Thursday, August 31, 2006

How I Spent My Summer Vacation


I started out the summer chasing rabbits in our courtyard. See "Minx Corners Bunny".

In North America the kids generally get the entire summer off from school. A tradition grown from farming where families needed the kids home to slave. Everybody is a lackey to the totalitarian agriculture we seem addicted to. No child left behind. From this teachers often had a first day of school assignment. The following I thought would be a great way to work in my Thursday Thirteen. This is my first month participating in the activity of Thursday Thirteen, a group activity that aims to introduce tons of participants to each other and help them get to know each other. I figured this is a good way to recap the past couple of months and let the Thirsday Thirteen participants see WAY MORE than they bargained for about my life. Ha ha. I've tried to select a few photos I haven't posted here before as much as possible, so hopefully it's not too boring. Warning this is another famous LONG Candy post. I can't seem to keep them small, sorry. Not! :)

Thirteen Things I did this summer...

1) Enjoyed family and friends. That's Mister Anchovy cooking up a southern feast with his new toy. Below you see Tuffy P and Tim. Lots of food and laughing all summer.


Above are Tuffy P, Stagg and Mister Anchovy the night before they were performing on the street. Yep, a rehersal for busking and showcasing their musical stylings. Below is Tiffany, we had a great time in her new apartment, watching movies and unpacking her stuff. I even had my own room to sleep in where I set up a wall to paint.


2) Got inspired by my boyfriends artwork. This is huge for me. I love seeing what he is up to, what his next ideas are...he is a very commited artist and makes art so differently than me. It's a real treat to share a studio with him.


3) Hung out in Millenium Park. Regular visitors here already know I am CRAZY about this urban sculpture garden. From the Cloud Gate sculpture you see above the outdoor patio behind of Stagg, to the water sculpture in photo below to Frank Gehry's outdoor theatre/stage. Chicago tax payers paid a fortune for this park, and some of them resent it, but Im telling you...this alone is worth a visit to Chicago. It's so stunning. Below you see Stagg, Tiffany and David. David is doing his best Paris Hilton strike a pose.


4) Saw Madonna!

Part of #1) "Friends and Family category" Spent a lot of time with Nicolette and George in photo above. They are amazing cooks and so good to me. We had some wonderful evenings drinking wine on their deck, some great bbqs, swimming and hanging out. I did most of my blogging this summer on their computers.

5) Took Stagg all over Toronto and gave him lots of loving! Tuffy P took this photo, we are all urban in front of the chain link fence huh?

6) Stagg and I went to the Toronto Gay Pride Parade. Long live freedom to be who we are and love who we want!


7) Got together with our Swedish friends. Canadians Jill and Scott, BFF, were in Europe hitch-hiking after they finished university. They met a couple from Sweden. For twenty years they have met them around Europe or in Canada, staying at each others places or renting houses in France or Spain. I first met them in Toronto in 1988. We all went up north to cabins with no electricity and a memory is climbing in the car to listen to Ben Johnson win the gold during summer Olympics.. Then two days later listening to him be demoted for steroid use. They are hockey fans and often we will phone each other during hockey playoffs or taunt each others teams. The Swedes were in Canada this summer and I was very happy to hook up with them again. Kids, soccer, walking, beer and what music are you listening to now through broken English. Lots of fun!


8) Visited the Art Gallery of Ontario. I thought this was a great idea. The paintings on the wall are done by Julian Opie and they are stick figure stripper girl images. I like how they play around the somber and archaeological sculptures of Henry Moore.



The painting on the right of the red haired woman is a kind of personal fave. I only went blonde in 1990, was always a red head and this painting was said, by several friends to have a uncanny resemblance to me. The dark eyeliner, the feisty look on her face, the hair cut. Sometimes secrutity guards would walk up to me and say I looked like the woman in the painting. I loved it! The security guards at the Met in NYC used to do the same thing with some paintings there too. My friend Andrew used to love that. I think they were the Corbier ladies of the night? ha ha. So, Cappy The Kid, consider my homework late, but at last submitted.


9) Watched the World Cup. The photo above is in the kitchen of art school friends etc. We have known each other since 1985. Ill huh? I don't know why they put up with me. Below is us all packed into the basement because they built a new tv room and the heatwave was on so it was the coolest place to watch the final game. Many kids, many highways later these are my family remade in our own image.


10) Helped a beautiful friend through a sad sad break-up. There she is up there. Who in their right mind would dump a chick like that? About 8 of us spotted her for a week while she packed up her belongings and cried and don't worry lots of times we had some awesome laughs. We should all laugh at men who don't have the balls to stick with a good woman.

11) I joined the Circus. No kidding. I worked with Zero Gravity Circus as an Advice busker. I had a sign and some chairs and answered hundreds of questions. I also hung out back stage and took tons of photos which you can also find on this blog.


