fun for free

I’m being shown off in strange and wonderful corners of the internet this week. I suppose this means I should pick up writing again, give people something to find when they get here. Anyone have topic suggestions? My mind’s on other things; work, photography, how to raise money for a better camera, (damn you Frank), a stop-motion magic video I’m story-boarding in my head I might film tonight to welcome Mike back from his tour of Australia.

Tonight James and I are going to a Yaletown gallery opening that features photos from my friends Keith and Lung.

I suspect Lung actually forgot all about it, as when he called me last night to gloat over being in California and ask what it’s called when furries get together and cuddle, he seemed surprised it was happening this week. Terrible what fame can do to a boy.

Edit: COILHOUSE has now linked me too, from a completely different source.
Edit: Turns out it was a Naomi Liu at the gallery. Given that the poster only presented last names, this could have been less surprising.

sort of set the tone for the whole trip

365 day fifty-eight: it's a true story

The Knights Inn hotel in Kamloops was a very special kind of disaster. The staff were perpetually off the premises, the phone didn’t work, the alarm clock was broken, and half of the light-bulbs were burnt out.

As a bonus, the main hall was one of the spookiest rooms I’ve ever been in, which is saying something, as I used to spend nights over in an abandoned hospital. It smelt of burnt talc and rotting dust.

Neat, hey?

cab’s here, goodbye.

Sign the petition to Save Polaroid Film.

Moonbeam, a pet name, swigging pomegranate juice, music slightly twisting, thinking about dancing, thinking about how bodies move under black light, the enigma of timing, concentration, rhythm, like a trance, a physical auto-glossolalia. Tonight, different plans. Dinner, go see a show, LIME, friends and people I don’t know. Spare keys for James, who will be staying here the night I am away. Still thinking about Moonbeam, wondering about the placement of the word, stretching my fingers, feeling if it fits. Thinking it sounds like a lyric from a Captain Beefheart song, not something that could still be alive in the world.

Conversations about Amy Winehouse, how none of us cared until we found out how good the music was. Conversations about ending world hunger, the war on nebulous words, and what’s new in advertising. How many books can I finish in a week? How many links can I send in a day? Word count. Trying to remember what a voice sounds like, strange dreams, going too bed too late and waking up too early.

Someone stayed over last night. When my alarm went off, they were gone.



Tagline: “I’ll tell you a story…”

Translation: “…about how this film, from that one-named guy who directed The Cell, nearly got buried forever and has only now been resuscitated by David Fincher and Spike Jonze.”

The verdict: Remember The Cell? The hallucinogenically beautiful and vaguely nonsensical 2000 serial-killer movie starring Jennifer Lopez and Vincent D’Onofrio? Well, here comes The Fall, another hallucinogenically beautiful and potentially nonsensical movie from the same director, Tarsem Singh. The film, which the mono-named Tarsem shot in exotic locations by piggybacking on commercial shoots (!) and which he financed out of his own pocket (!!), premiered at the Toronto Film Festival way back in 2006. Grumpy reviews scared off distributors, and it’d been gathering dust — until David Fincher and Spike Jonze threw their collective cred behind it to secure a limited release. Now: Behold the colorful marvels of Tarsem’s world! Gasp at his visual acumen! Wonder if the story, which here looks like a mash-up of The English Patient, Pan’s Labyrinth, and 300 (right down to that dude booting that guy in the chest in slo-mo), actually holds together in any cohesive way! Or if that even matters! And download the haunting music (Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 in A major) from iTunes, pronto. —Adam Sternbergh

thanks Keith!

what I do when I can’t sleep

On the heels of the discovery that both Aardman Studio’s The Pearce Sisters and the National Film Board’s Madame Tutli-Putli have both been put on-line in their entirety, I started sporadically collecting together a selection of Oscar-winning animated shorts that have been put up on YouTube, beginning with Balance, a fantastic film I saw at a festival in the early nineties and have never been able to shake off.

