Friday, March 30, 2012

Raconteur, R.I.P.

One of my favourite U.S. authors has passed away...who wrote some of the craziest characters you could ever want has passed away. Thanks for so many amazing stories Mr. Harry Crews!

Check out this interview...

A documentary about Crews..."Searching For The Wrong-Eyed Jesus"....

The NYTs has a great obit.

Guest Room

Last week the magnolia tree really blossomed and then shed. So pretty! We were busy this morning anticipating using the back yard this summer to its fullest. We bought a small fire pit. Our friend Tony and Brooke have a fire pit and we went to a party in their back yard a couple years ago and have been wanting to get one ourselves since. So...this morning I met Stagg when he got off work at 8 a.m. (yeah, I know ouch, poor guy xxxooo). And we got some curtain rods and a fire pit. I had found some sari fabric at the second hand store...and when I got home I realized it had already been sewn for windows whoo hoo! And they fit perfectly on the front room here at Grandmas. We just spent the next hour or so at home trying to hang these bloody curtain rods without breaking the windows. Neither of us are super handy Okay, well I am medium handy....but Stagg is not so handy...but we managed. He is strong so that helps because the wood was hard as a rock. I landed up splitting the wood on the window frames but lets just say it looks distressed. Shabby chic with the beige roses wallpaper. Yes, I could take down the wallpaper but too many other things to do for now. Like a fire pit party!

Found this cute toy for kids about money. Its like a jigsaw puzzle you can pull out the money and put it back into the spaces. Then hung the "cost of living" painting done by Stagg. Didn't realize I had a money theme going. His painting is from 2006. Some of the grey on it from the's one of the few artworks that mde it because it was on the farthest away room.

This is one of my paintings and can't remember the title right now....I made it in 2007.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Joan Of Arc, Lady Of The Flies

The Hunger Games is a really good kids movie. If you've loved sci-fi movies like "Logan's Run", "Bladerunner", "A Clockwork Orange"...this movie is going to be too soft on social commentary for you. But it doesn't back down from the very scary premise it sets forth in the first few moments. The movie really came alive for me after about 45 minutes into it...but I realized its not made for avid sci-fi fans like myself. Its for a new generation of kids. I just wish it had a bit more edge. I wonder how many young people and young adults will question the entertainment world of The Hunger Games which is basically "survivor-meets-american-idol-meets-the-bachelor" ? The idea that entertainment keeps us the slaves of the rich is good though. Timeless, right? I really liked this movie and I think its a great movie for kids to talk about but it really was best when it hit the pace of "The Lord of The Flies". The actress Jennifer Lawrence is fantastic and I couldn't take my eyes off of her. I am very glad to see a huge popular movie with a female lead! I thought all the actors were really good and well cast. The best part of the movie was when it felt like Joan of Arc and Lady of The Flies. The scenes of "the future" weren't edgy enough for me.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

DWTS, 2012

At first when I heard some of the line up for stars in this season I wasn't sure if I was going to watch much...but I am in love with Gladys Knight. she is so sweet and flowing in this dance above.

I am also very surprised by an actor I did not know William levy. OMG is he sexy! You can tell when he is about to dance because the L.A. audience starts screaming like crazy. And here is why...he's also a good dancer...

Monday, March 26, 2012

Cat In A Hat

This makes me laugh so much. My daughters blind cat "Hawkeye" found herself a nice sit.

Friday, March 23, 2012


Check out the menu at The Old Town School of Folk Music.

At the New Building venue I am bartending for Chicago Samba dance party!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Quick Notes About A Couple of Movies

I'm behind on writing about some of the movies we've watched...some from last year. These are all out on dvd or older and been reviewed but I just feel like keeping a note here...

Catfish. I really liked this movie and I liked the young film makers a lot. Watching the movie forces you to ask questions about how documentaries are made, what is art,, what is forgery or fake?. These are intellectual questions. On a whole other level this movie is profound about people. Particularly one woman and her family. through the film we slowly begin to meet a family. This is an internet story. Some hipster artists in New York City make cyber friends with a family in Michigan. Here we see the fast artsy life of young bachelors contrasted with the rural pie-making horseback riding world of "regular" people in Michigan. There are a lot of mysteries in this movie. And still long after watching it I find myself thinking about...what is art? What is friendship? What defines art and fake art and what makes people from very different backgrounds make friends? And more questions than this. This movie is difficult. I highly recommend this movie. 10/10.

