Print Is Not Dead from Anthology Magazine on Vimeo.
And if the new quarterly magazine Anthology has anything to say about it, it's also getting a really friggin' cute makeover. I'm a sucker for a catchy song and some vintage duds.
Maggie makes me so excited! To think that with the right mind frame, we can actually make a huge, huge difference in the world. She's truly an inspiration.
If you're so inclined (and why wouldn't you be?!) you can learn more about her project in Nepal and how you can help on her website.
(Those of you reading this in a feed reader - you'll need to click through to the post to see the video unfortunately)
Birds on the Wires from Jarbas Agnelli on Vimeo.
I love this! A composer used a photography of birds sitting on a wire to create a piece of music.
Some of these old cartoons are pretty scary. Big bad wolf accidentally cuts of his own head, gets into a fight with a cat who is stalking Betty Boop, the cat kills the wolf, skins it and wears its head ... Pretty warped stuff.
Every Monday (actually it's Tuesday in Australia), I'm going to post a link to some music I really like. The sound in this one isn't always brilliant but I like the concept and everyone in it is so passionate and into it and well, it's hard not to like that.
It's been raining in Melbourne and this song feels perfect to me today.
Dan and I spent a few weeks visiting family in Regina at the beginning of September. It was nice to be home, but it's always a little strange. I still think of Saskatchewan as home and in my head it exists in a static state, just waiting for me to return and pick up where I left off. But everything there keeps moving and I come home to find I'm not the centre of the universe. Most of my good friends have left town, the old haunts aren't as much fun as I remember them being and even the landscape of the city is different. We drove from Vancouver to Regina and back again and upon entering the south end for the first time, I realized that I didn't even know where to turn into the city anymore; there's been so much construction in the South West corner that it felt like a new and not altogether friendly place.
While home, we spent an afternoon looking at antiques. It all started because I'd forgotten my toy Diana film camera in Vancouver and I had a hankering for film. Value Village used to always have cool old cameras hanging around so we went there; but now that cool old film cameras are in vogue, all they had were crappy old point and clicks from the 90s. So we went across the road to the old Antique Mall on Rose Street. I hadn't been there in years but can remember spending lots of time wandering around while my grandparents shopped. Happily, it was still there and still filled with lots of neat stuff and much of it quite reasonably priced.
The selection of vintage cameras was really impressive from old Super 8 film cameras and polaroids to ancient film, they had quite a range. After digging around a bit I found a Kodak Pony II, a camera that was made in the late 50s. It's light weight compared to a lot of the cameras from that time period, takes 35mm film (convenient!) and best of all it has a lot of setting to play with. In addition to being able to manually control the aperture and focal range, it's also got a nifty little 'Rewind' button that allows you to double or triple expose frames. I bought it for an impressively low $12, mostly because we all thought the shutter was jammed and weren't sure if the thing would work.
After loading the film, the shutter magically loosened up and I spent the next week using up a roll to see if it would work. It did! And I think it might now be my favorite toy ever. You can see a bunch of the photos I took in Regina here, but these are some of my favorites:
I am in love with The School of One. A girl from Cleveland, who graduated from university in 2001, has decided that in the face of a shitty economy and lack of inspiring prospects, she will spend her time learning about all the things she never had a chance to during her formal education. As a way of formalizing the process and sticking to her plan, she's created a syllabus, the above schedule and a blog to document her experiences and help her keep on track.
I think it's a beautiful idea and it makes me realize that maybe I should try to formalize some of the little projects and interests I'm cultivating during this year of travel. For so many people, the response to joblessness is to go back to school and spend a crap load more money. But it seems to me that the success of the endeavor really depends on what you're trying to get out of it. If the intention is to follow your interests and explore the world with curiosity, you don't need a professor or a piece of paper at the end; a library card, an Internet connection and a comfortable pair of shoes can be enough. The concept is totally non-elitist and it elevates a personal investment in learning into something tangible and meaningful. Creating and scheduling time for something makes it a priority, not just another hobby.