12) I had marathon drinking adventures, with world class drinkers, who I count among my dear friends.. That is Patrick up there, and Dr.K is below. Both are bosom buddies of mine. Both are single ladies if you live in the Toronto area and like what you see, let me know. I love playing matchmaker. Not that either of these savvy boys need my help. Patrick is artsy and very tall he is funny as hell and loves to hang out on the beach. Dr. K is a poet, was an apprentice to Allen ginsberg. He loves to talk about books has an incredible first edition book collection and hangs with writers and is a horror movie afficinado. You need to be well read and culture vulture and able to hold your liquor with either of these men. Ha ha, they are gonna kill me.


13) Worked on a painting. I am an artist. Here is a painting I've been working on all summer. It's inspired by Sean who is pledging to lose 250 pounds and donate a load of money to Diabetes Foundation. I hope to sell this painting and send some money to Sean's fundraising program. Below is a photo of the painting back in my studio. I have worked on the painting while I am traveling this summer...but here it is taped up this morning in my studio. See, other people unpack their suitcases when they get home. I unpack my studio! On the floor is a dvd of SUBLIME that Stagg got me while I was away. I can't wait to watch it. We watcha lot of music and band dvds around here. The large bag on the floor with my name on it is full of videos of he has recored including LL Cool J, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Marley, Red Hot Chili Peppers, well you get the drift. Good to be back! It's beena great summer but I am glad to be here right now and back to some serious work and loving! (Stagg is STILL sleeping!)

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

You Saw It First


You're seeing me first, just off the bus from Toronto. For some reason the Deitroit-Chicago run is hell. No stops except by the penitentiary. Good thing Tuffy P and Mister Anchovy met me for coffee(okay, Mr. A and I downed two pints...to help me sleep on the bus) and Tuffy P bought me a bag of chips and Advil just before dropping me at the bus. It's all I ate since.

I insisted on hauling my very heavy book laden suitcase on the El Train. I love the Brown Line, and was so happy when I finally got on it and looked at the city. I missed the town!

I missed the computer and desk so much! Uh, actually, the desk doesn't look like this right now, that photo is from Febuary. The desk is covered with junk. Tomorrow. I'm too tired right now. I also missed my PDR. Personal Digital Recorder for tv programs.

But MOST OF ALL...I missed my MAN!!!! Stagg has tickets for Governemnt Mule tonight coincidently. They are a jam band so god knows when they'll be finished. I got back to an empty apartment. We have strange timing sometimes...So I am off to the little local pub to listen to disco with my people (gay bar) :)

Imaginary Film Location



Sunday, August 27, 2006

Nurture Versus Nature

Ever rent two movies and find they seem to have an odd dialogue between them?

I saw A History of Violence earlier in the year, but wanted to think about it some more...see if it was as good as I thought it was the first time. It is.

I am a war movie junkie so also picked up Jarhead.

A History of Violence treats many concerns. Time being a predominant concern as well as consciousness. A film buff might say AHOV is temporal.

From the incredible slow 4 minute opening shot the director lures us into the languid sensation of time, history, dreamland and awakeness.

We see a wall, a motel where what most of us do in a motel is use the bed. Two men exit the motel, one with a t-shirt that references sleep, his shirt says "Night Owl" and they both talk about how tired they feel. They move as if they are stiff and sore, stretching as if just out of bed. And then the soundtrack. Cicadas. The strange animal that sleeps for 13-17 years before it's rebirth.

Several things wash over me with AHOV. Are we written in stone? And...can something surface, something we thought was long dead and gone? Who are we and can we transform or change who we are? What defines us? Our past, or our power to change?

After the four minute opening shot of AHOV we find out many answers to these questions. The scene cuts to a small girl screaming as she awakens from a bad dream. She tells her family there are monsters in the shadows. Cronenberg has created an equation where the audience is tested whether the power of the mind and spirit is stronger than destiny. We find an environment that has a rebirth. The past comes alive through action in the future while destiny and free will have a battle. Throughout the movie we are gently reminded of the essence of time and reality against dreams and will. Even the family's name refers to time. The Stalls.

Jarhead examines the predestined lives of marines. An incredible scene of the Kuwait oil fires has Jamie Foxx and Jake Gyllenhall watching the fires, and Foxx's characters says how much he loves his job "Where else can you see this kind of shit, do you know what I'm saying?" Foxx's character has discovered the sublime nature of extreme environments like the painter Turner. Being a marine is a kind of altered state of mind we hear over and over during the conflicts between Army and Marines, between crazy and sane mental states. Jarhead argues that once we have the extreme state of being through action, we are always that creature.

Both these movies battle with the idea of nature versus nurture and both seem to do so in a unique way. AHOV is a character based movie with lots of action. Jarhead is an action film with lots of character. Both contain immaculate cinematography and effects and acting. Both suggest that even if we think we can manipulate reality and the past, the past and reality drown out our dreamstates.

Again, I have stumbled into movies that reveal unlikeable characters or choices (Little Miss Sunshine) yet it is the character's flaws that seem to enable their survival and ability to overcome obstacles. Both movies have beautiful scenes of nurturing behaviour. AHOV has a supportive caring family. Jarhead studies marines who recreate a family within their own intense insulated environment.

