Monday, June 30, 2014


Heat wave. Thunderstorm warnings. Half-naked people. Sidewalks crammed with soccer fans peering into cafés, screaming when it's time for them to scream, moaning when it's time for them to moan.
    I strolled about with the kid, around the block. Saw my lady near home and out we went again, sandwiches to go, to eat in our neighbours back yard. The ice-cream sandwich follow up made me feel like crap. I fought the feeling with an orange and a half. Did it work ? heat waves mimic fever when you eat the wrong thing.
    Spent a good part of the day reading John Carter adventures. Those martians are whack.
    The air-con was turned on for a few moments, it helped a lot. It's off now and the windows are still closed, we're stretching this thing. It's pretty hot out.
    Supper soon, maybe after an episode of I Love Lucy, then bed.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

The Games

They are not my team. I don't have a team. If I had a team I'd get behind this whole thing a little easier. If I watched a match between your team and that guy's team, and we were all in the room, and I'd already had a couple of beers or maybe too much coffee, I'd probably get excited when you guys got excited. As it stands, I haven't made the effort to see what your teems are about. I also don't play the game, and I certainly can't do any of that fancy foot work. I respect athletes to a certain degree, I respect them in so far as they can play their game well. I don't respect them as statesmen though I can respect them as folk heroes. Some athletes are or become folk heroes, I respect that reality. I don't care too much about that reality, but I know it's there and that billions of people buy into it.
    Supposedly three billion people are excited about these games. Roughly half of the population of our current planet. The other half isn't all me, there are others in there somewhere. Maybe I think the earth's population is lower than it really is. I'm not up on the numbers. I sorely wish these games could replace the power plays and border politics of big industry. It would make a nice, trite science fictiony resolution. War is over, men are kicking around a ball instead. It won't happen anytime soon. If people cared about life on this planet as they cared for these games, we'd be ok. As it stands, we're not so ok. The games are winning.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

More Again

Hot day today. Shorts and mini-socks and t-shirt, loose and thin. Quick walk about with cold coffee for an hour before I open the shop.
    Paid for new second hand computer today. Received many gifts of comics, zines and prints. Paintings too.
    Fennel apple salad. Sausage. Rosé. Watermelon sorbet.
    Yesterday night pizza and beer with cartoonists in a fading apartment. I'm close to pulling the plug on this text project. Daily is a grind and soon, I'll have a book to work on. We'll see what survives the transition.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Day 120 - The Angels Come

Yesterday the help I required appeared to me. It came in the form of reminders. One reminder manifested as a gentleman eating take-out chicken in his parked car outside the shop. I was leaning in the doorway when he asked me if the poster hanging in our window was an 'energy board'. I told him what the poster was actually and then asked what an energy board was. He told me he liked to drive around the country side until he got lost, he liked that, he said. He once stumbled upon an energy healing clinic that worked with kids, autistic kids, everybody. They have these energy boards you put your hands on and they align your chakras. I told him about my recent Reiki weekend, gave him a business card and asked him to return next time he was in the area getting chicken.
    The next reminder came in the form of a friendly repeat visitor to the store, a man who has made his living consolidating take-out menus. He asked how business was and I told him the truth. He asked if we do online sales and I sheepishly said, no, not yet. Well, c'mon ! he says, you have to. So I made the decision to give this a fair shot. My partner made it her project, the online shop, but got sidetracked by having a child. I'm done in the shop almost everyday and can easily get to it after a few small steps are taken. As the man left he reminded me about my slow wednesdays, 'mercredi web!' he called out while leaving.
    So two instances related somehow to take out food helped me. They helped me decide what to do. I will form the online shop allowing us to transition away from brick and mortar, supplement our income and deal with our collections. And I will integrate my interest in energy work with the rest of my life.
    Today I received a thoughtful and positive review of my latest book from a prestigious American magazine in my field. This sealed the triumvirate of interests shouting at me to continue and continue strongly. So far it breaks down like this:
    1) Draw, write and publish
    2) Collect and sell
    3) Energy work and health

