Sunday, December 31, 2006
Another long year drawing down to a close. Dark now, rain threatening, Boards of Canada on the stereo. Strangely busy for New Year's Eve. Thanks to everyone who wrote in 2006 -- approximately four times as much correspondence as last year, largely due to Blogger's improved search capabilities and Anodyne's inexplicable appearance on several total strangers' "Best Of" lists. Special thanks to the usual geographically dispersed crew of Constant Readers -- Vancouver Island; Toronto; Ann Arbor; Omaha; NYC; London UK & etc.

Plans for the New Year? Science fiction novella to finish; exhibition of photographs; professional accreditation as a securities analyst; mountains to climb; art criticism to write; book sales to attend; pictures to make; paper and real $ portfolios to tend, like the rows of vegetables that I used to water in Frances Jean's city lot-sized garden. "Much about this life is strange...." (Roger Lowenstein). A pretty peculiar set of goals, but at least they're mine and no one else's.

Recent reading, what little I actually accomplished in December:

Don Winslow, The Power of the Dog

Bruce C.N. Greenwald et al, Value Investing: From Graham to Buffett and Beyond

Pat Dorsey and Joe Mansueto, The Five Rules for Successful Stock Investing: Morningstar's Guide to Building Wealth and Winning in the Market

Peter Carey, Theft

Okay, that's it. See y'all next year.

Saturday, December 30, 2006
Mr. Critical

I spent an hour today taking stock of my art production in 2005 and 2006. In 2005, I took approximately 200 pictures with the Nikon, and another 2600 in 2006, most of which only now exist as photo-editing software statistics. I made a short list of 9 satisfactory pictures from 2005 and 25 satisfactory ones from 2006, threw out half of those, and then threw out half again to arrive at two short lists of photographs I'm not totally embarrassed by:


Untitled (Grid & Mirror)
Alley Illuminated By Theatrical Lighting
Untitled (Pudding Cup)


One Hundred Famous Ghosts (9)
Dawn, Garibaldi Park, B.C.
Untitled (Cone)
Self Portrait as a Winter Pine

A weird mix of black and white and color photographs, sequences and autonomous images. Punching the titles into the searchbox at the top of the page should return the culprits in question. I might exhibit other pictures, but these are the ones that I hope survive.
Friday, December 29, 2006

MISERABLE OLD PENSIONER [apropos of nothing]: Whatever happened to cocktail jazz?'s all just screaming nowadays...

STAFF MEMBER: That's not screaming, sir, that's classic Chicago soul. Recorded in the early 60s. Nothing "nowadays" about that!

MOP: It's all about the vocal nowadays, I tellya. Just noise....
Anodyne Inc.

Cash distribution today!

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

Cash balance, $940.65
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Team Cat

TC exceeded its 2005 cumulative elevation gain total somewhere around sunset, toiling up the side of the Cut past incredulous Japanese snowboarders. The usual routine: Seabus to Skyride, via Lonsdale Avenue, Prospect Road, the Baden-Powell Trail, BCMC Trail, and Larsen Trail to the base of the Cut, then straight up the edge of the groomed run, the last half-hour or so in the dark, snow hard like styrofoam, crunching nicely underfoot, snowshoes and poles doing their job, Rose T. Cat hollering encouragement from the top pocket of my pack. Red alpenglow through the trees, moon and stars visible overhead, the city's orange lights shimmering below.

It was raining near dawn, but the sky has cleared, and the clouds pulled back, to reveal the North Shore mountains, white with snow.

Time for one last Team Cat jaunt up Grouse in 2006. See y'all!
Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Self Portrait as a Winter Pine, 2006

A view from West Vancouver's Lighthouse Park, grey curtains of rain moving slowly across Georgia Straight. Silver-soft ocean, a texture I always associate with Sugimoto's sea-studies. The park trails a mix of mud and blowdown, fallen timber stacked like cordwood in the underbrush. The Guy Edwards Memorial Tree gone, just a thirty-foot high snag, the rest of the trunk and branches scattered below. Pitch leaking everywhere, the smell sharp in the wet air. Goretex jackets and dogs bobbing among the trees, the light too low to make anything except out-of-focus studies. Back along Marine Drive, rain falling steadily now, past wreathes and Christmas lights marking the ends of long West Vancouver driveways, past twigs and debris piled in the gutters; dumpsters; construction rent-a-fences; old gardens; the scent of winter earth.

