This week has been largely about surviving the cold snap (lows of -25 to – 20 ºC, which is roughly the same in ºF). Usual small problems, car did not start one day, and some secondary pipe freezing. Fortunately, warming up a bit now.
While are walks have been fewer and shorter, we are still able to be outside, if bundled and covered up a bit like a ninja warrior.
I went to a social networking information session organized by our local writers’ association, featuring one fantasy writer, Marie Bilodeau, and her use of social media. It was reassuring to hear that I seemed to be covering most of the bases and platforms, and her advice, to a mixture of neophytes and more experienced people, was sensible (e.g., if you are worried about something being public, don’t post it, and being aware of the boundaries between one’s work identity and one’s author identity. One thing I did take away is that I can have a Facebook author page (in addition to the ones on Amazon and Goodreads), so here is the initial effort (link here).
I finally managed to get my Rogers TV interview up (here, about 6 minutes). Let me know what you think.
The week started with watching the Presidential Inauguration – something wonderful about how these, at times, can approach that magical combination of substance and pomp like this one did.
For movies, we saw Silver Linings Playbook. An enjoyable, if light, romcom, with the Jennifer Lawrence character the most interesting. Overly predictable, but the vehicle of two ‘crazy’ people falling for each other worked well, for after all, love, in its early stages at least, has a large element of ‘crazy’ and inexplicable to it.
On the more serious side, Michael Haneke’s The White Ribbon (he also directed Amour which is on my list to see). Taking place immediately before WW1, in a small rural German town, where a series of incidents happen, disturbing the community’s self-image of a peaceful and stable place. Underneath that stability, is any number of examples of cruelty, at the levels of adults and children alike, all shot in wonderful black-and-white. While ambiguous in terms of the ending – this is no ‘who dunnit,’ less ambiguous in its condemnation of the culture of silence and respectability that enables so much of human cruelty. Well worth seeing.
I am about half-way through the latest Tom Wolfe book, Back to Blood, set in Miami. While his stories and characters remain as engaging as ever (if not necessarily credible), some of his writing style is just plain irritating, whether it be the punctuation as noted by some reviewers (e.g., Tom Wolfe’s latest? Toss it on the bonfire!), or his attempt to break up the story with sound effects (leave that to the film version, please ….). I don’t know Miami at all, but suspect his characterization of Miami as a city where ‘everybody hates everybody’ is way over the top, as people and cities tend toward greater complexity than fully insulated communities. Favourite scene so far, and best done, the mega-rich at the Basel Miami Art Fair.
Next week, I have my usual routine quarterly clinic appointment. Nothing major to discuss, just the usual check-in and review. So far, so good, as they say, as I come up to the 18 month mark (not that significant, the 2 year mark is the next important one).