Thursday, June 26, 2014


My business vacillates from an exciting flurry of activity and vibrancy to an unsustainable drag on pocket book and emotional health.
    Retail is something I've now done for fifteen years and though I sometimes think 'we can make a go of it', it must be realized that it has done gone. I am tired, truly, of fishbowl living. Dancing monkey in a gilded cage ?
    I come back to this place again and again, the place where I'm at my wit's end about what to do, how to proceed, how to unravel my knots. My sword seems rusted and too heavy to lift.
    I can't keep coming back to this place, not at this age. I need activation, radical switching, decision making, power brokerage. I need help.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Boy Is Back

My family is back after a week away. I shed tears of joy at the train station, seeing my little boy. He smiled and turned away and smiled and reached out. I tell you, my heart is his.
    I am the luckiest guy alive, my lady is a great mom and an awesome person. Together we made a child that smiles hugely.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014


Took a two hour CPR class this evening. Crossed a quiet city in the pouring rain. Obstruction on Metro tracks caused delay. I can't say I'm now ready to save any lives but at least I have a less vague idea about what my options are. Always call for help right away, then try to get the heart and lungs going.
    This rainy day was Quebec's national holiday. Thankfully the cafés were open. People seemed more interested in the soccer than in wearing the blue and white flag as a cape. The rains, I'm sure, quelled whatever parties were hoping to erupt.
    Reading Princess Of Mars again. It'll be followed by the next two in the series. Love this old stuff but that lingering stink of colonialism taints my pleasure.
    It's late now. I'm sipping quality scotch and writing this. The house is clean, all tasks done. My family returns tomorrow and I missed them sorely. I can't live without my baby boy.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Time Lies

I'm still amazed at the discrepancy between how long I thick something will take to do and how long it actually takes. My procrastination problem has always had as an adjunct some rationalization that the task postponed needs quite a bit of time to complete. With every passing day I am proving this an outdated attitude.
    There are still plenty of things on my to-do list that I am pushing away but no longer can I entertain the excuse surrounding time. There is enough time in any day to accomplish any number of things.
    My regular attitude has always been to reserve a particular day for a particular task. If I have to go downtown to buy some art supplies, for example, I would pencil that task in the calendar and reserve that day for that task. It takes an hour to go downtown, buy some paper and come back. I did that today, along with some grocery shopping, tile work, puttying cracks in the floor, visiting a potential client, vacuuming the house, doing some dishes, preparing my supper, goofing off plenty, visiting a friend.
    This new approach has emerged with fatherhood. I can't rightly postpone things that need to be down anymore. One can't change the kids diaper later. One does it now. I've been doing things now.
    So, I bought my art supplies. Soon I'll cut some of the bristol up and begging roughing in some panels, panels that will grow into my next full length graphic novel. It's doing to be a good one, I can feel it. I'm not writing it or drawing sketches or planning anything. I will start drawing and see where that takes me. I will trust the process.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

AD&D Maybe

It was fun, we ate and made some jokes. There was more food and beer than any twenty people could consume and we were ten.
    We stayed up late and promised to see each other more often.
    I think we work well together, the four of us. Each couplet have a history. Together, we've been through it all. It would make for right proper Dungeons and Dragons.
    Today I slept in, I needed to. I had six beers and a puff of pot and a rack of ribs. And a hamburger. maybe a hamburger every day this week. Something crazy like that. Now a cleanse is starting to call. After today, I slow down and clean up, after today I finish the jobs and fly straight.
    That's it, that's all.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Old Friends

Visiting with friends later tonight, old friends I don't see too often. I got cranky when I found out it wouldn't be 'just us'. Us expands with time and people add people of course. When it comes to reunions, I tend to favour undiluted ones. Social dilution means we can't properly catch up, share what we've been through, discuss things. Sometimes though, I've noticed, old friends just want to get hammered. That can be tiresome.

