Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Robin infestation

William and I sat in the kitchen at lunch, watching in horror as these red breasted beasts, at least four mated pairs, took over our back yard. Sylvie was beside herself, having gained a lot of weight over the winter, and couldn't decide if braving the snow was worth the potential chase. 

#%&*@% SNOW!!!

 Woke to more snow today. We were warned, but not warned that it would be six inches deep. Yesterday the melting had progressed so far that William was able to bike ride, even past the insurmountable mound at the end of our block. Did someone move April Fools Day to the end of the month and not tell me?

Monday, April 29, 2013

Sylvie at the vet

We`ve been worried that our cat has ear mites again, having seen a build up of ear wax recently. A trip to the vet yesterday assured us that while she is over weight and needs her remaining teeth brushed more often, she is fine. If a cat has ear mites, it will scratch constantly at its ears, which Sylvie has not been doing. 

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Geek Festival

There was a geek festival yesterday at the Southland library. Some cool stuff, steam punk, roller derby (which I feel is more alternative and less `geek`), cats, comics, and creative anachronism. William got to wear this steel helmet which rested on his shoulders rather than his head, but still almost crushed him. 

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Saskatchewan Hoodoo

Found this "Saskatchewan hoodoo" near Chapters the other day. I'm sure it's gone now, the temperature around here is finally double digits. 

Friday, April 26, 2013

4th year film student screening, night one

After two days of monkeying around with it, I finally got the selections we made of student films onto dvd for  consideration at TIFF. The problem I had was that two of the files were over 5 gigs each and were on a Mac computer.  We may need the large files in the future, but at present we just need a standard definition version for a regular dvd for adjudication  The 5 gig files could not be written onto NTFS drives (which will handle the large files but cannot be used by macs) nor onto FAT drives, which cannot use these large files. The new format of Mac drives cannot be used on a PC, so it meant that I had to get a drive formatted in this way and then only move them to another Mac, which was very limiting. Once moved, the files would not export on the Mac over at the NMSL. No errors came up, but the sessions would just stall for hours. I eventually got one in a more compressed form from the student and the other I had to move to a slightly newer machine in our department for conversion. It's an important project for us to do, but we need an easier way to go about it.
William had the day off school. I left him home alone all morning to finish this dvd thing, and this afternoon he had a friend over so I didn't spend time with him like I'd wanted. In fact, I went out all evening to the fourth year film screening (image above) which was quite good. In the image, the blurred person to the right is Billy, one of my second year students, who won this year's Oser prize for best critical essay. Impressive. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Rob Hillstead and Berny Flaman

 Two highlights today. First, Rob Hillstead opened an exhibition of his photography of Vanitas at the Fifth Parallel Gallery on the UofR campus. The show looks great. Although he doesn't say so openly, people are allowed to manipulate the tableaus on display.
This evening we attended a talk and book launch by Berny Flaman at Chapters. His new book, a momentous survey of Saskatchewan contemporary architecture, has been a decade in the making.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Zombies for sale

As part of a school fundraiser taking place next week, each student in William's class is supposed to create a product or service to sell. After a couple of false starts, William is selling dvds of the zombie project we shot last year with many students on the playground. I whipped up a poster for him and now need to assemble the "special edition" dvd (some deleted scenes).

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Snow?! There are no complaints that have not already been voiced.

This is about the same perspective that yesterday's photo showed from the summer (no snow but the day was the same length). I should have put something in for scale, but the pile in the foreground is close to five feet high.
I had sessions with grad students today (and more tomorrow). I also met less officially with Geremy to talk about the summer course we are doing. I didn't have a photo of my garage with me, but took one after I got home. He'll be including the garage in his project. Here it is, as of today:

Monday, April 22, 2013

Not William's Birthday

William's birthday, which is pictured above from August 20, has the same sunrise and sunset times as today. However, he could not stand in the place he is in this photo as it is literally under 4 feet of snow

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Party with Philippe Mather!

William and I attended a wonderful little party for Philippe to celebrate his book publication. Most of the department was there, along with number of other university colleagues. William didn't really want to go but once there, he participated in a very lively conversation about Star Trek with Sylvain. 

