Friday, December 28, 2007

christmess

At last, 2008 approaches. But a few photographic records of the festivities, before we stray too far into the new year.


And some highlights of my gift-making activities below...
Number 1.
The Kipple Cabinet (for a discerning collector, complete with removable cigar box cupboardry (top, epistolic compartments (bottom), and shoddy photoshopped background (behind))


Monday, December 17, 2007

the pigment to paint principle.

This is an old idea of mine, but i had a moment tonight where it appeared unusually lucid to me, and when one of my particularly clever social compatriots mentioned he would be appropriating it anon, i figured I'd better put it up here, Just For The Record. (Bear with me, i have so few moments of being honored with "appropriative-worthy" remarks)
One of the things I Hate, and never know what to do with, is this prominent evidence in the world that there seems to be a ratio of one in ten of treasure to dross.
That is, out of every ten drawings I do, one is worthwhile. Of every 20 people I find myself in classes with (when I've been in school), 18 of them are (what we called tonight) "dullards", TWO are Treasures.
Of every day I work, frequently 7 of 9 hours are spent doing what I would think of as bullshit, and two hours are Fruitful (That last statistic isn't always true, I've been doing much better in that department, i think)
ANYHOW.

The walls in my apartment (some of them) are crimson red and ochre orange. In both cases, I went to the paint shop, the man behind the counter took two gallons of meagre white "base" paint, squirted less than two ounces of pigment into them, shook them up for ten minutes, and lo and behold, i have two gallons of colour to cover my walls with.

This is how it works.
This is the formula.
Two squirts pigment, two gallons paint.
No more of each, no less.
Well shaken. Properly applied. Voila.
And though I worry (frequently) that my life is nothing but gallons and gallons (and Gallons) of base, there are moments of pigment that (i sincerely hope) are creating something lovely of it. Not to mention the fact that without the base, i'd have a lovely spot of colour, about 1" by 1", with which to cover the walls of my whole apartment.
Base is fine.
Good base.
Necessary base.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Dr. Who and the Horror at Fang Rock

"Leela, don't shoot until you see the green of its tentacles!"

Oh Tom Baker, how i love you.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

And this morning

I received my confimation letter for the Angoulême Comics Festival, to take place in January. I practically peed my pants.
Got plane tickets last week (Zoom airlines, airplane likely made of lego, will therefore be wearing life preserver for the duration of the flight), and have been recommended a little hotel in Paris by the name of Sans Culottes.

So. Nay to underwear, Yay to life preserver, I'M GOING TO PARIS!!! WOOOOOO!!!

Gratuitous Late Night Photograph


Taken as a most gratuitous but endearing waste of my time. (Taken at 11.52, although that clock doesn't actually work. Fully coincidence.)

Monday, December 10, 2007

The dumbest dummy that ever there was.

At a social wingding yesterday (where one often finds oneself around this time of year) the subject of, erm, dumdom came up, and with it the infamous "for dummies" books.
As I voiced due praise for them (I love them) I realized I have read, at last count, five volumes (sewing, motorcycles, dreamweaver, home-repair [or something like that], and german). I presently have two others in my home (after effects and flash) and one on hold at the library (taxes for canadian dummies).

I think this might officially make me one of the dummest people alive.
I wonder if there is a badge for this.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

'coz tonight I have no thoughts of my own.

And I was reminded of this this evening, which is Oh So Apt:
All problems are problems of scale. -Jean Cocteau
Indeed.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

from "LighthouseKeeping"

I unlatched the shuttters. The light was as intense as a love affair. I was blinded, delighted, not just because it was warm and wonderful, but because nature measures nothing. Nobody needs this much sunlight. Nobody needs droughts, volcanoes, monsoons, [or] tornadoes either, but we get them, because our world is as extravagant as a world can be. We are the ones obsessed by measurement. The world just pours it out.
-Jeanette Winterson

Monday, December 3, 2007

and pursuant to...

my thoughts on legacy and love affairs in art (of all sorts), I finally watched Y Tu Mama Tambien last night and it was AMAZING. AMAZING.
And in the opening scene of the film, a huge film poster of Harold and Maude in the background.
All hail legacy.

An overview of life-size stratego, as played in High Park on Saturday.

There were 22 of us, and though I'm still picking the burrs out of my leg warmers, I was well impressed.

