Hiatus

Instead of letting my hiatus go unmentioned, I thought I’d officially announce it. This is – after all – a blog and if you can’t write about the innate details of your life what are you really doing? Might was well have a tumblr. Well actually, the more I look at tumblr the more I think it can be more than a web app for posting pictures of awesome sharks or lazertits. And so like my compatriot, Heather, I will most likely be moving this song and dance over to tumblr at the end of the hiatus (approximately 20 days from now. I swears). I don’t think it’s a matter of my generation and these times being ADD or having short attention spans (although those do exis-SQUIRREL) but rather more lateral curating type activity being encouraged because it is more social and accessible. Anyone can hyperlink but not everyone can right a good blog post.

On a separate note: high-school-blogging-me would transfer all these posts to the new tumblr but now-blogging-me probably won’t. I don’t see too much value in what I’ve written or at least enough to spend the trouble of porting them over. I was a little stumped at why my first blogging attempts of my youth were better than this current incarnation powered by my post-secondary brain. But I now think that it is analogous to documentary film making: no matter the subject, if you feel like you have something to say, the end product can be potentially really interesting. The content of my high school blog wasn’t unique or special but when writing it I thought I had something to say and it came through the writing. Here I don’t feel I have anything unique or special to say. It’s the same problem I have with academic debate or writing. I often don’t say anything because I can’t think of something to say that I feel isn’t already obvious. Recently, I’ve learned that I should just say things I think are obvious because they may not be obvious to others. So in round II of this blog (which may or may not go through a name change. I haven’t really decided yet) I will write with purpose, with intention, with the feeling that I have something to say. Because I want to show you what I’ve found.

Here are some topics that I had planned on writing full posts but will probably be lost to time:

-Blue Ribbons (I first noticed them at the Oscars which led me to the wikipedia page and it’s disambiguation. I then wanted to talk about the pluralism of cultural symbols.)

-post-post-modernism-modernism (Bruce Sterling and William Gibson are taking about these times as being atemporal. Adbusters recently declare this era to be Ultra-modern. This topic eventually was turned into an artist response for my contemporary art elective).

-Media Literacy (this topic will be turned into a vlog/video for my theory and history of broadcasting class. I wanted to talk about live events (such as Ann Coulter coming to my campus), twitter and mis/disinformation. Also what Photoshop CS5 means).

I just downloaded and am about to enjoy Night of 140 Tweets. Because I am apparently a comedy geek I recognized almost all the performers (including Jesse and Jordan from Sound of Young America, Nick Kroll and Alex Blagg). Also, Architecture for Humanity is a really cool organization (their TEDtalk is pretty bomb) and believe the whole $3 of the itunes download goes to Haiti.

I have recently been obsessed with three songs; two music videos and one uploaded track:

Kelis – Acapella

Jenny Wilson – Like a Fading Rainbow

Nabiha – You

Bonobo just released a new album. I’m pretty excited to hear what it sounds like. His last album was used as the soundtrack for jPod which is in the top five of my favourite shows that get cancelled after one season (Hi Clone High and Firefly! Shoutouts to Carnivale and Dead Like Me). I’ve also been listening to the new Yeasayer album like it’s a soothing balm for my terrible, terrible (but definitely metaphorical) stress rash.

I hate the new YouTube layout. Not only because the minimalism design fail but what it means for communities and vloggers. Maybe they’ll all move over to vimeo?

Origami Unicorns, Fifth Elements and Oscars®

In movies and books, the future always seems to suggest increased access and convenience with the hyper-intrusion of branded goods in our public and private lives. The spectacle of consumerism is hyped as the way of the future with no mention of political or social repercussions. That’s how technological determinism usually operates (by evacuating history, politics, economics, etc.). The line usually goes: issues or inconveniences today can be solved by idealistic technological solutions of tomorrow! I don’t think either side is right or wrong. The difficulty with further integrating technology into our fleshspace is maintaining agency and considering complex and diverse context into our decisions. Is augmented reality all bad? Not necessarily but there are obvious issues of privacy and over saturation. I don’t have any strong opinions or statements to make but I think it’s interesting that society seems to have a brand fetish that has been sustained through the globalization backlash. I suppose that’s hegemony for you.