Last Christmas in the old house, its ticking fireplace and thick red living room carpet. Freddy the cat, the neighbors' pet and honorary Brayshaw family member, prowls up and down stairs, eddies round like smoke with his wide green eyes and huge grey tail. My father, seated in the living room rocker, slowly describes his father's life. James Brayshaw, b. 1900, master mariner, captain of Mackenzie River paddlewheelers, Hudson's Bay Company western arctic supply ships, the M.V. Lady Rose. Dad passes over a worn page from the Vancouver Sun, dated 1955. A 3500 word account, by oral historian Barry Broadfoot, of a day's journey from the foot of Richmond's No. #2 Road to the Gulf Islands and back aboard the Lady Rose. A black-and-white photograph of Grandpa at the rail.

"'Come back again,' says Captain Brayshaw, 'and bring your friends.'"
Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas from me and the Incredible Talking Cats!
Saturday, December 23, 2006

The earth can be any shape you want it
Any shape at all
Dark and cold or bright and warm
Long or thin or small
But it's home and all I ever had
And maybe why for me the earth is flat....


"So this book is a cross between Alice in Wonderland and Joan of Arc." (Pulpfiction regular Douglas Wong, reviewing a Jack Daniels-assisted informal precis of Michelina, With Pictures)

No moon to keep her armour bright
No man to get her through this very smoky night
She said, I'm tired of the war
I want the kind of work I had before....
Leave No Trace of Grace Just Your Honor

Christmas madness on Main Street, Ms. Marshall introspective above the frantic and frequently amusing crowds. Cold turbulent air overhead, pink sunset light on the big-bellied grey clouds sailing in from the islands. Frantic, too, in the Kingsgate Mall BCLDB outlet, buying brandy for S.'s parents, an Xmas tradition unaffected by 2006's changes. Red-faced street alcoholics and Philippino construction workers, hipster kids and self-conscious Kits yuppie transplants, all queued together in uneasy company. Pynchon's "pickup group, these exiles and horny kids, sullen civilians called up in their middle age, men fattening despite their hunger, flatulent because of it, pre-ulcerous, hoarse, runny-nosed, red-eyed, sore-throated, piss-swollen men suffering from acute lower backs and all-day you have seen on foot and smileless in the cities but forgot, men who don't remember you either, knowing they ought to be grabbing a little sleep, not out here performing...this evensong, climaxing now and then with its rising fragment of some ancient scale, voices overlapping...."

"Where are your books on collecting straight razors?" (Thursday's first customer)

"'[L]'amour est un oiseau rebel; il ne jamais jamais connu le loi', as the famous aria from Carmen says." (Gmail email)

"I'm looking for this book. It's green..."
Friday, December 22, 2006

This One-Way Love Is Just a Fantasy

Marvin warming up on the couch in his Adidas tracksuit. The simplest and most affecting version of this perennial book-buying roadtrip favorite I know. Takes a minute and a half to get going, but stick around.
Thursday, December 21, 2006

ACT (Aesthetically Claimed Thing): 1950s C&W heartbreak

"When the phone don't ring, you'll know it's me."
Tuesday, December 19, 2006

An East Van evergreen for Pete & Mike

"At certain odd moments Joe knew that the restlessness he felt had nothing at all to do with the sameness of his days. Somewhere in him was the knowledge that there was no such thing as sameness: You might do the same things and cover the same streets and even think the same worrisome thoughts, but inside, deep where you couldn't see them, things were changing and changing and changing and working up to the point where they would come together and show. And then before long you would be saying that something had happened, and your life would suddenly be so different to you you would hardly even recognize it as your own."