STRATEGO! is an outdoor game based on ....well...the board game Stratego. It’s like Capture the Flag in that the objective of the game is to capture the other team’s flag, but this game has additional rules and awesomeness! The main differences include:

1) Player Ranks – There’s a hierarchy of players which determines who can “kill” whom. Each rank has a certain number of “lives”;
2) There’s no Jail – You start with a certain number of lives. Instead of getting “captured” when a (higher-ranking) opposing team member attacks you, you lose one of your lives.
3) “Territory” is less important – All attacks can happen anywhere. The only thing your territory determines is where you can place your flag. Safety is conferred by numbers and your higher-ranking team-mates.

Before the game begins, each player is assigned a team. Each team then:
1) Hides its flag;
2) Assigns a rank to each member -- Ranks are *secret*: members of the other team won’t immediately know who has been assigned which rank in your team.
3) Huddles to discuss strategy.
4) The Playing Begins!

How do you kill someone?:
1) An attack is initiated when one person touches another;
2) The two people reveal their ranks to one another;
3) The player with the higher rank wins. The player with the lower rank loses. If both players have the same rank, they both lose. Losers;
4) The losing player(s) lose one of their “lives”;
5) Players who lose but still have lives left are given a grace period of around thirty seconds to escape.

Objectives:
To win in STRATEGO! your team must accomplish one of two goals:

1) Touching the enemy’s flag. Note:
a) Bombs can’t do this;
b) The defenders of the flag can protect the flag by:
i. Having three people linking arms around the flag;
ii. No more than two of these people can be Bombs.

OR
2) Your team takes all of the other team’s lives.

Ranks:
The ranks in STRATEGO! follow a basic hierarchy with a few important exceptions. In general, lower ranks have many lives and higher ranks have one or two. Also, in general, players with higher ranks can kill players with lower ranks. The following list is written from highest rank to lowest rank.

1) Field Marshal
The Field Marshal is, by rank, the most powerful person in the game. The FM can be killed by the other team’s field Marshal. The FM may also by killed by the Spy.
2) General
3) Colonel
4) Major
5) Captain
6) Lieutenant
7) Sergeant

8) Miner
Miners can kill Scouts and the Spy. They are also the only rank which can kill Bombs.

9) Scout
The role of the Scout is to provide intelligence. Though they don’t have any special abilities they have more lives than any other players and can therefore afford to attack people in order to discover the identities of their opponent.

10) Spy
The Spy is another interesting player. They are at the lowest end of the hierarchy yet have only one life and are therefore extremely vulnerable. The unique ability and mission of Spies is to take out the Field Marshal.

11) Bomb
Bombs are unusual players. Bombs cannot attack or take the flag. They do not fit into the regular rank structure as the only person who can eliminate them is a Miner. Any other player who attacks a Bomb loses a life.

2007: the first snowfall, and associated photographic record of GLEE.


Click on pic for the whole version; THIS. is the view out my Glorious Window two mornings ago now. Which ironically recorded itself in a reverse bay-window fashion (see the shape of the streets) Fascinating.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

some meandering thoughts on the nature of books and love affairs.

In my new booklet-in-progress, there is a momentary scene where the main character falls through an open door drawn into an easel and lands in the living room of a dollhouse. Above the living room is the bedroom, and in storyboarding it I was determined to make the bed a sort of replica of the little boy's bed in Winsor McKay's Little Nemo in Wonderland, which might well be the Greatest Graphica Ever. It's my own little (but Reverent) hats off to his Genius, which, had I not recorded it here, might have gone unnoticed by the world (but will now of course be revered by the (ahem) utter and voluminous masses that are my bloggy readership.)

ANYHOW.

On a seemingly unrelated note (but wait for it), I picked up Jeanette Winterson's "Lighthousekeeping" the other day, as one would call up an old friend for tea. I don't do this as often as I should, ever beseiged by "what's left to read", rather than what I already have. (I nearly started crying I was so excited as I started to read it, 'coz i'm JUST THAT SORT of person. This trait seems to be getting worse with age, so senility is obviously not as far from the tender age of 34 as I once thought.)

ANYHOW.

(A quick back-pedal. Jeanette Winterson, for those who may not be familiar, is addicted to Virginia Woolf. She has written Exemplary essays on Orlando (Thumpa Thumpa), AND The Waves (i myself found this one a bit more difficult to get through), and salutes the legacy of Woolf's writing frequently when speaking of her own.)

