Saturday, August 11, 2007

Blog Makeover

Like the new look? Either way, it's not as if I spent much time on it - just a few clicks here and there, selecting from a list of Blogger-approved layouts. I rather like it, despite my lack of originality picking fonts and colours. I figure it's safe sticking to tried-and-true formulas, like the trusty, eye-friendly white background and black fonts. Anyways, I figure that I can update and improve over the coming months, as I grow more familiar with html nonsense. And the biggest plus side to all this? The subtle change makes me want to write again...

I guess I could give you quick details about my convocation ceremony, and the many trips I took out of town during the months of June and July (Stratford, Minneapolis, New York City), just to justify my long absence from the blog:

- June 14th: I graduated from the University of Toronto, with a Bachelor of Arts in the field of South Asian Studies. Many people ask what that entails, so I think a better way to describe what I've been studying for the last four years is "post-colonial/critical theory". The event itself was mind-numbingly boring; just the conferring of diplomas took an hour in itself. Our speaker was the Minister of Finance, and he delivered a speech I felt like I heard ten times before ("My grandfather emigrated to this country with nothing in his pockets, and an education helped him to... etc, etc.") Family stuff was fun; after picking up an award at my college, we went out for dinner at our favourite Pakistani restaurant. Of course, everything on the menu contained meat or animal products, so I had to get a special order of chana (masala chickpeas); 'twas good.

- Late June: Family wedding in Minneapolis; my second-cousin's daughter's (it took me a while to get my head around that too; the complexities of extended family relations.) Not much to report here; if you've been to an Indian-Muslim wedding before, you would know that the festivities last several days (mendhi party, mosque night, the actual wedding ceremony, reception, etc.) It's always pleasant to revisit places you once called home, only now through the eyes of an adult (I lived there until I was six, then moved to Dubai.)

- Late July: Drove down with my cousin to New York City to visit my sister (a most gracious host, thanks sis!). Stayed for about five days, and did some of the requisite tourist attractions (Times Square was insane, but exciting due to the enormity of it all.) I didn't get in any Broadway shows (my only choices through a discount ticket-seller [TKTS] were The Color Purple and The 25th Annual Putnam Spelling Bee, neither of which I was really keen on.) My favourite experience was visiting two museums: the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Museum of Modern Art (the latter of which I visited with none other than Nick.) We caught an afternoon showing of Bresson's Mouchette at the MoMA, but funnily enough, neither of us had a solid movie-going experience. The man in front of me with his giant head completely obscured the subtitles, while Nick was unable to concentrate without a cup of coffee (which we were unable to procure before the screening, and apparently Starbucks was out of the question.) Anyways, it was a pleasure meeting him in person, and it was great being able to spend time in an amazing city with someone who knows it so well. It's very easy to feel overwhelmed in NYC, especially as a Canadian. I'm already planning to go back in October.

So... back to the movies. We've hit the mid-August mark, which usually means that the summer movie season is almost at an end point (somewhat sadly marked by the release of Rush Hour 3.) I'm grateful; there is a limit to the amount of sequels and prequels one can hear about, let alone plunk down cash for and tolerate. All right, I'll admit to enjoying a couple: I have to give props to Raimi & co. for investing so wholly in Spider-Man 3's cheesy histrionics. And the latest Harry Potter flick was memorable for proving that Daniel Radcliffe can carry a film all by himself. Perhaps the biggest disappointment of the summer for me was the much-hyped Simpsons Movie, which felt stale and outdated for much of its running time. Watching South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut beforehand certainly didn't do Homer and friends any favours.

As for Part Two of the "Most Anticipated of 2007" project I had going on - I had saved a copy for editing right after completing the first part, but it somehow got deleted in the process. I've been quite lazy re-writing the entry... but I promise to have it up soon. Perhaps even tomorrow! How about that?

Hope all your summers are going well!

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