The Descendants. I love the opening voice over with shots of gorgeous Hawaii and homeless people. Clever. And this movie keeps on giving. Here we see played out the history of patriarchy in America and its weaknesses and finally its deliverance and healing. Great "dad movie". Very funny in parts and very emotional. I dont have much to add that hasn't been already said about how good this movie is. One favourite moment is when the father, George Clooney, says to the three kids..."You guys act like you don't have any respect for authority." Duh, welcome to the new world order old man! 10/10.

Moneyball. Visitors to my blog know I love anthropology and viewing the worlds problems by following the money. Or the numbers. Why don't some people eat pork? Because the value of meat to damage of land isn't worth it. Why is a cow sacred to some people? Because the cow is worth more by using it's milk for protein rather than its meat. I have alienated some people in my life by my non-romantic view of society's customs and habits. Sometimes I don't say things gently, I say them in a manner reflecting this counter-intuitive perspective. Tersely. I storm in with my opinions and often these opinions are not popular. (yet... ha ha). I love Marvin Harris and his theories of "why we do what we do" that is based on the simple premise that "human social life is a response to the practical problems of earthly existence". This theory informed my young mind as I was growing up. When books and theories like Freakonomics and Jared Diamonds Guns Germs and Steel became popular...I felt the biggest high. Finally examining social life by its practical problems and solutions has come to mainstream in the last 15 years. The reason Moneyball is so good is because it documents the kind of approach to problems in social life by looking at patterns of behaviour rather than magical thinking, superstition or romantic belief systems and stale thinking. I enjoyed the struggle of the characters trying to comprehend a way of looking at the game of baseball (and as a metaphor for life) and not accepting the paradigm shift. I get that...I've seen that look on many peoples faces over the years heh heh. AND...I have felt that resistance to a new way of looking at the world myself. It's hard to resist our cultural programming. I love Moneyball because it is a great story entertaining story but also because it is so exciting to see the positive and liberating effects of studying patterns and environment rather than belief systems as a path for transformation. 10/10.

Leap Year. Amy Adams is so fantastic. I cant wait to see her in the upcoming On The Road. Here she is in a romantic lead. I love the simple story, the sexual tension and banter and all the scenes of Ireland.I just wanted to hop on a plane and go to Ireland. Sweet movie. 8/10.

My Week with Marilyn. All that really matters about this movie is whether we believe Michelle Williams is Marilyn Monroe. Yes we do! 10/10.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Freaky Guy Day

There is probably something seriously wrong that I enjoyed Change Up so much. It is written by the same two guys who wrote The Hangover you know its gonna have some crazy laughs. I didn't expect to laugh so hard at a baby playing with a chefs knife. You'll see. Like the Hangover movies this one does't shy away from going big or avoiding scary uncomfortable movies. Its totally inappropriate, sophomoric, tacky and I loved every moment. There three or four main reasons why the movies is so good. 1) Ryan Reynolds. 2) Jason Bateman. 3) Leslie Mnn. 4) Olivia Wilde.

Two best friends supernaturally switch lives and switch headaches and fetishes and the acting skills and emotional delivery of these four fine actors makes you care. The genius of The Hangover movies and their peers like Judd Apatows movies is that they not only have crude humour but the characters have realistic feelings we can all relate performed by exceptional actors. You are a complete loser if you don't squirm, laugh and love this movie. 10/10.

Friday, March 16, 2012


Film-like, organic look
extended, clean highlights
extremely low noise floor
natural skin tones
excellent color separation
cinematic depth of field
Wide exposure latitude of 14 stops
EI 800 base sensitivity (EI 160 to EI 3200)
Sharp, natural images for 2K and HD

“I rated the camera at 800 [ASA],” he continues. “I think the myth of digital is that you underexpose because it can’t hold the highlights like film. I find that when you underexpose digital more than a little bit, very often you increase your noise level significantly. What’s extraordinary about the Alexa is that even if I pushed the sensor to 1,600 [ASA] there was very little noise, and I could actually underexpose quite a bit without introducing noise in the blacks. The dynamic range was mind-boggling.” Newton Thomas Sigel

After watching the movie Drive tonight I had to look up what kind of camera and who was the cinematographer because not only is this a fantastic movie but it is so cool looking and beautifully edited, lit and directed.

I didn't think I'd ever be blogging about Ryan Gosling. I mean he's a good actor and all...but I was so so. Well, he has won me over. He is some kind of weird mix of boy next door in the land of Jim Thompson. Compelling. I could not take my eyes off him. I could have watched this movie if it was 6 hours long. And Albert Brooks is lovely. If you're like me and way behind on seeing movies...just go see this movie now. Brilliant! 10/10

Thursday, March 15, 2012

05 05 2012

Here We Go Again

Its that time again where hockey goes into the summer season.

