Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sly love.

Someday I would like to fall in love again. These photos are all beautiful and make me feel unapologetically hopeful that in the next few years I might be so lucky to find someone to laugh into or to drape a tender arm across or to stand awkwardly beside or to drink entwined pints alongside or to crouch around a fire with while someone takes our photograph on the sly. Maybe, maybe not. However and whenever aside, in the interim I would like to take more photographs of people who love each other .

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Balloon-hearted Weezy.

There is a woman beside the till at the Fyxx sniffing all the individual tea bags. It is agony to watch as she sniffs, hard, and then slips them right back into their respective tea stacks in the tiny shelf. I am sitting all the way across the room, watching as I type, frozen in my seat. Sniff. Put back. Sniff. Put back. There are twelve kinds of tea. Four rows of three. And yesterday I sat across from this amazing woman who breezed in just after rush hour in the coffee shop and sat at the community table with us, still all bundled from a bus trip in the cold and she readily admitted to not being capable of multiplication. At all. It was very charming and I felt just fine about my own meager mathematics abilities. Will and Mitch are behind the counter. One is wearing heavy boots and the other is wearing cross trainers. Two pairs of footwear I wore today actually.

I have started running again. Learning my neighborhood, quickly. It is awesome. Sometimes I meet my friend halfway down the river or halfway down Waterfront. We never know. I never know at least. She is very quick, and I am getting back in the saddle. I haven't committed to daily running in quite some time and sometimes it feels like my stomach lining is slipping out of an unseen tube. Oh well, push through, keep running. I forgot how good it felt to run. To wear goggles and to run for the sake of adventure. It is nice.

Today after missing J completely at our supposed meeting spot by the bridge, I turned and ran all the way back down Waterfront only to meet her at my front door when I wound back home. We partook a lung, laughed on the floor and stretched our limbs tucked inside our over priced leggings. I have the millionaire leggings and she has the millionaire running watch. Anyway, we lay and caught up and then I walked to Martha Street to coat some screens for Art City and do some more work on a new print that I am working on. Sadly, the door leading to the upstairs studio was locked up but Inga was kind enough to let me in on her monoprint class.

I forgot how much fun monoprint was! I hung out with the latest crew of printers, all the women in their fifties with grandbabies and a keen interest in what the hell my reason was for bombarding their printing party with my pre-art-school crazy. They loved it, the entire adventure of application, the risk, the work, the time, the city, and I loved them for their enthusiasm. Valerie and Effie and Violet (who really likes Birds of Paradise flowers) are routing for me. Thanks ladies. My favorite woman was Valerie who gave me some sound art school advice: focus one's portfolio more on the person than the palette. Then she quickly added: and sometimes vice versa. Awesome. Can do. She also told me about her fresh grandson named Matthew Kingsley (after Wes Anderson's Kingsley Zissou character in Life Aquatic). My jaw fell when this plumpy little woman started rattling off amazing Anderson references while we mixed ink for the class. Good day.

So I sat and dry etched onto my plastic stock that Inga dug up for me and us women rolled out inks like dough at the high work tables and sent our etchings through the press over and over until we were totally satisfied with layers and colors and embossment. I was totally satisfied with the women. Great class. I made a new friend, Jane. She looked about 32, married and happy at her evening winter art class. Cool lady. I even made a fairly okay looking monoprint based off a drawing I did of my Surly a few months ago. Into the portfolio it goes. Two down for print media. Monoprint. Check. Silkscreen. Check.

Last night while drawing at the light table, Drex explained patiently that while the school may request 20 pieces per say, one does not have to include as many. "Choose well, Madge", he said. Okay, pal. I'll try. I have good people around me who are holding me accountable without even realizing it, just from simple encouragement and an honest opinion and the odd inside tip.

Today I realized that I can run everyday with my pal Les, who has lived in Montreal for years. Up the mountain and down in matching ridiculous outfits. If she will have me that is. Awesome. While things may not be falling into place just yet, things are at least falling. Motion, pals.

Things are in motion over here.

