Friday, August 29, 2008

Last day for assistants

Today Eric and I spent the morning searching for prints of Jean Oser films at the Filmpool for a screening I'm curating this fall in Winnipeg. They have not been well labeled so some of the prints have found their way into odd nooks and crannies around the space. I found all but one of the important films, but I didn't get around to searching the storage room downstairs. This was Eric's last day being paid by me, although I'm certain we'll still work together in the future.
It was also the last day that Trudy is working on the End of Life series, although she says she'll be coming in next week to finish a couple of details.
I'll be missing working with them both.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

William goes to school

William started grade 2 today with a new teacher to the school. He enjoyed his day.
I shot a few hundred feet of grasshoppers with a macro lens on the way to work then Eric and I solarized the footage, although much of it messed up. This is done by turning on some light mid way through the processing stage of the film. The last roll I did, I covered the wet will film grains of wheat before flashing it. I think this had some interesting affects. I've not watched any of it yet since I had to rush to a meeting as soon as the film was dry, then home to see how William's school day was.
I posted a new Delusia video, although admittedly this one was much better in colour.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

finished teaching ... for the week

Summer term is over, so now I've got one week to prepare for the next semester. Two of my three AVI files would not open in the Avid at work, so I couldn't get my web videos onto broadcast quality videotape for distribution. Another set back.

Monday, August 25, 2008

lots of nothing

I think I worked really hard at twiddling my thumbs today. I sat at my computer making 60 dvd copies for distribution and deleted emails, answering occasional ones, and reading a couple of Hellboy comics. This evening we watched Harold and Kumar escape from Guantanamo Bay, which wasn't bad as I did laugh a bunch of times and it shows that America is beginning to be able to make fun of itself again, and even the president can be a sympathetic character.

relaxing a bit

Finally we relaxed a bit today, hung out at home and read. We still had lots of dishes to wash and stuff to put away from the party yesterday, and of course lots of Lego to build. On the way home last night I promised William he could do Lego tomorrow, which begins at midnight. William read until 11:57 came into our room to tell us how his book ended, waking Margaret up of course. I didn't tell him it was midnight since I'd already let him play Lego before bed, so getting up to do more seemed ridiculous. The moment he woke up this morning he called out "Why didn't you wake me up at midnight", at which point I told him that he was awake at midnight. This evening Kevin, Nicole, and Paul came over so we played 6 person Carcassonne for the first time. William won.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

last day of William's birthweek

Saturday, today we had the big kids party for William, went to the park, had a bug hunt, played, had cupcakes that I baked yesterday and Margaret decorated this morning, broke the wasp-shaped pinata that Margaret made over the past couple of days (the secret is to make it out of tissue paper, not newspaper, so it is possible for a kid to break). Supper at my parents house, then attending "The Extras" theatrical performance from Curtain Razors in front of city hall, then home to make the people and sharks with frickin' laser beans on their heads out of Lego. Oof. I need a day of just going to work, the social calendar is killing me.

Friday, August 22, 2008

boy and dad day

William and I spent the day together while Margaret had a morning at work and an afternoon meeting. The quite and solitude was good and inadvertent as it seems I left the phone off the hook all day so no one could reach us, including Margaret wanting a ride home. William and I watched some Batman, finished building the new Lego castle, read a bit of a Bionicle book, and baked cupcakes. This evening the quiet ended as our families came over to celebrate William's birthday (I baked a lemon cheesecake after last night's guests departed) and my niece Nicole came to town for the weekend.

too many rooms

Worked with Eric most of the day, we kinescoped some material and tried to do ray-o-gram titles for my film (one inch out of 50 feet worked out, which is not enough to brag about), and we processed a few rolls of black and white film. It occurred to me that I have stuff spread over five rooms in the department that I need to clean up, so I got my stuff out of the optical printing room, the large classroom with the green wall, and the equipment room. That leaves me a couple more for next week.
We had a few people over this evening, including Jason and Marla Childs who are friends of friend June. Jason is with the economics department. We had a fire and some super-8 in the back yard.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

