Tuesday, October 28, 2008

my day in pictures.

It's fall. Here is a picture of fall.

Here is another one.

Cigarette butts and tire rubber look not so bad when wet.

This is how Montréal pedestrians walk the sidewalks.
You'd think more people would get hurt.

I don't know who this guy is...

but drunk teevee man doesn't approve.

I'm not sure that that is what that dog is really thinking.
(that three times in a sentence. SNAP!)

Hey Steve!


Big pig.

Cantaloupe 99¢.
I didn't buy because I already have a mango.
You can have too much fruit.

Pineapples are better for you than you think.

Apple is the nerd of the fruit world.


Neither of these two is me.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

walking in the rain.

Yesterday was rainy, which I love. This is probably contrary to what most people wish for. But most modern people don't understand adventure, and that suits me just fine. Keeps them off the sidewalks during rain showers.

The best adventures don't even really require a parachute (although the need for a parachute does guarantee an adventure - that is a hard and fast rule). Just leaving the house is enough, preferably with a sidekick. Mine was French Panic.

Some sort of obstacle must present itself at some point. Don't look too hard for one. Ours was a red light or two.

Patience and doing nothing can often make most problems go away, however.

Another key element to an adventure is to not be well prepared. Somewhat prepared, but you just have to leave something up to chance. In our case, we didn't dress 100% for the weather. Our sneakers and long pants were very wet long before we made it to the end of our block. Also, we did not bring chocolate. Dangerous. Try to always remember snacks.

Special gear is important because it makes you feel special. We had umbrellas.

A mission is helpful so that you know when the adventure is over, although a true adventure is never over until you are safely back at home enjoying some warm beverage and grilled cheese sandwiches. Our mission was to go to Home Depot and retrieve an element (for an oven - I wanted to leave this vague but that seems indulgant now, so I'll do the next best thing and explain my parenthesiss).

Remember how those hobbits snuck into Mordor? Pretty much the same thing here but without the gollum. The mostly empty parking lot was a very sinister place. Imagination is an important part of every adventure.

An important thing to do on an adventure is to check all the pockets and all the bags that you have. I did have a flask of scotch that remained undiscovered until after the adventure. That could have made Home Depot a little more fun and our feet feel a little less wet.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Canada... why so lazy?

I try to avoid preaching as it tends to bring out the worst qualities in humans. So I’m torn apart trying to chastise my fellow Canadians that refused to vote this week.

Here is the dilemma; we live in what folks like to call a ‘free’ or ‘democratic’ in which we have a chance to choose our overlords. We are lucky to have this option, but it is, in the end, an option. I must respect the right of those who refuse to put the effort of walking some blocks and use a pencil to put an X in one of several happy little circles.

I would like to believe that these people have come to this decision with some sort of intellectual process as in ‘I refuse to vote due to the fact that all options sicken me’ or ‘I am not well enough informed to make an adequate decision.’

That sort of sentiment I can get behind. I do love sticking it to the man and when the election was announced, I had a similar notion. Since moving to this Montréal home I have voted in several elections and each one leaves me feeling rather inconsequential.

However, as interviewers with the non-voting public show us, most people are just too lazy. Some seem more interested in the American election because it makes for better television. It certainly is the theater of the absurd.

We are Canadian though. We cannot vote for an American president and with 15 minutes of coverage on the Daily Show each evening, I think we can safely say we are as well informed as will matter to the average Canadian.

Other folk didn’t know about an election, which is frightening since so many found the time to turn election signs into what they ought to be; mockery of anyone foolish enough to run for public office.

I do enjoy the idea of the Bloc Québecois being run by KISS.

Good old Gilles seemed be the main target for pranksters. I think his pretty eyes disturbed some holligan. I'm not sure what the 'w' is about. It certainly takes away from the blacked out eyes.

Perhaps it is better that the stupid not vote.

It is embarrassing.

Only 59.1 percent of eligible voters bothered to vote. THE WORST EVER since 1867!!!

As if that wasn’t enough, my precious CBC had people calling in asking if the election could not be done online next time. Holy shit. We are a lazy bunch. There isn’t even any snow on the ground yet.

I won’t go on about thousands dying for our right to vote, mostly because I don’t believe that to be ultimately true at all. We don’t really live in a truly free country. No one does. We all have to live by rules that allow society to run somewhat smoothly. True freedom would infer that I could go and beat Mr. Harper with some sort of hard, blunt object because he needlessly ripped funding away from the very people who could help fund me and my little project. Jerk.

If we don’t bother to vote for people to make such rules, we will find a day when it will not be an option. We will then only be voting for our favorite dancer or singer or survivor.

We need this electoral process. We need our administrators to be scared of us at least once every few years. Otherwise we might finding ourselves having to protest. I’m warning you, lazy Canadians, protesting involves much more walking (sometimes running, fighting, getting arrested etc.) never mind all the extra dull reading involved.

Seriously, get off your ass next time this comes up. You did pay for it after all.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

back alleys.

The cultural measure of any town or city can be found in the alley ways. This is a far more productive way of discovering what is going on than by figuring out how many people appreciate the ballet or opera or how many art galleries a town has.

The problem with focusing on art galleries and ballet or opera fans, is that it is not a direct contribution by the residents. That is unless the production is put on by the community, which can backfire, since acting and singing aren’t automatic skills for most of us.

Each region should have its own flavour, its own sense of expression, instead of following some stuffy interpretation of culture approved by the local chamber of commerce.

Why I choose the humble alley as an indicator to a town’s artistic worth is because it a largely ignored space. In most places it serves only as a backdoor, a place of utility and nothing more. It makes a very nice canvas for the brave and creative, if any such people are allowed to freely express themselves in the community.

Here are some photos of the back alley behind the town square of Hinton, Alberta.

Pretty dull. Nothing on the wall. Relatively clean, but not inspiring or interesting. This is what Hinton is like; uninspiring and utilitarian.

Here are some back alley photos from my current home, Montréal.

This is more than a mere tag or symbol of personal ego. People clearly worked hard to paint an ignored part of the landscape and had more to express than their name hastily scrawled with an eye out for the cops.

Even if the wall is one colour, that is a measure of someone’s choice, of an expression of what they hold important and unimportant. Some might call that art. Perhaps many would prefer that walls be plain. Sometimes that looks good. Sometimes that’s the sort of thing that easily gets funding from the government; uninspired and inoffensive art.

I would rather risk being offended than bored.