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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Games

Today I took a break from planning my lecture to attend a talk by Jeff Trzeciak of McMaster on to the topic of "Games, Virtual Worlds, and Simulation: the role of the library in the 21st century". What it ended up being was 15 minutes of Trzeciak saying how he got to be a librarian and how he got to where he is today, 10 minutes about the state of the McMaster library when he arrived, then 10 minutes about his changes he instigated. Then, when I thought he'd actually talk about his topic (all he'd mentioned up to this point was what level he was playing at in World of Warcraft) but instead he filled the remaining 25 mintues with data about students (non) use of the reference desk, the Ithaker Report (which I suppose the librarians in the room understood), and a mention that students only own tvs so they can play games on them. Apparently 20% of seniors in Canada use social networking such as Facebook. McMaster now has a gaming librarian as well as a huge Hardy Boys collection. I feel he stole an hour of my life.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

another birthday party

The morning was lazy, did some grading and painted chocolate onto the biscotte I baked yesterday. This afternoon we went to Linda's and celebrated Jake's 6th birthday, stayed over there for supper and were joined by Gerri-Ann and Steve. Got Jake a toboggan and William and I assembled the bionicles that we bought the two boys last month. Coffee'd with Kevin this evening; we got talking about a story that involved zombie frogs. I'm reminded of a script I was writing a couple years ago that I'm intent on returning to. I'll add it to my list.

screwball

This evening we watched "Leatherheads", primarily because Margaret heard that it was a failed screwball comedy. Well the first thing that disproves that is that "Leatherheads" wasn't even a comedy. While it did have a number of funny scenes, it really wasn't designed to be a comedy but rather it was a heartfelt period piece about football, honesty, friendship, and mud. It was okay, although we were in the mood for a comedy.
I baked biscotti today.

Friday, September 26, 2008

CFMDC screening

I went to the screening of films that the Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre is touring this evening. Poorly attended. The promo stuff was national and didn't have dates on it. Promoting screenings is going to be a priority for me in my new grant application, I used to do fairly well but it is time consuming. The films were hit and miss; they got 7 filmmakers (criteria unknown) to pick films from the collection (also criteria unknown) and create a response to them. Some were clever, some not so much. Glad I went though, any day you have a chance to see a good colour print of Joyce Wieland's "Rat Life and Diet in Norrth America" is a good day.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

film processing

Today I got my class to divide into group, spend an hour shooting rolls of 16mm film, then I took them to the darkroom and workshopped them on hand processing. The first two rolls worked perfectly. Then after we brought the second set of rolls in from the outside where they were being exposed to sunlight to reverse them to a positive image, I was momentarily distracted when one of the students asked, from behind me, "is this the developer". I turned to see that he's put the film back into the bleach. "NO!!!" was my reply. It was in the bleach about 15 seconds before we got it into water then into the correct developer. The image seemed intact, although I warned him that the blacks might be gray. Too much longer in the bleach at that point and the film would have been clear. The actual result, visible only once we got it on the screen, was that the blacks shimmered and crackled while the whites and grays looked fine. Amazing.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

eyes shuttin

Sleep is taking over. Stayed hope today, Janine canceled due to children being sick all last night and keeping her awake. I feel same way. Just dozed off a moment while writing this, not even 11 pm yet. Went to Art Gallery of Regina opening for Wendy Pert tonight, she built diaramas using animal toys, was fun. William played with little William. I knocked out a new draft of my notes about Ian Toews to turn into a Splice Magazine article.

short review of Cloverfield

Talked about super heroes, melodrama, and camp in class today, throat held out fairly well. Came home, no voice left for conversation so we watched Cloverfield. My review? It's better than Blair Witch.

Monday, September 22, 2008

walking with plague

Still sick today but lacking the common sense to stay home.
Chrystene and I canceled our regular Monday meeting but I still had one other student to meet with, so I did. That went fine, as did the two hour Filmpool meeting I had this evening. However, as soon as I left the Filmpool I walked outside and the cold hit my throat and I was in pain again. I finally have one thing figured out, I've got to keep my throat warm. Traditionally, I've enjoyed cold drinks as well as hot to sooth my soar throats, but not this one.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

bog a log

While I'm still pretty sick today, William and I ventured out to the Bio-Boxes show at Mysteria Gallery on 13th. For me and William, it was what he calls "Bog-a-log theatre". Bogalog is a word he made up when he was about 2 and eventually came to mean going into a small place such as under a blanket or, preferably, under someones shirt. This show was made up of 'theatres' that were about 2 feet wide with one chair surrounded by sheets. The one performer put their head through a hole in the stage and does a monologue while moving a variety of objects around (papers, toys, other objects.) It was incredibly intimate and wonderful. There were six stages, each performed in a choice between English or another language and could change mid way through their 10 minute performances (one was French, one German, one Cantenese, one Italian, one Crotatian, and one Japanese). Today was the last day in Regina.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

still sick

My cold got worse today. I'd intended to go to the farm and help harvest potatoes and perhaps put some paint onto the "cottage". However, the wind was mighty cold and I wasn't up to it. William's a bit sick too. He went out on a play date with the boy who already had this cold and I stayed home with a hot water bottle and the first half of Kill Bill Part 2 which I'd not got around to seeing before. Later when William came home we finished watching Fellowship of the Ring and also watched the 2007 animated Dr. Strange movie (was okay) and a bit of Batman before settling down to more Bionicle reading. Margaret worked the Dunlop opening this evening so I just finished Kill Bill 2 (she'd not have liked it, except perhaps the last show down with Bill). Basically a wasted day.

