Showing posts with label video. Show all posts
Showing posts with label video. Show all posts

Yes, it's another cat video



Sorry I've been such a neglectful blogger lately. Life is just moving too fast these days.

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Sharing Can Be Powerful



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Wintertime



I grew up in a place where winter was a long hibernation that stretched from the end of October until early May, where for months everyone prefaced most conversations with "wow! it's cold out there!" and where Jack Nicholson's decent into madness in The Shining is completely relatable because we've all experienced stretches of the sense of isolation that -40 C brings, where we've felt the crazy rushing in.

Since moving to the UK, I haven't really had a proper winter. The closest thing was a one week trip to Val D'Isere, France on a snowboarding trip in January 2010. This year has been particularly void of winter as I've mostly shuttled between different countries in Asia since October (I'm currently in Thailand, where it's well into the 30 degree C mark daily). Most of the time I don't miss winter, and my friends and family who are still caught in the deep freeze would probably laugh that I, one of the biggest complainers about winter, am now complaining about missing it.

I don't miss the -40 degree stretches but I do miss snow, particularly the dry, crunchy, glittery snow so common in Saskatchewan. I miss how quiet snow makes everything feel if you go out late at night when the streets are empty. I miss the blinding light of a snowy day in Saskatchewan: the bright blue sky, the sparkling snow, the sun bouncing off the snow making the world seem hyper-lit.

I love the video above and I want to know where this massive frozen lake is. Lovely.

And yes, I realize that is a study on the concept that the grass is always greener somewhere else. It's not lost on me.

Video found via Samimi-Extremie is Boss

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Report from the Frontier ... Tokyo Typhoon



I am just waiting to get my call from Sophia Coppola - obviously she will want me as a creative collaborator after watching this gem.

x

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Japan



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Sesame Street - Feist Counting Song



I watched this today with Sasha, the little 15 month old who lives in the house we're staying in while in Melbourne. Sesame Street is the best.

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Music Will Save Your Life



I've been listening to this all week. You can find more about the project, and even download the track for free here.

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Wrestler Inspired by Tori Amos


I looked out the dressing room door and saw the Japanese preliminary wrestlers taking down the ropes, beginning the process of putting the barbed wire around the ring. The wire they used was the real stuff: cold and uncaring, capable of tearing flesh in a hurry. I knew I had about 30 minutes before the wiring process was completed—a half-hour to undergo a drastic mental transformation. I took out my battered Sony Walkman and, after great deliberation, bypassed the obvious hard-rock selections. Finding solitude in a far corner of the frigid backstage area, I saw a cloud of my own breath as I pressed the play button. "Snow can wait, I forgot my mittens/ Wipe my nose, get my new boots on."
... I'm thankful for everything Tori has motivated me to do inside, and especially outside, the wrestling ring. For many years, I had thought of the fight against sexual violence as one best waged by women and survivors of assault. But then I heard that voice one night, in my beat up Chevy minivan, on my way home from some other road trip I can't recall. "When you gonna make up your mind? When you gonna love you as much as I do?"
Excerpt from The Wrestler and the Cornflake Girl: Wrestling Legend Mick Foley Explains how Tori Amos Changed His Life

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Love and Marriage


Danny & Annie from StoryCorps on Vimeo

Ever since I was a little girl, people would ask whether I wanted to get married and have kids. I don't know why this question is so often asked of little girls, as though it should be the focal point of our lives; maybe times have changed and this doesn't happen as much as it did when I was a child, I hope so. My response, for as long as I can remember was always: no friggin' way! (and I'm afraid it's still no friggin' way to having kids)

I think that part of the strength of my reaction came from the fact that I never wanted to be 'normal' or feel 'normal'. When I imagined a future, it was never one that kept me forever in the beautiful Canadian Prairies where I grew up. Especially as I child, I imagined that living fully meant living far away and doing exciting things every day. Now that I'm a bit older, I realize that this whole idea I had about 'normal' doesn't really exist and that location does little to create happiness except maybe in extremes (if you are lucky enough to live somewhere you love passionately or unlucky enough to be somewhere you hate). There isn't really a normal, there's just life, every day, every moment, and no matter where they're located, people are just trying to make the best of what they've got.

I am incredibly lucky because I am able to live a lifestyle that really suits me. I get to travel, do mostly fulfilling freelance work on my own schedule, I have the time for creativity and although I'm not wealthy, I've got enough to get by. I am also engaged to a wonderful man who genuinely makes me want to be a better person just because he is so bloody good and kind and brilliant. We're not getting married for religious reasons or because we have to, and we're not getting married to throw a lavish party. I can't speak for Dan, but my reasons are wrapped up in how certain I was as a child that I couldn't possibly be happy or fulfilled and be married. Marrying is my way of formally acknowledging that I can live the life I want and do it alongside someone who always reserves a soft place for me to land even when I'm not at my best. Instead of trying to control or shelter me from the world, I feel like he is there with me, opening every door, trying every lock, not afraid to see what fits and what doesn't. It's been an easy decision to make, which surprises me because I was always the girl with the reoccurring nightmare of walking down an aisle that I desperately wanted to flee from, but who also didn't want to embarrass anyone or hurt their feelings.

Are you throwing up yet?

There are some really bad statistics about marriage: the huge divorce rate, the high number of spouses who cheat and the lackluster reality that so many of us have witnessed first-hand in our own families: people who are not in love with but stay together, tormenting one another for years, wasted decades. I'm not a religious person, but marriage really does feel like an act of faith. If it all works out you'll both fight hard to hold onto the feelings and moments that brought you together in the first place and you'll continue to try, even in the face of illness and tragedy, to continue to see one another as a life raft, rather than an albatross. And even with all that, you might fail. But isn't it beautiful that knowing all that we do, we are still winning to try? This faith, it melts my heart a bit.

At the end of July my friends Carrie and Michael got married in Ucluelet, British Columbia on a beautiful beach. The ceremony was officiated by a rabbi and there were so many elements to their ceremony that touched me, that seemed to reflect so much of what a marriage should be about. The rabbi began the ceremony by asking them to look around at the 100 odd guests who were gathered in a circle around them and to realize that every single person made the long journey to be there out of love. And cheesy at it sounds, I could feel the love. About half way through the ceremony each of Carrie and Michael's siblings read a personal message to them about themes like love, patience and understanding. It was so much more powerful than just reciting a poem or scripture, every person had taken the time to write something personal and to impart some beautiful truth to them. Finally, and my favorite part of all, after the ceremony, Carrie and Michael walked away down the beach to spend 15 minutes alone together, to talk, to enter into their first moments of marriage in quiet contemplation with one another. I love that they prioritized their connection above the hoopla of the day. It was inspiring to witness a ceremony that made marriage feel real and true and not just a gong show of tulle and lace.









I'm fairly certain that wherever we decide to get married, it will be small - maybe even just the two of us. We'll come in together and leave together and in-between, we'll try to enjoy every single moment.

Photo of Carrie and Michael's Wedding by Dan.
Danny and Annie video found via the lovely Anna Coe

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Crazy Courtney


The Dark Night of the Soul from michael mouris on Vimeo.

This short animated film staring Courtney Love is totally crazy and a little bit awesome too. She is really quite insane in kind of a glorious old dame kind of way.

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Print Is Not Dead


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.

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Inspiration



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)

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Lovely Music Transcribed from Photos of Birds on a Wire


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.

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Not for the Kiddies



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.

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Margaret Atwood Dance Party



Via We Who Are About to Die

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Tokyo


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.

Squeee!

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Fifteen Albums Meme

I have a bit of a cold and apart from reading and laying under a blanket I have some spare time today, which is my excuse for spending the better part of the last hour responding to a meme I was tagged in on Facebook. It's a pretty good one as far as memes go and has got me thinking about the various stages of musical infatuation I've gone through and what those phases represent to me.

The rules of the meme were to come up with a list of fifteen complete albums that were significant and unforgettable in some way. Not all the albums need to be 'good' or be representative to great taste, but they are the ones that stand out from the others, the ones I'll remember. My list isn't mind blowing, but I thought I would share it here, along with some accompanying Youtube videos of the songs I remember the most.

Childhood (four to seven years old)

1. The Mini Pops - Mini Pop Kids (1981)
This is one of the first albums I can remember my mom buying for me. I loved every song and it's only recently that I've been struck by how skanky those kids were dressed up and how inappropriate some of the songs were for five year olds to sing - like Tainted Love. I wanted to be a Mini Pop and for awhile whenever I would get a new album, I would speed it up to sound like the Mini Pops. Frankie was my favourite song but I couldn't find it on Youtube so I've settled for a close second, Stupid Cupid.



2. Juice Newton - Juice (1981)
For about five years Queen of Hearts was my favourite song. As I got a bit older (like seven or eight) I grew to also appreciate some of the other tracks on the album including Angel of the Morning and The Sweetest Thing. I still think of that album as classic and after ten or eleven drinks, I've been known to belt out a Newton hit or two at karaoke.



3. Michael Jackson - Thriller (1982)
This album is responsible for my realization that Santa Claus doesn't exist. For Christmas one year (I think I was five or thereabouts) my mother bought me Thriller on vinyl and Santa bought me a small child's record player. I remember asking my mother how she could have known that Santa would bring me a record player unless she was Santa. The jig was up.



I love how this video begins with a disclaimer from Jackson - then a devout Jehova's Witness - that it doesn't endorse his belief in the occult.

4. Cindy Lauper - She's So Unusual (1983)
Again, I received this around the same time I got the Mini Pops and even today I love it. Classics like Time After Time, Girls Wanna Have Fun, Money Changes Everything and She Bop. Best of all though was Cindi Lauper's whole look. Even at five or six years old I wanted to dye my hair orange and yellow and wear multi-colored crinolines.



Honourable Mentions: Live at PJs by Trinny Lopez.



