Saturday, April 07, 2007

One Hundred Famous Ghosts (53), 2007
Friday, April 06, 2007

Star Magnolia in a Garden, 2007

Horseshoe Bay Magnolia, 2007
Thursday, April 05, 2007
Recent reading: Hilary Mantel, Beyond Black. Finished in the Kinsmen Park, at twilight, overlooking Departure Bay, tide coming noisily in up the beach. Seated at a concrete picnic table just back of the seawall, thumbing through previews on the Nikon's battered display. Lots of busted flushes there; a higher-than-usual failure rate upped by intrusive power poles; by irritated homeowners who apparently don't accept magnolia photography as a legitimate art genre; and by my seeming inability to frame and compose images that don't read like reiterations of other photographers' better considered pictures. Nico's advice, as always, pertains: "Please don't confront me with my failures, I had not forgotten them."
Anodyne Inc.

I just installed a new record-keeping program for the investments. First revelation: a missed dividend payment dated 21 December 2006:

Norbord Inc. (NBD): .10/share x 1208 shares = $120.80

As cash sitting in the business account does not earn any interest, I am simply crediting the dividend to cash today. The change on the relative Anodyne-vs.-the-TSE results is tiny and not really worth recalculating. Practically speaking, the first quarterly report to shareholders now slightly understates the investments' performance, and the second quarterly report, coming up on or around the 25th of April, will slightly overstate the investments' performance. The difference is, in my judgement, of only minor material significance.

Cash balance, $1060.22
Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Warp, 2007

A reply to Adam Harrison's excellent Trashpicker, a recent contribution to Four.
Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Not cimex lectularius.

Warm sunlight through low grey overcast, door open, cherry petals floating in. Eno's Another Day on Earth on the deck. A quiet, pleasant day. New Penguin Canada titles on the racks by the front door: Adorno, Negris, Mouffe, Auster, Pynchon, Bataille, & etc. I always get a kick out of receiving new books, of heaving the big cardboard boxes up onto the counter, sliding a key or a scissor blade down through the packing tape, spinning the box, slicing through one end of the taped lid, spinning the box again, slicing through the other side, and lifting out the crisp stacks of new books, all the while breathing in the fresh dry scent of paper rising from the box's innards. (A little bit of direct light now, illuminating one of the cherry tree's white branches, the front room's showcases, a half-empty Windex bottle, a roll of paper towel). The lovely immanence of things.

Other highlights? Learning from a friend who attended the Emerald City Comic-Con that my old critical adversary, Seattle-based comics writer Ed Brubaker, author of many excellent crime comics, and the noticably much less good autobiographical Lowlife, which I rudely but accurately trashed in The Comics Journal many years ago, is a bright pleasant guy who shares many of my reading tastes (Tim Powers; Philip K. Dick; Paul Auster; Ross MacDonald). The numerous smartass friends who forwarded high-res JPEGs of blood-engorged bedbugs in response to this morning's post. Chris Clarke's amazing tale of the white-trash woman downtown who, momentarily blocked by a garbage truck, hollered, "Hey raghead! Go back to fucking India!" at the truck's bald headed Japanese driver. Endless magnolias. The many volumes of Canadian Alpine Journal and Accidents in North American Mountaineering that arrived, unsolicited, on the story's heels. Brother dru, unexpectedly in the house, endlessly busy, with his stories of climbing in the Coast Range, and a level of visible amazment at the world that I couldn't duplicate in twenty lives (nb. "Rare Tree Octopus"). JPEGs from Toronto's Jennifer McMackon, an equally amazed and sincere individual, whose photographs are up next at CSA. Tolagson's #99, "The Great Wave," my personal vote for Best in Show. Forthcoming studio visit with great local "artist using painting" Arabella Campbell, in the company of my curatorial pals "Stretch" Harrison and "Father Time" Tong. Pete's trees; J.'s knotty, spiky prose; Latta's walls and tangled Michigan thickets. The 35 copies of S.'s catalog that moved in a single month over in the UK. My "graphite rubbings of landscapes" thunking out of the printer. Their soft silverpoint greys. The guy who, walking past the front door, announced to his friend, "That's the best bookstore in Canada." The pigeon couple who've taken up residence in the awning. Dominion Citrus Income Fund (DOM.UN), ticking along. And, speaking of pigeons, the one that just put its head through the door, sneaky-peted in across the lintel, and cooed.
Anodyne Inc.

Dividend dated 1 April 2007 and recorded today:

Loblaw Companies (L): .21/share x 217 shares = $45.57

Cash balance, $939.42

Ongoing: the apartment management's bedbug eradication campaign. In the hall this morning, several pest control guys in white zip-up coveralls. Stacked by the elevator door: respirators, rolls of transparent plastic sheeting, Gilliamesque machinery with tubes and bellows protruding every which way. I don't know the apartments in question, but the image I have in the back of my mind resembles E.G. Marshall's cockroach-covered penthouse in Creepshow.

