Saturday, May 30, 2009

On asparagus and shrimp sandwiches: they are delicious

Two pieces of bread (any kind you think is delicious. I used multigrain flax bread, it was nice)

Shrimp (the little kind that you buy cooked at the deli - in the UK, strangely enough, these are called prawns), enough to mound on a piece of bread... half a cup? - mixed together with a spoonful of mayonnaise, a smaller spoonful of dijon, and some salt and pepper

Asparagus, steamed for a few minutes until it is bright green and you can stick a fork into it easily

Mayonnaise that you spread on the piece of bread that the asparagus is going on (optional)

Put all of this together and it equals an amazing, simple, summery lunch.

On excitement

Image by flickr user moleitau (aka Matt Jones)

It is amazing how restorative a Saturday alone can be. I am shocked that it is only 11:47 am. My day has contained unimaginable excitement - but all in my head.

Recently, I have been waking up early, then looking at the clock and going back to sleep. Every time it happens, I have a thought, in the tiny area of my brain that is actually awake, that I should start getting up when my body seems to want me to. This morning, when the tiny tap of a crow landing on the roof made its way through to my consciousness, I looked at the clock and saw that it was only 7 am. It was Saturday, and if I wanted to I could turn over and sleep until noon. Instead, I got up.

I had one thought.

Yoga or write. These are the two things I should be doing every morning that I almost never do. I don't know why I find it so hard to do these things that I absolutely enjoy. I must be punishing myself in some way, making myself slog from sleep to work (or television) without any time to get in touch with myself or the world.

Yoga seemed too hard, and writing, in comparison, easy. So I picked up my laptop and started typing away into my journal, the one where I can say anything, no matter how mundane (funny that I would feel worse about posting something boring than about posting something embarassing). I wrote for a bit, then got up and did some easy yoga poses.

I did things like put away dishes and read bits of my book (My Last Movie Star, by Martha Sherrill, which I am not enjoying as much as The Ruins of California, but I am enjoying), because I wanted to wait until the library opened to go out into the world. At quarter to ten I walked over, got a coffee, and sat with a pile of books. They've renovated the library recently, and it was full of windows and light and chairs to sit in, and I basked in the glow of sunshine and words. Somehow everything lined up; my caffe misto tasted delicious and I was suddenly full of ideas and energy and excitement. About a number of things. Well, two: what to do when I finish my MLIS (it involves writing more, and potentially more school - a fact I'm sure will delight my parents, and the critic inside me who thinks that I must not be cut out for the "real world", until I realize I'm already there, and doing okay by my true standards), and a blog idea (it also involves writing more, and is a big idea that I want to unveil in time). These two ideas started thrumming in me as I sat there. I could feel them in my pulse. I don't remember the last time I was so excited about something(s). Certainly not in the past few years.

All this in one Saturday morning. The weekend, books, sunshine and coffee - my favourite combination.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Ruins of California

I had to finish this book tonight, and I had to write about it.

I picked it up at Indigo a couple of weeks ago, where a paperback copy was sitting in the cheap section. I liked the cover, and the praise on the back was so effusive that I had to buy it, even though I'm trying not to buy too many books. It sat on the chair beside my bed for a week or so, and then I picked it up.

Set in California during the 70s, it is a coming of age story told from the perspective of Inez Ruin, a "baton of a girl" who shifts back and forth between the suburban life she shares with her mother and grandmother, and her visits to her father (and an array of his girlfriends) in San Francisco. Inez is among my favourite characters I've read lately. She is so well drawn and true, and whenever I opened the book I could feel myself stepping into her skin - I could feel its warmth. It is fascinating to move with Inez from childhood, through adolescence, and into adulthood - the changes in her are both significant and subtle, and they happen so organically that it feels like life, the way that things just happen; things are one way and then, gradually, suddenly, they are another.

This is a book about love in all of its forms, but mostly about love in families, and the complications that love entails. Every moment I spent reading it felt like... being in the best parts of the world.

My favourite line: Her shyness and awkwardness weren't an obstacle to knowing her anymore, but an opening where you could see her heart.

Highly recommended. As Carolyn See wrote in her Washington Post Book World review, "[The Ruins of California] isn't for everyone, but I don't want to know the people it isn't for."