Lighthousekeeping is basically (VERY basically) about a little orphaned girl sent to live with a blind lighthousekeeper named Pew and inherit his duties accordingly. A paragraph describing her first journey in a little outboard motor to her new home, ends with these words: "I couldn't go back. There was only forward, northwards into the sea. To the lighthouse."

As I read this I imagined Ms. Winterson consumed with UTTER GLEE as she wrote that last small sentence, which is, of course, the title of one of Ms. Woolf's seminal literary works.

On those rare occasions when I notice these little things that happen between writers/artists, it seems to me that Love involves respect for legacy, i think. Acknowledging ones parents, so to speak, even if they only exist between dustcovers.

I know some people who would call this arrogant, an inaccessible inside joke, a secret reference, an "in-club".

But by that logic, doesn't that make love-affairs "in-clubs" as well?

my fellow petters.


It was like a human car-wash, only a little bit dirtier.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

human petting zoo.

I am a part of one.
One of the petters, in fact.
All i know is there are special gloves and coloured beads involved.
Tomorrow night, at the Theatre Centre, doors are at 6.30pm.
What a life!

what i'm doing INSTEAD of writing my opus.

Writing a BLOODY OAC grant application. 5.5 hours! To rehash the same grant application that, let's be frank, has already been used/proven unsuccessful.
And though I do know it's pretty much all a crap shoot, activities like this are certainly no way to heighten one's self-esteem. Sigh.
Why was it I decided against an accounting job again?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

sundry news and things that make me excited.

I've been sitting alone at this computer for TOO long. But what follows are the fruits of my labours:
I've re-designed my website. Yes, again. I'm still fine-tuning, re-loading all the bits, but check it out.
Also put up at last a link to etsy.com, so interested parties can sally forth and purchase my books online. Very Clever.
And last but not least, in shameless opposition to my usual anti-advertising mandates, I'm pasting in a link to this site here. 'Coz the Christmas fever is already kicking in, and we all need some serious help from those like the people below. Clickety click and check it out.
I Took The Handmade Pledge! BuyHandmade.org

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

discovered the other day on a small piece of paper sitting on a trunk in my home.

Charles Bukowski's epitaph: DON'T TRY.

and then this...

About a new mimic for embryonic stem cells
The discovery, while clever and fascinating, didn't do anything for my secret disdain for the male-dominated medical industry, which I'm occasionally convinced (in my darkest moments) is just looking for a way to render the female gender unnecessary.
And I quote:
...the process used by the two teams avoids the obstacles that have halted embryonic stem cell research through embryonic cloning. For example, it doesn't require a supply of unfertilized human eggs, which are destroyed in the cloning process, leading to ethical, religious and political opposition.

the news according to me.

A quick scan of the news headlines this morning, yielded this little gem. GIANT SCORPION!! ALIVE!! REAL!! THOUSANDS OF YEARS AGO!! What happened, that's the question. And are they all really gone...

Friday, November 16, 2007

one thing that makes me laugh and laugh and LAUGH.

I hope the laws ease up a bit by the time I'm 51.

AND EVEN BETTER:
Here is a link from the above page to a "heated debate" about the topic at hand, and of course the usual previous related statistics are being examined for precedent.
My favourite: In 1997 one Robert Watt, 38, was fined £100 for trying to have sex with a shoe in an Edinburgh street. Glee!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

GO.TO.THIS.

She's Awesome. That's a Guarantee. And I'll be there too. And (let's face it) I'm Awesome. Not as awesome as Stacey May's first novel launching, but I do my best.


Tightrope Books is proud to announce the launch of Stacey May Fowles’ debut novel Be Good
Wednesday, November 14th, 7:30 PM @ Revival
783 College Street West @ Shaw in Toronto, Ontario
(featuring music by Tomboyfriend (myspace.com/tomboyfriend), DJ Ashley Olsen, readings by Fraser Sutherland and Dayle Furlong)

There will be lots of food, drinks, live music, a DJ, door prizes and so much more. Come Out!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

out of practise.