All of us have a history of violence. It's an international history, some believe homo sapiens may have killed off the neandrathals, from colonization in India to aboriginal murders in North and South America...all of us have the blood of genocide in our personal narratives. The ability to sit here and type on my blog is because someone conquered the previous residents of Canada. None of us is free from the idea that we will do whatever it takes to stay alive.

I have always resented the tepid choice of nature versus nurture. I believe that we are rather a combination of the two. Even a diehard Darwinist like myself has to consider the idea that nurturing is part of our survival repertoire. If some power to survive at any cost could emerge from us at any time, buried deep inside asleep like a cicada...could it also be possible, if we could will ourselves to fight for what we believe in....could we not also will ourselves to nurture what we believe in?

Cicadas sleep for 13-17 years to avoid predators. Even if we never see a cicada we hear them with their distinct pitch and noises. These noises scare off predators and ironically attract other predators. It makes sense we hear these insects at the beginning of AHOV. They are revered in Asian art and many mythologies by their human neighbours because of their long secret lifespan, much of it spent generating and outwitting their predators before awakening.

Are we able to use our intense capabilities for change and transformation to awaken a sleeping angel as well as a sleeping monster? Time, or history, if you like, gives us these choices. We are more aware of all our histories now, than we ever have been in previous eras. Could our tragic history of violence also be viewed as a yardstick for the potential of strength and resolve to outwit our hatred, greed and intolerance?

Friday, August 25, 2006

Some thing I heard on the news

"Consummer applications for gecko adhesions are endless."

How Many People Run The World?

How many people run the world, and how do you feel about that?

Is it true that whoever controls the oil, controls the world?

I remember reading a book about the Betel Corporation and how very few people really control the market for construction. No not houses, I mean REALbuildings, international contracts. I knew more or less only a few people run the world. Syriana succeeds in demonstrating that perhps even less people than we could imagine are running the world. In your face.

How many? 50,000? 1,000? I suspect it might only be a hundred people take all our money and our labour and use iot to maintain themselves in riches and mind games and political intrique.

Do you enjoy this relationship? Are you having fun yet?

Dave over at How to Save The World has two threads you may find interesting. There is a lot to read over there, it's overwhelming but he is so determined and commited, I think he is worth checking out just for that reason.
Politics/Economics
Why Local Sustainable Enterprises are at Compatitive Disadvantage, and what to do about it

How many people run the world and how do you feel about that?

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Definitive Canadian movies

Roger Ebert said that there weren't films from different countries, but rather there are Hollywood movies and then everybody elses. Ebert is actually a critic I admire even if I sometimes disagree with his opinion. He has always been able to review a movie without giving away a plot, and by using how he felt during the movie as a guide and yardstick. Ebert has health challenges and Kevin Smith has been filling in for him, I wish him well and lots of strength. His web site is one of the first sites I linked to my blog.

In many ways I think Ebert is correct about Hollywood movies versus everybody elses movies...but I also think there are some movies that are born of the Canadian experience, even if it means disecting American life. Could these movies be made any where else? Yes, in fact, some of them have been made in America. According to Canadian Content laws, three elements define a Canadian movie, the writer, director and producer must be Canadian. Most of my list fullfills that criteria...but it is not my criteria and a couple movies will not at all be produced by Canadianss. The following thirteen are a 24's worth of Canadian, eh.

1)Going Down The Road
2)Strange Brew
3)Videodrome
4)Fubar
5)The Shipping News
6)The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz
7)Men With Brooms
8)Road Kill
9)North of Superior (IMAX)
10)Making Grease (documentary)
11)A History of Violence
12)The Handmaids Tale
13)The Last Waltz

The Cat Came Back
Wayne's World
Networth
The Sweet Hereafter
Water
Mambo Italiano
Highway 61
Hardcore Logo
The Rowdy Man
Ginger Snaps
Cold Comfort
Whale Music
Johnny Neumonic
Porky's
The Bay Boy (with Keifer Sutherland and Shirley Douglas)
Water
Scanners
Love and Human Remains
My Bloody Valentine

I know there are some more that deserve to be on here, but I'm trying to keep this short for Thursday Thirteen visitors.

The Bunker...

Hi y'all!!!

Thanks for the cheery messages!

We escaped into the bunker for some movie therapy.

We ate lots of salad, some prime rib and some chocolate. Watched a lot of chick flicks....

4 episodes of Grey's Anatomy, Just Like Heaven(cute with Reese Witherspoon and Mark Ruffino6/10) Prime (very good characters, Streep was hilarious8/10), V is for Vendetta (excellent, depressing and then sort of not...it must have been rated restricted for content/philosophy, not for sex8/10), Failure To Launch(worth it for sexy McCaunahy, but S.J.Harper was cold and dry5/10) Eight Below(those dogs can really ACT:8/10), Torn Curtain (cool to see Julie Andrews and Paul Newman be sexy together...odd, but still a good Hitchcock8/10) Casanova(the new one:8/10), Thumbsucker ( everyone is so good in this one, the kid, Pucci, reminds me of the kind of potential we first saw in Furlong, hope he wears it better 8/10)

Usually, when I get a heavy movie, I try to rent a lighter one...should have done that with Syriana. Heh heh. All fixed now. (I can't believe Syriana even was allowed to be made!It is so controversial)

Sunday, August 20, 2006

A Little cheering up is on order...

