30 Mar 2007, 5:33pm
Glad Game Photos


Sights on walkabouts lately…

You never know what you’ll see when you glance down.

Tragically, someone kicked the bucket here. 😉

Look up: Facades are ghost written by sunlight.

Glad Game: TGIF. Tomorrow TGIS. Then TGIS again. But a different one. Anyhew, to move right along…

Morning started well. Had some nice blips over the day. Something more to look forward to upcoming.

Glad to be training myself to redirect to what’s working as auto-encourage program.

Three consecutive days of crossing everything off my to-do lists. (Well, except from two items from my grocery sub-list but that doesn’t count). It helps that today’s list was really short. But still, progress made.

Sun’s baking the room. It’s up to 30 degrees in here. I’m starting to wilt and glaze but am not complaining. Eventually I may have to open a window or else swoon. ’til then, what to do, what to do….

I know, bake bread. :)

In its second rising, should be ready for the oven around sunset to keep the heat going. Ahhhh, yeasty goodness.


Quote: “It is not easy to find happiness in ourselves, and it is not possible to find it elsewhere.” — Agnes Repplier

Article Links: World Beats and Eats at a mag by business journalism students which also has one on how the whole scan-own-merchandise-plan is working out and one on sourcing locally grown food.

29 Mar 2007, 3:28pm
Books Photos Poets
Comments Off on Photos around Ottawa, Poets

Photos around Ottawa, Poets

A grainy snapshot of Melissa Thompson reading from Dreadful Paris, her novel, an excerpt about the character talking with gramma who threatened to cut off her cash supply support unless she followed her dream, or else returned a photo she had stolen from a gravesite and kept as her talisman, taped to her body.

I don’t know if I describe that well, but I found the style of narrative to be absorbing.

Amanda also has a description of the evening‘s reading.

Later still in the week was a Tree readingAmanda has more on this reading too.

There were a lot of sit up straight and wow, what/who was that sort of poetry in the open set. For example, David O’Meara’s poem on a woman boat racer who survived to race again and Michelle Desbarats’ poem on items in your life which you internalize into memory — I’d like the chance to enjoy these a second time. I’m always on the lookout for strong women and things about strong women. [P.S. April 20th, O’Meara’s on the Writer’s Fest schedule so might get my wish.]

In camera corner, the focus for the moment is on Bob and his surprisingly humorous (considering the subject) HPV poem.

Don McKay ably tied together the subjects of who had read before him in a beautifully deft acknowledgement. He entertained with quippy asides throughout with his reading to a full house of about 80 people (to take a wild blunt stab at head count).

I once read a book from his long list of titles. A book of essays on him and his science-accuracy mixed with madcap poems came out a few months ago. He’s got a new one out Strike/Slip, in 2006, on geology.

For the phrases alone in his closing piece I want to get back and dig into more. He read, “loneliness that must be entered rather than resolved[…]a time to cast away stones[…]to leave.”

Quote: “The urge to write is physical and demands a physical response. You can feel your ideas swell like the tide. The words are fast behind. They long to find land, the page.” — Beth Mende Conny at WriteDirections.com [via Nienke]

Thought which never fits in: On a shutter-bug-binge, I notice that I can crop photos to the dimensions that my camera takes, vertically or horizontally automatically. I frame what I see in those dimensions. As comfortable as that is, I’m starting to itch at the confinement. It’s a golden ratio but still online I don’t have to restrict myself to Kodak print shapes. But I have to consciously pull back to give myself that permission. It’s rather like chunking my thoughts for speaking to air, or structuring ideas to be read online, or writing based on width of page. An incumbrance to flow if done exclusively. Anyhew…

Want to help name a bridge? or speak to eliminate plastic shopping bags like San Fransciso?

Humourous Blog Link: Living with cats, sheesh!

Comic Link: just cuz ok?

27 Mar 2007, 4:33pm
Architecture Arts

Artistic Spaces


Think this is a rendering from a drawing program?

Nope. In the Comic Art Room “every corner and angle is outlined with a thin, hand-drawn, black line – whether on the ceiling, on the bed, or around a plug. The result is a dollhouse-like, comic book room.” That would be fun to do at home, wouldn’t it? I like the reversal. Instead of trying to make a painting real, why not try to make the real (a) comic?

At the Kunst Hotel each room has been decorated by a renowned artist in a distinctive way. One reproduces the feeling of being 3 years old at the side of gramma’s bed, another is a nest complete with huge eggs dispersed around the room. Guests lie secure in their “nest” under a giant beak projecting from the wall over the white bed. If that’s what makes you feel secure. If you’ve watched enough Hitchcock, it’s your horror room perhaps. So long as you enjoy. :)

How riveting. It made me stop. A glass wall reflects so the seam between sky and not. I seem to be in a mood to be dazzled wherever I go.

Photo Link: We spend most of photography, taking ourselves out of the picture, but Patti’s images integrate the shadow of the photographer to interesting effects.