"And while he thought about such things as the condition of his feet and the color of the sky and wondered idly how dirty the floor of the truck was, there [w]as an awareness entering him too momentous to acknowledge: he was a nothing person, a person of no time and no place and no worth to anyone at all. This knowledge, too terrible to be accomodated in his mind, found other corners and crevices of his being to fit itself into, and while it did so, Joe went on with his musings, wondering for instance if anyone had ever counted the stars or considered the possibility that they were made of solid silver to explain that shimmering; shimmering silver...."
This afternoon I walked to London Drugs and bought a pack of inkjet photo paper, and tonight I resized, cropped, color calibrated and printed three 8" x 10" test prints in my little office darkroom: two of last spring's black and white all-over landscapes (Floor; Snag) and the more recent Another View of the Malkin Bowl. I had hoped to use the Another View as the template for a larger composite picture made with a new high-tech pro camera, but 75% of the trees in that picture either fell down in Thursday night's windstorm or lost limbs and/or foliage and now look radically different. Sigh.
Monday, December 18, 2006

"All her talk might have been rain and there was glass between them."
Saturday, December 16, 2006
No work likely to be performed here today, evidently.
Friday, December 15, 2006
Today's YouTube: Marvin Gaye, "What's Going On" (live in 1973)

The New Yorker's Anthony Lane calmly and accurately puts the boots to Thomas Harris' terrible Hannibal Rising. Harris has written two great genre novels -- Red Dragon and The Silence of the Lambs, which are models of concise, economical prose. Hannibal Rising is a lesser, intensely overwritten book, as preening and full of itself as its protagonist, Dr. Hannibal Lecter, MD, is of himself. Lane has some good insights about the benefits of working inside a genre form, and scores bonus points by name-checking George V. Higgins' superb The Friends of Eddie Coyle.

Anthony Lane:

"With Hannibal Rising, we watch the legend sink.

Why did Harris pursue this line of inquiry? He has written one great Lecter book, The Silence of the Lambs, and two lesser ones, so why produce a fourth that is not merely the weakest but that makes you wonder if the others were so gripping after all? There is a puff of grand delusion here, of the sort to which all thriller-writers are susceptible. Compare The Friends of Eddie Coyle, an early novel by George V. Higgins, with the bulky solemnities of his later work; or, for that matter, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy with more recent le Carré like The Night Manager or The Constant Gardener. At some point, each man started to hear that he was so much more than the master of a genre (as if that were an ignoble thing to be), and responded to such flattery by expanding his fiction beyond its confines, not realizing that what he felt as a restriction was in fact its natural shape. That is how a writer loses thrust and form, and how Thomas Harris went from this, a jailbreak in The Silence of the Lambs:

'Lieutenant, it looks like he’s got two six-shot .38s. We heard three rounds fired and the dump pouches on the gunbelts are still full, so he may just have nine left. Advise SWAT it’s +Ps jacketed hollowpoints. This guy favors the face.'

To this, a love duet from Hannibal Rising:

'I see you and the cricket sings in concert with my heart.'

'My heart hops at the sight of you, who taught my heart to sing.'

What the hell is going on here? Where is the damn SWAT team when you need it? And will somebody tell me how the guy who favored the face—the adult Lecter, armed and on the loose—emerged from the schoolboy with the hopping heart, trading insect quips with Lady Murasaki? They are lifted by moonlight, apparently, 'to a place above ghost-ridden earth, a place unhaunted, and being there together was enough.' Ahhh. We would call that moribund, the swollen style. Harris has developed aspirations to be a prose poet, not remembering that the jailbreak, with its brace of .38s, was already poetry in motion—hard, metallic, and perfectly timed."


150km/hr winds overnight, the fiercest windstorm in more than thirty-five years on the coast.

Awakened at 3am by what sounded like a jetliner taking off in front of the building. Peered out through the blinds to see a naked man running round on the penthouse balcony opposite, trying to retrieve his hanging plants, sun umbrella, etc. as they disappeared off the far end of the deck into the dark. Made tea, was about to go back to bed, saw a white plastic lawn chair bowl past, six stories up, like a ghost, or the witch from The Wizard of Oz, bicycling along in the tornado. The night sky repeatedly turned green as the downtown peninsula's electrical transformers blew out one by one, outlining the darkened towers and condos with fierce bright light.

This morning: trees down in the street, one squarely on the roof of a small red car, caving it in along its horizontal axis.

