Saturday, July 9, 2011

So Much Lace

So I bought about a mountain of lace at the Antrim flea market the other week (and a cedar chest, but that's a different story). 

Then, at Bluesfest, this woman from Funk my Junk was selling lace gloves. She didn't have the exact one I wanted, so I was going to go back the next day, and then I got home and remembered the GIANT PILE OF LACE that I had. Lace I spent so much time selecting that I acquired a sun burn on the back of my neck. Lace that is PERFECT for me. Perfect because it is exactly what I would have picked because I picked it. Lace that I realize I have ten to twelve bags of and just ONE of those bags contains 15 meters (I have already started using lace instead of string). 

So now I'm making lace gloves out of various trim. Without a pattern. Basically willy-nilly.

That obviously needs something more. Wait, I know, lace that has RIBBON.

Now I just need to make a second one AND a matching collar piece. Ok, and work out that whole thumbhole thing, but hey, I have lots of lace to practice with. So pleased.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Goodbye Rogers and Good Riddance!

So I've decided to take the plunge and get rid of my abysmal Roger's internet connection and invest in a company that doesn't have a ludicrously low internet cap and is actively fighting for my internet rights (go team!).

Since I'm in the Ottawa area, I went with Teksavvy, because they're the one my friend mentioned and because I don't like the junkmail Primus sends me (ok, honestly, the Primus mail arrived the DAY after I called Teksavvy. I don't really have a good reason for my choice).

So I went to the website, found a fastastic deal with a 300Gig cap which costs less than  my horribly upsetting 15G current plan (which I have been going wildly over for the past three months. Dear, I am glad you are awesome now, but you made my plan sad, even with your readjusted data download plans) and happily filled out the form for my new set-up.

Now, you'd think that this would be good enough, but of course not, things are NEVER that simple. Turns out you need to make sure that you have already put in your one month notice with your original cable company so that Teksavvy can just transfer your connection on the day of deactivation instead of having to activate you anew and you have to buy a modem and plug it in and just sort of hope like crazy that the reason your current internet doesn't work with the new modem is because Roger's is kind of evil.

I guess I'll find out if it works soon enough.

Monday Update: TOTALLY WORKS! All I had to do was unplug everything and then plug them back in after activation and I have beautiful beautiful not Roger's internet. Huzzah!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The songs in my head

My friend asked for my Top Five songs of the moment, (yes, technically she asked for this a month ago, but Twitter is hard sometimes!) so here they are, in no particular order and subject to change.

Fleet Foxes - White Winter Hymnal 
I love the Fleet Foxes for their lush dreamy playing, which is so terribly delicate and yet feels so full. Makes me want to stare out the window on a snowy day. 

Mother Mother - My Baby Don't Dance
I am hopelessly in love with the new Mother Mother album Eureka, and am PLEASED AS PUNCH that they are coming to Bluesfest. A little retro, lovely and upbeat, and I always feel like it is a strange mix between urbanity and the hayloft. This single is currently my favourite, and is also the one that is getting a lot of play on CBC Radio 3. (there is no nice video attached to this one)

The Faint - Glass Danse
Angry, with a driving beat that I find myself trying vainly to hum at the dinner table. I've always loved The Faint, and I hope I always will.

St. Vincent - Now, Now
St. Vincent's album "Marry Me" has had my favourite tunes to turn on in the morning while I'm still soft around the edges for years now. Mellow and sharp, with that sweetness of voice that I constantly gravitate towards.

Dan Mangan - Robots
Dan Mangan is totally and utterly adorable (he's from B.C.) and this song is totally and utterly adorable and robots do need love too!

In other news, I am also listening to Man Man and contemplating a purchase of The Real Tuesdays, but I haven't spent enough time with either of them to really know yet. 

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Korean Dramas

I am an escapist at heart. When things go wrong, or if there are just too many things, or if the day seems just a little bit empty, I like to bury myself in some form of fiction.

This means I read a lot, I write a little, and that I watch a truly egregious amount of television (not to mention the daydreaming). But only sometimes and usually in truly epic binges.

