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The Night Stars Here

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It’s been so long since I’ve seen one of “my bands”. By which I mean a band whose music feels as though it was written in my own hearts blood, I know all the word, every album is lived in a well loved.

The first time I saw Stars it was a NXNE. I was 19 and I was the only one out of my friends who didn’t want to brave the crowd to be front and center. So I found myself in the beer garden adjacent to the stage. I had a few drinks and then spotted a burger truck  with no line in the distance. I grab myself a burger and turn around to realize I am basically in the wings of the stage watching a band I had loved since I was 13. It is still my favorite concert experience.

Last Tuesday night I dragged my very patient husband to see them for the second time and I was just as in love with and enraptured by their performance. There is something so great about a band that truly loves playing together. They were all smiling like goons and Torqil was channeling his best David Byrne self.  It made me remember all the things I love (and some I hate) about seeing live music. It’s really something I need to make more of an effort to do. And hey! …. Someone had a baby on the balcony and not in a Michael Jackson way.

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Books

Witching Savannah Trilogy by JD Horn

Happy Pride Month!

That means I’m going to try to read as many books on my shelf as I can that have LGBT writers, themes, characters etc. In fact I have quite a few on my *hashtag* unread shelf tbr that fit the bill. But I started with a re-read by a gay author, with a gay secondary character.

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The covers of these books kill me every time. Such simple but awe-striking illustrations.

Mercy Taylor hails from a long family line of Savannah Witches but, she herself is completely powerless. Her twin sister Maisie, however is bubbling over with the stuff and is the family’s favorite to take over for the matriarch in her role of “maintaining the line” (hey! thats the title of the book). In the mythology of the series the 12 families of witches created the line to keep demons out of our world and then one member of each family is chosen by drawing lots to be the one to keep the line in check. They are typically the one with the most power and skill, who shows the most promise and aptitude.  But when this lot drawing comes around for Taylor’s again, its Mercy and not Maisie who is chosen.  All kinds of chaos and a lot of twisty turns that I don’t want to spoil.

But the whole series is just really dang readable. It checks so many of my boxes for a summer read. A little Southern Gothic, a little romance, a lot supernatural, easy to read in a lawn chair.

 

 

 

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Books

Packing for a trip.

“Welcome back” I say to myself. It’s been a crazy year since I last took blogging, and writing seriously.  But now that I’m looking at a year off in a few months it feels like time.

So why was the year so crazy? Well…

I got married.

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I made a huge career change from Animal Rescue to Early Childhood Education – which meant school, job hunting, settling in to a new career.

And then I got knocked up.

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Hence the year off.

So here I sit. Plotting out my packing strategy for an upcoming trip to see my friends and family in 3 different provinces. There are so many factors to consider. First: I am cheap as hell – read as carry on only plus stopovers. I am pregnant, so alas I have to keep the weight down to a minimum.

Second: I am traveling to Ontario. Forecast says to expect temperatures of at least 25. But I am also going to Nova Scotia and New Brunswick where they still have frost on the ground in the morning.

Third: I am going for my own baby shower, and my lovely aunt’s wedding. So that is 2 cute outfits, makeup and probably some sensible but cute heels.

Aside from all that the biggest worry I have is how many books to pack. Since becoming pregnant, I find reading on my ipad for more than a few minutes to be migraine inducing. I have a fight from BC to Ontario with a 1 hour stop in the middle, then a flight from Ontario to Halifax with an hour in Montreal before I am reunited with my stored book collection at my parents place.  So how many books to bring….

I’ve settled on 3. Sadly, one is hard cover.

I’ve been meaning to read Maude for ages. It is a fictionalization of Lucy Maude Montgomery’s life and its the perfect book for a trip to the maritimes, since that is where it’s set.

I’m also carting along Love and Other Words. It comes highly recommended and I love a good simple love story for a long journey.

Lastly, the new Ruth Ware. I can get a bit antsy on a long trip (especially now with having to pee literally every 45 minutes) so a thriller that will completely absorb my attention is a must!

What is your book game plan when you hit the road?

 

 

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Music

Something about music

Not to be a complete asshole but…. My playlists are kind of legendary. Over the past 10 years I’ve had some friends tell me that they have kept mix cds I made them. It is something that is missing from our world today. We no longer exchange songs through mixes or even shared earbuds. I guess you could say that we’ve moved on to shared links. But can you really argue that it has the same effect as a perfectly curated set of 18 tracks with hand made album art?

