A Puff of Absurdity: Now I’m Trendy, Dammit

The NY Times published a piece last night:“‘Going flat’ after breast cancer,” about the nascent movement towards openly having a boobless chest. And here I thought I was doing something courageously original!  Turns out I’m just an early adopter, not an innovator. When I first found out I needed a double mastectomy, I searched online ...

A Puff of Absurdity: Just a Flesh Wound

This is a figuring kind of post wherein I try to make sense of it all. I have all sorts of thoughts about breasts now. I had to get the dressing changed today, so I got a glimpse of myself for the first time. The nurse at the CCAC was wonderful. She taught me to ...

A Puff of Absurdity: On Dying and Grieving and Judgment

My dad passed away this week. He was older than the hills: 93 and a half years old. I’m not sad about his passing; he lived a long and fulfilling life. But I am troubled by how he went, and our expectations around grief. At his 90th birthday party, he was jovially talking with old ...

Things Are Good: Typographic Design Can Improve The World

The font you choose matters, it sets the tone of what is read and the overall look of what’s presented. A simple decision around fonts can turn something beautiful into an ugly mess and vice versa. Be conscious of what you pick. Not only can fonts make things look nice they can also improve the ...

A Puff of Absurdity: On Thigh Gap

My daughter is worried about it. She just turned 11. She’s been sick from the heat a couple times because she wears jeans everywhere. It’s a problem. I told a friend my concerns, and he advised me to ban the internet. But all she looks at on there is Heartland shows and facts about horses. ...

A Puff of Absurdity: Backyard Studio and Garden Build

Three summers ago, I decided to take over the backyard, get rid of the playhouse that the kids had deserted, and build a big garden and waterfall with a little studio to work in.  The next day, my son said all he wanted for his birthday was to take over the backyard to build an ...

A Puff of Absurdity: Brief Hiatus

I’ve been busy gardening, and then I took a break to check out NYC.  The entire album, Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, played in my head on a loop while I was there.  It was a nice distraction from the provincial election stuff, and the NDP couldn’t ask me for time or money for four ...

A Puff of Absurdity: On Self-Obsession and Self-Hatred

Today some students were discussing Victoria Secrets models.  Some of the girls have significant contempt for the women that show off the latest fashions in lingerie.  It’s curious to me that I don’t think I ever felt that way in high-school even though it seems to be the dominant mindset.  I don’t know if it’s ...

A Puff of Absurdity: On Alain de Botton

de Botton Alain de Botton wrote one of my favourite under-praised books, Status Anxiety.  I also quite like using his Consolations of Philosophy in my class as an additional resource because it simplifies and grounds some theories for the kids.  And I show his TEDTalk on atheism 2.0 every semester when I talk about secular ...

A Puff of Absurdity: On Designer Vaginas and Media Influence

Labiaplasty is on the rise.  Who knew? There’s an article in the Guardian in which Daisy Buchanan argues that we can’t blame porn for this rush towards plastic surgery to pretty-up our lady bits because it’s everywhere; in mainstream music videos we can see about as much as porn shows. I’m not sure what bands ...

A Puff of Absurdity: A Work-Out Rant

As soon as I was in my mid-30s, women everywhere started randomly looking me up and down and warning me that as soon as I hit 40, I’d have a much harder time with my weight.  It didn’t happen at 40, but now, at 48, I see what they mean.  In part. My body’s shifted. ...

Death By Trolley: Reasons I hate hockey

Aesthetics. What is beautiful? What defines beauty, quality and goodness? What distinguishes different levels of quality? For example, why are Oasis’ Wonderwall or Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit iconic songs of an era, whereas Swirl 360′s Hey Now Now fell out of our collective consciousness in months? These questions teeter on the edge of intractability. ...

Walking Turcot Yards: “Hurricane Porn”?: The Aesthetics of Authenticity and Nature’s Wrath

Excellent article that discusses Superstorm Sandy and how events influence images and vice versa. By Paul Mullins n the wake of Hurricane Sandy photographers shared ten images every second on Instagram, documenting the storm, testifying to the power of nature, and underscoring the internet’s power to shape our collective imagination.  The most ridiculous images following ...