Monday, July 20, 2015

He leaves disgusting old apple cores everywhere. And yet...

The New York Times' "Modern Love" section can be hit or miss. Sometimes I want to jam something sharp and pointy into the eyes of the douches who write such shit. Today, however, I very much enjoyed this particular take on marriage, most of which I heartily agree with. In particular the idea of "and yet", is a lovely one I intend to remember.
"In Zen Buddhism, meditation helps practitioners detach from the cycle of desire and suffering. In my brief stint as a religious studies major, I preferred Pure Land Buddhism, an alternate path to enlightenment for people who (as one professor told us) may find it difficult to abandon worldly pain and passion because those things can also yield such beauty and comfort. He summed it up as: “Life is suffering — and yet.”
"I think about that all the time: “And yet.” Such hedging, to me, is good religion and also the key to a successful marriage. In the course of being together forever, you come across so many “and yets,” only some of them involving domestic air travel.
I love this person, and yet she’s such a mess. And yet when I’m sick, he’s not very nurturing. And yet we don’t want the same number of children. And yet I sometimes wonder what it would be like to be single again. The longer you are with someone, the more big and little “and yets” rack up."
You can read the whole thing here.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Star Wars (but not those kind)

Except for sentimental reasons and with one or two exceptions I've never really managed to get into Wilco. But news of a (surprise) new album still made me grin because this cat is everything.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

The problem with Gambit

For a period in my teens I bought X-Men and Uncanny X-Men comics religiously. For some reason I have a very clear memory of walking half hour into town to buy the latest edition from the general store when my family holidayed down south. (Yeah that was a great general store - terrific magazine and comic selection). It also inspired me to write/draw my own terrible comic (thankfully unseen by anyone but myself I hope and pray) featuring thinly disguised versions of my favourite characters. To call it an homage would be... generous. Terrible fan-fic is closer to the mark.

The reason I was so into the series at that stage was the reason I think a lot of people, by which I mean women and girls in particular, were into the comics at that stage - the sweet-arse love story that was Gambit and Rogue. I won't bother going into the ups and downs of those two crazy kids but, yeah, it was a romantic story line that really worked. As a hormonal teenager I ate it up with a spoon and thought Gambit was the shit.

Which is why I'm so super bummed Channing Tatum will be playing Gambit in the planned film, even as I feel bad for being down on it. I like Tatum - he's funny, charismatic and seems like kind of a sweetheart. I think he's great onscreen and I am usually interested to see him in things. But dude is not hot. I'm sorry but he is not. There is too much muscle, too much... ears. Too much... chin? I don't know but dude is TOO MUCH. The Gambit I remember was drawn thin and kinda rangy, always slouching around in his too-big trenchcoat and looking undernourished and faintly in need of a bath. Tatum will wear that trenchcoat like a second skin.

I shouldn't complain. I mean, I'll always have the beautiful romantic pairing of a young Professor X and Magneto in the current crop of X-Men films - a charming development I did not see coming. If Fassbender makes a cameo in the Gambit film wearing that white-tshirt and pants combo he wore for historic Nazi hunting in the first flashback film you will not hear me complain about C-Tate's melon of a head. Not once.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Sleep well, sweet prince

I don't know why I laughed quite so much because dead racoon = sad but this little tale did make me laugh. Especially the last image, which I haven't posted here to avoid spoiling it for ya'll.

Things I learned from reading back issues of Gourmet Traveller in a waiting room today

There is an appliance called a tortilla press and I probably need one.

Monday, July 13, 2015


Why is it that everyone is suddenly talking about ghosting? And why does it bum me out so much? I guess there's not really anything new in it, except for the fact that technology makes it that much more obvious when one is being ghosted (ie: you can't tell yourself someone has probably died or at least been temporarily hospitalised and unable to reach a phone when you can see them posting photos of their Sunday brunch on Instagram). But it strikes me as incredibly cruel. I've lost a couple friends, one of whom meant a lot to me, when they eventually just... failed to respond to my texts/emails and that was brutal enough even though in each case the writing was very much on the wall.

