Friday, September 30, 2011

Soap, R.I.P.

I was so surprised that All My Children was leaving tv. I believe it may be continued on the internet, but I'm not sure. I've had several girlfriends who loved this series over the years. All of them have watched it their whole lives. I wasn't a soap person. I thought they were really jokes when I was a teenager. I thought all kinds of stereotypes when I was around 15 or 16 that soap operas were "bad'. The funny thing is once I became a parent and made friends with other parents I started meeting women who loved these daytime shows. I have one dear friend who skipped school to hang out with her mum and watch these soap operas! So, I got turned on to AMC a long time ago. I haven't watched it religiously but have gone through times when I have watched it every day for years at a time. I felt a lot of nostalgia and care for my girlfriends who have been so invested in the stories and characters for so long. I am really grateful that the women I have loved who loved this sopa opera...taught me to not be a snob and to not judge people by the entertainment they watch. To see the value in mainstream pop culture media and entertainment. I am so happy i am not an art, tv and music snob and this very daytime tv series was a major part of my learning about culture, taboo, customs, and human nature and tolerance.

Michael E. Knight played one of my favourite enduring characters. Up or down whenever I checked in I always cared about his work and his story. Even his character's name was a riot. Tad. The relationship between Tad and Dixie (below) has been studied by anthropologists and there are really fascinating articles about them. Check out Wikipedia page...for books to read. A very different treatment of Soaps than the stereotype. Camille Paglia also wrote some great things about soap operas and how they have helped women gain empowerment especially in societies outside the US. Try finding her notes here at Google books

I have a friend who just loved Dixie. Dixie was one of my faves too. Cady MacClain was really really good. I don't even want to talk about her being killed off. It's always going to be one of those events in tv history that people will talk about.

Kelly Ripa played a crazy gal Hayley. She had the most amazing face. And she had terrific action in the show. It's funny how significant she became to me since she moved to my favourite talk show ever. I have been watching Regis in the morning for a LONG time.

I loved the storyline of Kendall, Erica kane's daughter way back...played by Sarah Michelle Geller. Yes, of course, I was a HUGE Buffy fan.

In Reply To The Previous Posts Comments

oops, I couldn't reply in one comment to the earlier comments on last blog post so here goes here...

X Dell, that just makes me sad. It just totally bugs me. I am inconsolable. My nephews were selling organic lemonade in Vancouver (that is SO west coast huh?) and then organic popcorn. since we were there and busking, now they are selling their art outside on their street.

Tif, Um, I seem to recall carrying xmas mugs on streetcar and snacking while we were going out to shop. I have always picked up a snack at the corner store to eat on public transit..and carried snacks for kids on public transit. The Chicago rule means no crackers for babies. No Ensure for ill people, no coffee milk or protein shakes for commuters. We want folks to stop driving and take public transit...when they have to take an hour and half on trains to commute seems to make sense to eat breakfast and read a magazine in transit no?

Janet, as a character in an Ivan Doig novel once said "It's against the law to be stupid". We can't legislate manners or thoughtfulness. We try but we just can't. Thats why we have taboos. Some of our lawstry to incorporate these subtle taboo customs but they can't really. peer pressure is one of the best ways to encourage people to clean up. The idea that people pay over $5 to get to and from crappy jobs, they can't drink coffee or eat on the journey and there are very few public garbage bins in cities (cutbacks!) people get messy.

People talk about "job creation" al the time in this horrible economy in the US> We dont need job creation...we just need to put people to these exisitng conductors. A train conductor or staff is not job creation. It's returning an employee to their original job! it's already's just not filled. More garbage bins, more pick ups more jobs. More staff on public monitor trash bins and recycle stuff ont he buses etc.

D. that all makes a lot of sense. I can see why the law is seems to be for extra oney and to control the use that eople have of their OWN HOUSES! I believe people should be allowed to make money in their own house. i also think for the most part...these second hand sales have already represented a tax going through the society...we don't really need the tax taken on such small sales, reallY? I also imagine that you can get away with snacking a bit ont he public transit and you're right...its really about jerks being drunk for a lot of the rules.