A week later, this is what you get:
1931-1932: Flowers and Trees
1932-1933: Three Little Pigs
1934: The Tortoise and the Hare
1935: Three Orphan Kittens
1936: The Country Cousin
1937: The Old Mill
1938: Ferdinand the Bull
1939: The Ugly Duckling
1940: The Milky Way
1941: Lend a Paw
1942: Der Fuehrer’s Face
1943: The Yankee Doodle Mouse
1944: Mouse Trouble
1945: Quiet Please!
1946: The Cat Concerto
1949: For Scent-imental Reasons
1950: Gerald McBoing-Boing
1951: The Two Mouseketeers
1952: Johann Mouse
1953: Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom
1954: When Magoo Flew
1955: Speedy Gonzales
1956: Mister Magoo’s Puddle Jumper
1957: Birds Anonymous
1958: Knighty Knight Bugs
1959: Moonbird
1960: Munro
1963: The Critic
1964: The Pink Phink
1965: The Dot and the Line
1974: Closed Mondays
1978: Special Delivery
1980: The Fly
1983: Sundae in New York
1986: A Greek Tragedy
1989: Balance
1990: Creature Comforts
1991: Manipulation
1992: Mona Lisa Descending a Staircase
1994: Bob’s Birthday – Part 1, Part 2.
1996: Quest
1998: Bunny
1999: The Old Man and the Sea – Part 1, Part 2.
2000: Father and Daughter
2003: Harvie Krumpet
2006: The Danish Poet – Part 1, Part 2.

Nominated this year: Moya Lyubov (My Love), (sans subtitles, sorry), and Peter & the Wolf.

As a bonus, here’s Atom Films Academy Award Hall of Fame, which spans from stunning achievements such at The Cathedral to downright clever fun like Aardman’s Adam.

edit: someone’s pointed me to this torrent link, Top 100 Animated Shorts 1906 – 2006.

lost jewelry

Hey Everyone,

I was part of the Frozen Vancouver flashmob-esque happening down at the Art Gallery today and while it was wonderful, fantastic, and fun, I lost my antique ferret pin. It’s a silver brooch about an inch and a half long with a tiny rhinestone eye. I love it dearly, as I wear it in remembrance of a pet. If anyone picked it up or knows someone who did, I’d dearly appreciate getting it back.


I fell in love with a boy

jhayne & baby xander

One of the benefits of no longer working at the Dance Center is that I now have Sundays free to work learning web-development with my friend Alex. (I was going to quit so I could do just that, but they fired me before I had the chance. Well darn.) It’s nice going over there, he and his wife Chrissy are incredibly in love. They’ve just had a baby together, so now I’m an auntie. I’m not sure how convincing I am as an auntie, I think my face almost dropped off when I caught myself stirring a pot in the kitchen while holding a baby. Thank mercy I had socks on.

(If you look closely, you can see the panic in my eyes in the picture to the right.)

Honestly, though, babies are weird. They can’t talk, don’t understand that they have limbs, and can barely focus their eyes. Their brains are a protoplasmic neuro-mush that hasn’t fully shaped yet, they’ve got a soft spot in their skulls, and they smell funny. Like, well, baby. It’s a cloying, overly sweet smell that tries to rummage in my system for the breeding clock. I can feel it prodding at my DNA, aggressively trying to turn me into a factory assembly-lining the next generation of wacky Holmes kids.

Not that it’s going to succeed in the slightest. As far as I know, my baby clock has only ticked once. Memorable, a thing like that. I’d been missing someone, a usual state of affairs, but it had been a rather chronic feeling that week, I don’t even know why, and to take my mind off it, I went to a see a film with friends. Not a bad idea, except when it came to my choice of movie; a film prominently starring a man who looks like an older brother to my absentee. I couldn’t help but sigh. Then! The actor had an overly sentimental, tender moment of baby holding and suddenly my reproductive urge twitched for the very first time. Panties in a twist indeed. Yecch.

It was very loud and incredibly uncalled for. It felt like a temporal lobe misfire. What was that? It felt unnatural to my person, as if I’d undergone a momentary psychotic break. I thought of Tim Crow and his argument that that schizophrenia may be the evolutionary price we pay for a left brain hemisphere specialization for language, except that it bypassed both the right and the left and just punched me in the base of my spine. Terrible.

That said, Xander is an utterly adorable little squid and you should all ooh and aah at the miracle of his creation, lest we hunt you down with jam:

the little one with mum tiny

click here for a guest pass to my flickr

dear mercy get me outside during daylight

It’s official, the ticket’s been bought. My new job as the photographer for Bloodlines Magazine is sending me to Kamloops. I fly out on Wednesday, shoot some portraits, stay the night in a hotel, make sure to get a shot of myself jumping on the bed, then fly back Thursday. Beyond the portraits, my time is my own. Does anyone have any suggestions for what there is to do there? The Tourism Kamloops website is a bit discouraging, as it mostly presents curling and Oldtimers Hockey as the thrilling pastimes. (One of the “Fantastic restaurants” it offers is McDonald’s.)

Classic SF movies rendered as Russian folk-art woodcuts.