Friday, June 20, 2014

More Of The Same

I rearranged my office and the front desk area of the store to good effect. The counter area is now more streamlined, with less dust traps. My office aka my studio is a neglected cubby of my stuff. Today I went through it, removed a piece of furniture, moved the desk from facing the wall to facing out into the shop space. It feels like I could use it now.
    This morning I finished up all the major renovations I planned on. All that's left is a coat of paint and tucking unused wires into the wall. Plates have been purchased and are ready to act.
    Business was ok today. Some very enthusiastic clients. That always helps, especially when the dish out more than just compliments.
    I'm tired. I was up late last night and up early this morning. Six thirty am. Craziness.
    I'm thirsty and dusty.
    If I took myself out to dinner with a book I'd nod off at the table.
    That is all. Tomorrow I see an old friend and go to a BBQ.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Food First

Hamburger, fries and beer for lunch. Coffee and two croissants for breakfast. An orange somewhere in there. Water. Two shots of fine whiskey.
    Rearranged my office again. I'll be facing into the open space now. I discussed writing with a writer. How the needs necessary to complete a project must be met above all else, within reason. I agreed with his suggestions.
    I share old artwork on social media. I enjoy the likes and the responses. It makes me feel relevant in a seedy way.
    Went to supper with a friend. Vietnamese soup. Smoked a pinch of grass and drew three drawings while listening to music.
    Walked home, bagels, cheese, salami and apple juice.
    I better get some more worked done in the morning.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


I woke up early to get to a job down the Main. Had two eggs, potatoes, fruit and toast near the job site. Bumped into a friend strolling his baby girl.
No one was at the site, I was getting miffed. Found a scrap of wood to write a message on, to leave by the locked door. Knocked this time, peering into the dark space. Someone opened.
    Couldn't do the job, ladder too short, tall ladder not there yet. I'm unsure if the tall ladder would be any better. I think it would be tough to paint a fifteen foot long sign , ten feet up on a ladder. I walked home
    Hit the reno's hard, chopsaw a'blazin'. Puttied the cracks between tiles. Took a walk, then open up shop.
    Slowish day, treated myself to a slow lunch and picked up a new book for the boy. Local bookshop is closing to make way for the one hundredth sandwich shop on the strip. I tell you, this 'hood is losing some serious charm.
    Back in the shop, we dismantled the window installation, replaced it with a stark, sober number and then went next door to an art gallery party, celebrating their twenty fifth year. Chatted with an artist who I knew from the shop. Met his wife and kid, drank white wine, came home to putty some more while my bok choy and mushrooms steamed.
    I'm tempted to go out and look for meat.
    It's 9:23 pm.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014


A different day. Up at six to entertain the boy while his mother slept a bit more. We played, I changed him, we laughed. He went down for his first morning nap in no time. Eight am, our architect calls, we get coffees and discuss the balcony to be installed in a few weeks. After he goes, I help my lady get ready. She's going to Ontario with the boy for a week. I accompany her to the train station, we make good time but as we get there pre-boarding has begun and our goodbyes are too quick. I see my boy in her arms going down the escalator and hardly had more than a chance to kiss his head. I'm filled with loss as they disappear out of sight.
    At noon, nearby the train station, in front to big building I've never entered before, one with a skating rink and large atrium - nice to watch the skaters, I'm early - I'm to be picked up by two fast food bloggers. Today we'll attempt four diners across town, mostly LaSalle and Lachine. The first joint is closed up, an empty store front. The next yields a burger and coke. Two more rests to go. The second is a falling down dep. I get a hotdog from the toothless young rocker manning the place. The last place is one a broke down strip, run my ladies. Love it. Another burger and coke. with fries this time. I'd go again but man, it's far. The guys are happy with this place. They'll write about it. I can only do such things every two years, and I feel I was moderate.
    Back home, I remove two unused radiators and begin repairing the parquet floor they covered. Glueing in tiles, filling in putty, cutting baseboards and quarter round. I did enough for today.
    Tomorrow early, I'm heading down the street to paint a bunch of bunnies on the storefront of a candy shop. Will meet a friend for smoked meat. I'm totally pushing it.