For those of us who enjoy an escapist binge, it is hard to do better than Korean dramas. I was introduced to the glory of Korean dramas through rageprufrock (a familiar name in many fandoms) and have pretty much never looked back. Filled with angst and pretty pretty boys, convuluted love triangles, love interests that usually start out hating each other and packing entire seasons of plot into one hour shows to the point that I always wonder what could possible go wrong next (Amnesia! They might be related! The house burns down! Now episode 2!), these shows are a gold mine, especially since there are decades of shows that I have never seen.

Two general sites that are incredibly useful if you are interested in getting into Kdrama or Jdrama (Japanese dramas are way weirder, but sometimes more satisfying) are, which has mountains of links for watching online, and kdramawiki. Also useful is keeping an eye on WITH 2 subbing team, who magically always seem to be translating the best stuff.

There is also the whole hard subbing (watching a streamed show with the subtitles added in) versus soft subbing (where you download the subtitles separately and add them somehow, and this is moderately less likely to get anyone in trouble) controversy, which is written about very persuasively elsewhere (and of course I have lost the link. Sorry!). Also, a number of these shows can be found commercially available from places like netflix or (I know American netflix has some, who knows if does).

However, due to the enormous number of these shows now available (I love watching access to previously hard-to-find items take off), I have compiled a list of my favourite shows so far. Now, my normal method of recommendation is to make high pitched noises while waving my hands around like a CRAZY person, but I recognize that this is not always the most textually useful system, so I shall attempt to make moderately more sense.

Goong (Princess of Hours) - This show is the one that started it all. A good tempered and entertaining school girl finds out her grandparents had arranged her marriage to the prince. It posits that there is still a Korean royal family, much like the one in the UK, and the outfits and set are FANTASTIC. Of course the two do NOT GET ON. My mom ended up watching this with me while we sobbed quietly at the ridiculous drama. Also, a couple of my friends have fond memories of my flailing synopsis of the convoluted linkages.

The 1st shop of Coffe Prince - Classic plot of "she gets mistaken for a boy and ends up with a job working with very pretty men at a coffee shop". But the characters in this are some of the best I have seen in any television show anywhere, and although it has a ridiculous premise, everyone deals with it in very real ways. I'm currently force feeding this series to my friends, and we are enjoying ourselves excessively. Additional link. 

Kimi wa Petto (You are my pet) - This one is Japanese and based off a manga. It is ... odder but still one of my favourites. A driven and slightly cold career woman adopts a young dancer who she finds homeless on her porch. She agrees to feed him and take care of him so long as he will keep her company as her pet "Momo". He also very grumpily complains to his friends that there is no sex. I find the Japanese fixation with finding relationships where you can be "Real" fascinating.

Other Favourites: (all deserving of their own recommendations, but I will never get this posted if I keep talking about them)

Hotaru no Himiko (Hour of the firefly?)
Hana Kimi
Boys before Flowers

But the great thing about these series is that there is one for everyone. It is actually like the past twenty years of foreign television are at your fingertips. And unlike American Soap Operas, these shows have fairly short episode lists, so they wrap it all up tidily within one season (except for the historical dramas. those go on FOREVER). So Good.

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Magic Bluesfest Pipe Player

That 1 Guy was one of the odder Bluesfest finds. He plays a Magic Pipe, which loops and electronica and drums and is pretty much totally awesome and bizarrely compelling (and ladies, sometimes watching his hands can really make you blush).

You can watch the official music video if you want, but I recommend watching the live footage to get a sense of the ridiculousness that are his concerts. Also, his stuff makes hilariously awesome dance party music:

Friday, April 22, 2011

Every part in its place

I have a deep fondness for puzzle games and finding out how things interact, and the game Grow (both the original and the games that followed) does this better than any other game I've found. The goal is to find the optimum order to activate the different elements, but since everything affects everything else, this is WAY more enjoyable and challenging than you might think (after all, if you don't get the lake big enough before the sun shows up, you end up with something of a desert). I wait with perpetually bated breath for the next instalment.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Bluesfest is good for the soul

Michael Franti and Spearhead (fondly referred to by me and mine as Franky and the Orchestra [I am notoriously bad at names]) is probably the best concert I have been to in Ottawa and from Bluesfest 2009.
Political, angry, uplifting, and so very danceable, at one point he had us sing a chorus, and just left us for five minutes while we sang our little hearts out. The whole crowd was into it, and it was glorious.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Grrr! Arrr!

