Overdrive-Media

Overdrive

There is a great app for electronic book and audiobook lovers that I haven’t written about yet. A couple times every month I find myself bringing it up in conversation and the people I’m talking with haven’t heard about it. So, here you go my small, but loyal, readership.

If you love to borrow books and want to support your library but don’t have the time to get there, then there is an incredible app just for you –> OVERDRIVE! Even if, like me and my family, you get to the library every week (at the least) this is still a great resource if you like or appreciate e-books. It’s also FANTASTIC if you have kids who listen to audiobooks. You can borrow them on the app from your library, download them to your computer, smart phone or tablet and listen to them anywhere! Our boys wake up in the morning, head down to the computer, turn it on and launch the app and just settle in and listen to audio stories while they draw or play with Lego’s. We’ve also used it on long drives: you can (but don’t have to) burn them to CD’s, and if you don’t do that just bring some headphones and they have tons of listening time available to them.

So, there you go my friends. Overdrive! A great electronic library app for books and audiobooks that I can’t recommend highly enough!
Continue reading

RAMSES

Ramsey Whitefish

State of no Euphoria

darkness is all I see,
whenever one has no friend, want or need,
I hate to watch the human
basket go down,
into the so-called healing from
the underground.
brittle bruises and shaking
anglo scars,
this stupid fucking world
should be barred!
I lose my friends left
middle and right
does GAWD truly think and
feel that it’s truly polite?
I’m estranged whenever I lose
a close friend,
state of no euphoria, this
is not the end.
I WILL SURVIVE THIS
SENSELESS BULLSHIT!!!!
keep everyone health, free
and alive!!!
PLEAZE!!!

(c) Ramsey Whitefish 2014
Continue reading

haze

…unfinished…

The afternoon sun secretly opened the world and stood, clear eyed and fresh, out in the open for all to see. She took her hair and wrapped it around herself, covering her form from head to toe in the finest of spectral silk. And as she stood there, relishing her own comfort, the world, which was open and not really enjoying being so exposed, spoke.

“Oh sun, oh spectral silky one, would you mind. We find ourselves to be quite cold, open and exposed as we are. Would you leap back up and close us up, our warmth is escaping.”

The sun, still in her own thrall, ignored the request of the world. The world was becoming quite cool. Her inner heart, her heat, was dissipating, being scattered unnecessarily out into the silent night.

“Oh sun, oh bright luminous one, we implore you. Our heart, our heat, is being used up rather quickly. Please, close us up so that we might keep our heart warm, so that we might keep our charges safe.”

The sun became annoyed at the world. She jumped up, whipped her hair around and closed the world up with such force that what was once land became sea, and what was once sea and water became hard unmovable land. And in her throne above the world, she glared down, all her heat becoming focused on this world at this time.

As the day waned, so too the sun’s temper waned. She began to catch glimpses of her spectral hair and was once again enamored of herself. She began to make herself up so that when the moon came out to play she would look resplendent. Touches of Cat’s Eye red, and Spriograph purple, with a hint or two of Carina orange.

2015 Books list

2015 Books

What a great year for reading! I read over 60 books last year, some great ones (as you’ll read later) and some good ones. I was fortunate to not have read any real duds last year! Let’s hope it stays like that for this year as well.

Chasing-the-Scream

The best and most important book I read last year was “Chasing The Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs” by Johann Hari. Like the subtitle says, it’s about the war on drugs and it is incredibly informational and relatable. Hari manages to write a book chock full of information that reads more like a conversation than anything else. It was this rhetorical style combined with the information he presented that wonderfully overwhelmed me. There were times I thought that he was just going to come out with the end to his thesis right then and there, but no, more questions to ponder and more stories to tell. If your life is impacted in any way by drugs, then you should read this book; oh, and just so you know, YOUR LIFE IS IMPACTED BY DRUGS even if you don’t do them and your family doesn’t do them. You see, my life is impacted by drugs, the environment I work in is devastatingly impacted by drugs, and if you’re reading this, you most likely know me and so, at the very least by knowing me your life is impacted by drugs. READ THIS BOOK!