Monday, June 16, 2014

The Book

I'll continue trying to read Ishmael Reed, Stan Gooch and Stephen Jay Gould. I'll be tempted with that new pile of books downstairs, Dick Hebdige, Joseph Campbell and Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and a few more.
    Fantasy trilogy is done and I may want more. Something decent. Not a ten book dynastic wank-off.
    Between fantasy, folklore, myth, pop culture, paranormal, theory, sociology I have it covered. A little history of science, the occasional witch blog, Black or Native American cultural studies, crappy comics, pamphlets and arcane poetics. I wish I could merge all this in what I myself make. maybe I do and I don't notice.
    I tried to buy art supplies today, some nice bristol board to cut into panels so I can start drawing. I know there will be duds, wasted paper, crappy third attempts, aborted sequences. But that's ok, that means I'm working. Right now all I have is the taste of blood in my mouth.
    The art supply co-op near me had nothing I needed paper-wise. Not for this project. I bought four six by eight wooden panels for painting because I was there and I should have some such on hand when the feeling strikes. Wood over canvas because I scrape and gouge.
    I have to go downtown now. I always knew I had to go downtown. That art supply shop near me has great stuff but never what I need. Once they were out of white acrylic paint. Good job, guys.
    I'll try again tomorrow, downtown. The problem with that is if I do I'll get home later and there is stuff to do around the house. There are radiators to remove, parquet flooring to cut and glue down, expanding foam to stick between the walls and spray.
    Lots to do. I'll find the time to goof-off too I hope.
    It's all going in the book.

Sunday, June 15, 2014


My dad's ok. He laughs a lot and makes many many suggestions to me about what I can do with this or that. He doesn't listen much or at least doesn't reveal that he's listening. Lots of people like him, he's a totally nice guy. Generous and friendly. Works hard.
    I don't really know what to say about him. He gets on my nerves but that's me too. He's also fun. Well, he's more fun as I get older. I'm a father now too and I see him emerging in me. How I gnaw my child is pure dad. I try to breathe deep and deflect my stress into calm. I think it's working. My dad is kinda stressed. His back is a wall of muscled tension. A massage would hurt, he says. I try to stay limber and supple. I don't want it to hurt so much that I won't do for a back rub. He won't stand for it. One of these old guys that think work and exercise is the same thing. Not the same thing, dad. One thing he says constantly is 'I know one thing….' and then he says something you've never heard before. He knows a lot of one things. He says I know I know while you're telling him something that he doesn't know. It could get frustrating. He was the youngest of nine siblings so that must count for something. Maybe jostling for attention, maybe being ignored by adult siblings.
    I can continue but I won't. I guess I do know what to say about him but am unsure what to prioritize saying. The things I just said are a start. Having a kid makes me realize that my relationship with my folks better get mature and pronto. I've been a kid far too long, in their eyes and in my own. Infantilized to a certain extent. A few short years ago I'd fight with my mom so she wouldn't do my laundry. They take me back if I wanted to move back home, maybe even happily. They both left the country of their birth and thus their families when they were nineteen year old kids. They hold onto us like there is no tomorrow.
    One of my recurring fantasies is just me leaving, going for a long walk, travelling across the country, returning much later. Not keeping in touch too much.
    Things are changing now that I have a kid, but they're changing because I'm adamantly reminding my folks that I'm a forty five year old man.
    Happy Father's Day.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

The Retail Life

So, I'm going to try and not compulsively greet everyone who comes into the shop. I know some shoppers hate that and it may cause them to not want to return. They want to slip through this life unhindered, unnoticed, they want to purchase or dream of buying without some over zealous shopkeep blathering on. This is not a social club, I'm not here to make friends or impress anyone with my soft melodious voice. It's a store.
    I always say hi and by doing so sometimes I visibly derail the shoppers experience. They were on a particular trajectory before I said anything and then they were lead away from it. They turn to look at me and change the course of their lives.
    Sometimes someone is browsing the books and when I make them aware of the posters, they put the book down and head to the posters. Maybe I could have sold a book. How long has it taken me to know all this. Not so long. Have I implemented what I know ? No, I haven't.
    Will I be like those cold quiet jerks that man art galleries ? The ones who know in their blood that some shithead like me certainly would only waste their time and never once buy anything ? Well, no, I won't be like that. But I'll let the customer come into the shop, deep into it, before I say anything. What if I lose that person in the shallows who didn't know where they were and needed guidance ? I'll cater to adults who are able to ask if they are curious.
    I can't do this much longer.