Only this morning did i discover that there have been comments on this blog that have as of yet gone unheeded!
One of which was JP's observation that, in my gratuitous bumshot posting, I neglected to post a picture of his bum in astonishing trousers I made him however many years ago.
This is an important point. The ability to get JP to wear any colour other than black is an accomplishment not to be taken lightly. And although I once had a posting of such pictures on blog#1, those links have long since become defunct.
If my trousers are doomed to disappear into oblivion, they must be allowed one more nostalgic venture into boastydom.
SO.
Herewith, a few more gratuitous bum shots of my friends.
In my pants.
(so to speak).
From my past.
May they now rest in peace.
(The pants that is, not my friends.)

JP. Pants. Christmas...what...2003?

Shan and pants playing pool in Sudbury (Sudbury?). Date unknown.

Willow and pants. Struggling with pirate accoutrements in BC. Date also unknown.

Fantasia.

These are photos of the antique shop that existed until a month ago beneath my apartment.



It would be a lie to say that this proprietor didn't drive me NUTS by piling antiques and junk obstructing my front door on an almost daily basis.
However, there were Treasures. There is No Question about this.
He was the first one forced out of his space upon the sale of the building, given a months notice to vacate after twenty years in business. The new building owner is looking to, and I quote:"...get another art gallery or book store in there, something that the current clientele of the area would appreciate...(as I have) an obligation to the street and the community" (Parkdale Liberty, October issue)

I woke up at 6.30am this morning (for some godForsaken reason), resignedly made a cup of tea and settled myself in my bay window with a book to wait for Saturday morning to introduce itself to me at a more dignified hour.

At 8am, I looked out to see the proprietor of the now vacant antique shop ride up on his bicycle.
The entire street was still deserted.
He wandered back and forth between his old shop window and the other antique shop windows for about ten minutes, by himself, before getting back on his bicycle and cycling away.

This is what he would have seen of his old shopfront; the one the owner was so eager to have him vacate.
What our new building owner's "revitalisation of Parkdale" now looks like, as of 8.46am this morning:

Friday, November 9, 2007

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Who says the internet isn't useful?

This link found whilst searching for reference photos of Soho Square.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Monday, November 5, 2007

and the next issue doth cometh...


Brick. Issue 80. A Toast.
Wed. Nov. 21st, 6.30-8.30pm at Ben McNally Bookstore.
(click on image to see full monty)

Sunday, November 4, 2007

and this from Louise Bourgeois...

"I did everything I could every day of my life".

yes.

upon an anxiety-fraught moment and the nature of "useful".

What use would George Orwell have been to anyone had he done naught but work in a soup kitchen all his life?

Friday, November 2, 2007

loo.

I realize at this moment that I do run the risk of being one of those blogs that posts eccentric rubbish with which, let's face it, the internet is already swamped.
But, dear reader(s), if they can do it, so can i.
I TOO CAN POLLUTE THE LITERARY CYBER-STREAM.
And especially with this morning's discovery, found upon googling briefcases.

And WHY, praytell, was I googling briefcases?
'Coz that's just the kind of new job i seem to have.


(pause)
Goddammit, I've even going to include the blurb. It's too much.

Carry the Gotta-Go briefcase with you at all times, and you’ll never be caught short. Simply open up to reveal every modern convenience that a public toilet lacks – a clean comfortable seat, freely flowing toilet paper that hasn’t run out and isn’t all over the floor, and reading material of your choice.

As to the practical side of carrying your toilet with you, worry not – the inventors have thought it through. There is a stainless steel bowl with a sealing lid to keep any potentially hazardous fumes from escaping, and the briefcase has ample space for holding the documents, pens and other equipment you might need on your travels, alongside your waste.

friday, 3.56am.

It might have been when the horse was brought in that I realized I should no longer have been in bed.
People, tonnes of 'em, one cooking bacon, i think still in the wrapper,while I tried to make news cels in my living room and keep everyone quiet at the same time.
Then someone brought in a dog, then a horse, then i opened my eyes,looked at my clock, 3.20bloody6AM.

By the tiny balls of christ.

Hopped into pants and onto my bike.

(pause)

After exiting the building.

En route sightings

Police car with unsettling high beams through my alleyway as i veered out; compassionate sorts due to the fact that they didn't chase me down for veering across the street on a red. Bless them.

King and Lansdowne: One man slumped back in a car seat and surrounded by police cars, black and white, lights flashing. Dead as a stump, no doubt. (You heard it here first. Ha. Who says I'm not up on the news?)