Oscar-award winning animated short Logorama:

Part 1 & Part 2.

And for those wishing to quiet the advertorial noise on the youtubes = quietube.

Canadian Playlist Addendum

mv.mu

So I’m an idiot and forgot to include Controller.Controller. Even through they’re broken up I still put them on almost every playlist I make. Actually, that’s a lie. Controller.Controller would be out of place on a soul mixtape. Gun-to-head favourite track: Silent Seven.

New favourite track from new favourite band: Misteur Valaire – …et si c’etait un veau?

After a huge and delicious meal at Samurai Sushi, we wandered around Hockey Place Stadium before the game started. At first we were tricked into standing in line and going into the Saskatchewan Pavilion. There was great music and what appear to be a bouncer checking IDs. This was promising. The line moved quickly and we got inside to find no free tables but worst of all no micro-brews. If you are suppose to be representing your province should you not also represent your breweries? It would have been nice to see how Great Western Brewing stacked up against Big Rock Crafters (Grasshopper Ale (on tap) being one of my favourites). So in search of a more unique experience than Molson we headed for the Quebec pavilion or La Maison du Quebec. Not only did they have microbrew – Archibald – but they had creme brulee. Yes, it was ridiculously overpriced but there was no line (this was one of the first and only times I did not wait in a line) and apparently there was music in 20 mins.

The set up seemed odd. Turntables, bongos, saxophone, trumpet, drum kit, bass guitar, guitar, and other various percussion instruments. This could either be really, really good or really, really bad. When the band came out they looked like a hipster boy band (in a good way?) and I was still unsure of how this was going to go down. But then they just started playing and I slowly began to realize that not only was this not so bad but I kinda really like the music. Go to their website. You can listen to all the tracks and download their album for free. The only downside to finding this new band is that they seem to rarely perform outside of Montreal. Road Trip?

ps. I also really like TKO.

This one time in Vancouver I had…

Back from the Olympics in one piece. Hurray for me. While there were too many experiences to simply write in one post I thought I’d start with food. Here are the top five places we went to eat while in Vancouver (in no particular order).

1. Black Frog

Stumbled across this place in Gastown trying to find The Diamond. We instantly liked it: the food was reasonably price and there was micro-brew but mostly it reminded us of our old local pub The Alex P. Keaton (which sadly is no more). We really liked Granville Island Brewery’s Lions Winter Ale and the artichoke dip was pretty solid. Grasshopper Wheat Ale was also pretty good but it’s from the prairies.

2. Go Fish Ocean Emporium

All the cheap food guides had this place listed and it was near the Public Markets on Granville Island (which is also great). The fish and seafood was ridiculously good. I loved the green thai curry seafood chowder, the scallop sandwich and the fish and chips with salmon. All of which we bought for $27 taxes in.

3. Samurai Sushi

The sushi place I originally planned on going was in the process of being demolished (this is something google maps does not tell you). Across the street was a Hilton so we decided to ask the concierge. She directed us to this place that was just around the corner. I’ve eaten a lot of sushi in my life and I would say I have a pretty good idea of what good sushi is. While some of the maki rolls are monstrous in size – like the california roll – it doesn’t necessarily take away from its flavour. The sashimi large and delicious. The prices were affordable. Although it is no Toshi, Samurai Sushi was the best sushi experience I’ve had in my entire life.

4. The Diamond

This place is tucked away in the middle of Gastown. I like the unusual tapas, the small menu and the retro modern decor. I imagine the vibe is a little different at night but overall it’s a pretty chill place. I don’t think the rest of the gang was really feeling it but it reminded me of places in Toronto like Spoon, One and Gio Rana’s Really Really Nice Restaurant.

