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Showing posts from November, 2006

the mixed tape project finale

well, it’s taken some doing, but i’m finally ready. (martin even beat me to the punch, as his tape is already published.)

there were very few rules that i established for this, but they did help shape what the final product is. first, the tracks had to be able to fit on an actual cassette tape. i gave myself some latitude here- the cassette would be a 100 minute one, rather than the more common 60 or 90, but since 100 minute tapes were at one point widely available, this is still fair play. this rule means that the length of the tracks was somewhat constrained. one track does clock in at just under 11 minutes, but other tracks- notably militia’s “final statement” and swans’ “the sound” came off the list because of time restrictions.

the second rule, in the interests of variety, was that no one could appear twice. so coil and current 93, who could have made up the entire tape by themselves, appear once each. this worked to the disadvantage of a few of artists (swans, brighter death n…

transit nerds, unite!

years ago, when i first moved to montreal, i used to tell people that i wanted to get a job driving the metro. it was a silly ambition, of course, not only because my french wasn't near good enough, but because i would have hated the schedule and because jobs with the stcum (now just the stm) were in high demand from people a lot more qualified than i.

but i still had the idea in my head because i found the whole concept of the subway fascinating. in fact, when i first got a transit pass, i put its unlimited capacity to good use by randomly hopping on and off the metro and finding new neighbourhoods to explore. that's really the beauty of a subway system. you disappear underground and then reappear in a completely new place, with no real idea of how you got there. a little urban adventure.

most of these adventures were very positive experiences for me, discovering little-known corners, pockets of architecture that i liked, etc. some of them, particularly seeing a homeless ma…

vote, dammit

if you live in toronto, tomorrow is municipal election day. while it doesn't get the coverage of its national or even provincial siblings, city politics deserves your attention. in fact, it probably deserves more attention than national or provincial politics, because the decisions of city council affect you, the citizen, much more directly. (living where i do, it's also probably the only chance for me to vote for candidates who are likely to win...)

now magazine has done a convenient write-up for progressive types who want to know who's speaking their language. a non-partisan listing is available, along with all the other crucial information at the official election web site.

the gorey end

is there anyone who doesn't love edward gorey's creepy victorian illustrated nursery tales? he seems to appeal to the inner child and halloween fan in everyone, but most of all to those of us who have a slightly morbid bent anyway. who else could laugh at a series of couplets detailing the horrific demise of twenty-six overly curious, neglected or just plain cursed children, each in their own unlikely way?

apparently, the creative types at the thistle project, since they are currently presenting gorey story, a play based on the master's best-known work, the gashlycrumb tinies.

this is not the first time that someone has adapted gorey's work for the stage. in fact, there is something naturally theatrical about his stories and images. but the whole idea of being entertained by the deaths of small children is not going to be everyone's cup of perfectly steeped tea. to hell with those people.

the show is adorable. while a little heavy on the music for my tastes (no…

boot to the head

ok, so i feel the need to talk about the shoe thing. i make no secret of the fact that, like many women, i like shoes. in fact, i like both shoes and clothes, not simply because i’m a woman, but because i’m an aesthete. in its simplest form, i mean that things that are pleasing to the eye make me happy because i like to have the presence of beauty in the world reinforced. in its more practical form, related to human beings, i equate a certain pride in appearance with a level of self-respect. you want to show the world the beautiful you that you see. or, from another point of view, you believe you’re worthy of beautiful things. (and i’m saying this realizing that it can easily be taken to an unhealthy extreme, like most things.)

aestheticism has gotten a bad wrap in general, because it is associated with vanity and shallowness. the two are not necessarily linked. the other thing that is commonly associated with aestheticism is an unhealthy addiction to consumption. after all, you’re s…

had a bad day?

ok, so it's official (ish), the democrats now hold power in both houses of the american congress. virginia, that bastion of liberal mores, has fallen, which means that the dems now hold 51 seats in the senate, giving them more of an ability to reign in their cowboy-in-chief. (well, that actually counts the two independents who were elected as well. considering that one of those independents is joe lieberman, i wouldn't be counting on a lot of support for a progressive agenda.)

so should we break out the balloons? well, while gwb is one of my least favourite world leaders ever, i'm not exactly bouncing off the walls. after all, the definitive vote came from a state where the candidates were a republican and a former republican. the choice was not exactly overwhelming. in general the spectrum of american political parties runs from despicable to slightly less despicable, with the people being told by their media that the reason there aren't more parties is because they…

a lone voice...

...crying in the world wide web wilderness.

voice of korea.

i may have to work dprk into my travel plans in the near future, as i would love to ride the peace bike and attend the capitalist popular music festival.

the highlight of this site, to me, is the english-to-korean-back-to-english translation of gwb's speech after the north korean nuclear test. i even saw that speech live and i didn't notice those comments. on the other hand, is it just possible that these translators skipped the fog of his words and were some how able to mainline his innermost thoughts?

link courtesy of mefi.

the mixed tape project

ok, if you actually have first hand experience with the making of mixed tapes, you may be too old to use the internet. (or, like me, you may be wallowing in an extended adolescence.) but if you do remember making/ receiving mixed tapes, then i will venture that it's a happy memory. yes, you can now burn cd's in the blink of an eye and they won't come unraveled after you've listened to them forty times, but it never quite feels the same. you can burn a cd so quickly that you don't have a chance to think about it, to develop a relationship with it before handing it off to someone else.

a few months ago, i finally got around to reading nick hornsby's highly entertaining high fidelity (made into an equally entertaining movie.) among other truisms, the book reminded me of the subtle joys of the tape, of its role as a method of communicating something about the person making it and his/ her perception of the person receiving it. for aeons now, i've been meaning …

unsolicited opinion #14368

since i don't live there, i try very hard not to care about american politics. i try not to pay too much attention, because i frankly find it depressing. however, with the country's pre-eminent position in the world and given my instinctual interest in the political, i do get caught up some times.

having just returned from a business trip to one of those parts of america that i would otherwise never go, i have just been subjected to a fearsome amount of political "reporting" on their major "news" networks. and what are they talking about? john kerry's stupid comments about (depending on who you believe) george bush or american soldiers.

i'm trying to wrap my head around this. america's economy has slid in the last years and is completely ill-equipped to deal with the realities of global markets of the near future. they are embroiled in a war that is costing them billions of dollars, thousands of lives and whatever international good will they …