Sunday, October 31, 2010


I always love Halloween. Today started off a bit... off. I went to work to process the film for my annual film loop that I have projected in front of my house every year since 1996 and the film completely failed. I suppose I have to take the blame as I shot it with film that was labeled as being badly stored and I've had it for over two decades and don't know where it was before it came to me. The image was black. It is interesting only in that, having been processed as negative, one would expect the image to be clear where no light hit it but with it all black the only conclusion is that the heat damage from all those years has basically "exposed" the whole role. This, on top of feeling tired and a bit down, took me out of the Halloween mood. I broke my tradition of 16mm film looks for the first time and instead ran a video loop since I fortunately had a mini-data projector home to test from work this weekend. I created a clip based on the shark image I have from a Prelinger film for my "Rerun" project. It was bright and got lots of attention but to me it lacked the noise, dirt, and organic quality of film. It was just too sharp and clear.I didn't get dressed up, even though Margaret and William did. I did get into the spirit eventually while walking around with William and his friend, snacking frequently, and just getting some air. The ground is covered with snow but it wasn't too cold.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

artist trading card panel

This afternoon at the MacKenzie Art Gallery, Margaret moderated a panel discussion on artist trading cards. It went really well. I only saw half of it as William was anxious to move around and I didn't want him being disruptive for Margaret and I also couldn't let him wander the gallery alone (not that i don't trust him to, but the security guards would have a bird).

Friday, October 29, 2010

one week until terrible festival

Next Friday is the Terrible Film Festival. It is an annual event where I get my students to put on an exhibition of their hand processed films. It is usually a good time. Every year is so different that I can't even describe what the experience will be yet. My gut feeling is that I won't do it next year as my class assignment is likely to change.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Three days to Halloween

It's like waiting for Christmas but without anyone trying to pretend it is about religion. I am going to try to create my film loop for my window based on this image this year:

Three days to Halloween

It's like waiting for Christmas but without anyone trying to pretend it is about religion. I am going to try to create my film loop for my window based on this image this year:

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

snow day

Some meetings started late, others were canceled altogether. Got to love the snow some days. After work we took William on the first tobogganing day of the year. I shot some video but somehow deleted it before downloading it from the camera. (..stupid mistakes get made, but not not usually with my archiving.) It would have been a noisy little video where William is getting into position on his belly. The camera would tilt up to see a plane flying overhead, then back down as he finally pushes off and goes to the bottom of the hill near Chapters. It was very cold and my hair was blowing in my eyes so I didn't even zoom with him. Instead, the image above is while inside Chapters with frozen cheeks drinking cocoa.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

pre-Halloween misadventures

Odd day. Woke up to snow. William wanted to be woken with a bucket of water so that he could go for a run and get his pedometer reading up to 15,000. I had been told to pick up Dr. Roshini Kempadoo from the Riddell Centre at 1:45 but when I got there I was told that I was supposed to have picked her up at her hotel. Not a big deal, she was called and came by cab, although she was having her own misadventures such as some sort of cultural difference in which she expected cab drivers to come inside the hotel to find her. She made it just in time and we had a good class. I knew that my students wouldn't respond well to a purely academic lecture so I introduced her with the idea that she studied the absences in archives such as the lack of historical evidence of women or people of colour in films or photographs and thus, I suggested to the class, it is our responsibility as filmmakers to look beyond what we see but to look for what we don't see and to help fill those gaps. I think we got off on the right foot, or feet, with one in the academic sphere and the other in the practical. After class I noticed she had dropped an earring so I went up Broad Street to leave it at her hotel (Hotel Sask on Victoria). Mistake. The traffic, due to the ice and snow but more extreme than I've seen it in years, caused a back up for many blocks and it took me 30 minutes to get to the hotel from the University. I then had to drop off my movie (Kick Ass) that I rented from a machine in the Safeway but that didn't work and it took 10 minutes with the store manager on the phone waiting to talk with someone on the 1-800 line to figure out how I can return them without the machine billing me for another day. When I got home, it seems everyone here had a nice day, making a tiny snow man, and writing stories about Halloween.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Riddell Lecture