Sorry, I've been all heavy and maudlin around here...it's not actually my nature in person. Just found a very funny video at a blogmates place, so I linked it. (I have no idea how to do uTube )

If you can't beat The Man might as well try to laugh...

Saturday, August 19, 2006

We Are All Nothing

Forget what I said.

I just watched Syriana.

Silly me.

There is nothing we can do. We are the slaves of the few people who actually have all the decision making power.

It doesn't matter what we do or don't do.

We are no body.

We can't do anything, the people who run the world will do what ever they feel like doing.

And we give them all our money...and they play all the mind games they feel like and don't give a rat's bottom about us.

Go ahead, blog, write letters, protest.

No one cares what you think.

What Should We Do?

DON"T DO ANYTHING!

Don't we all wish we could do something to help the earth...the environment...nature?

Over ar Red's Page she posted a video by Chicago band Rise Against with a quote of theirs about their video and they ask..."What should we do about the earth?"

I say, don't do anything!

It's what we are always doing that gets us into trouble. We mess with the world and each other.

It's time to STOP doing stuff.

People always think, the way we have done things hasn't worked out, let's get a new program.

No more programs.

They don't work. They've never worked, why would they start now. No programs!

Don't build new subdivisions. Live in an urban centre.

Don't drive a car. Take public transit. You can read a book while travelling!

Don't shop. We don't even use half the stuff we own, why buy more stuff? Take a break for a year.

If you do need to shop, buy something hand made.

Trade things with your neighbours? Bartering?

Obviously, we still believe in locking up free food and selling it back to ourselves...so you'll have to buy food...but buy organic. Try to grow a plant or two in your house, even if its just herbs. Make a greenhouse in your garden or deck.

Take a small step in cutting back the agricultural land robbing wildlife. Don't buy wheat products, rice, potatoes, corn. These Frankenfoods are almost useless nutritionally. Drop them from your diet and investigate wild life food sources. Protein that lives free...non-agricultural. I'm not saying this will be easy, But start to find out how your food lives. ( by dropping useless nutrition sources like grains and corn...you will also feel benefits of more energy and less weight, plus...it takes a gallon of oil to grow corn). You can totally have a beautiful varied diet by focusing on protein, and nutritionally high value foods like lettuce, brocoli, cabbage, cauliflower and berries. You don't need starchy crud like noodles and rice and bread. Let some animals have their land back.

Don't support governments and politicians you don't believe in. Besides, politics have never done anything to help people. Politicians are supposed to be our secretaries. Stop treating them like gods. Can they read? Can they type? Can they pay the bills we want them to pay? Can they answer phones? Otherwise they are useless to us.

People have the power.

Let's do nothing and show them who is boss!

My Nomination for Best Picture

I know, no one asked, but right now...I nominate Little Miss Sunshine. I haven't enjoyed a movie like this one for ages, maybe even years. I can't wait to go back to see it.

I want to be very careful not to make some spoilers...but what is fascinating about this movie is a group of characters who are stubbornly dedicated to their own world views, who never seem to change during the movie, are stuck with each other and yet their worst traits and follies seem to be what also leads them to do the right thing.

Does that make sense? There was no hope of the conflict in this movie being resolved...but some how it was.

I saw this last night with friends, Tuffy P and Mister Anchovy...and I woke up this morning at 7 and started laughing all over again. And a little misty eyed too. But gaffawing so loud, this morning AGAIN a whole nights sleep later...I thought I'd wake the neighbours.

I can't wait to see this movie again.

Plus, it is inspiring because it must have been relatively inexpensive to produce. It is almost completely character based. Whoever wrote this movie...I will see everything else they ever make.

This is a perfect picture, everything a movie should and can do.

Go see this one in the theatre!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Things About the Prisoners Dilemma...and how environmental issues and political stalemates occur.

#1)In the prisoner's dilemma game, there are two players who are both faced with a decision: to either cooperate or defect. The decision is made by the player with no knowledge of the other players choice. If both cooperate, they receive a specific punishment or reward . If both defect they receive a larger punishment. However, if one defects, and one cooperates, the defector receives a large reward and the cooperator a punishment . The game is often expressed in the canonical form in terms of pay-offs.
#2)We're all playing whether we know it or not.
#3)A more complex definiton of thePrisoner's Dilemma
#4) A game using the game theory of the prisoners dilemma here.
#5) Another online game
#6)This game theory can be applied to many situations in life.
#7) We gamble other people will quit driving a car then we won't have to.
#8)We gamble other people will stop corporate pollution.
#9)We gamble other people will stop using an air conditioner so we don't have to.
#10) We gamble other people will pressure world leaders to work for OUR benefits, instead of their personal agendas.
#11)We gamble other peoples children will fight our wars for us.
#12)We gamble other people will solve world health issues, like AIDS, and food and water conservation and distribution.
#13)A quote from an academic text exploring environmental solutions when humans are focused on selfish strategies.
It is clear that the whole issue of how competing subsystems can start to cooperate and thus become (partly or completely) integrated into a globally optimizing supersystem is very complex. Many questions about cooperation,
shared information, and higher levels of control still have to be answered. Yet I think it is equally obvious that these problems are of the utmost importance if we wish to understand our own further evolution, as
individuals, as a species, as a culture, or as parts of the global world system. In particular, we must look for an answer to the
question whether evolutionary development will take place basically between individuals, developing in the form of Turchin's "superbeing", or within individuals, leading to what I have called a "metabeing".