Oh and on another note entirely, my Great Auntie Louise is still slipping in and out of this life. I can hardly believe that my phone calls to my mother of late include the phrase, "Has she died yet?", the yet implying wishful thinking or hopefulness. I would never want anyone to pass, but this woman has long been seeing the angels. She is ready to try eternal rest on for size. She has one foot inside Heaven's gate and one foot tied to the hospital bed. Her mind is floating like a balloon trying to decide which route to take. Her legs are long and none of us know how long she will take to decide. We are all thinking of her as her body is beginning it's journey to the light. Go for it Auntie Weeze, you lived well. I love you.

Sunday, January 24, 2010


The day my hair decided to be curly, my life hung a Larry. Big time. Bizarre things happened. Directions changed. Mentalities adjusted. I even spent a solid hour alone in a white and wood room sitting in an Eames rocker. The perfect chair, designed beautifully. What a day. Those damn curls, they threw me right into it. Into what, you wonder? I have no idea! All I know is that last night, I was IN it. Today, after one clipped conversation on my unmade bed (I never have an unmade bed), things were said and affirmed and just like that--decisions slid down and out of my grasp, morphing into ideas much bigger than anything I could suppress any longer. Boom. I am going. Boom. It is time.

My application is in. It was just a matter of time. I was shocked when initial joy wore off and the realization of time, along with the crushing weight of portfolio construction (on all fronts), turned from exhausting and terrifying into something bigger than I thought. Now there is a rush from the rush of it all. I have always worked better under pressure, so this is not that shocking. I was flailing for a few days in despair as what to submit and how to submit it. Even the idea of presenting an entire body of humble work (scattered work) based upon one million rolls of film and hundred of prints to a panel that I will never meet, is bizarre to me. How does one wrap up all of one's hopes and desires for academia inside a portfolio? The selection process has been much more difficult that I thought. It's good though, I like it.

Other than my close pals, I am unsure as to who reads these posts. Whomever you may be, thank you. It must be said, I am very much on the train for art school now that things are in motion. Suffice is to say, in order to be held accountable in areas of time management etc, I am going to write about my quest for art school, whether I get in or not. It will be a mellow recount.

If all goes to plan, I should receive a letter (of rejection or acceptance) with Concordia's university crest in the right corner while I am in the throes of bush league living. I can just see it happening: open Chainsaw boots and flying hair, black tights and the most savagely stained white Lobsterfest t-shirt known to mankind, my mom in one ear tearing open the letter that may or may not decide the course of the next 3-4 years of my life, and the wind and the townspeople in the other. That goddamn Dairy Queen phone booth in Dryden, Ontario will pitch my life in motion yet again. Perfect. And so, once in a while (specifically in the next few weeks, I am going to write about building a portfolio). I have no clue as to how to do it, but I am willing to share the experience with anyone who is interested even if it makes me look like a fool.

Either way, it came to me this evening after being in the country for Sara's perogy birthday. It being the way I am going to build it. Awesome, I am feeling very calm now that I have feet like roots/acorn boots in a solid idea. One thing I will say is that I have a SHIT TONNE of printing to do in the next four weeks. If anyone is interested in coming down to the shop while I work on my portfolio, I would be more than happy to host. Details to come.

Loco, I wrote you a letter to your Hotmail account. Check it, get back to me when you can. Rags and Scotch, thank you for letting me cry at your gorgeous table.

There are going to be some interesting projects in 2010. My Grandpa just picked up a box of cameras for me and the first plan involves 8mm film and the wild woods and fifty people running around a fifty foot bonfire in PPE. Whatever 2010 may bring, I am psyching myself up for anything interesting.

Ready or not, Busy.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


I have nothing to say these days.

It is the strangest thing because my mind is so full of lists of things that need to be completed, filed, mailed, drawn up, cooked, organized, watered, tuned, tucked away, burned, printed, signed, sealed, delivered.

The race to complete my portfolio is on and I can't seem to get past the fact that I do not know how to draw.

Yesterday I received a message on my voicemail that reported, "Megan, you are the worst person in the entire world. I don't even know what to do. Bye" and I sat on the edge of my favorite chair with wet dripping hair staring into the phone cradled in my hands that delivered the words. The unfortunate thing is that that is not the first message of its sort this week, there have been others. Warranted others. Basically, I have been a pretty large turd this week and I don't even know what to do.