No power at the shop. Breakfast, change run to the bank, intrinsic value calculations for small Canadian produce distribution company (solar-powered calculator!) & etc. Power back on at 3pm, quickly followed by everyone who had rattled the locked front door in the morning.

Snowstorm forecast for tonight and tomorrow. Temperature falling as we speak.
Anodyne, Inc.

Cash distribution today!

Parkland Income Fund (PKI.UN) : .22/unit x 746 units = $164.12.

Cash balance, $817.19.

Plus, following today's market close, some news. Christmas came early!

"Parkland Income Fund declares special distribution payments

RED DEER, AB, Dec. 15 /CNW/ - Parkland Income Fund (TSX: PKI.UN) is pleased to announce that special distributions totaling $2.25 per unit will be paid to unitholders of record on December 29, 2006. The payments are expected to be made as a combination of $1.05 per unit in cash to be paid January 15, 2007 and $1.20 in trust units to be issued February 15, 2007. The number of units will be established with reference to the weighted average trading price on the date of record. No fractional units will be issued. The Fund reserves the right to make the February 15, 2007 distribution entirely or partly in cash, rather than units, at the discretion of its Board of Directors. In exercising such discretion, the Board of Directors will consider a number of factors, including the impact of the anticipated Federal government transition rules related to income trust taxation as well as the Fund's cash requirements.

The combination of these special distributions and the regular monthly distribution of $0.22 per trust unit will result in unitholders receiving a total of $1.27 per trust unit on January 15, 2007 plus $1.20 in units or cash or a combination thereof on February 15, 2007, both subject to applicable Canadian withholding tax for non-resident unitholders [my italics]. The special distribution reflects the strength of the financial performance for the year ended December 31, 2006 and is being paid after due consideration of the sustainability of the regular monthly distributions.

The decision to pay a portion of the distribution in cash was made in consideration of unitholders' income tax liabilities. Any taxable income in excess of these distributions will be retained by a corporate entity owned by the Fund and used to provide a cash reserve. Management believes maintaining a cash reserve is prudent in view of the seasonal weakness of the Fund's business and the potential for growth opportunities which may present themselves in 2007.

Parkland Income Fund operates retail and wholesale fuels and convenience store businesses under its Fas Gas Plus, Fas Gas, Race Trac Fuels and Short Stop Food Stores brands and through independent branded dealers, and transports fuel through its Petrohaul division. With over 550 locations, Parkland has developed a strong market niche in western and northern Canadian non-urban markets. To maximize value for its unitholders, the Fund is focused on the continuous refinement of its retail portfolio, increased revenue diversification through growth in non-fuel revenues and active supply chain management. Parkland maintains ownership of the Bowden refinery near Red Deer, Alberta and recently re-activated the site for toll production of drilling fluids."

Thursday, December 14, 2006

ACT (Aesthetically Claimed Thing): "'T' Plays It Cool," especially those quick little runs on the drums.

The best post I've read in a while, courtesy site regular ChuckU.

"When we moved into our current home 14 years ago, our back yard was a pretty bleak place. The first year and 1/2 in the old house was spent devoted to home handy-man renovations (on an increasingly desperate schedule as the birth of my son approached). Then I turned my attention to the yard and garden.

Working in the front garden close to the house, I discovered a whip of a self-seeded maple tree. It was maybe 3 or 4 feet high and about the diameter of my thumb at its base. It was far too close to the house and I decided I would replant it in the back garden at a far corner near the back fence.

I've cared for it with pruning and shaping and over the past dozen-plus years and that tree has grown with abandon. It is now in the range of 40' high and spreads welcome shade over our southern exposed backyard through the summer. The main trunk is about 10" in diameter and the canopy extends over the entire back lane. This C02 eating pre-teen is clearly visible on Google Earth (image attached: dead centre) and has only begun to grow."

