Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Like the mating calls of sarcastic sharks...

Not really sure what to write today; a quick update will suffice, I guess?
  • Wendy MacNaughton - illustrator. A new find for me (see chart above). She's great.
  • Saw Jack White's solo tour on the weekend - brilliance. All girl 6 piece band, with very pregnant double bass player - double brilliant.
  • Saw a theater piece that involved a woman choking on socks and breaking into a dumbed-down rendition of Seal's "Kiss from a Rose." Thanks, Hive.
  • Am doing so much self reflection right now that I don't know what end is up. I really don't. Drowning, people, drowning! Or at least only managing a feeble dog-paddle.
  • Bracing myself for another dreaded work trip to TO next week. The saving graces (yes, there are two): Dinner plans with R & MM - I know I can expect a push the boat out, really did we drink 4 bottles of wine with dinner? evening. AND a couple of days with my pal A at her farm - it's been far too long.
  • Telling Vancouver to brace for Tui's return from Edinburgh - her siren-loud voice won't be tempered by a Scottish accent after only a year, will it?
  • Oh, and I turned a year older. Yay, me?

Sunday, May 20, 2012

God, llamas and broncos...

After a week of glorious sun, we are back into the summer rain - typical long weekend weather it seems, but that didn't stop A, L and me from heading out to the wilds of Cloverdale for a day at the rodeo...apparently an event of some significance on the rodeo circuit (who knew?).
The fairgrounds were really more just a big pile of midway rides - woefully underutilized because of the weather, but every now and then you'd see one damp child in a rain jacket, shorts and sandals, skin almost translucently pale, looking incredibly cold, determinedly spinning around in a giant teacup or something equally arbitrary. Couldn't help but feel sorry for the kids, and for the fair, which must have been losing money hand over fist.
We spent some time looking at the animals they had on display - everything from goats to chickens to horses to my favorites - the llamas and alpacas. Ohhh such unfortunate hair-cuts on those alpacas. You just know that they will be getting their own back on someone, someday.

But the highlight? THE RODEO. Luckily the stands were covered from the drizzle, so the weather was no big deal. And heck, warmth was spread throughout the crowd as we were encouraged to join in a prayer of thanks - I guess the Lord doesn't get thanked enough for things as specific as horse breeding and cowboy safety, so who am I to judge? I forget we have a bible belt in BC. And as the three of us discussed, bible belts seem to be closely tied to agricultural land, which is maybe no surprise - success or failure is so dependent on "acts of God" (sun, rain, wind...) that at some level it makes sense, as must as anything ever makes sense I guess.
And though I have mixed feelings about some rodeo sports, I can't deny they are entertaining. There is something about watching men get tossed around like rag dolls on the backs of powerful, beautiful horses that is both horrifying and amazing. What compels someone to choose that as a sport, I will never understand - having been bucked off horses a number of times myself, it certainly isn't something I would choose to do for fun. But that's just me, a city gal with strong self preservation instincts.

And it is just those self preservation instincts that make these two women so incredibly important in my world. Well, it is an awful lot more than just self preservation - my life is made SO much better because they are part of it. And not just because they like llamas, too.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Not Dead Yet

Well, DOXA wrapped up this past weekend. Looking back, I think this DOXA was the best yet - at least for me - in terms of the consistency and quality of the films. Sure, a couple were flawed, but still worth the time - and a few were truly remarkable.
Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet is one of the truly remarkable ones. Good old fashion shred guitar isn't one of my favorite things by any stretch of the imagination, but Jason Becker's story is an amazing one, beautifully told. The guy is still a mischievous ladies man, and an incredibly driven creative spirit, despite the limitations brought on by ALS. Any time you're feeling sorry for yourself, pull this one out of the DVD rack (once it's released, that is!). Truly lovely stuff. In other news, the sun is finally shining, work is too busy and stressful for my liking, and...well, and. That's all for now.

Monday, May 07, 2012

That's the last of that bag of flour...

I have lots to write about the DOXA films I've seen, but I don't have a lot of energy to do it...so we will see how far I get. So far, I haven't seen a dud in the bunch. A few to keep an eye out for... Scarlet Road - a truly lovely documentary about an Australian sex worker/advocate/Masters student who has a client base that includes a number of men with disabilities. A wonderful reminder of the importance of human touch and companionship, and a mind-shifter in terms of what comes to mind when you hear "sex worker." She makes my job feel completely meaningless. Big Boys Gone Bananas* - Ooooh so important to see, for so many reasons - the horrors of corporate manipulation so beautifully laid out. Excellent, excellent film. I will never look at a banana, or journalism, in quite the same way. Hard Light - the trailer doesn't do it justice; a beautiful film interspersing dramatizations of stories from Newfoundlander Michael Crummey's Hard Light with interviews with Crummey. I have to admit I haven't read any of his works yet (not for want of trying, oh reading group - ahem!), but after seeing this I am itching to. I almost wasn't going to mention this one yet, as it resonated with me in ways I wasn't expecting...I need to digest more. And maybe talk more. Not sure. But if you have a chance, see it. And you know eventually the NFB will post it alongside all the other wonderful films on their website... More to come, at least that's the plan...