Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Friday, May 14, 2010

Un cahier d'exercise jaune


I decided to attempt to keep a journal in French while I'm doing the French program, so yesterday I went to the art store to buy a new journal. I wandered around and nothing was quite right, until I found this adorable marigold Semikolon notebook. It's small (about 5x8) and has about 160 pages. The pages are lined, which is the only downside (I really love writing on unlined pages), but the colour and size and adorableness of it win. I also bought three of my favourite pen, the Pilot G2 (I prefer the 5mm, but all they had was the 7) two in black, and, for something new and exciting and different, one in turquoise.

I'm interested to see how this whole writing in French thing will go. I think that maybe my tenuous hold on the language will let me experiment a bit more, and maybe I'll end up with all kinds of dreamy, poetic journal entries. Otherwise there might be lots of, "Mon cahier est jaune. J'aime mon cahier jaune." kind of stuff. We'll see.

J'aime mon cahier jaune.

This is probably my last blog entry before I leave for my program, so... a bientôt.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Colour (or color)


Do you want to know how much I love Color Collective? To the moon and back. So simple: beautiful images distilled to perfect colour palettes. I love encountering these small bursts of colour, energy and inspiration when I go through my blog feeds in the morning. 

Monday, May 10, 2010

Je cherche la musique Francaise.

In less than a week I will be completely immersed in French. Eep.

The Canadian government has a program through which students can do a five week french (or English, if they are a native French speaker) immersion program. Next Sunday I will be making my way to l’Université Sainte-Anne, a small French language university in Pointe-de-l'Église (Church Point), Nova Scotia.

A few weeks ago I received my "passport", a little blue book filled with information. And rules. Until that point I hadn't really thought about what French immersion actually meant. Sure, I realized I would be speaking French exclusively, but there was a line in the passport that made me realize the broader implications. Under the heading Stereo it says, "Portable stereos are permitted, but use headphones to avoid disturbing others or imposing your musical tastes on others. French music must be played at all times. Professeurs and animateurs may check headphones to ensure that English music is not being played."

So I need something to listen to. In French.

The Internet led me (somehow) to my favourite find, Ô Paon, aka Geneviève Castrée. She formerly made music under the name Woelv, and I love that stuff, too. You'll like it if you like slightly weird, haunting vocals and overlapping sounds that make you feel like you're listening to music while drifting underwater in the shallows of a dark ocean.



My friend J recommended Coeur de Pirate, the Montreal-based darling of the francophone (and otherwise) indie scene. And she is indeed darling. I downloaded her album, and while it's short, it's lovely. I also highly recommend listening to her covers of I Kissed a Girl and Umbrella - her voice is gorgeous and a bit smoky, and I love piano-based covers of pop songs.



My friend A then got me into the 60s French girl pop singers à la Françoise Hardy (LOVE the audience in this one).



And that's where I currently stand. I have a small selection of girl singers to listen to (people have recommended other stuff, but these are the ones I've liked best. I guess that's not surprising given what I listen to most in English). I'm definitely still on the lookout for some more selections, so if anyone has any recommendations, please send them my way.

Oh, I'm guessing the no English rule applies to blogging, too. I'm aiming to possibly, maybe do some updating en français. We'll see how it goes.

Oh! Also, I am going to need to find some French novels to read. Any thoughts?

And yes, a bit nervous, but très excited. 

Sunday, May 9, 2010

On figs

 photo by flickr user suttonhoo

I  came across a quote from Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar while reading an article in Vanity Fair about the Barbizon Hotel for Women (where all the brightest young ladies stayed while trying to make their mark on Manhattan, including Ms. Plath when she interned at Mademoiselle in 1953):

I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story.  From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked.  One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn't quite make out.  I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn't make up my mind which of the figs I would choose.  I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.

Now, I swear I'm not depressed, but this passage so perfectly sums up that feeling of overwhelming possibility that comes with being young and jobless (or rather, job-free as I like to call it). I could do anything - but which anything should I try? And what will I be missing out on if I do?

I am such a teenage girl sometimes.

Really, I know what I want. To be a film librarian/screenwriter/novelist/blogger/TV host/epicure/kind person.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Order of Myths


The men's faces are covered by masks. The man on the left, the one speaking, wears a satiny costume. His mask is lacquer shiny, pale, with rosy cheeks and a wide mouth. He looks like an overgrown porcelain doll. "We have no trouble with the blacks," he says. "The blacks and the whites get along fine." The old man next to him, his eyes covered by a silver mask tucked under his baseball cap, stares mutely ahead.

This was the moment that I became completely captivated by Margaret Brown's 2007 documentary The Order of Myths.

In 1703, 15 years before New Orleans was even founded, Mobile, Alabama was home to the first Mardi Gras in America. Over 300 years later the celebration is still central to the city's cultural life and identity. Or, perhaps, identities. Mobile's Mardi Gras is racially segregated. Two organizations, one white and one black, mount dazzling, separate events.

Brown's film navigates the jewel laden, liquor soaked phenomenon that is Mardi Gras in Mobile, exploring both sets of traditions. The energy of Mardi Gras suffuses every frame, and a current of tension is never far from the surface. Every moment is significant. Every gesture, and every slip of the tongue, feels weighty. Brown shows us a vibrant, complicated part of American life. I sat rapt, pulled into the narrative, until the film's final moments. And when it ended, I wanted nothing more than for it to keep going. I also felt the intense need to try a moonpie. Apparently this is a completely normal reaction.

Taut, intricate, beautiful, fascinating. 

9/10.

Monday, May 3, 2010

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Email me at thenewisthetrue (at) gmail .com
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Toronto, Canada
I think I might be addicted to books. And noodles. I need the ocean. I want to know everything. Almost. I love love. And loving things. Like love. And like.

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