(Photo: Rodney Graham, Tree With Bench, Vancouver, B.C. Not a maple, but I dimly remember Rodney once saying that he approached his upside-down tree photographs as if each tree had commissioned its portrait, thus revealing, at least to me, an "ethics of care" like ChuckU's)

Wednesday, December 13, 2006
The Honorable Member for South Wellington checks in:

CJB: We don't require writing on theoretical physics to be immediately comprehensible to a general audience. If I study a scholarly article on physics, I realize that there is a certain amount of learning I have to do in order to understand the specialized technical language of the discipline. I realize that the article may refer to concepts and processes that I, with my funny art- and pop-culture-oriented brain, may never be able to process.

PC: Maybe the difference is that theoretical physics is a highly technical discourse and has always has been. Whereas Mike Kelley could be explained to a bright 11 year old in an hour. There's a big difference. And lots of really good artists are as dumb as a bag of rocks. Art existed for thousands of years before any such comparably difficult discourses were deemed in any way necessary, and could survive perfectly well without them. Unreadable jargony art writing is a very recent development, and has more to do with the postwar expansion of the academy than the evolution of art. No one could fake it at a physics conference as easily as most people fake it at an art opening. And just because elitism is hard to pin down doesn't mean that the art world isn't ridden with every variety of it. It's what the crowds at Swarm seem to like -- that velvet-rope "insider" feeling, the lure of arcane knowledge rather than knowledge.
Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Two used booksellers, desert island, one book between them. By the time they're rescued, they're both millionaires!
Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being:

"Before we are forgotten, we will be turned into kitsch. Kitsch is the stopover between being and oblivion."
Simpleposie wants to know: "Does the 'elitism of art theory and criticism' need remedy-ing? What kind of tincture would you suggest?"

No, it doesn't. Elitism is a funny word, regularly thrown around by people who seem confused about its meaning. Art is unusual in that it can be (might be, may be, has been) made by, seen by, and interpreted by -- in Thierry de Duve's words -- "anyone and everyone." But it does not follow that every work of art is (or should be) equally accessable to everyone. There is a world of difference betweeen a Stephen Prina installation and a Monet landscape, beginning with the extent to which the work's formal properties have percolated through culture. I would like to be able to buy a calendar whose March is a Prina monochrome and not a Monet sea-stack, but that's personal subjective taste, and Monet has an approximately one hundred year head start on diffusing into culture-at-large.

Works like Prina's, or Mike Kelley's, because of the relatively complicated critical premises behind them, will attract similarly complex criticism. And I don't think that writing complexly about art -- using jargon, using theory -- is intrinsically a negative act. We don't require writing on theoretical physics to be immediately comprehensible to a general audience. If I study a scholarly article on physics, I realize that there is a certain amount of learning I have to do in order to understand the specialized technical language of the discipline. I realize that the article may refer to concepts and processes that I, with my funny art- and pop-culture-oriented brain, may never be able to process. And I'm fine with that. If I really feel I'm missing out on something, I might choose to study physics in a more systematic way, or turn to a "popular interpreter" of physics, like Richard Feynman, or Richard Dawkins, or Stephen Hawking, three authors who have all built careers out of being plain-language interpreters of high-end scientific writing for non-scientists like me. And again, I'm fine with that; I don't immediately go off crying about the "elitism" of physics, or science in general, & etc.

I think the expectation that art, and art writing, be immediately comprensible to everyone and anyone is a red herring. This is not a requirement made of any other discipline -- not literature, nor music, and definitely not the hard sciences. I think this expectation is typically advanced by writers and artists who want to dissolve art into life, into social or political praxis. I'm not negative about this idea (no Beuys without it, no El Lissitsky, definitely no Andrea Fraser or Center For Land Use Interpretation), but I definitely just see it as one of many choices on the art menu. Many proponents of sociopolitical-praxis art ("relational aesthetics"?) seem to want a clear-cut choice between their "progressive" aesthetic politics and the "conservative" politics of traditional art and aesthetic history. This kind of thinking strikes me as historically blinkered and reactionary. It's a shrill, reductive process I want no part of. The choice isn't between Cezanne and Beuys, or Cezanne and Rirkrit Tiravanija. Even the notion of a single "choice" is bizarre. All of these options are open and available for use; each inflects each another.