Friday, June 13, 2014

No Dwarf Lord

Thankfully the Dwarves were saved in the nick of time and found their rightful place on the side of the Light. There will probably be strained relations for a while in certain quarters but overall things should smooth themselves out.
    If I had to write in a Dwarf king I'd go on and on about the plaits of his beard, the colour of this hood and how often he thumbs the notched blade of his formidable axe. I'd mention his belt and jangle bits, his array of stalwart companions and his drinking horn. He'd probably carve something during my telling, some fine wonder in stone, something that emits light cleverly, in some unknown way.
    Would this king and his people live in some cavernous hall under the mountain ? Probably. Where else could dwarves live ? Can they be forest Dwarves ? I don't think so. They're all about rock and earth and stone and metal-smithery.
    Maybe my king would take some human to be his queen and then all hell would break out in the Dwarf meeting halls. She'd have to be pretty tough, I guess. Maybe she'd have nimble fingers, crafty and all that. How else would she win over the people she means to rule ? She'd probably have to find some lost Dwarf treasure, some item that the first kings crafted back in the days when the mountains were first hollowed out or something. Maybe it would be better if she herself made something that matched the skill of the ancients.
    I couldn't do any of this. I don't think so. Not with Elves either. No Dark Lord, no return of the great hero, no small fry redeemed to a hidden glory. No rings, no volcano, no gathering of the armies, no ugly mutant bad guys with hard consonant names. No fantasy novel.
    Maybe some conceptual writing.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Reading In The Rain

Got up early to cross town to see my doctor for five minutes. Restocked by prescription for Synthroid. I'm good for the next year now. I gained almost ten pounds since last year but my blood pressure isn't as low as it used to be. It's normal now, whatever that is or means.
    When I got home I took the baby out for a stroll, saw some friends, walked with coffee until I got to the quiet streets. I am finding that a new pleasure for me is staying put on some street, under some tree, rolling the stroller back and forth as baby sleeps, while reading some book. I can't say enough how much I love this. I got to a park, it was drizzling a bit and I found some bigger trees to continue my reading.
    It's an alone time in corners of the neighbourhood. I can read a bit knowing the kid is getting his nap and no one will bug me. I don't mind raindrops hitting the pages of my book any more. It's over, the preciousness.
    It's still raining. No one has come into the shop today. Retail is dumb. I'm going to close early.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

My Fantasy Novel

My fantasy novel will include a map of the terrain. I'll try not to make the sea in the west. I won't mention anything about anyone going west as some sort of step-in for nebulous death. I won't have swans or giant eagles. I may have elves. If I don't have elves, I won't have radiant, wise, ancient beings of light. I'd rather just have elves than some race of frost people the reader will respond to with 'why didn't he just have elves instead of these non-elf elves ?'.
    The trilogy I'm reading now has too many near-misses of Tolkien and King Arthur. King Arthur makes sense because he actually makes an appearance. Middle-earth and all that show up as if there was no other template available to the author. Even the names echo names found in LOTR but without the cohesion.
    My fantasy novel will be a trilogy but a short one. I want kids to read it but I may mention stuff that school boards wouldn't like. There will be a map and there will also be something I found very helpful in the trilogy I'm finishing up now, a list of characters in the front of the book. Great idea. I need to go back and see who the Dark Lords' first lieutenant is versus the Ancient Power of the Forest.
    My fantasy novel will not have a dark lord that must be defeated by the end of the book. In fact, there will be no dark lord at all. There may be evil and darkness and a deep dark evil but he won't live in a tower in some barren land and he won't have slave armies of gross sub-humans that can easily be slaughtered without misgiving by our heroes.
    My fantasy novel certainly will not have characters, in a moment of sober reflection, face the sea and sing. No one will do any singing in my fantasy novel. If they do, you can bet your shiney behind that I will not include the lyrics. If someone wants to sing they better just sing and get it over with. Like so : "Ranoth, heading back to his chambers after his appointment as Second Guard to the Queen, went by way of the armouries. Through the quiet turns of the stone corridors, he hummed to himself at a volume that was sure to disturb no one."
    I probably won't have any ships in my fantasy novel because I don't know anything about ships and I don't need anyone to hoist sails or stand on the prow as opposed to the non-prow.
    Anyway, it'll be a fun book to read once I get around to writing it. So far all I've got is what I don't want it to be.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

