22 December 2015

my top 10 music releases of 2014 presented with comment

cardinal cardinal distant lover

1. Cardinal Cardinal - Distant Lover

There's a Youtube video of John Bradley playing a solo acoustic show when the other member of Dads is MIA and he introduces a song by saying "This song is about being in a long distance relationship and it sucks and it's great. Try it sometime" which is advice I think maybe I took to heart and anyways now I'm married.

03 December 2015

Maybe I'm a Samuel Beckett Character

two hackey sacks a tennis ball some rocks and a pen
When I am writing, my pen does backflips. I fidget. I suppose it's a busy brains:busy hands kind of thing, and it means I spend a lot of time tossing items. Pens are not great tossing items. If the nib hits your hand or clothes, then ink. Ballpoint pens are too light; sharpies are just the right weight but they have a tendency of leaking over time, which results in lots of ink. Pencils don't break or leak, but still they leave marks on flesh and fabric. I've done this for as long as I remember.

16 November 2015

I'm Beginning to Think I Might Finish a Novel Someday

pen notebook flash cards flowers table
I've always enjoyed the physical act of writing. At four years old, I filled a notebook with a facsimile of cursive writing, a copy of what my older sisters were learning in school. Pages and pages were devoted to the same letter, because I'd nailed an e's elegant swoop and was diligently trying to recreate it. I failed. A few years later, I'd taken to typing up movie plots (mostly Star Wars). The word processor I used had a gimmick where it replaced common nouns with little pictures, so there were a lot of hand emojis in front of the name 'Solo' since well that's what I thought his name was. At thirteen my parents bought a new computer and I would take off my headphones, turn off my music while I typed because I liked the clack clack of the keyboard. At fifteen an English teacher read my poem about Apollo to the class (D:), and my parents read my rewrite of a scene from The Outsiders I'd done for a class assignment. They (my parents) bought me a laptop so that I could write in my room, but it couldn't connect to the internet and I couldn't get the floppy drive to work so anything I wrote on it would've been trapped on it forever until it died, so I didn't use it to write much. I used it to play Solitaire and Hearts. My grade twelve English teacher singled me out as the one kid in class who could write a brilliant final exam essay without a brainstorm outline or structure. He claimed he was jealous because I had a chance to make a living as a writer. But my writing is always better if I plan it first. At twenty-two I relearned cursive and started writing my first drafts out by hand and I've never stopped, since it highlights the roughness of the rough draft, which lowers stress; it reduces facebook distraction; and it makes the typing part so quick and painlessish that I feel like a rockstar of the mind. At twenty-four I bought myself a Macbook Pro and boy do its keys sing.

08 October 2015

The End of the Tour

The End of the Tour is about a not-successful writer interviewing a successful writer. The not-successful writer is David Lipsky. He published a novel, but his readings are sparse. He is a reporter for Rolling Stone and he wants to write their first interview with an author in ten years (His great author timeline goes Hemmingway-Pynchon-Wallace, which seems open for white whale/Moby Dick jokes.) The successful writer is David Foster Wallace. He has just published Infinite Jest, his readings are packed, and he is being interviewed by Rolling Stone. The film's dialogue comes from Lipsky's transcription of the interview tapes, which he released as the book Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself a couple years after Wallace's 2008 suicide.

26 August 2015

Young Blood: Practices, Partner Dancing, and the Virtue of Inclusiveness

Small subcultures are particularly aware of the ebb and flow of their community. They are fragile, and they depend on both a steady stream of new members as well as the retention of old members to stay alive. In her excellent article "Calling It Quits: Why Some Social Dancers are Hanging Up Their Dance Shoes", Mellisa West-Koistila identifies three reasons why the atmosphere of a dance scene might drive its members away. First, "faux professional dancers": the ones who are uninterested in dancing with less skilled or beginner dancers in favour of improving their own dance skills. Second, rivalries between dance schools or dance teachers. Third, boredom; dancing becomes less exciting, so dancers drift away from the community.