I have a huge fondness for zombies. Zombie Walks (I swear I will go this year), Zombie movies (Fido), Zombie spoofs (Shaun of the Dead), and Zombie video games (Hunter the Reckoning anyone?) are all equally adored. I even have truly epic Opinions about Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (also, the movie is coming up! I look forward to having Opinions about that too).

So it should surprise no one that I have spent far too many hours over the past couple of days playing

In this tiny flash game, you carefully direct your survivors so that you can reclaim a city and not be devoured by the ravening hoards outside your walls. Pure bliss. But like Mardek, don't click on it if you have something else you were planning on doing today. You've been warned.

Upcoming marathons: Walking Dead (I will almost be in time for season two)
Upcoming shows: TyLean and thOrN at the Avantgarde Bar
Upcoming craft shows: Originals at Landsdown

Monday, April 11, 2011

Bluesfest: Guilty Pleasures

For bubblegum pop, LIGHTS was perfect for the hot sunny day at Bluesfest and she was totally adorable with her ridiculous keytar and her cosmic love for us all. I don't care that she looks like she is 14.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Level Up!

If you too love a well balanced fight to kill dragons, arrange your inventory, and increase your skills, let me strongly recommend the RPG game Mardek, which is not only funny and irreverent on all those classic RPG tropes, but can also be played online for FREE!

And the best part is that there are three VERY substantial chapters so far. But, I'm going to let you in on a secret. Although you can find this game on a number of websites, I encourage you to start on Kongregate. This is because it is the only website with Chapter 3 and you don't want to have to play through the whole thing AGAIN just so you can bring your favourite sword *embarrassed cough*

To any of you who had other things they needed to get done... I'm sorry.

Poetry update: Walt Whitman was lovely, as always, and I may have become somewhat emotional while reading "Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking"

That is the whistle of the wind—it is not my voice;
That is the fluttering, the fluttering of the spray;
Those are the shadows of leaves.
But I am very excited for Emily Dickinson next.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Sunset at the Bluesfest

One of the things I really enjoy about Bluefest is that one of the stages has a glorious view of the river while the sun sets.

Renaissance played right when the full colours of the sunset hit the water. Moody, with a rich operatic voice, it was perfect for the time and place.

(My friend and I then got to have a very pleasant conversation about ProgRock and how it could have gone a different direction than the Progrock band we'd seen the year before [and whose name I prompty forgot, because I didn't care how seminal they were, I did Not. Like. Them], but that is perhaps beside the point.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Important Puppet News

I went to a monster making party and have returned home with a new puppet!!

Allow me to introduce you to Jack!

Yes, I made a toilet paper roll, pipe cleaner armed Jack the Ripper. (He has Stabby Arm Action!)

And yes, I've put him in the same house as Puppet Napoleon Bonaparte.

I am a little worried that this means nothing but trouble! or maybe....

He's a megalomanic genius who nearly took over all of Europe. He's one of the most famous London murderers of all time and has never been caught. Together, They Fight Crime.

Bathroom Poetry Update: Still on Whitman. Ended up having to go find Song of Myself because the anthology was missing it.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Surfpunk does the Blues?

At the Bluesfest, I also discovered the Surfpunk through The Reverb Syndicate. They also had GoGo dancers and I had a mini-dance party. Finding them opened up the wonderful vista of surfpunk which has been super awesome. 

Like them? You should probably also try The Ventures (which sadly were NOT at Bluesfest. And are probably dead. I refuse to look that up for you [Nevermind, I looked them up anyway. Turns out they are still super popular in Japan and also still alive! Curse you black and white footage. So misleading.] ). 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Bathroom Reading

Bathroom reading is very important in my house. I have been reduced to reading the backs of toothpaste tubes before, but I try to avoid such drastic measures in my own home. Because I accidentally read some of the articles once in the ever present Reader's Digests at my parent's, I can not supply myself with that monthly collection of entertaining anecdotes, kitty rescue stories and appalling conservative rhetoric.

I've been supplying my bathroom with soduku books from christmases (two books. two christmases.), but sometimes little numbers are just not satisfying. Also, sometimes you are a little tipsy and those grids get much harder.

So I've moved my Anthology of Modern American Poetry edited by Cary Nelson  to the back of the toilet and I plan to read it cover to cover over the next year (this timeline may be revised). If you are in my bathroom, please feel free to read a poem, but don't move my bookmark! (also feel free to read my bookmark. It is a tiny chap book.)

