Titles Suck

Blogging really is a cruel passtime, not entirely sure why I do it, besides the obvious inflated ego. I mean really, when its dry its dry – nothing to report on, zilch of interest, just ho hum. Then a ton of things happen and you’re too busy to write about them and feel hopelessly overwhelmed when finally you decide to put fingers to keyboard. Aye. Well, such this is being of the latter. How’s that for craptastic English?

First things first. The move is on. I have to say a big fucking merciful thanks to the ditz who manages my building for letting me move in a week early. What a fucking Godsend. With memories of stuffing my car to absolute capacity for the drive across country its a relief to only jam a managable number of boxes into its every orifice for a multitude of short trips to deck the place out. I’ve done two loads and I think I have two more, the second just because I have no Internet set up there yet so I’m going to leave this humming strumming machine on this desk until the last possible moment, otherwise I lose all of you wonderful people. Yeah fuck whatever.

Its big, its empty, it echoes like a motherfucker. I need furniture and appliances like nobody’s business. But I’m a cheapskate so aside from a bed I intend to pay little to nothing for all my new stuff. That’s what the curb is for. The dumpster diving ban is officially lifted and I can’t pretend I’m not thrilled. I already scored a corner planter thingy that sort of fits the steampunk aesthetic I think I’m going to go for. Next trip is to the wealthy Anglo neighbourhood of Westmount. Oh yeah…

Next off is last Thursday night at the Pound. Good times. Jan wasn’t there but the other German was with his Belgian friend in tow. I love how Montreal is kind of a default Europe where I get to meet all sorts of ex-pats and visiting Euros on their way through the crass joke that is America. Why travel when the people come to you? Of course Alex and Dave were there as well, along with Jacob and the usual Pound “staff.” Everyone got invites to my house warming, Maud got two because I was so baked by the end of the night I couldn’t really remember what was going on. We played soccer in the back during one of the sets. That’s what I love about the Pound, its just freewheeling. There was a dog too, no idea…

I ended up sleeping in a nest of coats at the new apartment since its a shorter walk there than it is to the place on Fullum. It may sound uncomfortable, but when you have a dozen coats for every possible ocassion from cyber-punk invasion to Siberian death marches you’re talking about a lot of padding.

So I worked though a hangover Friday afternoon dreading my later night obligations. See I’d agreed to help volunteer at an event Friday night for a woman off of Tribe, mostly out of curiosity as to what her events looked and felt like. What I really wanted though was a chance to sleep, not minding the door from 11pm until 2am. Well truth be told it was one of the best things I did because it was like wandering into a dome tent at Burning Man around Destiny and 8:30. The vibe was amazing. Definitely on the hippy end of the spectrum, but after the punk DIY sense of the Pound it was the perfect pendulum swing. I got a rhythmic massage (which finally seems to have solved that kink I’ve had ever since a wave in the Dominican took me and thrust me headfirst into the beach like a reluctantly terrified ostrich), then had some wonderfully open and honest dialogue with some truly beautiful people, danced a bit and… oh hell. Got to oogle four of the sexiest young women I’ve seen in a long, long time.

Unfortunately I got stuck there until almost three thirty, my damn volunteer gene kicking in and making me stay to help clean up even though I had to be up to work today. But it was all for the best, with no kink in my back and still wafting throught he scent of that wonderful vibe I had a great day at work, at once focussed and calm, fully able to express myself and have fun.

So now I’m packing the last of my things to load into the car tomorrow morning and bring to the loft on my way to work. Everything is proceeding beautifully. Life is good. Montreal is good. Things will only get better. Wheeeee!

WANTED: Mechanic Friend

Position to be filled immediately. Must have working knowledge of Japanese imports from the mid-1990’s. Must be thorough and take pride in their work. Must be patient and able to explain work in layman’s terms. Ideally is willing to work side by side with the vehicle owner on fixing issues, forcing said white collar schlep to get his hands dirty.

Willing to work for cost of components plus hefty helpings of beer, pizza, poutine and the occasional buddy pass.

