Sunday, July 8, 2018

José González, Nutrition Facts & Beast

Weekly Update 2018-27: José González's guitar strums provide a calming atmosphere amongst the secrets hidden in nutrition facts and Michael Pearce's debut feature film Beast.

Music: José González
Regrettably, I didn't have time to make a fishing-themed playlist for my trip last week. In any case, internet signals up in Georgian Bay are spotty at best, so Spotify probably wouldn't have worked. Which means that I fell back to whatever music I still have on my phone. And so I rediscovered a musical gem in the form of José González. Of Swedish/Argentinian origin, the folk singer/songwriter's soothing voice and delightful acoustic guitar pickings always make me feel calmer.

I especially adore his 2007 album In Our Nature.

I had my bike stolen early this morning. Someone cut through a very thick metal chain, breaking a link clear in half in the process, and took it from the sidewalk outside my apartment. Of course this isn't the accomplishment, but I did want to make a note of how I felt about it.

I received this bike about a month ago, and it was a much-needed replacement for the bike I had been using before. I was very careful to keep this bike inside when I would be away for a while, and to lock it up with the heavy lock through the wheels and such. I took care of it. I couldn't have avoided the malicious intent obviously on display here. While it was definitely an improvement to my life in many ways, it had its own issues and I might find a bike that's an even better fit for me. I received the bike for free, which was really lovely gesture that perhaps I can pay forward into the world, hoping that the person who stole it really needs it.

I have the means to find another bike for myself, so it's not the end of the world. I'm happy to note that it didn't take me a really long time to arrive at this line of thinking, so that's some personal growth right there. Bikes are relatively inexpensive and I'm sure I'll be able to solve my problem soon.

On a happier note, I had a wonderful and well-deserved week fishing with my family. We caught a bunch of fish, some of which we cooked and ate in the same day as catching (which is the best taste), and got to spend some quality time all together. We even tried a new recipe for the fish, which I'll discuss below.

This week I will be pretty busy, helping my dad with his upcoming estate sale and finally getting that big project I completed up on my website. I'd like to set a goal of this weekend for that, really focusing on getting it to completion within a set timeframe. I'll be creating a schedule for all the tasks and costing them, which should hopefully allow me to spread out the work and stay goal-oriented.

Random Thought: Nutrition Facts
I am really proud of my dad for his recent attempts to eat more healthily. I got to see some of this firsthand on the trip. While it's easy to love my dad's fish fry (everything tastes good when it's fried), I wanted to try a healthier grilled recipe with fresh dill. Not only was it a hit, but I think I got my dad addicted to dill. I convinced him to add dill to almost every meal we ate, from salads to sandwiches to hummus dip, to potato chips. And it tasted really good on everything.

Maybe it doesn't look like much but it was super delicious.

My dad also mentioned that he has started to read the nutrition facts label on all the packaged food he eats. I think this is a really important thing to do - one should know what they are putting in their body. Whether or not the ingredients are good for you is another discussion, but at least understand and know what choice you are making. For example, I was reading the ingredients of a "healthier" sweet potato-based tortilla chip, only to find that the first ingredient is still corn, and that added sugar and honey are the actual sweetness-inducing flavours. Much better to make your own oven-baked chips from real sweet potatoes.

They still taste great, but they're not healthier.

Inspiration: Beast
I was lucky enough to acquire a voucher for the TIFF Bell Lightbox on Bunz and treated myself to a showing of Michael Pearce's new psychological thriller movie Beast last week. Starring Johnny Flynn of Netflix's Lovesick, the movie centers around a young woman named Moll (Jessie Buckley) who falls in love with Pascal (Flynn) who may or may not be responsible for the serial murders of four young women in the neighbourhood. Certainly outside of the comfort zone I usually live in regarding movies, but definitely worth the watch (in a nice, air conditioned movie theater to boot).

The movie is also stunning visually.

Set in British suburbia on the island of Jersey, the film boasts a handful of lovely shots of cliffs and beaches, jewel blue sea tones contrast against yellow sand and green grass. Plus, Flynn is not hard on the eyes either. It's lovely to see him in a role so contrasted against his lackadaisical tone in Lovesick. While he carries his facial scars (who doesn't like an interesting facial scar) in both productions, his character is completely different between the two. I'd love to see him in more television in the future.

Check out Beast at the Lightbox every day until Thursday.

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