First up: Walt Whitman. Excellent beginning.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Historical dramas or A Love Letter to the BBC

Earlier this year, I fell ass over teakettle for Downton Abbey, an upstairs/downstairs BBC drama set just at the eve of WWI on a country estate. Now, I'm incredibly stubborn, so it took no less than three VERY determined prods from people who know me VERY well in conjunction with a general internet orgy of appreciation for this series to get me to try it, but I am even now waiting with barely restrained impatience for season two. (the servants! and the sisterly fighting! The Irish socialist who is also the chauffeur! The occasional clandestine gay make-outs!)

Now what I can't understand is why no one was also shoving North and South at me (not to be confused with the American Civil War mini-series of exactly the same name). In this one, Miss Hale moves up from sleepy idyllic South to the industrialized Millton in the mid-1800s. In amidst a decadently sweeping score, she learns all about unions and strikes, industry and cotton, yelling men, being surrounded by death and gets proposed to repeatedly. I love it. Love love love. (It may help that our leading man has been compared to Colin Firth's portrayal of Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice. And if you haven't seen THAT BBC production, well, I will meet you back here in six hours when you will be happier. Also, please note, none of that Kiera Knightley silliness here.)

This series shares a lot of elements with Downton Abbey: the focus on class struggle, the exploration of a time of upheaval and change, really fantastic production values. But it also shares this man:

His acting is amazing, and whenever he is on screen I just basically want to change the entire plot so that he can be happy. I don't see why that is so much to ask! He better be okay in Season Two of Downton Abbey, that's all I have to say.

On a sidenote, has finally stopped being rubbish. They've begun to acquire a steady stream of shows I genuinely want to watch. I'm very pleased about the whole thing.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Bluesfest Countdown: Part Deux

Continuing in our list of Bluesfest finds, from two years ago, I give you Les Claypool. Super weird, totally mesmerizing, and fucking talented, he plays the Bass like nobody's business and I only went because a friend told me to and then fell hopelessly and utterly in love. Bonus, if you like him, he's done a LOT and is even from Primus! (which alas I missed at the Bluesfest THREE years ago. Didn't know I wanted to go.)

Here is the Red State Girl video from Of Fungi an Foe. Click it. Do it. You will at least have an interesting time.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

My Podcast Quest

I still love my apartment with a deep and glowing adoration which bubbles up in me while walking my freezing Ottawa streets, but am not so keen on the solitude when puttering around my kitchen. I also get tired of feeling my brain slowly (or not so slowly) atrophy when I use old episodes of Project Runway to keep me company.

So I decided to go and find some history podcasts. This way I could be entertained and learning ALL AT THE SAME TIME (amazing!).  It turns out this is harder than you would think. No no, history podcasts certainly exist, but finding a good one is surprisingly difficult (there is also the distinct possibility that I am incredibly picky).

It doesn't help that I knew exactly what podcast I wanted. I wanted a deep and anecdotal exploration of the French Revolution. The French Revolution is filled with Characters and Drama and Endless Politics and Gruesome Death and I know enough about it to be able to follow happily along while chopping up vegetables.

I did not find this podcast.

What I found instead was the most awesomely epic Napoleon Bonaparte Podcast instead.

This podcast is perfect. It is two guys who know WAY too much about Napoleon, and who basically think he hung the moon (or could have, if he'd wanted to and the rest of Europe had just stopped being such babies about things), know all the nifty little stories, and take you exhaustively and chronologically through his rise to power (and then his fall? I don't know, I haven't got that far, and I don't want to ruin the surprise [nono, I know what happens, that is my internet sarcasm voice!]). It is perfect.

I also came across a brilliant Royal Naval History podcast. Personally, I was not all that excited about military history, but once I'm done with Napoleon, this may be my next stop (unless I can find a good podcast about Darwin. Oh Darwin.). He talks about Nelson and his 'eyepatch'. Turns out, podcasts done by enthusiasts are by far the most fun!