Mister A, I'm kind of laid back about this sort of stuff. Having grown up on the west coast...the management of gardens and property we have quite a different sensibility about it that big urban centers. Living near Reservations, and small towns....we had a different way of looking at property and goods. It wasn't unusual to keep something stored outside. To keep old parts huddled under tarps near garages for salvaging. in fact salvaging was a whole economy on its own. We might need that later or sell it later. I think it's outrageous not to be able to set up a garage sale at ill. Especially right now in the States. We have garage sales left and right...all over the place because people are broke. They are in debt and pretty screwed up. so garage sale is a great way to organize ones space, get rid of stuff and buy groceries.

I also really really believe that making money out of one's home is one of lifes "rights". I really believe it's a tradition that we've lost. All of Amsterdam and their houses were designed for family life and merchadising. In fact, the design of all those brick houses in Toronto is based on that sensibility of Amsterdam buildings. Of the narrow front of the house for selling and manufacturing goods. Not for a living room. A living room is a contemporary invention. We all used to make and sell goods and trade and barter. I suspect we might see more and more people turn to "cottage industry' because of the major economical crash here in the States. I think it's already happening in some places.

What concerns me about the permits for not that people won't pay taxes...and you all know, I really believe in taxes....but that it's a general deterent. It's a way of forcing people to work outside the home, to drive, to travel, and work for big business rather than for themselves.

And also under these grim circumstances that so many people are in being so poor right now...a garage sale is such a productive and quick way to generate money. In all the dangerous neighbourhoods if people were making their own legal goods and swapping them bartering,'s a viable alternative to gangs and drugs and changes up the economic competitive environment.

Monday, September 26, 2011


The following is one of those weird restrictions in Chicago. This reminds me of the first time I rode public transit and there is a sign on the trains and buses about "no eating" ( and "no littering no urinating")..I get the last two, but no eating is just ridiculous and why would the riders of the CTA allow that rule?) I can't believe anyone would have allowed the following permits to pass city laws...

"Chicagoans planning to hold garage, yard and apartment sales can obtain their required permits at any of the city's 50 ward sanitation offices. Locations of these ward offices can also be obtained by calling the city's 311 non-emergency number.

As of October 1, 1996, the Chicago City Council passed an ordinance requiring such permits to guard against seemingly perpetual yard sales that actually were serving as unlicensed retail operations in residential neighborhoods. The ordinance limits each household to two per calendar year, unless a third sale is needed because the applicant is moving permanently from their residence.

All such sales are limited in duration to three consecutive days between 9:00 a.m. and sunset. In case of rain, the sale can be held during the next three days after the permit period, but is still limited to three total days. If more than one household is joining in a single sale, each household needs its own permit even if the sale is at the address of only one participating household.

The ordinance specifically prohibits advertising these sales with signs posted anywhere except on the property where the sale is taking place. Violators face fines ranging from $50 to $500 with each day representing a separate offense.

Charitable organizations, churches and schools are exempt from the ordinance. To get your permit, complete the attached application form and mail it at least two weeks prior to the starting date."

Sunday, September 25, 2011

This Weekend

SNL was really good. Here is one of their host portraits with Alec Baldwin doing Warhol's Elvis.

I took over a double closet in the basement but before I could finish putting clothes away, Stagg had to come and catch a spider. He put it in a jar and put it outside. Thanks my big man! Stagg's parents got back into town from a long holiday and we had a great visit with them. They were blown away with all the changes and work we had done on the house.

Oh my god...this version of Lotus Flower was breathtaking. So very very beautiful. A must watch and listen!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Radiohead On SNL Tonight!

