Wednesday, March 30, 2005
Waste My Time, Please

Some so-called used book dealer's idea of a condition description, verbatim from the Alibris website:

"Near fine condition. Name sticker on inside cover. Order Now and receive 2 NEW Cell Phone Antenna Boosters (As Seen On TV) a $40.00 Value-Free."
First Anniversary

Anodyne is one year old today. Thanks to everyone who wrote to complain or to offer encouragement. Special thanks to brother dru, Pete Culley, Jamie Tolagson, Sylvia Grace Borda, and the Incredible Talking Cats.

RIP Creeley

Pricing Creeley titles on Addall when my inbox chimed with the news I would rather have not received. For Love open in front of me, so I quote a favorite here:

The Innocence

Looking to the sea, it is a line
of unbroken mountains.

It is the sky.
It is the ground. There
we live, on it.

It is a mist
now tangent to another
quiet. Here the leaves
come, there
is the rock in evidence

or evidence.
What I come to do
is partial, partially kept.
Tuesday, March 29, 2005
Estate Call

Five blocks from my apartment, way up high, English Bay freighter lights visible through the white curtains stirring in the wind and the smell of rain out on the small concrete patio. Books piled everywhere, lamps and furniture moved, indentations in the thick carpet, subtle indications of how things once were.

"My dad showed me your Yellow Pages ad, when he knew what was happening," said the vendor. "He said I should call you, afterwards, that maybe you'd like his taste."

Dad was in San Francisco, circa 1958-60, and seriously plugged into poetry & art thereafter. A core sample:

Collected Books of Jack Spicer, ed. Blaser (not for sale);

Olson x many;

Bunting, Briggflatts, 2nd impression;

D-Day and After, Frank Davey's first book, printed by George Bowering's Rattlesnake Press in Oliver, B.C., introduction by Warren Tallman;

Lisa Robertson x many;

Ginsberg, TV Baby Poems;

Kenneth Patchen x 2 hard-to-find TPB originals, one in an edition of 324 copies;

Barbarian Press x several (fine bindings & typography);

Gary Snyder's High Sierra of California (trail camp & climbing journals, large color woodcuts by Tom Killion, also nfs)

& etc.
Saturday, March 26, 2005

I Ask You For Culture and All You Give Me is This Brick Snake

This week's review of Kim Kennedy Austin at State Gallery is my last review for the relaunched Terminal City. Several weeks ago, publisher John Kay had the extraordinarily bad judgement to fire Bess Lovejoy, one of the best editors I've ever worked with. According to numerous TC staffers, Kay wants to re-focus the paper on 'fun things': bars and clubs, live theatre, 'lowbrow art,' gallery exhibitions by gig poster designers, skateboard culture, etc., and to deemphasize the paper's coverage of literature and visual art.

On Friday, books editor Aaron Peck and arts editor Adam Harrison were informed by incoming editor Chris Eng via email that their services were no longer required, effective immediately. So long, so sorry, change of focus, thanks very much.

I have no idea what the paper will look like in a few months; needless to say, I no longer have any interest in being affiliated with it, nor in working for John Kay, by all accounts a staggeringly inept novice publisher whose editorial vision apparently consists of trying to tack in whatever direction he thinks ad revenue will most likely materialize from. Nor will Pulpfiction be doing any TC advertising, Kay in a single stroke having killed the two sections where my 'target demographic' might reasonably be said to reside.

About the rest of Vancouver's free media, the less said, the better. When I started at the Straight in the late 1990s, a review was 1000 words. Now it's exactly half that, the Straight's editors having arbitrarily determined that readers won't read anything longer than 500 words. So, in place of detailed exegesis and analysis, factoid blurbs. Names 'n dates! Punchy leads, and short tight sentences.

In my experience, this relentless dumbing-down of media has turned most of my friends off reading local papers all together.

So, what am I personally planning to reverse this sad state of affairs?

Starting in May or early June, I will be writing 52 1000+ word art reviews, once a week for a year, for a new online publication edited by Aaron Peck and Adam Harrison. URL and other details in due course. (The reviews will be cross-posted here within a day or two of publication).