I took William to the Riddell Lecture this evening with British photographer and artist Roshini Kempadoo. I can't really say that William got too much out of it as it was rather academic, but he was fairly patient and we had a nice time. She'll be coming to my Film 400 class to speak to my students tomorrow.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

William's Pumpkins

The white "ghost" pumpkins are very difficult to carve. There is one small one, uncut, as this large pumpkin's eye, as per William's design.

Saturday, October 23, 2010


Today I spent too much money. Bought all the episodes of Poirot tv show on dvd as well as a small sliver extremely overpriced plastic to protect Margaret's new Ipod.
To cap it off, we went to the Mercury for supper (Margaret paid since I was griping too much) and I took this photo of William reflected in the glossy formica tabletop.
I also updated my website in a few places, added a page for the new Dunlop show as well as my "Rerun Amok" and "All the Boys are Called William" projects.

Friday, October 22, 2010


Very tired today, made some big gaffs in class such as forgetting the video projector after doing two hours of prep to do some kinescoping and therefore not being able to finish it. We did watch the colour film I processed last week, in its original negative. Here is one frame flipped to positive. I assigned each group to study one colour. I assume this was from the red group.
I saw "I Heart Regina" this evening, it was good.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Our largest snail died. It was getting slow. Last week it floated for a few hours but then in the morning was crawling again. Finally it stopped. A day later it was still stopped. Luckily, rather than tears as with other dead pets, William opted for converting it to a decoration. Now its shell sits where it used to live, a monument of sorts. The shell is far more translucent than when it is occupied.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Mystery movie

Was it just me, or did everyone get a 16mm film in their mailbox today?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Today we did the class photo. All 24 of the students, some kicking and screaming, and a few faculty made it. Don Hall's assistant was sick so Don himself took the photo.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Shadow of doubt

David Gane took this picture of my at Cafe Orange last week. Today I got my SSHRC draft revised yet again, based upon Sheila's comments, and have submitted it to the Office of Research Services. They might give me more feedback and suggested revisions before it goes to SSHRC in early November. There is not much left for me to do but worry.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Happy Birthday Margaret

Today is Margaret's birthday. She ingeniously arranged to be working at the trading card show at the Dunlop this afternoon where she was to discuss trading cards with whoever came in. She spent the last couple of days creating a new set of cards and then invited all of her friends to come and trade with her. They made her miniature birthday cards and she gave thank you cards in return. We brought cup cakes and cookies. I bought her an ipod touch which we'll now need to figure out how to use.

Friday, October 15, 2010

worlds colide

This evening I went to Brian Stockton's "My Dinner with Generation X" which premiered at the MacKenzie Art Gallery and will be on SCN on Sunday night. Definitely worth watching. While I didn't participate in the conversations, I pointed the two Eric/ks toward each other so they met for the first time. A couple of weeks ago Eric suggested that it might be impossible for the two of them to be in the same place at the same time.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Massey Lecture

This evening I saw Douglas Coupland doing part two of the five part Massey Lecture at the University. I bought his new book earlier today, the basis for the lecture "Player One" and read the first few pages. He was quite funny although I have to say that he seemed a bit off his game as he stumbled over the text quite often and apologized for this, saying that he is usually more fluent at his reading. I got a spot very close to the front, even though I arrived just a few minutes before it began, and didn't realize until he stood up to go onto the stage that I was directly behind Coupland. I got lucky again afterward as I ended up standing beside the table in the lobby which suddenly he was at and was beginning to sign books. I got to be fourth in line and chatted with him briefly about his sculptures. The lectures will air on CBC radio the week of November 8.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

onward and upward

Yesterday I put my class through a type of video scavenger hunt which required them to determine the lens length and camera position of my photos and capture the same images with a video camera with some interesting changes. Today I thought I was submitting my SSHRC application but discovered that there were sections I've overlooked. Back to work now.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

silver skull

Margaret participated in the first of four workshops associated with the No Story Too Small show at the Dunlop this evening. Here is some silver leaf that will haunt me tonight.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Monster weekend