I am so excited for the new season of SNL. And what a great opening night line up. The greatest band in the world and Alec Baldwin. Should be fun.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Nevermind 20 Years

Where were you when Nevermind was released? It had been a long time since one record album had made such a noise. I was living in a huge loft on the east side of Toronto. I was single back then and dating musicians. I had a rule not to date musicians but you know what they say about rules. I was dating a guy who played guitar in a local cult punk band. I was working two jobs and a full-time parent. The loft had huge windows, 15 foot high ceilings, hardwood floors and I painted all the main room walls black. I was listening to Soundgarden, Smashing Pumpkins, L7, Janes Addiction, DOA, Faith No More, and was already familiar with Nirvana via Bleach. On Tuesday and Thursday nights I was at improv workshops, on weekends I was usually at a live music show or a party. And at those parties or clubs Nirvana's Nevermind was a mass head banging phenomenon. Everybody had heard "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and it appealed to all kinds of music fans. Even cynical sour urban slackers were excited about Nevermind. And so were many old school rock fans. Hell, even my parents had heard of this new record. There wasn't a party I went to that didn't play this album. Every song was a masterpiece and the lyrics and heavy rock melodic sounds bonded dancers and shoegazers.

I was already lovingly familiar with the Pacific Coast sounds coming from mostly Seattle having seen Soundgarden in Vancouver and I would buy any record from Sub Pop Records on faith. Yet these records and bands were seen as messy and mostly alternative. Some naysayer coined the term "grunge" to insult the scene coming from low-employed dead end towns on the west coast. On the radio in Oregon, Washington, and B.C. Led Zepplin and Jimi Hendrix had never gone out of style out there and kids growing up on the west coast were immersed in anthem rock. And making it their own and fresh. Sad. Fresh. Angry. Misunderstood. Beaten. Cozy. Suspicious: west coast psyche complete. And all of a sudden tons of young people felt the same way and Nirvana sang it.

Damn. When Nevermind came out I was still "young". Looking back and thinking about this album I see just how young I was. Ouch. Bittersweet.

When Kurt Cobain died I was heading home in the afternoon in a taxi. The driver and I had been chatting when news of Cobains death broke through a news report. The rest of the trip I was crying. When I got into my apartment (not the loft anymore) I could see that my answering machine had several messages. Yes, answering machine. I didn't have a cell back then or digital messaging. A little tape machine with lights that blinked to notify messages. I knew what the messages would be about. They were from friends wondering if I was "okay"...and where were we gonna go drinking to mourn? I landed up bar hopping that night with Dave and Martina all around our neighbourhood asking places to play Nirvana. If they didn't have any Nirvana we'd leave. And then we'd say...oh they'll be playing Nirvana by next week. They had no idea.

That week after endless montages about Nirvana on tv, and the constant playing of Nirvanas "Unplugged" (which I couldn't watch, it just upset me) I tried to make a pledge that I'd never cry for a rock star again. I was done. I would brace myself for the early death that seems to be an occupational hazard of being such a celebrity. I have not been successful with my pledge. These beautiful musicians that seem to implode always break my heart again and again. The high cost of not ever becoming cynical.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Monday, September 19, 2011

Spring Fall Cleaning And Stuff

Tricia's dad sent a bunch of tomatoes to us. YUMMY! Here are some cute Roma tomatoes on the window sill and I blanched some regular tomatoes to make a sauce. We made bacon and tomato sandwiches with some too. Crackers and cheese and tomatos. What on earth do we eat the rest of the year when there aren't fresh tomatoes? The ones in the winter at grocery store feel and taste like chalk just about.

T was in town for the weekend and she helped me go through a closet in the basement to put my clothes in. Sometimes just having someone keep you company while you do a chore really helps. Later....I hung up my wedding dress near Grandmas wedding dress. And I had the strangest feeling. Emotional. But I can't express it.