Thursday, May 21, 2009

I like talking about myself. Or typing, rather.

Danette posted an interview meme (it doesn't really feel like a meme though - too tailor made for each individual) in which she was interviewed, and invited others to be interviewed in turn by her. I raised my hand (and pumped it furiously in the air), because I love being interviewed. At King's a bunch of the girls on my floor are in the journalism program, and I was occasionally interviewed (with tape recorders, even), and it was so fun. I wish job interviews were more like this:

1. If the last thing you ate was turned into a short film, what would it look like?
It would be from the perspective of the camera centred in the middle of the table and it would continuously rotate, showing a 360 degree viewing of alternate bites of caprese sandwich, sips of latte, and laughs, all out in the sunshine.
2. What was your favourite Halloween costume as a child? As an adult?
My favourite costume as a kid was when I was about 11 and went as a hanged person, and wandered all over the place holding on to this giant wooden thing that held a noose I made - I was sort of afraid I was going to trip and it was actually going to hang me. But it didn't. From an adult perspective my favourite childhood costume was when I was say, four? And had to wear a patch on one eye sometimes. So I went as a pirate. My favourite adult costume? Annie Hall, for sure. Because I had no idea what I was going to be until 7 pm that night, at which point I tracked down pants, a shirt, a vest, and a tie. No one knew who I was, but the costume made me so happy.
3. If you won the lottery where you get $1000 every week for the rest of your life, how would your life change?
I would probably keep working, doing the same things I'm doing, and invest/save at least half of the money every week. The rest would be saved for short term things like vacations and whatnot - and I would be happy to know that if ever I were in a job or situation I wasn't fond of - I could let go of it without stressing TOO much about money.
4. Have you ever written (sent or unsent) or received a love letter?
No. I've written and received a few like letters. And some heartbroken ones. I've only written those ones.
5. What do you want right now, more than anything else?
To be floating. Probably in beautiful water, but on air would be interesting too.
Yay for interviews! Thanks Danette! Now - do you want to be interviewed? Yes? Yes you do? (I love asking questions, too - I am a ridiculously curious person.) Well, tell me so in the comments - leave me your email address; I will email you five questions that I have invented for you (you); you answer on your blog - linking back to my blog (if you want... I guess you don't have to); you then post the rules and offer to interview other people (and on and on); you interview them.

Et voila.

I want to interview people. Let me interview you.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Back in Vancouver

Photo by Flickr user Spatial Mongrel

I've been back in Vancouver for the past few days, and am still on a high from the ridiculous amount of beauty to be had in this city. Any time anyone asks me about Halifax my response is something along the lines of: "Mumble mumble... look at the trees... look at the mountains... sigh..." The cherry blossoms aren't as full as in the picture above (they've mostly all fallen, or are in the process of falling, which is its own kind of lovely), but the green is all there.

Today I had a delightfully Vancouver-y day, replete with Japanese things. First, for lunch, Japadog, accompanied by an iced matcha latte at Blenz. Then (after voting - yay! That deserves an exclamation mark) Japanese food for dinner. So fresh. So affordable (compared to Halifax). Miso soup at my favourite Halifax sushi place costs $4.50. At my favourite Vancouver sushi restaurant? $1.50. And the rest of the menus shows similar divergences. Anywho: Vancouver food = still delightful.

I started my summer job yesterday. So far it is going really well. It is a very small office, and I really enjoy the people I am working with. Plus I get to wear jeans. I kind of hope I never have a job where I can't wear jeans. I love jeans. I want more jeans. Jeans jeans jeans.

That is pretty much all. Just wanted to check in.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Adorable asian haircuts

For all the short haired people (or people who want to be short haired) I absolutely love this hair website.

The long haired pictures are (sigh) all fairly boring, lots of curly ends and bangs, but then that's because long hair is boring. The short hair section, however, is packed full of the most adorable little haircuts ever.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Welcome to May

On my list of ever evolving life goals I have this point: Have a magnolia tree in my yard. I walked outside the other day to see bits of pink emerging from what until then had been hard greenish buds. I looked closer. A magnolia tree. Right outside my window.

The top rectangular window there is mine.


I would like to continue having Magnolia trees in all of my yards from this point on, please and thank you.


Email me at thenewisthetrue (at) gmail .com
My photo
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.