5. Belgian Fries

This was one of the few places that wasn’t completely packed on a Saturday night. It was our last night and we simply wanted a night out. We tried Black Frog at 7pm but there was a line. We tried St. Augustine’s place but they turned us away (because we were tourists?). The atmosphere wasn’t ideal but they had Winter Ale on tap, TVs with hockey and the most awesome fries ever. The place is promoted as the best poutine outside of Quebec (according to CBC Montreal. My roommates did not disagree) but it also has regular fries with a large choice of mayos. I picked hot garlic but was close to choosing wasabi or tangy Jamaican. If the vegetarian chili hadn’t been so filling I was going to chance it and try the deep fried ice cream and mars bars. There is no salad here but there is deliciousness.

true north, strong and free

vancouver olympic mascots

A list of artist on my Canadian playlist for the Olympics:

Arcade Fire

Barenaked Ladies

Bedouin Soundclash

The Bicycles

Big Sugar

Big Wreck

Billy Talent

Blood, Sweat and Tears

Caribou

Chromeo

Classified

The Carps

The Dears

Default

Feist

Finger Eleven

Gentleman Reg

The Guess Who

Gob

Hannah Georgas

Hawksley Workman

The Hidden Cameras

Hot Hot Heat

I Mother Earth

Islands

Joel Plaskett

k-os

K’naan

Malajube

The Marble Index

Matthew Good Band

Metric

Moist

Mother Mother

Our Lady Peace

Parlor Steps

Peaches

Rose Cousins

Rush

Said the Whale

Sarah Harmer

Sarah Slean

Sloan

Spiral Beach

Stars

The Stills

Swollen Members

Tegan and Sara

Think About Life

Timber Timber

The Unicorns

We Are Wolves

Whale Tooth

Wide Mouth Mason

Will Currie & The Country French

Wolf Parade

Oh look, a tumblr-like post….

ghostbike

Click me to go to ghostbikes.org

Apparently, I’m in self destruct mode. One would think that could potentially mean more or better blog posts but alas no. Instead, I publish this post anyway without any relevant or useful commentary. Exactly the opposite of what I declared the in last post. Everyone is a hypocrite but it’s just so disappointing when you exhibit the attributes and exemplify the practice so clearly. Hear is to next week. Perhaps better or perhaps worse. Definitely less emo. Not as truncated.

addendum/update: I think the interesting stuff on this blog so far has mostly been the meta. The goal is still the same in posting things I find interesting and talking about them. But I think there’s a reason why personal blogs have remained popular: it’s the glimpse into the slice of life that inspires comedy or revelation. It inspires something interesting and entertaining. I don’t feel I can really write about my life right now because I don’t find it particularly interesting. It’s the typical fourth year last semester bullshit. The frustration and irritation of continued procrastination. The not wanting to be here but not wanting to go. There are no new elements in my life. I realize these – good or bad – will come soon enough but I’m forcing myself into a rut that’s becoming self destructive. I skipped class and haven’t been handing in work. It’s not the end of the world but it’s not really me. Procrastinating, yes. Completely ignoring responsibility, no. I need to reboot or jumpstart myself. I just can’t think of a practical answer. Well, on the positive side this is no longer a tumblr-like post. Need to fulfill meaningless criteria? Check.

Bookmark art

Bookmarks and Jackets

Design is pretty bad ass, no doubt. But some of my favourite designs are small but functional. Like these bookmarks. Clearly, these books are not suitable to throw in a bag but it’s a cute idea nonetheless.

On a side note: I know this isn’t necessarily a requirement (well, actually it probably is) but I’m going to work on having my posts be funnier. Looking at blogs I wrote eons ago in high school (no you don’t want to go there. One lived on livejournal and the other on deadjournal. I can’t believe I just admitted I had a deadjournal. Must go delete NIN mp3s as punishment) they were pretty sharp on the humour front. I don’t want this blog just to be a glorified tumblr. I don’t want to be a glorified digg user. But this the internet, so who am i kidding? To failure! ? …