William's birthday

Today is William's 7th birthday. I took the day off to do stuff with him. We took him and his cousin Quinn and friends Daniel and Rowan to the noon show of "Star Wars: Clone Wars" animated feature. I've been trying to figure out my opinion of it all day. It's not the sort of film I'm interested in seeing multiple times, but it generally worked on a couple of levels. It introduces a new apprentice for Annikan Skywalker (takes place between movies 2 and 3) and she gives some freshness to the old debates about responsibility and rash behavior. I heard that it is a set up to a new series for this fall, don't know if that is true, but the essential problem of the next film remains. There is only limited growth that the characters can have since we know what happens next. If George Lucas and the filmmakers were brave, they would have made a series that takes place after the 6th chapter with new characters and an open future. Then they might have a chance at developing new legends. Now they are just trapped. Also, I had been hoping for some new insights into Jabba the Hut. I looked at the opening page of the novel of this movie and it contained a conversation between Jabba and his son. However, not only is that scene this not in the movie, but the son is too young to even talk and he does not appear to communicate with his father at all. Conclusion, it was exciting to the kids, inoffensive yet forgettable to me as an adult, and ultimately lacking in bravery.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

summer courses

Summer courses are almost done. I met with both of my grad students today, fantastic progress leaves me inspired to get back to full time teaching this fall, just wish fall was further away than two weeks. William raided his piggy bank and went halfers on the biggest Lego castle set with his Ommi today - William gets the recycling money when he helps so he easily coughed up the sixty beans. His birthday is hours away.

Monday, August 18, 2008

got some sleep and developed some film

Felt pretty good today, got a whole 8 hours sleep last night somehow (not all in a row of course) and we developed a 100'roll of 35mm film using new colour developer and new colour bleach/fix, it turned out okay although not very colourful. The other colour rolls I did looked generally dim and brown, but I made up for it with 3 rolls of perfect black and white. I had a Filmpool planning session at 5:30 so we cut out early. Planning was good. William and finished his Ferrari Lego when we got home, I'll be posting a video on his blog later tonight.

Sunday, August 17, 2008


We like to celebrate birthdays for an entire week, so William's birthweek started today. We watched "George and the Dragon" in bed, then played some Lego. I slipped away to the Bay and found him a gift I was told I could find there, then home for pancakes and some Batman. It was hot so this evening I went to "Hellboy II" while Margaret took William to "Prince Caspian". I'm back to putting together my list of English language words for "snow". How many do you think there are?

Saturday, August 16, 2008

in a pickle

We canned apple sauce and pickled pickles all day today, even though it was really hot out and the process required the stove being on for about six hours. I have my years worth of apple sauce and Margaret has her pickles (I don't know if she has enough or not). The sunset here in Regina was great, and probably will be for the next few nights, for those of you looking out for such things.

Friday, August 15, 2008

less inspired today

I think all week I've been feeling uninspired. I've met with Eric three times and we've not done anything, I just think up reasons that we cannot proceed on a project and we go for coffee and talk about less practical things like a new superhero film. Perhaps I do need a vacation, but I've got too many things to do and only two weeks left. Getting stressed.
I wonder if it shows. Today, for the second day in a row, the cashier at Safeway has asked me if I need help taking my groceries to the car. Today I had two bags that I effortlessly carried with one arm. Why would they ask this?
George left town today. Before they left, the girls were over watersliding in our back yard. We then bar-be-qued some bison and Margaret's parent's house, took George and the girls to the airport, then went for second supper with my parents, who found William two new Bionicles at a garage sale that are older and no longer available. William also got to swim in their next door neighbor's pool.
I put up a new Professor Delusia video.
Margaret got stung by a wasp and her leg is all swollen, she's lounging and I should join her.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Apples and pie but not apple pie.

Day began with the George's girls waking up and me jumping out of bed to feed them, but not myself. I zoomed off to get some blood work done to test my tri-glycerides again (remember my liver tests six months ago). I've kept with my near-pop-free diet for 4.5 months so we'll see how that worked. My new hard drive finished formatting at about 8 am, about 10 hours. At work I met with Janine (who couldn't make it Tuesday). Gave her a copy of Marian McMahon's article "Nursing History" which may be important to Janine's thesis project which involves studying her family history using photographs as her guide. Email was down all day at the university, making it a calmer environment. Met with Eric for a while and primarily talked about a superhero idea we initiated yesterday. It's based on an idea he pitched years ago to Incredible Story Studio and was accepted but then never made for reasons unknown. Of course our version will be a bit more twisted, but he's been doing the most work on it. Went home early, stopping at Safeway. Why do people try to back up into diagonal parking spots? They constrict the lane as they do it, then when they leave (supposedly easier) they are facing the wrong way down the row so are idiots twice with that one action. Is it that hard to back out of a spot? At home I moved all the dvds into my new shelf. Finally back in order (alphabetized by director except box sets and animation/superhero). I picked all the apples from our tree in time for my parents, Margaret's parents, George and the girls back from the farm, and Paul and Mike to arrive for desert. Margaret made pies. After everyone left, I processed all the apples and made apple sauce.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