King and Bathurst: no lights on today at the Travellodge motel. All criminal activity therefore ceased for the evening. (Likely with the death of the man at King and Lansdowne.)

King and John (near Wellington): One scary balding blonde man, definitely a pedophile (determined by his close resemblance to a horizontally compressed Phillip Seymour Hoffman) Exiting ceeBeeCee.

As well as one security guard abandoning desk inside in favour of well lit newspaper box and cell phone; Likely texting boyfriend to inform him she is going to the airport this afternoon after work, heading somewhere distant and exotic for good. He can sell all her jewelry if he so desires, she never liked it anyhow.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

showdown by the elevator.

It was 9.06am.
Yesterday morning.
With the mailbot.
Straight on.



I decided there was nothing for it but to stand my ground, and see what happened.
AND THE BLOODY THING NEARLY MOWED ME DOWN.
It didn't stop.
I had to leap out of the way at the last moment.

I was informed later that my Nemesis follows an invisible line drawn on the carpetting through the hallways.
And cares NOT A WHIT for obstacles, human or otherwise.
Well done, Dalek Sek, your species lives on in the cyber mail machines at the cee.bee.cee.

Imagine the headlines, i thought wryly.
CASUAL EMPLOYEE FOUND DEAD BENEATH MAILMOBILE
News at 6.
6 in the morning, that is.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

and last but NOT least for this evening.

I Absolutely CANNOT resist.
Watch this.
DO.
UNMITIGATED GLEE.
sigh.
Oh Dearest Moog.

of the shameless flaunting of pants, bums bums BUMS, and a sweet bunnyhole of nostalgia.

What a fine evening it is turning out to be.
If not a collosal waste of self-absorbed time.

Researching picture books is, as indicated above, a sweet bunnyhole of nostalgia.
(GALES of laughter)
"Sweet Bunnyhole of Nostalgia"

Next on my list of discoveries (whilst avoiding the tedium of re-examining hundreds of photos of old toys and shop interiors) has been a series of photos of my astonishing trousers from days gone by. One of my many dead-end career aspirations.

And so, for your edification, and 'coz really, when the hell else will these photos ever see the light of...erm...computer screen, I post a bunch of gratuitous bum shots/exemplary apparel, made some years ago.
I would particularly like to direct your attention to the what-i-once-hoped-to-patent velcro bike-friendly arrows (on grey trousers below), which unhook and re-hook up to tuck your trouser leg away from threatening greasy bike chains.





Coco, if you are reading this, forgive me. There you are in Montreal, wondering, WHY Is your phone so silent. WHY?!!?
I know. But it's so close to bedtime, during these days of 3am rises. And so, here I am, cavorting around the internet, ignoring friends, phone calls, responsibilities, dishes, all in favour of this bloggy navel-gazing, and in the name of "Doing Work."
Ha. It's a wonder you put up with me.

Oz, if you are reading this, the moon boots have been gathering dust beneath my bed for many years. So do tell me it's not over.

posting to appendages.

In searching my picture archives this evening for reference material for my booklet, i happened upon a file entitled EnglishEpistles.(oldLetters).
And I had to look.
I found a bunch of archived mail art (I guess I photocopied it? borrowed my letters at some point or another?), and one scanned letter from me to my dear friend Scott, dated 14 July, 1993.

Sent from France to B(o)r(e)lington on purple stationery.
And within, on a separate piece of paper, this (click on pic to enlarge):



What a long way it is, down to one's foot.
And to France as well, which is where Scott now resides, 14 years later. Wow.

happysleepy.com

Ran into Marc Ngui and Magda Wojtyra at Canzine on the weekend, and was reminded that I had yet to visit their website chronicle of their world travels and nomadism happysleepy.com, which Shannon Gerard had mentioned to me a few weeks ago, during a discussion about travel-bugginess.
Anyhow. It's awesome, i suggest everyone go hither, but I really must quote one small passage from it here, as it's a lucid and perfect description of all those things I love about travelling but had yet to see put into such adequate words:

By adopting a semi nomadic lifestyle we would be forced to deal with issues that could easily be avoided by a sedentary one – you become much more aware of all the baggage you cart around, as well as being much more appreciative of any opportunities to eat, sleep and shit.
Cooperation, submitting to the good will of other people, becomes a regular fact of life. We are ejected from the cocoons we tend to build for ourselves in times of abundance and security.
Also by removing ourselves from a known and secure environment we are attempting to train ourselves to be able to deal with the unexpected, to recognize opportunities that will enable us to thrive in uncertain conditions and to take those opportunities without hesitation.


