Monday, April 30, 2018

work calming down

Xincheng's work in progress

I made some mistakes with when I was meeting people so ended up being at work most of the day, even though I only had an hour of actual business. My grades are in but I still need to approve others which are not all in yet. This is the last day of exams. It is also the end of the university financial year for a lot of our budgets and spending. Andrea's been very busy with monitoring it but at this point, the chips fall where they will. We are close to hitting the mark. I ended up explaining how a bunch of my old stuff in my office works to her, which always seems strange since she has been seeing this stuff for years so I always assume she is knowledgeable about it all (ridiculous assumption on my part). I finally put up the John Waters print I bought. Office is now complete (but for getting it tidied up again). 

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Dessart Sweets customer appreciation day

Margaret has become embroiled in some emergency grant writing this weekend. I'd hoped she could take time off for Avengers Infinity War but Allan, William and I went without her to the 11am showing (there were still 75 or more people there). Afterwards we went to the Dessart Sweets customer appreciation day where we had cotton candy (by donation). 

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Dinner at Gertrud's church

We had a pleasant dinner at Gertrud's church this weekend. There were not the numerous ballets for things around the room, but there was music. Gertrud won the only raffle that was held: a quilt. 

Friday, April 27, 2018

Projector electrical done

I picked up the projector from Any and took it past ProAV to see if they could get replacement bulbs for it. They copied the manual and will look into it. I don't know how committed they are to this as Ron Jacobs is on vacation so I'm just a stranger off the street to them. Once home, I tried a test run. It appears that the belt has loosened through the process so it barely ran the film at all. More adjustments will hopefully fix it finally. 

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Painting class and a bird nearly in hand

Second painting class tonight. Lori out of town so I went on my own. Did a couple of acrylics based upon Jean Miro.
When I left the house this morning, I noticed a bird on the lawn. At first I thought it was a dead pigeon but then noticed it was standing up but simply had its head nestled into its wing. It seemed to be sleeping in my front yard. It was the size of a pigeon and that's what I initially thought it was until its head popped up revealing itself to be a young hawk!

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Some adjustments

Derek made some last adjustments to the Acme projector today. At first, I figured that it worked better but still didn't work. However, I then tried putting it into the "rewind" mode which always boosted the power for some reason. Low and behold it started to run great. We watched a bit of the trailer for Robocop. Later I dropped it at Any Electronics for a new power plug to be installed as the existing one needed to be jerry-rigged to work and it doesn't look or feel safe (although it mostly is). 
William got a hair cut. Looks pretty good. Thanks Gerald. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Projector progress

Grades are done. Taxes are done. I've still got three department head issues on my desk (and always more on the way) but took a bunch of time to play with the 35mm projector. I'm closer to getting it working and knowing how to load it. I still think one or two things are missing from the equation as it doesn't always want to move. Derek is adjusting the shutter today as it is out of sync with the frame advance. Went to talkies tonight: Goobie. Crazy bad story with a mixture of mundane predictable elements with unmotivated detours and unresolved threads and unbelievable interactions. Jayden Pfeifer and Krystal Lewis were on fire.

long term parking

Little Mazda truck owned by the neighbor a couple houses down which has been parked on the street for at least a year, got a ticket on it today. 

Monday, April 23, 2018

Not enough time

My time today was much freer than usual. The fire alarm that happened suddenly at mid-morning was only a minor inconvenience and gave me an excuse to visit Geremy and see his new (old) microscope/camera mount. Time went crazy after William got home. He fell behind on his daily comic pages so I set him up to work on one as soon as he got home, thinking he only had a bit of math to do later. The drawing took up all of his time until our early supper after which we went to piano and then to the screening of Stephan Broomer's "Potamkin" at the RPL. This event didn't have the usual promotion so only the true cinephiles where there: Jeannie Mah, Jason Britski, Ella Mikkola, Sandra Staples, Matt Ripplinger, and a dozen others. They were really in for a treat; the film was amazing.

The heavily processed/reticulated/manipulated images, shown this evening with a 16mm print, were breathtaking by themselves. The soundtrack, which began as a loop of alarm-like droning noises, evolved into a sophisticated jazz composition of bells. I don't even know when it shifted from one to the other or whether I liked it more at the beginning or the end. I was just too captivated to analyze it. William thought that we should take a Batman feature (I suggest #4 with George Clooney) and transfer it to super-8, give it this same chemical treatment, then attach this soundtrack to it. In fact, I think he'd like us to do that with all films. Energized by the screening, we headed home to finish the drawing and get on to more homework. However, I've not discovered that he has to do a set of narrative images for Drama for tomorrow and he also has math homework. After cracking the whip on him all weekend, making him do homework all day Saturday and all day Sunday, I thought there would be a bit of a reprieve. I don't know what the teachers are thinking these days.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Homework, taxes and turkey

I cooked a turkey yesterday, about 20 pounds, and took some to mom today. Lori was over doing taxes with them and so of course I realized the urgency of getting on to mine. They won't be tough this year as there are no strange expenditures or incomes but for the usual things. I cracked the whip on William to get him though his homework on English, science, math,,and art. Lucky only four subjects. Only took one break, about 90 minute coffee break with Geremy, but even that may have stymied William's ability to progress on his Pud project (unless he is downstairs doing it now???).

