Monday, March 30, 2009

Everything can go.

One of my guilty pleasures in life is coming home from work, kicking off my clothes, putting on long johns and my kimono and browsing through a handful of my favorite design sites on the internet. Sneak peeks into the homes of various artists I admire featured on said blogs/websites are my personal favorite.

Today I stumbled upon a proverbial window into the home of letterpress printer Jordan Provost. Amazing taste. This is the way I would dress my home if I had a home to dress. Thoughtful, warm, inspiring, interesting, creative, bold. Amazing taste, indeed. This is a home to sit down to an insane meal and roost for hours in. I bet it looks phenomenal at night. Don't get me wrong, I love my apartment (considering what I have to work with); but owning a home is obviously permanent (more or less). Llife giving on a more longer lasting basis. With this entire packing up and moving house ordeal that is looming (four weeks? Shit) has been a semi pleasant reminder to me of what should stay (forever) and what should go. I am psyched to report that my bed, the kitchen table and the hanging chair (that I found in one of my ex boyfriend's basement and bought for a sinfully low price) are the only pieces I am attached to. Everything else is replaceable, I think. Keeping with this mindset, I think I will actually be able to pack now. Enjoy these homes as picture below, I sure have.

Below are a number of other photographs I have compiled over time. Too many hours spent perusing the homes of strangers. This home below is one of my favorites. Owner unknown, sadly. Below that are a number of others taken from individual living spaces. I am drawn to industrial looking pieces, Danish furniture design from the 70's, mauve, grey, inviting chairs/couches, plants, checked flooring, and properly framed art. But that is just me.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Father/daughter bonding, 30 feet up.

We are all going bananas in the country at my parent's house in preparation for the mother/daughter Minneapolis trip set for six bells tomorrow morning. Everyone is hyper, it is out of control. From my safe haven in the computer room, I can hear my mother shrieking at the TV, her and Erin outraged that Casey(?) is still a part of Hell's Kitchen.

I laughed at them and shook my head as I rolled through the archives on their computer and found this amazing photo of my dad. He built this giant structure that we are casually roosting on below, 30 feet up from ground level, just chilling. This man is Spiderman, or very close. Maybe even kinder. Notice how his cute little Birkenstocks are dangling? All upper body strength in this photo, in this man. I was psyched to have found this, taken two summers ago at the building site he was working on (and nearly pitched to his death on). He lived, I lived, we are alive. Thanks for passing on the not-afraid-of-heights gene, Cal. You rule.

Your kid, Megsie.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Bonnie 'Prince' Billy goated.

Black eyeliner. A mustache of champions. Brown slacks. An undeniable chemistry with his onstage female counterpart. Bald cap. Wait. Reverse, reverse, reverse.

Yesterday, Rebecca came over dripping in black and blonde. She was a bombshell and has been ever since she stepped foot on Canadian soil, and beside her I looked like a run down something. Haggard and flustered, dark and little bit scary, I moved around talking at the pace of a million demons while she uncorked her portion of our shared meal and I attempted to cook up mine. Carrots, sesame everything, green peppers and bite-sized tofu went flying and my cooking was ten times more wild than it usually is. Maybe it was because it was our first dinner after a very long hiatus, maybe it was something else. Either way, I was not there like Bob Dylan and slowly but surely I came back to her as she pulled and pulled at me with her intelligent conversation and her laughter. Back in my chair, eating the tofu that didn't land on the floor, we sipped wine and came back together again. Still a bit flustered, I remembered we were on a tight schedule and had to make it to Point B before the clock struck a certain hour. We left the dishes and the kitchen in a state of mass destruction and I dressed quickly. Old favorites: tuxedo shirt, no boyfriend jeans, brown yearround jacket, hair, lips, ready.

While I flew around the room looking for this and that and finally settling on no adornments, Rabbi was busy in the scary kitchen dumping our leftover wine into a MEC coffee traveller in preparation for our walk to the Pyramid. We walked, it is walking weather! Hallelujah, I never thought I would see the day. We walked, arm in arm, passing the wine mug back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. It was just enough to keep our gloveless hands warm. We walked and finally whatever funk I was in dropped it like it's hot and I let out a teeny yip of excitement for Point B, portion two of our Rab/Madge date of the century. In that tiny window of release, I got so excited to see the man we had both been waiting so long to see.

Bonnie 'Prince' Billy came to town. He (Will Oldham) didn't even grace some of our fair country's major cities with his presence, and we learned as much while we waited in the familiar space of the Pyramid upon meeting a fellow who flew in from Ottawa just for the occasion. Thanks Bonnie, I owe you one. To enjoy his music is a bit of an acquired taste, but to hear someone and to watch someone who has played a pivotal role in my musical education (a la Yosh) over the years, to see and to watch him sing from a mere ten feet away was astounding. I was intoxicated by the music, by his eyes with the scary eyeliner that we wore well, by the seventeen glasses of wine, by my encounter in the bathroom with Christie and our clasping hands and hard embrace and strings of affirmation thrown back and forth until neither of us could breathe anymore, by the room itself. I have seen many, many shows inside those walls since I was a wee girl sporting the Dakine backpack holding steady the video camera glued to my tripping preteen palm. But, yesterday's show of Bonnie 'Prince' Billy took all of my past concert going history and threw it out the window. Will Oldham upped the ante.

