Yet Another Work-in-Progress

I wish "more knitting" could be the answer to all my problems.  Life would be so much simpler.

A few weeks ago, I decided to make Spring Leaves (Ravelry link).  Except that it was October, so calling my project Autumn Leaves seemed appropriate.  Also it's yellow, although paler and more buttery than the brash gold of a Yukon fall.

(Not a perfect example of the fall colours I am thinking of, but I love the visual of the little yellow airplane with the yellow leaves.  I took this photograph on September 4th, in Eagle, Alaska.)

Now that the yarn has arrived, and I have begun my so-called Autumn Leaves sweater, the name seems a little ridiculous, what with all that snow on the ground.  But it's very pretty:

I am using Cascade 220 Sport in Lemon Yellow; it's a little washed out in this picture, but not by much.  It's the first time I have used the 220 Sport, and so far I'm pleased with it.  I hope it has the longevity of the 220 Wool in worsted weigh.  I put on my Corona the other day--knit all the way back in 2009--and noticed that it is holding up beautifully.

The only impediment to all this knitting I am trying to do is the bandaid on my thumb.  Earlier this week I was slicing mushrooms for dinner and managed to also slice open my thumb--badly enough that Ben brought me to the nursing station.  I was glad we went: it was good for my peace of mind.  The cut didn't require stitches, but I did require a tetanus shot (which also included diphtheria and whooping cough vaccines--a real multi-tasker).  The band-aid is kind of driving me nuts, though.

That being said, it is an excuse to avoid doing dishes...

Also: whooping cough?  I as a little surprised at that suggestion, but I guess I'm enough of a hypochondriac/all-around-worrier to agree to any vaccine.



It snowed for the first time on October 16th this year.  And today--only November 3rd!--it is -26°C out!

I have been slowly getting ready for winter over the past few weeks: got the car checked out, shrink-wrapped the windows, put away my summer-only clothes, brought the parka out of storage, and so on.  I also knit a new hat:

The stitch pattern is from some ancient knitting booklet that lost its cover before the internet was invented, and I just free-styled the rest of it.  It didn't turn out quite the way I had envisioned it, but nevertheless it looks lovely and is very comfortable and warm.  The yarn is Purple Label Cashmere Sock Yarn from Tanis Fiber Arts in the Royal Flush colourway.  I love Tanis Fiber Arts yarns;  I have ordered from her a few times (see the previously completed Swimming Pool) and have yet to be disappointed.

Despite the slow progression of preparation for winter, the fact that the ground is covered in snow, and that it is so cold out, is somehow shocking.  This is my third winter up here, so you'd think I would know what I am getting into.  Perhaps there is a difference between being physically prepared, and being mentally prepared.  Although wouldn't accomplishing one simply lead to the other?

Clearly the answer is that I need to be knitting more.


I have to add: it is now 1:23 pm, and only just now has the sun risen above the hillside to cast direct sunlight on my cabin.  Daylight hours are so short already!


Meat & Potatoes #54

Aired Sunday October 30th.  A short show because I slipped away early for a film screening, and let the capable Mr. iTunes DJ take over.

  1. Mothers of Invention--Trouble Comin' Everyday
  2. Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings--Inspiration Information
  3. Duffy--Live and Let Die
  4. The Emotions--Blind Alley
  5. Albinia Jones--Give It Up Daddy Blues
  6. Etta James--Teach Me Tonight
  7. BB King & Bobby Bland--I Like to Live the Love
  8. Freddie Scott--(You) Got What I Need
  9. Leo Sayer--You Make Me Feel Like Dancing
  10. Andy Kim--Rock Me Gently
  11. Hall & Oates--You Make My Dreams
  12. The Juan Maclean--Love Is In the Air
  13. Hot Chip--One Life Stand
  14. Jem & the Holograms--Truly Outrageous

Meat & Potatoes #53

Aired Sunday October 23.

