Tuesday, January 28, 2014

bits and bobs

Somehow in all the crazy scheduling that has been this winter, Bunny and I have somehow managed to find a decent amount of time for fun and spontaneity. A few dinner dates, plans with friends and a very exciting, unexpected purchase.

Bunny and I really have no need for more devices. He's got a Galaxy phone, I'm about to update my crummy BlackBerry to something more functional we have a laptop for shared playing and a desktop for his work. We are all device-d out. Right?
picture nabbed from the Samsung website

Except neither of us likes the desktop for anything but work, and we both like to watch things online which ties up the laptop for ages and we always want to be on it at the same time. We'd both been thinking of spending some allowance money on a tablet but neither of us had mentioned it to the other or taken the plunge.

The only reason we went to Best Buy was to get some printer ink. I can't quite explain how we walked out of Canada Computers an hour later with the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3. But we certainly did. And I love it. Bunny started calling it my toy pretty much half an hour after he set it up, so I consider that promising.

There are still a few things the laptop is better for - streaming video on the TV, writing blog posts, adding content to my Feedly. But going through the blog reader is a lot quicker on the Tab, even though I'm still figuring out how not to drive myself nuts when leaving comments (blogger I've got down, wordpress has been a headache). I'm trying to figure out what apps we want to add to it - some sort of news app, a few more games that sort of thing.

Delaunay, Red Eiffel Tower
from the Guggenheim collection

I also made a weekend trip to the Art Gallery of Ontario with one of my besties the other weekend which was a load of fun. We needed a visit, Toronto is a convenient halfway point and it's always fun to have a little bit of cultural entertainment. Even better, there was a visiting exhibit from the Guggenheim and we managed to find two separate coupons for the whole event.

It was pretty cool. The exhibit was about art from 1910 to 1918, and while a lot of it really wasn't too my tastes personally it was amazing to see and get exposed to new artists. I've also come to the conclusion that while intellectually I can appreciate how amazing Picasso's creative process was, as well as how ground-breaking, I just don't enjoy the results. Cubism is not my bag. There was also a lot of awkwardly abstract art, I found. I had a hard time with Kandinsky - a lot of his early work seemed like it was abstract for the sake of abstraction and the whole effect seemed like a five year old could have done it. When we got to the later years he seemed to have abandoned trying to replicate things in the abstract and just painting it got really cool.

Also, I don't know how I've never found Delaunay before. Or maybe I've seen some of his work but never got his name? Either way, I loved the pieces of his that we saw and if I weren't living in my mother's basement and travelling by train I probably would have picked up a print. His work hit what for me is a sweet spot in abstraction: still recognizable, but has been given a form and fluidity that expands it past what it is representative of.

There were a few others that were interesting as well - Chagall's work was wonderful if somewhat discomforting, and Mondrian's works seemed very much to be speaking to current styles - which makes me wonder if it inspired the modern trend of colourblocking, and I could see having fun trying to recreate his work in quilt form.

Some of the commentary on the work I found odd. Particularly there was a comment that it was surprising that once the war broke out in 1914 that it was a "surprise" that some artists didn't immediately make the war their subject. It seems to me that when war is subsuming the world around you, that perhaps art would be an escape from the war, rather than an expression of it.

Then there's the general business of life: co-ordination of appointments, trying to squeeze in coffee with friends around that, running errands, getting lost nose deep in a book and cuddles with the puppy and the increasingly sucky cats (seriously, these cats have gotten needy in their old age!).

Coming up we have our meeting with our accountant to take care of the taxes - which is both scary and exciting. I'll be bringing my checkbook as we're planning on some creative money management, putting money into a retirement account for tax benefits - because we can raid said retirement account for our downpayment. Hopefully we'll be able to squeeze in a visit with my aunt afterwards - we've been trying to meet up for ages and it just hasn't worked out. One of my university friends is visiting town later in the month as well, and I'm hoping that I can manage to squeak in a coffee or lunch date and catch up.

So that's me, lately, in a nutshell. Busy but still having fun. What's everyone else been up to?

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