365 grateful project (count=85)


img src=Guy Laliberté

  • On the coast of Kazakhstan
  • On our second date, post Melancholia, post Fred’s Not Here, we looked at the menu at Obikà. We thought about checking out the mozzarella this week but I had last minute craving for takesushi. They have a sushi special for two for the entire month of February. It’s like their v-day special but better priced!
  • Free Wednesday at PowerPlant courtesy of BMO (photography/film/deconstruction/reconstruction galore)
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365 grateful project (count=78)

  • Denise and I did spa for my bday. Nothing like letting out some steam in the steam room!
  • Followed by dinner at Pangaea (winterlicious). I picked cheese platter for dessert and the blue was surprisingly good.
  • His turn to pick a coffee place and he picked Capital Expresso where the cappuccino is extra foamy and …
  • … where I found out that Necessary Angel Theatre Company is bringing back divisadero: “Michael Ondaatje collaborates with Daniel Brooks to adapt his novel Divisadero – a violent and passionate story exploring themes of memory, identity, love and the grip of the past on the present.”
  • Come up to my room was a lot of fun and I found more Angry Asian Girl.
  • It was warm with a sprinkle of snowpowder so we walked back from the Gladstone, dropping by the new CB2 at Bathurst (liking one of the candle holders but it’s not very minimalist to buy something just to hold a candle so I will stick with candles in tall water glasses) and …
  • Longo’s to pick up pizza ingredients (pineapple, smoked prosciutto, arugula, parmigiano reggiano). We drenched the pizza in balsamic vinegar (oops gotta clean oven).

single-minded immersion

I’m turning thirty in 377 days. Denise asked me if I have a particular goal. No, the answer is not to do inversions with the grace of Briohny Smyth, although I think this is an amazing example of flow.

I have never set a concrete goal but I used to think that, by the time I turn thirty, I will know who I am and what I want. I now realize that I will never get there but I think I’m getting a little bit closer. When a relationship ends due to differences in long term goals, it is only natural to question those long term goals.

I still feel very strongly about my work. I feel flow at work. Not every moment but most days. I don’t think relationships generate flow in and of themselves. As much as I love my parents, I do not feel flow when I walk with them in the ravine close to their house. But when people have common goals, they can be in flow together. I love hiking with my parents.

Hypothesis

Who I Am: Someone who enjoys single-minded immersion
What I Want: Doing challenging things on my own and with people I like

Now that I have a hypothesis, time to do some testing. Seeing someone who is not super interested in traveling and seeing Chinese tourists running around LA carrying LV bags, I started to question why I love to travel. The answer is actually I don’t love to travel. In and of itself. Will I be upset if I do not visit Taj Mahal before I die? No. I’m happy to learn history from Wikipedia. What I love about traveling is the experience of getting lost and finding my way again. But I get the same experience from writing, which I can do everyday. So my goal for the next 377 days is to explore the here and now. Maybe taking a few days off to write. To practice single-minded immersion. Or inversion.

divisadero


(image from jessicarulestheuniverse.com)

One reason I read Ondaatje is that I’m never sure I get it. Because I keep rereading what I have read, I’m only half way through Divisadero. But maybe I already understand. Because it’s a villanelle?

When I come to lie in your arms, you sometimes ask me in which historical moment do I wish to exist. And I will say Paris, the week Colette died // She was a writer who remarked that her only virtue was self-doubt. // They are the sudden possibility every time I pick up the telephone when it rings some late hour after midnight, and I wait for his voice, or the deep breath before Claire will announce herself.

9: Those who risked everything at a river bend on a left turn and so discovered a fortune. By the second half of the twentieth century he was, of course, a hundred years too late, but he knew there were still outcrops of gold in rivers, under the bunch grass, or in the pine sierras.

139: I once read an essay by a writer who was asked to imagine an ideal career, and he replied that he would like to be responsible for just a brief stretch, perhaps two hundred yards or so, of a river.

136: It’s like a villanelle, this inclination of going back to events in our past, the way the villanelle’s form refuses to move forward in linear development, circling instead at those familiar moments of emotion. Only the rereading counts, Nabokov said. // We live with those retrievals from childhood that coalesce and echo throughout our lives, the way shattered pieces of glass in a kaleidoscope reappear in new forms and are songlike in their refrains and rhymes, making up a single monologue. We live permanently in the recurrence of our own stories, whatever story we tell.

One Art by Elizabeth Bishop. Probably the most famous villanelle. And my favorite.

The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother’s watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster.

—Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident
the art of losing’s not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.

365 grateful project (count=71)


img src=design-milk

Architect David Jameson completed Barcode House in Washington, DC earlier this year. The project entailed creating a freestanding, modern addition to an existing, vertically-oriented urban row house. The extension is composed of a completely see-through, two-story, glass structure in front of a narrow concrete tower. A lyrical pattern of black steel rods that resemble a barcode run across the two glass façades, hence the name.