Saturday, April 21, 2018

The BIG Hole

We went to the big hole that has been dug for the Capital Pointe building. As everyone in Regina knows, this hole was dug years ago and no progress has been made. It's a ridiculous inconvenience and eye sore. A group all posed by it this Saturday and said "Wow". 

Friday, April 20, 2018

Fourth year film student screening

Congratulations to all the film students and their very successful screening of the work they created this year. The whole event on Friday night was great fun. A few things stood out of course. I've been looking forward to Matt Ripplinger's film for some time as he has been working away on the 16mm elements for it over the past few months in the darkroom. It was more sentimental than I expected, a nice surprise. Haley Klassen had two short animated films which, as seems to be her method, she reveals a lot about herself within them. Joel Campbell's film about a relationship involving long term pain and religion screened. However, instead of the script being presented as written, "Line: the movie that was never made" was a film about the (failed) film process emerged - a project that spoke to me much more deeply about the human condition than the intended story would have. A phoenix of a project. Beta Test by Kenton Evenson and Joel Makar was also quite sophisticated - a sort of black mirror sort of thing but had me really hungry for virtual pie. 

Thursday, April 19, 2018

John Desnoyers-Stewart

Really interesting virtual reality exhibition in the Fifth Parallel on campus this week. John Desnoyers-Stewart has a set up where your body is tracked and images of it appear as a figure made of light on the walls. More interestingly, when you put on the goggles, you can see virtual versions of things, rain made of light, a "mirror wall" that you are reflected in, and you can play on the keyboard and make it control the rain and other features. Very fun.
This evening I took my first painting class with Lori. It's taught by Donovan at the Balkwill. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

third year film student screening

Huge congratulations to the third year film students and their impressive collection of new work they screened on campus this evening. They had a great crowd and an interesting range of material to watch. From historical drama to poetic experimentation to zombie farce, there was something for everyone. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Stories with Allan

Allan came over this evening. I'd not managed to finish storyboarding the comic page ideas we had developed last week, but after we went to "Ready Player One", I jumped back into the last four while William and Allan put their visual heads together to figure out the five pages where the characters wander the dream world. The 30 pages are now planned. I need to finalize the text, but William can now start to draw. 

Monday, April 16, 2018

Journalism students

William and I attended a screening of three films made by journalism students at the university. One of the films was made by a group which included Kyle who was in my grad course on Fridays this term. His supervisor is Trevor Grant who I've not run into since he graduated a few years ago, even though he's been working just a couple of buildings away. We made plans to connect later in the summer. The films were strong but sort of frightening by the end. One was about schizophrenia, the next was about ex-cons and their frustrations over not being able to find a new place in society, and the one Kyle was a part of was about a guy with a multiple personality disorder. While he generally seemed funny and nice, he had some manic moments that felt on the verge of violent and also often appeared to be making very bad day-to-day decisions with things like electrical cords. 

Sunday, April 15, 2018

change of brunch plans

I'd been looking forward to seeing Ivana this weekend as she was taking Kiki to Vancouver to tour UBC. They were going to stop over in Regina for a few hours but at the last minute they changed plans and flew directly home (might have been because storms were heading towards Toronto). The big group was cancelled but the three of us went out anyway as we'd not tried the Creek Bistro brunch before. It was very nice. 

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Third car is ... a Prius!

Margaret bought a 2004 Prius from our friend Janine. It's a hybrid. I'm not sure what I think. Three cars is a lot of expense.  I'm also a bit worried that once these sorts of new vehicles that are quite electronics heavy begin breaking down, they will be expensive to keep up. However, the price was good and the mileage is excellent (89000 km in 14 years!) so we're happy. William is distressed that the gear shift is on the steering wheel where the signal should be but I told him that it is like driving a car in the 70s - that this is retro and cool.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Last day of classes

My grad students did half hour presentations today, completing the teaching term. While I always enjoy teaching and had great students at all levels this semester, I think the combination of a large number of classes and the admin duties overwhelmed me. I've been more tired on a more continuous basis than I ever remember being. The weather didn't help, nor did the many colds running through the house. It felt pretty good to buy a round at the Owl for them after the session was done. 

