Saturday, 9 February 2013

And promises to keep

As several people pointed out to me by email after the last post, the show wasn't the only thing that kept me busy in January (all photos, except the last one, are from the installation).


When my world fell apart, I had several people want me to come and volunteer with their organizations to keep me occupied. At the time, physically and mentally, I wasn't capable of making commitments like that, but, I was told, whenever you're ready, we'd love to have you.

So when I returned from Ontario and Quebec, I was ready to pick up two parts of my life -- one new, and one very, very old -- and I'm exceedingly grateful that I was welcomed with open arms.

That being said, they kept me extra-ordinarily busy in January as well.


The new adventure was being a volunteer during the High Performance Rodeo, an annual theatre (mostly, with some music and visual arts events) festival that I've attended in the past and thoroughly enjoyed. I was an usher for a couple of shows, surveyed paying customers before others, and saw more theatre and dance in a month than I have in the last two years. Working with the wonderful staff of One Yellow Rabbit Performance Theatre and the other volunteers was a lot of fun: I hope to do it again next year.


The other pleasurable occupation was returning to my roots by being requalified to do a live music show at CJSW, the University of Calgary radio station where I got my start in broadcasting forty years ago. The station has expanded over the years, and moved upstairs to cushy new digs awhile back, but some things, like the attitude of the people who walk through the door, hasn't changed a bit.

I never remember doing a two-hour music show as "hard work," but then, that was before we had real call letters, and a licence from the CRTC: now, there are rules about Canadian content, and the station guidelines of playing music from the playlist, scheduled ads and promos, and reading PSAs when you're told to, not just when you think of it.


The new equipment was also a challenge: back in the old days, we dropped the needle on vinyl records and played promos on something like an old eight-track machine (remember those?). Now, ads and promos are on iTunes, and music comes off of CDs and iPods. That being said, vinyl is still out there, and at least I didn't need to be taught how to cue them up again.

As you might be able to tell from the photograph below, I had a great time (here, I'm looking to see how much time is left on the CD that's playing), working on a (mostly) folk show, listening to and playing new artists, pulling tunes I love from musician-friends, and just generally having fun. While I'm not prepared to commit to having a regular music show, I will be around more, doing what I love -- interviewing authors and working on some longer-form documentaries.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

January, MIA


Ever have one of those months that just sort of disappears? That was my January.

By the light of the moon

It started off well enough, enjoying good company, some Kawartha Country Wines Raspberry Chocolate Dessert Wine (sadly, now, out-of-stock) that brought back fond memories of my late spring and summer adventures north of Peterborough, and was warm enough to stand outside at midnight, shooting the moon (figuratively and literally), in just jeans and a sweatshirt.


And then it sort of disappeared into a black hole of work: what was supposed to be a fun group project in the sense of let's put on a show, eventually devolved into me curating it, as well as contributing three photographs, because of time constraints (mostly work, for the other participants).

Not having done anything even remotely resembling a show like this before, and being in something that had absolutely nothing to do with either artist books or fibre, was, to say the least, stressful, and I poured considerably more psychic energy into it that I had originally planned. So when I came home after our opening reception last Sunday, I looked at the calendar and realized that five weeks had mysteriously disappeared.


But it's a fun show, titled One Place, Six Perspectives, up until April 27, at Pages Books on Kensington, part of Exposure: the Calgary Banff Canmore Photography Festival. You're welcome to pop by and see everyone's work, leave a note in our guestbook upstairs, and buy a piece. If you can't make it in person, check it out virtually at our website.

I've also got a piece, incorporating knitting, fishing flies, an artist book on my handmade paper, in a box, entitled Wild at Heart -- A Shrine for Salmon" in Boxed In!, which opened in St. John's, NL on January 24, running through April 14. The show inhabits both The Rooms and The Craft Council of Newfoundland and Labrador, and then goes on tour across Canada. Pictures to come, and details on additional venues as I have them.


And just for laughs, my horoscope for 2013 read...

Saturn and Pluto continue to dominate your affairs, bringing transformative experiences by the month, the week, the day and sometimes even by the hour. Pluto’s retrograde phase from mid-April to mid-September will calm things down a little, but only on the outside – on the inside, your head and your heart will still be buzzing with new ideas and new emotions, all of which will need to be made sense of and allotted their proper place in your world. Whoever you think you are now, it’s fair to say you will be a different person come this time next year. Better, maybe, but vastly different.

Ah, so let's see how that turns out, because I've already done things that I hadn't expected to do at all....

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