I’ve just come back from going to FUSE with Ray. A bit of an unfulfilling night, as I’d already seen what the Vancouver Art Gallery has up this month, but I’m glad I went, got our of the apartment, all the same. I’ve been slowly becoming trapped in the mire, knowing that all it takes it to put on some shoes, throw on a coat, and walk outside, but being unable to gather the energy. My year and a half of only work for Heart of the World seems to have sapped my social life almost dry. I barely see anyone anymore, I rarely go out. I’m aware it’s unhealthy, though, so who wants to do something this week? My work claims me sporadically, so I don’t have a very set schedule, but I’m sure if we try, we can work something out.

considering going to the ride back

Vancouver Public Space presents Pirates of the SeaBus Today.

“Arrrgh matey! Come join us for our next exciting party in public space. Find a parrot and slap on your eye patch… and then join fellow public space revellers at the SeaBus platform at Waterfront Station.

We’ll be hoisting the skull and crossbones and singing pirate shanties as we journey to North Vancouver. After we sack the city (just kidding) we return to Vancouver we’ll parade to a top-secret public space location and carry on the merriment. There’ll be music and fine pirate merriment. Best of all, there will be gold dubloons to be had by all.”

They’ve posted some last-minute information for those who’ve signed up to the Facebook Event. Here’s an edited-to-summarize version:

Our plan is to take the 8:40pm SeaBus over to North Vancouver, sing pirate songs along the way (thanks to our two acoustic pirate bands), hang out there for a wee bit and be back in Van within the hour. From there, we’re going to visit at least one public space in the downtown core, possibly two.

(1) If we can’t fit everyone on the first Seabus, there will be a wait of approximately 1/2 hour for the second Seabus. If this happens – please be chill, there will be a band to entertain you.

(2) Please keep your ears open. We’ll be passing along key instructions throughout the adventure and we’ll need your help in moving fellow pirates from one site to another.

(3) Please be respectful of any Translink/security folks that we encounter en route. Remember to buy your ticket.

(4) Please be especially nice to any folks who may just be SeaBus users of the non-pirate variety. Our message is: boat of pirates = good fun. Please help to spread that message

Post SeaBus, there will be a brief parade to the downtown public space(s).

Remember, pirates are respectful of their allies. We’re asking everyone to pitch in to keep the good vibe going, because transit parties like this will only last as long as everyone behaves in a reasonable fashion.

We appreciate your help.

Onward to Pirate Glory!

-Vancouver Public Space Pirate Team

the odds

Little boxes made of ticky-tacky, little boxes, little boxes, little boxes, all the same.
There’s a green one and a pink one and a blue one and a yellow one
And they’re all made out of ticky-tacky and they all look just the same.

There were police dogs barking all over my block last night. About half past ten, four cars flared up, sirens going, loud red-blue lights drenching everything with a sheen of epileptic shock. Dogs poured out on leashes, perhaps there was a chase? There was no way to tell from my apartment and I was too firmly In For The Night to consider leaving. Perhaps someone ditched a gun up the street again. A few weeks ago, it was firetrucks. Crackle and roar. Someone had set a pick-up truck on fire around the corner. Broke in a window and doused the thing with gasoline.

And the people in the houses all go to the university,
And they all get put in boxes, little boxes, all the same.
And there’s doctors and there’s lawyers and business executives,
And they’re all made out of ticky-tacky and they all look just the same.

Monday evening, police wouldn’t let me onto Alex and Chrissy’s block for thirty minutes. Instead I sat on the edge of a curb in the middle of a growing number of thwarted pedestrians. Cruisers lined up were everywhere like a child had been playing god. When they let us through, police were going door to door, uniforms, typical questions, “did you see or hear anything suspicious?” With them came information, kidnapping, a woman walking on fourth fifteen minutes before I came along had been grabbed and pulled screaming into a shabby blue car that drove away at speed.

And they all play on the golf-course, and drink their Martini dry,
And they all have pretty children, and the children go to school.
And the children go to summer camp and then to the university,
And they all get put in boxes and they all come out the same.

The city falling into strange shadows, a forgotten language of violence, was it this bad before? When did the slide begin? Feet are washing up on the shore, only right feet, and in sneakers. We’re up to three so far. This is the headline that catches my eye at the bus-stop. It makes a break from the farm where they’re still digging up missing women, mostly prostitutes. Why can’t we legalize that already? Protect these people, keep them from street-corners, makes it taxable. I was told that our marijuana laws were repealed for the Olympics, replaced with ridiculously high-handed decisions. Six months for a gram of possession. Prison for intent to sell. Even the people who think it’s beautiful here, perfect to raise children, that mountains and ocean should be enough, even they should realize something’s wrong.

And the boys go into business, and marry, and raise a family,
And they all get put in boxes, little boxes, all the same.
There’s a green one and a pink one and a blue one and a yellow one
And they’re all made out of ticky-tacky and they all look just the same.