  1. Mothers of Invention--Trouble Comin' Everyday
  2. Jefferson Airplane--Plastic Fantastic Lover
  3. The Rolling Stones--Beast of Burden
  4. Eric Clapton--Motherless Child
  5. Faces--Stay With Me
  6. The Beatles--Come Together
  7. The Doors--Strange Days
  8. Bob Dylan--Like a Rolling Stone
  9. Glen Campbell--Rhinestone Cowboy
  10. Hank Williams III--You're the Reason
  11. Honky Tonk Hustlas--Hallways of the Always
  12. Rae Spoon--Living a Country Song
  13. Kitty Wells--It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels
  14. k.d. lang & the Reclines--Rose Garden
  15. Heather Myles--Playin' Every Honky Tonk in Town
  16. Lindi Ortega--Little Lie
  17. Hamilton Camp--Pride of Man
  18. Judy Henske--Baltimore Oriole
  19. Tim Buckley--No Man Can Find the War
  20. Roberta Flack--Ballad of the Sad Young Men
  21. Regina Spektor--Summer in the City
  22. Be Good Tanyas--What Are They Doing in Heaven Today
  23. Great Lake Swimmers--Pulling on a Line
  24. Willie Tee-Walkin' Up a One-Way Street
  25. The Drifters--Under the Boardwalk
  26. General Johnson & the Chairmen of the Board--On the Beach
  27. Junior Walker & the All Stars--Shotgun
  28. Marion Black--Who Knows
  29. Joe Simon--Drowning in the Sea of Love
  30. Gloria Jones--Get It On pt. 2
  31. Edwin Starr--War
  32. Bob Dylan--Lay Lady Lay
  33. Tennessee Ernie Ford--Sixteen Tons
  34. Andy Kim--Rock Me Gently

Meat & Potatoes #52

Aired Sunday October 16th.

  1. Chromeo feat. Ezra Koenig--I Could Be Wrong
  2. Edward Sharpe & the Magnificent Zeros--Home
  3. Arcade Fire--Modern Man
  4. Modest Mouse--Missed the Boat
  5. Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers--Learning to Fly
  6. Eric Clapton--Motherless Child
  7. T. Rex--Bang a Gong (Get It On)
  8. Grizzly Bear--Southern Point
  9. Fleet Foxes--Sun It Rises
  10. Iron & Wine--Pagan Angel and a Borrowed Car
  11. Neko Case--This Tornado Loves You
  12. Joe Cocker--Bird on the Wire
  13. Paul McCartney--Maybe I'm Amazed
  14. Pablo Cruise--Love Will Find a Way
  15. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!--Gimme Some Salt
  16. TV on the Radio--Shout Me Out
  17. Destroyer--Kaputt
  18. Neko Case--Deep Red Bells
  19. Billy Bragg & Wilco--One by One
  20. Cat Power--Love and Communication
  21. Velvet Underground--Sweet Jane
  22. Jefferson Airplane--Embryonic Journey
  23. The Beatles--Hello Goodbye
  24. Antony & the Johnsons--Fistful of Love
  25. Belle and Sebastian--The Boy With the Arab Strap
  26. Devendra Banhart--Now that I Know
  27. Nick Drake--Cello Song
  28. Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons--December 1963
  29. Sandford & Townsend--Smoke From a Distant Fire
  30. Los Bravos--Black is Black
  31. Barry White--Oooo...Ahhh


Watch and Learn

Recently I treated myself and ordered one of Mr. Jones' beautiful watches.  I think his watches are not just beautiful but also thought provoking and unusual.  I chose the Cyclops, and really do think of it more as a piece of jewelry rather than a timepiece.  Whenever I look at it to try to figure out what time it is, I just get distracted by how pretty it is and forget why I need to know what the time is.  It is very relaxing in this way.

I also love how it reminds me of the Chromatic Diet from Sophie Calle's Double Game, in which she responds to the use Paul Auster made of her in his novel Leviathan.  I read Double Game in the library a week or two ago (although I have not yet read Leviathan), and really enjoyed Calle's work.  She seems like the best kind of crazy (and so very lucky that her father was willing to fill her bank account with francs until she made it as an artist).