So there is that.

Last night I drank beer with two girls in a curling club. We ate the free popcorn without bothering to guide our hands to our mouths. Their male counterparts looked ridiculous from above; their limbs one hundred miles long against the white ice.


The time is nigh.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Times Change(d).

A few things happened today. First I was introduced to Buffy Sainte Marie's Illuminations album by a very handsome man.

Then I applied for university. Fine Arts, finally. Photography, Print media, Fibers, Studio art. The list was endless, my wonder bottomless. Holy shit.
Double whoa.

Dear Wind, you devil.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Tween central.

Grandma, remember this one? Just when I thought we couldn't get any uglier, I unearthed this gem in my house the other night. Thank you Scotch McLaren for scanning this jewel of adolesence. Erin is ten and I look nine. Our teeth, so gross. This was taken at our Grandma's house one million years ago and pretty much sums up my childhood. I am not one hundred percent sure of the inspiration behind the ensembles, but knowing myself and knowing my sister, it looks to be along the lines of Tante Mary goes on a trip (me) with her retarded nephew Igor (Erin). Then again, I might be way off. Enjoy.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


Saturday morning half-eaten bagel and juice in a mug that says LATTE on the side in tiny black letters with a takeout Fyxx coffee inching towards cold and bare feet attached to a body in a t-shirt and gitch. Saturday hair and face. Nothingness and true sun flooding the hardwood. I vacuumed, finally. It is funny what cleaning does for my psyche. Instacalm. I like to listen to the radio at top volume in the morning on Saturday (often to spite my neighbor who managed to party in the hallway until four. Thanks) and listen to all the stations that I think my Grandma would be listening to in her own home. Classical. CJOB, oldies--I mix it up. If I were capable of singing operatically, I would; but the radio is second best.

Scotch and Rags came over last night to drink and eat all the best tastes of Germany (beer and chocolate). This was after we went to Karen Asher's photography opening at Platform gallery just down the way from my home. When I do move, these are the nights I will miss. Scott told one million stories in the non-din of the red living room and I laughed one million times while Rags slumped against her man in contentedness. Someday I hope my marriage has a similar feel of social ease that theirs does. May that sentence read with respect and appreciation. I haven't been laughing as much I normally do, thus their company was welcomed. With week one of clean body and mind coming to a close, the dark veil is inching up and back, curtain-like. I wonder what will debut with the close of week two of no vices. God only knows.

I am off to Art City's Snowball, their annual winter carnival for the West Broadway community. Apparently, I am signed up to be a donkey complete with an elaborate velcro tail. Pictures will follow I am sure. Ensue more laughter. Good.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Creatures of the Wind.


I took a spill in traffic today while rounding a corner at a red. It was a spill to the point where my sprawled body and bicycle held up traffic on Donald and Stradbrook for thirty embarrassing seconds. Satisfied with her alignment post bail, I hopped back on and got to Ben's studio only to realize that no one was there for the Rainbow Trout meeting. One hour early and time to kill. Just as I was about to leave, I met this gorgeous Hungarian interior designer/metalworker named John (who despite our sweeping age gap knew many of the same people that I do). We bantered back and forth in Keith Wood's shop while he painted this giant wall sized piece with hot blue beeswax. John told me stories of his young life spent in Italy and his knowledge of European history quieted me completely. I liked the way he talked about Veneza and the way his eyes shone when he spoke of his youth. Oh, sweet youth.

I like days like this. Frazzled mornings, humble moments lying horizontal on the street, dressing warm for cold (cycling with good quality googles has changed my life completely), a team meeting breakfast with my sister and parents, another type of meeting around a food laden table discussing a potentially amazing festival with my pals. I love how some of them sit quiet and others pipe up, filled with piss and vinegar and yet every point (heated or not) is always punctuated with laughter. You are wrong, laughter. That is ridiculous, laughter. Absolutely not, laughter. That is a brilliant point, laughter. We laugh at each other.