living roommadness

The new shelf/entertainment unit arrived at 8 am this morning. We needed to move almost every piece of furniture we owned to get it in. Later, when Margaret's brother arrived, we moved the old 7 foot long shelving unit up the stairs to William's room, narrowly missing destroying out chandelier in the staircase. I met with Eric for a while, we went to the library where it was a literal whose who of the art community, then watched a bunch of Wrik Mead shorts and called it a day. All evening I've continued to put the house together. George's two daughters are spending the night, so while they watch tv, I cannot do any more work down there. I'm formatting the terabyte drive I bought the other day (will 2 terabytes be enough for my home computer?).

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

more storage

This morning I woke up early in William's bed because he was in mine and I couldn't sleep so I got up at 5 and made a few espressos to begin my day. I worked my way to the end of act 4 of A Midsummer Nights Dream, then at 8 started feeling very tired again. I met with Chrystene later this morning, her animation is looking great. She's been working on Kalevala sequences - Finish folklore - that are interspersed throughout her film "Sisu". Janine had to postpone this afternoon so I went Saskatoon berry picking then went to the store and bought a terabyte external drive for $160 (the two 500gb drives that I have in my 8 month old Dell computer are almost full and $160 seems cheaper than taking the time to thin out what I no longer need on them). That's 16 cents per gig, like Kool-ade - pennies a glass.

Monday, August 11, 2008

New Professor Delusia the Nocturnalist

New Professor Delusia.
Posted that this morning and spent the rest of the morning working on a rather frustrating, although easy, on-line cv for a grant application (finally got my part done, on time but two weeks later than requested). This afternoon Eric came by with the equipment from the screening (he attended an after-after-party until 8am, so much for quitting early). He recruited one of the professional musicians to play piano so he got to play host, it was often packed although there wasn't as much traffic in the side rooms on night three. We recorded the music he'd been playing so the dvd can be updated. Then home for some Jackie Chan (the Tuxedo).

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Party on farm

Today Margaret's brother came to town to help celebrate their mother's 50th anniversary of her coming to Canada. We had a big party on the farm, so I spent all day preparing and helping and attending and talking and all that. The rain threatened all day and finally started coming down about 30 minutes before sundown. The sky to the west was clear and so when the sun was setting, we got these amazing rainbows.You can't really see from the photo, but there was even a second rainbow outside of the first.
I just spoke to Eric, he's preparing to do the film screenings again at midnight, but might not go as late as the other nights (3:00 am).

kids party

Spent today getting stuff ready for a party tomorrow for Margaret's mom and attending a kid's party with William. I had some great conversations about art and the desire to never take a break, I wish I had the strength to create all day long and actually catch up with all the thoughts running through my head. Tired. Didn't go to the afterparty, hope Eric did well without me (we agreed that he could claim all the credit while I'm not there).

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Eric rocks 'em

After a somewhat fruitless day of going to work but forgetting just enough details to prevent me from finishing anything, I came home and was asked where the propane I bought this morning was and I realized I'd bought it and forgot to take it with me from the gas station. Anyway, they still had it so I did some bar-be-que and at midnight went to the Folk Festival after party where Eric played piano 10 times to the film we made, "Bonnie's Indescribable Predicament". We only had 8 chairs but played to a full house every time. Some screenings we crammed 20 people into our booth. Eric's fingers were bleeding. Tanya and Carle both made it, hope that Rob Bos comes tomorrow or Sunday.