Tricia and I were watching tv the other day and this ad appears....and we were what? And then just like laughing because this has to be the least poetic advert made. No time at all spent on this one. I mean all the drug commercials are one thing and super scary and disturbing (we don't have them like that in Canada...different medical system) ...but this was just so weird. And nothing else, just what you see. And added we had never heard of transvaginal etc etc.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Stagg Is Back!

After a six month break...Stagg is back blogging. Go say hi! click here

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Quiz Night

Tricia and I been going to a quiz night at a pub in our neighbourhood. Back when we just lived down the street from each other...we didn't know about this quiz night. But now its funny here we are heading out on the CTA to one of our old haunts (soccer mornings and I used to go here to get a pint and some chips when I first came to chicago). Anyways, this is one of the hardest quiz nights in the city. I have no idea why we even try because this quiz is so so hard. But it is a lot of fun. Tricia and I have both had a lot of shit go down in the past couple years...and even last winter when she got back from the Uk we were both pretty out of it. We both have had some pretty down it felt so good that we were in better places and actually going out! Last week one of the categories was Gone With The Wind novel. Seriously? We just guessed the answers. This week was a category about Yugoslavia. What? We just guessed Kosovo...and any other eastern European thing we could think of. And then a category I thought I would clean up on...the movie Se7en and whoa it was esoteric questions. I did know one question...what were the first three crimes "deadly sins" themes and in exact order. Gluttony, greed and sloth. We didn't come in last this week whoo hoo. We came in third to last so maybe we are on the rise.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Like I Said, Hell In A Hand Basket

Gee, why does Toronto look more and more like it's run by extremists and cheap ass politicians?

"In the 2008 U.S. election, KPMG gave $1,206,766 to Federal candidates through its political action committee - 38% to Democrats and 62% to Republicans.

In 2006, it gave $960,929 - 28% to Democrats and 71% to Republicans.
In 2008, it spent $1,495,000 for lobbying."

Remember how I've said Toronto and Canada are going to hell ina hand basket? Well here are some examples of new proposals for the city of Toronto by some think tank called KPMG...

Reduce new affordable housing development and the House Loan Program to limit it to completing the existing Council approved commitments for development which is funded by federal and provincial governments;

Reduce the number of subsidized child care spaces through attrition;

Close museums with the least attendance and revenues;

Reduce the service level standard for snow clearing and grass cutting;

Try to find a third-party operator for the Parks’ department zoos and farms (such as Riverdale Farm and the High Park Zoo) and close them if nobody expresses interest;

Reduce community and neighbourhood development activities by suspending (1) staff supports to Council Advisory Bodies, (2) work on the development of community service hubs, and (3) work on the development of social development plans for communities undergoing revitalization;

Eliminate the four free garbage tags per household;

Eliminate Community Environment Days;

Toronto Environment Office and Toronto Atmospheric Fund: “Consolidate, and reduce environmental services within divisions, and agencies, and refocus their mandates on services that, in the opinion of the City Manager, are required to meet regulatory environmental reporting requirements, support the City’s interests, or have the greatest return on investment”;

Eliminate the Christmas Bureau, and seek alternative funding sources…from the voluntary, philanthropic and/or private sectors;
Eliminate the Hardship Fund, and request the Provincial Government to fund these services and items;
Eliminate the requirement for paid duty police officers at construction sites where possible;
Eliminate the current windrow clearing program, and…implement a windrow, and sidewalk snow shovelling program for seniors and people with disabilities, operated by a third party;
Reduce service levels [for snow removal, and snow ploughing on local streets] if required to meet the minimum standard;
Reduce the Community Partnership and Investment Program based on consideration of existing legal obligations, and the following criteria: eliminate allocations where City funding represents less than five percent of the program budget or is less than $10,000;
Sell a number of City-run facilities, including three theatres (Toronto Centre for the Arts, Hummingbird Centre, and the St. Lawrence Centre), as well as the Toronto Zoo.

