“I must be a mermaid, I have no fear of depths and a great fear of shallow living.” – Anaïs Nin
Hello & welcome to a new weekly feature, where I hold my breath, plumb the depths of the internet for you, and swim up to the surface with my net full of gleaming link-pearls. OR, more like I just skim the cream off the surface of the endless stream of articles I read to distract myself from unimportant things like “feeling feelings” or “talking to my family” or “finding gainful employment”. JK. Kinda?
The quote from Anaïs Nin reminded me of my childhood love of mermaids. I know mermaids have basically been the personal sigil for the tumblr youths of today for the past, oh, 5 years or so. Always one to buck trends, maybe that is why I have kept my latent mermaid-loving ways on the D/L. But it’s true. I am a dyed-in-the-wool pisces, a water baby till the casket drops, and I totally love mermaids.
My frenzied obsession with the titular Disney film actually brought two pieces of art into my life (or my mom did, in an effort to appease my mermaid-crazy 8-year-old self in the pre-internet days where you had to wait essentially a full year for a movie to be released on VHS) which would wound up being pretty influential to me. One being a book of the original Hans Christian Andersen story, beautifully illustrated by Laszlo Gal (see the lovely illustration above!), and the other was a very 70s (complete with baroque pop soundtrack) anime film version (you can watch it in its entirety, here!), which also stayed “true to canon”. Of course I was horrified by the violence and cruelty, but also deeply drawn to the beauty and the horror and the tragedy. What is more tragic than the idea of a mermaid, really? What is more sublime than spending the rest of infinity as foam floating on the surface of the sea?
Anyway, without further ado, here are the links for this week!
• Incandescent bulbs are back!!! Hopefully this means we can stop trying to make LEDs work. PHEW.
• Parenthood sure challenges the boundaries of cleanliness. Who wants to spend what little free time they have left in the shower? This article seems to think us hygenically-challenged parents might be on to something. To a point, anyway, haha.
• From Lucky Peach, a history of my most missed carbohydrate.
• I wear some variation of red (or purple, or hot pink) lipstick every day. If you’ve ever wondered how you arrived at this point, here’s a history of my most favourite kind of makeup.
• If red lips aren’t your thing, maybe you’d be into painting your teeth black, like some in Japan are wont to do.
• How much cheddar is the most expensive home in Vancouver worth? Dispatches from the most wildly overpriced city in the world, outside of Hong Kong.
• What happens to a Mother’s brain? (a: we level the fuck up. ALTERED BEASTS!!!)
• Some levity, after the bleak series of exposés about the state of the Nail Salon industry in NY (and an answer to the question “Why are there so many Vietnamese nail salons on the West Coast?”)
• Design alone can’t change the world, as evidenced by this beautiful, failed housing complex in Winnipeg.
• Beautiful, folksy PoMo architecture and design in the LA area, by Jeff Shelton.
• Two of my favourite things: Feminism, and the movies of Hayao Miyazaki.
• Finland is changing the idea of schooling as we know it (and I sure wish they’d bring it over here!),
• If your kiddo is being defiant and uncooperative, maybe connection is the key!
• Part of me deeply wants an early 90s new money monstrosity home, like this one.
• This woman has reduced her waste to the point where 2 years of garbage fits in a single mason jar. While this brings up some questions and criticism, I would really love to find ways to increasingly limit the amount of garbage we throw out in our home.
• The New Andean style of architecture in Bolivia is pretty damn amazing!
• This is a project after my own heart (and one of my former houses, the filigree Queen Anne I lived in during the early oughts, is featured!). Kevin Lanthier creates eerie dreamlike Vancouver streetscapes and documents the disappearing character in our rapidly changing city.
I was awake and watching TV the other night when Andrew turned to me and asked, confused, “Bowie’s dead?!”. Immediately I assumed it was a hoax, and must have been mixed up with the news of his birthday and his album release, and I told him as much. But, alas.
Maybe I’m a sociopath, haha, but I am not one to be impacted by celebrity deaths. Loyal dogs, abandoned babies, and stories of overcoming adversity, YES. But I am rather indifferent to celebrities, for the most part, regardless of how I feel about their work. Mainly because I find it very difficult to canonize people who can be so egregiously human in their personal lives (I think we don’t have to dig too far in our recent past to find examples of that). David Bowie was a human man who did great things with music and quite possibly some horrible things to other people. Our faves are all problematic because our world is all problematic.
However, I believe the above resonates – he was one of – if not the – single most influential people in popular culture in my lifetime. He truly felt immortal and otherworldly, and I have been feeling guilty that I took for granted that he could just up and die at any minute, like any one of us. I do feel very fortunate to have come of age surrounded by a popular culture absolutely steeped in Bowie.
I didn’t really turn to his music until I was into my 20s, but his songs provided a soundtrack to many of my nights. Alone, chain smoking, putting on lipstick and getting ready to see where the night would take me, or together with friends at an after after after party, sloppy dancing, drinks sloshing and singing along. His absence will be felt.
That’s it for now! I hope everyone is having a wonderful Wednesday. If you’re in Vancouver, I hope you’re staying dry and warm, and if you’re elsewhere… Well, I’m jealous.