Category: Greater and Lesser Culture

“Hath not a Jew… something?”

Over the holidays this past year, Jan and I had discussed that we would like to get to Stratford this season. I hadn’t gone in ages, and Jan and Rob had been living out of the province. We took a look at the site with this year’s fare, and saw that The Merchant of Venice was on the schedule. Hmm… Then we saw that Graham Greene was scheduled to play Shylock. Sold!

Additionally, Andrew’s birthday is August 3rd (I didn’t get a chance to blog a happy birthday, but I didn’t forget entirely…), and so we decided (with his agreement) to get tickets for that Friday and we would do dinner and the play. Delightful. We even splurged on the good tickets. w00t!

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Read.

“When I started teaching, at University College, Dublin many years ago, I urged students to believe that the merit of reading a great poem, play, or novel consisted in the pleasure of gaining access to deeply imagined lives other than their own. Over the years, that appeal, still cogent to me, seems to have lost much of its persuasive force. Students seem to be convinced that their own lives are the primary and sufficient incentive. They report that reading literature is mainly a burden. Those students who think of themselves as writers and take classes in “creative writing” to define themselves as poets or fiction writers evidently write more than they read, and regard reading as a gross expenditure of time and energy. They are not open to the notion that one learns to write by reading good writers.” — Dennis Donoghue, Defeating the poem

I wholeheartedly agree (not with the students). Especially having seen what passes for A grade assignments from university-bound high school students these days…

Also, some timely commentary by Sherry.

Just what’re they trying to say here…?

Went over to Amazon.ca this morning to look up a book, and based on my recent browsing history, this was the page that greeted me:

Amazon.ca screenshot small

(Click on the image for the full-size version.)

Nothing like a website implying you’re a boozy (cartoon?) slut with terrible taste in men… 🙂

(The wine book is quite good, btw — she’s accessible and not at all pretentious, but has an obvious passion for the subject. And, amusingly, it wasn’t actually Mr. Perfect I was looking for. It was Mr. Impossible. Heh.)

Harrowing escape!

I was AT THAT STORE last fall. It’s where I decided that using the 17″ MacBook Pro was too much like computing with a pastry board and settled on the 15″. Anyway, I could have died! Or been made one of their brain-seeking horde!

At the same time, re. store security, I heartily approve of Apple’s provision of a zombie-positive environment. A very welcoming and progressive move in these right-wing times for our neighbours to the south. (Granted, we ARE talking San Francisco here.)

(Link courtesy of this fine lady, whose obsession with zombies never fails to amuse me… though I can’t decide if she and Andrew would get on like gangbusters, or if her illogical hysteria towards the subject — one of his great loves — would just frustrate him excessively.)

Quantum Facebook

One interesting thing that has come from my accidental foray into the Facebook world (still blaming you, DAN), is that my devotion to the ideas of Joss Whedon and Dr. Who has grown. Sure, I could devote myself to quantum theory, but that’s not as much fun. (Let’s see Sherry and Andrew try to come down on one side or the other of THAT argument!)

You see, Facebook, as part of the morbid fascination I find in it, offers me proof that there are an infinite number of dimensions/universes/worlds out there. Proof that every decision or action creates forking paths, and that this me, and the me I was, and the me I will be, can only explore one path at a time.

Facebook gives me a glimpse into the other paths, too. Paths I was once part of, or paths of people I once knew. Sometimes what, where, and who those people are now makes sense; sometimes there are small surprises; and some of them have become what I never would have expected.

A lot of people I knew in high school have popped up, ranging from dear friends to people I never really liked. For the most part, I have lost touch with the friends, but some of them have remained close to each other. Hell, some of them have married each other. Diverging paths, certainly.

I get to see what kind of dynamics I might be involved in had we stayed close, or wonder what our friendships would be like now, how they would have evolved in the span of 15 years. I have wondered a bit, too, what it would be like to pick up a friendship with a 15-year break in the middle. It’s much harder to imagine that. What would we talk about? I guess because, if there was really that much there to support the friendship, and if our lives were really meant to remain intertwined, they would have done.

Facebook has also allowed me to plot out the path my life has taken in a nice, visual way. Here are friends, aquaintances, co-workers… And the people I can see remind me of the people who aren’t there (either because they don’t have Facebook profiles or for whatever reason). Man, my life has taken me in some interesting directions. LinkedIn has a bit of the same effect, but not in the same scope, I guess since, overall, my career hasn’t been that long yet, and because it’s only focused on one segment of my social sphere: co-workers.

Of course, that strangest of all social phenomena has occurred, too: the crossing of the streams. People I know who have met each other through me, or people I know who happen to know each other (or used to). I’m a lot more comfortable with that than I used to be, which is probably a good thing, since social networking makes it ever more likely to occur. The sticky issue that has replaced it is family. Specifically, how much access to what I consider my “real” life do I grant them. For now, there’s a reason I removed my website URL from my profile…

Proof that the Baby Jesus loves me.

It mitigates the pain of getting up at 5:30am when you bite into a City Cafe Bakery brownie that’s still warm and leaves a happy melted chocolate mess all over your hands.

*sigh*

Also, my car didn’t make me high this morning. And Jim B might yet bring us a hockey team. (Hamilton! Hammer!)

More also, this lady has a new shop on King St. in downtown Kitchener. I suspect her cupcakes will be too beautiful to gaze upon with the naked eye. Seriously, I would get married just to be able to order one of her cakes.

And according to the kw.eats group, there’s another new bakery farther down, across from the Kitchener Market, called Aura, though I don’t know anything else about it yet.

Oh, and on the 27th (that’s Sunday), where’s a whole pile of fun going on around town to mark Waterloo’s 150th birthday. (Tagline: “We’re a more intelligent community than you. Nyah! Have some cake!”) Much to see and do. C’mon out!

“Her face was nothing but red.”