Often when I look at the watch, I try to relate the mood and feel of the colours to the activities I commonly undertake at that particular time of day.  What makes 4 am or 4 pm green, anyway?  Considering that I have clocks almost constantly in sight--on my laptop, my work computers, my iPod, my cell phone--a watch that makes me think of something besides time is a very pleasant thing indeed.

Have I mentioned how pretty it is?  I would like to collect twelve nail polishes that exactly match the watch so that I can alternate but always co-ordinate.


Meat & Potatoes #51

Aired Sunday October 9th.

This week's show was a (somewhat) logical progression from last week's show.  The music was a combination of bands and songs referenced by Michael Herr in his Vietnam War memoir, Dispatches, as well as some other Vietnam War related songs--so I went from the early sixties one week to the late sixties in the next.

I also read from Dispatches, which is a really incredible book.  I hope I was able to convey that on the radio (although it's possible no one was listening, what with it being Thanksgiving this weekend).

  1. Wingy Manone--Stop the War (These Cats Are Killing Themselves)
  2. Anita Carter--(Love's) Ring of Fire
  3. Kenny Rogers--Ruby Don't Take Your Love to Town
  4. Tom Paxton--Lyndon Johnson Told the Nation
  5. Johnny Cash--Ring of Fire
  6. Los Bravos--Black is Black
  7. Mothers of Invention--Trouble Comin' Every Day
  8. The Clash--Sean Flynn
  9. The Jimi Hendrix Experience--Purple Haze
  10. Cream--Sunshine of Your Love
  11. The Doors--Strange Days
  12. The Beatles--Day Tripper
  13. Tim Buckley--No Man Can Find the War
  14. Bob Dylan--Visions of Johanna
  15. Buffalo Springfield--For What It's Worth
  16. Edwin Starr--War
  17. Aretha Franklin--Satisfaction
  18. Junior Walker & the All Stars--Shotgun
  19. Archie Bell & the Drells--Tighten Up, part I
  20. Otis Redding--(Sittin' On) the Dock of the Bay
  21. Bobbie Gentry--Ode to Billie Joe
  22. Glen Campbell--Galveston
  23. Scott McKenzie--San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)
  24. The Beatles--Magical Mystery Tour
  25. The Animals--We Gotta Get Out of This Place
  26. The Rolling Stones--Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing In the Shadow?
  27. Paul Revere & the Raiders--Hungry
  28. Hair soundtrack--Aquarius
  29. Hair soundtrack--Hair
  30. Sam Roberts--An American Draft Dodger in Vietnam


Meat & Potatoes #50

Aired Sunday October 2nd.

This week's show was inspired by the 1980s dance movie, Shag.  Set in 1963, four girls head off for a weekend of fun in Myrtle Beach and get into all sorts of trouble with boys.  I hadn't seen this movie until recently; I saw Vogue's Dress the Part slideshow this past summer and was instantly enamoured (although in retrospect I disagree with their assessment of Pudge as a tomboy.  She's really not).  It's actually a pretty awful movie in a lot of ways, but the Pudge and Chip storyline makes it worth watching for me.  They're the dancers.

Their big dance at the end of the movie--with Pudge looking so happy and so in love it just kills me--is set to a Lloyd Price song by the name of "Stagger Lee", and when I was getting music together for a Shag-themed show, I discovered that there is a whole lot of history and folklore surrounding this song, and many other songs about Stagger Lee.  To begin with, there are two versions of the Lloyd Price song.  One version has Stagger Lee killing Billy over a gambling dispute; in the other version, Stagger Lee and Billy argue over a girl, then sort out their differences and become friends.  This non-murder version was recorded at the request of American Bandstand, who thought the murder version was not appropriate for their audience.  This is the version that plays in Shag, although it's the murder version that hit #1 on the Billboard Chart.

Lloyd Price's Stagger Lees are just two versions of the story out of about 400 different interpretations; the real-life murder of Billy Lyons at the hands of "Stag" Lee Shelton has inspired many artists in the 115 years since it occurred.  The Wikipedia page and associated links are pretty interesting--but certainly need to be taken with the usual grain of salt.

