Despite the fact that I’m still lossfully unemployed, it’s been a busy weekend. Working backwards, today I read Oryx and Crake, Margaret Atwood’s latest. Yes, by ‘today’ I mean I began and finished it since I’ve gotten up. Briefly: it’s good. Less briefly: it’s not as unique as the glowing reviews would have you believe. The story itself is excellent, but there have been other settings devised that are similar in many ways. One of my favourite science-fiction authors, William Gibson, also uses a mix of biotechnology, class separation, technology and corporatism gone to extremes to paint a bleak view of the future, although Atwood’s is more apocalyptic. The ever-in-progress short story I’ve been tooling with for years has a civilization-ending plague. I guess the numbers of those who do or want to write science fiction outweight our generally poor ability to extrapolate present conditions into anything but the very near future. In light of current world events, I guess Atwood wins points over Gibson for reminding us that the years to come are not all bright and shining, but hold new and uniquely horrible forms of human suffering.
On a more cheerful note, Saturday was Alice’s (day-after-her) birthday extravaganza. We went to The Keg for dinner, and I had this amazing steak with a “bleu cheese, bourbon and almond” spread… very unique flavours, if very strong. And very pricey. I got her The Tao of Pooh to help her be a bit more calm, since she gets stressed sometimes. I flipped through the book (yeah, I do that) before I wrapped it, and I think I might have to do some more reading on Taoism… it seems to coincide with my world-view in some ways. Not all, of course. While I was buying it, I noticed copies of The Upanishads and The Bhagavad Gita. I think I’ll add reading the principal texts and literature of the world’s major religions to my list of things to do in my elusive “spare time”.
Anyways, to finish the evening (or before the finish, muahaha) we saw Shrek 2, which was great - lots of humour for grown-ups, and brilliant animation. Keep your eyes peeled for Joan Rivers, “Knights”, the flamboyant Prince Charming, and Funky Town. We laughed pretty hard, and Alice shushed me a couple times - sorry babe -)
Earlier Saturday was a dragonboat practice, which was fine except for running aground on a pipe just off the beach. We had to hop out of the boat so it would float higher in the water, push it off the obstacle, and then hop back in en masse before the water got too deep to stand in, in a sort of bizarre, aquatic version of a bobsled start or something. Good times.
Friday night and Saturday morning were spent with friends of the family. Basically, my mom has stayed in touch with a few friends of hers who graduated from the University of Waterloo, BMath ‘79 Co-op Teaching Option (a mouthful). Two of these are now married, and a third is married to a Waterloo grad of the same year but a different program. Between the three couples, there are seven kids (including myself and my sister) all aged 17 to 22. Because the parents have all known each other and gotten together regularly since way before we were born, we’ve known each other pretty much all our lives, and all come to these reunions. One guy, Kevin, has a loft downtown (he’s going into UofT CompSci 3rd year), so I spent Friday night there with him, his fiancée, his sister and her boyfriend, and they dropped me off at Dragonboat in the morning. I also went to St. Lawrence Market for the first time, and had a great peameal-bacon-on-a-bun sandwich for breakfast. Mmm good.
Anyways, I ramble, and my bed beckons. More soon!
Now Playing: Zero 7 - Simple Things - 05 - Simple Things