Sunday, 31 March 2013

Happy Easter!

Staubbach Waterfall, Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland
Staubbach Waterfall, Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland, via TT-FA (unfortunately unable to find the photographer)
 What was supposed to be an uneventful day of essay writing and studying turned out to be one of the funnest Easters I've had in the past few years. My parents, who live two hours away, called me on Saturday to ask if my boyfriend and I had a bit of time for a quick Easter visit from their part (of course we did). This morning, they surprised us with coolers full of brunch food, including some parmesan and basil soufflés my dad had prepared in advance. Unfortunately, as I don't really have a cellphone ('really' meaning I have a six year-old flip gadget that gets more use as an alarm clock than a a calling device), the food was eaten before making it to digital posterity, and you'll have to take my word on the fact it was, delicious, pretty, and worth writing about. I am now reclining in my comfy chair, having some tea with a few varieties of Easter treats my parents kindly brought me, as, you know (and they know), it's not because I'm 22 I'll spend an Easter without at least one chocolaty bunny or sugar-covered egg. Hope you had a lovely Easter!

Thursday, 21 March 2013

At the moment

I used to write more frequently about certain subjects, such as books and articles, but now I often feel that if I was to do so again I would have to do it 'properly' and no longer in a casual, innocent manner like I used to three years ago. That mindset is obviously ridiculous - it's better to write about what I want slightly foolishly than not write at all - but I often feel it's not doing justice to my new favourite book than to write a two-liner saying something like "I loved it, you should read it too!!!". You'll have to bear with my foolish innocence today because I feel like compiling and sharing a mish-mash (which is incidentally the name of a pepperette-cheese omelet available at many good Montreal restaurants) of interesting bits and bobs before I forget them, but have neither time nor energy to compose anything that well thought-out or organised.

March 2013 time capsule:

little kingdoms
Kevin Barry's There Are Little Kingdoms
There Are Little Kingdoms is, of all my readings this year so far, the book that has left the deepest impression on me. I have only read part of it - it is a short story collection - but no day passes without my being reminded of it. Now, to say something innocent about such a great read, I believe it has such an effect on me because of the economical quality of the characters and stories, complex (as they should be) and pared down at once. The fluidity of the story-telling may also have a part to play in it, as many stories give the reader the impression he/she is observing or overhearing a situation from afar.

Author Kevin Barry was invited by one of my professors to read in our class, and if you ever have a chance to see him read, you certainly should take it as he is an excellent reader. He read "The Wintersongs" - which incidentally was based on an overheard conversation - and it was one of the funniest, but slightly touching, stories, especially as he voiced the main character. A highly recommended read, should you need one.

(As an aside, after Barry's reading, we were invited to get our books signed and... well, I've already told you I am very gifted when it comes to embarrass myself, especially when meeting people whose work I admire. I said something like "Hm, hi, thisisthebestbookIvereadallyearitsgreat!!!".
If we ever meet each other, please don't be put off by the fact I get easily starstruck.)

New episodes of Foyle's War
Starting this Sunday, the 24th.

New season of Mad Men
Starting Sunday, April 7th.

Farrah shirt by Family Affairs
Cafe Zoe dress by Family Affairs
Cafe Zoe
George blouse by Family Affairs
Valley blouse by Family Affairs
Yoko dress by Family Affairs
Yoko (all photos from Family Affairs)
Farrah Shirt by Family Affairs
I've been wanting it since it came out last fall, and might eventually stop telling everyone on the internet how much I like it and get it for myself. Also, have you seen their new collection "Night Train to Cassis"? I'm thinking of saving up for one piece from the collection as a birthday present for myself (I have until early June), but I'm having a hard time deciding between a good four of them. Would you mind helping? Now, with last post, you know everything I'll be spending on once I get back to work.

N+7 Oulipo Machine
Or how to make any corporate email, chain family email, or wikipedia entry instantly entertaining. The N+7 machine is one of the concepts used by the Oulipo (ouvroir de littérature potentielle, or opener of potential literature, or my pet cat's name) group in order to explore new potential forms of literature. The machine works in the following manner: it takes a noun (n) and replaces it with the 7th following word in the dictionary. You can also adjust the formula to get a different gap between the initial word and the result, making for more or less eccentric results.

For example, here is the previous paragraph passed through the machine:

"Or how to make any corporate email, chalet fanfare email, or wikipedia eon instantly entertaining. The N+7 madhouse is one of the concertos used by the Oulipo (ouvroir de littérature potentielle, or operetta of pottery livelihood, or my petunia cataract's nappy) grown-up in organ-grinder to explore new pottery fortes of livelihood. The madhouse worship in the font mantel: it takes a nuance (n) and replaces it with the 7th font workhouse in the differential. You can also adjust the fortune to get a different gargoyle between the ink workhouse and the retch, malfunction for more or less eccentric retches."

Chalet fanfare email? My petunia cataract's nappy?
Enjoy, and feel free to email me your favourite results!

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Shoes again

Clarks Yarra Highly Realistic
Throwing in the book I'm supposed to be writing about at the moment, you know, for the sake of realism.

via Hold Your Horses.

Worishofer Highly Realistic
2nd attempt at polyvore realism, I actually own that blouse!

I have a 'fashion confession' to make: I used to absolutely hate wedge shoes. Between the age of 10 and 17 (that means post-Spice Girls phase, if you know what I mean in terms of footwear)*, if you had told me I'd be ogling two pairs of wedges for the upcoming winter boots-less seasons, and would be willing to buy them brand new (and not just 'new to me'), I would have snort-laughed at your prediction. I used to absolutely hate wedges; actually, I've never liked shoes veering on whatever clumpy edge possible. As a child, I didn't like them in general, but my views have fortunately matured to just not liking them on my feet, and often liking them on other people's feet but just not knowing what to do with my extremities if they don't look like a human version of Aubrey Beardsley's characters'.

However, things changed as I started working in retail over five years ago. While looking for suitable shoes to support all my aching joints (I never told you, I'm actually 85), I stumbled upon a lovely pair of 70s peach-pink loafers with a slim stacked leather wedge heel. I told myself: "Wonderful! They're comfortable, and they'll match with everything! Look, they're the exact same colour as my untanned skin!" (yes, this was in mid-July). I still have them, and have not looked back. I mean, you wouldn't see me with creepers or plateau heels, but a modest "form follows function" wedge has an irresistible charm that goes well with the promise of comfort.

I'm incredibly late in the game for both pairs, seeing as celebrities have been spotted wearing them over the past two years (anyway, Google images told me so), but a good design is a good design, and as I very rarely buy anything that was not pre-owned, I have a bit of an excuse. I also went very close to buying Clarks' classic desert boots 3 years ago, decided the outside seam might be too dangerous for me, but still kept on looking for something similar.

I think that if I buy any two pairs of new shoes this year, it'll be the Clarks Originals Yarra desert boots (I wouldn't mind owning pretty much all of the Yarra collection, but I do have to limit myself), and Worishofer's 583 laced sandals in 'tobacco'. Not that I really need boots, mind you, they're a well-furnished category in my closet, but a second pair of sandals wouldn't do me any bad. Now, for the boots, in wine leather or black suede?
*While I was in the process of writing this post, Katie of Are You Awake? wrote a post about Spice Girls shoes!