I'm also editing an anthology of critical essays on contemporary Vancouver art, to be published early next year.

Finally, I'm curating a small exhibition of pictures by photographer Mike Grill at Gallery 69 this July. A short publication will accompany the exhibition, and its text will be reprinted here.

(Thx to local comix genius Marc Bell for today's title. His drawing of the same name (ink on Canada Council rejection letter) depicts Ray Johnson's much-beloved brick snake, its flickering forked tongue the Canada Council's old heavily-stylized green tree logo) Posted by Hello
Thursday, March 24, 2005

Someone writes in response to yesterday's Chuck Jones memoir to point out New Yorker staff writer Ian Frazier's excellent Coyote V. Acme. Posted by Hello

"LONDON (Reuters) - Can't get out of bed in the morning?

Scientists at MIT's Media Lab in the United States have invented an alarm clock called Clocky to make even the doziest sleepers, who repeatedly hit the snooze button, leap out of bed. After the snooze button is pressed, the clock, which is equipped with a set of wheels, rolls off the table to another part of the room.

'When the alarm sounds again, simply finding Clocky ought to be strenuous enough to prevent even the doziest owner from going back to sleep,' New Scientist magazine said Tuesday."Posted by Hello

Terminal City art review, printed exactly as I submitted it. Go check this show out if you're in town; the best works in the exhibition are, unfortunately, almost impossible to reproduce in print or on the web, and demand to be seen in person.

Kim Kennedy Austin
K Structure
State Gallery, upper floor, 1564 West 6th Avenue
Through 23 April 2005

Reviewed by Christopher Brayshaw

Kim Kennedy Austin makes elegant ink and watercolor drawings of linguistic and architectural systems. This sounds like a mouthful, evoking the dated specter of "linguistic conceptual art," with its endless boring Xeroxes and photostats of dictionary definitions, institutional grey card files and ring binders full of useless information, but Austin's work impresses with its formal variety and the conceptual rigor she brings to her mappings of social and architectural space.

Austin's first solo exhibition at State, draws upon a historical text documenting the rebuilding of the Quebec Bridge across the St. Lawrence River in 1907, following the collapse of an older structure. Some drawings detail the destruction of the old bridge, some are based upon engineering diagrams and schematics for the replacement span, and some – to my eyes, the best – sketch the social structures that brought both bridges into being.

Austin's most conventional drawings reproduce, with her trademark skinny black ink lines, old architectural renderings or engineering diagrams. These scientific and technical sources are abstractions of real things in the world: rivets; steel girders; sheet metal and decking. They enable anyone skilled enough to read them to conjure up a synthesis of their parts, to spin a bridge or building from a stack of raw materials as easily as spiders spin their webs from thin air.

Austin's drawings call her sources' conceptual transparence into question. Lines tremble or veer off at odd angles, and ostensibly stable structures take on the appearance of a house of cards, ready to shiver to pieces.

In drawings like, "Details of Cassion, Section B-B," and, "Details of Cassion, Section A-A," technical details pile up on top of each other like geological strata. These images resemble road cuts, exhuming layer upon layer of buried meaning from their architectural sources. These pictures are essentially contour drawings that treat their source images as just another kind of information, no different from more traditional pictorial subjects like flowers, fruit, or faces (In this, they share important conceptual parallels with Ben Reeves' contour drawings of paintings, recently exhibited at the Equinox Gallery).

A second, and to my mind much less successful style of drawing depicts the faltering and eventually collapsed structure of the old bridge as white negative space against a brightly colored background of pinkish-red watercolor wash. These images' veer too far toward tastefulness; Austin's choice of color and her application of it seem entirely arbitrary, designed to create aesthetically pleasing compositions and not to articulate some hidden element of a source drawing or photograph. "Photograph Showing the Suspended Span Falling…" is the best of these, with its jumbled heap of girders arranged like Pick-Up sticks, and its watercolor halo plunging toward the river below.

