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Thursday, August 26, 2010
Serious style for book lovers....click on the other views to see inside!
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
I had never been around to the rear of the new-ish Art Gallery of Ontario transformation (Frank Gehry) until last Friday when I found myself with some time to kill between dates. I settled onto a bench on Grange Park and enjoyed the sun and a good book. The back of the gallery is such a contrast to the front, yet almost as interesting. The shots above are from my iPhone, so not the greatest of quality.
Below, an image of the front facade from the AGO website.
Also from the AGO website, a shot of the staircase (above) from the inside.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
I"m reading The Parabolist by Nicholas Ruddock, a highly-acclaimed first novel set in Toronto in the seventies that follows a small group of medical students and their interaction with a Mexican poet (from whence the title comes.) Ruddock is a family physician in Guelph, Ontario, and I've been enjoying the story, not just for the subject matter but for the setting in my adopted city.
The Toronto references are fun, as are the characterizations of the players. Sometimes they intersect. An older couple, parents of two brothers who are in the same class at the medical school, live on Glengrove and the are neighbours to the poet, who lives with his aunt and uncle. One afternoon, the husband looks out an upper storey window and, peering into the neighboring backyard, sees the poet on the receiving end of a sexual act. Late on that afternoon, while weeding his garden, we read
The professor began to feel more composed. He turned his thoughts from Roberto Moreno and the girl to their own bedroom, June lying beside him in the night as they talked and talked as all parents did, the mahogany bed inlaid with mother-of-pearl. They slept and sometimes made love, almost always in the dark, and then he realized, had she seen what he had seen, he could have said to her, to June, wasn't that interesting, what people will do these days, outside?
And she might have said, yes, dear, but I think it's something they do more of these days, oral sex. I read about it in Maclean's.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Monday, August 16, 2010
Friday, August 13, 2010
- We had our final choir rehearsal last night before our participation in the Rosary Procession and Eucharistic adoration at the Marian Shrine of Gratitude this Sunday. We were in a different church hall with rather poor lighting (not to mention a very musty smell). I had to take my glasses off to see my music, and so could not see Joseph, our conductor, very well. But it's all coming together I think. The chant bits are a bit robotic, but I think it'll be a great evening.
- Zouheir gets home tomorrow evening and I need to get the house in order. Things tend to slip a little when he's away, so today will be a big clean-up. I also want to get the curtains in our bedroom hemmed (and by hemmed, I mean ironing on the hemming tape that came with the panels. I've already done the sheers, so it's not a big job. Just six panels. I don't even take them off the rods, but just pull them up onto the ironing board and away we go.
- A couple of times a day, I get hit with the memory that Josephine is no longer with us. Because she lived in Europe, we didn't see her that often. But we spoke to her at least once a week, and she was always available to chat, especially for Zouheir. There will be a mass said for her at St. Ephrem Syrian Catholic Church in Montreal next weekend, so we will be there to sort of host it. The former parish priest, who is now the Bishop of Jerusalem for that rite, is in Montreal and he will say the mass. He knew her well and we are grateful that he will be celebrating that day.
- I got a very nice email from Michael's bass trombone teacher regarding his progress and dedication. Michael picked up this instrument last fall so that he could join the Stage Band at school and had a few lessons from his tuba teacher. But he's heading to music camp at the end of the month and wanted to get some solid teaching in before that, so he's had five weekly lessons so far this summer and he's really improving. (Trust me, I can hear the practicing.) I'm thrilled that he's so keen about music, both playing and listening. He's also started to teach himself piano this summer which is wonderful.
- I am listening to Peter Carey's Parrot and Olivier in America, a wonderful novel with terrific narration by Humphrey Bower. It's set in the 19th century, after the French Revolution, and concerns the son of French aristocrats and the motherless son of an itinerant English printer, who are linked through a series of events and end up travelling to America together. Incredibly rich in period detail and funny as heck, I am enjoying this book immensely. I'm not usually an audio-book reader, but Bower is wonderful at capturing not only the two voices in the novel (one French, one English) but the minor characters as well (women, Americans, a Jewish impresario, etc). I'm a little over halfway through and highly recommend it!
- I met with Sister Bernadette Reis last night of the Daughters of St. Paul. She's doing a retreat in our parish in September and it's going to be dynamite! I'm helping put it together with another Catholic Women's League exec and we're both very excited about it. We're opening it up beyond the parish and hope to get a good crowd out.
