Sunday, February 28, 2010

Cocktails OTR.

There is a brood of little girls in the coffeeshop with their low bunned and low browed mothers, the women humble despite their gorgeous creatures of daughters. Three little ones, tiny voices, letters clipped off in that little way. They clearly dressed themselves. Pinks and reds (my favorite combination), velvet and stripes, crying babies. I love it all. I want it all. But not yet.

Then I found this poem, from an Ondaatje collection that you lent to me before knowing of my irrevocable underlining habits. Sorry, it cannot be helped.

* (After Che-King, 11th Century BC)

If you love me and think only of me
lift your robe and ford the river Chen

'the floating world'
8.52 from Chicago

lift your skirt
through customs,

kiss me in the parking lot


Poem by M Ondaatje. Kiss me in the parking lot with my skirt around my neck. Yes please. Get into him. I am, have been for years. I carry that man's paper spine around town these days. These days. These days have been interesting. Beyond interesting. Yesterday while sitting on top of a pile of lumber in the middle of a field, I realized that some of my priorities have slipped, dipped and escaped completely. Others have spun around, shockingly quick. Some are the same. I still want to plant. I still would like to go to art school. I still want to have time to read a bit everyday. I still want to take time to escape up and into the woods like I did this weekend for Rebecca's birthday.

She booked her pals a weekend in the woods. Thank you girl. Happy Birthday to us. It was glorious. It was a little dark, I retreated for the most part and came out only to cook and partake in the dishing of food and laughing around a table with my lady in between bites of beef borscht that I stole from my mum's fridge. (Delicious, by the way). At one point in the space between napping and eating, I slipped out the door away from the group of amazing people and out into the sinking light, the kind of light that drapes just like fading blue silk from Club Mon does across the bones one's back. Silken dusk, glorious silken dusk of sinking blues and greys. I skied alone, managing land, getting lost on purpose on skis in the bush just to force myself to seek out the curve of the land that I memorized just a moment before losing my bearings. I drank one Dutch beer in the land and stood still thinking until there was no color left and night took over from where day left off. One long look and one long sigh to the land, I turned skied home to that house in the woods filled with people I love.

Rose cheeked, hair alive, skin awake, eyes bright, I put on my apron with care and began. As dishes were plated and organized, the table set and dinner cocktails (OTT [on the table]) stirred with limes, I missed my mum fervently, knowing in that dim lit kitchen moment exactly who and where those skills and that care came from. Thank you for teaching by doing mum. I love you. I will be fine in life (I think) just because you taught me how to host.

Skiing is something I need to do more. Preferably everyday. Maybe if I get into a school, I will get onto a team, or into a race. I have been so taken with racing lately. I am racing, every part of me is racing. Head, heart, hands. Last night, skiing alone, I was racing against myself. Cycling, I race. Walk, run, race. The older I get, the more hysterical my need for athletics becomes. I suppose I have been an athlete all along, but it never dawned upon me until I left the town that offered select veins of sport. Volleyball, no thanks. Long jump, nope. Last night while sleeping beside Jill in a bed built like the ark, I dreamt of Rollin laughing and a rowing team. I wonder if I could row? I wonder what Rollin will do. Make people laugh, just like his mama.

It was a wonderful winter holiday up in the woods, cooking for the masses and plating food and whipping up sangria like it was going out of style. Dinner was extravagantly simple and pretty, and so were all of the faces around the harvest table heaving with feast. I am happy to be home, to curl into the nook, layered ribs under one hundred blankets, a Vietnamese picnic on the floor, Czech beer and open mouthed laughter.

Happy Birthday to Rebecca and Loco, my two favorite Fish on the planet. Swim on you beauties and I'll try to keep up. Loco, I owe you a landline minute.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010


I have been thinking.

Schule schmule. I am going to take portraits forever, regardless. Even if they are of myself.


Lo, a soul sister; March, 2010.

Jillian as Nancy Drew; Winnipeg, 2010.

Creme in my home; March 2010.

Self portrait in the Golden Studio; Winnipeg, 2010.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Par Avion.

It is finished. I am finished. Tomorrow this giant envelope will be thrown into the hands of Canada Post. Out of sight, out of mind. The winds are howling tonight. I am barside, drinking tea out of a pint glass, lacing fingers around for warmth, a diamond catching in my eye.

