Thursday, April 26, 2012

Gunna Ride My Bike Until I Get Home

I think a bike is a gal's best accessory, boys and girls.

I mean, yeah, I do love me a good necklace.  Scarves? Scarves are possibly my favourite type of clothing, let alone article of.

But bikes!  They can be cute, tough, unique, or trendy.  They're an accessory than can themselves be accessorised with baskets, panniers, flowers, ribbons on the handlebars, or clackers on the wheels (well, those last two? Maybe not after the age of ten).

And they get you places!  Like your neighbourhood friends' houses, your downtown high-school, or your workplace at six in the morning (too specific?).  No necklace of mine has ever delivered so magnanimously!

So this, boys and girls, is my Blue Bomber.  I will admit that oftentimes the gears will skip, the seat will be uncomfortable, and the basket is very very tenuously connected to the frame.  But I feel like I rescued it from an untimely demise when I inherited it from a friend a few years back.  Since then I've installed an entirely new set of gears, applied three or four cans of WD-40, and undergone many a late-night gear adjustment.  And in return, this little drivers-licenseless girl gets to go from point A to B!  That's all pretty alright with me!

Scarf - Gift from my brother from Greece
Jacket - Old Navy
Lace Shirt - Primark (UK)
Skirt - American Apparel
Tights - Joe Fresh
Socks - My Dad's 
Boots - H&M
Purse - H&M

Ok, bikes aside, let's talk about these clothes (that's why we're here, right?).  As a whole, yeah, I like this outfit I guess, but all its separate parts make my heart sing.  My brother brought me back this scarf from Europe and it has been my absolute favourite ever since.  I've had many another paisley scarf, but none can unseat this one for pattern, weight, tie-ability, or colour.  The purse is THE PERFECT BAG for me.  It has rips and tears and sometimes isn't big enough for all the nonsense I cart around, but the school-boy style is to die for and it goes with everything I own.  The lace shirt is from MY year abroad, and was, I think, the first piece of truly racy clothing that I owned.  I changed a lot that year, grew into my skin, became the most confident I've ever been, and also it only cost like five pounds.  The jean jacket is pretty new, but I really like it!  And the boots: well obviously I love these boots.

Well folksies, I have nothing more to say to you than put on some clothes you like and get from point A to B today!

(Which, I guess, is just life in a nutshell, eh?)


Your friend Lina

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Spring is Sprung, the Gras is Gris, I Wonder What Your Housefit Is?

Before yesterday, I had had one day off in ten, boys and girls.

Don't get me wrong.  My job is tonnes of fun and I want to be working as much as I can in the next few months to save up for my big trip.  But sometimes (oftentimes) one day off is not enough.

Which is why I'm pretty much in lazy-man's heaven right now.  I've got three days off in a row, I've recently acquired both seasons of Sherlock, and I've got little-to-nothing pressing on my to-do list.

It's days like today then, boys and girls, that call for another round of Housefit!  Come the warmer months, leggings and a big wool sweater don't really cut it anymore.  But long, flowing, stretchy dresses sure do.  I happened upon the habit of maxi-dress-as-housewear from my cousin last summer.  Rather than sticking to the furnishings as one would do in shorts and a tank top, one gets breezy comfort from all this fabric.  And if it gets cooler in the evening time, as spring and summer are wont to do, it doubles as a light blanket!

Picnicking?  No worries, you've got a built-in drop-sheet.

Day at the beach?  Save your pasty, pasty skin from burning while at the same time keeping sand out of untoward places.

Lying on the couch watching Sherlock or listening to Songs of Man by One Hundred Dollars (more First World War folk nostalgia!)?  Then I've got the outfit for you:

Dress - H&M (in England, two years ago)
Shirt - H&M (in Montreal, two months ago)

Should it really be worth a blog post if I'm only wearing two things?  Only time, and the uprising of an oppressed mass who can take no more will tell!

Lie on a couch today in solidarity with your days-off-work brethren!


Your friend Lina 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Canada's Four Seasons

Hello from inside on this rainy day, boys and girls!

A few weeks back I bought a really great pair of shorts, thinking I should stock up for the season.  Yesterday it snowed.  And although the flowers are back from under their white blanket (and even though I loved the snow, cause, it's me), it doesn't look like it's going to nice around here for a little while.

Reminds me of the old saying, "Canada has four seasons: Almost Winter, Winter, Still Winter, and Construction."

Well here are the clothes I decided to wear today in this rainy month of Still Winter.  One of my very dearest friends is recently back from a year away in Australia, so I wanted to look snazzy for hanging out with her today.  She's only visiting for a little while, so I tried to pull out all the stops!

Shirt - H&M
Scarf - Stand Up Apparel (from Salt Spring Island, BC)
Dress - Forever 21
Tights - Joe Fresh
Boots - H&M

I really like the brightness of this outfit: who'd've ever thunk I'd wear such a thing!  But you need something like this to remind you it is indeed Spring, and not Still Winter on a day like today.  A day when you spend the majority of your day drinking tea, eating soup, and napping with one of your best ladies.

Dress positively and in flagrant contravention of the weather, boys and girls!


