Monday, August 31, 2009

Malta - Photo -- National Geographic

Having trouble uploading images with blogger so am making a link to this photo. I think I may be finding some neat painting projects...I love this boat!

Malta - Photo -- National Geographic

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Newspapers...mon amour

The TC didn't arrive today...trucking problems apparently so we read our Sat Globe and Mail we usually save until Monday since they cut the Monday TC. We'll read today's paper tomorrow. Lots of great reading in the G & M.

This excerpt from a Michael Valpy article discussing the idea that discrepancies in recent poll result may be a symptom of increasing fragmentation in Canadian society, rather than of any fault in the methods of data collection. It's harder to find a representative sample when people actually have less and less in common.

"The thing about newspapers is that you always find things you didn't know you were looking for. You come across vies that you don't agree with or don't like, says Christopher Waddell, director of Carleton University's school of journalism. When you're searching for things on the Internet, I think it's less likely that you're searching for things that challenge you. You're much more likely to be searching for positive reinforcement. The resulting risk, he says is a polarization of attitudes. People will be less likely to expose themselves to opposing legitimate views."

Saturday, August 29, 2009

A perfect gift!

Susan Bing came over today with this great gift of martini glasses with Eiffel Tower stems! I would have bought these in a heartbeat if I had seen them. I apparently deserved a gift for the help I gave her on planning a trip next summer to the south of France...that was a pleasure!

We have some exciting new plans for our summer trip. David Bradshaw told Jim about the conference in Malta this summer so we're going to add that to our France and UK trip. We'll also get to Sicily for a day since fast ferries run to Sicily from Malta...a 90 minute trip.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Margaret Atwood describes a very peculiar book tour - Times Online

"The Canadian author explains how promoting her new book, The Year of the Flood, has turned into a wildlife fundraiser with actor, T-shirts, ringtones, and hymns."

Margaret Atwood describes a very peculiar book tour - Times Online

Friday, August 21, 2009

Cinecenta on Twitter

I urge all of you film fans to sign up. I love that Cinecenta is on Twitter so now I won't miss those movies I meant to see!

michael hoppe (cinecenta) on Twitter

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Itty Bitty Book Review: "The Cellist of Sarajevo"

"The Cellist of Sarajevo" by Steven Galloway

I was very impressed with this novel, his third but this one is really getting a lot of press and he has even sold the film rights. Great to see a local (teaches Creative Writing at UBC) making money on writing. He is exploring how people cope in wartime and uses the real incident in 1992, when Smajlović played Albinoni's Adagio in G Minor on his cello at various times during the day to honour the 22 people who had been killed while queuing for bread at 10:00am.

I just finished this book and by chance The Trek (UBC alumnus mag) arrived and there was an interview with Galloway. I think Fern will be particularly interested in his choosing a musical form for his book. Very appropriate given the starting point. Fern did her MA thesis using a musical form as structure...the fugue, if I remember correctly.

From the interview:

"For The Cellist I wanted the story to be structured around a trio sonata, which is three parts: one melody and two bass lines. Each of the lines are more or less weighted equally. They follow the same structure as a sonata, and each can work on their own as a separate entity. This structure, which follows the novels three main storylines – Arrow’s, Kenan’s and Dragan’s – also helped me divide the characters into thematic models: food, water, violence."

An then I found out that Baez visited Sarajevo in 1993 to honour Smajlović and there's a music video on YouTube with some footage of cellist at the end. What a great lady she is although I'll never quite forgive her for not singing at least one song when she appeared at UBC to speak...wonderful to see her anyway.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Twit twit twoo

I began using Twitter a while ago and don't yet see that I will post much or perhaps not anything since my first three posts. As I mentioned my blog kind of does it for me but it is fun following people and organizations and I've just begun this really. Linda suggested Larry King and The View since it's a heads up on who is appearing. I signed onto Charlie Rose for that reason and planning on suggesting to Cinecenta that they do this as well.

Amazingly Oak Bay Municipality and the Greater Victoria Public Library are tweeting with notices about things. Seems newsletters could be replaced. Richard was following Douglas Coupland and his tweetings have been interesting and I signed onto Margaret Atwood today. Alice Munro does not tweet...I could have guessed that!

