Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Art talks at AGR

As part of an "emerging artist" series of talks, we went to see Amber and others do some pretty good artist talks at the AGR. William and I got the most comfortable chairs, which certainly made everything better.William's new term is giving him huge amounts of homework already so we headed home for him to work on English, math, and science. Wow, third day of the term.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Left Behind with Kirk Cameron at the Talkies

William, Allan, and I went to "Talkies" at the RPL, expecting to see "Mannequin II, On the Move" but had the wrong month and were subjected to the even worse film, "Left Behind, the Movie" with Kirk Cameron.  Jennifer Matotek was one of the improvers and supplied some great "fun facts" about Kirk Cameron and his evangelical quirks. Worst and best time we've had in a while. How is it that the film says it is based upon a best selling novel but doesn't give the authors name? William suggests that the filmmakers forgot the book on a bus and just adapted from memory.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Visit with Fred and Gertrud

Stopped past Margaret's parent's house to drop off their slides and photo albums, now that I've scanned all 4500 of their images. Had an animated conversation about changes to universities since the 60s. 

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Geremy solves my website problems

William drew Geremy while he worked on my computer

After almost two months without being able to update my website, Geremy got me back into the driver's seat with it. I still no longer have Adobe Contribute but can now open pages back up with Dreamweaver and I should eventually be able to do better things than I did before. As it stands, I need to re-learn Dreamweaver so my updates will be a bit pedestrian. Anyway, for those who want to see if they can find new pages (there are some newly posted screenplays and a couple of old student films), here it is:

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Heather Cline talks at Slate

Margaret was busy working at her own gallery so William and I soloed it to Slate to see Heather talk about the evolution of the interview/recording process that underlies her recent painting serieses. 

art camera

Went to MacKenzie Gallery opening last night. The secret to the hidden camera on the bear is that it isn't hidden. 

Friday, January 26, 2018

Lucas Frison's "Talent"

Attended the opening night screening of Film program alumni Lucas Frison's first feature film "Talent" at the Rainbow. What an amazing accomplishment! Congratulations Lucas!!! The film looks great and had me chuckling throughout. To me, the details around the edges were what brought it to life; supporting roles such as Cam Chomyn and Amy Mantyka, whose anchor/subconscious narrator roles bookend the film were particularly fun. I enjoyed every quirky moment seeing Christina Persson, one of Regina's most amazing improv performers. Logan Vanghel's cameo was also something worth keeping an eye on. Nice chat with Amy and DP Layton Burton after the show. Good sized crowd. It will be here all week (and beyond?). 

Thursday, January 25, 2018

William end of exams

William finished his exams today and has a couple days off before getting back to the second half of grade 11. He did well. The math mark, which we thought would be his only B, bumped up to an A in the final tally. He doesn't seem to worry about grades but I can't help but watch them. I get to use my dad's old joke about wondering where the other mark went when you report getting 19 out of 20 on a project. In fact, I get to use that joke much more often than my dad ever did. It's getting old. 

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Money pit of a cat

Sylvie has cost us more money each year that the previous cat (Baron/Mr. Guy) did in his entire 15 years. Today was our follow up with the vet about her ear infections. We need more pills and ear drops for two more weeks of treatments. Got her vaccines at the same time and a quote for more dental work for her.  The steroids she was on for the first of the weeks I believe made her even more hungry as she consumes food with even greater vacuum power (although she actually lost a trivial amount of weight in the past two weeks). She avoids me all day now because I always seem to be picking her up to put more cleaner or drugs in her ears, but she sleeps on top of me at night. .Odd animal.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Peter Mansbridge Minifie lecture

We arrived at the university 15 minutes before the Peter Mansbridge lecture to find that the theatre was full and had dozens of people standing around without seats. Eventually the Dean of Arts convinced a class of 35 who were booked into one on the theatre's wings to move someplace else and the wing opened for another 100 or so seats. William and I rushed up to them but the swarm was quicker and the best we could do was get a spot on the stairs at the top where at least no one was trying to walk. The lecture was short and mostly contained commentary on the problem of fake news and the threat to journalism by real news being called fake. The real takeaway was Mansbridge telling the story of getting his start, being a 19 year old high school drop out loading luggage in northern Manitoba when he was offered a job as a CBC late night radio broadcaster based on his voice and availability. It was the class baby boomer "right place at right time" story; always mind-boggling. Talked with Christina and Carle afterwards, having slipped out as the Q&A ramped up. 

Sunday, January 21, 2018

When do we learn to twist ideas into essays?

Not much to say on most Sundays. William was studying. He focused some time on preparing for English and we talked about essay writing and how to take seemingly random pieces of evidence and contextualize them so that they support your central thesis in some way. It took me until I was twenty five to really get the hang of this, so it seems like a lot to try to teach him to do. However, no one challenged me to really try when I was younger, so maybe he'll start to get it. 

