Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Greetings From My Desk #2

This piece of artwork was commissioned in 2001 from Alex Richmond. It's Janey's typewriter which we left on the coffee table of our (Janey, Doretta, and my) apartment, along with some paper.

Typing on it was good for the household tendonitis as you had to learn to exert force to get a nice clear page of type. The pinkies were hard to train, but ultimately rose to the challenge. Forceful typing was new to our inflamed wrists and elbows and better for them than all those slow arm curls with soup cans.

The idea of leaving a typewriter around in the living room was that people would type things. Thoughtful lists, poems about the winter and why we should drink martinis, messages from overnight couch guests and multi-authored rambling from parties all appeared on the paper we left around. The elusive Year of the Horse Press had planned an issue of Pony magazine called "The Typewriter 'N' Me" to publish all these ramblings (some of which included drawings: the four horses of the apocolypse, dapper little groundhogs with spats) but alas, procrastination met stasis and the idea of this zine sunk in the peat, to be discovered by civilizations hundreds of years in the future.

The typewriter painting, however, as it was actually completed and not just thought of, remains. Thanks Alex! I like the orange.


Desperate Housewives is a direct rip-off of Joni Mitchell's album The Hissing of the Summer Lawns.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Print Media and Me

I saw a fantastic billboard last night. A giant bottle of water, the label of which reads "Christian Higher Education". The slogan next to the water says: "Refreshing. Pure." And then something about so-and-so bible university.

How great is that! My guess would be that a politician's briefcase might be more accurate ("Confining. Rife With Political Agenda.") but that's probably because I'm descended from apes.

Also: a NY Times article in which I know all of the people pictured or quoted except four. The coolness of having a news article written about your daily world gets pooped on by some fairly dumb inaccuracies in the article. Hey, you! On the NYT payroll! Maybe if you are going to refer to Walter Murch as a brilliant cinematographer, don't link his name to an NYT blurb about him being a brilliant sound and picture editor. Fire your copy editor. Or is it copy cinematographer? Same difference.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Night Shooting

I spent last night/this morning on Rain's thesis film. It was my first night shoot in terms of there being an actual set and C-stands and gels and stuff. I've conducted my own stay-up-all-night shoots in roam-around guerilla fashion but those involved a much smaller crew and no craft service.

I was the still photographer. The shoot was in a doughnut shop, which was, yes, filled with doughnuts and the only thing weirder than working in the constant smell of lots of doughnuts which the film technically owned was the point at which you no longer smelled it all, which I guess mean that we all smelled like doughnut.

My sleep schedule was that of normal person (get up in the morning, go to bed at night) heading into this shoot, so I can perhaps be excused for needing lots of mini brownies and vitamin water all night long to stay alert. I can also perhaps be excused for getting giggly and hyper (a la birthday sleepover) with Mary, my doppelganger, at around 3. We talked about the moment at the birthday sleepover when the parent comes in at 3 and is very furious ("THAT IS IT. I DON'T WANT TO HEAR ANOTHER PEEP!!") and you all burrow down into your sleeping bags and laugh hysterically. Then the AD told us to be quiet for the last time and we laughed hysterically.

Lunch was at 11:30. We ate enchiladas in a tent with heaters next door to the Rite Aid I used to ride my bike to to develop photos when I lived in that sketch-o neighbourhood.

By the end I felt parched and high and the back of my skull had that cold feeling of being up too late. I woke up at 2:30 today.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Greetings From My Desk #1

A guided tour of my desk, in weekly installments.

Please say hello to my small lego friend, lovingly handcrafted. He stands in front of the London bridge snow globe, as featured in "Pushing 30".

Monday, January 23, 2006


The only thing that makes frequently having to hear the words "Stephen Harper" and "Prime Minister" in the same sentence for the next little while is how puny his lead is over the Liberals, despite all the overly ambitious prognostications. And what a tasty spot the NDP are in.

But Canada (and any other nation that wants to chime in), I ask you: what is the deal with that man's face and hair? He's a poster child for what is wrong with the aesthetics of Canadian politicians. His hair looks like it's made of wood. And that frighteningly wide stretch of pasty white face, with the non-stop stolid expression? American politicians may look a lot like realtors, but Canadian politicians tend to look like an amalgam of our raw material exports.

Is making fun of the way someone looks a mature way of criticizing their politics? No. Does it make me feel better? Yes, yes it does.

According to Ian Fleming

From Casino Royale:
James Bond muses that humping Vespa Lynd will always be lots of fun because she is secretive and even if they were married for thirty years, this part of her that she hides from him will mean that sex with her will always have "the sweet tang of rape."

From Dr. No:
Three blind men in Jamaica walk down the street. They are part Chinese, part African or: "Chinese-Negros--Chingros."

More, doubtless, to follow.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

B.A.G. Field Report #2

Still some ants linger, toughing it out in my baby-powder-bombed-out bathroom. I haven't re-powdered because I'm so impressed with these lone survivors. I tried to take pictures of them for you, but couldn't get a focus that small. They looked kind of like this:

Friday, January 20, 2006

If You Wouldn't Let Joe Clark Do It, Why Let Stephen Harper?

Since Elections Canada took fo-ev-ah getting me my ballot, will I get it in to Ottawa in time to have it count? Will Stephen Harper rule the world on a throne of wadded-up applications for immigration? Will he force us all to wear chastity-against-humanity belts of iron around our hearts? Find out this coming Monday.