Your friend Lina

Thursday, April 19, 2012

My Brood

Just a quick heads up before I get started, boys and girls:  We've rebooted our (largely) NFB blog, The Recorded North.  You can go there to keep up to date with what's going down at the NFB in this new cutthroat climate.  I'll be posting videos, articles, and some of my old historical work.  Enjoy!

Now that I've got a space for my boiling and roiling Canadian arts and culture opinions, I can keep this space about clothes and travel and other fluffy stuff.

I say that, and then I put together this outfit solely to expound upon one particular facet of the Canadian arts whom I love: the band, Elliott BROOD.

I've listened to these guys for a few years now, and earlier this year they came out with a blinding album, titled Days into Years (I wrote about their concert here).  However, just this past week I heard this interview that the group did with PRI's The World about the inspiration for the album.  Man, I thought I loved them before?  Well upon hearing that Days into Years was inspired by their travels through Europe, encountering remnants of the First World War, and trying to put the thoughts and feelings of Canadian soldiers into song, boys and girls I'm not afraid to say I fell SO. MUCH. MORE in love with the band and the album.

Take for instance the song Hold You.  At first I though it was an, albeit morbid, love song between a family and a dying parent, friend, or compatriot.  When you listen to it with your WWI headphones on though, it's clear that verses such as "I'll hold you in my arms until the wound subsides / Come now to the darkness, and pray for the coming light / We know now that she's coming, hear the rattle in your lungs / We know now that you'll never make the coming light of dawn," are about a soldier dying in a fellow soldier's arms.  They elucidate upon this much more clearly in the interview than I could, but suffice to say I am moved, touched, and heartened that there are artists out there who care about preserving these memories just as much as I do.

And so what do I do to cement my love of this album and this band?  Why I wear their t-shirt and take pictures of myself in it:

T-Shirt: Elliott BROOD Merch
Jeans: Old Navy
Sandals: Hand-me-downs from my aunt
Sunglasses: H&M

Seriously though, boys and girls, it's a really great album and they're a really great band.  If I were to get a tattoo it would definitely read CANCON4EVA.


Your friend Lina 

Friday, April 13, 2012

The NFB and Me

Alright guys, this is not going to be a fluffy post about some stuff I like.  Today I'm going to be using BBF as a platform for some heady political stuff that's hitting close to home.

Now, I know you're not all Canadians, so maybe this won't be for you, but my Canadian pals, here's what's up.  The National Film Board of Canada is an independent and publicly funded film corporation that has been in existence in Canada since the Second World War, when John Grierson came over from Scotland to set it up.  At that time the NFB was known as the Wartime Information Board, and really its only job was to create and disseminate propaganda.

Following World War II, however, the NFB continued to thrive as a bastion of Canadian culture.  They made films to recruit immigrants to Canada (I did my Honours thesis on those films), they funded independent filmmakers making works in their own regions, and they disseminated them across the land for free.  The NFB was the home of Norman MacLaren, one of the pioneers of the animation art form.  They've been able to support filmmakers with (or without) a message, making sure that not everyone need turn to studios or investors or advertisers in order to get their art out there.  Remember, Canada is a HUGE place with not a huge population.  So to sustain and maintain an institution like the NFB is an incredible feat and they've left an incredible legacy.

Until now.  The NFB has just announced that they will be closing their two main public cinemas in Toronto and Montreal due to budget cuts doled out by the Conservative government.  In doing so, they're cutting off the last person-to-person connection the public has with the entire catalogue that the Board has to offer.  It's true, in the past few years the NFB has done INCREDIBLE work putting their archives on line, and their interface is extraordinary.  The wealth of information that is available on their website is monumental.  However, it is only a fraction of their archives.

For a history student like myself, who is about to embark upon a Master's degree which will rely heavily on NFB materials, these cuts are devastating.  For the Honours thesis that I wrote, 70% of the material I sourced came from the Cinerobotheque on St. Denis.  I was watching some pretty obscure stuff that wouldn't necessarily be entertainment or be artistically uplifting to the public at large.  However, being granted free access to that archival material meant that I got to delve into, and paint a picture of, 1950s Canada that hadn't been delved into or painted before.  By shutting down these edifices the sort of work that I want to do, or any other project imaginable for any other person imaginable, is being cut off and dried up.

Not to mention the near 100 jobs that are being made redundant by these closures.

So here's where I'm coming to you.  If you grew up watching The Log Driver's Waltz, The Sweater, or The Big Snit (even if you didn't, go watch them now, they're wonderful); if you've been blown away by any of the recent internationally acclaimed films that the NFB have facilitated; or if you believe in the public institutions of Canada, please take a look at this letter.  If you are moved to stand up to your government and voice your displeasure, dissatisfaction, and disgust at the turn this government is taking towards the arts, maybe you'll consider penning one of your own.  I already did so today, and will continue to do so until I hear more about how I can help save this hallowed - at least for me - institution.



P.S. Here's a link to a blog two friends and I made last year for our Canadian Film class.  We've got some more background on what the NFB is about, and some links to the more documentarian side of films produced there.