Friday, August 8, 2008

a thursday

View from Ferris wheel on the weekend.
I always seem to have too much to do on Thursdays. I'm finding that working during William's camp to be too confining as 3.5 hours just leaves me rushing. I got some film developed using the seven step reversal process, which is even more painful than it sounds, and I don't even know if it worked out well. I left Eric to dry it and I'll spool through it tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

summer arts school

William started summer arts camp at the university yesterday. It was very last minute, he agreed to it in the morning and we registered him at 1:00 for the 1:00 session. Today was his second day, saw Kevin's older daughter there but he won't be in her group (not sure if he is in the younger daughter's group, she's a year younger than William). They used to play together at the east end play centre, but the kids out grow those places pretty quick. Did I mention that William finished all of the "Magic Tree House" books a few days ago. He read book 6 up to book 39 all by himself. I sure wasn't reading that much at his age (or 2 or 3 years later either). Today he started a new series; "MAXimum Boy", a super hero sort of thing. He got pretty excited about some plot to flush Manhattan into the ocean like a toilet (Max saved the day by breaking the propeller into two and then it stopped working).
Eric and I processed the kinescope of the film from yesterday. It will show on Friday at midnight at the Folk Festival after party.
I also posted a fifth Professor Delusia this morning.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Summer end in sight

Meeting with students puts a lot of perspective on my week. They go off and do things that are not the same things I am doing so when I see them, time has passed. It often seems like I am running on the spot, always making things but never getting in sight of the finish line. I just posted a new Professor Delusia to youtube. Eric and I also connected and did the kinescope of Bonnie's Indescribable Predicament, which we'll need to process tomorrow and screen at midnight on Friday.

Monday, August 4, 2008

I must be wicked

I can't every feel rested. I'm barely able to hold my eyes open as I wait for this dvd of the Guy Maddin-esque video that Eric and I made over the past week to burn so I can spend my lunch hour tomorrow with Eric kinescoping, in between my classes with my two grad students. I felt pretty alert while driving home the other day from Prince Albert, I credit the three espressos I had that day, and almost no food. I'm noticing that food makes me very tired.
So last week we went to Prince Albert. Paul came with us, so the car was full. In Saskatoon we had a Fudruckers burger and I got the new Douglas Copeland book, the Gum Thief, from the McNally and Robinson book store on 8th. We visited with Judy McNaughton and Michel Boutan in PA, seeing their studios and so on. There was a parade that was rained on by the bucket but we were able to hide out in the art centre. Day two was really William's day. We spent some time in downtown PA, in a used book store I found "The President Vanishes" by Rex Stout, one of the few of his books we don't have yet. We got some Lego on sale at the Zellers, went to the water slide for a few hours, then A&W for supper and back on the road to Waskasiu. William and Margaret went into the rooftop hot tub while I tried to shoot some film. The sunset on the pier was incredible. The next morning we discovered that the bakery nearby was pretty good and quite cheap, so we survived on pastry half the time. William got to start his Lego and we started each morning with Adam West Batman episodes on the laptop. The battery belt stopped working and wouldn't charge, so I couldn't shoot time exposures. I shot a lot of other footage instead, mostly beach stuff, and I sat down in the lobby for two hours and wrote out the soundtrack to one of the four Grain films, I'm pretty happy about that. I dropped my still camera and now the lens doesn't retract and it doesn't take pictures. I replaced it yesterday. I just discovered that the videos the new one shoots are not recognized by After Effects, grrrr. The next day was our last. We went on a hike and I shot more film, 16mm, super-8, and video (with a video camera rather than my still camera). Unlike the way up, I did all the driving back. Felt very in the moment most of the way. Not bad trip, everyone had fun. Best of all, no one insisted that I should wear shorts the entire trip!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

new camera

With new Lego as a bribe, we dragged William around the east end today, shopping for all the crap the box stores offer. I purchased a replacement camera, another 7 megapixal Canon, to replace the one I broke the other day. I didn't go for the more expensive ones, even though they weren't that much more, as I would rather put that money into a digital slr when the time is right.

Friday, August 1, 2008

work work work

I know I promised to fill you in on my trip up north today but I'm a bit tired and would rather spend the30 minutes I have left reading Gum Thief by Douglas Copeland. I bought it in Saskatoon and am really enjoying it. It's mostly about some people working in a Staples store whose lives have stalled and they lack the courage to change themselves. Lots of funny stuff. My niece Michelle is in town until tomorrow so we went to see Get Smart at the Paradise Theatre. I liked it all right, not profound or anything, and William liked it although I was concerned about how much swearing was in it. I moved my teaching from Tuesday to today, had some good conversations.