New Job

I can't help but slobber all over my baby. I am constantly kissing him, he's turning away in disgust. I squeeze his fat little thighs and I stop myself from taking bites. I tickle him with my teeth and he squeals. I try to slow down and give him a breather because he's eight months old and has no control. I love taking him for a stroll, love when he's conked out and I can find some shade under a tree on a quiet street and rock the buggy back and forth while I read some book I saved from the trash.
    Strolling around with a baby makes me exempt from all the bullshit games I used to play. I no longer have to be overly concerned about any particular free wheeling' image. I have bigger fish to fry, like keeping this kid alive. I come and go as I please - or as my family pleases, more like it. I loiter and rock the baby. I do Reiki in the park for gods sake. I feed this little man avocado and banana. I always have water on me.
    I can't come to your party or show or thing but I can walk around the block. I just can't be high doing it. You can. Just be quiet, the baby is sleeping.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Blood Testy

Up early for my blood test. My number was called as I plucked it from the machine. Out in no time.
    On the main for breakfast, two eggs, potatoes, beans and toast. And fruit. And coffee twice over, while reading a fantasy novel, book three of a trilogy that managed thirteen hundred pages without describing architecture or landscape. I'm glad one can write a book without having to get into the gory details that made Helm's Deep such a baffling chore to map out in my head.
    I recognized two parties from the clinic at the diner. The couple of man and woman, woman frail in wheelchair, man doting. And woman alone, middle-aged blonde hair piled in interesting brainwork, wardrobe colourful. This is the go-to place for after clinic chow-down. You fast for a blood test, you consider paying for a third egg or doing the lumberjack special, creton and all. I go hear at least once a year, their eggs are perfect. I always think I could use more toast but I get by. And I'm not ready to spring four bucks for a glass of Tropicana.
    On the way back I was hit up by two panhandlers to the tune of a dollar each. The first was a wiry older woman with blazing eyes. I felt I decked a curse with my dollar. The second was a haggard man come out of nowhere with a paper cup. I soon after, on my walk home, say a man tip head over his handlebars, I cried out 'oh shit!' as he was halfway through his move. The pedestrian in front of me ran to him, a moped driver stopped and helped him. I was free to carry on, only to pass an drifter with a guitar case on his back who made a stabby motion at me with his one free hand.
    All that made me stand on the corner and just slow down. The world was agitated this morning after my breakfast, the world was a tad hostile. These blood sacrifices aren't working any more.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Fashion Chances

I'd sooner wear a hair-wrap than attend a body painting session. I'm good with jodhpurs but not so much with top-knots. Shoes are judged by the foot and the leg and the circumstance. You know as well as I do what to wear to the gravel pit or the picnic. Baseball hats are for a segment of the population I can't relate to. I'd wear a fringed leather jacket or even a fringed suede jacket but the fringes better be long and supple. I'd wear make up if it was already on me but I won't put any on outside of someone wants to put some on me and I say ok. I would say ok and I'd also be ok walking around with some, but not for long. I've thought about skirts but not enough to do anything about it. Kind of like eating insects. Plenty of thought, haven't done much about it.
    I'd travel most places, I think, but won't plan enough to make it happen. I'd plan certain trips to certain places though. I need incentive.
    Maybe I'll gather my energy and build myself a great graphic design studio so I can make art that I like in an easy way and have the tools I need to produce and share it properly. I'd wear comfy clothes while I worked but would try to gather a nice wardrobe for special events. Something along the lines of Han Solo semi-formal. I'm thinking of one of those urban adventurer utility belts. I'd carry around with me a small note book and a pen, my mini-tool, business card and stickers, cash money and keys. One of the pockets would be reserved for ground scores.
    I'm going to look up some of these belts right now so I can imagine myself properly.
    I wish I had a jacket I'd be cool with covering in patches. I've had a wicked 'Follow Me' patch with a sword on it for decades. Never got the nerve up to commit to wearing it. That might have to change as I approach my fifties. I want to be that guy, that guy who never looked as good as he now does. That way, when I crack out the cloak and staff at seventy it will all make sense.