Luke drove us home; two tired girls slumped together in the back seat of his millionaire car, both of us rendered breathless from the experience, from the encore and I was psyched because I had spent all my last dollars on vinyl at the show. One hundred percent worth every last taxi cab penny.

This morning I woke with the birds, the six in the morning birds chippity chirping and I went to my window to check, in shock. Walking weather AND birds chirping? Golly, I think winter broke! I woke, showered, called my brother and was picked up minutes later and dropped off at my second home. Kaleb opened the door in full fireman gear, screaming at the top of his lungs that Maiya got fatter and smoothies were on for breakfast. Dear Lord, what a long haired child, that one. I scooped up the fattest girl in the world from her swingy bed on the hardwood and hauled her in the direction of coffee. Baby on the hip, eating cold risotto out of the casserole dish listening to the laughter coming from different rooms. Kaleb and I chilled for a while until we both got bored of each other and I bathed Lady Maiya because she smelled like barf. Another day in the life of. Happy children and big cups of coffee and happy parents and a beautiful home and melting snow. We have a good life.

A truck driver. I looked like a run down truck driver beside Rebecca. And how.

ps: An update, apparently the mixture of my alcohol consumption mixed with my utter exhaustion was unwise. A girl at work said she tried to talk to me in the crowd in the middle of the show and I was sound asleep standing up. That was embarrassing. I also failed to notice that only ONE of Oldham's eyes was shrouded with eyeliner. Okay, I did drink three bottles of wine, but really; Rabbi is a bad influence. Still though, asleep standing up? C'mon. Sorry Bonnie, I owe you one.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

My neck, my back.

An injury a day keeps the demons at bay.

Or something. Apparently the world is preparing me for something painful. Everyday for this past week I have been hurt, gotten hurt by the elements and by my own stupidity or disconnect with my surroundings. First it was bailing, hard, on the Osborne bridge in full running gear during rush hour. I slipped and went down on the sidewalk, my knee taking the brunt of the weight. Thanks knee, thanks ice. The picture below does not do the insane bruise justice.

Then it was my neck; I don't remember how or why or what explains the pain in the neck, but it has been there since day before yesterday. After the neck came the hand. The hand and the aforementioned industrial meat slicer encounter. It is healing up splendidly and I am sad there is no photographic evidence of the massive bruise snaking across majority of my right hand. Today it was something else entirely. Rags and I decided to be spontaneous and bad ass and we scaled two fences and even tripped an alarm at the Mennonite Heritage Museum in Steinbach, Manitoba. We both needed to get out of the city, breathe some different air and eat a waffle drowning in white sauce. So we did. We left this town for another and had a hot affair in the thrift shop. Oh, but before all of that, the daily injury. Today's pain (in the foot and hamstring) are due to a getaway gone awry. In an attempt to scale our last fence and be free of the confinement that is the MHM, I opted to climb first. Sadly my boot got hooked in a jumble of metal and I pitched to my near death, head first into a pile of snow. As I hung upside down calmly, shirt above my head, black bra exposed to all of the Mennonites of Steinbach, striped legs dangling and caught, I made sure I was alive and no bones broken and then yelled "take a goddamn picture Rags!". So she did. This one is for the books; a day in the life of Rags and the PhMD.

We made it out of there, tires squealing, pleased as punch with our getaway and wandered the aisles of my favorite thrift store in the world. JJ, I found the sexiest jumpsuit in the universe and the next time I wear it out, it will be in your honor. I think the ladies working the till were pleased to see our mountain of finds grow taller and taller as we wove through the shop. With seven new/old pairs of thermal long johns, a wool sweater that would look smashing on my dad, a rain hat, said sexy jumpsuit, and a Christian Dior french cuffed button down for $1.50, my planting wardrobe is now in full effect. I just test drove an outfit to the post office and it was all gravy, with wool socks to boot.

It was a solid day, a "mental health day" long overdue despite all the injuries and stares received. God bless rural Manitoba towns as they are wishing wells of inspiration. With that said, it is good to be home. An additional entry of thought, feel free to internet hop and check out Rags' account of the day at AMN Daily that includes more pictures for your looking enjoyment.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Babes in the stable.

Today, not such a good day at work. There were no quesadillas today, there was no laughter.

Burnt a rice soup, totally blew it.
Forgot to pull turkeys, totally blew it.
Had lunch with Grandma and complained the whole time, totally blew it.

Dropped a three hundred pound industrial meat slicer on my hand while trying to wipe underneath it, totally blew it.