Station Eleven

I would also like to take a paragraph to mention a fantastic surprise of a novel: “Station Eleven” by Emily St. John Mandel. It’s a sci-fi, post-apocalyptic dystopian novel that is set partially in and around Toronto, and the great lakes. The main character in the story is an actress with a Traveling Symphony in an altered world. I’ve never read a post-apocalyptic novel where the main character was an entertainer and that element of their life was important and critical to their life in the world of the novel. As an artist of multiple disciplines, this delighted me to no end. I feel that this is something sorely missing in serious depictions of dystopian futures. Sure, some may not include it on purpose, but mostly I think a lot of authors don’t include it because they don’t think it’s important, and yet, without artists, where would they themselves be? It was something that delighted me in the intensely amazing (although very disturbing) 2013 masterpiece “Snowpiercer“. In that movie there is, in the tail section of the train, an artist and his role is vital to the health of that section of the train. It’s never explicitly stated “he’s important because he’s an artist and what he does is important”; it’s subtle and perfect instead. So, that having been said, give “Station Eleven” a try if you like science fiction or dystopian futures or books where Toronto is a major setting.

The Lost Time series

I’m really looking forward in 2016 to reading the “Lost Time” series by Damien Boyes. It’s a series of 5 novellas (3 of which have been released as of the time of this writing) taking place in Toronto in 2058/59. Having read the first one (and really enjoying book 2 right now) I can honestly say that I can’t wait for the rest of the series! The first book deliciously reminded me of Gibson’s “Neuromancer”. Like Gibson, Boyes trusts his readers to pick things up as they go along and doesn’t feel like he has to explain everything. Unlike Gibson though Boyes doesn’t alienate his reader either, setting clues and examples along the route without pandering or condescending or dragging out unnecessary exposition. If you are a science fiction fan after the likes of Gibson or Pillip K. Dick then I think Boyes’ “Lost Time” series could be for you!

Well, that’s all for me for this post. Stay tuned for my favorite movies from last year. And, if you didn’t at the beginning, you can check out the full list of books I read by clicking on this ridiculously long half of this sentence.

Dundas Square at Night

The corner

© 2016 Lyf Stolte

You wouldn’t know it to look at it. That’s the whole point. I mean, if every person who looked at it saw what it really was it would lose it’s power. If it lost that the whole corner would be in jeopardy. You see, it was linked to several others who, likewise, couldn’t properly be seen. The funniest part is, they wanted so desperately to be seen. How hard it is to be at the epicenter of a city; in the heart of a pounding, driving, racing, humping city, and not be truly seen.

The sun rose slowly, the edges of it’s vision just barely touching the impotent fountains. The first one there greeted the sun, but no one saw the greeting. No one was alive yet; not that those who ever bustled and hustled through this square were ever really alive; there was the odd one, the odd delightful soul who carried the tiniest of shimmers through the otherwise dull hump of the crosswalks.

“The cross sign is on for all directions. The cross sign is on for all directions.”

But no one crosses yet. No one is there yet.

The second one travels carefully, being sure not to step on any cracks so as not to break any backs. It’s true you know. You don’t know whose back you’ve broken, but the second one believes it and if you believe something hard enough, well, you just have to be careful what you believe. The second one greets the morning; they are more concerned though with the proper arrangement of their space. It is theirs. They’ve had to fight many times to keep this space. Of course, they aren’t aware of the help they’ve had; they aren’t aware of the importance of their occupancy.

“The cross sign is on for all directions. The cross sign is on for all directions.”

I wish I could say something remarkable about the third. I wish that there was something remarkable about them. Well, maybe that is the remarkable thing: there is nothing, not one thing, remarkable about them. They come, they look, they nod, they sit. In a city, in a culture, that thrives on everyone looking differently the same, the third doesn’t stand out like a sore thumb. It would be disastrous if they did.

“The cross sign is on for all directions. The cross sign is on for all directions.”

A fish out of water wouldn’t curse as much as the fourth one does. An angel caught in hell wouldn’t weep as piteously as the fourth. And, most importantly, a person in this city wouldn’t see the fourth if it would stop all the wars in the world; for all the wars in the world are still better than the alternative.

“The cross sign is on for all directions. The cross sign is on for all directions.”

They begin to cross. They begin their daily struts, saunters, humps, walks, and strides. Never looking, never seeing. It wants to be seen. It really does. Let us just be thankful that we can’t see it. The world would be in the most serious jeopardy if it was truly seen.