Tuesday, October 21, 2008


yes, winter is around the corner...for an instant there were suspiciously white frozen flecks flying by on the wind outside my window. looks like the very beginning of snow; the dog & i had better prepare our winter wardrobes...


Luis Soriano runs a mobile lending library across miles of rural Columbia...transporting the books on the backs of his two faithful donkeys, Alfa & Beto. i noticed his wonderful story in the NYTimes today, because of their spiffy headline: "Acclaimed Colombian Institution Has 4,800 Books and 10 Legs".

the article includes some wonderful photographs by Scott Dalton. for more background, The Washington Post covered this story in 2005 (you can read it here). i'm glad to discover that Soriano is still at it, despite the hardships of covering very rocky terrain during Columbia's on-going strife.

with all the predictions of the book's demise, and alongside constant PEN reports of the banning of books & suppression of writers, it does the heart good to know that books continue to change people's lives, despite the odds.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

the bazaar of the bizarre

...and no, i'm not referring to last week's election...this lovely sunny Sunday, i spent time wandering through a gothic fair (skeleton-patterned tophat, anyone?) organized by the Royal Sarcophagus Society. the fair included a great deal of goth clothing (skeleton-patterned tophat, anyone?) and all sorts of accoutrements...including some lovely hand-made ouija boards for sale, by the duo who organize ghost walks in Hamilton.

however i feel about actual hauntings, i do agree with Haunted Hamilton's mandate of promoting historic buildings in the Hamilton area--it's a town that has wonderful historic neighbourhoods, and if it takes ghosts to get people to notice the buildings, hey, bring on the ghosts...

the Bazaar of the Bizarre was perfect preparation for the next item on this afternoon's agenda: watching the ritualistic annual Toronto zombie walk at Trinity-Bellwoods Park...an inexplicable event where locals dress up as zombies

& dress their dogs & children up, too

then stagger from this park, parade along Queen and up Bathurst, before finishing at the Bloor Street Cinema to watch zombie movies. it makes for irresistible street theatre.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

get out there & vote, people!

to any Canadians reading this...you all know that Tuesday is election day. so vote, already.

and if you're worried about splitting the Left vote, examine the polls for your particular riding here, find out which political turkey is running where, and vote strategically. consider how tasty next year's Thanksgiving meal might be if we get an (even if ever-so-slightly) pro-arts & pro-environment government...

Sunday, October 05, 2008

1 million ordinary Canadians

that's the estimate for how many people were out for Nuit Blanche in Toronto. proof that despite what our Prime Minister thinks, "ordinary" people will stay up all night long to walk around in cold weather to admire art. to laugh & think & admire & discuss--all the things that art facilitates. and the result was a truly great cross-city street party (though TTC transit, as usual, fell down on the job). a few photos of my faves here:

...the fantastic Day of the Dead skulls by Roger Hupman, showing at the Gladstone (here he is--and a more charming maker of skulls you could not meet). to see these in details, visit his site.

and i also LOVED Knit Cafe's window of knitted architecture

how anyone ever managed to knit replicas of Honest Ed's & the Gladstone Hotel, I do not know...
and this chess-piece grey thing that is several feet high is actually a very fine version of the CN Tower, for those of you who have never been to Toronto!)