A third kind of drawing eschews representation all together, and simply consists of texts and names. "Transactions of Book Cover" treats Austin's source text as just another object up for depiction, and its witty grace results from Austin's labored, hand-drawn recreation of its source image's mechanically set and printed typefaces.

The two best works in the exhibition, "Organization of St. Lawrence Bridge Co., Ltd.," and, "Bibliography, pp.304-310," map the hierarchical organization of the private company that built the new bridge, and engineering details associated with its construction. By dispersing thousands of words in space like a cloud of soot or snowflakes, Austin's precise hand lettering focuses attention on specific dates, names and organizational systems in ways that a mechanical typeface never could. Her conceptually and formally precise drawings are obviously informed by 60s-era conceptualism, but they do not reprise older strategies of analysis and display so much as they extend them into the present. Austin's images' concision is a source of real conceptual strength, and of a strange quiet beauty, too.
Author's preferred version of a short review from this week's Straight:

Damian Moppett: The Visible Work
At the Contemporary Art Gallery until April 24

Reviewed by Christopher Brayshaw

Damian Moppett’s new exhibition at the Contemporary Art Gallery consists of graphite drawings, watercolours, a three-screen video installation, clumsily made clay pots and only slightly more accomplished faux-modernist steel sculptures, and (in collaboration with Toronto resident Zin Taylor) promotional buttons, posters, and fliers for a fake band, the Spiders.

Moppett’s purpose in creating this varied and somewhat motley group of objects is to X-ray contemporary visual art, exposing those distinctions—high-/pop-culture, art/craft, modern/postmodern, et cetera—that operate like hooks, enabling critics and historians to attach artists and their works to predefined critical categories.

Moppett declares his impatience with this state of affairs by refusing to declare his allegiance to any particular medium, or to develop a “signature style”. Instead, he presents a whole gallery full of stylistically varied objects, some highly finished and refined, others amateurish in execution. In this way, he deflects attention from the “visible works” in the gallery to the conceptual decision-making that led him to create them in the first place.

Moppett has transformed the CAG’s larger gallery into a museum display. Discreet spotlights in the darkened room illuminate large steel sculptures, perhaps modelled on the work of modernist sculptor Alexander Calder. The sculptures are ragged and roughly formed, and bear fabricators’ measurements in coloured chalk or grease pencil on their sides. Hanging from the sculptures are little trays of clay pots and bowls whose blobby forms and cracked edges signify the work of a beginning potter.

The steel sculptures are like designer pedestals; they demonstrate, in a dryly funny way, how the “look” of modern art has, since the late 1940s, been absorbed into craft and design, and, similarly, how formal qualities like “fidelity to materials” have not received the same level of critical respect or recognition in the craft genres as they have in critical discussions about painting and sculpture.

Writing about these works, Moppett has likened them to a car crash between art and craft, an event rendering one form indistinguishable from the other. As he says in an exhibition catalogue interview with historian John Welchman, he sees “the pairing as humorous, but not disrespectful towards the capacity or history of either form.”

In the CAG’s smaller gallery, Moppett is exhibiting dozens of watercolour and graphite drawings. Some are homages to his favourite artists: filmmaker Hollis Frampton; painters Ed Ruscha and Philip Guston; the cheeky Swiss sculptors Peter Fischli and David Weiss. Others are more idiosyncratic: a flock of Saltspring Island sheep; potters’ kilns and Denman Island houses; a grinning psychedelic nightmare full of huge eyeballs, sharp teeth, and torch flames.

By refusing to differentiate among his images or to organize them into any kind of hierarchy, Moppett compels viewers to consider the cumulative effect that these seemingly incompatible and unlikely sources—Sepultura? H.P. Lovecraft? Fifties sculptural kitschmaster Isamu Noguchi?—have had on his alternately comic and profound art practice.

Stealth excavation, False Creek, Vancouver, B.C. (photo: dru again) Posted by Hello

Alluvial plain, old Vancouver civic works yard (photo credit: dru) Posted by Hello
Wednesday, March 23, 2005
Big Celebrity "Pome" Punch-up

Billy Corgan vs. Jewel, by phone between the Main and Kitsilano stores, all day long.