Friday, September 19, 2008

cold

It's warm out but I have a cold. Last night I could barely breath. Today seemed better during the day but as night comes I'm miserable again.
The Bob Boyer opening at the MacKenzie was huge, everyone was there.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

vacation

When I got home from work, William was having a vacation in the basement and was waiting for room service.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

acting... I mean ACTING

William started an acting course at the Globe Theatre today. He's there for an hour per week with his friend Rowan. There was lots of space and they seemed to have fun and use lots of energy. Teacher's name was Peter, I spoke to him for a minute but didn't ask his background. There's at least a dozen in class, ages 6-8. It gave Margaret and I a whole hour to just wander around downtown, alone, with no agenda. That just didn't seem right...?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

fame

Another famous moment for me, or my back, in today's Regina Leader Post, page A7 or A11 (the second last page of the first section, our copy is already in the recycle bin and from there, was stolen by a neighbor).

Monday, September 15, 2008

Tony Merchant

I attended a pretty swank function hosted by the Saskatchewan Arts Board this afternoon to announce/celebrate/thank lawyer Tony Merchant for his donation of a large number of paintings to the permanent collection. Three full, open bars. I couldn't get his old political radio jingle out of my head that they played a million times one year when I was a kid and he was campaigning "Tony Merchant, working for you, and Saskatchewan", repeat.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

lots of coffee today

William went to Daniel's birthday party this afternoon, giving me two quiet hours that I made pretty good use of to get momentum on my SSHRC grant application. I have a first draft! Early! This is the fourth of these that I've written, so I shouldn't get my hopes up, but it's impossible to spend so much time writing about ideas you'd like to accomplish and NOT care. The wisest thing to do is to finish the application, ship it off, and forget you ever wrote it. They take months to adjudicate them; last time it was well over 6 months.
The lamp I wired last night isn't quite right. I didn't replace the switch and I think I should have. Will have to take it apart again. Grrrr.

avoidance

I got some fair work done on my grant application today, but spent a lot of time avoiding it as well. Someone tagged our garage door a few days ago ("Some 43" or "Sume 43") and it wouldn't clean off so I repainted the whole door this morning. I ran around to garage sales this afternoon, got a lamp for $2 that I just finished spending $21 on parts re-wiring. I also posted a new Delusia video, one of the best ones I think, on Youtube.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

early night

Last night the entire household went to sleep around 10 or 10:30. I woke up around 2 and considered getting up and blogging, but figured that would just lead to me staying up doing nothing all night and then being tired again this morning, so I just went back to bed. Yesterday Jemma Gilboy did a presentation of her BA honours paper in film studies about Bruce Lee and stardom. It was pretty interesting, some clever observations about the zoom. Anyway, this is Saturday morning so I'll watch some tv with William and hopefully get working on my grant application. I'd like to have a draft of it for Monday so show to Dr. Philippe Mather as I think we might work together on the book portion of the project. New challenges, new opportunities.

Friday, September 12, 2008

High Noon

Busy day, taught my first Film 400 class of the term, had a Filmpool meeting to discuss Felipe's resignation as he is moving to Ottawa, and then sorted receipts in front of High Noon, which I'd assumed I'd seen at some point but found that I hadn't. It was great.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

tired

Feeling very cold and worried I'm getting sick, so going to bed early. Maybe will watch some John Ford before sleeping. One should always fall back on John Ford.
I've posted more photos and videos under William's Lego blog.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

twisted teaching

Due to the odd twist of the schedule, I taught my second Film 411 class this evening but still have not taught my first Film 400 class of the term.
Margaret finished the puppets for my Sock-vlle video series today. There were four characters that never had puppets previously. Otherwise, I'm re-using the others from 1994. I still haven't recorded the voices and I still need the buildings made or drawn, and then all the animation and stuff, but still I feel good about there being progress. Now it's time to dig into old photos to give Chrystene some ideas for what the characters in my version of A Midsummer Nights Dream should look like. I thought it might be fun to have some of them modeled after people I know, but now I'm wondering if that is only going to taint my perception of those characters? Oh well, I'll certainly be happier than if I just had them all look the same.