I mean if the New York Times can be believed people are actually doing this - 
In a less dramatic but similarly confounding fashion, Aaron Leth, 29, a fashion editor, found his texts unanswered when a man he had been dating for a month disappeared after he and Mr. Leth had bought the ingredients for a dinner they planned to cook later that evening. “He went home to take a nap and said, ‘I’ll call you,’ ” Mr. Leth said. “I’m still waiting, two years later.”
Okay, sure, the way it was written made me laugh. But still, dude: that's coooold.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Songs I would play at my own private Hot Dub Time Machine

Not because they're fun to dance to, obviously, but because they remind me of very specific times in my life. The downside being that the songs and albums and bands I remember most are probably those that were instrumental in getting me through some tough ol' times, hence they lean towards the maudlin and sometimes downright depressing. It would be kind of a shit party, I guess.

Belle and Sebastian, "We Rule the School"
Back in the day I would spend hours on Napster (I know) seeking out B&S' back catalogue. But this was the first song off the first album I ever heard of theirs and I only sought it out because (of course) some dude I had a crush on recommended them. The first band I ever remember being entirely obsessed with and a band I can't imagine ever not listening to.

Phoenix, "If I Ever Feel Better"
I couldn't tell you how many times I've listened to this song and yet still - STILL - after so many years it's my go-to song to get me in the mood when I can't be arsed leaving the house.

From The Piano, "The Heart Asks Pleasure First"
I was obsessed with this movie and in particular its music for oooh a period in the late 1990s. Not sure what that was about really but I would hang out in my bedroom listening to the soundtrack over and over again. My lucky parents.

The Smiths, Half a Person
Most of my favourite bands have come via cute boys and The Smiths are no exception. I still recall feigning a familiarity with them I did not have in order to bond with my ex-boyfriend Michael when he was still just my friendly co-worker, then racing home for some essential research.

Noah and the Whale, "I Have Nothing"
Downer Country, population: me.

Real Estate, "It's Real"
The flipside of Noah and the Whale in that this one just reminds me of a very dreamy, mostly happy albeit messy period of my life.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

One for Harry Potter nerds only

sorting hat quizzes be like
How do you brush your teeth?
a) bravely
b) while making a sandwich
c) while reading a book
d) I’m a snake

(Via show me dem kitties

Life lesson #13

Do not fall asleep listening to an audiobook involving sweet adolescent romance because you will have sweet adolescenty romantic dreams and when you wake up to realise you're -

a) 32
b) married
c) sleeping in a tent

- you may feel a little sad for awhile.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Read it

I'm officially on holidays for a week from today, which means I have time to actually read a lot more journalism, particularly long-form, than I usually do when I'm paging through papers or scrolling through websites for just long enough to be sure I have a vague idea of what's going on everywhere without letting anything sink too far into my brain.

My break is getting off to a great start because so far I've read two terrific reads on two subjects I didn't think I cared about: Roger Federer and, um, I guess... America?

Brian Phillips doesn't mention the debt he owes to David Foster Wallace in his own version for Grantland but to me it's hard to avoid comparisons between Phillips' very good read and DFW'a wonderfully titled and by-now classic essay "Roger Federer as Religious Experience". I don't know though, maybe it's just because I don't read a lot about Federer and there's no comparison to be made.

Either way Phillips has some gorgeous prose and it's well worth reading the whole thing. If this opening doesn't hook you in it's probably not for you:
"Early on in Adam Roberts’s 2014 meta-sci-fi submarine-disaster novel, Twenty Trillion Leagues Under the Sea, a French nuclear sub called the Plongeur begins to sink in the North Atlantic. The startled crew tries to regain command of the vessel, but nothing works. The controls don’t respond. The diver who’s sent out to reconnoiter the exterior of the ship with a flashlight doesn’t come back. The Plongeur is built to withstand pressure to a depth of a thousand meters or so. Beyond that, it will be crushed. And even if it isn’t, even if it somehow holds together against what Roberts calls “the unspeakable pressures of the profound deep,” it will build up so much speed as it falls that it will shatter when it hits the ocean floor."
Then there's Gary Younge's "Farewell to America" for The Guardian. This one shocked me because I wasn't sure there was anything new to read on this topic. Whether Younge's saying something new or saying something old, just beautifully, I'm not sure. It's a tremendous piece of writing though - get into it:
For the past couple of years the summers, like hurricanes, have had names. Not single names like Katrina or Floyd – but full names like Trayvon Martin or Michael Brown. Like hurricanes, their arrival was both predictable and predicted, and yet somehow, when they landed, the effect was still shocking.
We do not yet know the name that will be attached to this particular season. He is still out there, playing Call of Duty, finding a way to feed his family or working to pay off his student loans. He (and it probably will be a he) has no idea that his days are numbered; and we have no idea what the number of those days will be.

Thursday, July 2, 2015