For me, having spent 1992-1996 not being in one place for more than a year at a time, and then upping and leaving again for a year in 2001, I think there is a different kind of lesson to be learnt by staying still; investigating what can be done when one commits oneself to one place, and therefore to oneself, but I want the above on record for when I feel comfortable enough to set out again into the wide world with a bit more personal focus.

and this from Harper's Weekly...

Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling revealed that Dumbledore
was a gay wizard.
"It's been terrible," said an English
father of five who was teased by coworkers because of the
$1,200, two-foot-tall Dumbledore tattoo on his back.

"I've always liked Dumbledore - just not in that way."

Friday, October 26, 2007

today: headline of note.

VIBRATIONS SLOW FAT CELL GROWTH: STUDY

Researchers in the United States have discovered that brief daily exposure to vibrations suppress fat production in mice, and hope to use their findings to help treat obesity in humans...The mice were put on vibrating platforms for 15 minutes a day for 15 weeks. While the reduction in fat cell production did not translate into weight loss, the researchers said the vibrations helped change the distribution of fat in a beneficial way.
GLEE!!

Note time.
At work.
That's right.
WORK.
And contemplating potential benefits of vibrating chair as I look up past the router (which i have baptised "Big Green Machine" for clarity's sake) and up at the moon, which is positively Racing across the sky in front of me. Woosh.

(a bit later)
I have been given an Exemplary cupcake by a stranger.
It's a Good life.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

beneath my window; Wednesday; 2.06pm

someone is whistling the Muppet Show theme tune.
GLEE!

wind-up clocks.

If people had to wind up their clocks every couple of days they would return to a direct involvement with both the passage of time, and the fact that their own time cannot move forwarrd without them. They are Directly responsible for it.
Not to mention the cyclical nature of wind-up clocks, which also remind us that we may return again and again to the same hour, but never quite in the same way.

Yes, I DO love wind-up clocks.

the news.

my personal favourite today:
BABY BAGS MAY BOOST PREEMIE SURVIVAL

snippit: "As soon as the babies are born, we dry them off. And a bigger baby can tolerate the wetness. But the little ones — they're so fragile. Even though we dry them off really quickly, they still do get cold," Reilly said.
Small pilot studies have shown that wrapping these babies in plastic — plastic bags or even cling wrap — can keep them from cooling down while they undergo X-Rays, have intravenous lines inserted or are put on a ventilator."

Researchers are now investigating if there is any long term benefit from wrapping babies in plastic bags...

Most Ridiculous:
JK ROWLING REVEALS DUMBLEDORE IS GAY

Two words: SO. WHAT.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

the financial district.

Having now been in this vicinity daily for almost a week, i can safely say that it is a zone of what I think i'll call Perpetual Visual Screech. I don't know how people do it. It's too much. Exhausting for my head.
There's this constant implicit agenda: into the building: make your money, out of the building: spend it.
And it's easy enough. People do like easy...
And, not to deny you my little ponderous philosophical thought garnered from all this: money/financial gain is like evidence for the faithless. It's empirical, evaluable (word?), visible, and exchangeable.
For a wealth of goods that are Completely Fucking Useless.
I know. A Remarkable Talent for stating the Obvious.
But I CANNOT.BELIEVE.HOW.EFFICIENTLY.THIS.KEEPS.PEOPLE.IN.LINE.

If i ever needed more evidence of what part of the menu to look at (ingredients vs. cost), or whether to just stay home and cook, this is it.

a philosophical thought of (cough cough) Great Significance.

it's a fine line between Fear and Faith.
Though sometimes, it seems to me, the outcome is the same.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

an afternoon at the IFOA.

paraphrased from James Sturm:
They say you've got "to see it to believe it", but i think perhaps you begin to see it once you have started believing it.

Somehow I feel like I should have this reminder posted EVERYWHERE in my home.