B.A.G. Update

Bay leaves deployed. Stand by for report.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Operation B-A-G Field Report #1

Holy crap, baby powder is totally it. I sprinkled liberally in certain key areas in the bathroom: dusted across the threshold into the hall, powdered around the sink, mounded by the crack between the floor and the wall where they get in. And I got back from James Bond class last night and there was nary an ant to be seen. Those amusing strolls up the shower curtain? Over. Those languid afternoons chatting on the windowsill? No more. Exotic safaris around the faucet? Your pith helmet has been retired. I have wiped out the ant populace in my bathroom.

Earlier in the day, I tried a direct-hit to see how the ant took it. It was, as the website on which I found this cure on predicted, upset.

I am officially not a Buddhist.

Now on to bay leaves in the kitchen (thanks, Doretta).

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Operation Bugs-Are-Gross

The ants may have numbers, but I have baby powder. Apparently ants don't like baby powder. I've made little baby powder barriers in the bathroom, so let's see if that changes anything. Plus baby powder smells really nice.

This and the tape that covers the electric socket where the bigger bugs (roaches of some kind?) emerge in the kitchen should cement the anti-bug stronghold that is my apartment.


So I was working grip and electric on the set of my old sound TA's thesis film over the weekend and it was so delightful, because all's I got to worry about is running up and down ladders and gelling lights and setting C-stands and not pinching my fingers. And then when that's done, I can kind of just hang around. Is the script bad? I dunno. Is the acting fake? Not my problem. Is lunch too expensive? Hey, no worries here. There's a lot to be said to be said for having a mostly fun menial job on a film set. Especially on a stage. You can eat lots of craft services, shoot the shit and check your email.

Except that in moving a ladder on Monday morning, a barn door fell off a light and landed on my head from about 7 or 8 feet up. This hurt a lot. I cried. My inability to not cry made me cry even more. But you'll be proud of me; I didn't sob, I just couldn't stop all the water coming out of my eyes. Luckily, I had just put my hair up and the thing hit me right on a dollop of hair, so damage was minimized. I had a small cut but it didn't bleed. Though, as the 2nd AD so nicely pointed out, I could still get a staph infection. I felt peculiar for a little while, though that was more likely from having a bag of ice on my head.

I stuck around, though, which was good because in the afternoon they were shooting a scene porno-style and it was horrifying/mesmerizing. People were covered in baby oil and the way the wardrobe and makeup people conspired on the actress's boobs was shocking. My job was to help set up a shitty-looking lighting set-up and then operate a lighting cue gag really shoddily.

And we had Thai food for lunch. Hooray!

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Love May Be A Battleground But So's My Bathroom

Where the fuck are these little ants coming from? Where? One day, I tell you, one day they are not here, and the next, they are marching up the mirror, lounging in spilt shampoo, drinking pina coladas next to the TP. What gives? Was there a deployment from Ant special forces? Is my bathroom emitting some kind of siren call audible only to ant ears? If I call Dave Foley, can he convince them to leave?

Roommate Miranda is incensed by them. The other morning when I got up there were lots of their tiny carcasses around the toilet. Squashed to death. Did the other ants heed the warning?

Of course not. They are ants, they have no souls.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Smoke And


My brother lent me his digital camera for the spring. This way I can take pictures for visual expression class without spending my entire TA stipend on film and developing. O wave of the future.

The thing about having a digital camera in my clutches is, and I guess you always-already owners of digital cameras know this already, but it makes you take pictures of funny strange little things all the time. It's, like, the democratization of history in which moments in which nothing happens are just as photogenic as moments in which Very Important Things happen. Or it just gratifies all our wanky photocompostion desires, and immediately.

That said, Mr. Bhuvinder the Beaver sez: We got a gas heater in the wall for Christmas! It's calienta! Thanks Landlord Chuck! Although there are still bugs coming out of the wall socket in the kitchen, but that's for another day!

From the Desk Of

Today I spent a good part of the day relabeling the spines of binders at work. It was a day of doing what I really truly love to do: decide on fonts, font sizes, an overall design scheme, paper colour, and then, best of all, coordinating tape colour (if all you office-supply-philes haven't gotten yourselves down to film expendables stores yet and purchased coloured tape in various widths, what the hell are you waiting for?).

There were binders series, you see, that each demanded their own colour scheme. Even while the font and design showed that these series are part of an overall grouping. So the "Producing" series got the pale yellow paper and shit-hot red tape treatment, the "Jobs" series got the seriously punk hot pink paper and black tape treatment. So, so satisfying.

I got a haircut last week and haircutter Alicia and I spent the entire time talking about people we knew in high school and office supplies. It was a delightful conversation. She yearned for an inbox.

Stationery is great. School starts tomorrow.

Also, my kitchen is now very clean. Even the fridge and the grout on the counter.

Friday, January 06, 2006

People, I Shall Return

I think LA likes me.

It's giving me all this nice weather, and these bloody tangerine sunsets.

Everything is green because of the rain.

And it keeps coughing up people I know for me to run into. Like running into Kat, at LAX, and letting me sponge a ride home. Or today, on campus, when I ran into so many cinema students it was like we rooled the skool. I even ran into someone I didn't know, who said hi in a friendly way, and I said hi back in the same friendly way even though I'm entirely certain I've never met her. How friendly, though!

As long as I can keep my car away from the clutches of the tow truck, I'm set up to have a good week.