Thursday, May 28, 2009

spook country.

I just finished reading "Spook Country", a novel by seminal cyberpunk author William Gibson, (pictured above as a younger man.) Did I enjoy it? Well, I was up 'til 3:30 last night reading the last 100 pages.

"Spook Country" is set in what seems to be an alternate, slightly more technologically advanced version of our world, yet one that is still extremely familiar. There are PowerBooks, Volkswagens, and unprotected wi-fi networks (FTW). Of course, there are also virtual reality helmets, locative art installations, and strange Japanese narcotics with funky-sounding names like RIZE. The story follows three separate protagonists, each on mysterious and suspenseful journeys that inevitably converge.

I had previously read Gibson's most well known work, "Neuromancer", (a huge influence on the Matrix; check it out,) and what I admire most about his writing is his ability to craft strange and futuristic worlds that, through the usage of certain familiar aspects, feel wholly real. Some of the technologies at use throughout "Spook Country," seem like they could probably be put on the market tomorrow, while many others are already ubiquitous.

Also, the characters are just so darn COOL. One of our main characters, freelance journalist Hollis Henry, was the former singer for a 90's cult band called The Curfew. In the novel, she is on assignment for Node, a European magazine that, for all intents and purposes, doesn't seem to exist. Another, a Cuban-Chinese twentysomething named Tito, plays the keyboards, wears APC, and constantly listens to his iPod Nano.

This book was a blast. Marvelously written, beautifully paced, and, once again, totally cool. I think I may have to check out the rest of his oeuvre later this summer.

PS: I picked up a few books at Value Village the other day, so expect more lit-related posts as I finish said books. First up: Carl Sagan's "Contact". I was going to take a break from sci-fi, but I got about ten pages in and just couldn't stop. SO GOOD. I enjoyed the movie, hopefully the book is even better.

PPS: Sorry about the total lack of updates this week, I've felt like death over the past few days. Feeling better though, so hopefully that's all behind me.



Friday, May 22, 2009


Due to a spur of the moment family gathering, no post today...


Thursday, May 21, 2009

hipster uniform, part one.

I can't count how many times I've seen this outfit (or variations of it) while walking down Queen Street. Oversized plaid shirt, leather belt, denim shorts. Oy.

However, that's not to say that I mind. As irritating as I sometimes find hipsters, I can't help but admit that hipster girls are damn cute. Call it a love/hate relationship. To be quite honest, they were a factor when I decided to go to OCAD. Only after starting classes did I realize that the hipster girls are all in the art faculty. Is it too late to switch?

(By the by, I'll probably be doing more hipster-related posts in the future, hence the "part one." What could be next? Low-slung skinny jeans? Moustaches? Only time will tell.)



who wears short shorts?


One of the many things I've learned over the past few years is that if one has the frame of a twelve year old boy, baggy clothes only serve to emphasize this. This was why I bought my $12 short trunks at H&M last summer, and GAWD do I love them. Now that summer seems to have finally hit the city, I look forward to wearing them whenever possible.

It was a balmy 27 degrees today, so it seemed like the perfect time to bring them out of retirement. This afternoon, I brought my Daffy Duck towel, my straw hat, and my book, (William Gibson's Spook Country,) up to the roof for an impromptu sun-session. I must say, it was absolutely magnificent.

(apologies for not posting yesterday, I came home from work a little late, and decided to sleep instead of posting.)



Tuesday, May 19, 2009

teen idol.

I got no beef with Zac Efron. Really. Dare I say, I may even... like the guy?

Yeah, I know. I (a holier-than-thou, highly judgemental culture snob) should hate him and all he stands for, but I just can't bring myself to. Charming son of a gun. Reading his interview in the May issue of GQ only strengthened my thoughts that, much like the Jonas Brothers, (which I'll save for another post,) beneath the vacuous teen idol persona lies a talented, career-savvy individual. Kid's got a good head on his shoulders, and he seems extremely self-aware, a quality sorely lacking in the entertainment industry. Best of luck, Mr. Efron, and while I won't be rushing out to see 17 Again any time soon, I think you have bigger and better things on the horizon.



Monday, May 18, 2009

born standing up.

"I did stand-up comedy for eighteen years. Ten of those years were spent learning, four years were spent refining, and four were spent in wild success."

These are the first words in Steve Martin's Born Standing Up, his hilarious, heartfelt memoir about his time doing stand-up comedy. What hit me the hardest was how long he spent performing, practicing, and honing his craft before making it big. Reading the book made me think about the amount of time I've put into my craft, and forced me to do a little self-assessment. What was the verdict?

Unfortunately, things looked pretty grim. I wasn't one of those kids who was surrounded by crayons, taking numerous art classes. Even in my high school days, I never really gave myself the time I should have. Damn.

It's not all bad though! I still have time... time that I need to make the most of. That's what this blog is for. Hopefully, this will serve as an informal outlet of sorts, pushing me to create, experiment, and have a little fun. Maybe now I can give myself the education I need, because if slugging it out for years means I can end up like Steve, I'm willing to put in the time.