"Long admired for his evocative songwriting, Corgan here embarks on a deeper exploration of literary terrain as a poet."


Radiate disciples
Where we touch is unseen
Violet embrace
All manner of the chrysalis signals
The code of the Christ
It's as if I am inside you
I understand so much of what you need
But so little of what you ask
Allow this moment to pass us by
Stand by my side...

...and that's about as far as Main Street got this afternoon before Kits requested us to "don't ever fucking call back" and hung up.

Game called on account of the Jewel book selling in Kits.
Chuck Jones, reminiscing:

"Long before that, however, the Acme Corporation had become the sole supplier to Wile E. Coyote. Whatever his needs were, the Acme Corporation was there to supply. It was a perfect symbiotic relationship; no money was ever involved. The Acme Corporation supplied the Coyote's requirements: Acme Jet-Propelled Roller Skates, Acme Burmese Tiger Trap, Acme Leg Muscle Vitamins, Acme Female Road Runner Costume, Acme Batman Outfit, etc. All of them almost perfect. But surely the jet-propulsion group should have eschewed the use of the Acme Little Giant Bobrick, even at the bargain rate of 35 cents."

Received in the mail today: a nice letter from Warren Buffett. Pictured above, Berkshire Hathaway World HQ, 1440 Kiewit Plaza, Omaha, Nebraska. A nondescript office building on the crest of a hill just west of downtown. Berkshire Hathaway only occupies a couple suites on the 14th floor. I took a picture from an almost identical vantage point on a quiet June Sunday a few years ago at twilight, only to have a black monochrome return from the London Drugs photo lab. Posted by Hello
Tuesday, March 22, 2005
Destroy Your Toyota Corolla's Suspension in 1 Easy Step

Load up approximately 2500 books from a weekend estate auction. Visual arts, graphic design, illustrated kids' books, unusual music & humor titles, porn. Then drive, very carefully, from south Burnaby to Main and Broadway, nodding along as Monk and Charlie Rouse do their thing. Spring sunlight, green halos grown around the bare limbs of the not-quite-winter-any-longer trees.

Bonus: a framed "Subgenius World Revival Crusade 1984 'Night of Slack'" promotional silkscreen, which, at the bargain price of $30CDN, is going up on the wall opposite the till tomorrow morning and never leaving.

Collecting Charles Willeford -- The Burnt Orange Heresy my obvious favorite. I know that guy!
Waste My Time Redux

It's all true, folks!

Thanks to Sylvia, who originally spotted this priceless bit of social anthropology in the Langara College student paper, and to Pete, who found the online version. Permanently installed above the Pulpfiction till.

The cartoonist works (or worked) at the Book Warehouse down the road. I have had every single one of these customers, some repeatedly, sometimes two or three at a time. Reflecting on creative solutions to the problem, an Onion headline springs to mind: Convenience Store Clerk Kills Six in His Imagination...

Vague On Plot & Genre Dude ("It's a famous story...") is the worst offender, with Photocopying Guy jockeying for second place. Not depicted: Antiquarian Book Snob, Aggressive Dutch Architect Glasses-Wearing Housewife, Book Destroyer, New Age Man, Incomprehensible Mumbling Lady, Mr. Daypass, Ms. Remainder Table, Power Couple, Walkman Guy, Fragile Lily, Crackhead #1, Crackhead #2, Sophisticated Book Thief, Quebecois Street Urchin, Mister Aggro, Aggro Jr., actual staff & customers!

Monday, March 21, 2005
Waste My Time, Please

"D'you got any books by Sue Grafton?" (Mediocre and constantly overstocked writer of formulaic paperback mysteries, A is for Alibi, B is for Burglar, & etc.)

Yes, millions.

"Where are they?"

Over here.

"D'you got G?"

Yep, right here.

"Man, I couldn't hardly see that!" (shelved between F and H, right where it belongs) "How much is it?"

Price is right there on the front cover...$3.95 and tax.

"I can't afford THAT! How's 25 cents?"