Having somewhat obsesssed over Shag and Stagger Lee for a week, I devoted this radio show to music either on the Shag soundtrack or from the same era (with maybe a dash of Dirty Dancing and a pinch of Joe Versus the Volcano), as well as to some of the different versions of the Stagger Lee legend (tracks #2, and #28 through #35 below).

  1. Jakki O--Ooo-Aah
  2. Lloyd Price--Stagger Lee (American Bandstand Version)
  3. Maurice Williams & the Zodiacs--Stay
  4. The Contours--Do You Love Me
  5. Archie Bell & the Drells--Monkey Time
  6. Del Vikings--Come Go With Me
  7. Dionne Warwick--Walk On By
  8. The Four Tops--It's the Same Old Song
  9. Martha & the Vandellas--Dancing in the Streets
  10. The Coasters--Young Blood
  11. Tennessee Ernie Ford--Sixteen Tons
  12. Herman's Hermits--(What a) Wonderful World
  13. The Dominoes--Sixty Minute Man
  14. Lloyd Price--Personality
  15. Bob & Earl--Harlem Shuffle
  16. The Freshmen--Go Granny Go
  17. The Hollywood Argyles--Alley-Oop
  18. The Heptones--Our Day Will Come
  19. Elvis Presley--Blue Hawaii
  20. The Animals--I'm in Love Again
  21. General Johnson & the Chairmen of the Board--On the Beach
  22. The Tams--What Kind of Fool (Do You Think I Am)
  23. The Sensations--Let Me In
  24. Aretha Franklin--Baby I Love You
  25. Brook Benton & Dinah Washington--Baby (You've Got What It Takes0
  26. Jackie Wilson--Baby Workout
  27. The Ronnettes--Be My Baby
  28. Lloyd Price--Stagger Lee (murder version)
  29. Mississippi John Hurt--Stackolee
  30. Ma Rainey--Stack o' Lee Blues
  31. Josh Ritter--Folk Bloodbath
  32. The Clash--Wrong 'em Boyo
  33. The Black Keys--Stack Shot Billy
  34. The Grateful Dead--Stagger Lee
  35. Beck--Devils Haircut
  36. Barry White--Oooo-Aaah


Meat & Potatoes #49

Aired Sunday September 25, 2011.

No reading this week, and actually, I think every time I opened my mouth I sounded like an idiot.  But I think the music was pretty good; the whole night was largely inspired by track three.

  1. The Lovin' Spoonful--Do You Believe in Magic?
  2. Faces--Stay With Me
  3. T. Rex--Bang a Gong (Get it On)
  4. David Bowie--Young Americans
  5. The Traveling Wilburys--Handle with Care
  6. The Rolling Stones--Beast of Burden
  7. Meatloaf--You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth
  8. Thin Lizzy--Dancing in the Moonlight
  9. Eric Clapton--Motherless Child
  10. Mott the Hoople--All the Young Dudes
  11. Jefferson Airplane--White Rabbit
  12. Bruce Springsteen--I'm on Fire
  13. Cat Power--The Greatest
  14. Creedence Clearwater Revival--Up Around the Bend
  15. Lynrd Skynrd--Saturday Night Special
  16. The Band--The Weight
  17. Bachman Turner Overdrive--You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet
  18. Sanford & Townsend--Smoke from a Distant Fire
  19. KC & the Sunshine Band--That's the Way
  20. The Beach Boys--Good Vibrations
  21. The Ronnettes--Be My Baby
  22. The Monkees--I'm a Believer
  23. The Velvet Underground--Sweet Jane
  24. Donovan--Mellow Yellow
  25. Paul Simon--Me and Julio Down By the Schoolyard
  26. Melanie--Brand New Key
  27. The Beatles--The Ballad of John and Yoko
  28. Queen--Crazy Little Thing Called Love
  29. Miles Fisher--New Romance
  30. Janelle Monae--Cold War (Wondamix)
  31. TV on the Radio--Modern Romance
  32. Bryan Adams--Can't Stop This Thing We Started


Desk versus Desk

Today when I left my helicopter job, my desk looked like this:

And when I arrived at the library half an hour later, my desk looked like this:

Meat & Potatoes #48

Aired Sunday September 18.