All more fodder for my blog.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

A treat for booklovers...

Wow...just found out that Alice Munro has a new book out and this is great because she said her last one was going to be her last. I figured she just didn't want her publisher's pressure and probably would do some more writing...yeah!

And while I was ordering it (on pre-order at the moment) I saw that Atwood has a new novel out called "The Year of the Flood". Also, on pre-order. For a long time I thought Atwood would write the great Canadian novel but haven't thought so for quite a while. Could this one surprise me?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

CBC Radio | Writers & Company | Schedule

John sent me a message saying that he got intrigued by Byatt's The Children's Book after hearing Eleanor Wachtel interview Byatt on the CBC. So I googled the interview and didn't realize that CBC does archive these things for later listening like the BBC does. So that's great news since I think Wachtel is brilliant but I'm just not in the habit of catching her interviews in live time.

Great interview and I think I need to give this book another try at some point.

CBC Radio | Writers & Company | Schedule

Oh...and I also see you can get these as podcasts as well as quite a few other things. I think this will work for me in terms of listening to some of the great stuff on CBC.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Itty Bitty Book Review: "The Children's Book"

"The Children's Book" by A.S. Byatt

I quite enjoyed this book initially but after three tries to get into it again I gave it up after about 50 limit for books I don't think I'll continue with. I must say I haven't really enjoyed anything by Byatt since Possession and Babel Tower. I think this is probably a very good novel but I think I'm just not in the mood and it seemed tiresome to me in the way Byatt can be just so tiresome. As an antidote I read the next Alice Munro story in the Selected Stories called "Chaddeleys and Flemings". Absolutely wonderful and not an ounce of pretention...just describing her characters and their lives in a most amazing and authentic manner.

Friday, August 07, 2009

More cats...

I thought this was a cute cat photo Don sent me the other day.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Itty Bitty Book Review: "Death Comes to the Archbishop"

"Death Comes to the Archbishop" by Willa Cather

I really enjoyed this novel about two priests from France working in the wilds of New Mexico. It was written in 1927 and Cather was amazingly forward thinking in her respectful views on the Indians and Mexicans. And it was great to revisit the wonders of New Mexico since it was just about this time that we were there last year.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

A great couple of summer days...

Sunday Don and Elaine came over and we Bar-b-qed the great Oyama saucage I had bought at Granville Island. They brought over a fabulous French bordeaux which went perfectly.

Don doing a wonderful job a chef.

Jim doing his usual job of helping.

Savouring everything.

Oscar in heaven.

Then yesterday Chris arrived back from his fishing trip with the biggest load of fish ever. We had two vacuum packers thank goodness and Jim and I helped so it got done pretty quickly. No photos since we were all too busy doing the fish then getting dinner ready...a tradition to eat some of the windfall. We started pigging out on the fresh crab then salmon, corn on the cob and Susan's wonderful salads. Monique joined us and was in heaven. Great wine too!

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Our faithful visitor...

About 10 minutes after we got home Wednesday Oscar staggered up the stairs and flopped on the floor. He looked very pooped by the heat and didn't even seem interested in treats! I was pleased to see he drank quite a bit of water eventually. These photos were taken today...nice to be cooler.

Waiting patiently by the door this morning.

Oscar enjoying his Medi-treats which cost a bomb but are good for tartare and hairballs. Nothing is too good for our pal.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Facebook and MySpace can lead children to commit suicide, warns Archbishop Nichols - Telegraph

I thought Archbishop Nichols had some very perceptive and interesting views about social networking sites and other things. I think young people can be very vulnerable in this area and the idea that you can just have a new set of friends is worrisome.

A quote:
"Among young people often a key factor in them committing suicide is the trauma of transient relationships.

"They throw themselves into a friendship or network of friendships, then it collapses and they're desolate."

He continued: "It's an all or nothing syndrome that you have to have in an attempt to shore up an identity; a collection of friends about whom you can talk and even boast.

"But friendship is not a commodity, friendship is something that is hard work and enduring when it's right."

Yes...absolutely right on.

Facebook and MySpace can lead children to commit suicide, warns Archbishop Nichols - Telegraph