The think tank KPMG needs a little looking suprise here:

"KPMG Among Many Buying Political Influence, January/February 2009. The Multinational Monitor writes, "During the 10-year period, Goldman Sachs spent more than $45 million on political influence buying; Merrill Lynch spent more than $67 million; Citigroup spent more than $100 million; Bank of America devoted more than $38 million; and JPMorgan Chase invested more than $59 million. Accounting giants Deloitte & Touche, Ernst & Young, KPMG and Pricewaterhouse spent, respectively, $31 million, $36 million, $26 million and $54 million. The number of people working to advance the financial sector’s political objectives is startling. In 2007, the financial sector employed a staggering 2,996 separate lobbyists, more than five for each Member of Congress. The securities/investment industry alone had 1,023 lobbyists on their payroll. A great many of those lobbyists entered and exited through the revolving door connecting the lobbying world with government."

Related Links:

1) Know More the company KPMG has workers pay lawsuits, tax shelter lawsuits,
2) Wiki on KPMG
3) Full list of recommendations so far KPMG tells Toronto

Sunday, September 11, 2011


I took a sculpture class at York University when the Vietnam Memorial was going before Congress to discuss the reaction to Maya Lin's design that won a blind jury selection. The reaction to Lin's design and memorial was mixed. The design was called a black gash of shame and nihilistic....among other things. My sculpture prof got another prof to come to our class and speak about the sculpture design for the Vietnam memorial and the controversy. Tim Whiten had served in the Vietnam war and was an artist. He told us how during his time in Vietnam he had managed to score an empty train car and he set it up as a studio. He had many insights to his feelings about the Vietnam Memorial and some of the reaction he felt was because the design was so powerful triggering political shame, racism and gender stereotypes (the winning sculpture was designed by a female Asian-American) and confusion (in part because of the abstract aspects of the memorials design). It is amazing to reflect on this controversy and fear of the sculpture since it has been long resolved and embraced once it was constructed by vets and their families and tourists and visitors.(by commissioning a more old-fashioned representational sculpture of soldiers in bronze to be placed nearby the winning sculpture). The Vietnam memorial is one of my most favourite sculptures. The first time I saw it in person was such an emotional and inspiring visit to walk up to an open park and not even see the sculpture until you come around the bend...and it's incredible design hits home. It is like a trench. It really is a brilliant sculpture. On each visit since I find the work keeps on giving and is as powerful and enduring. And now...decades later it's influence on sculpture and memorials is obvious and all encompassing. It really likely is the most influential piece of art, at least in sculpture, than any other piece of contemporary art. Watching the opening of memorials (Ground Zero and Flight 93 unveilings) for 9/11 all morning the influence of Maya Lin's sculpture is impressive. It's quite mind boggling to remember there was ever a controversy in the early 1980's about the Vietnam Memorial at all seeing how it is now such a major influence on subsequent public sculptures and memorials.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

50 Moments That Changed Rock And Roll

Rolling Stone had a list in 2002 of 50 moments that changed rock and roll. I mentioned it earlier and thought I would post the list...