(Gloomily re-edited, mid-afternoon, for clarity & length)

Monday, December 11, 2006

Depeche Mode v. Giant Squid and Numerous Blinking Mechanical Fish

In-process music video for "Precious," forwarded to me by an internets correspondent who figured, based on all the recent synth-pop namechecks, that I might like this one, too. It's true: it's hard to go wrong with a repetitive keyboard loop and great dollops of synthetic bass. The keyboardist's black nailpolish is a nice synth-goth touch, too.

There is something vaguely charming about the coupling of DM's earnest and totally humorless music with the scribbly clockwork fish, the little cartoon clouds rising from the soon-to-be-CGIed-to-death freighter's smokestacks, the keyboard museum in the elevator & etc. Shades of Terry Gilliam and Christian Marclay!
Sunday, December 10, 2006

Bye-Bye Empire, Empire, Bye-Bye

ACT (Aesthetically Claimed Thing): Mr. Thomas Dolby, solo live in concert

I just ordered a (signed!) copy of Mr. Dolby's brand-new, self-produced concert CD, including Aliens Ate My Buick's sublime "Budapest By Blimp."

I Don't Believe It's Even in Your Mind At All

Sunday night, December on the coast, a light rain falling in the streetlights. "[H]e thought he saw a movement, a shadow on the wall, the suggestion of a movement in the orange streetlight. Rain, sleet and snow all seemed to be falling at once." (M. John Harrison, Light). Inside, stacked on top of the glass display cabinets by the cash register, the 2500-odd mass market paperbacks and trade paperbacks that came back from Seattle, whose uneven piles have slipped and slid sideways, creating a buckled, vaguely geological-looking surface of faults and escarpments. "The far-out stuff was in the Far West of the country -- wild, weirdsma, a leather-jacket geology in mirrored shades, with its welded tuffs and Franciscian melange (internally deformed, complex beyond analysis), its slip-strike faults and falling buildings, its boiling springs and fresh volcanics, its extensional disassembling of the earth." (John McPhee, Basin and Range). Is McPhee evoking, here, with his phrase "leather-jacket geology," the photograph on the front cover of Smithson's Collected Writings, the surly, pock-skinned autodidact with his aviator glasses and narrow-legged pants, studying his red reflection in the Great Salt Lake's shallows, contained by an interior spiral of his beautiful and very definitely "internally deformed" earthwork, Spiral Jetty? -- I think so.

Disposable tinkling British pop and its non-Googleable lyrics on the stereo (Thus this entry points back at, but doesn't contain, the moment; something within it flashes up and is gone, like a figure moving through a long exposure).

Long thoughtful lion-in-winter profile of Jasper Johns, by Calvin Tompkins in this week's New Yorker:

"'Part of working, for me,' [Johns] went on, 'involves anxiety. A certain amount of anxiety, or hesitation, or boredom. Frequently, I think for a long time before I do something, even though I've decided over the years that this is absolutely pointless. Actually, when one works, one comes to a solution much more quickly than when one sits and thinks. But I can't avoid it. I just sit and wonder.'"
My drunken, uncharitable assessment of a casual acquaintance young hipster's language skills: "If he fucks like he writes, he'll have his tongue in your ear for hours."

(Edited in response to furious email from 4 -- count 'em! -- pals, casual acquaintances, and casual acquintances' loved ones. I have never met the individual in question, just perused his typing, which is probably a good thing for all concerned)
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
On the road for a few days, I-5 Vancouver --> Seattle, Mr. Stephen Morrissey and Mssrs. Becker and Fagen riding shotgun.

A lovely day in the sun today, hiking up the Capilano River canyon in the cold.

A brief moment of happiness.

Back soon!
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Warhol, cultural critique, neo-avant-garde... (Jeff Wall Hermes lecture via YouTube; lecture text available here soon)

"One could develep a mimesis, still within the institution of art, of any and every one of the potential new domains of creativity suggested by the conceptual reduction, but without thereby having to renounce the making of artworks..."

(Thus Broodthaers as curator of an imaginary museum; Andrea Fraser as gallery docent; Mark Dion as scientific researcher, & etc. Wall is, I think, largely negative about these developments, but it is possible to imagine a further kink in the conceptual chain: a ordinary person coming to art not by making objects, but by reading and thinking about art, thereby perceiving the possibility of the mimesis of the role of "artist." Such an individual could theorize a practice of "art production" self-reflexively reporting on that complicated mimetic game. Eg.,

A.'s mimesis: art director and CEO of an "artistic corporation." A factory.