I am still searching for one on the French Revolution. Unfortunately, it seems I do not much care for recorded lectures (so much less fun without the powerpoint, and also I do not want to try and memorize dates), but I remain optimistic.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Bluesfest Nostalgia

Ottawa Bluesfest is hosting a Gala Event at the FINALLY finished Ottawa Convention Centre (you know, the construction zone by the Rideau Mall) and although there is no way I am forking out that kind of cash to go, I am SUPER excited for the Bluesfest line-up to be annouced.

So until that long awaited for week in April when we find out what bands we will be listening to while praying that it doesn't rain (or wishing that it would on the hot days) down by the War Museum, here is a weekly collection of the awesome bands I have found while cheerfully wandering stage to stage at Ottawa's Bluesfest (and yes, we know that most of these aren't Blues. It has been noted. Just work with it.) Keep in mind that these bands will be the ones I didn't not know about before seeing them on stage, not the ones I was already increadibly excited for.

First on our list is Caravan Palace, which was on one of the bigger stages and caught our interest right away. They sold out before I even made it to the merch tent, and then sold out of the downtown music store. Thank goodness they can order CDS in. French electroswing from Paris, and so so fantastic.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Smugness in March

If you have been outside in the past couple of days, you know that the weather in Ottawa is ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTING.

The sidewalks are a slushy mess, with floating ice chunks in ankle deep puddles which stretch the entire street. We had a massive snow dump followed immediately by rain, and it is basically a death defying walk outside.

BUT! Saturday I bought rainboots, and I am pleased as punch at how useful they have been. I went out and bought the most adorable Hunter rainboots I could find (they are available in Townshoes for us).

They have been keeping my toes lovely and dry (the wool socks have been keeping me warm). As a testament to this ability, I would like to submit Exhibit A:

While standing in one of the smaller puddles, my feet are STILL DRY. These boots ROCK. Although note, on particularly snowy days, you may end up with snow inside your boot if you aren't VERY careful. Fortunately, this is not a problem with water.

If this ice continues, I may have to go out and buy crampons when out near the Mountain Equipment Coop.

Upcoming Events: Vernissage One Night Stand at Le Petit Mort

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Iphone Tethering

I actually went over my bandwidth last month, because I was horribly ill and mainlining the anime Samurai 7 through netflix like a banshee (this fixed bandwidth thing is such bullshit. Need to sign me that petition before it gets worse).

It was of course AFTER I received my bill that I realized I have a data plan which is approximately eighty billion times more than I need and could have shouldered some of the burden. So I went off to find out how to access my iphone data plan from my computer.

Guys, guys, it is SO EASY. Follow these instructions and TADA!  I will never need to pay for internet in a coffee shop EVER AGAIN. Now if I could just get decent coverage when I travel in the states.

UPDATE: Ok, so it is supposed to be that easy. I tested it, but only halfway, and then when I put it into practice this evening, I realized I am, once again, a giant liar.

First, find out if your provider supports tethering. You can check here. For those of us in Canada, Fido does. Then you can follow the instructions above. For some reason, you may not be actually able to find your phone. I recommend mucking about with the bluetooth, setting up the device, and then ending up using the network option called ethernet cable even though you know your phone is connected using a USB cord. Mine is working now, but to be honest I am not entirely sure how....

So best of luck! I hope it turns out and you too can enjoy delicious delicious data plan internet.

UPCOMING EVENTS: Whist and Poker with the Ottawa Steampunks

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Art is Neat

The internet is filled with amazing artists. And so, it turns out, is Ottawa.

Popped into the Ottawa Arts Court on my way to Dr. Sketchy's (my sketches turned out really well, and we got there early enough to get better seats! Actually thinking about getting a scanner at some point so that I can share).

I was there for the gallery show of Stefan Thompson, whose work I fell in love with many Art in the Parks ago. He's an artist with a serious environmental conscience who produces some gorgeous work: joyful and sinister.
I have some of his work up on my cabinets and it makes my kitchen so very happy.

Now, as much as I have been enjoying the plethora of local artists, my favourite artist is currently still Kelly Vivanco from California.

I have been following Kelly Vivanco since I first stumbled upon Patches (the webcomic of my soul):
and then I went off and bought this print:

I still need to get it framed, but it is on the list!

So in conclusion: Art is Neat.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Knit Neckpiece

One of the best things about my friend's New Year's Eve Event is... no, wait, let me start over. One of the many awesome things to come out of this year's New Year's Eve event was that my friend Cheryl was commissioned by my friend Pyrex to make me this glorious knit silk neckpiece.