I nearly fell over one day in the library last week when my wandering eyes happened upon this book:

I have wanted to read Invisible Cities for years and years and years, but have never come across it so conveniently before.  Despite the long wait and the anticipation, it did not disappoint.  I shared the love on the radio last Sunday, and read several of the short chapters, interspersed with (totally unrelated) music.
  1. Elvis Presley--Suspicious Minds
  2. Chad VanGaalen--Sara
  3. Orillia Opry--Lucky Wind
  4. Jane Vain & the Dark Matter--C'mon Baby Say Bang Bang
  5. Final Fantasy--The CN Tower Belongs to the Dead
  6. Bell Orchestre--Quintet
  7. Beirut--Brandenburg
  8. Chic Gamine--Say It
  9. Melissa McClelland--A Girl Can Dream
  10. Luke Doucet & the White Falcon--Cleveland
  11. Fleet Foxes--The Sun It Rises
  12. Iron & Wine--Wolves (Song of the Shepherd's Dog)
  13. Bon Iver--Bracket, WI
  14. Slow Club--Giving Up on Love
  15. Wintersleep--Weight Ghost
  16. Patrick Watson--Giver
  17. Jefferson Airplane--Plastic Fantastic Lover
  18. Velvet Underground--Sweet Jane
  19. Led Zeppelin--You Shook Me
  20. Queen--Fat Bottomed Girls
  21. David Bowie--Young Americans
  22. Daryl Hall & John Oates--Maneater
  23. Robbie Williams--Millenium


Mind.Blown #2

Domus is a gorgeous design and architecture magazine.  English and Italian text live side-by-side; this adds a certain level of sex appeal.  Today in the library I read the special report on hotels (August 2011, I believe), and now feel the need to travel, solely for the purpose of staying in hotels.  The Domus-inspired grand tour would have to include:
  • Dar HI in Nefta, Tunisia.  My preference would be for one of the Pill Houses.
  • Michelberger Hotel, Berlin, Germany.  Almost unbearably hip, but if I'm fantasy-travelling, then I'm also cool enough to get in the door.
  • Lloyd Hotel, Amsterdam.  Because it's time I associate Amsterdam with something other than John Irving novels.
Clearly I have a few stops to make after Vietnam and after Russia.  Maybe I enjoy planning vacations more than I enjoy taking them?  No, wait.  That doesn't sound quite right...


Meat & Potatoes #47

Aired Sunday September 11, 2011

This show was sort of an anniversary of sorts: I have been hosting my radio show for one whole year now.  I definitely revisited some old favourites this week, but at the end I did include a few tracks I haven't played on the air before.

  1. Sufjan Stevens--All Delighted People
  2. Neko Case--Runnin' Out of Fools
  3. Iron & Wine and Calexico--History of Lovers
  4. Conor Oberst--Sausalito
  5. Justin Rutledge--I'm Your Man, You're My Radio
  6. Bell Orchestre--Stripes
  7. Basia Bulat--In the Night
  8. Hank Williams III--You're the Reason
  9. Hank Williams Jr.--A Country Boy Can Survive
  10. Hank Williams--Move It On Over
  11. Jay Malinowski--There's A Light
  12. Justin Nozuka--Swan in the Water
  13. The Arcade Fire--We Used to Wait
  14. Patrick Watson--Big Bird in a Small Cage
  15. Michael J Sheehy--Twisted Little Man
  16. Jenn Grant--Dreamer
  17. Antony & the Johnsons--Knockin' on Heaven's Door
  18. Joshua James--To Be Alone With You
  19. Jeff Buckley--Hallelujah
  20. Junior Walker & the All Stars--Shotgun
  21. Sly & the Family Stone--Hot Fun in the Summertime
  22. The Emotions--Blind Alley
  23. Leo Sayer--You Make Me Feel Like Dancing
  24. Starland Vocal Band--Afternoon Delight
  25. Andy Kim--Rock Me Gently
  26. Pablo Cruise--Love Will Find a Way
  27. Miles Fisher--New Romance
  28. Cults--Go Outside
  29. Gossip--Listen Up!
Thanks for listening this past year.  I love being on the radio and am looking forward to many more shows.


