Categories
Music

Listened to No Cities Left

Listened No Cities Left from Tumblr

Initial Release Date: April 12, 2003

I was super into this album in 2004/5ish. I haven’t especially liked anything they put out in the past ten years, and haven’t listened to this album in its entirety since 2007, per last.fm. But, their email list is so infrequent I’m apparently still on it 😂 Got an email about the lead singer’s new solo project, didn’t like it, but got the inkling to give this a listen and I’m digging it tonight.

 

Liking Warm and Sunny Days but it doesn’t have a music video 😉

 

Categories
Food Travel

A contrast in food reviews

Watched 2020 US MRE Menu 20 Sausage Peppers & Onions Review & 2019 Hashbrowns w Bacon Taste Test Comparison from YouTube

The newest US MRE menu for 2020 is a hit – but is it better than the previous Menu #20, Hashbrowns with Bacon?

I enjoy this guy’s earnest, thoughtful, appreciative reviews of MREs.

 

This woman and her mom have a cute rapport. She especially seems to be good at describing flavors — I feel like she has more taste buds than I do 😂 Ok she’s just put more attention and thought into noticing and describing flavor. I like her mom’s fun ways of describing sensations as she eats.

We went to Granville Island once but it was cold and rainy and we weren’t hungry so we only wandered around for an hour 🤷‍♀️ But we did take one of the cute ferries to get there 😄

Categories
Comics Memoir

Read Ducks

Read Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands

Before there was Kate Beaton, New York Times bestselling cartoonist of Hark A Vagrant fame, there was Katie Beaton of the Cape Breton Beatons, specifically Mabou, a tight-knit seaside community where the lobster is as abundant as beaches, fiddles, and Gaelic folk songs. After university, Beaton heads out west to take advantage of Alberta’s oil rush, part of the long tradition of East Coasters who seek gainful employment elsewhere when they can’t find it in the homeland they love so much. With the singular goal of paying off her student loans, what the journey will actually cost Beaton will be far more than she anticipates.

Arriving in Fort McMurray, Beaton finds work in the lucrative camps owned and operated by the world’s largest oil companies. Being one of the few women among thousands of men, the culture shock is palpable. It does not hit home until she moves to a spartan, isolated worksite for higher pay. She encounters the harsh reality of life in the oil sands where trauma is an everyday occurrence yet never discussed. Her wounds may never heal.

Beaton’s natural cartooning prowess is on full display as she draws colossal machinery and mammoth vehicles set against a sublime Albertan backdrop of wildlife, Northern Lights, and Rocky Mountains. Her first full-length graphic narrative, Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands is an untold story of Canada: a country that prides itself on its egalitarian ethos and natural beauty while simultaneously exploiting both the riches of its land and the humanity of its people.

A powerful memoir about a complex subject that she carries complicated feelings about. She handles the telling with compassion and sensitivity despite the terrible experiences she endured. I’m of an age with her and though I never went through anything remotely close to that bad, and I didn’t have the albatross of student loans, it pisses me off that the first years after college (at least in the mid-2000s) seem to be universally wearing and exploitative, yet we all know we have to put up with it. Why does our society have to work this way? There’s a cathartic moment towards the end where she tells truth to power even though it makes no real change; the companies care as little for the impact on their workers as they do the ducks and the First Nations people downstream. Everything is done in the name of deniability and preventing liability.

Categories
Romance

Read The Long Game

Read The Long Game (Game Changers, #6)

Ten years.

That’s how long Shane Hollander and Ilya Rozanov have been seeing each other. How long they’ve been keeping their relationship a secret. From friends, from family…from the league. If Shane wants to stay at the top of his game, what he and Ilya share has to remain secret. He loves Ilya, but what if going public ruins everything?

Ilya is sick of secrets. Shane has gotten so good at hiding his feelings, sometimes Ilya questions if they even exist. The closeness, the intimacy, even the risk that would come with being open about their relationship…Ilya wants it all.

It’s time for them to decide what’s most important—hockey or love.

It’s time to make a call.

Oops, despite being the first sentence on the Goodreads page, I missed that this was a sequel 😂 That explains why some things I thought should have been scenes were not 😅

One little piece that I thought got dropped at the end, but otherwise satisfying.

Categories
Comics Fantasy

Read Shadow Life

Read Shadow Life

When Kumiko’s well-meaning adult daughters place her in an assisted living home, the seventy-six-year-old widow gives it a try, but it’s not where she wants to be. She goes on the lam and finds a cozy bachelor apartment, keeping the location secret even while communicating online with her eldest daughter. Kumiko revels in the small, daily pleasures: decorating as she pleases, eating what she wants, and swimming in the community pool. But something has followed her from her former residence—Death’s shadow.