And this paraphrased (very badly, i might add, i hope it's even vaguely accurate) from Rutu Modan:
The buildings of Jerusalem are so lovely but so rundown. That's what I love about drawing, I can draw them and fix them. It's like a marriage, where after a long time you only see this image of the person, all the bad days, the problems, are not what you actually see when you look at them.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Of Emergency Packages and Philatelic "Services"

Coco has pneumonia. Sweet Balls of Christ. In an attempt to allay the panic of being too far away to do anything about it, i sent off an emergency package to get her through the weekend.

Too late to my post office to catch a glimpse of the (thumpa thumpa) letter-carriers, I was greeted by an extraordinarily generous postal lady who allowed me to purchase 7$ or something worth of small-denomination stamps, making a special selection to maximize the variety and sort with which i could cover my envelope. (Many postal workers get decidedly stern when I ask for non-sticker stamps, much less a whole bunch of them)
Noting my excitement, she suggested I get the Canada Post newsletter/catalogue thingy.
Perusing it a few hours later in an idle moment, i came upon a survey.
Question three was How well does your local post office serve your philatelic needs?

My PHILATELIC Needs.
GLEE.

I scrawled "AND HOW!" across the whole thing and sat back to have a satisfactory cup of tea.

oh, the internet.

Well, I managed to marginally update my website this morning (only losing half my hair in the process; i'm such a charlatan-geek), with some details about the Operation gameboard end of things and the censorship fiasco up at York U in general.
Very general, that is.
For any of you following the whole thing, there is no doubt nothing new here, and for a much better description of Shan's boobs'n'dinks, a visit to her website is really the best thing for it.
Heheh. It's all rather ironic. Poor Professor Prudent.
Seems like the removal of the artwork means his son will hear all about the hush-hush pierced penis and public nudity in next week's issue of NOW.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

you can't touch peoples' apathy.

So said my dear mum this evening, over drinks.
So wise, as ever, so succinct.
Not one thing in life will hold peoples' attention if they are indifferent to it.
Yes, this is perhaps obvious.
But what is so nefarious about it, is our collective attempts to make our own pain/pleasures apply to other people, just so they will listen to us.

Everything must be Pertinent.

And yet, as I so bitterly realize, it is not.
NOT everything is pertinent.
And I feel like this is important to remember.

and more excitement on the subject of our unacceptable artwork.

This courtesy of Chris Butcher
and This courtesy of (thumpa thumpa) Stacey May Fowles

i have Just started working

at a place that has a mailbot.
Or a mailmobile, rather.
NO joke.
I was walking out of the lunchroom, and thought someone was pushing a huge mail cart in front of me, only to have the thing beep and shuffle and continue on its merry way sans operator.
It might as well have had a toilet plunger aimed at me and "WE ARE THE SUPERIOR BEINGS! EXTERMINATE!" issuing from its buzzing corpus, for the look of Shock on my face.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

plumbing the depths of York University's "educational" prowess.

So in late August, the brilliant Shannon Gerard and I launched our latest comics at the Gladstone, me with a giant working Operation game board, and her with two cut-outs displaying crocheted genitalia accompanying cancer-self-exam booklets.
That evening, we had the honor of being asked by Emelie Chhangur of the Art Gallery of York University if we would allow said "accoutrements" to be moved in the AGYU bookstore window come autumn, to be exhibited in conjunction with a Fastwurms exhibition housed in the gallery proper.
We were Totally Thrilled.

And we did it, and it was awesome, and, well, it lasted about a week.
A week, and then the exhibit was forced out of its home by some clever professor who was concerned he could no longer bring his son by the bookshop. Or so we hear.
And now, sitting in the York University bookstore window, we've just been informed, are TOILETS.
That's right, ladies and gentlemen of blogworld, TOILETS.
Thanks to Richelle Forsey for a wicked article about it on blogto.com.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

still got it.

It's been over two months since I picked up a pencil. Literally.
So today, a reunion. And 3 and a quarter hours later...

on the immeasurable value of paper and ink.

Put in a locked empty room with a hundred-dollar bill or a poem, which would you choose?
This question should be asked earnestly of all people in times of greed.

three impossible things before breakfast.

Alice was a clever thing.
In the practise of believing three impossible things before breakfast, one prepares oneself for the occasional and exceptional moments when impossible things actually do take place.
I am, of course, a Skeptic and a Cynic, had done no such preparation, and was greeted by the Impossible and Exceptional with hair askew, boots unpolished, and tea barely steeping.
I think i have recovered somewhat. Tea now at the ready, a quiet moment at hand, I will chronicle at least a few of the more unlikely events of the last couple of months, if only for the merit of other cynics who quite possibly have allowed the milk to sour, their hair to demobilize, and their composure to ruffle in the face of what seems like the eternal relentlessness of the everyday.