These answers will be especially needed if we wish to develop a new ethics, based on evolutionary insights, that might help us to cope with the problems of our present society. The analysis of the evolution of cooperation from the viewpoint of selfish memes, or more generally shared replicators, as contrasted to more traditional studies focusing on either genes, individuals, or society as a whole, is definitely helpful as a heuristic to discover new mechanisms, that may simplify previously intractable seeming problems. But the real hard work has merely started.


About Thursday Thirteen

The Dukes of Hazzard

Yep, I am about to recommend this movie. It's not Raging Bull. It's not Casablanca.

But it's every bit as good as Zoolander and Bullit.

The stunts are worth it alone. One explosion with flying bodies that just defies science.

Damn good fun. Willie Nelson is a riot and charming. The boys are fantastic. I am a huge fan of both Johnny Knoxville and Sean Williams Scott and they are perfect as the moonshining drift drivers. Burt Reynolds is Boss Hogg, yes sir-ee, if y'all love Americana, go for it!

The extras are super cool, and the bloopers demonstrate what fun movie making can be. It was refreshing to see big time stars having a right good time. this is geek heaven. The extras are Mythbusters meets Super Dave. Production used almost 30 Dodge Chargers for stunts, drifts, interior shots. They used several years of Chargers but costomized them to be a '68, by changing the grills and back end. Did you know Micheal Keaton's Batmobile was a Dodge Charger?

The General Lee rocks!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And fliiiiieeeeeesssss (175 feet).

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

20 Comments Wednesday

I know I am posting this a little early for "20 Comments Wednesday" I haven't made my comments yet, just like to get the list ready and then it makes it a lot easier to travel around and visit blogs. I am not finished my list. Do you want me to link your blog here? And make a comment? And write a ditty about your blog?

If so, leave me a comment here and i shall work you in...even if it goes higher than 20.

#1The Chronicle of Wasted TimeI love this guys blog. I've been following it for a number of months and he can do wrong. And check out the books he has read in the last two years. I am humbled. He is thoughtful, meditative, intelligent without being prissy. A true achievemnt. He should be President!
#2BarnesA sweet pensive man who likes his beer and his special trips out for dinner with the wifey. He hates cats and that is super funny.
#3New York Art Gallery This just a reminder. I've pointed this guy out before but the discussions on his blog are outstanding. If you like art, or hate it, or want to know more about the ideas of artists and the museums and artists, this is an incredible place to start. then come back to me baby.
#4Pim's Place This woman is hardcore and about to be a mom for the first time. Go give her some sugar.
#5History of MagicThis might seem a little different for me, but in fact, I am very interested in the history of magic and kaballah and the Hermetic Tradition. I believe these modern traditions(modern since farming) reveal a pagan world of science and astronomy. I have used the web site here but she just started a blog, and I am pretty excited to see how it develops and what kind of response she gets. If you feel a little magic, or desire a little magic, and who deosn't go check her blog out!
#6Graham Powell Musician, photographer, coffee lover. Fantastic photos of Niagara Falls, and touring with Jann Arden. We seem to drink at the same coffee joint. Mercury Organic Coffee Bar.
#7Felix I have participated in two online book clubs for almost ten years, and I forgot Felix has a blog. We met at #8Constant Reader Constant Reader is an amazing expereince. We nominate several Classic novels and several Contemporary novels a year, vote on them and then read and discuss. Sometimes life gets in the way, but I have read and been turned on to so many incredible books through this terrific group of folks. sometimes we have quite ehated discussions or lively themes and movie reviews but always with the passion for our book reading. If you ever thought you had the time I can't be more enthusiastic. Once a year some particpants get together and have a conference. I have never made it yet, but have met several people when traveling or they are in my town.
#9A Blog About Nowt
#10Red's Page
#11Nothing To See Here Overworm had a baby girl. Congratualtions!!! I bet we would all go over there and congratualte him....if HE HAD A COMMENTS function on his blog. I love him anyways! And I had no idea until this past week or so that he threw papers. How cool is that. He is the second adult I have met, and both online too, that delivers newspapers. A cool way to make a living I think. He has a new baby and probably the last thing he has time to do is ACTIVATE HIS COMMENTS FUNCTION. Someday....well, we can dream...
#12The Healing Room A lifelong friend, The Healing Room, talks about her horses, her journey into spiritual adventures, she has been to meditate with a famous shaman, kids, gardens, nature. A site with images much like Real Simple magazine...so serene and thoughtful, yet all west coasty too.
#13In Search of Shamash Haven't been here yet, will do!
#14Wandering coyote Today she writes: "I have at lot of time on my hands. I am pondering many things: the meaning of my life, why I am alive to begin with, why wasn't I born someone else, why does the universe spit me out places I really don't want to be?" All good questins, which I believe are a gift to be able to even ask...
#15Goddess IN The City A write relocated to Brooklyn with her family, she is always thoughtful, funny and taking risks. I like to live through her New York transitions vacariously.
#16 A Day In My Moccassins I like the name of this blog. She is in India, and posted a comment here, so I included her. Haven't been here yet, will this afternoon.
#17Butt Sniffing Puppy A writer who slowly reveals a character with poetry. Half formed, half savant. We love you Pups!
#18The Daily Arse Written by a British roofer who goes by the name The Editor. Often very funny anecdotes about his work. One of my best freinds is a roofer so hear hear for roofers!