Things are up in the air again. This is okay, every thing is going to be okay. I am happy this is the way the new year is shaping itself. While I feel very little control over anything, I am filled to the brim with ambition. Laughter. I wrote to the wind and the wind delivered. Now it is time to hold up my end of the bargain, even if it means walking away from a bunch of things that I love. When John and I were standing the corner of the shop this morning, both of our heads tilted while we consumed Keith's work in progress, without breaking the fixation of his gaze, John said "Meg, let your work decide your life. Quit weighing it, just keep working and the rest will follow". Okay. Laughter. I couldn't agree more. Life will happen regardless, I might as well enjoy it.

Creme and I stood shoulder to shoulder in his basement a few nights ago weighing the possibility of the next few months while our eyes went from the mopeds leaning in wait in the corner, over to the new darkroom being constructed in both of our heads in the other corner. Ho ho ho and a bottle of rum, winter is looking up.

Here are some goals for the next while, just because I feel like penning some:
- darkroom
- cooking
- printing
- cycling
- swimming
- eating
- tuning
- building
- planting
- photographing
- production
- baby holding

"We can do this", I said with conviction.
"I know, I know", he responded.

2010, you devil.

Signing off, Madge-- vice head of Donations/Printmaking/Photography.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Ode to everything lost.

I unknowingly killed my Ficus tree. Bugs, apparently. This fact bothers me incredibly because I have babied the shit out of that tree for months now. I mist it and compliment it and affirm it when it grows a new leaf. Everything dies sooner or later. I just wasn't ready for it to go. Spoken by a person who has never experienced true grief but rather felt it deeply in sad homes. Death is whole, I am learning very slowly. I guess death still feels like a very far away concept seeing as I haven't lost anyone in my family in a long, long while; nor have I ever lost a close friend. The other day while poaching the internet at the Fyxx I was having conversation with my friend Matt. For some reason the topic came up (which is strange because we are music and bike friends and that is what we talk about) and I asked him if his band the Magnificent Sevens would play at my funeral should I ever go quick. He agreed quick which was nice. Interestingly enough, I left that conversation satisfied that we had covered some good ground.

The body is sore again. How? Too much winter gardening. Bicycle/gardening. Winter riding has been lovely lately. The other day I was riding to Art City and my lock fell out of its usual spot in the waist of my jeans during rush hour on Memorial. The retrieval was a bit chaotic because I had to leave my bike on a busy sidewalk (sans lock, obviously) and run into traffic to pick it up on the dotted line. I got it eventually, all the while keeping an eye on the guy keeping an eye on Jessica Alba. One of my biggest fears in life these days is losing that bicycle to some felon/turd who will turn around and spray paint it (poorly) ghetto gold (not the good kind). My only praying hope is that said felon/turd won't know how to ride it/will bail while attempting to ride it and I will save her on foot. I have done it before and I will do it again. Some turd kid tried to steal my bike in front of Pear a few years ago and I happened to notice while he was riding away and I bolted after him (in heeled boots) and ripped him off my shitty single speed in the middle of River and Osborne. Some hockey team leaving Second Cup noticed what was happening and they beat the shit out of him behind Subway for me. I felt pretty victorious that day, not going to lie. Anyway, the thought of losing my lady in the battle of bike theft makes me want to weep. I would grieve her.

It is the new year. January in Manitoba winters can be a little dark. Thankfully, it feels pretty good so far. I firmly believe that the mentality one is in during the turn sets the tone for the entire year. In my humble experience at least. 2008 was terrifying and ugly. 2009 was relaxed and adventurous. 2010 has been exciting and a little wild (the good kind). Well maybe it is not a direct influence, but indirect. Either way, the Wind that I wrote to a few weeks ago has definitely been keeping me busy.

Time to get my hur cut by Lisa Flirty King. They didn't call me Mr. Mugs in elementary school for nothing. I fully look like a sheep dog. I hate dogs because of fucking Mr. Mugs, by the way.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Magic hour.

These are some of my favorite photographs from the weekend. What beautiful people.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Cat Sass.