Formal education can be a wonderful thing if you are able to afford it, and it can provide the basis for a great community of people who are interested in similar subjects. But unless you have a specific vocation in mind that requires a certificate to prove your knowledge, I wonder if the bureaucracy of 'School' really feeds the desire to know and learn or whether it just stifles and tricks us into thinking that there's only one right way to understand the world, one 'valued' way of accumulating knowledge.
There's no one-size-fits-all answer. But I am already working on my own syllabus. :)
Image Credit: The School of One
A mothers ultimate sacrifice from Koos du Preez on Vimeo.
I really like octopi. As a species they are incredibly intelligent and there have been many documented incidences of their amazing problem-solving abilities and overall cleverness. But I had no idea about the tragic selflessness of the Octopi reproduction process - it seems so needlessly self-sacrificial. But maybe motherhood is like that and it's why all my friends with babies look so exhausted all the time.
Once the eggs have been laid the female uses a string to attach them to her lair. She spends her time watching over the eggs and protecting them from predators and blowing water over them to provide them with oxygen. This last approximately 50 days during that time she will not eat or sleep.
Once the eggs have all hatched the female will die of starvation and exhaustion leaving the babies which are about the size of a grain of rice to survive on their own. They become part of the plankton that floats on the top of the water and if they are lucky enough to survive the first six weeks they will gradually start to sink towards the bottom of the ocean as the develop and take on the shape of an octopus.
The reproduction of the octopus is rather disheartening they basically exist to reproduce. The average lifespan of an octopus is only five years however, for the octopuses that reproduce it is almost half that at 2.5 years old. (source)There's often a tendency to believe that the capacity to do wonderful, selfless things is strictly a human impulse. I don't believe that these female Octopi understand or think through why they are doing what they're doing, but I also don't think most selfless acts are rationalized or deeply considered. There's some instinct, which occasionally bubbles to the surface that makes conscious beings sacrifice themselves for others.
Dan would say it's all about biology - survival of the gene pool and pure drive - and he's probably right. But at the risk of sounding like a ridiculous hippie, I prefer to think that it's all about the love, baby.
I found out this morning that the lovely Dianne Warren's wonderful book Cool Water is on the Giller Prize long list. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Giller, it's Canada's top literary prize, kind of like an Oscar. And Dianne's book deserves it.
I recommend you check it you if you haven't already.
inter // states from Samuel Cockedey on Vimeo.
It blows my mind to think that in less than one month we'll be living in the middle of this.
I'm not a self-help kind of gal. I'm a bit too cynical for things such as The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience or the belief that my star sign will somehow reveal some mystical path I'm meant to take. I believe that the 'secret' to finding wealth and happiness is that it's a slog every single day and nothing is guaranteed and that the best way to make friends and influence people is to be yourself; and if that makes you unpopular then bugger them all anyway. As a rule, I don't practice the act of faith and I'm pretty sure that most of what occurs is up to chance and occasionally, if you're lucky, good planning.
Until October of 2008 my life was completely different from what it is now and then four and a half months ago it changed drastically again. In the first instance, the change included selling my house, quitting a job that I loved and leaving my family and friends to move to Cardiff in the United Kingdom. It was a huge step and I can remember how frightened and overwhelmed I felt about it and how excited I was about what my life would look like.
After moving to Cardiff I took a job that I initially enjoyed, was in a relationship and even made friends - all the things one is meant to do after moving to a new place - but I still wasn't happy. If anything, I felt even more stuck than I'd felt before leaving Canada. So I ended my relationship, began a new relationship and eventually moved to London.
