Les Semaines

January 25, 2004

what I'm thinking and doing § what I'm listening to § what I'm reading
what I'm writing § retrospective: old journal

 §

Musical Friday

Friday night was a wonderful surprise. We went for an in-store appearance by The Fiery Furnaces at a local record store, Sonic Boom. It was fun to hear them live, but they really were plugging a later appearance at a club. Frankly, I'm too old for club shows these days--they just make me cranky--the smoke! the late hours! the bad also-appearing bands! the scenesters! the waiting! the standing!--so I was glad to get a chance to hear them live. Talked to them for a few minutes afterwards and bought a copy of their disc to have them sign it for a friend (as you know, we've been enjoying our own copy for quite a while).

Afterwards, we went for sushi nearby and had hamachi (my favourite), edamame, and a plethora of excellent rolls. We then decided to go to a nearby teashop for apple chais. It was cold and rainy and they sounded perfect. So we found a table and sat and talked and gradually more people arrived. The chai shop has had music there in past, so we weren't exactly surprised when Jim and Tamar recognized Amy Denio ( might have recognized her had I not had my back to her table). And so we waited a while and she went on stage with a percussionist, Jane Hall. We were treated to several of our favourite Amy Denio songs, including "Salvatore", "When Bush Was Head of the CIA", and a song about slugs (AKA naked slime). What a delight! I would have liked to stay for the following act, had I known it was Myshkin, but I was away from this week's necessary drugs, my contacts were drying out, and the cats hadn't had their dinner yet. So home we went.

The week was otherwise full of the Clarion West annual general meeting Sunday night, preceded by a board meeting. The meeting was followed by Kelley Eskridge (author of Solitaire (see my October 13, 2002 entry for comments) reading a new and delightful short story.

Oh, and I had a dental appointment. Look, Ma, no cavities!

last week's thinking and doing § next week's thinking and doing

Listening

Whoo hoo! The Fiery Furnaces live! And Amy Denio! (See .)

Well, after I missed Myshkin live I decided I needed to hear the disc I have of hers again, to impress on myself how sad I was to miss her live. rosebud • bullets indeed made me very sad to have missed her, and I've played it obsessively since then. It's a lively mix of folky/country/jazzy pop. The songwriting is mostly knockout, and I find several of the songs inhabiting my mind at unexpected moments. And the production is brilliant. What a great energetic album! One commentator says that they invented gypsy torch punk, and that may describe this album quite well.

last week's listening § next week's listening

Reading

Edward P. Jones's novel The Known World is fascinating--both for the world it illuminates and for the way it's written. It's a pre-civil war look at slaves and their owners, both white and black, focusing on a family of slaves who bought their freedom and whose son then later owns slaves himself. It shows several different ways people dealt with being slaves, and how their owners and the rest of the people in the culture rationalized it. It's an intriguingly different take on the world and makes it feel quite real as the character deal with the changes in their lives. I was a little uncertain of the events at the end of the novel, simply because I wish they hadn't happened that way--which shows how caught up in it I was. The style was also intriguing as the novel jumped around in time, heavily foreshadowing later changes in the character's lives with simple statements, a style that could have been annoying but wasn't at all and worked well for this book. Recommended.

last week's reading § next week's reading

Writing

Had some time but I've forgotten how to use it. Wasted the time instead. Had a fiction workshop today and sent a lot of time wondering if I should continue with this group, as I'm just not focusing on short fiction, and don't like the bring-a-chapter-once-a-month format for critiquing novels. Should I continue and make myself write a short story once every three months when I have to turn something in for the group? That would probably be good for me, but I'm not sure I want yet another distraction from the novels and the poetry. Yet I don't really want to quit the group. So I toss around the ideas and don't make up my mind.

last week's writing § next week's writing

Retrospective: old journal

The Retrospective Journal is currently on hiatus while I catch up.

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