-Elvis Presley cuts "Thats All Right" at Sun Studio.
-Chess Records goes from Chicago blues to Rock & Roll.( Chuck Berry)
-Brill Building churns out chart-topping Sixties Pop.
-Marvin, Sumpremes and Stevie on the Motortown Revue.
-James Brown sweats out a week at the Apollo.
-The Kingsmen record garage-rock anthem.
-Phil Spector builds his Wall of Sound on "Be My Baby".
-Sam Cooke cuts "A Change Is Gonna Come"
-The Who explode in pill-popping mod London
-One Sunday in Newport signaled the end of the folk scene and energized rock (Dylan's electric kiss-off)
-Jim Morrison and the Doors push boundaries in L.A.
-The San Francisco acid scene becomes America's freak-flag capitol
-Beach Boy suffers breakdown, makes "Pet Sounds"
-The Summer of Love turns on, tunes in and drops out.
-Aretha Franklin visits Muscle Shoals, Alabama.
-"Sgt. Pepper" redefines what a rock album could be.
-New stars are born at Monterey Pop Festival (Otis & Hendrix)
-Crosby, Stills, and Nash sing in Joni Mitchell's living room
-Woodstock brings together the hippie nation
-Free Rolling Stones concert becomes hell on earth
-Stones masterpiece crawls from the South of France (Exile)
-David Bowie's first persona launches the glam-rock era
-Their America tour kicks off the age of arena rock (Zeppelin)
-Twenty songs in seventeen minutes, and puck is born (Ramones)
-Live London recording makes him a global star (Marley)
-His breakout five-night stand at the Bottom Line (Springsteen)
-Dylan, Clapton say goodbye at Thanksgiving concert.
-Sex Pistols, Clash lead London punk revolt
-George Clinton leads P-Funk party across America
-Fleetwood Mac's ultimate Seventies rock album.
-Dance music swarms the pop charts on its way to taking over the world
-The world mourns the death of John Lennon.
-Pretty boys like Duran Duran are the first video stars (MTV)
-Dance move makes "Thriller" the biggest album ever
-All their cash goes to filming the breakthrough concert (US)
-Her writhing at the VMA's causes a commotion (Madonna)
-Guns n' Roses take over the Los Angeles metal scene.
-Live Aid:Sixty stars, two continents, $40 million raised.
-Beastie Boys, Run-DMC team up for landmark tour
-"Straight Outta Compton" launches gangsta rap
-Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" remakes rock
-The war between Tupac Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G. begins with words and escalates to tragedy.
-"OK Computer" is the sound of rock falling apart
-Lilith Fair crowns the era of female singer-songwriters
-Eminem's alter ego lays down "My Name Is"
-File-sharing service spawns the MP3 revolution.
-Riding the crest, 'Nsync sell 2 million CDs in a week
-The music world responds to the tragedy of 9/11
-Entire CD collections get up and go on the iPod
-The Bonnaroo Festival creates utopia for a weekend.

10 Years

Sunday night VH! is replaying one of the concerts produced after 9/11. Two concert specials were produced to fund raise for firefighters and response workers back then...and Rolling Stone called them one of the 50 moments that changed rock and roll. I'v\ll be watching this rebroadcast tomorrow night. I watched both of these concerts at the time and they were incredible. I remember this one especially for the part where firefighters and cops were in the front row and singing along to The Who. The Who's performance in this concert is absolutely stunning. A little other detail from these concerts is Billy Joel. I was never a fan of billy Joel, but when he sang New York State of Mind I got a new appreciation for at least that one was so touching and took on such a new meaning I had chllls down my back. Of course the most emotional moment of these concerts was from the first one (A Tribute To Heroes aired on Sept 21) with Neil Young performing John Lennons' Imagine. OUCH. I'm making sure to blog today because most tv networks have programming dedicated to the 10th anniversary of 9/11 tomorrow....and I'll be watching as many as I can.

Thursday, September 08, 2011


Tonight Tricia and her mum came downtown and we all went to a Cubs game. This was my first visit and game to Wrigley Field and it was awesome. The Cubs won! We had a beautiful evening with divine weather. I love this is so beautiful and people friendly. I hope it never changes.

I love this old score board it is all done manually. If you click on the above photo and stretch it you can see two guys up there in one of the open spots. Their job is to move the score pieces and update the scores across the country during the game.

I accidentlly pressed video instead of photo so this is a very short video of us at the game...

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

An Old Favourite

I love this sketch and hadn't seen it in a long time...yea youtube...

Celebrity News Ala Canucks

Dream Team

Maybe just this year my team will really be the dream team. Thats what "they" are saying...I hope so. Looking forward to the fall weather and watching some football.

Kyle DeVan

Nnamdi Asomugha

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Let Chaz Dance!

