Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Page Turner: Detroit, An American Autopsy

Am I ever excited to discuss this book! I know I've said this before, but
Martin ruined reading for me. Since reading the Song of Ice and Fire series
I have found most novels to be unimaginative, uninteresting, and bland. Lately,
I've found myself drawn towards real life stories, for as Mark Twain points
out: "Life is stranger than fiction, but it is because fiction is obliged to
stick to possibilities; Truth isn't."  Me reading this book was almost
inevitable - Paul has a certain affinity for Detroit. His love for the city began
as a child when he would don the Red Wings jersey and cheer for a team
miles from his own home. He recently took a trip to Detroit to see a game
in the Joe Louis Arena before they tear it down. So I've been listening to
the plight of Detroiters (from someone who sincerely believes that Detroit is
a victim) for years. I've also been seriously interested in the world in which
we now live in, a world of financial servitude. This book highlights the affects
of this, for when we live in an age of debt there will be problems. But I write
all this with compassion and love for humanity. If you're like me and you are a
child of knowledge, and want a bit of grit with your truth, then this book if for you!

Reasons to Read Detroit

1. If you're planning a trip to Detroit, this book will give you the
ins and outs of the city. For example, apparently it's not the
best idea to get gas on Gratiot Avenue. 

2. I was not aware that Detroit has such a multi-faceted
entertainment industry. The city offers plenty of things to do,
such as setting vacant houses on fire, urban adventuring,
and murder watching. Bored this weekend? Pack the kids
into that minivan and go watch a planned murder unfold. I
was astounded by all the crime that Detroit witnesses in
a year. In comparison, the city in which I live, Ottawa,
has around 200,000 more people than Detroit, yet in
2013 there were only 9 murders in Ottawa while in
Detroit the numbers were in the 300's. But even my
own city is experiencing an increase in crime, in 2012
we had seven murders. People, beware. I can't imagine
living in a city that murder is a common occurrence. I
even lived in a semi "bad" area of the city when I was in
university (I've witnessed a man beating his wife.  A coke
head tried to break into my friend's house next door via
the balcony because he had mistakenly thought it was his
drug dealer's house, which was the next unit over. And
our building was the target of arson). But that's just baby
talk in comparison to the daily events unfolding in Detroit.

3. If you're a follower of truth, this book is for you. I'm not
sure how much more honest LeDuff could be. Although,
my doubts about the "truthfulness" of our media, including
newspapers, is unwavering. As LeDuff puts it: "I love being a
newsman and I believe in the words carved in the sandstone
parapet of the News building : Troubler of the Public
Conscience. But that ideal had become as ossified as the
statue of Benjamin Franklin up there. From New York to
Los Angeles, American newspapers were yellow and stale
before they even came off the press. Dog-beaten by a dwindling
readership, financial losses and partisan attacks, editors had
stripped them of their personality in an attempt to offend no one.
And so there was no more reason to read them. Safety before
Truth. Grammar over Guts. Winners before Losers.


4.  Despite all the crime, corruption, and evil that exists, not only in
Detroit but everywhere in the world, this book will reinforce the
idea that good does exist. Although, the path of good is not always
the easiest to walk. "When a well-packaged web of lies has been
sold gradually to the masses over generations, the truth will
seem utterly preposterous and its speaker a raving lunatic."
Dresden James

5. Journalists produce great books. This may not be the rule, but the
ones that I've read are wonderful to read. It must be the journalism
background and the use of all their attention-grabbing devices that
make these books captivating page-turners. Another good read to
check out is The Ghost Map by Steven Johnson.

6. (As they say) History often repeats itself. The story of a town or city
booming, gaining wealth, putting itself on the map as an important place,
and then the eventful downfall of that city or town. This usually happens after
the area has been depleted of its natural resources and wealth. New areas
with copious amounts of possible-riches must be sought. People move. 
The once never quiet city has now become a ghost town. Do we hope
that Mother Nature will be able to undue all the damage we have caused or
do we believe the world is large enough for all of our excessive desires?
On a positive note: the beaver, who had not been seen in the Detroit area
for a century, has been spotted once again.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

April is Capricious

The smell
Of recent rain
Hit my nose
Cold
From melting
Winter's grip
     Raymond A. Foss

Spring is as diverse as a Toronto sidewalk. Sunday: thunderstorms. Monday: plus
28. Today: minus 11 and snowy, very snowy. Since I'm a baby (and packed away
all my winter things) I invited a friend over to my place for our coffee date rather
than me braving the weather and going to our usual cafe. As we sipped our steaming
hot coffee (mine seriously cooled by the copious amount of cream I use) I couldn't
help but think the snowy scene outside with its fluffy snowflakes resembled more of
a December day than it did an April day. Do April snowfalls bring May flowers?
 
And to think that just yesterday I stepped out of the house in this! After months of
piling on the layers to walk outside with so little clothing gives me the feeling of being
entirely too exposed. I mean, look at all that skin I'm putting on display! And now it's
two posts in a row that I'm rocking my new wool vest. I don't know how I ever
survived before with a closet deprived of vests. I think it's now my new favourite
thing to layer a bright cardigan underneath my black vest. And just think of all the
layering possibilities this vest provides! A fashion bloggers dream piece really.
Outfit:
Thrifted // Vest
Thrifted // Cardigan
DIY // Necklaces
Thrifted // Satchel 
Handmade // Skirt
Garage Sale // Ring
Thrifted // Wedges

Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Price of Fashion

Hello there! Hope you're having a wonderful Saturday. The spring weather feels as
if it's here to stay! That not only substantially effects my wardrobe, but you will also
witness an insanely elevated mood. But I just can't help myself; the snow has melted
and my world is filled with colour once again.  While I once shielded myself from
the bitter wind, I now turn to the warm breeze with open arms. I am in absolute
love with my job, too. I'm so thankful for a job that allows me to slip away and
enjoy the beautiful weather. For me, that was indeed one of the most dreaded
aspects about working  a regular job; to be cooped inside being denied the out-
doors. It's just Murphy's Law too that it will rain on your day off. I never worry
about that anymore! And I'm positive Kobe has no complaints with that! 
I'm really starting to wish that I had jumped on the bandwagon when combat
boots were in the heyday of their popularity. They are so comfortable and the
perfect boot for those long walks with the dog in unpaved territory, often quite
muddy. Have you seen the documentary (or, constant torturous flashes of cruelty)
Earthlings? I do not recommend it for the faint of heart. For the longest time I
have toyed with the idea of becoming a vegetarian and steering clear of purchasing
leather. After watching this documentary (the entire time crying. No, bawling) I
had no choice but to finally take that plunge into a world of personal protest. I
still strongly believe that as humans it's natural for us to eat meat. I would never
tell a lion that it had to change its diet to a plant based one. There might be some
problems. But where our food comes from is not the quaint little farm that is
shown on the packaging. We are not like the Native Americans who inhabited
this land before us. We do not use the same cows for our leather that we do our
meat. It's unfortunate, but did we really expect more from a world dominated by
corporations? All that being said, I now have pledged to buy only used leather,
from thrift stores and vintage shops. Better in my hands than in a landfill, right?
So I'm glad I bought these boots before this whole no-leather thing and I'm now
I'm wishing I had bought them in every colour at the time!
Outfit:
Thrifted // Wool Vest
Thrifted // Sweater
Vintage Stud Re-Purposed // Necklace
Thrifted // Top
Thrifted // Skirt
Thrifted // Belt
DIY // Leg Warmers
Hush Puppies // Combat Boots