Sunday, 29 January 2012

Genius, I say genius.

                                             See the bear in the mountain?

Toblerone chocolate bars originated in Berne, Switzerland whose symbol is the bear. 
Crazy cool, is it not? 

By the way, I did not figure this out/am-not-genius-at-this-hour. 
To whoever did, kudos.

We need something like this for the 'Peg.
What could we hide in a picture of a low hill?

3 weeks and counting...

Goal: Reading Week

As of tomorrow morning, there are three weeks until reading week. That's break time. Maybe it's the crash I'm feeling this very moment because I decided it would be great to drink coffee ALL day long but these next couple of weeks cannot come and go fast enough.

There's just so much to do that I'm not sure how we'll fit it all in. Hmmm ... Just a scosh worried.

A fun side note, for me anyway: I'm heading off the Puerto Rico. Yes, tagging along with my parents who were kind enough to invite me. Love them. (Not just for this.)


Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Lost in Translation

There’s a Vietnamese grocery store on McPhillips Street and there’s a sign out front that says, “Free Run Chicken.” My thinking is that they’re selling free-range chicken and the translation between Vietnamese and English is maybe a little less than direct. Either way I have this image in my head of chickens running lose inside the store.

It got me thinking about what’s lost in translation and, in particular, how we try and recreate the world around us; especially now that there’s so many outlets to do this through.

In our Creative Writing class this week we’re working to create radio dramas which we’ll produce later on. Our instructor, Karen Press, is getting us to think about the tools available to us that’ll help create a sense of the real for our listening audience.

We listened to ‘The Suicide Tapes’ which with its tape recorder hissing (I learned this was a filter) sounded so legitimate that I thought they were real. The possibility of it being real made listening to the tapes all the more creepy. And interesting.

We also listened to ‘Afghanada,’ modeled on Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan. The problem I had listening to these episodes was not being able to tell when the narrator was reminiscing and when a scene from his memory was being re-enacted. Sure the extraneous goat bleets cued me into a rural terrain but it wasn’t enough to help me make sense of the structure.

Above all else, if what I’m listening to is supposed to be “real” then there has to be a reason to be listening to it. Like with ‘The Suicide Tapes,’ you can easily imagine you’re listening to evidence collected in what ends up being the murder of a psychiatrist by her patient. It’s their sessions and her case notes. Simple.

And what about dialogue?

When you’re writing  a fiction story, making your dialogue sound realistic (like it could actually have come out of someone’s mouth) is more than half the battle. Not only do the words used need to sound natural, the lines spoken by one character have to “sound” different than the words spoken by another. Creating different voices without a voice to speak them: it’s challenging. But you probably knew that.

What’s weird again is how much effort goes into sounding natural. I’m tempted to say that sounding natural should come naturally but that somehow sounds too contrived, like I was waiting to say that very line. Hmmm...

And take a moment to consider Twitter.

There are a small number of people in my class on Twitter who have crafted a very natural (and witty) voice in their tweets. Yes, that is a tinge of jealousy peaking through my letters. I’ve been on Twitter since September and have yet to feel comfortable hitting that send button.

It’s likely that the limitation of 140 characters compacts the trouble of creating a standout voice for either yourself or one of your characters, something that makes success all the more impressive. But it still seems to me a bit peculiar. Beyond that I haven’t quite figured out my opinion.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Friday, 20 January 2012

I know you laughed.

Proof that you can't underestimate the creativeness of Canadian kids for mischief.

Considering all the brilliant, devious minds we had in high school, I don't know how we missed doing this.

At a high school in Saskatchewan, a group of students played a prank....they let three goats loose inside the school.

But before turning them loose, they painted numbers on the sides of the goats: 1, 2, and 4.

School Administrators spent most of the day looking for No. 3.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Re-staring your engine

It’s easier said than done.
For any of you who, like me, are having a hard time getting back into the swing of school / work after a particularly rest-less holiday, you have my greatest sympathies.
Though the weather in Winnipeg has been disconcertingly warm this month, it is only one of the things that is throwing me off. The other is much more difficult to fix: I need quiet.
That’s all I have to say.
I’m putting it out there. Maybe, if I’m lucky, I’ll get my wish this year.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Michael Leskiw 1920-2012

My grandpa.

Michael passed away peacefully in the early morning hours of January 2, 2012 at the age of 91 years.
He was predeceased by his parents and brother, Walter.  Left to mourn are his beloved wife of 68 years, Joyce; daughter Christine (Dennis) Grywinski; son Chris Leskiw (Deb Dyck); grandchildren Tanner, Jenna, Todd and Jaclyn; sister Ann Lasiuk; and many nieces and nephews.
Born and raised in Winnipeg’s North End, he attended St. Nicholas and King Edward Schools.  With the early death of his father, Michael became the man of the family during the difficult Depression years.  Employment in the garment trade led him to the first two loves of his life: his wife Joyce whom he married July 31, 1943 and the art of tailoring. Leskiw Tailors on Selkirk Avenue was an institution in the North End for over 55 years.  In 1991, the partial loss of his eyesight forced him into a reluctant retirement and led him to his other passions: gardening, woodworking and, most importantly, his four grandchildren.  Each has their special cherished memories of Grandpa and each held a special place in his heart. 
Dad faithfully attended St. Nicholas Church and instilled in his children the traditions of his faith. When first diagnosed, he confronted his illness with stoic resolve and told his family “what is God’s Will, will be”. He was a man of great strength of character with a wonderful sense of humour.  He will be missed by all who knew and loved him.
The family wishes to thank the staff of 2W, Maples Personal Care Home for the care and kindness shown to Dad over the last three years.
Divine Liturgy will be celebrated on Saturday, January 7, 2012 at 10 a.m. at St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church, 737 Bannerman (at Arlington).  Father Isidore Dziadyk, OSBM officiating.  Interment to follow at All Saints Cemetery (West St. Paul).
Flowers are gratefully declined.  Donations in Michael’s memory may be made to St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church or CNIB.       
Rest in peace Dad, Grandpa.  You will remain in our hearts forever.