Now, onto planning two weddings.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

_:__ vs. _:__

This made me laugh aloud. I bet he flipped the record for her while she lay in the bath taking pictures of the ceiling.

String man.

I need to write. Coffee was drunk, Sula and Lo and I wailed into each other at a round table heavy with computers and coffee and leather and paperwork. We are only in our twenties and yet we wail like fifty year olds. I love it and them. We met on a whim (the only way we meet) and in between all the griping and hand flailing and guilty glances at afternoon sun coming in through the window reminding us all where we should be, we watched each other as time slithered away like a snake in the grass. Strings of New York, Montreal, the East, the West, Barcelona, Berlin. Where will we land? It is only starting to dawn upon me that life is a series of take offs and landings (thanks for that old Jenny Lewis). But really, I am either here, or there, or in midair. Life is the strangest.

Today I woke under one hundred layers, wearing clothes in bed for the first time in a long time, and got up once to put on Wire on vinyl, and rose once more to flip the record. I want someone to do that for me. For the rest of my life, I want someone to do that for me. As obvious, I am a complete mess and avoiding the studio like the plague. Tick tock. Tick tock. Tick tock. Time slipping, I lay in bed with ankles barely grazed, wrists hardly touched, the back of the neck completely abandoned. I am thinking of my sister who is set to be married to her man. They are in love. He flew around the entire world to take a knee in sinking sand to tell her with a ring. She said yes. I said "yesssssssss" into the phone and I hope she heard my happiness through the crackle pop of time-change translation. There are one million strings in my head presenting themselves like a fistful of offerings clasped tight. Loose ends ready to be plucked from the bunch by pincher fingers. You know when you draw strings to make a choice? This is how I feel. I am also filled with piss and vinegar and fire and squirrels.

I NEED TO GET THIS BEAST INTO THE MAIL. I think I just needed to write down my state: I am a lunatic.

Two people sit beside me slipping in and out of French and English and I cannot help but think of one of the strings of potential dangling patiently in and amongst all the rest. The string that stands for an awkward (but welcomed awkward) new French life, a challenging Autumn, an exciting Winter. Will I stay or will I go? Will I ever learn to dip in and out of two languages in between sips of coffee? I hope so.

Too many strings today. Speaking of which, I am ready to go back to the studio now to print strings on my brown package soon to be home to all of the work that I am sick of inspecting. A brown paper package wrapped up in string.

This is nonsensical. I am going home right now, I am going to clean up the last of last night, fold the hundred blankets, straighten the flyaways, put on some tea and dance like a maniac while Wire plays at top volume.

Somewhere, someone is flipping the record for their girl. Not today Madge, not today.

That's okay. With wrists untouched, with the back of the neck left wanting, with a too-long body and not long enough hair, with a wild spirit and a conflicted heart, I am going to finish.

But for now, I will simply exist untouched.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Laura Ingalls gone Wilder

Witch legs sticking out from underneath a house. I am dressing according to mood of late. Yesterday was Laura Ingalls gone wild with witch legs. Today is Ken Budyk/witch legs/weird hat and the new CPR railway goggles that I just picked up. After a Valentine breakfast of Crack and Hash with Scotch and Rags at the Don this morn, we cruised down to Thrify Thirsties (I don't know what that means either) for some Sunday morning flea market action. All of this happened before noon. These are the things I bought for under 15 dollars:

- one pair of train goggles from the twenties (awesome)
- one tin cigarette case for the bush
- one handkerchief for Iaan
- one weird silkscreened print on wood (also awesome)

I love flea markets. I also love breakfasts with the Couple of the Year. What people I have in my life. Last night (whilst channeling the shit out of Prairie homemaker L. Ingalls Wilder), long after nestling onto Rab's nest like bed with brother Andrew and sister Rebecca (not one but TWO Budyk's under the same roof during Portfolio mayhem?!?! Who would have thunk it), we took one hectic bus ride from one end of the city to the other only to nestle into my own living room. We sat, played the latest and greatest, got jazzed for a night on the town. One quick walk to the Lo Pub, three abreast on the walk, landed me in the lap of a first date playing out at a table laden with beers. I was instantly squirrelly and Rebecca instantly reassuring. Thanks gemsy, you are a VERY good friend. She plied me with liquor and I danced on striped legs to mediocre music wishing I was in the shop at Martha Street, printing and singing along to Land of Talk. And yet. I stayed. I stayed and tried not to ruin the first date playing out in front of me. I left after a period of standing as tall as I could, no shame, wearing weird shit because I feel weird lately.