NUMBER 1.
I made the aquaintance of a letter carrier at the beginning of this year, a dapper and lovely gentleman fresh back from a year studying abroad. He had been (most fortuitously for me) reestablished on a letter route along the edge of the park most enticingly near to my humble abode. A ponderous sort, with much on his mind after the end of a profound sojourn with a long-time love in exotic lands, it took some months for me to get up the gumption to insist on tea, but take tea we did, and onwards we have (ahem) plundered. He is the founding member of the Upper Canada Chaps Society, rife with chivalry and wit, a Skilled writer and deliveryman of the Queen's Mail, and, dear reader(s), he took me to the CIRCUS for my birthday. THE CIRCUS.
And though i promise not to overrun this bloggy chronicle with excessive panegyric on the man or the matter (in fact, I will make every attempt to do the opposite, as he is a man of privacy in matters of cyberspace), i am, i Must Confess, Truly Smitten.
If not (after an exceedingly long and, ahem, dry era) quite overrun with disbelief.

NUMBER 2.
Preface: Approximately 11 months ago I was permitted to sign a lease on an apartment in a building I have been wanting to live in for eight years. Populated by artists (of course), not the least of which is an art-school colleague/dear friend of nine years running, i was THRILLED.

A few weeks later, when the previous tenant had finally vacated, I walked into my new home and realized that said previous tenant had spent the last 14 years settling himself nicely into a veritable dung heap.



(some of the less offensive photos of the dung heap in question, the last two being walls we didn't rebuild.)

An exceedingly clever friend of mine (named Ishmael in prior blog references) conferred with me, and we decided there was nothing for it but to rebuild. And this, basically, is what we did. Four walls, to be exact. I then repainted floors, ceilings, walls, pulled up horrific plastic tiling to expose the hard-wood floor beneath, etc etc.



(I'll have you know i installed this light switch. Don't ask me if it stays in the wall though.)

It took a month of working by day, rebuilding by night, as I stayed in my previous abode up the street and became acquainted with the perpetual chafing of drywall dust and paint residue on most articles of clothing i own.

Below are photos of the result, although not necessarily parallel to those crannies recorded above, perhaps they will give some idea of the transformation.




Never to ignore the ever-presence of time and immortality, we left a small token of our travailles behind one of the walls of my apartment, for those who may make the unwise decision to destroy this glorious old building.


At the end of August, this building was sold.
To an upstanding gentleman who handed out eviction notices four days later, raised rent for three tenants by 40%, and forced two antique shop owners into retirement. So far.
Panic reigned, until a few of us began to realize that the stories/plans for the structure were being described to each tenant differently, the eviction notices weren't signed, and tenants were being backed into corners with such pseudo-sympathetic entreaties as "I can't afford this building on the rent you are paying now; what can you afford to pay me?"

A two hour visit with a lawyer at Parkdale Legal (we LOVE LOVE LOVE THEM), afforded us proof of more than a few laws that were being broken at our (literal) expense. We formed a tenants association, wrote a collective letter, and sent in our rent cheques via registered post.

The new owner has now very kindly shifted his plans, acknowledging that "[he has] an obligation to the street and the community". It seems he is a self-professed "art lover" as well, how fortuitous for us.


NUMBER 3.
Preface: Sometime last year, Coco and I decided to send each other telegrams, if only to know that we had been accorded the honor of such an antiquated form of communication before it altogether disappeared.
Except, erm, it had already disappeared.
Not a day or so before we googled it, Western Union had officially discontinued their telegram service.
We were crushed.


THEN.
Two mornings after the alas-less-than-exemplary Nuit Blanche, I received a telegram from Paris.
A TELEGRAM. FROM PARIS. (click on image to read in detail)

Delivered by one Martin de la Rue, Facteur Exemplaire, (NOT to be confused with the "facteur" mentioned above...) who will be making an appearance in the next beloved issue of Brick Literary Journal.

Bless him.

My dear reader(s), it has been a Remarkable Year.
And now it is Autumn, and I must to work. My next booklet beckons.