Friday, June 29, 2012

Fridy Fiction: Summer Reads by Alex Snider

I am on vacation, although I prefer the term holiday, in Northern Ontario at the family cottage. It is unbelievably beautiful and serene and I sleep in a little screened in cabin on the water where I can hear the loons, the white-throated sparrow, the waves lap and the poplars rustle in the breeze. I even shared a moment with a deer this morning while I walked down the road, picking wild flowers. We looked into each other's eyes and for a brief moment I understood the universe. Then a car came and I had to yell at it to get off the damn road (the deer, not the car – I'm not in Toronto, on my bike). Anyway, it is wonderful and I am thisclose to being relaxed (it is a process, often uncomfortable). Since we're a couple days from July and the official 'start' of summer, kicked off by Canada Day and the 4th of July, I thought what better Friday Fiction than a list of summer reads. It will be a short list because the sun is hot and I will need to dive in the water pretty soon. /end brag

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Vacation Day One: Should've Stayed in Bed by Alex Snider

You have taken the Toronto–Winnipeg flight dozens of times. You have taken the subway–bus route to get to the airport just as many. IT IS SO EASY. But, you being you, you procrastinate and, you not being you, pack and get prepared early so when it's time to leave you are in a frenzy over your missing iPod, which is already tucked into your carryon. You leave at 4:37, your flight is at 6. You miss check-in. You miss your flight. (By only five minutes.) You have flown too close to the sun and like Icarus, you are denied flight.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Anna Karenina Trailer: Grumble Posted by Alex

Friday Fiction: Musical Novels by Alex Snider

NXNE is over and my ears have stopped ringing, my dogs have stopped barking and I've been drinking a shit-tonne of wheatgrass smoothies in an attempt to correct the liver damage but like any live music junky, I'm missing my fix. NXNE is the most magical time of year and despite the length of recovery time it takes (gets longer every year), I always go through withdrawal, missing the crushing crowds, the heat, the travelling from venue to venue and the music, man, the fuckin' music. This year, to deal with the withdrawal, I'm going to dip into my reserve of music novels for a less demanding, easier on the ears and liver rock experience.

Monday, June 18, 2012

NXNE Day Five: The Things We Carried by Alex

I found this plant stand on the street, while walking to meet my friends for brunch at The Lakeview yesterday. I carried it when I went to pick up my bike at The Garrison, where I left it the night before (so responsible, no drinking and riding! Totally kidding, my friend made me leave it and paid for the cab, while I cursed him). I carried it to the park where we saw the amazing Army Girls and adorable Luke LeLonde and Gregory Pepper (who had a song about suicide that my girl Dorothy Parker would have seriously dug). I sat beside it while I longed to join in on the frisbee circle that was happening beyond us, the competition burning my soul. I carried it to shelter when it started to rain and we were struck up for conversation by an artist/writer/bike visionary ("it handles like a Porsche", dude, that's duct tape) who is writing a realistic moralistic horror romance and had with him Twilight, his rat with a massive butt tumour. My friends carried it on the streetcar to Yonge and Dundas Square, where I locked it to my bike and stuck the pots in my bag and rocked it the fuck out to Killer Mike and Ghostface and Raekwon (!!!!!!!! SO, SO, SO, SO GOOD!). 

I continued carrying it after two of the pots were smashed by some of the 8000 people at YDS. I carried it on my bike to The Village Idiot and explained to our server that yes, it was street garbage but I love it and yes, we had already used it to keep our park beers in. I cursed it when said server used that as a talking point every time he swung by and also insisted on getting as close as he could to me without actually touching me. I carried it home, fingers crossed that I wouldn't need to brake or use my bell; I rode one handed the whole way doing bicep curls because I have been too busy with NXNE to keep up with my weightlifting routine. I am now going to have to keep this thing with me forever, it's like our bond was forged in the fires of Mordor but in a happy way.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

NXNE Day Four: Don't Cry For Me, I'm Already Dead by Alex

Too much booze, too little sleep makes me volatile and neurotic (so unique right?! But I am already super volatile and neurotic so... I don't know, get out a tiny violin or something). I have nothing to offer anyone anymore. Nothing but pouts and watery-eyes so I'm gonna keep this simple and just post videos of some of the bands I saw this week, before I go out and do it all again (Army Girls in the park and then RAEKWON AND GHOSTFACE AT YDS (ew) !!). I just started crying a little which is strange only because I feel nothing. Nothing.