This portfolio is coming to a close. I see the light. Piles of work are finished being plucked from open drawers spilling over with old work, old prints, old news. Photos were picked up with loving care and tomorrow I begin one last drawing in Tante Daryl's drawing room to slip into the pile. Last piece. Tuesday I will measure, cut and fold the actual folios (two--one for the Department of Photography and one for the Department of Studio Art) and draw up the last of the designs for the exteriors. Wednesday, finish printing, rest these dear tendons, and begin to write. Thursday will be last minute paperwork, a flurry of post and probably some tears. I have been crying a hell of a lot lately.

Yesterday I started crying while serving a table. Oh dear. They gave me a ten dollar tip. Oh yes. It is okay mum, I am so CLOSEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE.

I am off to continue freaking out the Squares of Winnipeg with my goggles and witch legs. Today I have been whistled at and called a "fag". It is only 1:30 in the afternoon. Valentines Day is a hateful holiday for some. Oh dear Winnipeg, I miss you and your name calling ways already.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Os Coxae.

To be quick as light, dark as night, drunk with spite, things are happening again.

And again.
And again.
And again.

I picked up my dry cleaning today and ended up leaning on Shannon's counter at Perths for 25 minutes, discussing retirement (or lack thereof) and of working minimum wage jobs (because you have to) when one is 55. Interesting ground coverage this afternoon. I learned plenty today.

There is someone whose favorite bone in the human body is the Os Coxae, or better known at the pelvic bone. There is someone whose tiny diamond catches light from halfway across the room. (I do not have time for these details these days, trust me). Interesting. There is someone who is too kind looking for his own good, stripes attached to the longest legs in the world, those very legs bowing like birches when he walks across the stained rug. I have watched. I would watch everyday if I could. I do not have time for anything.

JF is taking me to the symphony. Thus my clean shirt. Right now the New Music Festival is going on at Winnipeg's Centennial Concert Hall (letters capitalize) and women are wearing ball gowns and the men are bowing more than usual. Jillian informed me that tonight the show will revolve around an avant-guarde throat singer. Ooh la la. Crisp shirts and tight pants and heels. No printing, no portfolio, no ink stains. Tonight is a night on the town.

In other news:
- Pears apples are my new favorite fruit.
- I dry clean my favorite articles of clothing (on rotation) once a week. With or without money in my bank account.
- I need more sleep.
- I have a frightening amount of photographs taken of children's room on my desktop right now.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Something old, something new.

Hola. These are some of the pieces I have been working on in the last few weeks as I build the last of my collection. I have been printing everyday as the race for completion comes to a close. My wrists hurt, my shoulders ache but as a whole I have never felt more sure or more alive.

I am alive. And this week, I am going in. Into the depths of solitude with keys to my chest, I will print alone in the building that has become my home, my sanctuary, my hiding place, into the smallest hours of night. It is ON. The first two silkscreen prints I just finished right now. The top image is of a woman named Pearl who lives in my head sometimes. What a sasshole. This is a Valentine print. On sale now! Holler if you want one for your leading lover.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Low lying.

It is an ungodly hour and Tara just walked past my spot by the window. She on the outside of the atrium and me on the inside. It is dark, save for the newly installed Albert Diner glowing orb of a sign suspended from the highest part of the glass atrium. It is nice in here. Warm. There are plants that I have rescued and tended. There are also plenty of drunk people in dark coats walking in and out of the Royal Albert Arms for a (terrible) show. I just served them yam fries and personal pizzas. I also made a million gallons of corn chowder with fresh cilantro, cumin, coriander and yam soup. All of these things happened long after midnight and long after my body was wishing for the comfort of my bed.

Lo slipped me a note under the hot service bar today at work while I was cooking up a storm and trying not to fall over from the heat. The note written in her pretty penmanship on a diner chit read, "Are you okay? You look sad. I love you" and I nearly cried. She is going to be a great mother someday. I was sad, but not terribly. Sad only because time is tick tocking faster than I can even imagine and even though it is only the first week of February, it feels very nearly over. With this in mind, I am softly mouthing Jillian's mantra over and over: one day at a time. One day at a time. One day at a time.

