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The Engineer

The Life and Times of Donald F. Simmons

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Busy Week

High Culture was the theme of the past few days. Last week I attended the Tightrope Books launch of Best Canadian Poetry 2009, hosted by Myna Wallin. Readings, musical entertainment, and free food. Kudos to all involved in the event, and the Revival is much classier for poetry than the back room of Clinton's.

The next day, Cory Doctorow had a reading at the Merril, the start of his North American book tour for Makers. The place was literally packed, we had people in the hall and sitting under tables. Cory was his usual entertaining and interesting self, I really admire his ability to argue concisely and clearly on the spur of the moment (even on topics not related to copyrights). His big worry right now is Google's plan to scan and make available out-of-copyright books, not because he thinks it's a bad idea, but because Google has so far refused to sign onto any sort of privacy policy regarding people using the service, so they will know what titles you read, how many pages you read, how you linked to the service, where you were at the time (IP address) etc. etc. He also treated us with his parenting tips (rip all your Disney DVD, so when the kid crawls into your lap while you're at the computer, you can open up one of them in a window in the corner to distract her). And free copies of Linux were available from a friend of his. There was a long lineup for autographs, and as Cory likes talking to people, it was running a couple of minutes per person. I don't know what time he ended up getting out of there.

Right after that I caught up with Joel and Melanie for a bit down at the Rivoli, where a band Joe liked (Zeus) was playing. They were good, but I actually preferred one of the warm-up acts, Moby Dick, in full pirate/sailor garb, playing 60s-style stuff, which I think is due for a comeback.

Friday was the Reel Asian Film Festival, and a silent kung-fu film from 1927, Red Heroine. A young woman's village is attacked, grandmother killed, she's take prisoner as a concubine by the local warlord, is rescued by the local hermit called the White Monkey, he trains her, and she returns to save some friends. The film is pretty slow in the middle when our main character completely vanishes (they hadn't perfected the training montage yet), but there was live musical accompaniment thru the whole thing which was just top-notch (playing nonstop for 100 minutes must be a lot of work). I was late trying to get tickets and had to stand in the rush line, but managed to squeeze in.

Saturday got a little more cycling in (you knew that was coming), and dropped down to Bakka for the ChiZine Press event that day. Things with the press are going quite well for kelpqueen and jack_yoniga, which is great to see. Had the Penney's and my brother over in the evening for some dinner (repayment for them having us for Thanksgiving), and we watched the Harlen Ellison bio-doc Dreams with Sharp Teeth, which I can't recommend highly enough.

Sunday did a little necessary clothes shopping, had dinner with Nicolas, Eric, and Gillian, and returned to the Reel Asian Festival for there closing film Breathless, an utterly relentless film about a small time gangster, the demons which pursue him, and the people in his life. It's amazing how a huge disaster film like 2012 can have next to no effect on you, but something personal can keep you up at night. Not the year's feel good film, but an amazing piece of work. I just wish I knew beforehand that there was going to be a 40 minute awards ceremony right before it.

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I've said this before but reading your LJ makes me tired. Really.

I'm glad his reading was well attended. I'm astounded at how poorly attended his signing was in London :(

Yeah, what is it with you lazy UK fans? :-)

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