For now, that is it...see how it goes by midnight tonight...I am going to be a little slowing making comments today as I have a lot of errands. Picking up college application for my daughter (who is too busy to do it right today for night school forensics courses, don't ask), doing some of my own paperwork, and trying to nab an interview with a curator in local museum. wish me luck...

What is Art For?

The organizational moral of the story? When you shake up your organization, plan for a period of chaos before it reaches a new, relatively stable, emergent organizational form. That final form will be unpredictable based on what came before, and requires the continual input of energy to retain the new form. Otherwise, it will all just collapse into a goopy mess!
From Mark Federman's blog.

"I don't want them to agree with me. I want them to think." Marshall McCluhan

On the face of it, there is much here that I agree with, but it also the point at which Danto and I part company. As Danto saw it, with artists liberated from the burden of art history the road was clear for the critic to enjoy an infinitely protean role. Arthur and chums were now in the happy position of children given the run of the sweet shop. Ruling nothing out as art, the critic becomes supreme; the form or material, the existence or non-existence of the art work is completely irrelevant. Whatever it is, present or absent – and the contemporary critic is never happier than when writing about ‘absence’, it’s all the same to the equally liberated critic.

As far as the discourse of establishment art is concerned, for a hundred years the artist and the critic have been in an increasingly symbiotic relationship, with the power steadily moving into the hands of the critic/curator/theorist. That discourse is now neatly bifurcated : rubbish, often literally, is offered as art; the museums congratulate themselves on attracting the general public to gawp at junk in high places; then the theorizers philosophise together. Two birds with one curatorial stone: fob off the public with spectacle: beds, boxes, mirrors, naughty videos and then tickle each others fancy with ‘scholarship’.

From Blunt Edge introduction May 2006 issue by RO.

"See, too, the recent outpourings of John Carey, Oxford Professor of English Literature and, nowadays, ubiquitous highbrow critic (in What Good Are the Arts? London, 2005). According to Carey art is simply ‘anything that anyone has ever considered to be a work of art, though it may be a work of art only for that one person’. Art is no good, and does no good, except in so far as someone – anyone – likes it, or thinks of it as art. There is no distinction between high art and low art. There are no judgements about art or discriminations of quality which are not purely subjective.

Less stylish than Warhol, what we have here is the Warhol agenda in threadbare academic hand-me–downs. Carey appears untroubled by the consequence of his position, that if there are no genuine judgements of quality in art, then the whole phenomenon of art, including his own field of literary criticism, is reduced to the exercise of power relations. The artists who count, like the celebrities which count, are those who have most power over the media and the critical elite, and who are most powerfully promoted by the most powerful promoters and publicists. Artists indeed are celebrities and, if we follow the example of Warhol, as perhaps we should, we might say that celebrities are artists. Celebrity is all.

As an empirical fact, this may be true of Warhol himself and of the art world post-Warhol. Nonentities, pumped up by impenetrable pseudo-academic drivel and demonstrating over and over again that indeed anything can now be an artwork, become, for a time, the darlings of the promoters and critics."
Anthony O HearBlunt Edge.

"Some people think artists must be some kind of painting monkey" Philip Guston.

"I love art. Who doesn't? But you're totally right: it's no longer for the masses. And what fun is that. Look at van Gogh. He couldn't pay his fucking rent. He gave his landlord paintings. He would have sold them for next to nothing in order to buy some booze or a meal. He was struggling. He was an artist. Artists today seem not to want to struggle. They want that one piece they might sell this year to keep them in rent for the whole year. It's ridiculous. Grrr. " Asterisk

Monday, August 14, 2006

Solitary Sex: A Cultural history of Masterbation

"This is the first cultural history of the world's most common sexual practice: masturbation. At a time when almost any victimless sexual practice has its public advocates and almost every sexual act is front-page news, the easiest and least harmful one is embarrassing, discomforting, and genuinely radical when openly acknowledged.

But this has not always been the case. The ancient world cared little about masturbation: it was of no great concern in Jewish and Christian teaching about sexuality. In fact, as Thomas Laqueur dramatically shows, solitary sex as an important medical and moral issue can be dated with a precision rare in cultural history: the solitary vice, self-pollution, or self-abuse came into being around 1712. A creature of the Englightenment, masturbation at first worried not conservatives — for whom it had long been but one among many sins of the flesh — but rather the progressives who welcomed sexual pleasure but struggled to create an ethics of self-government. The first truly democratic sexuality, masturbation was of ethical interest to both men and women, young and old.