I cried right after because I thought I shattered every bone in my hand and then I stopped crying when I realized I could still move everything and I was just being a baby. A baby in pain. Thank you mother and father for instilling the no blood, no sympathy adage within us all. No blood was shed, no bones broken. Just about a trillion blood vessels. So I biked home with one hand and the already-purple one tucked into my armpit knowing full well that I fully blew it today and later it dawned on me in the quiet of my home that this is just the tip of the iceburg of the pain and toil that is to come. Except I will have no mama to call in the bush. Even when blood has been drawn.

Oh shit.

At least my bread-and-butter hand (the one that got crushed) will still be able to plant. Thus, I am still able to plant. My bike dealer came by today to show me a potential new member of my bicycle family and while it had flare and was a perfect fit size-wise (I am size fifty, take that insecure women everywhere), it wasn't the right one. I have no desire to build up a new bike this summer (other than a new front wheel to match the hind, maybe) but I will know the potential addition to my stable when I see it. I have something in mind, but time will tell. I was happy to hear that J. Alba and I have good street credibility from his own bike snob sources and we both agreed that I have graduated to brakeless, a chrome Chris King headset and track drops. It is time for track. It is time for (humble) flare.

Still blowing it in the pain department, but this time with a stiff upper lip. No one keeps Baby in the corner. Babs is FINALLY home and I am dying to swim in a bottle of rouge with her beside her fakey fireplace, so off I go with my hand retucked into my armpit. Oh, also, I think this baby below would be a good match for my Jessica (pictured bottom, bottom).

The more babes in the stable, the better.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Tripping on dill.

My apartment is filled with fresh air seeping in through the crack of screen. First fresh air of the season. I went for a run again today and forgot how awesome it felt to move again, to wear tights and a wool vest and just run, water bottle sloshing against my back. Running faster than rush hour feels almost as good as ripping in between those molasses paced lanes on a bicycle.

Today was a wonderful day at work. We were a team of women again, which was a nice change and we were all coincidentally hungry for comfort food so I whipped up a few rounds of quesadillas for all who wanted it with fresh cilantro and generous cheddar and freshly roasted ground cumin and homemade salsa. Delicious. We ate and dipped into fresh creamy basil tomato. Cooking with fresh basil and dill in the wintertime! Such a precious gift. Everytime my fresh herbs are delivered to my place on the butcher block, I always take a minute to unzip the zippy packages of herbs and inhale with all my might. Fresh dill equals summer time at my Auntie Marj's pool with giant gin and tonics and whipping cream in at least two out of the dishes served at dinner in the gazebo. So I smell hard and go to my happy place. The pool with my family and all the babies, drinking and reading shady magazines and lounging like royalty. All this from a package of dill. Awesome.

Rags came to visit me at the bakery while I was in another type of happy place and we drank tea beside the window and I just felt really relieved to have her in my life.

I am seriously blown away by how fast everything is melting. Relief across the board. The window in my bedroom will now stay open for the season. Awesome.


Sunday, March 15, 2009

Down with your bones so white.

Into the wild, wild night.

Last night I got out of the back of my sister's car with an awkwardness similar to that of a newly born animal, all wobbly legged, towheaded with sleep, optimistic, a bit unsure, curious, wild at the same time. With a giraffe neck craned up to the same sky that has knocked me to my knees in awe and wonderment since I was a little version of myself, every single inch of my being fought against the urge to take off running towards the river just beginning to wake from a season of sleep. A river that has been the embodiment of a best friend, confidante and portal to another universe every moment of my waking life. School didn't interest me, it was confining and conservative, and I was always hungry for more, something bigger, something more tangible. My interest in working with my hands has never left, to this day. I will live an entire life of exploring things with my hands first. Never head first, never toe first, always hands.

Anyway, the river. Something about climbing out of that car with my siblings and adopted siblings all around me stifling without intention and loving, simultaneously. I looked up, tried to count the stars in that blanket of black above our heads, above the humble and beautiful house where we grew up. Tried to breathe it in before going inside where I knew the laughter and ease and something else would take over, autopilot daughter. I reckon these posts confuse and startle, but these are just words, typed as fast if not faster than my brain can compute. My hands a factory line of thought. I was there in that dark night, and I nearly had forgotten how much I missed being young and in the country. There are a billion stars, even in the pit of winter. I wanted to run to the river, run across the dam like an acrobat and run across to the other side where everything made sense and trees were exactly where I had remembered and the footpaths would be as soft and beaten from bike tires and wheelbarrows and bare feet, just as they were when I was eight, ten, twelve, god... fifteen? Seventeen? Twenty two? That land is a part of me. If and when my parents decide to leave that plot, to pull up their boots and their roots and blow that pop stand in place of a beige condo somewhere exotic (haha), a part of me will die. The house is so lovely, it is warm the instant you walk in. It is a welcome home. A place built by a generation of humble hands, of workers and painters and builders and bakers. Built by makers. But if all of that was sold tomorrow, I would grieve the land more than anything. I am not sure where this is going, but I am not going to change the pace of this based on who may or may not be reading this.