B's mimesis: A.)

I just bought a big stack of vintage Georgette Heyer regency romances. Not depicted: another Heyer title described by publisher Pan Books as "gay and frothy."
Magnolia buds visible now on bare branches.

Light warm West Coast rain wetting the sidewalks, the remnant snow, my upturned face.

Visiting my parents' empty house last night, having walked all the way from downtown.

The fireplace ticking over.

A picture of a much younger self propped up on my dad's drafting desk in the den. An awkward, lanky teenager, all arms and legs, with wide-framed glasses and a surprising shock of brown-black hair, combed up in a wave. A conference nametag pinned to my shirt. Head cocked to one side.

An air of perpetual surprise.
Monday, December 04, 2006

(A distant Nekobasu relative, via dru, via this page, "backatcha" for this link, originally drawn to my attention by J.)

Paul Cezanne, Le Cabanon de Jourdan, 1906

Another View of the Malkin Bowl, 2006
To Stanley Park under grey December sky, with the Nikon. Trudging across wet grass, snow remnants here and there on the lawns. The arch of the Malkin Bowl's roof overhead. Fiddling with the exposure meter, trying to reconcile sky and structure while overfamiliar black squirrels scrabble up my pantlegs.



Mr. Rodney Graham, live in concert:

Unplugged: We are all sensitive people here...

Plugged 'n orchestrated: Nothing really works out right...

(Those links are working again now)
Sunday, December 03, 2006

One Hundred Famous Ghosts (41), 2006

Sunday morning sky, slow-mo grey. Each North Shore tree distinct, white-edged, in the last sunfalls on the snowy slopes. Cutblocks for condos, white scars, crisscrossed with the black threads of new crescents and courts. Cranes halfway up the hillside, building new Anthem and Polygon properties. Erecting granite countertops and Douglas fir floors. A thousand working-class hammers driving lattes and arugula, chunky black-frame glasses, and "that laid-back West Coast vibe."

A World Class City that actually resembles its backlit caricature out in YVR's arrival halls.
More shock-of-recognition thefts from Theft:

" argument both within itself and against itself..."

"I was born out of style and was still out of style when I came down on the train from Bacchus Marsh. My trousers were too short, my socks were white and I will commit similar sins of style when I am in my coffin, my ligaments all gone, bone by bone, my flesh mixed down with dirt."
Saturday, December 02, 2006

Rodney Graham, Three Musicians (Members of the Early Music Group "Renaissance Fare" Performing Matteo of Perugia's "Le Greygnour Bien" at the Unitarian Church of Vancouver, Late September 1977), 2006

Nothing about this picture is accidental: neither the format nor the date assigned to the depiction. Hint, hint.

ACT (Aesthetically Claimed Thing): The PictoOrphanage

"Your character sponsorship contribution helps give a character the resources it needs to acquire critical learning and life skills. As a character sponsor you make a direct impact on a character's life and build up a very personal relationship! For as little as $1 a day you can reach out and make a difference with a one-year sponsorship."

One Hundred Famous Ghosts (40), 2006

Four Hearts, 2006

Peter Carey, Theft:

"It is hard work to slaughter a beast but when it is done it is done. If you are MAKING ART the labour never ends, no peace, no Sabbath, just eternal churning and cursing and worrying and fretting and there is nothing else to think of but the idiots who buy it or the insects destroying TWO DIMENSIONAL SPACE."
Friday, December 01, 2006

Lisa Prentice
I'd Love to Turn You On / Dodecahedron
CSA Space
#5 - 2414 Main Street
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Curated by Steven Tong
Opening Friday 1 December 2006, 6-9pm (tonight!)


Dru writes, "Once again, you can beat Bruce Sterling to blogging something cool!"

(Lots of love from both Brayshaw brothers for the often-unfairly-maligned-'round-these-parts Mr. Sterling, author of "Maneki Neko," "The Littlest Jackal," Crystal Express, and other superb works of science fiction)

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