Friday, January 26, 2007

Better than Bluegrass...

Last week I learned something about myself. I learned that I faint (or almost) when I get a needle. Before you start snickering, this is not because I wuss out upon its injection. A few minutes after, apparently my blood pressure drops, and I turn white as a sheet. This has happened twice in the last few months. There is nothing quite as emasculating as being suddenly surrounded by old ladies ready to catch me if I fall, and then being wheeled away by one of them in a wheelchair and given a box of juice.

Anyway, other than that, things have been awesome. Last weekend I played Shinny for the first time in years, sat by a fire in the cold of Dufferin Grove Park and had a blast.

I came across this awesome article about refugee soccer players

I signed this petition, which you should sign too, urging Toronto to ban styrofoam containers.

Tomorrow (Saturday), I'll be at the Foggy Hogtown Boys regular matinee at the Brunswick House. This week should be especially good; the Foggy Hogtown Girls are being formed just for the occasion of a breast cancer fundraiser entitled... wait for it... "The Boob-Grass Jamboree" I swear I'm not making this up. I am, however, giggling uncontrollably about it.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Giver of gifts, listener of podcasts, keeper of knowledge

Okay, I believe the holiday season can now be declared officially over. So take down your damn christmas lights, people! Otherwise I know people who will come and covertly unplug them in the dead of night. I'm serious about this.

To recap: I was busy in December. My Christmas shopping involved one big trip to the bookstore. As a professional english literature educator, I'm sure you're all clamoring to know what books I bought everyone, given my vast and insightful wisdom into such matters. Please, don't all clamor all at once... here it comes, the books, and the people they were purchased for.

Ryan: "The Push Man and Other Stories" by Yoshihiro Tatsumi.
Purchased, actually, on a separate trip to the Beguiling. Japanese comics done in the late 60's, early 70's. I'd never heard of this book or this artist before, but when I saw it in the store, something about it's combination of Japanese low-life weirdness screamed "Ryan." That's why Ryan is my friend.
The "Push Man", by the way, is (or was) a guy on the Tokyo subway whose job is to push the last few passengers into already packed subway cars during rush hour.

Evan: "The Omnivore's Dilemna: A Natural History of Four Meals" by Michael Pollan
I saw the author on the Daily Show a little while ago, going on about how the majority of the American diet is composed of corn now, due to its prevalence in processed foods. But this book is way more involved, following the journey of how different food makes it to your plate.

Margaret: "The Post-Petroleum Survival Guide and Cookbook" by Albert Bates
Best book ever! I basically ran into it at Indigo, and immediately knew it had to be purchased for someone. Possibly everyone I know. You've all been warned.

Mom: Fodor's Italian for Travelers
My Mom's taking a walking tour of Italy in June. Don't you just hate her already?

Dad: "The Ultimate Golf Book : A History and a Celebration of the World's Greatest Game" edited by David McCormick & Charles McGrath
There is a real lack of literate books about golf.

Rich: "How Soccer Explains the World" by Franklin Foer
There are, however, quite a few cool books about soccer. Apparently, it explains the world. Rich Gaskin, I'm sure, knew this already. However, someone wrote this book before he did.

Stay tuned... my goal now that I've posted this is to have everyone on the list above submit a review of their given books. Well, if not everyone, at least a few of you.

I'm back at Queen's, mostly wishing I was back in Toronto, and back teaching again. That will happen soon enough, though, I'm sure. In March, for those who don't already know, I'm going to Guatemala to do my alternate teaching placement. I'm currently shopping for loud, tropical shirts.

My latest obsession, the thread that ties my nomadic, confused existence together, ish my podcast subscription to This American Life. It's the best radio show in the history of time. New episodes every monday. Sign up quick so you can hear the episode about building superintendents - brilliant! Hosted by Ira Glass, the guy with the best name ever. Seriously, who doesn't want to be friends with and/or listen to a radio show hosted by someone with such a name? Or any of the other fine contributors, such as Sarah Vowell, John Hodgman, or David Sedaris, or innumerable other great people involved in this show.

Consider yourself updated!