Kumiko’s sweet life is shattered when Death’s shadow swoops in to collect her. With her quick mind and sense of humor, Kumiko, with the help of friends new and old, is prepared for the fight of her life. But how long can an old woman thwart fate?

Not totally what I expected, especially the ending was a surprise.

Shadow Life works as a title on multiple levels — both Death’s Shadow, but also that at the beginning she’s withdrawn from all her friends and family and is living a shadow of her life, and succeeds in her quest when she rebuilds her connections.

Interesting presentation of an old woman as the heroine. She keeps pissing her pants accidentally ☹ She deals with her physical limitations throughout, but refuses to let her intellect be constrained by them, asserting her independence and self-determination.

Her children are obnoxious and controlling, and the way they’re drawn makes them look like they’re about 20, when they’ve got to be in their thirties at least given she’s supposed to be in her late seventies.

Categories
Comics Fantasy

Read Wayward Kindred

Read Wayward Kindred

They say that blood is thicker than water, but you may wish it weren’t, if your mom has to drink animal blood to survive. Home is where the heart is, even if your sister lives in another city–and is a shape-changing monster. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, so how can you know who you’re supposed to be if your parents are a human and a vampire?

Edited by Allison O’Toole (Wayward Sisters), Ashanti Fortson (Heartwood) and Kat Vendetti (Rolled & Told), Wayward Kindred looks at the different ways we can relate to our families, for better or for worse. Inside you’ll find stories of grief and loss, understanding and reconciliation, and telecom contracts, all featuring monsters ranging from the gruesome to the adorable.

A good collection of indie comics! I liked almost all of them. Diverse art styles and stories covering a wide range of “monsters” from authors of all gender identities.

Categories
Art and Design Nature

Geometric Landscapes of Lawren Harris

https://thegroupofseven.ca/lawren-harris/

Categories
Romance

Read Hana Khan Carries On

Read Hana Khan Carries On by Uzma Jalaluddin

Sales are slow at Three Sisters Biryani Poutine, the only halal restaurant in the close-knit Golden Crescent neighbourhood. Hana waitresses there part time, but what she really wants is to tell stories on the radio. If she can just outshine her fellow intern at the city radio station, she may have a chance at landing a job. In the meantime, Hana pours her thoughts and dreams into a podcast, where she forms a lively relationship with one of her listeners. But soon she’ll need all the support she can get: a new competing restaurant, a more upscale halal place, is about to open in the Golden Crescent, threatening Three Sisters.

When her mysterious aunt and her teenage cousin arrive from India for a surprise visit, they draw Hana into a long-buried family secret. A hate-motivated attack on their neighbourhood complicates the situation further, as does Hana’s growing attraction for Aydin, the young owner of the rival restaurant—who might not be a complete stranger after all.

As life on the Golden Crescent unravels, Hana must learn to use her voice, draw on the strength of her community and decide what her future should be.

Hana the narrator makes some really terrible choices and it’s unclear why the love interest would forgive her for them. Interesting retelling of You’ve Got Mail but I was frustrated with the heroine for a good half the book. I liked the family members more than I liked Hana. I wasn’t convinced by the love story, and didn’t think there was enough payoff for a couple reveals at the end.

Categories
Art and Design Comics

Read White Rapids

Read White Rapids by Pascal Blanchet

The rise and fall of a Canadian town. Blanchet seamlessly blends fact and fiction as he weaves together the official history of the town and snapshots of the quotidian life of its residents. Blanchet’s unique, streamlined, retro-inspired aesthetic draws on art deco and fifties modernist design to vividly conjure up idyllic scenes of lazy summer days and crisp winter nights in White Rapids, transporting the reader back to a more innocent time.

wordless spread of two illustrations of the exterior and interior of a hunting cabin in Quebec

cover of White Rapids showing powerlines receding into the distance in tans, browns and orangesLess graphic novel, more historical vignette, almost an exhibition in book form. Honestly this is the type of project I would love to do though I’m not sure how successful it was.

Love the limited color palette and fun period evocative illustration. Clever page layouts and playful uses of type (though I would quibble with some of the type combos).

spread illustrating an alarm being sounded at the dam at White RapidsThis is often how I feel about Drawn & Quarterly books — I’m drawn to their visuals, but the story doesn’t grab me.

What this leaves me with is the community this town lost when it was shuttered. Despite not being fully a story, I thought the ending of this book carried a sense of that loss. Blanchet dedicated several spreads to carry the weight.

illustration of board room meeting with silouhetted figures and illustrated crest of two horses on a shieldI have a promotional postcard of this cover framed with two other postcards I got at 2007 San Diego Comic-Con, a memento of the event. (Hung it in a bathroom for a few years and picked up some water damage.) So in a sense, I’ve been meaning to read this for almost 15 years.

framed postcards of an octopus illustration, cover of Shortcomings, and cover of White Rapids