How's not?

"Okay, okay..." (Wanders outside. Digs through the bargain table. Brightens. Drags in a coverless, water-damaged copy of Grafton's G is for Gumshoe). "You were charging 4 bucks for this inside! But this one's two bits! What's up with that? You're a rip-off!"

(Lengthy response viz. condition, availability, etc., concluding with the silk-purse-from-a-sow's-ear line, So, can I ring that up for you?)

"Oh, I can't buy this."

Why's that?

(Beat) "I've already read it."

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Rainy Sunday afternoon ebay win. Figuring out what I'm planning to do with this shouldn't take much imagination; suffice to say there's both an aesthetic and a practical purpose involved. Posted by Hello
Saturday, March 19, 2005

Gift of Gab, live tomorrow night w/ Lateef the Truth Speaker @ Richards on Richards. Early show! Posted by Hello
Friday, March 18, 2005

Mr. M. himself, from his "Open Letter to Miles Davis":

"Miles, don't you remember that 'Mingus Fingers' was written in 1945 when I was a youngster, 22 years of age, who was studying and doing his damnedest to write in the Ellington tradition? Miles, that was 10 years ago when I weighed 185. Those clothes are worn and don't fit me anymore. I'm a man; I weigh 215; I think my own way. I don't think like you and my music isn't meant just for the patting of feet and going down backs. When and if I feel gay and carefree, I write or play that way-or when I'm happy, or depressed, even.

Just because I'm playing jazz I don't forget about me. I play or write me the way I feel through jazz, or whatever. Music is, or was, a language of the emotions. If someone has been escaping reality, I don't expect him to dig my music, and I would begin to worry about my writing if such a person began to really like it. My music is alive and it's about the living and the dead, about good and evil. It's angry yet it's real because it knows it's angry." Posted by Hello
More bricklaying, drawing equally on Geoff Dyer's terrific account of Mingus' life in But Beautiful, Mingus' autobiography, Beneath the Underdog, which I, unlike Dyer, found compulsively readable, the composer's notes to Blues and Roots, and Booker Ervin's searing solo on "Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting."

Blues and Roots

Mingus resting, fingers
gently curled around
his bass' neck. Eyes
closed, the photographer's
flash settling lightly on
his skin.

Strong fingers,
hands that,
clenched, punched
Jimmy Knepper in
the gut, then broke his
fucking jaw
. The
incendiary bassist's
face tight with rage,
leaning in, almost
spitting, calling Sy
Johnson useless
white motherfucker.
And meaning it. Or
shouting, his strong
'voice cracking like a
whip over the backs
of horses.' Saying, Talk
about it. Talk about
it. Yah. Yah. Yah.

Or composed, in Knep-
per's courtroom, gesturing
as if still on stage. Saying,
Don't call me a jazz
musician. To me the
word 'jazz' means nig-
ger, discrimination, second-
class citizenship, the whole
back-of-the-bus bit.
per shrugging, embarassed
in the witness box, 'missing
him already.'

The Charles Mingus Band in
flight. Ervin's tenor
ascending, like fencepost
steam on the road to church
Mingus walked down as a
child. McLean and Handy
in dialogue together, the bassist
pacing just ahead the others,
his concentration shaped
to 'a pitch of volatility' no
longer distinguishing
between provoking and
reacting. Saying, The
congregation gives their
testimonial before the Lord,
confess their sins and
shout and do a little
Holy Rolling.
they call their dialogue
talking in tongues or talking
known tongue.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Field notes or scales, take your pick. Nothing really much to see here, just bricklaying:

Rotting ties kicked
in & splintered, like the
nailed-up boards
behind the tower's
cracked windows. Birds
racketing inside its
corrugated walls,
grey metal furred
with eavestrough

Horseshoe Bay --> Departure Bay (notes in between the New York Times and Geoff Dyer's But Beautiful) [return trip addendums from the Duke Point --> Vancouver run in brackets]

The creased grey sea, foam-flecked, low dark lines of distant peninsulas and islands. Barges; a white sail heeling with the wind; the express hydrofoil arrowing straight for Vancouver, the city invisible behind a grey screen of rain and cloud.