Mind.Blown #1

Of all strange things, I have landed a job as Library Technician at the art school here in Dawson.  Add that to my other job title of Tech Records and Quality Assurance, and my other ([un]official) titles of filmmaker, artist, radio host, Vice-President of the Board of Directors, committee member (x2), and I sound like I am an awfully busy person.  I am an awfully busy person.  But this library gig is amazing: when I received my master key to the school, I felt like I had been given the key to the universe.

I have hardly begun to explore the 1700 volumes housed in the SOVA Library, or looked at the dozens of beautiful periodicals, or figured out what we have access to online, but I know I am going to find incredible books, dvds and magazines at every turn.  So I am going to keep a list, starting with these gems:

  • "DIY: Make Your Own Vegetable Orchestra" in the summer 2011 issue of Musicworks.  This is exactly what it sounds like (har har):  instructions for how to make a carrot slide whistle, parsnip oboe and carrot ocarina.  MusicworksThe Vegetable Orchestra; Mr. Koyama Junji on YouTube.
  • Sophie Calle: M'as-tu vue is the catalogue for an exhibition at the Pompidou Centre.  I have already read the description of her fake marriage three times, and will read it again before I shelve the book.  N6853.C26
  • Learning to Love You More is a collection of projects created in response to Harrell Fletcher and Miranda July's web-based art project of the same name.  It seems like it would be sickeningly sentimental, but the book is actually rather magical and poignant.  I may have to do an assignment or two.  N72.S6 F596
  • Michael Snow: almost Cover to Cover is something that I am officially dying to read.  He was interviewed in Brick last winter, which made me suggest that we invite him up for film fest.  That didn't happen, but this book will help make up for that.  N6549.S66 A4
And now back to "work"...


Meat & Potatoes # 46

Aired Sunday September 4th, 2011

  1. Shout Out Out Out Out--In the End It's Your Friends
  2. Don Henley--All She Wants to Do Is Dance
  3. Alfie Zappacosta--Overload
  4. Rupert Holmes--Escape (The Pina Colada Song)
  5. The Arcade Fire--Neighbourhood #1
  6. Feist--My Moon My Man
  7. Spoon--I Turn My Camera On
  8. Cat Power--Metal Heart
  9. Iron & Wine--Pagan Angel and a Borrowed Car
  10. Neko Case--Middle Cyclone
  11. Billy Bragg & Wilco--Way Over Yonder in the Minor Key
  12. Monsters of Folk--Say Please
  13. Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros--Carries On
  14. Devendra Banhart--Baby
  15. Yo La Tengo--Periodically Double or Triple
  16. Jill Barber--Hard Line
  17. Junior Walker and the All Stars--Shotgun
  18. Stevie Wonder--Signed, Sealed, Delivered (DJ Smash Essential Funk Mix)
  19. The Temptations--Ain't Too Proud to Beg
  20. Sly & the Family Stone--Hot Fun in the Summertime
  21. Bill Withers--Lovely Day
  22. Al Green--Take Me to the River
  23. The Emotions--Blind Alley
  24. Diana Ross and the Supremes--My World Is Empty Without You (Tranzition Remix)
  25. Amy Winehouse--Love Is a Losing Game
  26. Gloria Jones--Tainted Love
  27. Antony & the Johnsons--Fistful of Love
  28. Antony & the Johnsons--Knockin' on Heaven's Door
  29. Antony & Bryce Dessner--I Was Young When I Left Home

Meat & Potatoes #45

Aired Sunday August 28, 2011.