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Restoring Bionicle Jetrax

While I still have lots of work to do before the end of April, with the bulk of my grading done, I took much of my Saturday to work with Lego with William. We restored the Bionicle vehicle "Jetrax", which he'd been given by Silvia in a semi-assembled state a few years ago, based upon the on-line instructions. The biggest trouble was trying to interpret the poor resolution instructions and navigate through the pages which don't zoom or leaf properly. Otherwise we had fun. 

Friday, April 19, 2013

Silk screening

Last night William did a follow up to last week's silk screening workshop. This time they got to print a text image on top of the graphic image they created previously. We didn't stay late, which was good because I'd had a long day of meetings at work. 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Combat Improv last night

Combat Improv, April 17, 2013
William has developed a strong affection for the monthly improv nights at the Artesian. Last night we were the first in line and he therefore got us his favorite seats (top row). When they called for volunteers of people to try improv who have never done it before, he did not raise his hand. I figured he was just intimidated, but in fact he felt that he HAD done a lot of improv in the past (primarily in films) and thought he wasn't allowed. Perhaps next time.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Digging and Grading

I worked through more of my grading today, but felt perpetually distracted so I took a couple of snow shovelling breaks to clear my head. I got more than half of the snow off of the lower deck. I think it will take about two more sessions to clear it, but only like to do it during the early afternoon when the sun shine on that part of the house (the temperature difference is considerable). Perhaps on the weekend we can hang out there for a while; who's game for a G&T in the sunshine after lunch this Saturday?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

cactus thorns

I had a busy day, first the dentist, then banking, then some shopping, then more grading, then Rob shot a video of me for the department website, but I didn't take any pictures so they are not blog-worthy. A few minutes ago, before settling in for some Star Trek Enterprise, William and I were making his bed and he swept his hand across his cactus and got about 40 thistles in his finger. I'd not thought you could get that many, that quickly. We pulled them out by tweezers. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Geremy Lague and Prezi

Geremy did his end of term presentation today. As always, he was very together and entertaining, using Prezi to visually tie everything together. As soon as the snow melts, we'll be working on a surprise spring project. Keep posted, and please mail in your applications to his The Face Book (if you are looking for a link to it, you are barking up the wrong tree. You have to look for the tree which has been cut down, pulped, turned into paper, printed into forms, then pinned to a bulletin board). 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Teagan and William eating stew

Last night we supped at Leslea and Leif's. A very nice evening of conversation although I have to admit that I've begun turning into a pumpkin at 9:00 every night. I've been up early most mornings, even when I don't have to like on the weekends. A lot of the talk was around their plans to relocate to Winnipeg because of their tax credit. I hate that William needs to lose yet another friend. He had such a great time over there, I could hear him laughing almost constantly (he seems able to stay lucid late at night better than I can now, I guess the future is here). 

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Last Snowman of the year?

It seems like this SHOULD be the last snowman of the year, but I doubt it will be. I tried to shovel for a while and there was just too much of it and I gave up after fifteen minutes and no appreciable progress.
Internet was down for a while today. William played with Bionicles instead, which I think he found pleasing as he's decided to reread all of the old, rather short, Bionicle "novels". He's treating each as a chapter and reading one per day. 

Friday, April 12, 2013

Margaret's haircut and new Dunlop exhibition

Really interesting exhibition, Carol Wainio The Book, opened at the Dunlop today. Large paintings around images from old books about Puss In Boots. Small opening but had interesting conversation with the arts as well as with Eric Hill. 
My meeting was cancelled today so I was able to stay home and grade all day. Feel on top of things. 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

End of term and Film Department open house

As it's the last official class of the term with my grad students Saqib, Geremy, and Jingyi, I took them for lunch at the club. We had some good conversations about food and culture. We'll still meet again next week as there are unresolved projects, but the term almost feels like it is over.
We had a department open house. While we didn't have as many visitors as we'd hoped (it was a high school recruitment event), we did get some and I had some relaxing animation time (I was demonstrating animation while others showed the the studio and darkroom).
animation featuring Christine Ramsay's horse head clay.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Philippe Mather's Kubrick book launch

Philippe Mather (click for Facebook video clip)
This afternoon there was a reception and book launch for Philippe Mather for his publication of "Stanley Kubrick at Look Magazine". He did a short talk and they served tea in china cups. It was well attended. Unfortunately they don't have any copies on hand to sell so I'll need to order my copy from Amazon.  