Thats right you sure can’t.

I have a handful of beautiful mix cds a friend made me after I got my heart trampled. I’ve carried them with me over the years like a security blanket. I miss the physicality of music. I have a big stack of records but there is no utility in that. They exist for my comfortable consumption.  I wish we could travel back to the in between, were music was shared as a portable but physical object.

 

 

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About Me, Travel

Travellin’

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The first time I went to summer camp I was so excited. I read over every scrap of paper in the welcome package they sent (the first piece of mail I ever got). I packed my bag according to the checklist they included. I studied maps of each site and memorized the names for each age group of kids. I was ready… and this was before school had even finished. Camp wouldn’t begin for another 2 weeks.

I haven’t been excited like that for a very long time. After a certain age I think we all stop reaching that level. I don’t know why that is. Does it come from a place of apathy and laziness, do we become embarrassed to show true pure excitement?

Well, I am not embarrassed… I am going to Ontario for the first time in 2 years in 10 days and I am half way packed. In part because we’re going to a wedding and my fancy stuff stays in a garment bag, but the bigger part is that I am so dang happy to be going home.

Ontario is far from being my home anymore. I can’t ever really see myself living there again. My parents don’t live there anymore. Its no longer my home, but it’s my hometown. There is something so fun and nostalgic about being back there. Every time I go so much has changed, but a lot doesn’t. Its a world I can navigate without google maps.

I’m so excited , I may not be able to sleep the night before.

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Books

Why I wish I hadn’t read The Princess Diarist

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I’ve spoken before about my deep connection and life long relationship with Star Wars. I was eager to again dive deeply into Carrie Fisher’s brain.

I loved how vulnerable, honest and unfiltered Wishful Thinking and Shockaholic were. But her new work feels like more of the same, and because of that it feels like a money grab. Considering the timing, I worry that that is an accurate assumption.

There was still so much of that precocious and self conscious girl I had found on her other books… but but but something about reading her frank retelling of her time on the star wars set hit a sour note with me. Did she even want to tell this story?

Star Wars is one of those things that many of us feel BELONGS to us and any other narrative other than what of ourselves we put into it is unacceptable. It is such a beautiful and selfish way to love something. And its hella wrong of me to put that onto this book. SO, I am trying hard not to. Please note: This is a wholly personal opinion.  I feel that the content was perfunctory and slapped together for the sake of putting something out to coincide with the release of new films. Carrie partially admits this. It became very clear after re-reading passages from her previous books.

I am incredibly saddened that she has not lived to write something else. In the light of the rumors that circulate her passing, I am curious to know her mindset at the time of writing The Princess Diarist.

But no matter what, Carrie and Leia will hold a place of high esteem, love and respect in my heart. And her worlds will serve as lessons I take with me. Especially those she taught us as Rosemary on 30 Rock, “don’t sit around while your junk goes cold,” and  “never go with a hippy to a 2nd location.”

 

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Books

Unbecoming by Rebecca Scherm

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I am a sucker for anything that cites Pat Highsmith* as an influence. Seriously, if there is a blurb on the back comparing a thriller to Strangers On A Train I. Am. There. For. It.

Books with this quality have successfully pulled me out of my last 2 book slumps. The first was Abroad by Katie Crouch which I read in a single sitting. But I want to talk about Unbecoming.

Not only does the book have a southern pastoral quality, but it also has this jet setting Oceans 11 thing going for it. A woman on the run from her past who has a gift with antiques. It really speaks to the artsy, preservationist, old lady in me.

You, as the reader are never sure of anyones true intentions/feeling as the narrator is not proven to be honest or reliable. I found myself questioning her recollections. I don’t know if that was the authors intention or my interpretation but there was something so unsettling about it that I could not stop reading.

To be honest, my rating system for books should be based on how sunburnt I get when reading outside.

White as a ghost = I watched netfix instead

More Beige = Constant re applications of sunscreen, getting up to find a sun hat, brush dogs, make nachos. Just basic distractedness due to a lack of interest.

Deep Glowing Tan =  Good enough that I spend a few hours in a lawn chair but not so good that I forget to rotate.

Lobster Girl = A book so good that I am red on the top and white on the bottom.

Unbecoming was a Lobster girl book. Wear SPF 110 if you intend to make this a beach read.

*Patricia Highsmith is one of my favourite writers and in general one of my favourite people. I am wildly fascinated by her work, private life and eccentricities.

 

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