Monday, May 1, 2017

Little Dragon, Bus Seats & Church Sales

Weekly Update 2017-18: Swedish electro-pop band Little Dragon, getting that coveted seat on a long bus ride, and waking up early for great finds at a church sale.

Music: Little Dragon
After an honourable mention from a post in 2015, I thought it might be time to give Little Dragon the attention they deserve. Formed in 1996 (over 20 years ago!) in Gothenburg, Sweden, this band has been a long-time favourite of mine. They're labelled as electronic, but that genre simply doesn't cut it here. I'd call them a rock-pop-electronic jazz fusion band. Yay for genre-bending! Lead signer Yukimi Nagano has an extremely recognizable and unique voice, adding an air of lightness to their already ethereal-sounding music. She has also collaborated with ODESZA, Gorillaz, SBTRKT and more. Listen below:

You can catch Little Dragon with Abjo and Goldlink at Danforth Music Hall this Thursday.

I've done a bit of work on FriendCanoe, mostly trying to sort out how to organize one's friendships without adding too much judgement or ranking. Cold hard facts provide the user with the information to understand and manage their friendships, but they can also be, well, a bit hard and cold. Finding the right balance of information and warmth is a bit of a challenge for this project. Anyway, here's a sketch:

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I also held my third semi-annual bonfire this weekend, what a success! So many of my friends showed up to delight in the firey glow and roast some marshmallows on my new artisanal marshmallow stick (which fits eight marshmallows on it!). I was alarmed to notice that there were three other bonfires going on around us (on unsanctioned grass) and hoped we wouldn't get shut down by police, which, we did. Still, four hours of fire is awesome, and I have lots of firewood for the next one.

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We got the fire going all by ourselves! Not too bad for some city slickers. Erika also had the amazing idea of using a dustpan to angle water from the public bathroom near the fire pit into the bucket (which we used later to put out the fire).

Last Wednesday I biked 9km in about 30 minutes to complete three Bunz trades during rush hour. It was hectic and sweaty but totally worth it.

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This week I'd like to try out some solutions for the graphing problem with FriendCanoe, write a non-"Weekly Update" blog post (the ideas have been piling up), and plan my trip ti St. Catharines this weekend to visit my friend Chelsea.

Random Thought: Sitting on Public Transit
I thank the heavens for every bike ride I take, which directly translates into saved money and time, weight lost, and overall replenishment of my sanity. Of course, taking the TTC results in the direct opposite of all of these things. I am still regrettably forced to use TTC in the summer months, when I have time to contemplate my life as a way of ignoring my internal screaming. The other day while trapped on a smelly, packed bus, I was thinking about the value of getting a seat versus having a short ride. How do the two factors play into productivity, sanity or happiness while using transit? Would I opt for a longer trip so that I could have a seat?

Back when I used to work at College and Spadina, I would certainly opt to go southbound at Queen's Park (and take the line all the way around to Finch on the other side, rather than take the Bloor line east to catch the subway north at Bloor station. The difference was about ten minutes, but it guaranteed me a seat all the way north to Finch. This feels like an obvious choice for me, but perhaps others don't mind standing as much as me? The advent of sitting meant that I could work on my laptop, sleep, eat without making a mess of myself and others around me (it's happened before) and be a more sane person overall. So what's the real value of time versus waiting a little longer to have a seat?

Inspiration: Church Sales
It's become somewhat of a tradition for my family to line up for hours each year outside the Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Richmond Hill, waiting for the popular church sale to begin. The congregation donates gently used items which are sold at the sale to raise money for women's and children's local charities in the area. Each person in my family likes to find different sorts of treasure, from the housewares and antiques to books and records, to the huge room where you can fill a garbage bag with clothes for only $7.

I love the idea of finding renewed use in items that have seen very little wear, and of donating to charity in the process. Not to mention the thrill of the find. This year, I found a lovely pair of black patent rubber boots with a cute almond toe, a vintage red double-breasted high-waisted skirt, a pair of fetching green silk pants, and a beading loom (so I can get rid of the one I made from a kleenex box). And yes, waiting for over an hour in the cold of 8:00AM on a Saturday was worth it.

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