I was bartending at an art opening the other night, the opening for a woman who I have written about before: Inga from Iceland. I admire her very much, not only because she taught me a certain style of printing or the fact that just from watching her I managed to pick up a few tricks that she openly communicated with body language in lieu of words; but I admire her for her passion and her work ethic. Everything about her is sharp. Sharp jaw, sharp vowels, sharp haircut, clothes, accent, art. I don't even know her, but I look up to her. Anyway, it came up at the opening while I was pouring wine for cool moms, the after work crowd and dads with crooked ties, that I keep an open journal on the Internet. Other than the odd name slip or sputtering bursts of broken heartedness, I prefer to keep it pretty even-keeled around these parts. Even so, having the entire staff know that I post on the regular stayed with me. I went to bed that night (half starry-eyed from the event itself [I live for art openings]) and thought about the internet and how much is too much when it comes to broadcasting information about ones self openly. In an attempt to keep up with a fellow who has transplanted himself elsewhere for the time being, I was virtually slapped in the face when I opened his blog. Invitation only. I respect that move and I thought about it for two days. Today is day three and I didn't think about it as much. People lose touch and that is okay, but I never want to lose feeling.

In an effort to regain calm after an exceptionally mellow weekend, I did things today that I had not done in a very long time. For one, I was woken by my brother's voice in the red glow of the morning shining through a pair of bedroom shutters painted an angry shade, in my parents house. Coffee was on, strong, the light was clean, and the morning was slow and we were all in the country together. I woke up in my parent's basement, the air ice cold outside of my boiling cocoon. I ate lunch with my grandparents who I watched appreciatively between bites as they shared anecdotes and shushed each other with smiles on their mouths. I look forward to old age when I see things like that, see couples like that who still laugh. I was dropped off, clean laundry and all and promptly shed street clothes like skin for a wind breaker and running tights and shoes. And I ran. I ran hard. I pushed myself through lake-sized puddles (!!) and caught myself off-guard by my own laughter at the wet shoes within ten minutes. Ten minute mile. I ran and then came home soaked and stretched and then I realized I wasn't done running so I went again, this time on a short sprint to the store. Then I came home and opened a bottle of wine and poured myself a glass and I cooked. Drinking wine slowly while cooking is the best activity, is the best date, is the best birthday, is the best lifestyle. Then I watched two films I had been saving and now I am sitting upright again, sipping tea bathed in candlelight in between smatterings of punctuation and listening to another old best friend while I do this, Joanna Newsom. Musically inclined strangers as friends.

There has been something off for months, it is not because of a season, or because of an emotion or because of longing or because of hurt. While all of these things are factors at separate times and need to be acknowledged, it is something else entirely. I have no leads. Treeplanting came up at the turn of the new year and something clicked inside. Like a crooked shelf suddenly shifting into it's rightful place, I knew it was another path, another decision, another possible mistake, another possible fit, another step. So I said "okay" and while the terror of the elements and the dark (I have a love/hate relationship with the dark) and potentially failing miserably at it and letting down anyone in the process who believed I could do it in the first place, I am putting all of these things on the line and I am going to go with hopes of sharpening things that have long become dull. I want to be sharp again, it has been so long since I have felt sharp. There is no other word I can conjure up to encompass all that I want, other than the word sharp.

I spent the entire weekend trying to remember a face. The face of a man with a jagged cut in his right eyebrow and yet it is lost, along with so much else. Maybe this is why photography and I have found each other, to capture and to remember things that should never be forgotten. I doubt I will ever see him again, as he was truly too good to be true, but something shifted into place internally when I saw him and that was enough for now. These are the moments that reaffirm my faith. Freepouring booze, I saw him and something shifted. One night in a million, and we never even spoke. But those are the nights that I go back to and think about when I hear the words, who takes care of you and I have no answer and no one to answer to. I think of those moments in my life when something chugged to life inside my chest and I became sharp, even for a moment. Girl with the orange lips, in a starched tuxedo shirt in an art gallery feeling confident and alive, in her element, slipping into rooms that say Staff Only and making eye contact on the way out. I am the best version of myself in those moments. Thinking back on all of those things, it is then I can answer, I take care of others, others take care of me, and life resumes and tea steeps and fingers keep typing and tears roll and eventually dry.

In six weeks, I will pack my life away, I will put some of it in a basement and some of it in the closet's of my nearest and dearest, and I will put a tiny portion of it on my back and leave. No, I do not deserve a medal. Thousands of people have been doing this exact thing since the early seventies and while someday I would like to trailblaze something, I am not a trailblazer. Forced out of the normal and into the extreme, I will answer upon my return to no home and a newer sense of self; if anyone asks, I take care of myself.

It is normal to lose sharpness, but I never want to be dull.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Nettie Rose at the stove.