Saturday, January 20, 2018

William ready for finals

William's term is over for the first half of grade 11. Finals begin with math on Monday. The teacher covers the most important material for that class between 8:30 and 8:35 each day so William is constantly trying to catch up. I made him do the entire exam review booklet that was give to him and I tried to grade it. Problem is, he is now covering material I either have forgotten or never learned, even though I took some university calculus. The formulas don't look familiar to me, but I also recall needing to memorize formulas that I quickly forgot as soon as the test was over. I hope his math is later in the day next term. He took some breaks and isn't seeming too stressed by the looming exams, spending the entire weekend in pjs.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Puppets in grad class

Discussion today in class was screenwriting and story structures, all leading up to the quick writing of a one page script and shooting it with a couple of the SockVile puppets. I probably should have spread this to two days, but here is what we made anyway: PLAY "POETIC JUSTICE" VIDEO 

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Shane Book poetry and film presentation

Shane Book, a poet and filmmaker teaching in Victoria, spoke at the university this week. I have to admit that I didn't really do my research on him before attending the talk, but assumed that someone with this dual role would be creating experimental films akin to poems. On the contrary. While there were poetry connections in the films, they were very high end dramatic productions. His first film (grad school I think) was shot on 35mm with free short ends, naively oblivious of the expense of developing said film. Overall a really good talk but disappointingly under subscribed. 

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

William's first published comic

William's first comic in his "Beardo" series was published this week in the local "Cathedral Village Voice" bi-monthly paper. It should be the first of hopefully many. We met with the editor around the beginning of December and he wanted some filler bits of drawings and a quarter page feature drawing. It seems that once he started laying everything William sent him in mid-December, he found that the small filler material was too dense and detailed and distracted the eye. William will create some more minimal filler pieces for next issue. 

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Quick and Dirty

Quick and Dirty talk this month included Vishal Rajput, one of my grad students, talking about his photography which all related to film, even though he seemed to not want to talk about film in connection to himself. After the talk by Ward Schell, William asked his opinion of 19th century romanticism. What kind of 16 year old does that? Now you know. 

Monday, January 15, 2018

complicated day at work

Met with the boss today. Had hoped it to be such a dull meeting that we would decided we didn't need to meet very often after all. It was far from that. 

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Bessai slides scanned

After a month of scanning, I have completed the Bessai family slide collection of about 4400 slides that needed to be captured into the computer. There is still some effort in sorting and labeling and even some occasional adjustments, but the heavy work is done (next is the negatives if they can be found). 

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Home all day Saturday

We stayed home all day. It was cold. Margaret had to go to work. When William finally dragged himself out of bed, he did nothing but homework until evening when we vegged in front of the tv and watched "Arthur Christmas" to William explicit objection (10 minutes in he finally realized it was not the trash he though it was and we had a pretty good time watching it). Other than stowing stuff away in the garage and taking out garbage, I stayed warm with Kafka. 

Friday, January 12, 2018

Coming home from the cold

The cold this week is really wearing me down. My Friday class was fun (only three of the four grad students there this week, but one was completely new so that was cool) but after finishing my emails and stuff and with my heart set on heading home, I got a call that William locked the keys in the car as school. A couple of minutes after I got there, the shop teacher managed to help him get it open. Hopefully doing this twice will finally convince him to be more careful in the future. Further frustration when I got home with some lock deicer, got one lock working again, but when we went to use graphite on it we found we had two partial cans but no thin straw applicator for it so we couldn't get the driver side working. Ug. 

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Heather Cline at Slate

My Thursday class goes until 5:30 this term so my attendance at Slate openings is likely to be a bit more sporadic. However, I'd not want to have missed Heather Cline's terrific new paintings on display this week. Of course I'll need to return and listen to the audio 

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

glazed stone

The freezing rain has created a bizarre glazed rock surface beside my parking lot at work. While it looks generally normal, but for being a bit shiny, the stones are completely fused together by ice so that none of them move when you walk on them. It feels odd. It's not too slippery but I bet if I did fall, I'd break a kneecap. 

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Panel talk on Metoo

Attended panel talk this evening on the future of the #Metoo at the Dunlop. This is the first of their new "Hot Topic" series. They showed a film afterwards but William voted to do something more sociable with the rest of the evening so we played some Chrononauts with Allan. 
First day of Film 200 went fine. It's Jason Britski's first day as the lab instructor. 

Monday, January 8, 2018

another "new" camera

Cool Linhof camera courtesy Richard Gustin. The lens is a bit of an issue but there is a jerry-rig solution for demo purposes. It is a beast but luckily it comes apart to allow one to move it around. Super pumped capture an image with it. 

Sunday, January 7, 2018

William looking suave

Weather was great, William took a walk on the last day of his winter break.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Best Perogie Award!

This evening at Heather Cline's annual Ukrainian Christmas cabbage roll party, the competition extended to include perogies for the first time. I am delighted to have won the prize entitled "The Right Stuff Perogie Challenge". It's the most proud I've ever been to win something. Thanks mom, for the recipe and for the years of ensuring I always pinched true. I keep this new trophy (designed by Heather) until next year.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Weyburn campus

Went with Berny to the Weyburn college to see the set up they have for teaching Film 100 via teleconference. Their new building is impressive, built under 2 years ago. Glad I went as there are a few technical and procedural considerations that we'd not anticipated. Popped in to say bye to Kristin then saw a fire down the street and firemen rescuing a cat.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Allan back in town

Allan had some misadventures on his vacation these past few weeks, missing a flight then catching a flu that had him too sick to get on another flight. End result is that he is back in Regina a bit ahead of schedule and came over for stew and games. Played Dr. Who Flux, Axe Cop Munchkin (which he bought for us, mystery solved) and an unnamed RPG cyberpunk heist game.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Fun and games in the cold

We went to have crepes at Gertrud and Fred's this afternoon but otherwise stayed in and avoided the cold. We watched the second Thin Man movie and played some games. I won a game of cribbage by a single point. The cards took some odd turns throughout the game.