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Kevin McKenzie sculpture in my office

At the visual art student exhibition a couple weeks ago I bid on, and purchased, one of the sculptures by Kevin McKenzie. On a formal level they are strips of paint without a canvas. I also see them as a slide at the fair or an acrylic tongue. I'm also not sure if it upside down or not. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Pin hole failures

I'm hitting that point in the year when I really want to do something creative but I have so many things weighing on my time that my attempts at embarking on projects is feeble and half-assed. For example, I shot a series of 80-90 second pin hole photo self portraits yesterday before leaving the office. I had commitments at home so I didn't develop them before I left. This morning I put them into the developer but found that they needed at least twice as much time in the exposure so they are no damn good. However, it had started snowing again this morning so the light was dim and I'd be back to square one at calculating the exposure (I was too busy/distracted yesterday to actually take a light meter reading) so I ended up with nothing and had to return to my grading instead of attempting new exposures. This is the best I came up with, but the original, which is what I'd hoped to show, looks so thin that you would not pay it a moment of attention.
The best creativity this week was a solid hour that Allan, William and I spent writing out a scene by scene Pud film and graphic novel idea. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Carmen Robertson going away reception

One of my classes ended today with others to follow later in the week. After class I went to Carmen's going away reception. She was always so great to work with and it is a huge loss to the faculty but a great opportunity for her. Had great conversation with Risa over some bannock, blue-skying an idea of a collaboration. 

Monday, April 9, 2018

Michelle Raheja lecture at UofR

At noon today the Philippe Mather hosted our department's annual guest lecture by a distinguished professor of Native American literature, and Director of the California Center for Native Nations at the University of California-Riverside: Dr. Michelle H. Raheja entitled "Indigenous cartographies and Tungijuq". Later I went for supper at Crave with her and Philippe.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

scanning 35mm

I've set up my scanner with a template so that I don't have to preview and pick the individual frames. While this has required me to scan a slightly larger area so as to compensate for the degree of error I have, the exchange of time is well worth it. I can now do a second of film in about 10 minutes if I'm sitting by my computer. It allows me much of the time to multi-task though, so I'm getting some grading and blogging and gaming done.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Birthday and Neutral Ground

Pretty good birthday today. As it fell on a Saturday, I was able to mostly stay home. I started my grading but also read a bit, watched some tv (finished "Episodes" and the new season of "Jessica Jones", talked with Mike on the phone, and eventually went out to get ice cream from Deartes (above photo). The Leader Post put the wrong horoscope for the "today is your birthday" section so I had to find one on line.

Neutral Ground moved to a much better ground level space in the mall-area of Scarth Street (east side of the street) and they had a big opening party. Great crowd. Helen Pridmore sang a letter from Paved to the tune of Bowie. Wow

Friday, April 6, 2018

Dunlop opening

Dunlop opened a new show. I was almost asleep ever since leaving class so didn't really absorb a word of the hour long talk, although I have the impression it was interesting (ceramics being used to temporarily imprint into skin and make mundane "art" such as wallpaper). 

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Slate gallery

I had to pace my caffeine today. Woke up at 4:30 and couldn't fall back asleep so was just a wreck all morning. I didn't want to drink too much coffee and crash too early so I did without until 1:00 when I got myself a couple of Starbucks double espressos and was completely alive for my 3 hour class and then into the evening as we met up at Slate and then Fudruckers. Heather thought Eric looked very GQ, which he did.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018


William has the week off. He has a moderate amount of homework - basically one small thing in each class, but I'm too busy at work to crack the whip. He did a bit of a collage. It's sort of a cool version of the house but very two dimensional. Hope he can finish it later. 

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Wrinkle In Time

I really enjoy going to movies in the theatre. They are loud and big and the seats (at least these days) are comfortable. It has been years since I've wanted to walk out on a movie, and but for being with a group, I'd have marched out of "Wrinkle In Time". While I liked the lead actress, the only other redeemable performance was the mean girl, on screen for only two minutes, and a role I generally never like. The story, the performances, the costumes, and the whole damn idea of this film annoyed me more than I can say. If what they said in the film was true, I should have been able to wish myself home and away from this mess. Instead, I stuck it out so that I could complain about it here.
William and Allan both drew from the smoking women book.

Afterwards we went and got some cool cane sugar sweetened pop - that's a party.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Covering a class

Mike had to be away so I covered his class. Not a big problem as it was a session of watching and discussing their work so no preparation was necessary, or even possible. The snowman continues to stand and be stranger and stranger.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Easter with the collective

As with Thanksgiving, Richard and Gerda hosted a huge pot-luck at the senior's centre. We had a last minute perogie disaster so arrived with only cabbage rolls and cheese cake. Some interesting conversations about art and photography, but the evening ended early and we headed home to netflix the night away.