Then and Now by Alex

The Saddest Watering Can in the World Posted by Alex

Elephant watering can with drippy eye-glue? Absolutely. Never change, Honest Ed's, never change. Shit, she looks so soulful.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

NXNE Day Three: It was Preciously Woven With Zooey Deschanel's Eyelashes by Alex Snider

Well yesterday was pretty great, even in addition to cancer-free bills of health, with the Elwins in the park, amazing comedy at the St Lawrence Centre for the Arts and then the F-Holes at the Monarch Tavern to wrap it all up.

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Opposite of Grief by Alex Snider

What happens after you find out that one of the four most beloved people in the world to you is officially cancer-free:

NXNE Day Two: Late Texts, In The Dark by Alex Snider

It's the big North by Northeast music festival here in Toronto this week (which I'm covering for The Little Red Umbrella – my first review of the ever fantastic Tomboyfriend is here!) which means hanging in the park all day, watching bands, then riding from venue to venue, seeing a band every hour from about 8 or 9 on. It also means a lot of cocktails because, I don't know, social lubrication? Something to do with my hands? It tastes good? 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Doris and Mona Have a Picnic as Told by Cormac McCarthy by Alex and Allison

Doris and Mona is a segment brought to you by Alex and her friend Allison and accessories and props from the store they work at. These are the displays they make, and these are their stories. 

Maturing as Seen Through 30 Books by Alex Snider

There are a lot of 'books to read before you're 30' lists floating around these days, lists which are typically Western-centric and sorely lacking in any voices other than straight, White dudes. I guess that makes sense as the Western canon is made up almost entirely of those guys (all very worth-while, amazing books, don't get me wrong!). Personally, I'm less interested at this point in what I should read than in my own reading history and the story that it tells (also, in what I want to read). Looking back over my twenties reading lists and the hundreds of books I've read I can see distinctly how I've grown through the ways in which my reading priorities have shifted. I can track when I've discovered a genre or author and, like wildfire, devoured every work I can get my hands on. Adversely I can see when I exhaust a genre or get my fill. I can pinpoint when I was obsessed with the Modern Library Top 100 list, and when I stopped worrying about how many I've read. I can pinpoint when I realized that I wasn't reading enough women authors. I can pinpoint when social justice became a major part of my life. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

A Few. Texts I've. Sent by Alex Snider

My phone! My phone. *shakes fist* 

So, mildly helpful thing that it does is that after two spaces, it adds a period and capitalizes the next letter. Great except the space key on my phone keeps sticking, so there are all these random periods inserted into all my texts. This really irritated me until I just embraced it and started imagining Christopher Walken reading them:

Friday, June 8, 2012

How Not to Collaborate or How I Got Over My Crush On Wayne Coyne by Alex Snider

One of the many, many tweets about the beef between Erykah Badu and Wayne Coyne states that it's really hard to pick a side between two amazing artists. I agree with half that sentence. Both Erykah Badu and The Flaming Lips are massively talented, visionary musicians. Both are among my favourites of all time. But I disagree strongly that it's hard to pick a side. 

Friday, June 1, 2012

Flaming Lips and Erykah Badu: "The First Time I Saw Your Face Posted by Alex Snider

*UPDATE* Alright, so the video has been pulled and now we know why, because Wayne Coyne did not have Erykah Badu's permission to publish the video. I'm writing a longer post about the issues and in the meantime I've taken down the picture of Badu I screen capped from the video. I'm sincerely sorry for taking part in what seems to have been the appropriation and exploitation of two Black women's bodies. Shame on Coyne and the Flaming Lips.

Losing My Edge, the Kids Are Coming Up From Behind by Alex Snider

I was riding home from a conference last night at around 11 and had to ring my bell 8 or 9 times at a group of 17-18 year olds who were wandering, drinking on the road to get out of my way. One of them made fun of my helmet and t-shirt that had 'volunteer' emblazoned on the back. At first I wished I always rode with a giant bull whip so I could go all Indiana Jones on people who said/did things that stuck in my craw but that would be inconvenient and illegal. Then I wished I had said something to the tune of "whatever, I can still bring the party. Hard" or "my closet is full of leopard print" or just screamed "you don't know me". But any of those would have only been terrible and would not have convinced anyone of my coolness. I probably would have rode into the curb if I said anything. So instead, I'm just resigning myself to my new status in the world: yeah, I can (probably) still chug a beer but I also wear a helmet and care about things like volunteering for the TRC.