My parents had a fair number of books that I used to look at and go through. One book that was in our family's book collection was a biography of Christine Jorgensen. Jorgensen was one of the first people to combine hormone therapy with surgery to reassign gender. For me this book seemed like the most natural topic and was totally a normal part of my childhood and upbringing. Exposure to this womans story was one of the reasons I grew up with a huge interest in human rights and tolerance and alternative ways of looking at the world. When I was a kid I thought I would marry Michael jackson and be friends with Chastity Bono. It seemed that seeing children on tv meant that they would be in my life in some manner. Funny perspective of children, ya know? I was very sad to hear that some extremists reacted so crazy to the casting of Bono on Dancing With The Stars. It just seems this typical kind of acting out of outrage is so backward. I still love seeing Chaz Bono on tv and have remained fascinated by his life over the years. I am pretty excited with this seasons line up for the dance show. I think a lot of the cast is going to be a lot of fun. I used to watch the Ricki Lake talk show (and of course the classic movie Hairspray...I once saw Divine perform in Toronto EPIC!). So Ricki Lake, Carson Kressly, Hope Solo (like most soccer fans I fell in love with her this summer) David Arquette and Chynna Philips are the dancers I'll be especially rooting for, but most of all Chaz Bono. I just think this whole exposure of him on the popular show is so healing and healthy for a bitter world.

These pictures really spark memories for me. I just loved the Jorgensen book and remember being about 8 years old and really being into looking at these photos. Last week I was channel surfing and fell upon a cool new reality series called Sex Change Hospital. Wow, what a great program....I landed up doing a marathon. The hospital is in "the sex change capital of the U.S." in Trinidad Colarado and the stories of the people transitioning are really well covered and wonderful.

Poker Face

Wow! I thought this was great. It's Faith No More covering a Lady Gaga song. I used to have a poster of Faith No More a big poster...with them in their boxer shorts. I love rock and music band posters and film posters. I used to have tons of them. This makes me feel like I might head out to a music store and get a big poster....what should I get I wonder? My Chemical Romance? U2? Yeah Yeah Yeahs? (I have a small Absolut advert of Karen O from Yeah Yeah Yeahs in the kitchen right now...a big poster of her would be so cool)

Sunday, September 04, 2011


I don't care how many times this gets played on the radio...I just don't get sick of it. So good vibes...unh unh...

A Return To Gaudy Gaudi

Spanish civil war image.

Jigsaw puzzle of an anarchist, Mikail Bslunin.

Usually I try to respond to all comments left on my blog. Sometimes I miss the odd one. The blog system has a little reminder if you miss a comment...and I found an older comment left here that I missed. Sometimes people find a blog by googling a topic and they may leave a comment days, weeks or months after the post has gone into archives. I had a notification that I missed a comment and landed up finding the following comment from an older post about Gaudi...

A comment by Anonymous said "Even though there may only be coincedental association between gaudy and gaudi, it has to be the one of the most interesting associations ever. I mean if you look at a piece of architecture or art today, and you consider it gaudy, just imagine what people considered Gaudi's work at the time. Both gaudy and gaudi stick out like sore thumbs, pardon the cliche'.

I always wondered if he was affected by the coincendental association and maybe it had an influence on him. Who knows, he could have built the most gaudy of buildings just to play off of the association. Maybe he wanted to own the word. Sort of like a redneck buying more 4-wheelers just because they can. I have redneck friends, this is real.

He could have pushed the limits of design, color, shape and engineering just to show how guady he could get."