Saturday, June 7, 2014


Today is a beautiful June Saturday. I have a shop to run so I'm running it. Noon until 5:30, maybe 6 PM. The internet tells me that everywhere one would choose to look, on can find a street festival, a garage sale, an outside summer event. I did what I could this morning. Garage sallied an original Inuit drawing, signed, for two dollars, a small bronze of a dancing bear playing tambourine for five. Home made leather purses, pure 1970s Quebecois hippie cost a bit more, four for twenty.. A street nearby hosted a many family garage sale so walking up and down a couple of blocks yielded much fun. I could have done it all day. I'd love to do it all day but here I am. One day I won't have the shop and I'll be able to go hunting and picking all day long. But then what would I do with all the crap I'd buy ?
    This is day one hundred of my daily writing project. I committed to a month and have now cracked three.

Friday, June 6, 2014

The Rain Comes Down - Day 99

The rain came today but missed my flower boxes. The tree outside the car didn't miss last winter still hasn't grown leaves. All it's cousins down the street are green and shaggy. It's bark got stripped away half way round a few feet up. It's always been a bit of a late bloomer but I think this time its curtains. This is the fourth or fifth tree outside our place. They all seem doomed. I feel like I'm cursed, that a tree can't blossom and grow in front of me. It's true I've kinda given up, I don't rake it's soil or whisper to it. I hardly touch it. I touch other faraway trees more than this hurting little guy out front.
    I am superstitious enough to wonder how this relates to my business. I want to flourish but the tree outside is dying if not dead. I'm capping it off here and I'll go love that guy before it goes away for good.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Grateful Dad

Gratitude for our friends present and supportive. People who laugh with us and share the beer. Platters of loukoum and bowls of pretzels. There is fruit and vegetables too. Fine art and right solid play, kids and adults and chairs for those who need them. Friendly strangers, witty folks, quips and jokes, reunions, customers, family.
    Sometimes the organized event just brings it all together. Faces beaming and souls awash with humanity. Candy and art, Art and alcohol. Broken bottles as accidents and a dizzying maze of people.
    Thank you and thanks. What a fine evening. Bagels on the stoop and talk of romance. The evening cool and contained. Thank you.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Pop Has Eaten Itself

On the strength of Bird Dog, I was all poised to strike the record button on my portable cassette player when the disc jockey announced that he'd play some Everly Brothers after the break. Turns out it was a song I hadn't heard before, Cathy's Clown. For years all that was played back was my disappointment.
    One song feeds into another. From old mix tapes, song orders are cemented in young ears. It would jar when it wouldn't follow. It's like when two songs that lead quickly into each other, forming a one-two punch of awesome rocknroll are hacked asunder by some FM radio robot, leaving you hanging. We Will Rock You must be followed by We Are The Champions. There is no need to explain.
    I wonder how some of these songs, forty years old now are still somehow around. I wonder if they have any contemporary analogues. Will there survive some listening structure of format that will accommodate today's songs in forty years ? One hit wonders from 1978 still get 3 million hits on YouTube. Will there be a YouTube to host all of today's songs in the future ? And how many mixtures are there ? Playlist after playlist, burnt CD, the revived cassette, the film soundtrack of curated oldies. So much to sift through.
    There's no way of telling which of today's songs some kid will make a tape of. Like the death of saturday morning cartoons, a focused kids culture exploded into distinct VHS habits changing from family to family. Once all kids were hooked into Bugs Bunny, then some kids demanded Winnie The Pooh to be looped endlessly by desperate parents while others sunk into the sickening appeal of Caillou. A generation torn asunder, unwoven, disentangled. Watching space shuttles blow up in the sky. Sampling can only go so far, what could they do but mash-up ?
    And now we have what once was a years work primed for a conceptual showing in an art gallery along with impenetrable text presented as another anonymous GIF tossed off into the slop trough of our collectivity, shared reactively for the moment and then forgotten.
    That stack of vintage art magazines ? Track down the cover artists. Let's see how they did.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Baker Street