Monday, September 8, 2008

too many projects

I met with Chrystene today as I have hired her to help me on a project or two over the next month or three. Once I laid out the six or seven projects I have on the go, we quickly realized that if she gets beyond helping on the first one, it would be a miracle. I guess I am just waking up to the fact that I cannot possibly do everything I dream of doing, even in a Gerald-Saul-esque slipshod way. Oh well, at least she'll help me get one thing done right. Of course instead of working on my projects tonight, I hung around with William reading books. He finished his 180 page Anamorphs book and regaled me with questions about how it all worked. I hope he never finds out it was a tv show, else I'll need to hunt it down for him.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

little hut on the prairie

Remember 10 weeks ago I said I bought a grain bin on Margaret's dad's farm? Well today it was finally moved to the scenic new resting place so I can get to work renovating it into our "cottage". Here is a video William shot:

The video is even more chaotic than expected from William (or me for that matter) because I mistakenly left the camera in telephoto when I handed it to him.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Good art day

Two great show today, one was a one day event, the other is up for a while.
Along Lorne Avenue by the downtown library, the block was taken over by the collective who did the garage art show last year. They did stuff in the parking spots and called the shot "In Stalled". They had a nicely printed pass book that looked like parking tickets so you could get each station's mark on your book from the artist. The other show I went to was a new set of twisted miniatures by Chad Jacklin and Sylvia Ziemann at the Mysteria Gallery on 13th Ave. William and I loved it. There was an old area heater re-fit to have a bunch of little people being roasted in hell. William literally cackled over that one for 10 minutes, seemingly taking satin as his new role model. There was also an old radio that was refit to be a workplace for small stuffed bunnies. A must see!

Friday, September 5, 2008

working at home

I worked on my SSHRC grant application most of the day. It's a difficult one, but I'm able to borrow heavily from my last application, so that helps. I suppose I should worry that the last application was unsuccessful, so should I really be quoting heavily from it? Unfortunately, my ideas of what I want to do have not changed too much. I think some of my support material will be better, since I've been putting my theories into practice this past year.
Margaret's brother George came to town today, helping with the harvest.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

soda pop

So the tests are in: since cutting out pop (or 90 per cent of it) in April, my triglycerides have dropped from 3.20 to 1.6. It is supposed to be below 1.7, so now it is just a matter of finding out how it affects my liver.
It's Paul's birthday today. I gave him gummy bacon strips (do not fry), an old hard drive and a screwdriver and I baked him a Terry's Chocolate Orange cheesecake that turned out quite well.

more meetings

Met with Chrystene this morning and we watched the current cut of Sisu from start to finish (Finnish). It's getting really good. It probably needs a new set of eyes soon as I've become pretty familiar with it and thus stop being able to see potential changes. It's good to have a few people look at a film along the way, but to be confident enough to only take the advice that helps the project (seems obvious but it isn't as it's happening).
Other meetings about department issues this afternoon. I'm now the chair of our production committee for a year, will have a lot of work to do on the revision of the lengthy production pedagogy document to do.
Yesterday I sent a package containing the three Youtube projects (each packaged into singular videos) to Winnipeg for distribution. I'm curious, and hopeful, about what will happen with them.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

first class

Tonight I taught my first undergrad class since returning from sabbatical. Now I am starting to question what to say in this blog. Classes and students are going to take up a lot of my time and thought, but I am hesitant to talk about them here. For example, I am happy with how class went this evening. However, I also have to admit that approached the class a bit oddly, going over past histories, discussing my own history with the course, and rambling more than occasionally. By saying this was a good class, am I saying this is the best I can do? I really don't want to open up discussions about how I conduct my lectures within this blog or facebook or whatever.
So... what else did I do today. I got ready for class and I had conversations that I also cannot write about. Good to be done teaching for the day, with no more lectures this week (due to university celebration on Thursday) I can finally get back to reading Girl Genius.

Monday, September 1, 2008

a day off...

I spent the morning sorting my notes for tomorrow's class and Margaret wanted us to go do something in the afternoon so we drove to Lumsden, missed the duck derby but saw a bit of the craft show, then drove the opposite way to Indian Head where they have redressed the town to be the set for Little Mosque on the Prairie. Got some pictures. William isn't trying to be rude here, he is trying to catch raindrops on his tongue.
I posted a new Professor Delusia video.

late night working

I've been tired but not sleeping well the last couple of nights, so I've been watching a few films that I might refer to in my class next week. Margaret's cousin Carl sent me his zombie feature "Severed" so I watched it last night. Mostly my eyes are to the acting styles, it partially supports my thoughts about a specific style of acting for horror, although it has scenes that deviate from it. May have to rethink. I've been sitting at the computer tinkering on "Bonnie's Indescribable Predicament", making a pseudo-colour version that looks keen. Eric re-transferred it to video the other day and it looks much sharper. I think I'll include both the black and white as well as this colour version on the dvd.