Nicole's blog


The kind in knitting, not for climbing. But these are big enough to climb on. Why? What am I doing wrong? I've knit and purled before. Is it the circular needles? Is k4, p4 a bad combination? Help!

What I'm Listening To

Bon Iver, For Emma, Forever Ago. Buy it now.
Read the Pitchfork review here.

Etching and Cross-Hatching

Recently I took a weekend-long etching/intaglio workshop at NSCAD. I made this garlic print:

I love etching! I loved how meditative it was to scrape lines onto a plate. I loved learning about cross-hatching. I loved the process of sketch to plate to acid bath to cleaning to inking to wiping to printing to cleaning, etc. etc. I've been trying to get that old-fashioned, early 20th century feeling in my illustrations as I try to figure out how to illustrate my kids' books. So now I've tried a few more pen and ink cross-hatched drawings. They don't turn out as well as actually etching, but I'm slowly getting the hang of it. Below, some of my drawings.







"We will sample it judiciously!"

"When Olena was a girl, she had called them lie-berries--a fibbing fruit, a story store--and now she had a job in one. She had originally wanted to teach English literature, but when she failed to warm to the graduate study of it, its french-fried theories--a vocabulary of arson!--she'd transferred to library school, where everyone was taught to take care of books, tenderly, as if they were dishes or dolls."

--from Lorrie Moore's "Community Life," Birds of America (1998)

Unfortunately, Nicole

Unfortunately, Nicole never considered the fact that she could get pregnant while doing alcohol and drugs while having unprotected sex.
Unfortunately, Nicole has a reputation.
Unfortunately, Nicole has gone over the edge.
Unfortunately, Nicole suffered a set back last month.
Unfortunately, Nicole was having a wardrobe malfunction.
Unfortunately, Nicole lost to that fugly Serena.
Unfortunately, Nicole seems to have an incredible memory, or maybe because she's just hungry for gossip.
Unfortunately, Nicole didn't make headlines again until February 2001 where it was made public that she and her husband were separating.
Unfortunately, Nicole was only cancer free for two months, and then found out that the cancer had metastasized to her lungs.
Unfortunately, Nicole did NOT offer her placenta to Tom.
Unfortunately, Nicole came in 15th in the time-trial.
Unfortunately, Nicole has a girlfriend Melanie Mayron and, as they say, drama ensues.
Unfortunately, Nicole is the cutest baby ever and no-one can stop fussing.
Unfortunately, Nicole is not in these photos.
Unfortunately, Nicole was too young as the minimum age requirement was 13.
Unfortunately, Nicole had chosen all peonies for her wedding flowers.
Unfortunately, Nicole is not a serious student of music.

Wild Caraway Restaurant and Café

Best restaurant in Nova Scotia. Right next door to the blue house, right here in Advocate Harbour:

Venn Diagram

The Berth House

In response to Bookninja's 're-masculate' contest, the goal of which was to 'masculine-ize' a chick lit. title, behold, The Berth House, by Andi McKay.

Here's the synopsis: Donahue “Huey” Rare is the first boy in five generations of Scot’s Bay, Nova Scotia Rares to reject the family carpentry business and head to the high seas, despite the family sea curse. In his youth, Huey apprentices with Mr. Comeau (“Mr. C”), a salty Acadian sea captain infamous for his sea chanties and mean-spirited blind parrot, Chico. After a decade at sea fighting pirates, Germans and sea monsters, Huey returns to Scot’s Bay with his crew of misfit sailors to prove his worth, winning the love of the village hooker, Ruby. When a harrowing fire set by a new American carpenter threatens the berth house his father and brothers built, only Huey can save the village. But will he?

(note #1: I'm posting this here because, what happened to this contest? Seems they got a bit of press in The Guardian and that was that. Away into the ether)

(note #2: You can read the ridiculous synopsis to the extremely ridiculous original Birth House, which has one of the worst, most sexist covers ever, here)

2008 Diz Musical Year in Review, Part 1

I bought lots of music this year. Not an exceptional amount, but here's a quick review of some of my purchases.

TV on the Radio, Dear Science (2008)

Fucking awesome. Fantastic combination of layered and textured sounds, good lyrics, wide variety of songs - from full on rock & roll to orchestral ballads. Music that is absolutely of this time, absolutely a reflection of our world today. Not a misstep on this album. Crank and dance.

Elliott Brood, Mountain Meadows (2008)

Not an extreme departure from 2005's Ambassador, Mountain Meadows is a more mature, stronger album in that there's barely a weak track here. Foot-stomping, death-country from a band that got started in Windsor, Ontario. Love the organic quality of their songs--earthy toms and bass drums, layer upon layer of guitar, banjo, raspy vocals. You absolutely will sing along to "The Valley Town" and "Write it All Down for You." Please, please, please come to Halifax. Am dying to see you live.

Jolie Holland, The Living and the Dead (2008)

Not as good as her previous Springtime Can Kill You (2006) or Escondida (2004) or at least I haven't gotten into it as much. Sadly, some of the songs border on a Sheryl Crow quality which makes me think, despondently, that she's trying to appeal to some mini-van mom audience. But hell, who hasn't whored herself out to mini-van moms? They do buy things after all (I'd slap a pink purse on the cover of my book of short stories if it meant a publishing contract). So, the death-country, whistling quality is diminished. Good tracks here, like "Palmyra" and the title song, but they tend to get boring after multiple listens. Still doesn't diminish my mad girl-crush on Jolie (that voice! those tattoos!) and hope to see her when she heads to Halifax for the In the Dead of Winter festival in January.

Canadian Federal Leaders' Debate Drinking Game

This Thursday, October 2, from 10 pm - 12 am (ADT), the federal leaders of all parties (yes, even the Green Party!) will hold their televised leaders' debate. Now the debate is quite fun as is, but to make it even more fun, I'm working on a drinking game to accompany the yelling and name-calling. Below is the game so far. If you have any suggestions, please leave them in the comments section (the French debate is October 1, but as my French is comme ci comme ça, there's more potential for drunken fun during the English debate).

Federal Leaders’ Debate Drinking Game

Drink every time:
• Jack Layton says “working families.”
• Stephen Harper says “economic crisis.”
• Stephen Harper says “strong leadership.”
• You have no idea what Stéphane Dion just said.
• Someone does a knuckle point (one drink/point)
• Elizabeth May goes over her time limit and gets cut off.
• Harper says “ordinary Canadians.”
• Someone else says THEY are an ordinary Canadian.

Take two drinks if:
• Someone says “gliberal” in reference to the May/Dion deal.
• Harper denies climate change.
• Harper mentions “rich artists” or “art galas.”
• Gilles Duceppe mentions that Quebec should be an independent country.

Finish your drink if:
• Harper smiles (note not grimaces).