  1. Lisa Hannigan--Just Like Tom Thumb Blues
  2. Ezra Koenig--Papa Hobo
  3. The Tallest Man on Earth--Love Is All
  4. Will Oldham--Am I Demon
  5. Iris Dement--Leaning on the Everlasting Arm
  6. Lindi Ortega--Angels
  7. Nancy Sinatra--Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)
  8. Loretta Lynn--You Ain't Woman Enough to Take My Man
  9. Cake--Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town
  10. Tom Petty--Learning to Fly
  11. David Bowie--Young Americans
  12. Gowan--Moonlight Desires
  13. Nena--99 Luftballoons
  14. Wang Chung--Dance Hall Days
  15. Gloria Jones--Tainted Love
  16. Tina Turner--What's Love Got to Do With It
  17. Donna Summer--Bad Girls
  18. Junior Walker and the All Stars--Shotgun
  19. Sly & the Family Stone--Hot Fun in the Summertime
  20. The Emotions--Blind Alley
  21. Chromeo feat. Ezra Koenig--I Could Be Wrong
  22. Duck Sauce--Barbara Streisand
  23. Gary Numan & Tubeway Army--Are "Friends" Electric?
  24. Herman's Hermits--I'm Into Something Good
  25. The Monkees--I'm a Believer
  26. Tommy Jones & the Shondells--Mony Mony
  27. John Paul Young--Love Is In The Air


My Brief But Exciting "Career" in Television

Dawson City has a way of collecting people.  You come up for a summer or two, decide to stay for one winter and all of a sudden it's years later and you're still here.  Or maybe you reconnect with a long-lost boyfriend and pack up your fancy Toronto career in favour of love in (and of) the Yukon.  Never mind what brilliant and amazing things you could be doing elsewhere--you choose to do your amazing and brilliant work here, alongside all the other amazing and brilliant people this town has collected.
Thanks to one of those amazing and brilliant people--my fellow DCAS board member and grocery store cashier (among other things!) Leslie Grant--the television show Murdoch Mysteries came to town recently to shoot the season five premiere, and Leslie offered me a position as Props Assistant.  I'm not quite sure how a couple of short animations and a few Super 8 films qualified me to work on a "real" production, but of course I jumped at the opportunity.  Fortunately my day job was sympathetic--even when two days away from the office turned into four.
I spent the first couple of days working on set dec.  This was grunt-work:  staining wooden flagpoles, taking down non-historical items like Christmas lights, hanging curtains, carting around crates, more painting, turning the old crack house into a hardware store (okay, no one calls it the crack house anymore since the new owners took it over, but at one point...).  During the shoot, I did a combination of set dec and props.  Production Designer Rupert and Set Decorator Kent kept stealing me away from Props Master Craig for random jobs like sprinkling gravel and hay on the streets.  Props involved satchel-wranling, loading people (and a horse) with packs, buying mineral oil, and following Craig around with a fire extinguisher.
Murdoch Mysteries is a (Canadian) CSI of the late 19th century, and while the historic character of Dawson is a good fit for the show, I did feel that being involved with the set decoration side of the production really highlighted just how modern this town really is.  The more we tried to make the town look like 1899 again, the more it looked like 2011 to me.  Which is one of the reasons I love living here.  Toronto blogger Bill Brioux, roped into the role of Miner #7, didn't quite see it that way.  I had to chuckle when I read this:
“The place barely needs to be dressed to pass for its late 19th-century glory. There seem to be brightly painted saloons and Klondike hotels with swinging doors on every corner. A few signs and street lights get obscured by set dressers as does the one sign for the town’s only franchise: a Home Hardware store. The only nuggets in this town belong in the hills and rivers, not McDonald’s.”
Not quite, Bill--but I'll forgive him because he says so many other lovely things about Dawson (and mentions so many Dawsonites).  Read the full article here, and an additional blog post here.