Today was William's fourth day of his long weekend. We had a great second Thanksgiving meal with Gerda and Richard but we forgot the camera so nothing to see here. The weekend actually started with William going to a monster drawing workshop through the library with veteran character illustrator Chris Tougas. The entire next day, William worked at creating a business of "catching" monsters for money. He actually started to create from cloth the monsters that his clients would draw for him. I don't think he's finished his first one yet, the needle is a tricky thing.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


We had a great dinner at my sister's today. My cousin brought desserts. I can't keep up to this even if I wasn't working on a SSHRC application this weekend (I got my draft of the core sections in to my department head yesterday - one day late - but still working on the numerous peripheral sections)

Saturday, October 9, 2010


Margaret's brother has been here for a week, harvesting away. They have about 15 acres left but George needs to fly home tomorrow. We only saw him for one hour of this trip as he slid past for some barbeque. William was in host mode.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Bucket Brigade

My class developed film today. Here they are flashiing under proper sunlight for the reversal process. Gabe is leading them in the film dance.
This evening William stayed with Brianna, his first baby sitter that isn't family or otherwise unpaid friend (such as Paul). We went to Mark and Vanda's wedding reception at the German Club, had a nice time.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Filmpool visit

Two deadlines met, but barely. Berny and Chrystene went to significant effort to return my chemistry bottles to me this week so that I could mix up new stuff for Berny and my class. I went to mix it up after lunch but found the lab closed so I left my bottles outside the door and went to author my Godard style dvd. When I returned, my bottles had been taken away by the custodians. I needed to purchase two more for $12 each. What a pain. However, I did get it done and delivered Berny his portion to the Filmpool, dropped my film "All the Boys are Named William" to them as well, and visited with Felipe Diaz who is in town on behalf of the Canada Council. Here he is with Margaret. They did a radio show together for about six months back when Felipe was in grad school.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

coming soon

I just found out that my SSHRC application is due the day after tomorrow, which will be quite a feat to pull off since the forms are true monsters. Darn those internal deadlines, they keep creeping up. This one is 26 days before the actual deadline. Ugh.

Monday, October 4, 2010


Leaves are falling and weather is great. George is in town and helping with the harvest. I spent most of today inside with students discussing projects but also got into the edit room and put all the titles and subtitles into my Godard project. I'll try to export it tomorrow or the next day.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

No Story Too Small

Today the Dunlop Art Gallery show on artist trading cards, co-curated by Margaret, opened at their Sherwood branch. The show looks really great. A couple of people who have seen other ATC shows in gallery also pointed this out as these cards often don't get the respect of other art, probably because of the non-hierarchical and non-commercial philosophy behind this movement. The display cases are actually quite simple but definitely elegant as they give the cards room and light.William missed the opening because he went to a swimming birthday party. He was wrecked when I picked him up. Later we discovered that he has a fever of 101 F so I went to my mom's church fowl supper alone.

Friday, October 1, 2010


The MacKenzie show, Real Life, opened today with its huge sculptures of babies where the details are amazing. We arrived just after the talks began in the theatre and stayed up in the gallery for over an hour, looking and eating snacks, and left before the talks were over.
I applied for a 2012 half year sabbatical today. I printed out my application on regular paper but it was supposed to be on legal paper so I needed to go home to where the computer file was and redo it and get it back to Christine before the end of the day.
I'm trying to figure out how to update (or whether to simply replace) William's computer. I opened it up to document the mother board so I'll be able to show the techs what I'm dealing with and hopefully get something that will work properly for him.