The deal was that if I was to receive this lovely piece, I needed to take photos of it. So tada! I did.

Now, if I was going to take photos for a friend of a gift, I decided I needed to do it right. Which evidently means I needed to put on eight tons of make-up and mess around with the filters.

I'm very pleased with how the sepia with a touch of 'vintage' turned out, but am a touch disappointed that you can't tell I have Black Swan (such an awesome film, btw) inspired eye make-up. Oh well, the "me and my laptop" photoshoot turned out well enough that I may try something similar in the future. In the meantime, I need to try and put an outfit together that shows off my neckpiece but which is still cohesive as a whole.

If you want to visit Cheryl's website and commission something of your own, just follow the link.

Upcoming Events: Dr. Sketchy and Book Club

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Lost Girl

While navigating the Toronto subway system, I came across a number of advertisments for the tv show Lost Girl. An offering from Showcase, (for my American friends, think of it as a combination of Bravo and Showtime) the ads featured a girl in tight black leather and vague text about demons. I was obviously intrigued, and then promptly couldn't find it online.

Well, I found it here (oh bugger, and it turns out is also on the official Showcase website linked above, am an idiot), and so far it is BRILLIANT. Better production quality than Blood Ties (which I still maintain is a show better than the original books, not matter how much I love Tanya Huff's other novels), the protagonist is strong and funny, her male foil is exactement à mon gout, and she's a succubus. I mean, come on! We're talking Fae, and the world building is really good, and I am super pleased about this, especially as it is perfect for my slightly hungover Sunday morning.

For those of us who tried Dark Angel and just Couldn't Do It, or maybe for those of you who really liked that show too, I heartily endorse this. Plus, Canadian! Can't wait to find out if it is set in a Canadian city too, because man I like it when shows are not set in New York City.

Upcoming Events: Maybe Spins and Needles on Friday? Crafting to a DJ is always good times.

UPDATE: He is wearing a vest!! And is all scruffy! Wheee~

Friday, January 28, 2011

Why I do not purge my music library

I keep a lot of music in my itunes library because I know myself far too well at this point. I know that just because I have not yet decided that I like a band that I picked up two years ago and that I skip every time it comes on, does not mean I will not, at some unexpected point, suddenly fall completely in love with it.

It happened with David Bowie
It happened in a non-musical capacity with a pair of shoes (RIP)
It happened last night with The Velvet Underground.

I have been waiting to fall in love with them ever since I bought the sound track to the Royal Tenenbaums, and was disappointed each time a song came on and I didn't want to listen to it. But last night, finally, I spent an hour mucking about and wishing I in fact had MORE than the couple of cds hidden deep in my itunes.

Still thinking about buying an external hard drive so that I have somewhere to store all these future loves.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Book Club

Being an ex English grad student means I occasionally have difficult book cravings. And it also means that I look at that sentence and realize that it is entirely unclear whether difficult is describing "book" or "craving". Luckily for me, the fact that I crave difficult books is not actually a troublesome craving, because it turns out almost everyone else who was in a literary grad program has a similar problem and I happen to be friends with them.

The summer before last, we all decided to read Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace, along with the rest of the Internet. We then promptly got off schedule, never had a single meeting, and I didn't finish until well after Christmas and still have rather mixed feelings about the whole thing (Although we now all use the term "post-prandial" with a regularity which is becoming decreasingly distressing)

Last summer I decided I wanted to read Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie, which was going very well until I hit page two hundred and got terrifically stuck. I feel much better about the whole thing, because it turns out that everyone I talk to about this has also become completely stuck at roughly the same place, although none of us can work out why. But anyway, I finished the book last week, just in time to start our latest book adventure: Ulysses by James Joyce.

So far I am enjoying myself thoroughly, AND we've already had our first meeting in which we drank beer and yelled about the nature of reading and whether we actually cared for any of the characters. I already have one of the little charts for the chapters tucked in amongst the pages, some of us are reading The Odyssey along with it and we all are just having a ball. Reading is a very solitary act, but there is something about reading in groups and having wide-flung discussions about it which is so immensely satisfying.

Up-Coming Events: Venus Envy Sale, Andy Swan at Raw Sugar and hopefully Dim Sum.