It was hard work--especially after spending so much of the summer sitting at a desk--but so much fun to be involved with.  The Toronto folks were great, and I loved the opportunity to work with some of those amazing and brilliant Dawsonites--particularly Veronica, Rebecca and Ellen on set dec.  The experience would not have been nearly so interesting to me if I hadn't been toiling alongside some of the people who remind me why I have made this place my home.
I think it would be great if, once this episode airs sometime next year, we could make one of those commentary tracks--except, of course, from the Dawsonites' perspective rather than the director's.  In the meantime, some photographs I took on the second day of shooting...

My favourite job on the shoot: babysitting the campfire.  I hung around with the fire extinguisher and a bucket of water to make sure things didn't get out of hand.  I also had to throw hay on the fire before each take so that it would look dramatically smoky.

I wasn't the only one who liked the fire.  Camerman Kevin spent the first day of the shoot doing his Katharine Hepburn impression whenever he saw me.  Thanks, Kevin (and thanks, parents).

Fabulous local filmmaker Lulu Keating, hard at work script supervisoring.  Because working on two of her own films and trying to get a pilot for a television program based on a short film she shot in Dawson isn't enough to keep a lady busy.

Local filmmaker Nathan Bragg in something of a different role than Dawson last saw him--although still with that devilish grin (it's a good thing he wasn't in charge of craft services!).

The building formerly known as "the crack house" turned hardware store.  I was responsible for the white lettering in the windows!  I even got to peel the vinyl letters off the windows when we were un-decorating.  I also packed all those white jugs (shopping tip: they're Ikea) to be shipped back to Toronto.  It was so glamourous!

I am so glad this Murdoch gig gave me the chance to become better acquainted with the incomparable Rebecca, seen here relaxing after six of us hauled that wall tent back across the street.

Eve and Mercedes.  I tied those burlap sacks on to the horse.

Getting the all important puddle shot.  Apparently back in Toronto they had meetings about Dawson puddles.

Props Master Craig and his smoke machine.  He had waaaaay too much fun with that thing (actually mineral oil loaded into a insecticide fogger) and only managed to turn it into a flame thrower once.  Craig was so much fun to work with.  I had been warned that he was a great guy, but you have to experience Craig's Greatness to really understand it.

See that satchel?  I wrangled the heck outta that satchel.

I spent a few minutes all by myself in the Palace Grand.  It was actually a little spooky. 

An actor in action.  This is the star of the show, Yannick Bisson, busy not requiring the razor and shaving brush that I had at hand.

Shooting inside the old Post Office.

I was really excited when we went to the Bunkhouse to shoot the last scene, and discovered one of Donna Akrey's Nonuments left over from last year's Arts Fest.  I didn't think there were any left in the wild.

Look up--up past the prostitutes--there's Rebecca and Ellen hiding behind the laundry line they just hung.  Because no whorehouse is complete without sexy laundry.

Meat & Potatoes #44

Aired Sunday August 21st, 2011.

  1. Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros--Home
  2. Michael Andrews & Gary Jules--Mad World
  3. DeVotchKa--Til the End of Time
  4. Yo La Tengo--Gentle Hour
  5. Tim Buckley--Once I Was
  6. Joni Mitchell--You Turn Me On I'm a Radio
  7. Paul Simon--Papa Hobo
  8. Marvin Gaye--What's Going On
  9. Undisputed Truth--Smiling Faces Sometimes (Futureshock Main Ingredient Mix)
  10. The Staple Singers--I'll Take You There
  11. The Tragically Hip--New Orleans is Sinking
  12. 54-40--Ocean Pearl
  13. Pearl Jam--Black
  14. Aretha Franklin--I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)
  15. Tina Turner--What's Love Got to Do With It
  16. Dolly Parton--Jolene
  17. Procol Harum--Whiter Shade of Pale
  18. Joe Cocker--Bird on a Wire
  19. Leonard Cohen--Suzanne
  20. Chad VanGaalen--Sara
  21. Chic Gamine--Don't Think That I Can Stay
  22. Asobi Seksu--Transparence
  23. Mott the Hoople--All the Young Dudes
  24. