Friday, October 26, 2007

my favorite movie maker

This post is a bit of a cop-out. Currently I'm battling procrastination, and I promised to do just one post before I get back to the work.

I'm not a big fan of embedding youtube videos, but I am a big fan of Wes Anderson.

For those who don't know about him, he is the director of The Royal Tenenbaums, Bottle Rockets, Rushmore, The Life Aquatic and The Darjeeling Limited. All are brilliant films, and I recommend them. Each of them come close to perfect movies (if only in my mind).

Some people just don't seem to understand them though, and a quick google search will reap a large number of critiques of The Life Aquatic with jealous folk claiming Anderson is all washed up and that the movie doesn't work.

The movie certainly does work. They just don' t get it.

Perhaps it is because a major theme through all of his films is failure after initial success and the fear that comes along with that. It is essentially the fear of getting old, an uncomfortable aspect of life that we rarely talk about.

He obviously has an impressive creative team behind him, and I'd somehow like to attach myself to it. Perhaps, maybe, he has procrastination issues too.

Here he is in a commercial.

I'm gonna get back to 'mixing it all together' now.

(the new banner is special for halloween)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

haiku for a seagull

seagull with pizza
you fly quickly through the park
i hope it tastes good

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

questions about gravestones

French Panic and I were just wondering if you can put anything you want on your gravestone. Does anyone know for sure?

Ever since I watched my favorite movie, The Royal Tenenbaums, for the first time, I’ve tried to think of the perfect quote, an utter lie, to have carved into stone. So far, I’ve come up with not too much.

I too would like to simply write ‘HOLMES’ and leave it at that. But I think it would be too subtle, and people would just think that was my name, and not a greeting, even if I wrote ‘hey’ at the beginning.

Do we have to have the proper dates carved into a gravestone? Could I just say I was born in 1532? Because I would like that.

I’m too lazy to do any actual research on my own, so if someone could get back to me with theories or an actual answer, or even just a creative lie that I can pawn off as the truth, that would be super.

what's wrong with the rich people?

This perverted little scene was in the shop window of an Outremont boutique.

Outremont is the neighbourhood right next to Mile End. Everything changes when you cross the street, though it may be hard to see the difference at first. The back alleys are spotless, as compared to our back alleys, which often smell of dog shit and sour milk. The street signs are more pleasant. The grocery store charges just that little bit more for the bottled tap water, and the dairy section never ever smells like the dairy sections of Mile End grocery stores. On surface, it is on the right side of the tracks.

Mostly, the residents of Outremont are wealthy francophones (including the slimy mayor of Montréal and Brian Mulroney - that sort of folk) and Hassidic jews. It is an odd mix of society, which don't actually mix.

The mayor of the rich little borough was fired a week or so ago for running a private bar for himself and his cronnies using public funds, which certainly adds that Montréal style corruption to the community. I must confess to giggling with glee at the news, however, I've never had to sit through a city council meeting. Perhaps a thousand dollar bottle of scotch is a legitimate business expense.

I'm not sure why anyone would make statues of bent over Chinese kids. I'm even less sure about lining three of them up in a row in the front window of a chichi boutique.

I am hoping that there is a reasonable explanation for decorating a living room with this motif.

Not wanting to explore what all of this potentially represents, I'm just content knowing that is unlikely I will ever become a rich francophone yuppie.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

haiku for an ex-boss/tormentor

rich fat businessman
pounding on your blackberry
you are such a turd

(photo censored to provide plausible deniability.)

coffee for two on a sunday

Monday, October 22, 2007

bébé à bord

Baby on board signs
on parked cars make me nervous
please remove baby

Sunday, October 21, 2007

painted hole covers

I live in Mile End.

It is the coolest neighbourhoods that I’ve ever lived in. Some days I just don’t feel cool enough to live here.

Everyone looks vaguely familiar, as if you should know them because they’re in a band, or are mildly famous artists that the local art weekly has been going on and on about.

Proof of this is that the guy living downstairs from us is a well known DJ and the next place over is the home of a writer.

Someone told me that this area has the highest density of artists and filmmakers and musicians.

I don’t know about that. Seems like one of those made up statistics (73% of statistics are created on the spot, which is astonishingly high, but there you are).

Still, some artist has decided to take the time to paint every single person hole (or can we call them manhole covers again?) to match the colour scheme of the businesses and homes around them.

This wouldn’t fly in Edmonton. I’m sure it would be considered some sort of anti-establishment style vandalism.

The city of Montréal even approved of it. Probably because it was free maintenance of hole covers.

Anyhow, painted hole covers make me very happy... like an episode of Sesame Street. I fully expect Mr. Snuffleupagus to wander out of a back alley one day.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

breakfast at Ém café

This was my most excellent breakfast on Saturday. The bananas are inside the crêpe, and I got two different kinds of cream... I didn't even know that I needed two kinds of cream. My eyes have been opened. I will now demand that all dairy needs be backed up with a second, more different, option.

Another café has opened in Mile End. This one is very clean and simple and oozes good taste. It is called Ém Café, and since I said something nice and took a pretty picture without asking for money, I think I deserve free coffee.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

a to do list

This is a to do list that my friend Kat wrote when I visited New York City for the first time. She is the very best tour guide, if you have the energy to keep up.

1 - Turkish Bathhouse: This was a very strange experience. Besides already being in awe of the city that I had only experienced through my small teevee screen, I now found myself mostly naked with many strangers in a strange and cavernous bathhouse. I saw a topless women get beaten with some branches, which apparently is supposed to feel pretty good. I was wearing rented shorts and not feeling all that great about it. There was just a mess of human beings in a very small room that was far too hot and dark for my taste.

Just when I was feeling like it was junior high all over again, a cute girl said, 'Hi, [my real name here], how's it goin'?' I talked to her for a bit, completely confused as to how she knew my name. When I found Kat again - she knows most of New York, apparently - I asked her who would know that I was here. It turned out to be a friend of hers that I had met several hours before, but couldn't place the face.

I'm not sold on the Turkish Bath. It scared me.

2 - We took the Staten Island ferry. We also managed to get a New York Pretzel, and I got to say that Montréal actually does a better New York Pretzel than New York.

3 - We only walked part way across the Brooklyn Bridge, but I was impressed.

4 - I don't know what the Bulgaria is. I imagine a club. We didn't get to this one.

5 - Kat dragged me through Harlem and her old neighborhood. It was amazing to be so white and probably obvious Canadians when we opened our mouths. Everyone recognized Kat, cause she is just that lovable. We even hung out with some of her friends in an apartment. I felt pretty white, but people seemed willing to smile. There seemed to be an eerie number of funeral homes.

6 - We walked by Katz's diner, but I hardly cared about this movie icon.

7 - Never saw the Sunshine theater. Maybe next time.

8 - B and H is a famous camera store. We didn't make it to that one. Good thing, cause I didn't have much money and I would have come out of there bankrupt.

9 - I went to the MET. It was my first few hours alone in NYC since Kat had a statistics exam. I could have spent the whole 3 days in that building.

10 - I did not get roughed up.

11 - Freedman was an old boss of ours. He wasn't home. Just as well... I'm not the prank call sort of person.

12 - I don't eat greasy breakfasts. Mostly because you need to have sausages and eggs for a greasy breakfast and I hate eggs and meat (possible exception for bacon) should not be eaten before lunch in my world.

13 - Had the pretzel, but missed out on the hotdog.

It was a good trip. I took the train down from Montréal. I think that is the way to travel. Kat is still the best tour guide ever.

haiku for a cup of coffee that french panic drank

lipstick on coffee
does that make it taste better?
I did not try it

Monday, October 15, 2007

haiku for a cool car in the fall

This is a cool car
I'm sure it goes very fast
It looks better parked

Saturday, October 13, 2007

what I did on a thursday

Last Thursday, instead of watching the fabulous number of good television programs (mostly The Office, which I find funny and painful to watch which makes for active watching as my butt cheeks squeeze together in anxiety), I bravely headed off to learn something new with several francophone strangers.

The photo is the result of me learning how to do polaroid transfer onto japanese paper. In fact, that is actually two attempts photoshopped together to make it prettier. If you are wondering where this portion of bridge is, it is in Peace River spanning the Peace River.

Getting out of the house is good. Get out! Get out! Maybe it's on fire!

Friday, October 12, 2007

le Bibliothèque nationales du Québec

Last week me and French Panic took the metro machine to the library... the national bibliothèque. It was terribly exciting as we have been talking about doing this 20 minute trip for about 2 years now.

I forgot about the excitement that a library offers. All those books, albums and movies. All borrowed for free. Everyone playing along with the rules of the library, helped by all the nicely dressed and quiet security folk.

I think this sort building is what the United Nations meant to do for the world.

Because we like to spend Saturdays getting nothing much done at all, we only had about 40 minutes to look around. The 30 minute warning came not long after we found the music collection.

I grabbed whatever looked vaguely like reggae in a panic. Apparently it falls into the category of world music. By definition, isn’t all music world music? Or is most music coming from off planet now?

When I think world music, I think of that crazy hippy chick I dated briefly before ‘a wall came between us’ (that’s what she told me. I never saw the wall, but I’m quite grateful that I ran into it.) She would dance to anything earthy and chastise me for not joining in. But the world music always seemed to combine pan flutes, rain sticks and white hippies badly banging on bongo drums... and I never really got it. That and the neo-hippie attitude that looked down on everything, abandoning pot and electricity while constantly trying to outdo each other.

All that to say that Toots Hibbert and the Maytals are not world music. Toots created the term reggae, and that’s something pretty special.

So the album I grabbed was True Love. It is one of those duet albums where other, often more mainstream names, pay tribute by singing along. Mostly I regard these cds with about the same contempt as best of albums which are for housewives and little girls (I stole that quip from Bruce McCulloch).

However, I didn’t see Bono’s name in the liner notes, so I grabbed it.

It is rare that a reworking of a classic ever exceeds the original, but I’m happy to report that this duet/tribute album comes very close. Funky Kingston which matches Toots and the Maytals with Bootsy Collins and the Roots, is as good as that song will ever get for me... short of them all playing together on stage, in front of me, and some friends, probably. It would be real creepy if it was just me. I don’t think I’d like that so much.

All this excitement from one visit to the national library.

Next Saturday I’m gonna tackle the graphic novel corner... thousands of comics just sitting on shelves. Then I’ll come home and sit in my tub listening to Toots while I read book after book. My ex-hippy girlfriend would never approve.

So go to your local bibliothèque, now 85% hippy free.

Friday, October 05, 2007

danger, danger

Never trust a hole cover. They only work because of gravity, and how many times has gravity let us down?

Monday, October 01, 2007


You aren't supposed to put pictures up with strangers in them, cause they might get mad. I'm gonna take a chance that Metroman won't mind though. He's my favorite superhero.