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Spring struggles with Winter

Now that we are three weeks into spring and the sun rises and falls in approximately the same positions it would have in the first days of September, we get some wonderful long days with the sun finding its way to the north side of the house. William and I took a walk around the neighborhood looking at stuff, mostly icicles but also the light. At the end of class today I wished my students a good summer, which felt quite odd to do. I didn't say it yesterday because I found myself momentarily confused when I almost wished them a happy Christmas. I knew there was a break but cannot get a clear feeling on what the break is for. This evening it almost felt like spring (but for the wind chill factor). 

Monday, April 8, 2013

William and lithography

The last week of classes have begun. Meanwhile, Margaret took William along to the community centre for a workshop on lithography this evening. I think we are still quite full from the huge brunch yesterday because we seem to be running without supper again today. 

Sunday, April 7, 2013

My Birthday

Lots of activity so far on my birthday. I got up at 7 and finished my artist trading card series (only a week late), then we had cake (from Koko's) and we played a round of the Animorphs game I was given. At noon we went for brunch with my parents and my mom gave me a new quilt. Now I'm full and in need of a rest.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

IPUFF Puppet Film Festival

Tonight was the sold out show premiering 19 Saskatchewan short puppet films as part of the International Puppet Underground Film Festival which came out of Chrystene Ells' residency and workshops over the past year. I screened "It's About Time" which was received well. The Dunlop Art Gallery has dozens of the puppets and sets on display today and tomorrow. Many people were saying the gallery exhibition should stay up longer, it is really interesting. However, it was arranged sight-unseen a year ago to go up between regular shows so there is no room for altering that plan now. By lucky chance, I ended up sitting beside Amalie Atkins, whom I had not met face to face before. It was great meeting her at last.
Berny Hi and Amalie Atkins

Friday, April 5, 2013

Steampunk and Barbie Cthulhu

I took William and Teagan to the library Steampunk creation workshop. There was a bin of barbies which led me to begin a project around an elder god barbie. I think it is coming along. I'll try to work it into a sequel to the Stitchpunk Frankenstein I did last year. 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Night at the Art Galleries

This evening we went to three art gallery openings. First was the Slate Gallery which is a new commercial gallery with the whose-who of Regina featured. The place was shoulder to shoulder with the art crowd, making it an endless conversation but impossible to actually look at  the work. After that we went to a bait shop where Jack Cowin was hosting a one day pop up show. I bought a bird print. The price was reasonable and the image is very pretty. Third we went to the opening at the new space for the Sâkêwêwak artist collective.  

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Putting tablet to use

After a week of reading difficulties (my eyes ached so much from those migraines) I'm finally able to get back to the backlog of work I need to do including reading David Gane's screenplay that was sent to me about 5 or 6 days ago. I'm putting my tablet to good use, not only reading from it (and saving on paper) but doing my notes on it, some typed, others just scrawled on with my fingertip. Whenever I work on masters papers, I waste an amazing amount of paper, that might finally change.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Christine Ramsay on Cronenberg

This evening William and I went to the MacKenzie to hear Christine Ramsay talk about her ideas and book progress on David Cronenberg. Primarily the topic revolved around the idea of the double in many forms. It was quite interesting but William admitted to being a bit lost. He wondered when people stopped learning facts and had to start learning other stuff like this?

I've not taken any meds against a migraine today. While I'm not feeling great, I'm not feeling actually sick either.  

Monday, April 1, 2013

Howl's Moving Castle

The other day William watched Miyazaki's "Howl's Moving Castle" again. Afterward he recalled that years ago I'd read the first two of this book series out loud to him but not the third one, "House of Many Ways". Over the past two days we exchanged it between the three of us, switching every chapter, reading it out loud.