Thursday, May 31, 2007

post secret

Tonight my friend Isis and I went to OCAD to hear Frank Warren speak about his community arts project Post Secret. Isis and I are both named after Bob Dylan songs. I feel that its a real bonding factor in our friendship. That, and the fact that she is hilarious and really fucking smart.

Anyway, Post Secret is actually amazing, it was started in 2004 (I think... fuck I'm bad at dates... oh the double entendre! Hahahahah! HAH! Sob!). Moving on: people from all over the world have sent this guy anonymous postcards that they have made and written a secret on, something that they haven't told anyone. Sometimes they're hilarious, and sometimes reading them makes you feel like you've been kicked in the stomach. Its weird/reassuring that certain things are just so terrible, but so universal. Frank said that he gets a lot of cards about suicide, and a lot about peeing in the shower.

He has all these secrets mailed to his home address, he gets about 1000/week. Then he posts 20 on his blog every Sunday. He's also published them in 3 different books. He talked about how he felt that making art wasn't about studying or formal training and more about the personal courage needed to take something you've made and show it to other people. That totally resonated with me. I know that if I were to send in a postcard (and I probably will), it would be something really fucking emo or emo-political or emo-ironic. Something I would deride as being completely lame if the lights were on and everyone could see me. Oh fuck, we're bordering on dramatic here. Also, bordering on using the word "fuck" one too many times in a note. Just check out his blog:

Post Secret

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

wheel of organ

A friend of mine who spent a few months working in the Netherlands can attest to the following statement: Dutch people are MENTAL. Serious.

Nevermind THIS, a warped parade they have at Christmas where white guys dress up in black face and accompany Santa through town, now they've taken reality tv to a level that is just WRONG:

Win my Kidney!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Thank god for the photographer passed out on my couch last night

I came home with the intention of writing a rllly drunken, emo blog (I think I would have referred repeatedly to "the scene"...eep). But there was some dude sleeping beside my computer. Phew!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

vid (creatve title, i know)

This song could be terrible, I haven't watched the vid with the sound on yet... but its directed by Michel Gondry (who I love), and so I don't care.

I read ink

I've been reading Solzhenitsyn's The First Circle since I found it last week in a used book store in London. Shockingly, its fucking depressing. Like Sylvia-Plath-writing-about-terminally-ill-children-in-the-Sudan-depressing. Its a 400+ page novel that describes the minutiae of three days worth of living in a part of the Russian gulag designated for professionals and academics. While they aren't made to do hard labour like the other prisoners, they're still captives of Stalin's Soviet government. The title references Dante's first circle of Hell and the limbo-like state these guys live in. I'm at the part where its looking as though they are about to sacrifice themselves to the hard labour camps in Siberia in order to make some sort of moral point. I'm missing Nabokov, he never moralizes.

Anyway, it was all getting to be a bit heavy and doing absolutely nothing for my mood, so I switched. I'm now re-reading Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. I find it hilarious. It makes me laugh out loud, which books rarely do. But I've read it already, and everything I bought last weekend is in the same depressing vein as The First Circle, with the exception of the Anais Nin, but I don't think I can deal with her right now... so basically this was a long-winded plea for summer reading recommendations/book loans. I can deal with "dark" or even "bleak", just not "hopeless" or also anything with the word "Shopaholic" in the title. Go.

Monday, May 14, 2007

architecture for the deranged

My most recent obsession is with monuments people have built to... well, their own insanity. I don't know, maybe insanity is too harsh a word. But they definitely aren't expressions of normality... but I guess art never is. Although I find Monet pretty fucking boring.

This kind of started a few years ago when my Nana came back from Prague with a book for me on the bone cathedral, Sedlec Ossuary. The interior of the building is decorated and furnished with items constructed from human skeletons, like 40 000 of them. Apparently a lot of Czechs died during the Black Death and wanted to be buried here. Too many. So when the cathedral was reconstructed they put this carpenter dude in charge of making some sense and order out of all these bones. Personally, my first instinct would be incineration, then a bone chandelier. Luckily for lovers of the macabre (ME!!), he thought differently:

I really, really, really need to see this IRL. Its hurting me.

Also: a friend of mine was working in LA last summer and was telling me about driving into Watts after dark (picture a skinny Jewish boy with glasses, sorry Fred, but you are) to see the towers while being followed by an LAPD helicopter the entire time. I had never heard of the towers despite the fact that Fred claims they are in basically every LA-set film or tv show. Anyway, this Italian guy spent about 33 years of his life building these 17 towers on his property, mostly from steel and wire, but also using mortar to inlay stuff you might find in your recycling bin, to make the most beautiful mosaics. Then he moved because he didn't like his neighbours.

After nearly being demolished by the city, the towers are now a National Historic Landmark. Which makes me feel like an even bigger jerk for not knowing about them.

So I think my whole thing is that these guys, a woodcarver and a construction worker, built this shit with none of the pretense usually attributed to the art world, or without any concern about being viewed as "artists". Also the scale of their work kind of awes me. I'm looking for more examples of this kind of thing... so if you know any, link pls.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Patrick Wolf was amazing.

Also: do NOT try to out-suicide Graydon. You'll be all "I would dive off the bar and take one of those spikey lights right in the chest!" And you'll think you're hott shitt. But then he'll come back with a game plan involving the dragon with the glowing orb, an electrical cord, and goldschlagger. And you'll feel so lame.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Monday, May 7, 2007

ok, i get it, you're in "love"

Yesterday I was walking down the street, in a good mood (read: Bailey's in my coffee) with Ela when she decides to do one of her characteristic middle-of-the-sidewalk (why wait for grass?) poops. Not a big deal. She finishes, I pick up, we're good. But as I look up, there's a wall of people coming down the sidewalk towards me. Fine, we can squeeze through, only the people I'm trying to squeeze past are a couple, holding hands, and apparently, unwilling to let go.

Instead, they lift their arms making a little arch for me, dog, and dog poop, to pass under. Problem: they're like, 5'3 and 5'7, respectively. I'm 5'9 and wearing heels. Its fucking ridiculous. Really? You can't unclasp hands for the 2.5 seconds it will take me to get by you? I have to crouch down to pass under your midget-bridge? If I hadn't had a leash in one hand and a bag of shit in the other I totally would have karate chopped their hands apart.

Thursday, May 3, 2007


omg my loves for russians just surpassed my hates for cats.

I'm so alone.

I locked up my bike on Queen St. today and was gone for about 4 hrs before I got back to find that I had left the book I had just bought in my bike basket. It was Nabokov's Glory. Does no one else like Russian Lit? This is Toronto, not Pleasantville. Why the fuck didn't anyone steal it?