Thursday, February 16, 2017

Vallens, Fidgety Hands & Diana Scherer

Weekly Update 2017-07: Let the powerful sounds of Vallens take you on a journey while I muse over the advent of fidget toys and the beautiful plant-root art of Diana Scherer.

Music: Vallens
It's that time of year again: the Wavelength Series is coming back to town, celebrating its 17th year. I love these events, especially because they feature some awesome indie bands you've never heard of, and also because tickets run as cheap as $3. It's a wonder.

Playing alongside one of my favourite bands TOPS tomorrow night at the Garrison is an excellent dreamy shoegaze garage rock piece called Vallens. Lots of rock explosion and looming bass rhythms on this one, and a healthy dose of strong female vocals from lead singer Robyn Phillips reminds me of acts like Braids, The Julie Ruin, and even Portishead at times. This music is more of what the world needs right now, and I am so stoked to see them live tomorrow.

I have begun prepping notes on my Chai Mitzvah research on Passover (since that's the next big Jewish holiday). During my meeting with my mentor at the synagogue, a member asked us if we would join the evening services to make minion, which I have never really been part of before. That was kinda cool.

I also had a meeting with my Friend Canoe partner, and we will be getting the wheels turning on that project in the coming weeks.

I've also been practicing my repique skills like crazy, so much so that my instructor actually complimented me in class on Sunday! The pride.

I'd like to continue my work on my blog this weekend, and join the city in celebrating the closing of Honest Ed's. I'll be going to a ukulele workshop there on Saturday morning, and exploring a maze in the skeleton of the store in the afternoon.

Random Thought:
On the subject of designing one's life and moving through a process of trial-and-error until the perfect processes to match one's needs are discovered, I have done it again.

Let's rewind to about five years ago: I was sitting on the subway and feeling rather fidgety. I noticed something out of the corner of my eye: a man was playing with what appeared to be a baby toy, all colourful and plastic. At first it seemed strange, but then I realized that it would be perfect for my fidgety hands. I also have an annoying habit of picking at my cuticles when I am stressed, so I thought it might help with that as well.

After some research, I found that the item is called a Tangle Toy and eventually procured my own.

Mine is a little less baby-looking as it is made of a shiny silverish metal. This makes it heavier than the plastic version, and so I was faced with another problem: remembering to take it with me and feeling like the value it provides is worth the weight it possesses. Every ounce matters when you've got a history of back problems.

I can honestly say it took me five years to reach the perfect solution: I realized the other day that I could simply loop it onto the strap of my purse so it would be out of the way but always accessible, look like a cool keychain, and not feel too much heavier than the weight of my purse alone. I know this is a small win, but I'm going to celebrate it anyway.

On the subject of toys for fidgety hands, there is definitely a growing market. A very successful Kickstarter launched recently for the Fidget Cube, which is a similar idea in the form of (you guessed it) a cube. Each side has a different arrangement of buttons, switches, rotators and the like to keep your hands busy. Personally, I am a simple human so I prefer the tangle toy, but to each their own.

Inspiration: Interwoven by Diana Scherer
Every week, I try to find something both scientific and joyful to post to Facebook. It's the kind of content that can break someone free of the monotony of bad news we've been experiencing lately, and it's just plain fun to discuss interesting things that are not political.

Diana Scherer is an Amsterdam-based German artist, currently exploring how the sensitive roots of plants can be molded and shaped into intricate, man-made forms. Some of them are particularly breathtaking.

An entire rug made out of grass roots. I can't imagine how cool this would feel on my toes.

I like the idea of shaping natural processes to better show off the beauty that already exists in them. All it takes is another perspective to uncover the delights in life. We could all use a bit more delight.

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