I always like to add my ol friends video here JUGHEAD and their "Hockey Song". This video is close 100 thou views even though the band is long dis-banded.
Back in the day, JUGHEAD did a great version of "Long Black Veil".

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Long Black Veil

One of my favourite songs is Long Black Veil. Its just such a great story with murder ghost and love affair. I found this version with Joni Mitchell and johnny Cash...from his first tv show which apparently aired in 1969 with other guests Doug Kershaw and Bob Dylan. Holy cow!

Long Black Veil is a beloved goth song but I couldn't find a good version of punk/goth today...but here are some more beauts...

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Around Around...

This week is the first few days I've felt like I had my head on and rested. Since Sept and Oct I've either had a cold or just been stressed out, or exhausted and even after sleep not feeling rested. How I feel rested right now is just amazing...I can not believe how shitty I have felt. I had a cold for 8 weeks...not the kind you have to lay down...but just coughing. I feel like right now I can get to things I like doing. I had a reading block...although I was tough work. I haven't hardly been writing and painting is on a back burner for me without feeling I have time. I feel like I have some ideas to write and now its just up to getting there and doing it. It feels good to feel "normal" again.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

24 Hour Dance Music

Yesterday we had to grab a cab with our groceries (yeah, car bit the bullet...our mechanic is looking for another one for us) and the cab driver was crazy. He had the radio on and kept blaring this song...which I love but he was making our ears bleed. Anyways its been in my head since. We actually had been at a pub the other night and a New Order song came on the jukebox. I have seen them a couple of times and used to love them so much. Spent many hours dancing to them. Today when I found these videos Stagg showed me his dance moves to how he would dance to this song...he had some very specific moves. Quite impressive. I used to go to this club near Joseph and isabella off Yonge Street called VooDoo...with a friend Jane and I have this intense memory of her dancing to New Order in a wonderful tribal patterned mini skirt.

And here is a rough version by Black Eyed Peas and Jay-z.

Thursday, March 08, 2012


One of my long time friends is starting a new bog with political cartoons and poems click here...hope you can check him out and say hi!

Tuesday, March 06, 2012


Stagg and I love going to Century Landmark Theatre to see movies. We often go for Sangria and pizza at Rinaldis after the movie. Or shop in the area before the movie. Here is a brilliant mural in the cinamas lobby. It is made from something like electrical tape. Or gaffers tape. Click on pictures to see up close. Isnt that marvelous?

Gaffers tape is always around on a film set. The electrician, or gaffer, (one of the people you hire a real good gaffer) usually has all kinds of coloured gaffers tape hanging by bungies or cords from their waist on set. If you don't have a good electrician, you can blow the electrical in a location scene. You want to make sure all the lights and power sources are safe when filming. So this mural I think is so cool because it connects from the film set to the theatre with its material and content.

And Even More Oranges!

Last years pruning. I can't believe it, but Gardenia thinks all her oranges this year are from Stagg and I pruning her tree this time last year. So rewarding a feeling...I feel like I missed my calling. I should be growing oranges in Florida!

Monday, March 05, 2012

One Night At Work

Stagg and I are working such different hours so sometimes he comes to my work to pick me up. These are pics taken at an event at the new building of the Old Town School of Folk. Downstairs in the lobby drifting upstairs are about 20 people playing bluegrass jam. Such a great place to work! In this pc above is Stagg talking to Marvin. Marvin is in a picture in this old post...scroll down to see Tricia and jenny holding him in the air! Sometimes Stagg and I don't see each other for a day or so. for example he was asleep when I woke up yesterday. Then I went to work and got home and he's not home. When I woke up this morning, he is asleep. When I get home from work tonight he will be at he will likely meet me at work tomorrow night. We usually stop for a beer and some snacks before we catch a bus back home. Or we try to catch a late movie if my bar closes early enough.

Here is Michael another bartender here at Old Town sometimes we work together at the bar.

Oh oh I just got a phone call from my friend Rowena in Florida...must run...we stayed with her and her husband, our bookclub internet buddy Rick, this time last year on our crazy road trip!

Thursday, March 01, 2012

A Different Way To Promote A Movie

I love this...this is a video made as if the speaker is at a TED function...the character is from the upcoming movie Prometheus. The video uploaded and filmed by Ridley Scott is not part of the Scott movie released later this year. Cool.

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