Spring made face today. I woke up optimistic in all Winnipeg had to offer, put on stripes and mesh and thermal and boots and leather and leapt out the door with a noticeable spring in my step. Andrew and I perched at our counter and Bar Italia and shot the shit with Abi until Alfie came to join us and eventually we all rose from our cappuccinos to walk to the Village for breakfast. Little Tadpoles across the board with my boyfriends. How nice. I bought a new record under Andrew's advice and cradled it in my arms all the way home. Dark Was The Night: a Red Hot Compilation, the official new soundtrack of my sort of Spring, sort of Winter season. It is stacked to the tits with guest appearances by all my favorite musical greats: Andrew Bird, Cat Power, the Decemberists, Feist, Ben Gibbard, Antony, Sufjan Stevens, Iron & Wine (who I discovered today while reading the paper on my second coffee run to BI with Alfie are playing at the Folk Festival. That alone sealed the deal of my pending attendance as they are my favorite), Yo La Tengo (Rabbi, I think of you every time I hear them), Grizzly Bear, Blonde Redhead, My Brightest Diamond, the National, Jose Gonzales, and Bon Iver among many others. Really? Really.

I just threw dinner in the oven (scalloped potatoes, farmer sausage, onions, garlic, dill, cream HEY GIRL, and a side of corn) and the evening is wide open. Looks like it will be another night in curled up with a book and the quiet. This time change as the cause of the subtle shift in light has completely lifted the darkened shadow that was shrouding my face and personality and I feel better. Adieu SAD, until next year when we meet again...

Setting the table for dinner in the last of the day's light. Three more days left until Rabbi arrives.
Dark was the night, light was the day.

Nice to see you again running water in the streets.

Friday, March 13, 2009

A very small shoe.

Kaleb and Maiya are without a doubt in my mind my favorite children in the world. Rags read the following excerpt aloud to me today over Teddybear tea at the bakery. I sat dumbfounded by such a truth as I shovelled her chocolate chip cookies into my mouth and listened. Thoughts of these babies, my cousins who call me Aunty Meg (or Cunty Meg [you know, Cousin/Aunty, cunty? Awesome] depending on the urgency of the moment), their half Vietnamese faces flooded my brain as Rags read an Audrey Niffenegger excerpt with an exceptional evenness in her voice.

I was simply not thinking about a lot of important stuff because I was completely drunk with the notion of a baby: a baby that looked sort of like Henry, black hair and those intense eyes and maybe very pale like me and smelled like milk and talcum powder and skin, a sort of dumpling baby, gurgling and laughing at everyday stuff, a monkey baby, a small cooing sort of baby. I would dream about babies. In my dreams I would climb a tree and find a very small shoe in a nest; I would suddenly discover that the cat/book/sandwich I thought I was holding was really a baby; I would be swimming in the lake and find a colony of babies growing at the bottom.

I suddenly began to see babies everywhere; a sneezing red-haired girl in a sunbonnet at the A&P; a tiny staring Chinese boy, son of the owners, in the Golden Wok (home of wonderful vegetarian eggrolls); a sleeping almost bald baby at a Batman movie. In a fitting room in a JC Penny a very trusting woman actually let me hold her three-month-old daughter; it was all I could do to continue sitting in that pink-beige vinyl chair and not spring up and run madly away hugging that tiny soft being to my breasts.

My body wanted a baby. I felt empty and I wanted to be full. I wanted someone to love who would stay: stay and be there, always. And I wanted Henry to be in this child, so that when he was gone he wouldn't be entirely gone, there would be a bit of him with me... insurance, in case of fire, flood, act of God.

I sat and listened to her read this to me, and watched as the corners of her mouth curled up at all the funny parts that at twenty-something, we both understand to a tee. To a tea.

Tea for two.

As her voice trailed downwards and eventually stopped, we both slumped back in our chairs and looked at in each other in wonderment. Empty bodies and yet, not. Me in a dirty apron covered in soup and her in Marc Jacobs. It is nice to not be the only one who wants that fullness. My peers think I am insane, but I don't care. Now, look at my beautiful family. These two are the latest additions to Team Reimer and they add such joy and vitality to our family. Click on the photos to see them full size. I love them as if they were my own.

Introducing Kaleb (who is newly three) and baby Maiya (who is newly eight weeks).

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Dads in the hall.