Childhood (7 to 13 years old)

5. Harry Belafonte - Calypso (1956, I discovered it mid-80s)
I spent summers at our cabin at Regina Beach as a child and on the drives out, my grandmother would often play this album. I rediscovered it in the early 90s when bits of it were used in Tim Burton's Beetlejuice and even today it's one of the albums stored in its entirety on my iPod.



6. Johnny Rivers - The Best of Johnny Rivers (1975, I discovered it mid-80s)
Secret Agent Man, Midnight Special and Seventh Son. Oh yes.



7. Patsy Cline - The Patsy Cline Story (1963, I discovered it late-80s)
I fell in love with Patsy Cline after seeing her bio-pic. Juice Newton, Dolly Parton and Johnny Rivers aside, I've never considered myself a big country music fan. Apart from the classics like Johnny Cash, listening to country was almost forbidden in my house so my grandmother was none too pleased when my mother bought me the Patsy Cline tape. It is a great album though - Crazy, Walking After Midnight, Blue Moon of Kentuky - and it's still one I listen to occasionally on my iPod.



8. Guns and Roses - Use Your Illusion I and II (1990)
Technically two albums and probably not the GNR one would expect on a best of list - Appetite for Destruction is the more obvious choice. When I was in grade eight I received Use Your Illusion I or II as a gift from someone who had obviously never listened to it and though it didn't really fit in with the poppy stuff enjoyed at the time, I became almost obsessed with it. This was around the same time I thought I wanted to get my belly button pierced. I bought the second volume as soon as I could and listened to both - a lot.



Honourable Mentions: Tiffany by Tiffany, Born in the USA by Bruce Springsteen, The Dirty Dancing Soundtrack, Greatest Hits by the Bangles, Hormonally Yours by Shakespeare's Sister. 



Adolescence (14 to 19 years old)

9. Sarah McLachlan - Fumbling Towards Ecstasy (1994)
Sarah McLachlan became one of my favourites throughout high school. After discovering Fumbling, I bought all of her older music and loved most of that too. I still think this is a good album though I can't say the same for the stuff she's released in the last ten years.



10. Hole - Live Through This (1994)
I loved Nirvana's Nevermind but if I had to choose between it and Live Through This, I would have to pick Hole. I am not a Courtney Love fan and have never been someone who aspired to look and act like a junky but something about the angst of this album resonated with my teenage self and it fed some deep dark part that I mostly kept hidden. I loved Olympia (Rockstar) the most.



11. Tori Amos - Little Earthquakes (1992) and Under the Pink (1994)
Yes, technically that is two albums - but I can't pick one and I can't seperate them. I still love these beautiful, sad songs. Last year I saw Tori play live in London and although she was good, it was disappointing to me because what I wanted more than anything was just her under a spotlight playing her piano. Her new stuff has a lot going on and I think she's at her best when she pares things down. My favourite song by Tori is Precious Thing and my favourite line: "Where the pretty girls are/those demi-gods/with their nine inch nails and little facist panties tucked inside the heart of every nice girl" and when Tori sang the line live, I almost cried.




Honourable Mentions: Nevermind by Nirvana,  The Very Best of Otis Redding by Otis Redding, Jagged Little Pill by Alanis Morrissette, Tragic Kingdom by No Doubt.


Early Twenties

12. Ani DiFranco - Not A Pretty Girl (1995)
My early twenties were devoted to cultivating a devotion to the music of Ani DiFranco. She made me feel tough and independent when I felt overwhelmed and a bit lost.



13. Fiona Apple - Tidal  (1996)
I've been a bad, bad girl. This was very much how I felt my first few years out of highschool.



14. The Pixies - Death to the Pixies (Limited Edition Bonus Disc, 1997)
This is such a good album.



Honourable Mentions: The Reality Bites Soundtrack, X/O by Elliott Smith, You Were Here by Sarah Harmer, Everybody Else is Doing It by the Cranberries.



Post-Early Twenties

15. Arcade Fire - Funeral (2004)
This album was a gateway album to so much amazing music for me. I credit them with my love for Stars, Broken Social Scene, Neko Case and so many others. Their new album - The Suburbs - also wonderful. One of my favourite songs is Anthem for a Seventeen Year Old Girl and I don't think I would have ever found it without first finding Arcade Fire.



Honourable Mentions: Heart by Stars, You Forgot it in People by Broken Social Scene,  Fever to Tell by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Best of Etta James by Etta James, Arular by MIA, Middle Cyclone by Neko Case, Rumours by Fleetwood Mac.







Want to play? What music defined the different phases of your life? Leave a comment.

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And now on a lighter note...



Pretty good marketing gimmick.

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One Night in San Blas

I really need a new video camera - my old Flip is so grainy. Or I need to learn how to properly compress video files for Youtube. Ah well, here it is:



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New Theme Song?



"You better close your face and stay out of my way if you don't wanna go to fist city." I wouldn't mess with Loretta Lynn.

Oh, this song would have come in handy about four months ago!


(song via Tea Pots Full of Gin)

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