Thursday, June 28, 2007

Watch This Space...

I'm in Toronto for a spell - work mostly, but a few days with friends too. It has been hot as hades here for the last 3 days, but is only mid 20s today (yesterday - with humidex - was feeling like 42C). I won't be back in Van til Tuesday, so won't be posting anything of interest until then.

Some sad news though - sounds like my favorite Vancouver music venue is on the verge of being sold. It has been rumoured for months and months, it's now happening. Rumour has it that it will close sometime in December. It breaks my heart. That balcony is absolutely the best view you can get in a club in this town. Sigh. If it was Jan World, I would open my own club - with very strict rules about who could enter, and whether or not you were allowed to talk/ laugh/ yell/clap off beat - which of course would depend on the band...except the clapping off beat. There is no excuse. Off beat clappers would be handcuffed. Or asked to leave.

I'm overtired and should stop. I'm looking forward to seeing some friends - some human, some equine. I'll be back soon.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


Life has been busy. Dad was in hospital for a week, but got out yesterday. Relief. And proof that my family can muddle its way through this sort of crisis, even if it isn't always in the most graceful way. We have all heard, smelled, and seen enough of the emergency ward to last a good long while. Dad seems to be on the mend, and that's what matters in the end. And to top a good day off, my painting arrived! Miss Mags claimed the box, making it a better than usual day for her too I suspect.

Monday, June 11, 2007

A new addition...

I received a photo of a painting that is on it's way to me now - another small work by Ontario artist JoEllen Brydon. It was a gift from my company, and JoEllen asked me what I'd like - so I said something with fields, trees, houses and horses. I'd say she's covered that off pretty well.

This the other piece of hers I own...

So what is it that appeals to me about her work? It's quite different than the other things you will find in my house -- an encaustic piece by this artist; a tiny etching by another- among many other things. It's something about the directness and unpretentiousness of her paintings. JoEllen paints stories from her childhood in rural Ontario - the larger paintings usually have text on them with brief stories about Jehovah's Witnesses visiting, or the time she rode a pony through an abandoned house, or the mysterious men that put up barns nearby, or car crashes that happened on the rural roads...nothing extraordinary, just moments of the every day. There are no pretensions. It might seem "cute" at first glance, but it's not. Whimsical? Sure. Heavy artist statement related to it? Likely not. But it's her life, big and small, that she paints. It makes me smile. And aren't I lucky.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Hanging out....

Yes, we have some things on the bunkle walls. Minor miracle! Such a joy to see the art I have had carefully wrapped for the last year (yes, year). Hung a couple of slightly cheesey mirrors in the red room, brings a lot more light and space into the place...and it means that if the cats walk on the back of the couch they can see other extremely handsome cats when they look into the mirrors. As long as they don't invite the other cats to come stay ...

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Observer and Observed....

Meet the neighbour's cat. He is large. And somehow omnipresent - the back deck, the front stairs, and the little space above my shed are occupied by him pretty much at all times. He won't let me near him - I get hisses if I venture closer than 6 feet or so. He also managed to scare the life out of me once by leaping over my head from the top of the shed as I was getting the lawn mower. He's an interesting guy, and the cats and I like watching him. I suspect he is the Tony Soprano of the cat neighbourhood. I have seen him stare more than one unfortunate feline into a quivering ball of submission, then lumber sloooowly away, deed cleanly done. Last summer, I found pieces of squirrel in my backyard - one a cleanly severed tail, the other the entire back half, tail included. I have my suspicions.

Welcome to the hood.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Hot & houses

The warm spell continues - cats have flopped, and if I didn't look stupid lying down on the middle of the dining room floor, I would too. It has been somewhere in the mid 20s but slightly humid so feels about 30. The bunkle doesn't stay particularly cool either.

Speaking of the bunkle (as I usually do), spent today doing the Heritage Vancouver annual house tour. Love going through houses and see how people have handled the challenges old houses bring. There was also an old commercial building on the tour that has been renovated into condos. Good to see the buildings are being maintained, but it confirmed my suspicion I just am not that...moderne. One bachelor condo (priced at $360K - and remember, this is right in the middle of crack-whoredom) was so open-concept that the shower was pretty much in the middle of the living space. It was a huge walk in thing that would comfortably shower you and four of your closest friends at the same time (and I'm not going to argue against that - ) but there is no door, no curtain, and when you exit the shower, you can wave at the guests sitting on your couch. As much as I hated refinishing my bathroom door, I couldn't live without it. They had added a story on to the top of the building as well and had a condo in progress on the tour - it was much larger and more livable and layout - and all windows and very sexy - but the problem for me was that it WAS all windows - where do you hang your art? Where do you put your bookcase? Maybe I'm just too practical. One nice thing was seeing some of the older homes and realizing that the bunkle, though tiny in size, is in a lot of ways a much more livable space that some of it's grander cousins. At least, a lot more livable for me, and that's all that matters in the end.

Other excitement this weekend: taking a class on making okonomiyaki and seeing the very lovely (in a refreshingly non-cloying way) Once