Bedbugs keep coming up in conversation. The weirdest one being with a casual acquaintance who announced, a propos of nothing, that her apartment had them, but that the infestation was coming under control. "The bites don't hurt," she informed me, "but they look pretty strange; I have these red marks all over the undersides of my breasts." Too much information! Not a mental picture I ever planned to process, and one as inexplicably arousing as Lulu's bangs.
Monday, April 02, 2007

Today's YouTube: In The Early Morning Rain, Ian and Sylvia Tyson (feat. Gordon Lightfoot)

In the early morning rain
With a dollar in my hand
With an achin' in my heart

And my pockets full of sand
I'm a long way from home
And I miss my loved ones so

In the early morning rain
With no place to go....
Anodyne Inc.

Distribution dated 31 March 2007 and recorded today:

Dominion Citrus Income Fund (DOM.UN): 12,346 units x .01/unit = $123.46

Cash balance, $893.85

Sunday, April 01, 2007

I heard there was a secret chord
That David played and it pleased the lord
But you don't really care for music, do you?
Well it goes like this: the fourth, the fifth
The minor fall and the major lift
The baffled king composing hallelujah....

I'm Looking For This Book...

(verbal tics and delivery reproduced verbatim)

CUSTOMER: That book...they made a film from it...a documentary-type film...the guy that killed that family, then went crazy.

CJB: You're describing a whole genre there.

CUSTOMER [brightens]: The killer was two guys! [sic]

CJB: And the killers went crazy?

CUSTOMER: No, the guy did...the writer.

CJB'S BRAINWAVE: Pills and booze certainly unmoored Truman.

VERDICT: In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote

Same customer:

CUSTOMER: This this famous writer-guy. This guy goes home to Brooklyn. And he meets his, eh, uncle there, in this bookshop, that sells antiquity books [sic], and the guy who works there, the owner, he's been in jail--

CJB: --we all have. You don't get your bookseller's license until you walk out of the pen.

CUSTOMER [soldiering on]: --and he's got this plan to forge antiquity books [sic], and--

CJB'S BRAINWAVE ["Brooklyn" + Smoke]: The writer wouldn't be Paul Auster, would he?


VERDICT: The Brooklyn Follies, by Paul Auster


DIFFERENT CUSTOMER #1: Do you have The Secret?


DIFFERENT CUSTOMER #2: D'you have The Secret?


DIFFERENT CUSTOMER #3: I'm looking for The Secret...


Also encountered this afternoon: the opinionated eavesdropper who took issue with my recommendation of Robert Fisk's The Great War For Civilisation, aggressively demanding me to name "the best book you've read articulating the exact opposite point of view." Recognizing this demand for the wheezy Humanities 101 sophistry that it is (thanks, Plato!) I in turn requested the eavesdropper's favorite book fufilling this criteria, only to learn that he had scanned, but never actually read, the Fisk. Game set and match.

VERDICT: Self-satisfaction. Plus financial satisfaction at watching a customer buy an Italo Calvino novel on the eavesdropper's recommendation, thereby revealing the presence of something approximating shared taste, and watching the eavesdropper buy a Paulo Coehlo novel on the customer's recommendation, a better revenge than I could have ever hoped for.
My in-process essay on tradition, emulation, and neo-avant-garde, an idiosyncratic and subjective reply to Jeff Wall's 2006 Hermes lecture, is coming to occupy most of my non-store time. It's the first essay I've written that's not targeted to a particular exhibition, publication, or audience. About 2000 words so far, in cramped longhand, mostly written on the ferry on the way to or from Vancouver Island. A weird mix of references and citations, most previously unknown to me: Kant's Critique of the Power of Judgement; Marx's Capital; Adorno and Horkheimer's Dialectic of Enlightenment; Plato; Aristotle; Elaine Sturtevant's cryptic and funny "artist's statements." Am I enjoying the process? Not really; I'd much rather be out with the camera, or reading novels, or at the local garden center, loading up on perennials for my balcony tubs and windowboxes. But it seems important to test the relevance of these sources against lived experience, against reading on the bus, Skytrain, or ferry, and against feeling sad, lonely, hung-over, and grey. I guess I am interrogating the relevance of critical theory and philosophy to the "lived experience" that generates my pictures. Other artworks (Wall's; Sturtevant's; Lee's; Daumier's; Reubens') are intensely relevant to this process; there seems to be no barrier between them and life. I absorb theory and philosophy much more slowly, and with far greater difficulty. It seems important to read the source texts without a secondary critical apparatus, or the coercive "help" of tenured faculty. Maybe I will misread my sources, but the misreadings will be my own, and no one else's.

(Re-edited mid-afternoon in response to repeat calls for clarification)

MC Rove

Via today's NYT:

"Mr. Rove seems focused on one overarching goal: creating a permanent Republican majority, even if that means politicizing every aspect of the White House and subverting the governmental functions of the executive branch. This is not the Clinton administration’s permanent campaign. The Clinton people had difficulty distinguishing between the spin cycle of a campaign and the tone of governing. That seems quaint compared with the Bush administration’s far more menacing failure to distinguish the Republican Party from the government, or the state itself."

Powered by Blogger

.post-title { display: none!important; }