The body is sore. It is full of contentedness and pretty food. It is grateful for my family of friends, for frozen lakes, for well-deserved sun salutations and blue moon dances on the end of an equally frozen dock. I ran and I ran and I ran and I ran this weekend. Reverse.

Lisa and Ryan picked up me and Ben and Will and Brooke and we caravanned together--boy car girl car--all the way to Rich's cabin on Caddy Lake. We made it with only one unforgettable breakfast stop at Cat Sass Tavern. Karla with a K served us by taking names first (first name service, an incredible concept in my books) and then the plates and plates of eggs and hash came out. We ate joyously and quickly and peeled out of Cat Sass after tipping Karla generously for her beautiful service. She bought one of Lisa's mustaches while her debit was processing. Perfect; a business transaction and eggs basted medium.

After one hundred attempts in Lisa's car to make it up the last hill before Rich's cabin, we finally parked at the bottom in defeat and crazy carpeted our faces (nearly) off. The bullrush incident of '92 was always at the forefront of thought. My hip bones will never be the same. Ben, leader of said caravan eventually saved the Stranded at the bottom of the hill and we piled in, clown car style respectively, flushed with cold, happy as children. I didn't realize until that moment how much I had missed the sun and it's glorious source of Vitamin D. There were innumerable times over the course of the weekend where I found myself outside, alone or with select few, kneeling in the middle of the lake, face up to that beautiful sun. Lisa, Jill and I were out at one point, bundled beyond recognition in our snowsuits and I barely heard Lisa say "if you concentrate real hard, you can feel it's warmth" and we did. I had a nap, face up, soaking it in.

Rich and the boys built this incredible luge run from the top of the guesthouse all the way onto the lake. It was insanity (especially after one million shambles, oh my what fun). There was a roaring fire, Sula's impressive ice bar, a warm cabin, a luge run, a dance party, a hockey rink (the hockey photography was my favorite), snow shoes and more. There was never an idle moment unless it was a chosen idle moment.

At the turn of the new year, we stood twenty five strong in the middle of the lake watching the boys set up the fireworks. Champagne was popped, the countdown that I normally loath was yelled with anticipation. Sula was on my right and Jill on my left. Sula and I looked at each other she mouthed 'thank God' and I nodded 'I know' and that was it. 2010 marks the end of the first decade of the twenty first century and the beginning of a new decade were the young will slowly take the reigns and the old ways will be just that, old. After the fireworks died down to nothing, people drifted off in all directions. I found myself kneeling again, under that Blue Moon. Sula advised us all to concentrate more on shaping our hopes for the new year into a tangible plan rather than focusing on resolutions. Because of the position of the stars this year (a meeting between Cancer and Capricorn I believe), we were also advised to be safe, to be aware, to be hopeful. In retrospect, the turn was all of those things.

In the morning I woke in down duvet heaven, in a loft over looking the lake. Blinding white and the quiet pink of a new morning of the new year. I climbed down, suited up, ran around on the lake, and then came in to Jill rolling at the table. Perfect. I put on my apron (the one that helps me cook faster) and we greeted each other wordlessly and with fire dangling from our mouths and mugs of coffee at the corners of our cutting boards, we began to cook while the sun pulled up and over the lake. We chopped and julienned and minced and de-boned and prepped a rainbow of vegetables and fruit and meat and cheese. Will came and took over the fruit station and then Hammerback sauntered in and took his spot at the stove over the sausage and all together we made some magic. I hadn't cooked in so long. When it was all over and I was just able to sit and eat, I was overcome by the fact that my first morning of 2010 began with all of the things I believe in: food and laughter and coffee and sun and laden tables and friends and Billie Holiday and complete trust.

Thank you Sula and Rich for your generosity. To the rest, thank you for your life giving food and your warmth. Despite the cold, it was a weekend of warmth and I am so, so, so pleased that my new year began on the note that it did. Not a bathtub rendezvous to be found, no bare feet clambering out of windows in escape, no lies, just hopefulness and plenty of laughter and pretty food.

As for the year to come, I am hopeful and that is enough.
Ich habe genug. And how.

Photos from the weekend to come, gird your loins.