Must be genuinely passionate about cars.

Applicants with an interest in art cars will be given special consideration.

Just spent $70 at Canadian Tire to be told they didn’t really feel like my car needed any work, despite the fact my gas mileage has gone down by 10%-20% in the past four months. Some cursory reading of information on the Internet on automotives gives me some idea of things that might need looking at. Not likely I’ll trust it to a bunch of twats who get paid by the hour and don’t have any relationship with the car owner though. Fuck that.

Wire Art?

I’ve been thinking about building some kind of wireframe art for a while along the lines of this piece by artist Benedict Radcliffe though going with something a bit smaller… maybe. Anyways in my research to find out exactly what kind of wire coat hangars are made of (an ideal mix of strength and malleability) I found something, well, cool. Behold, coat hangars work just as good as high priced audio cables! Well shit. That’s fucking awesome. Instead of going out and buying expensive cable for the Living Room Cinematheque’s audio setup I think I’ll just rig up some kind of horribly complex steampunk contraption instead. A complicated wire sculpture winding around the ceiling and walls might be just what the doctor ordered, and why stop there? Why not add homemade variable resistors and other techniquities along the way?

While the rest of the world tries its best to go completely wireless I’m going to embrace the most primitive wiring I can imagine and turn it into installation art. All the better if there’s a shock hazard (sadly I can’t find the article on art designed to nearly injure spectators, but think Survival Research Laboratories and you’ll understand my muse a bit better). What better way to keep houseguests on their toes?

Its in the dictionary

Merriam Webster to be precice. Pynchonesque. Its a word. The English police said so.

Oddly enough though there are films, sentimental personal effects, a beautiful old projector and other rare and valuable things coming to me soon in an old chest, the thing I think I’ll be most excited to break out is my copy of Gravity’s Rainbow. Pynchon you son of a bitch – its been far too long.

I’ve just read two reviews of the author’s newest book, one from the New York Times claimed it felt more like a homage to Pynchon by a wannabe than a great work of art. The other review from some obscure UK publication painted a picture in all of Pynchon’s proper colour and forms. Pynchon’s books aren’t literature as we know it. They’re something else. Forced to classify I’d almost rate them as psychotropics and anyone who’s a true conniseur of drugs knows that you need to go into the trip with the right intention and mindset.

I think digging my oculars into a Pynchonian tome is just what my mushy little mellon needs about now, after being shrink wrapped, freeze dried and custom cut for the corporate world I’ve been inhabiting for the past few months. Its causing the death of me. I feel like I’ve been eating mental cardboard. Here I’m trying to be creative and witty and this is all I can produce. Laughable. But still…

I was inspired by skimming the contents of an inferior book, if you can call things that dont’ really inhabit the same genus superior or inferior to each other. Anyhow after reading a few pages of tripe and imagining better ways to write the same thing I realised I needed some literary sniffing salts. So I looked up Pynchon on the web.

But let’s break from all that to something not altogether unrelated. Burning Man. Speaking of disconnected narratives, the human menagerie, drugs, sex and alternate scientific possibilities for the soul – Burning Man. Has Pynchon ever gone? Considered it? Bah! Useless to ask. Just go on with the story. Okay.

I’ve noticed that when I dream of Black Rock City (and this happened only last night) that nowadays there is a pervasive impending threat. Out there by the trash fence, at the edge, where there and here meet. What do I see? Condos. No word of a lie. Legoland condo developments with their legoland inhabitants – you know, the ones with the switchable hair/hats? Yeah. Fucking condos man. They steal UE and they’re threatening to steal Black Rock.

Its interesting that for me the condo is the embodiment of all things banal, conformist and evil. Mass produced huksterism with nary a thought for the actual future or quality thereof. Am I a throwback or what? And to think I almost bought one. Holy Shit! That’s a great art project!

This terror can’t be mine alone! What about a giant billboard at the trash fence advertizing the pre-sale of Black Rock codominiums! Oh motherfucker what brilliance! Eris send me horrors that I may make them into art!

Further proof that ANYTHING can be reframed.