I'm curious about how many deaths have occurred in which metro stations. I'd think that some of the busier stations have seen their fair share of jumps. But what about the smaller stations ? The ones that lead to some more dismal part of town, nothing fancy ? Does Sauve get any suicides ? Jarry ?
    I'm curious and I know the information is out there but I'm not curious enough to track it down, chart it up and share it. I'm not even curious enough to google it and see if this information is snippety-snap available.
    Today the rains came thundering down and fed the greenery. We stayed in, after our accountant left with our tax documents, and had tea and cake in the window room, baby playing on the mat, oldies dialed up on youtube. Baker Street. Baker Street. What a song. One can be judged on how they relate to Baker Street.
    Sometimes I feel like the old cokehead in that song that wants to move away from the big city and forget about everything. I'd never jump, that's for sure. But I always hug the wall when I'm waiting for the tube. That human pull can be strong. What would it feel like to have that pressure meet my flesh ? I hug the wall, scanning the platform for folks standing way too close. Don't tempt the fates, you kid.
    I want to make a playlist of songs from 1978. I want the kids to hear them. One hit wonders, love songs that make the goosebumps rise. It would stop anyone from jumping. The longing in some of those songs.
    I want to spend more rainy days, taxes done, reading fantasy and listening to smooth rock as my lady sews and my kid slobbers on wooden blocks. It makes it all so easy. I want the kids to know which soundtrack works for these sweet middle aged moments.
    I never going to commute again.

Monday, June 2, 2014

The Ghosts Of Laurier Metro

The ghosts of Laurier Metro sit up tall, backs straight, attentive. They wait for their ride patiently but somehow never board. Content to leave oily shadows slicking the black stone walls behind every oval wooden seat, they remain on the platform.
    They've been there for years. No one exists who hasn't noticed them. That can't be said for too many ghosts.

Sunday, June 1, 2014


I was nominated for a Quebecois comic book prize this year. The gala was held in a posh night spot on the other end of town. I felt it was proper form to attend even though I was exhausted from a long day. Taking the metro there, I thought I'd be late but arrived early enough to grab a seat at my publishers table. I was treated to a pint and sat with friends as the short ceremony begun. My sausage sandwich was too spicy and I didn't win the award. I was only a small bit disappointed and decided it best to walk home. The clear night air did me good and I avoided the busier streets. Montreal in the cool spring evening is gorgeous. The trees are all lush, in sharp contrast to a few short weeks ago when all was barren from a long brutal winter.
    I walked home and thought about working harder. The book that won belongs to a friend and is a marvel of intuitive storytelling. It can easily serve as a reminder for me to loosen up a bit more and follow my nose, not be so high strung and determined to make sense. Freak out a bit more, as it were. I also thought on my walk home that perhaps I overvalue my talent. I am prone to thinking how great I am, easily confusing the thoughts I've had with my actual output. This hit home when I started musing upon a street campaign using a particular local motif. A short block later, there it was, stuck to the street signs, some one else had manifested the idea.
    I tend to daydream a whole heck of a lot more than produce. I manifest but not as much as I imagine I do. Too often I have seen ideas I thought of stare back at me, the work of other hands. I must only look at my actual output and not my potential in weighing my worth as an artist. I still haven't bought the paper I need to begin my next book. A book that will be better than the last one. A book that better be. To be better, the artist must relax into the task, create a work from joy and not perceived audience expectation. I think I can do it.