Breaks of blue, at first just hints of sun, later blossoming into hard, metallic colors.

Hot sunlight on my face.

Mist streaming from cloud-edges as if from a wet road or fencepost.

Harmac's blue plume.

"He wasn't cut out to be an entrepreneur: he was the kind of man who, when reaching for the phone, would knock a cup of coffee off the edge of the desk and into an open drawer, thereby ensuring not only that any documents that were in the drawer were ruined but also that the first thing a caller heard was not a pleasant voice saying 'Hello, can I help you?' but Mingus yelling 'Shit!'"

The recognition that every object depicted in [Evan] Lee's photographs is a symbol of something else. Criticism thus consists of acknowledging what is physically present in the images (cardboard boxes; ginseng roots; draughtsman's tools; spilled glitter and confetti) and what is not (galaxies; exotic birds; predatory cartoon faces).

[Material allegory]

"The dark earth is the mirror of the star-strewn sky." [Foucault]

"There rolls the deep where grew the tree.
O earth, what changes hast thou seen!
There where the long street roars, hath been
The stillness of the central sea."

"It's now time for all vehicle passengers to return to the vehicle deck."

(Thanks to South Wellington's Daph, Pete & the cats for hospitality, Moomin merch and the E&N railtracks. 15+ miles of hiking from Departure Bay to Duke Point, 40-odd pounds of used books on my back).
Ethel Wilson, exemplary West Coast modernist novelist, late in life, reflecting:

"'And what are you writing about now?' People and seabirds. Of the visible and sub-visible world there is no end."
Off Departure Bay

The Harmac mill's
blue plume. Rain
showers. Sun
through the
ferry window's
salt-rimed glass.
Sunday, March 13, 2005
About Being a Student

Uncommonly good advice from Mr. Julian Schnabel, a filmmaker and "painter" that I usually don't have much time for:

"Never listen to anybody when it comes to being responsible for your own paintings. It's a mistake for young artists to want to please older ones. They're going to make you take out of your paintings the very things that most characterize them as yours. You might think that someone is smarter than you are, or wiser, or more experienced, and they may be. But you can't listen to them because nobody knows better than you what you need to do. Most older artists are going to try to get you to conform to the standards that you are out to destroy anyway."

(This from a massive Schnabel vanity press-cum-retrospective catalog in across the shop desk yesterday evening. Full of interchangable mixed-media paintings, and witty and insightful gossip about the 80s Manhattan artworld, including a particularly restrained and moving account of bumping into an elderly but no less opinionated Clement Greenberg in an LAX departure lounge).
Saturday, March 12, 2005
Tales from the Torngats -- site detailing a Labrador mountaineering tragedy, with supurb color photographs of this little-explored region, and excellent texts (thx member Dave Wasserman).
Friday, March 11, 2005
She rocks,
She swings,
She delights
in the faded things

Jonathan Richman, Her Mystery Not of High Heels and Eye Shadow

Thursday, March 10, 2005

An automatiste (thx WG Blog) Posted by Hello
Wednesday, March 09, 2005
100K club -- cjb & Team Cat

A truly gorgeous day, more like late May than mid-March, with a negligible snowpack to boot. Mixed sunshine and mist, the latter peeling back as the day went on, disclosing views of Bowen Island, the Sunshine Coast, the West Lion. Later, at twilight, Georgia Straight pink and placid, scored by the wake from a tug and barge off Point Grey.

Nanaimo's lights winking like an airport runway in the dark.


Or, in other words, another Team Cat extravaganza. Black Mountain summit from Horseshoe Bay highway overpass, via Black Mountain trail, Donut Bluff (super-steep) variation. Thence down to the Cypress Bowl parking lot, and, having determined that, a/ the skiier shuttle bus is no longer running, due to the whole mountain being closed (no snow on the runs), and, b/ that hitching down the sparsely trafficked road isn't really a possibility, on down to Caulfield Village, the last forty minutes or so in the dark, via a combination of the Powerline Trail, Transcanada Trail, and various manky old skid roads. Overpass 60m (BC Basemap), Black Mountain summit 1224m, plus 30m elevation bonus for assorted-up-and-down getting from the peak to the parking lot via the circuitious winter snowshoe route = 1194m. 2005 total: 5858m.

