Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Chichester Cathedral

In the spirit of my trip to the UK tomorrow, here is a photograph I took last summer of Chichester Cathedral. It is a stunning structure and has a beautiful leafy close as well.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

The Art of Airplane Reading

I take a lot of transatlantic flights. I don't tend to sleep on planes and don't generally travel between continents with my laptop. These statements mean I must bring along the perfect airplane read. Airplane books are an art - they have to be as engaging as a good Vanity Fair article, but not so page-turning that I get restless and bored. It needs to not require a great deal of brain power and not be written in stream-of-consciousness. It needs to contain either a great story, or some piece of knowledge that I'm not familiar with, or is funny. I often wander a bookstore prior to a trip looking for just the right book and it's often a difficult choice. But I think I may have found a good one for my flight to London in a couple of days - Pretty Little Dirty by Amanda Boyden.

Previous perfect airplane reads have been The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown (maybe the best airplane read in history), Sick Puppy by Carl Hiaasen, Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld, and A Complicated Kindness by Miriam Toews.

As an aside, A Complicated Kindness just won Canada Reads. Too bad - it should have been Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Three Glorious Days

After spending my Easter weekend finishing my chapter (see previous post), I had my own long weekend over the past three days. Languishing over coffee and the paper and the crossword in the mornings, enjoying my daytime television, catching a matinee movie, walking on the beach. And this evening in this gorgeous weather, my first visit of the season to the patio.

I purchased theatre tickets for my trip to London next week and now have the time to dive into a new novel - The History of Love by Nicole Krauss, which so far is pretty good. And tomorrow, for the first time in two years - NHL playoffs!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

My So-Called Life, version 2006

Different desk, same exhaustion. And strangely, just two days off the one-year anniversary of the same chapter deadline, near delirious post. A different chapter though, thank god.

I have decreased the number of Nalgene water bottles to just one, the other having been replaced by a perpetual cup of strong tea. Still using the Pilot felt tip pen in light blue, still obsessing over my looseleaf pads, but M&M peanuts have been replaced by Cadbury mini eggs. Also, it was so, so cruel for Bravo to have a Paul Newman movie marathon on yesterday when I couldn't watch it.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Why I Love Diners

My neighbourhood diner is the Patrician Grill and it was also my workplace neighbourhood diner, so I ate there a lot when I was a nine-to-fiver. I haven't been to the Grill for lunch in almost two years because of my absence from the country and my attempt to not eat pure fat. But today, in the midst of my chapter writing nightmare, I needed diner food.

So I walk into the Grill, sit down at a booth, Terry the diner maestro points at me, says, "Grilled cheese on white, chocolate shake" and before I know it, my lunch is sitting in front of me without my having said a word. Love diners. On a side note, having had my love of Gilmore Girls ridiculed last night, I realize that perhaps why I love it is because of all the diner scenes. So much love everywhere, I can barely stand it.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Books & Brunch & Sarah Waters

I spent Sunday morning at one of Nicholas Hoare's Books & Brunch series - this one featuring Timothy Taylor, Richard Clewes, a fresh from court Michael Baigent, and the reason I attended - Sarah Waters.

One of the enjoyable things about Books & Brunch is that the authors generally give a talk instead of reading directly from their books. Unless they are incredibly engaging, listening to writers read from their work is often trying, not to mention attempting to do so on a Sunday morning when I haven't had my vat of coffee yet. Waters discussed the avenues of influence that led to the writing of the book - films such as Brief Encounter and the post-war memoirs of women like Bryher. These are the kind of tidbits I love and now I have a new item to add to my film rental list. (My previous review of Waters' The Night Watch is here.)

Friday, April 07, 2006

Without You I'm Nothing

This graffiti message has appeared in London's Notting Hill neighbourhood. It may be my recent mood and the fact that rain is streaming down my windows right now, but this photograph is just about the saddest thing I've ever seen. So naturally I love it. I'm going to put on some Placebo now. (Link from Londonist)

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Unbearable Excitement

Thesis chapter deadline time and I have been sitting at my desk for hours, for days, forever it seems. So when I looked up this morning and saw window washers on the building across the street from me, the excitement was almost unbearable.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Early to Bed, Dreaming of Dr. Seuss

I, for one, am thrilled about daylight saving time coming into effect in a few hours. Not only do I love late light evenings, but I've already changed my clocks, and suddenly don't feel so pathetic for going to bed early on a Saturday night.

I went to the Frank Gehry exhibition at the AGO this afternoon and found it interesting. I had free tickets, which was nice, because I would have been annoyed to have paid $12 for a pretty simple exhibit. I loved the models for the Ray and Maria Stata Centre at MIT and John pointed out to me that it looked like a Dr. Seuss building, which made me love it even more. Check out this Flickr pool for photographs of the Gehry exhibition.