In the interim I will keep running. Yesterday JF and I ran four miles on the river, winding around the people and the suspended huts (GO SEE THE ORB hanging from the train bridge at the Forks!!) and it was completely necessary to my sanity. Everyday running is completely necessary. Even for a moment.

Okay. A selfish note now. For those keen, the portfolio has become my child. A phantom limb. Missing fingers lost in a terrible machinery accident that still insist upon curling around a delicate tea cup even though they are not attached to the hand anymore. A beast of burden. A kite. A vehicle. An escape. And a half demon. A courtship. I love it and I hate it only because there are not minutes in my daily bread to commit to it as much as I would like. I am married to these concepts in my head because I think they will be beautiful folded into my handmade folio. With all of these things in mind, I leave one kitchen and go hi ho to the next one at the studio that reeks of paint thinner before I have even touched the handle and hunker down with samples and mock ups and drawings sprayed in front of me like some sort of forever-growing amoeba.

Today after showing the portfolio mock up to Andrew and Drex, they helped me trim the fat with kind words. Thank you boys, you are saving me. I am fine, I will be fine. I am fine, I will be fine. Right now, all I am wishing on is a coffee date with Rabbi, a dinner at Rags' table, and one solid week at Martha Street.

I will be fine. It will be fine.

The sign shines on like a low lying moon in Winnipeg--The Albert Diner--and it is a reminder that I am nodding off while people chainsmoke outside the glass walls. Goodnight moon. Goodnight pals. Goodnight brain, you are being turned off now.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Megan as my sister.

Good things are happening today. Woke up beside my sister, both of us haggard and sore from a weird bed in our parent's basement. Our mum singsonged us up and out of said bed and there was coffee on, women in paint clothes, sisters in mismatched stripes. Grandpa drove us home, what a gem. Thank you for the ride Syd, you rule. I got home in the morning and cleaned up the last of the evidence of Saturday night. Sequins and stomach acid and left over bread ends on the bedside table and crumpled clothes reeking of tequila. It was Jillian's birthday and things got a little excessive on my part.


My mum hooked me up with new 400's (planting boots) because my old ones exploded in the last week of Spray. Thanks girl, you rule. Like father like daughter? Sometimes. Anyway, I have been clomping around town in these babies, breaking them in slow but sure. I walked to the coffeeshop to bro down with Nick Serduletz (good man) and opened my email to find a jewel of a letter from Misty, my boss at MCIC (Manitoba Council for International Cooperation), the company through which I teach silkscreen to turds in rural Manitoba towns. Apparently, some of said turds from my last workshop in Gimli (a complete and utter shitshow where I ended up blowing a New Moon vampire movie reference terribly [they looked at me like I was one hundred years old] AND persuading a bunch of twelve year olds that university can WAIT and they should all do themselves a favor and go to Europe and learn to cook before they apply to any post secondary... oh God, I can't believe MCIC still hands me teaching contracts) had a handful of things to say after all the inks were put away and their fresh shirts were hung to dry:

(Silkscreening) Fun, because of lots of colour.
(Silkscreening) It was so fun, I thought it was so interesting and SO much fun!
(Silkscreening) I think it was interesting.
(Silkscreening) It was awesome, I want to do it again.
(Silkscreening) It was very fun for me to make a design for a t-shirt because I`ve never done that before.
(Silkscreening) Cool to do a design on a top, but we should be able to do at least 2 tops.
(Silkscreening) My workshop was fun because of Megan. She`s cool.
(Silkscreening) It was really fun and I am going to use my skills to make t-shirts to raise money for Haiti.
(Silkscreening) It was fun. I like my t-shirt very much.
(Silkscreening) I would like to have Megan as my sister.

Oh, so tender. Twelve year olds have very interesting thought processes. I am someone's sister and sometimes I blow it at that too. Got to run, on Mondays I volunteer at Art City. See photo below (cred goes to the lovely Beth Ashton, thank you for this photo). I may teach from time to time, but I am a student at heart. The portfolio has yet to take on a shape, but paper is being ordereeeeeeeeeeed tonight. I love expensive cardstock.

Peace pals.