Rose T. Cat found a hefty watertight baggie of weed under one of the "balancing rocks" just before the grunt up to Donut Bluff. It isn't mine, and I left it alone, having passed that particular life stage six or seven years ago, but I can't imagine its lasting that long, even out in the middle of nowhere.
Tuesday, March 08, 2005

One of literally hundreds of images from Vancouver photographer Kelly Wood's Continuous Garbage Project. Breakfast and five and a half hours of conversation with the ferociously bright and thoughtful Ms. W. this rainy spring morning, a day off spent (what better way?) parsing the local scene and an as-yet unrevealed collaborative project.

Catching up on project-related email this evening, Miles Davis ballads on the deck and McAuslan St-Ambroise Oatmeal Stout close at hand. Crippling High Interest Credit Card totally paid out an hour ago, a rare moment of calm and something approaching celebration.Posted by Hello
Monday, March 07, 2005
Off for a day or two in the spring sunshine. Back Thursday!
Saturday, March 05, 2005
Day Off (actually Thursday, but not written up till now)

Several weeks ago (see 2/8/5's entry) we went on an estate call to Zero Avenue, right across from the US border in Aldergrove. Approximately 5000 mystery paperbacks, which we purchased, and about a thousand other titles -- cookbooks, bird identification guides, shortwave radio manuals, & etc. -- that we didn't.

Last Monday, John called with an estate call "somewhere in Langley."

On Thursday, Skytrain to New Westminster at the crack of dawn to meet him.

As we were merging into the HOV lane on the approach to the Port Mann Bridge, it occured to me to ask John just where exactly in Langley the estate collection was located.

"Actually it's more Aldergrove than Langley," he said. "Zero Avenue."

To cut a long story short, John went on the estate call by himself, dropping me in downtown Langley to look for books, read the new issue of October magazine, and go shirt-shopping at Corporate Thrift Store.

A beautiful bright day, Mount Robie Reid and Golden Ears tall to the north with fresh coats of snow.

A little warmth in the spring sun.

Tree-blossom. Lots of clanking and banging from the skeleton of the new casino and convention center under construction just west of the downtown core.
Friday, March 04, 2005

Warren Buffett's much-anticipated annual Chairman's Letter to Berkshire Hathaway's shareholders should be available here tomorrow morning at around 9am.

Ian Wallace's In The Studio, a mixed media exhibition of studio-themed works from the 70s, 80s, and 90s, up right now at Emily Carr's Charles H. Scott gallery. A terrific exhibition, and one I've already been back to see several times. Highlights: a blurry black and white photograph of a rickety chair with the artist's briefcase plunked down on it, a mock-up? recreation? of the artist's seminal Magazine Piece visible behind it; the limited edition print of the artist's desk, a Mallarme poem open upon it (purchased!); and the tiny backlit color transparency of a much younger Wallace at work, a work forever ruined for me by Tim Lee and Clint Burnham's cheeky, knowing recreation of the same shot for a Western Front poster project a year or two ago.

No review of the Wallace show at Terminal City yet, but that might be fixed by next week. Posted by Hello

Christmas in March: old Squarehead's collected writings, back in print for the first time in decades. Posted by Hello
Thursday, March 03, 2005

ART (Aesthetically Rejected Thing): Richard Linklater's A Scanner Darkly Trailer

Keanu Reeves? Winona Ryder? Woody Harrelson? Case closed. Posted by Hello

ACTs (Aesthetically Claimed Things): Philip K. Dick's typewriter and coffee mug. Posted by Hello

Hard Case Crime -- a new line of paperback originals distributed in Canada by HarperCollins, mixing new titles with long-out-of-print golden oldies by Lawrence Block, Day Keene, Donald Westlake, & etc.Posted by Hello

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