Dear Anonymous, your comment is exactly why this topic is so interesting. Your curiousity about the association between the name Gaudi and the word gaudy is inspiring. Your comment is so packed with good questions and good associations. You even bring in the notion of "class" by mentioning a class stereotype of "redneck". I believe that class is relevant to the associations between the adjective gaudy and the noun Gaudi. Actually, it isn't really a coincidence that "Gaudi" and "gaudy" get associated. The architects family was from Auvergne in France a couple centuries earlier. The word and the name are related in French where the etymology of "gaudy" gives us a lot of clues regarding the adjective and nouns connections The name Gaudi may be related to the huge family name base of Gaudin which is Germanic and associated with "to govern" and/or "goth" and also found to be "godwine". Shakespeares use of the word gaudy was not particularly negative. Gaudy is an adjective for celebration type metaphors. (which may be from its "godwine" connection, eventually family "Goodwin" or Godwin" etc)

I think that the idea that there is an "urban myth" and convolution of usage surrounding the adjective and the noun is not that surprising but rather the question for me has always been when did the word gaudy become a negative slur. Since the word "gaudy" used to be for a celebration, probably rich British status...perhaps the word used negatively began when revolt began against classes? Anarchists in the 19th century used to have ideologies that attacked science, the church and art. Art began to seen and thought of as being paid for by rich patrons representing decadent lifestyles. Joseph Conrad based his novel The Secret Agent on exploring the psychology of terrorists and their rationale for attacking human innovations that the ruling classes had hijacked for propaganda. Science and art were seen as valuable targets for anarchists. Mocking art and science was like mocking the status quo of the powerful elite. Perhaps this time period of European uprising of socialists and anarchists was the time period when the adjective gaudy became associated with the architect Gaudi?

"But then came the Spanish Civil War when anarchists burned and smashed everything they could, including Gaudi’s working models and plans. Several Bocabella family tombs were also desecrated though fortunately not that of the architect himself. Francesc Quintana took over after the war and, despite a campaign to prohibit any further work due to the lack of Gaudi’s plans, construction continued though the area still remains a building site." from here

Saturday, September 03, 2011

I Enjoy Twitter

I am enjoying Twitter very much because I love the soundbites of some of the folks I follow. Ebert tweeted about Doris Day who is dropping an album now. Zowie. I follow Pink, Kanye, 50 Cent, David Cronenberg, David Lynch, Neil Gamain and several newspaper book sites. Its been giving me odd bits of news and updates that are easy to access while i'm waiting in line on my phone.

Friday, September 02, 2011

6 Corners (Of Hell)

Oh my god, I love this picture. Jack White is collaborating with Insane Clown Posse. Will wonders never. You can hear a song at Pitchfork. Very funny promo below.

6 Corners: "The area's name is from the intersection of three streets—Irving Park Road, Cicero Avenue and Milwaukee Avenue . Its history as an urban center began in the 1840s, eventually becoming the largest commercial center in Chicago outside of the Loop . There is evidence that Native Americans used a ridge along Milwaukee Avenue as a campsite,[3] which would have been higher than the generally swampy surrounding land."

Since getting back from our road trip I've been driving around chicago for basically the first time. We only had the car for a week before we left and I didn't do much city driving especially with the blizzard. It's been pretty cool to get to know the city by driving although I make a lot of mistakes. I have to give myself at least an extra half hour travelling time for any appointments because i get mixed up all the time. There are a couple of corners in Chicago that just break me. They are intersections in Wicker Park and Bucktown with three streets that cross. oh and there is one in our old neighbourhood. And to be honest these "corners" messed me up even when I was walking. ha ha I had an aha moment on the El train the other day...very confused looking at the map for train stops. All of a sudden I realized that I was not getting that the maps were "sideways" and north was to the right of these guides. Duh! Yesterday I stalled out right in the middle of the intersection, light turned red, on the six corners of Milwaukee, Cicero and Irving Park. I heard some really fresh language from other drivers. A lot of honking too.

You know Elvis himself would have to be walking naked down the street before I would ever use a horn in a car. I just kept my cool and held my arms in the air hoping I wouldn't get hit by a car or a bullet. Took a deep breath and re-started the car. I was very proud of myself that when i got lost and turned around, while sweating in the heat I didn't pull over and cry from getting lost. I'm getting the hang of it out there I'd like to delude myself into believing. Happy driving!

generated by