Saturday, December 20, 2008

It's 8:15pm and -10C at the bookstore. SNOWFALL WARNING ISSUED for Greater Vancouver. Probable 20+ cm. by dawn!

Things I'm greatful for:

• The egg tart and generous shot of cheap Canadian rye dropped off by Don King at 6:15pm, which promptly kicked my head cold into remission

• The couple who dropped in unexpectedly with little owl-faced Pomme the kitten

• My many artist friends and collaborators (ST, AH, ADZP, JT, SGB, EL, OK, MG, IP, AT, AM, RL, KM, JMcM, LM. Without whom, & etc.)

• The readership, past and present (brother Dru and Eryne, Jessie Caryl, John Latta, Michael Turner, Don English, KMAC, Peter Culley, Keith Freeman, Bruce Serafin)


Thanks, everyone. Merry Christmas, Pagan Winter Festival, whatever. Thank you. Thanks.
Late Fragment
by Raymond Carver

And did you get what
you wanted from this life, even so?
I did.
And what did you want?
To call myself beloved, to feel myself
beloved on the earth.

Jeff Wall, Florist's Shop Window, 2008

(Courtesy Marian Goodman Gallery)
Friday, December 19, 2008
Catalog of available photographs, just in time for Christmas.

Most of these are paper prints, approx 11" x 14" unframed. Exceptions, including some new works presented in wall-mounted digital frames, are noted. Not everything is up yet, eg., War Game Tree, and not every photograph on Anodyne is available. Some have been destroyed and many thought better of.

Just arrived in the mail, an early Xmas gift!
Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Paging Dan Graham, whose pavilions would be immeasurably improved by the addition of white mice, mallards, and a pulsing trippy soundtrack.
Monday, December 15, 2008

Latenight video for L., currently enjoying the thriving nightlife in bustling downtown Vernon, BC. "Little help from Mike McDonald and the Doobies on that one..."

ACT (Aesthetically Claimed Thing): Madlib, Dillalade Ride (Contact High)
Brian Fawcett memorializes/reviews my late friend Bruce Serafin. Two paragraphs seem particularly pertinent to topics that move through this page almost daily, like winter storms:

"As a younger writer, Serafin wrote the same elegant and clear prose you’ll find in Stardust. But late in his life he developed a unique ability to penetrate the brassy surfaces of the self-serving bullshit Vancouver’s political, economic and cultural elites churn out to maintain their illusions, and he kept that willful refusal to be fooled by the city’s glamourous but perspective-distorting scenery to the end of his life. The political animal in him, with its highly developed powers of empathy, could not, I think, accept that a city with cultural and physical assets so rich and remarkable could produce an intellectual and social climate so pedestrian and violent. There was, as a consequence, a magma of rage at Vancouver’s waste and inequity that percolated just beneath the surface of what he wrote in the last ten years of his life. It was not always a productive rage, either. For literally decades, he was paralyzed by it, and it often blistered his judgment when he did write."

"Indeed there exists, in everything Serafin wrote and did, the studied naiveté of someone who knows what the rules are but can’t live with them. It explains, sort of, the distaste for authority that pervades everything, the refusal to accept any of the comforts of the most limited collectives, even those of other writers who liked and admired him, and his refusal to shape his two books to meet the demands of any other audience than his own obscure muse."
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Retail Fail Redux

James got this guy; I didn't. Other than these straight-to-Anodyne-anecdotes, both stores have been busy, friendly places lately.

ME: Hi there.

HIM: History.

ME: Huh?

HIM: History section.

ME: Sure, this way. Here.

HIM: [mumble]

ME: Don't mention it.

HIM: I'm looking for a book called [OBSCURE TITLE].

ME: Never heard of it. Who wrote it?

HIM: Well, I don't know the author!

ME: I'd be happy to look it up for you.

HIM: You won't find it on your computer.

ME: It's not on Amazon?

HIM: No.

ME: It's not on Google?

HIM: No.

ME: Does it exist?

HIM: Well, I think it does.

ME: Let me know how that works out for you.

And while we're on the topic, wandering in the door and barking out a single word without any supporting context -- "Ishmael!" "History!" "Vampires!" "Germs!" etc. -- just makes it seem like you have Tourette's, and automatically decreases my hard-working staff's helpfulness.

Also, my very favorite Christmas phone call, the one I take every year like clockwork:

LOST GUY: What signed Tolkien books do you carry?

CJB [deep breath; ten-count; perky]: Sorry, we don't have any in right now!

LOST GUY: Why is that?
Retail Fail

DIPSHIT HIPSTER [3-volume hardcover set in slipcase in hand]: How much is this?

CJB: It's priced on the first white page of the first volume.

DH [reads]: "$34.95/set." So that's...

CJB: $34.95 for the set.

DH: Yeah, but how much for all three volumes?

[Set rung up. DH then wanders off down the aisle, wanders 'round the store staring off into space, then wanders back up, having decided to "pass" on it]

VERY NEXT CUSTOMER: Where's your books on cheese?

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