense and uplifting, and I highly recommend it.
I watched Killer of Sheep on DVD. This was a movie that was critically acclaimed at film festivals in the 70s but never had a general release. It was a part-docudrama, part-surrealist look at a Black neighbourhood in Watts (Los Angeles) in the mid-70s. I could really relate to this movie because of the way it depicted family and neighbourhood life in the 70s. As watched it, I recalled so many things from my childhood, like the way people used to work on cars, how they would drop in at each other’s homes, how people would borrow a few bucks from each other, and how kids would play on the railroad tracks. (The movie got its name from a character, Stan, who works in a slaughterhouse).
I read mostly short books this month! I have finally made a dent in my to-read list of graphic novels. I read:
Everything We Miss – by Luke Pearson
A sad little tale of a couple’s break-up due to miscommunication, but there are also aliens…
Sailor Twain – by Mark Siegel
A substantial novel with a strong plot, Sailor Twain centres on the fate of several men in the Hudson River shipping industry who are lured by a siren’s song. Literally.
Science Tales: Lies, Hoaxes and Scams – by Darryl Cunningham
As a science-and-reason-based person, I loved this one. It was like a graphic novel version of Ben Goldacres’s book Bad Science. I can’t believe how well and how succinctly the author was able to explain things like homeopathy and vaccines!
Dotter of Her Father’s Eyes – by Mary M. Talbot & Bryan Talbot
Mary Talbot’s father was a Joycean scholar and went back and forth between being a tyrant and being remote with his daughter, who grew up among a pack of brothers. The tale of her growing up is inter-cut with the story of James Joyce’s own daughter, Lucia. Bryan Talbot is an established comics artist and he collaborated on this book with his spouse. A great book to open up discussion on father/daughter relationships.
I read 4 books that weren’t graphic novels:
Two Pints – by Roddy Doyle
Completely unlike his other work, this is a series of brief dialogues between two Irish guys in a pub. Now I have never been to Ireland, but I would swear he just recorded our local guys at Tim Horton’s. It seemed so true to life! I especially enjoyed their chit-chat about man-crushes 🙂
God Is Not Great – by Christopher Hitchens
I had read The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins so I wanted to see if this one was like it or different. Mr. Dawkins’ book was primarily based on science, especially biology, while Mr. Hitchens’ book was more from a social sciences perspective. I can see how, after all his years in international journalism and especially war reporting, that his world view would be irretrievably impacted. I don’t read inflammatory books on both sides of every major issue, but this is one I like to be conversant about.
Cool, Calm and Contentious – by Merrill Markoe
This is a book a humourous essays by someone who is known mainly as a screenwriter. Despite living for most of her life in California, she comes across like a native New Yorker – her voice reminds me of Fran Lebowitz. This was perfect light reading because, of course, every chapter is an essay that is complete in itself. Her topics include mature adult dating, attending Berkeley in the 60s, and her life with a house full of dogs!
Drop Dead Healthy – by A.J. Jacobs
I loved this book! The author spent two years documenting his attempts to be as healthy as possible through changes in diet, exercise, stress reduction and research. Since he is an established author, he got a big advance, and used it to consult personally with dozens of experts in both traditional and alternative medicine. The book was funny because of all the techniques he tried, the things he tracked, and his family’s reactions. Highly recommended!
Three other good things happened in March. I had been shopping for jeans after getting a high-tech sizing done by a Me-Ality machine. I was looking for a pair of dark-wash jeans I could wear to work, and found these at Banana Republic, and at half-price 🙂 I like them because they fit like “dress pants” and don’t bear much resemblance to actual jeans. Of course, I will need casual jeans next, and might give in and buy some before my next vacation. I have my eye on some Suki jeans by Silver (which you get from Bootlegger).
Next, I spent most of the long weekend
playing with toys inventorying my toy collections, which I enjoyed greatly!
Finally, I got started installing a triple set of cube shelves to display my toy robots, and Rom helpfully took over the project after I pounded a drywall anchor through the wall, sigh. So now my robots can be seen by one and all! Here are some gratuitous robot pictures:
I was pretty happy with March. By the end of the month (just barely), I was able to get out for a few walks. I hate the time change, which began on March 10, because I am an early riser and the last thing I want is more darkness in the morning. But that is slowly righting itself.
Here’s to April!