- I have stalled on both my quilt and my genealogical studies. I have been preoccupied this week, and while I haven't been particularly busy, I guess I just don't feel like working on either of those things. Bereavement is a funny thing....I thought that these activities would relax and distract me, but I just can't seem to get enough focus to work on them. While I've got the ironing board out to do my curtains, I'll press the squares I've sewn to date and maybe that will get me back on track on the quilt at least. I am scheduled to start two new genealogy courses in September, so I've really got to get the one I'm doing finished soon.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
- 8 cups cubed watermelon
- 1 small Vidalia or other sweet mild onion thinly sliced
- 1/8 cup red wine vinegar
- Kosher salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
- 2 - 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
- mint sprigs for garnish
In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, salt, pepper, and whisk until salt is dissolved. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Add in the chopped mint, taste, and adjust seasonings.
In a large bowl, combine the melon, onion, and feta. Pour the dressing over the melon mixture and toss gently until everything is coated and evenly mixed. Garnish with mint sprigs.via skiptomylou.org
I love this blog (link above). Lots of great ideas for handmade and homemade things in all categories.
I'm going to make this salad when my sweetie returns from his sad trip to Paris. Just the ticket for a warm, summer Sunday.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Monday, August 9, 2010
For those of you who read the blog either via email or in your feedreader, improvements to my blogging platform (Posterous) mean that I can now put a list of links in my sidebar. So if you go to my main page (blog.berkman.ca) you will see, down the right-hand side, a rather lengthy but categorized list of my favorite links.
At the top of the right-hand bar, you'll see a search field that lets you search my blog by keyword(s), and just below that a list of tags that I have attempted to associate with each post. So, for example, if you wanted to see posts about my family, you can click on the "family" tag and it will bring up all the posts that I have (remembered to) tag as such.
Thanks for continuing to read my ramblings. Always feel free to comment on anything you read, either directly at the blog (just click on "comments" at the bottom of the post) or via email or a phone call!
Sunday, August 8, 2010
In the Transfiguration Christ enjoyed for a short while that glorified state which was to be permanently His after His Resurrection on Easter Sunday. The splendor of His inward Divinity and of the Beatific Vision of His soul overflowed on His body, and permeated His garments so that Christ stood before Peter, James, and John in a snow-white brightness. The purpose of the Transfiguration was to encourage and strengthen the Apostles who were depressed by their Master's prediction of His own Passion and Death. The Apostles were made to understand that His redeeming work has two phases: The Cross, and glory—that we shall be glorified with Him only if we first suffer with Him. (quoted at catholicculture.org)
By her death on this feast day, we are reminded that her suffering is over and she is heading to her glorification with Our Lord, His Mother, and the saints that she relied on for intercession.
Saturday, August 7, 2010
Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, Los Angeles, California
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
This is the third novel by Tish Cohen that I have gobbled up: I loved Town House and The Inside Out Girl and so put The Truth About Delilah Blue on my library hold list as soon as I knew it was to be released.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
I saw Bennett's play The Habit of Art a few months ago and have been picking up his writing ever since. I found this audiobook of The Uncommon Reader at my local library and listened to it on a road trip this weekend.
Bennett himself reads the story and it's wonderful. A novella that comes in at under 2.5 hours listening time, this hilarious tale depicts what might happen were the Queen to pick up reading as a habit. After chasing her dogs around back of the Palace, the Queen wanders into the local library's bookmobile and ends up leaving with a novel and promoting a kitchen servant (who was borrowing books at the same time she was) to be her reading assistant. As she becomes more and more of a reader, her behaviour around and outside the palace changes, much to the consternation of her staff, family, and the general public (who are now being asked what they are reading as the Queen does her walk-bys.)
This novel speaks to the power of reading in a gentle and humorous way. The story is quite believable, in a sort of incredulous way, and the reading itself is wonderful, with Bennett voicing the various characters with much aplomb.
I've got books coming in like crazy these days. I won a couple of books from McClelland Books in their July Book Giveaway twitter-fest. They sent me Colm Toibin's Brooklyn and Thomas Trofimuk's Waiting for Columbus, along with a bonus copy of Anne Michaels' The Winter Vault .
And then this weekend, I was notified that I'd won what I believe is the first extra challenge in the fourth annual Canadian Book Challenge (CBC4): I read a book by an author NOT read in (last year's) CBC3 (Terry Fallis' The Best Laid Plans). John Mutford, our CBC host will be sending me a signed copy of Roderick Benns' Mystery of the Moonlight Murder. (I'm tracking my personal progress on CBC4 here.) On top of a spate of holds from my local library, I am well fixed for reading material this month.
I also had a great weekend at the cottage. I read Tish Cohen's The Truth About Delilah Blue, Jessica Grant's Come, Thou Tortoise, (reviews will be up soon) and made progress in Cory Doctorow's For the Win and Nicholas Carr's The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains. I've also started Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions by Dan Ariely. These last three are on my Kindle.