Solitary Sex explains how and why this humble and once obscure means of sexual gratification became the evil twin of the great virtues of modern commercial society: individual moral autonomy and privacy, creativity and the imagination, abundance and desire. It shows how a moral problem became a medical one, how some of the most famous doctors of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries were convinced that solitary pleasures killed or maimed. In the early twentieth century, Freud and his successors transformed this tradition: masturbation defined a stage in human development, the foundational sexuality that culture transformed for its own purposes. And, finally, in the late twentieth century, masturbation became for some a key element in the struggle for sexual, personal, and even artistic liberation."

Cake and Tea in Prousts blog...

I mentioned earlier that Karen at Mister Anchovy's BBQ the other night made a killer cake. she dropped off the recipe here, but first how about some more Proust in his famous section of cake and tea...lintel tea and Madelines to be precise.


Many years had elapsed during which nothing of Combray, save what was comprised in the theatre
and the drama of my going to bed there, had anyexistence for me, when one day in winter,
as I came home, my mother, seeing that I was cold, offered me some tea, a thing I did not ordinarily
take. I declined at first, and then, for no particular reason, changed my mind. She sent out for one of those short,
plump little cakes called 'petites madeleines,' which look as though they had been moulded
in the fluted scallop of a pilgrim's shell. And soon, mechanically, weary after a dull day
with the prospect of a depressing morrow, I raised to my lips a spoonful of the tea in which I had soaked
a morsel of the cake. No sooner had the warm liquid, and the crumbs with it, touched my palate than a
shudder ran through my whole body, and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary changes that were taking place.
An exquisite pleasure had invaded my senses, but individual, detached, with no suggestion of its
origin. And at once the vicissitudes of life had become indifferent to me,its disasters innocuous, its brevity illusory--
this new sensation havinghad on me the effect which love has of filling me with a precious essence;
or rather this essence was not in me, it was myself. I had ceased now to feel mediocre, accidental, mortal.
Whence could it have come to me, thisall-powerful joy? I was conscious that it was connected with the taste of
tea and cake, but that it infinitely transcended those savours, could not,indeed, be of the same nature as theirs.
Whence did it come? What did itsignify? How could I seize upon and define it?

I drink a second mouthful, in which I find nothing more than in the first,a third, which gives me rather less
than the second. It is time to stop; the potion is losing its magic. It is plain that the object of my quest,
the truth, lies not in the cup but in myself. The tea has called up in me,but does not itself understand,
and can only repeat indefinitely with agradual loss of strength, the same testimony; which I, too, cannot
interpret, though I hope at least to be able to call upon the tea for it again and to find it there presently, intact
and at my disposal, for my final enlightenment. I put down my cup and examine my own mind. It is for
it to discover the truth. But how? What an abyss of uncertainty whenever the mind feels that some part
of it has strayed beyond its own borders; when it, the seeker, is at once the dark region through which it must go
seeking, where all its equipment will avail it nothing. Seek? More than that: create.
It is face to face with something which does not so far exist, to which it alone can give reality and substance,
which it alone can bring into the light of day.


...and Karens...

Chocolate Pecan Torte with Caramel Sauce

Torte:
1 lb + 2oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chopped (511grams)
1 1/3 cup whipping cream (325 ml)
3/4 cup butter (175 ml)
6 large eggs
1 cup sugar (250 ml)
1 cup of chopped pecans (250ml)
1 tsp vanilla (5 ml)
pinch of salt

Caramel Sauce

1 cup of sugar (250 ml)
1/2 cup of water (125 ml)
juice of 1/2 lemon or orange
1/4 cup of butter (60ml)
1 cup of 35% whipping cream (250ml)

Chocolate Pecan Torte

Preheat over to 225 degrees F
Butter a 10 ten inch spring form pan and line bottom and sides with parchment paper
Place chopped chocolate in a large bowl. Heat cream and butter together just to simmer. Pour cream mixture over chocolate and let sit 1 minute. Whisk the mixture until smooth. Whisk together eggs, salt, sugar and vanilla in another bowl. Pour egg mixture into the chocolate mixture. Blend thoroughly with a whisk, scraping the bottom of the bowl occasionally. Gently fold in the pecans until just combined.
Pour into prepared spring form pan. Bake until edges are set and the centre is still slightly soft, about 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 hours. Allow torte to cool in the pan at room temperature. Chill completely and remove from pan.

Caramel Sauce

Pour sugar and water into a large pan and cook until sugar dissolves and begins to caramelize. When sugar is a deep golden colour, stir in the butter and lemon juice. Stir until it is incorporated and then stir in the cream. Let cool before stirring.

Decoration

I cook about a half a cup of maple syrup, dash of salt and 2 tbsp of butter in a small fry pan until it is at the soft ball stage. Then I put in about 1/2 to 1 cup of whole pecans and still until the nuts are toasted and the maple syrup is almost at the hard crack stage. Pour the nuts and candy out onto a sheet of parchment paper and let cool. Separate into individual nuts when it is cool enough to handle.