It was like the children's game where one person hides something and as the others look for it they are told if they are getting 'warmer', 'colder' or 'red hot'. After this second change I was definitely getting warmer. I loved London, had some wonderful friends there and was in the best relationship of my life. But there were still things that made me really unhappy. I had some bad experiences at work with a group of mean girls (I use the word 'girl' loosely here) and was increasingly feeling stressed and unfulfilled professionally. Because of the intense negativity of that situation it began to feel like a shadow was cast over all the good things. So we decided to make a change, again. Four and a half months later I'm writing this from Melbourne, Australia in a freezing cold little room we've rented in a bustling little neighborhood called St. Kilda where we can get boiled bagels and kosher meat and see orthodox Jews walking around with their tall hats and long curls on either side of their faces. And the sea with Luna Park is only a fifteen minute walk away and there are wonderful markets. Things aren't perfect and they never will be, but so many things are wonderful and I'm so glad we decided to do something about a situation that made us both unhappy.
Image: Luna Park at Night by katclay
And that's it basically. I've learned that if you don't like the direction your life is headed, if people are unkind or going into work makes you feel sick to your stomach, you can change things and you owe it to yourself to at least try. It's scary and depending on your situation it may be more difficult and there may be greater or lesser degrees of risk you are able to take on, but it is possible to throw up your hands and say "this isn't for me so I'm going to try something different". Small changes, big changes, whatever.
Some people will try to tell you that you've got a problem, that you're afraid of commitment, that you're insecure. They will try to make you feel like you need to accept your lot and live with it. Those people are probably just as miserable as you're feeling and are terrified that you'll prove that change is possible, terrified that they'll be left behind. And some people just like being miserable and they'll cradle it for the rest of their lives. Leave them to it.
I am so deeply grateful for all the wonderful people in my life who haven't told me I'm a lunatic for traveling around the world at the ripe old age of 32: my mother, my aunt, my grandparents, my lovely friends (Jackie - I'm looking at you) and all of our clients who just 'get' the concept of what we're doing and who continue to pay us to work on very cool projects regardless of where we happen to be located in the world. Finally, I am most grateful for Dan who is always so good to me, always an anchor no matter how bat shit crazy I'm behaving at any given moment and who keeps me warm, even in this cold little room in Melbourne in the early spring time.
Sometimes you just have to stop moving for a second an appreciate where you are. And yes, it's enough. More than enough.
We flew into Canada on July 25th and as I write this I am sitting in the Los Angeles airport waiting for a flight to Sydney, Australia. The time went by quickly, too quickly in fact and I was reminded that being 'home' - whatever that means given our current wayfaring lifestyle - is a bittersweet, lovely and sometimes heart wrenching thing.
I spent time with old friends and made new ones, we babysat a dog named Paco who stole our hearts, we got to attend two beautiful weddings, I danced my ass off at O'Hanlon's and reconnected with my family. I played with my sister's little boy Seth who is talking like crazy since last I saw him a year ago, watched way too much Sesame Street with the baby, ate foods I missed (like poutine and Saskatchewan pizza, which is amazing), went to my grandparent's cabin at Buena Vista Beach and drove half way across Canada and then back again. It all went by so fast but when I take stock of the time, it is so full that I don't know how we managed to do so many things.
Last night we had dinner in Vancouver with friends as a way of celebrating our last night in Canada. We ate at Les Faux Bourgeois and it was so nice to see everyone again on such a wet rainy night. Sadly, we had bad news yesterday afternoon. Paco, the little chihuahua we'd looked after during the month of August suddenly passed away. He was only eight years old and so full of life and if I spend too much time dwelling on it here I'll start crying again. I just feel so lucky that I was able to spend so much time with him.
I'm excited to go to Australia and Japan and all the other wonderful places on our to-do list, but leaving home is always bittersweet. I wish there was a way to make time move more slowly. This year is moving too fast; Life is moving too fast. I am struggling to hold onto the moments but it feels almost impossible. And so I'm working on letting it all flow past me, on letting go, on not trying to squeeze it all too hard. Which is almost impossible for someone like me.
Love to all the Canadians and to little Paco. x
Garden State Image from We Heart It