Good night.

Irregular Operations – March 8th, 2008

“Armageddon!” came the cry through the radio amidst the roar of gale force winds. “Armageddon!”

It was the desperate voice of one of the ground crew at Pierre Elliot Trudeau airport last night as we were hit by the most intense storm I have ever seen. A wall of snow barrelled into the airport at a hundred kilometers an hour and didn’t relent in its onslaught for the entire night. Visibility was zero, the windows shook and the wind whistled through every microscopic crack and opening. It goes without saying that nothing was taking off or landing.

The storm was so intense that at least one major highway connecting the airport to downtown was shut down. Shuttle services stopped and the line for taxis downstairs was over four hours long. All hotels within ten miles of the airport were booked solid, not that it mattered since you couldn’t go anywhere anyways.

We were up problem shooting with guests until two am, hours after all the other airline staff had given up and gone into hiding. All around us the stranded were sleeping, playing cards, one young man was even meditating. There were people everywhere, on benches, the floor, on the baggage belts, behind counters, then when we finally went upstairs to escape from it all, it went on. All through the hallways of the administration building people sleeping on the floor, clutching greedily to blankets from the fire department. It was an obstacle course to get to the office trying not to hit a blonde woman in the head when you opened the door.

I’ve never seen anything like it. It felt like a war or a natural disaster.

The morning crew was having trouble getting in, many weren’t going to make it at all so having no sleep and witout much idea of what we were going to do for people we set out again at 5am to face the hordes.

By 7:30 a few other employees had made it in and we’d managed to deal with the guests who had immediate flights though hundreds were still for the time being stranded. With the help of some coworkers we dug my car out and headed out onto the eerily vacant freeway. Then in the rearview mirror I saw something terrifying. Right behind me in a deadly phalanx of steel were five snowplows bearing down. Sleep deprived and barely gripping the surface of the road I never the less punched the gas since a potential spinout on concealed ice was better than a guaranteed snow plow enema.

We ate a ridiculously large breakfast at a funky little breakfast cafe and bubbled in a strange sleep deprived haze of post-traumatic hysteria. Somehow I managed to make it the rest of the way home, carve out a little parking space out of the mountainous snow drifts on my street, crawl up to my room and into a ten hour coma.

I’d write so much more about the absurdity, the Lord of the Flies at the airport, but people deserve some respect for making it through a harrowing experience of winter’s wrath when all they were planning for was a week on some southern isle. I’m also in need of some sleep. I need to try and get my body back on track if I’m to function at all tomorrow. Lots to do, lots to get done. Okay. Let’s go.


One of the difficulties plaguing Burners from outside of the United States is the difficulty with bringing things across the border without arousing suspicion. As if distance weren’t problem enough many an ambitious art project was rejected for fears that the Gestapo at the 49th parallel would confiscate, arrest or otherwise block passage of the industrious art or artists. The challenge then is to figure out things which can be easily and unobtrusively transported, or put together after crossing the American frontier. Call it working within the limitations of the form.

Well I think I just came up with one. Its based on some art I recently saw on the Internet, right about… here!

A nice thing about the playa and Burning Man in general is that from a distance it looks pretty similar year to year. I mean really, big blue sky with a few wisps of cloud up there, mountains, some crazy structures and domes waaaay off in the distance, then down to cracked and parched desert sand. Pretty standard. Which means… perspective camouflage is actually pretty easy to do. My first thought was to simply print off a costume using some photographs of the playa in previous years, but then I thought, what about body paint? Sure the application of such a detailed work would be pretty time intensive, but the effect for people seeing it from the right vantage point would be pretty trippy.

Another idea borrows from my friend Amira who painted a gorgeous Burning Man scene on a discarded billboard. What about a time warp? Somewhere out on the playa put a giant picture of the playa at night so that during the day you can see what it looks like 12 hours opposite? Likewise have a sheet that’s the playa during the day illuminated at night to create a portal into the daytime. Neither would be too difficult to set up, aside from begging for the wind to pick them up and toss them into the nearest trash fence.