For the cake I put on the pecans on and around the cake and then drizzle with caramel sauce all over the top.

Proust: The Godfather Of Blog.

I am five weeks behind one of my online book clubs reading of Proust. I am madly trying to catch up, and if Proust isn't enough of an epic reading experience...I am reading it online. I can not tell if it's the sensation of reading online or that he just in fact may have been the first blogger.

From the early pages of Swann In Love...

For many years, albeit--and especially before his marriage--M. Swann the
younger came often to see them at Combray, my great-aunt and grandparents
never suspected that he had entirely ceased to live in the kind of society
which his family had frequented, or that, under the sort of incognito which the name of Swann gave him among us, they were harbouring--with the complete innocence of a family of honest innkeepers who have in their
midst some distinguished highwayman and never know it--one of the smartest
members of the Jockey Club, a particular friend of the Comte de Paris and of the Prince of Wales, and one of the men most sought after in the aristocratic world of the Faubourg Saint-Germain.

Our utter ignorance of the brilliant part which Swann was playing in the world of fashion was, of course, due in part to his own reserve and discretion, but also to the fact that middle-class people in those days
took what was almost a Hindu view of society, which they held to consist of sharply defined castes, so that everyone at his birth found himself called to that station in life which his parents already occupied, and
nothing, except the chance of a brilliant career or of a 'good' marriage, could extract you from that station or admit you to a superior caste. M. Swann, the father, had been a stockbroker; and so 'young Swann' found
himself immured for life in a caste where one's fortune, as in a list of taxpayers, varied between such and such limits of income. We knew the people with whom his father had associated, and so we knew his own
associates, the people with whom he was 'in a position to mix.' If he knew other people besides, those were youthful acquaintances on whom the old friends of the family, like my relatives, shut their eyes all the more
good-naturedly that Swann himself, after he was left an orphan, still came most faithfully to see us; but we would have been ready to wager that the people outside our acquaintance whom Swann knew were of the sort to whom
he would not have dared to raise his hat, had he met them while he was walking with ourselves. Had there been such a thing as a determination to apply to Swann a social coefficient peculiar to himself, as distinct from
all the other sons of other stockbrokers in his father's position, his coefficient would have been rather lower than theirs, because, leading a very simple life, and having always had a craze for 'antiques' and pictures, he now lived and piled up his collections in an old house which my grandmother longed to visit, but which stood on the Quai d'Orleans, a
neighbourhood in which my great-aunt thought it most degrading to be quartered.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Gone to heaven...

I may have died and gone to heaven...the only that could be better about this find is that if David Byrne had it as a blog!

He seems to write about everything.

Here is part of his take, a lead in, on the Texas art mafia and town where Donald Judd set up camp back in the day...recounted through his early NYC days...

"Judd, amongst others, got the support of DIA, an arts organization with lots of Texas oil money. Heiner Friedrich and Philippa de Menil created the Foundation in 1974… the de Menils are associated with Schlumberger, a company that RENTS the use of a very important drilling bit. At least that’s the story I heard. Mama de Menil collected surrealist art and beyond — her collection is housed in a lovely museum in the trashy tacky town of Houston. Her children’s art interests extended to minimalist art, land art and contemporary theater. Possibly at the urging of the artists they began to “support” certain artists in a big way — funding their work and permanent installations of their work. In NYC, for example, there is Walter DeMaria’s earth room and broken kilometer more or less permanently installed and maintained in the valuable real estate of SoHo. I remember hearing about their artist support when I moved to NY in the mid 70s. Medici levels of support doesn’t begin to describe how it seemed — it seemed like these artists were being bankrolled for whatever they wanted to do and were going to be given salaries for life — at least that was the rumor. Nice work if you can get it.

Search engines Words that brought folks here...

(This just keeeps on giving...)

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Family B.B.Q.


Big Green Egg Smoker

Tim and Tuffy P.

Mister Anchovy "cooking" or is that a fire and a nice cold brew of Creemore Springs. Mister anchovy and Tuffy P. cooked insane amounts of food including smoked bbq ribs, pulled pork, pesto and vegie kabobs, salsa and pita bean dip (from Karen who also made the best chocolate cake with caramel sauce I've ever had) pizza, cauliflower and green bean salad. Lots of cold beer.



Brian, Tim and Jill.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Housewarming Party

Hey, Carmen has a new blog style and she is having a blogwarming party all weekend. You are invited. Her pal Goofy Girl has designed a new template for her and she has done a great job. Lots of people are already at the party and my contribution is to bring a couple of righteous party goers.

Tiffany and Adam are just getting warmed up. They are going to perform a "Runway Walk-off" for all of us at Carmen's blogwarming party. Who is going to win?

I am bringing an extra bartender to help with the party.









Let's VOGUE!

Adam and Tiffanie. Adam is wearing my party shoes here, give him props.


Darren meet Carmen. Darren has a new tattoo, it is a Haida turtle motif.