Quote: “Cultivate more joy by arranging your life so that more joy will be likely.” — Georgia Witkin

26 Mar 2007, 5:02pm

Arthur Erickson

If you missed the lecture…Arthur Erickson and H. Masud Taj: In Conversation — The Video

The School of Architecture has a video prepared by Prof. Janine Debanné of the last of our 2006-7 Forum Lecture Series. The event occured on March 5th, 2007 in the auditorium of the National Gallery of Canada. It will be presented on Wednesday March 28th, 2007, at 6:00 pm in the “Pit” of the School of Architecture, Carleton University, Ottawa.

Masud Taj has deeply studied the meanings, implications and examples of Arthur Erickson’s work at length. This led to an astute interview, with pictures here.

Erickson is a preeminent architect in Canada, and has been for decades. He has both designed and taught in the process of bringing new forms to new generations of people to experience. In fact as a letter that came via Taj pointed out, the architectural landscape he created in Robson Square in the 1970s became the foundational landscape, the natural landscape that people interact with. The letter-writer pointed out that the square the only one she had known to be there, where she went to skywatch and people watch. Structurally enabling people to relate to the sky and vista are trademark aspects of the Erickson style.

He likes to go to the simplest form, without ornamentation, even of drawing attention to source industrial look. He is influenced by the Chicago style and was a contemporary of Frank Lloyd Wright. He had had the chance to work with his as a student but passed it over. Meeting Wright however, his impressions didn’t match those who complain of Wright’s gruff fierceness. He only seemed a gracious man.

At the Museum of Anthropology he drew, for his inspiration, from the natives whose culture are the feature of the museum. The stone post and beam archways suggest the totem entryways to native homes. The settlements were riparian as the museum is designed to sit at water’s edge. The architecture would be completed by filling the waterscape he made, on more than just his 90th birthday celebration. Although he remarks on how glorious it was, filled with lights floating on the water.

His style is often using open space on a monumental scale. The Waterfall Building is structured as an archway with water coming down from the arch, from one angle like a beaded curtain. It obscures sound from the street, opens into a courtward then above are private condos, each with a spiral staircase to a roof terrace.

In the Bank of Canada Building, Erickson wanted to contrast with the old building in materials and style, shifting from stone and copper which as the hallmarks of Ottawa to glass. Inside of it, there is a forest and a currency museum so there is a circulation of money and air and people. There’s a fluid exchange.

Erickson is find of movement in spaces he creates. He spoke of being inspired for Simon Fraser Uninversity by the idea of a 1000-year-old model of a university where students would interact, studying and lying on lush carpets in a free-form association, not basing where they are on their department of study. If all lectures are held in one place, and all professors in another place, regardless of field, there is a basis for fertile cross-pollination of ideas. The philosophers and hard science and artists can all teach and learn from each other in conversations of incidental contact. Knowledge should be increased by serendipity structured by architectural design.

He was described as doing buildings for sites and for social rituals. They are deliberate attempts to change the way people interact. His works include The Bank of Canada Building in the nation’s capital, the Provincial Law Courts in Robson Square, the Museum of Anthropology and Simon Fraser’s Rotunda in British Columbia.

He related how, when he was a student, his favorite professor had taught him in a way so people learned but were baffled and pulled forward in the process because “you didn’t know what he was trying to teach you”. Similarly Erickson himself has played with teaching styles, for example, asking people to strike poses without explaining why then ask them to figure out the mechanics of how to structurally support such a pose.

He feels he was influenced from his time as a child growing up with a mom who taught him to always question and with a dad who was a war veteran from whom he learned the meaning of dedication. As a result it came into his way of thinking to make public buildings wheelchair accessible as his childhood home had been 30 years before it was the norm.

Arthur Erickson’s own time in the military learning Japanese by immersion served to expose him to different architecture and refined his aesthetic by exposure to Japanese architecture. He feels himself inspired by Eastern architecture which places nature at its center, as opposed to western architecture which places man at the center. He considers the central subject of development to be an existential one: what meaning should I get from being here?

When at the Provincial Courts and there is a public roof for pedestrians to walk and rest literally over the top of the heads of the “highest powers”, he seems to suggest a meaning he would like.

Quote: “I could have asked questions in any field, but I am doing it through my buildings.” — Arthur Erickson

Story Telling

March 27th will be storytelling by Ottawa Storytellers at the Tea Party on York St. The theme this Tuesday will be Fearless Women.

It’s a lovely venue. They have rearranged the place and expanded their offerings of tea, coffee and desserts.

At one table was a knitting circle. Since last time we were there a new cabinet has been added with cards, chess, chinese checkers and so on to supplement the conversation between sets.

Mary Wiggin was one of the readers last time with captivating stories of a couple of pickpockets in love and another of a Japanese wrestler.

There’s generally 2 readers per night.

The art for sale on the walls are by D. Beddoe of various images from moose to a woman standing in tall grass with a cello on a sort of burlap canvas. This detail gives some idea of the texture and color although web-image can’t touch the variety of hues of paint.

Quiz: Arial or Helvetica Quiz (See also The scourge of Ariel) [previous link via Silliman]

Quote: “It’s easier to rebuild than to recriminate.” — Fraggle quiz

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