Jenny Lewis and Will Oldham and Karen Dalton and I hung out at the studio today. I was too tired to talk, so I just hummed along with them. Tied up loose ends and ate some toast with peanut butter. Sula's party last night at her and Rich's new home was exactly as I expected: phenomenal. Actually it was better than phenomenal. That is a group of women to be reckoned with. My grand entrance to the party was unplanned and when everyone's heads snapped up, their eyes to the giant beast in my hands, I had to go with it and hoot my head off in the entrance. I think it is safe to say that Shira and I took that party to high school heights. Jill went bananas, Lo and I danced in the kitchen, Lisel and I slumped against each other any chance we could and I stared at all the boys. At one point I happened to be out in the hall when Ben, Pete and Colin (the Fish is back from his coming of age trip in real Mexico) were standing under a bright and naked bulb in the white washed hallway and I just stared at them and ran for my camera. "STAY STILL" and ran. I came back and they were still standing there mid conversation when I steadied myself and shot them two times (once for good luck). I remember saying quietly more to myself than to them, "someday your daughters will thank you for this shot". Some day your daughters will thank the lady in the hallway who saw how lovely their dads were before they ever did. Young, beautiful men. The most interesting beautiful men I have ever seen in Winnipeg for sure. I am probably that lady at parties who stares at all the boys, but I do it out of admiration more than crushing lust. These men are more lovely than anything. They are all dating the lovely women! The women at that party never fail to blow me out of the water. We don't see each other often, but when we do it is because our worlds have pushed us together and we have no choice but to embrace the moment and each other. So we do. It is uncanny how the men and the women segregate into halves. We sit and lean and perch and hover on couches and rugs and chair backs laughing and oh ahhing at each other. And we usually dance. There is always food and wine and very suitable music. Sula and Rich are very, very good hosts. I wish I had a digital camera on nights like those.

Too tired to do much save for bathe. Off to read and bathe. Thinking of Montreal in summer. Thinking of my women friends who continually astound me. The following pictures are of a few members that make up Girls Club. We are a girl's club called Girls Club.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Poor Queen meets Fresh Prince.

Last night I spent the evening in, puttering around my home while on the phone with another putterer. I went to bed full and at a surprisingly reasonable hour considering it was a Friday night with a work free weekend to follow. This morning, my favorite morning of all the weekdays, I got up with the rising sun to make coffee and clean my bathroom and plan out my day at the studio. Mich called and we decided on a Stella's breakfast before hitting up Martha Street. I had a semi rosey face when a blaring NSF smacked me in the face and reminded me once again that times are tough and the reality of paying the bills as an independent art maker are even tougher. I can't even afford a nine dollar breakfast? Are you kidding me World??!?! Don't get me wrong, I love my life and my general disinterest in money will probably not change over the years, and I quite like my relaxed work schedule, but seeing a few flashes of cash in the wallet's of my pizza slinging/bartender friends this past week was heartbreaking. I can't afford to be generous these days and I hate that. I don't want to serve and I really have NO desire to come home with two hundred dollars in tips every night and not have a life outside the walls of goddamned Tony Roma's or where ever. Seriously. But to not be able to pay for this person's coffee or my own infinite grocery list blows. This is a rant. I am in the red.

But. Today I had the most brilliant day at (not) work. After my credit card paid for my breakfast, Mich and I traipsed over to Martha to start ripping gitch. Not literally, just in terms of speed. Thursday was such a frustrating day with inks and a loosey goosey screen in comparison to the breezy day I had today. I signed, numbered and sent off my series of 15 prints for the Portland art swap and managed to coat, dry, shoot, redry, tape off my new screen for another series of 35 "Victorian Hutch" 10X14" prints to hand out to whomever wants one. Jer, I have a growing stack of prints to be shipped to you, but the Mennoneach in me keeps stockpiling to cut down on postage. Lord knows I am pathetically poverty stricken. It is only on days like today when that heartbreaking message is a bitter reminder of the life that I choose to live. ANYWAY, expect something soon. You too dear Liza, Loco and JJ. My province away recipients. It is so fun to crank. I don't have any other word for it. Lil Mama (Jill Z) stopped in for a quick minute turned all afternoon (I am sorry for keeping you!) and lent a hand in my printing process which shaved off a shit tonne of time for me in the long run. Even having her tape off and run prints to the drying rack saved so much time. It felt awesome to finish two giant series (over 300 pulls, which is bananas!) and another drawing for our baby clothes and another entire series of fresh prints. Fresh prince. Hey, that's a good name; I am going to use that. So things are running smoothly again. I drew up a new piece inspired solely by Nils Vik and Abi from Bar Italia. If you know either of these boys then the drawing is obvious. If you don't, patience is a virtue.

Shira is on her way and that means one thing! We are off to an Italian inspired dinner/birthday party for Miss Atnikov a la Sula and Rich's place and I couldn't be more thrilled.

Poor as piss, but happy all the same.

Here is a gross scanned print that I made just two days ago for the art swap. "Victorian Hutch" 3 color silk screen on 11X14" cardstock. Enjoy. Here is a hint to the above sort of quiz, I am really into inspiring furniture design lately.

The poorest Queen in all the land.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Because I am a Queen.

