It’s not just in yogurt

What a culture-filled weekend! First Silverlotus and I strolled up Yonge Street, inspecting used bookstores. An interesting thing to note: the science-fiction section is always right beside the pornography.

A little snippet of counter-culture was unexpectedly discovered in the grungy basement washroom stall at a Timothy’s near Wellesley. Despite the fact said stall was half the size of a train’s loo, very very orange and very very dirty, it was resplendent in the words and thoughts of humanity.

It was like reading an online forum. There were the x-rated “For a good time”-esque spam, complete with Hotmail addresses, furious flame wars regarding spelling, and even threads and subtopics. “lim x approaches infinity, the inverse of a B.Sc to the power of x equals a B.A.” one of the non-profane posts went. “Very true,” someone else wrote, with an arrow pointing to the first post.

At night, we descended to the ROM to take advantage of their ROM Friday Nights Fifth Season. We managed to catch a jazz performance by the Bob Mover Quartet, an unfortunately somewhat disorganized bunch with a disapassionate chanteuse, but a good listen in the end.

You know, I used to think the museum was boring, but I am starting to appreciate the time and effort the museum takes to make their exhibits compelling and engaging. We can only see the future by understanding the past, after all. If you work in downtown TO, why not step out of the rat race on a Friday and take a stroll around. It’s free, and all you’ve got to lose is some time.

On Saturday, we grabbed a quick movie at Square One called Lost in Translation, about two Americans plagued with insomnia and culture shock while in Tokyo, Japan. In the end, you see that the world around them is only a metaphor for the loneliness and insecurities inside themselves.

If I could describe this movie in one word, it would be “subtle”. It was subtle in its sparse dialogue, filled with an awkwardness that made the two protagonists seem so real. It was subtle in its quiet, first person perspectives of Japan that would make the Travel Channel proud. The chemistry between the two characters, Bob and Charlotte, are what Producer Sofia Coppola called “romantic but on the edge”, is an undercurrent, much like the mutual and yet unrequited love story in wkw’s “In the Mood for Love”. It’s not a feel-good romance. It’s not a comedy of errors, complete with toilet humour and hilarious hijinks. It takes its time unfolding at the speed of life.

Which leads me to the criticism – a lot of people found it really boring. There are no gunfights or car chases, after all. Some people are offended that the Japanese are used for the gags, and I must admit that things could be a lot worse than being well-to-do and staying at a Park Hyatt Hotel in one of the world’s greatest cities. But I thought the movie was great.

“The more you know who you are, and what you want, the less you let things upset you.” – Bob Harris (Bill Murray)

On the bookshelf: Neil Gaiman’s Stardust. An amusing fairy tale adaptation, even though I felt like I was reading someone’s school assignment – the book is very short, but it is padded with a big font and doublespacing. And yes, this is the book where Tori Amos has a “cameo” as a talking tree. (She also mentions this in her song, “Beauty Queen/Horses“)