I decided to write again now that it is tomorrow in actuality, and this way no one can reference hot knifing as the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of my post. And yes Mum, if you want to know what hot knifing is I will explain it. I am spooning beef stew into my mouth, chasing the mess of potatoes and peas and carrots with luke warm chai tea black as night as I type lazily with eight fingers. I showered for the first time in days this evening. Gross, across the board. I could not be any less desirable or any more undesirable at this very moment. Rags and I just snapped our phones shut after a long haul of a conversation spent multitasking and network bashing. I could hear her puttering around her art room as we chatted amicably about nothing and everything under the sun and hauling shit from closet to drawer to garbage bag back to closet to drawer and back again. Piling, is what she called it. Before we spoke and before I could hear her soft folding in the receiver and Scott laughing in the background over various You Tube animal videos, I took said glorious shower by candlelight and cooked myself a mean stew. No wine in the house (even though stewing beef would be a delicious pairing with red red rouge) as I am trying desperately to cut back where I can. And yet. What I wouldn't give for a giant skinny stemmed glass of Malbec poured from a bottle with a snobbish label. I judge books by their covers. There is nothing much to report or write these days. The last time I cried was on Wednesday. Once at the dinner table and once on the drive home from the country and both instances were spurred by hyper anxiety concerning the coming weeks. Change is so so so in the air and while it is intoxicatingly exciting, it is terrifying me to the point of pockets of paralysis in my day to day goings on. I will be working happily and then BAM I am keeled over weeping softly or laughing hysterically or furrowing my brow to the point of no return. Every day that I step nearer to organizing day, packing day, moving day and then train day, I force myself to put down my phone and take moments of quiet to myself in my home that will soon belong to someone else. Put down that phone, do not call up 400 of your not-so-sincere Facebook friends to come and bring shitty wine and even shittier conversation just for the sake of a party. I will have a going away party eventually, but the people that give a care will be there and all the million aquaintences will carry on with their hip lives and not notice my departure. And this is a good thing. Sometimes I just need to say it aloud.

Last night I holed up in a quiet nook all alone in the basement of the studio I have so easily fallen in love with on Martha Street alongside the Best of Billie Holiday. Michelle and I started early but things went exceptionally well for her and she was out of there long before I had even begun to tape and retape (and RETAPE) my bonkers screen. Left to my own devices, I turned the music up louder and battled it out with an unlucky batch of yellow and an even unluckier flooding technique. It took about eight hundred tries before I finally found my groove and I could really crank out prints, but as luck would have it the black ink was on my side and I managed well over 150 pulls and finished my art swap project before the clock struck midnight. Jeanette has been encouraging us to partake in every art swap, fundraiser and show available to us as students since hopping this mentorship train all those months ago. This mentorship has become such an integral part of my weekly routine, the thought of my life without Monday and Thursday nights (and sometimes Saturday mornings) set aside specifically for it is devastating. Drawing has weaseled its way back into my day to day life again! Anyway, in order to participate in this month's art swap with some design school in Portland, a series of fifteen signed and numbered 5x7 original prints were due last night. I squeaked by, but just barely. Jeanette is sending them off tomorrow and in a few weeks time I will receive a bundle of fifteen random prints back. What a brilliant concept.

After Martha, I swung by the Lo pub to throw back a nightcap with my good man Alfie. I drew absently as he partook in a wild chess game with some dude with a penchant for orange liqueur. Gross. As it was a Thursday, the place filled up eventually with some good people and I left exhausted and minus a few fresh prints. It is so lovely doling out fresh artwork to people who actually get it, or like it, or care.

All I know is that I miss my other half who is lapping up the Argentinean sun in a last ditch effort to come home the most befreckled, bedazzled and begolden goddess in the northern hemisphere. She wears it well. Babs, come home soon. AND NOW OFF TO bed Fred, for tomorrow is another full day of printing god knows what. I will know when I get there I hope.


Beautiful noises.

megan my dear,

you are in my kitchen doing the dishes, you just called me the godfather and now you are making beautiful noises with the wine glasses, and, now you shat your pants. you are a champion and i am beyond blessed to know you. thank you for coming over and being wonderful.

love nate
ps - we are going to hot knife now


I just reread a million plus one old emails and the one copy pasted above is one of my favorites. Yosh paints a twin picture of how we operate as friends, even if we go months between visits. He is a wonderful man and I am the one who is blessed.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Single epoch.

I just hung up the phone with JJ, both of us tucked into our Winnipeg and Montreal beds before eight in the evening, respectively. It felt great to shoot the shit. I have been thinking about last night's parties and how it felt to walk around those rooms scouring faces and forearms for a clue of a potential suitor. The hunt is so pathetic, but so inevitable. I am surrounded by wonderful couples that I am blessed to know and be fed by both literally and metaphorically. Talking to JJ was a subtle reminder that being single is great and I need to take stock of the good. This is the time to grab life by the balls, leave town at the drop of a hat, travel, spend grocery money on nice wine, wear the shit out of heels, stomp down sidewalks in wild outfits without a care in the world, drink coffee, get expensive haircuts, go for bicycle rides at three in the morning because sleep is impossible, never close doors, never draw blinds, buy outlandishly expensive groceries for lavish dinner parties with my best friends, be selfish and not feel guilty. I have been doing all of these things for years now, enjoying my life but too wrapped up in unlucky love to truly appreciate these young years spent mainly alone. And they have been great, I am a rich woman in that sense.

Someday, when I lie across from my other half while spooning ice cream from the tub atop my chest and into my mouth, I will think back and miss those wild parties of wiping blood on strangers, stumbling home alone every time and eating chili on hardwood floors still dead drunk at one in the afternoon the next day trying hard to feign interest in a new lego police car cradled carefully in little hands. Someday I will look back on those things and be psyched that I could do all of them at my own pace, on my own clock. An epoch of singledom, if you will. Being selfish (in a healthy, positive way) to measure time and space and love and life.

Anyway, all of that aside this is how I feel about winter (even though it is old news, to everyone). I have been flipping a lid over fresh-outta-art-school Ana Benaroya's work. Click, and go bananas just like I did.

Cool. Pardon the profanities, but winter has got to go. Today is March! Hurray, hurray, three cheers for big ears. Ding dong the suicide month is dead. Let's march.

Tyra does a dance.

Dear Liza, dear Liza. I was reminded of how wonderful you are yesterday at a talent show when Luke Marvin said your name in conversation. A quick image of you curled up in my childhood blanket in my living room with Moleskines scattered around you, a record on, it was Iron and Wine maybe? Maybe not. It was so nice to visit you in my thoughts in that chaotic environment (there was a contortionist on stage), and there you were smiling broad, relaxed, stunning as always, but especially stunning that night. Hello Liza. I love you too.

Sula's talent show was a smashing success. Lo and I bartended like it was going out of style and I was shaking like a leaf for the first half an hour. I have never done this, I have never done this. I think I said "I am sorry for that head" about a thousand times to Crecom meat heads having a hard time choosing between the Lab Lite, Kokanee and Moosehead (all terrible choices). I had never bartended a single day in my life and half an hour in after a few shots on the sly with Lo in the corner, I was in motion. It felt like a scene out of Coyote Ugly and I was Tyra but was way too busy trying not to mix up the rum and the rye to do a dance for the customers. Insane. I would do it again, and again and again. Slinging beer and mixing drinks for happy people broke my winter blues. Sara A. so encouraged me without necessarily meaning to and our wild conversation mere inches from each other's noses simply buoyed my spirits even more so. Break ups are hard. Break ups in February are harder. Breaking up and being buddies with your ex is the hardest. Girl, you got my goat and I have got your back.

The night was far from over after my booze shift ended at eleven. Sea Bass, Strangler, Hooey, Mitch, Marky and I left the talent show in the ghetto to make it to Alfie, Luke and Keri's birthday at the Grosvener institute. We arrived just as the party was getting wild. Luke and his band "Boats" sang a Page France song and he later came up to me on the stairs where I was perched surveying the room and thanked me for being the only one who sang along. Cool. You are welcome, Page France deserves way more street cred. People were everywhere, there were hundreds of shoes in a mountain at the back entrance to climb over and Rob was DJing and dancing was the only thing you could do to stay upright. People danced from room to room and the house is set up in a circle, so we danced in a circle shoulder to shoulder. If you saw someone across the room that you wanted to say hello to, you had to dance over. That is how full it was. I hadn't been out in weeks it felt, other than my routine weekly visits with weekday people but it was a breath of fresh air to dance in a room with hundreds of people feeling exactly the same way I am. Stagnant.

I danced with a babe graphic designer and we both admitted we had crushes on each other, but he has a lady so I danced away from him feeling disappointed. He didn't have a fish tattooed on his forearm though, so not all was lost. It was just another sign I guess. I lay in my bed this morning, well into the afternoon hours and watched Factory Girl and looked at my cut up hand still stained with blood in the thinnest cracks in my skin and smiled. At least I am not as messy as Edie was. That is not to say that I compare myself to her in anyway (I don't), I just admire her--aside from the sloppy heroine addiction. At one point last night, I was standing in the kitchen with my arm around someone (it was all about arms last night, my arms felt a thousand feet long and I couldn't stop wrapping them around people) I smelled a familiar perfume. Instantly the room was stifling and too hot, too crowded. There was not even enough room to dance away from her, from that smell so I just stood rooted to the ground and when we met eyes and her smell engulfed me, I didn't feel a drop of hate or disgust and it was so relieving. This is proof enough that time heals. Maybe not all, but time heals.

I left eventually, holding my red hand with the other hand and watching life course down my fingers because my blood was thinner than usual. It was a good party even though we were missing some crucial members. You know who you are.

Edie, you wear your heart on your sleeve. I miss you.
Francoise. If I could be like anyone, I would choose her.

Post script, I just came from Kaleb's house and I taught him the phrases raiding the fridge, and the ever so classy I am hung over when he asked me why my face looked funny. I know I looked gross so hearing it from a three year old was no surprise. We fell asleep leaning on each other while watching Franklin and I stopped thinking about my splitting vodka headache and smiled as he whistled softly when he slept.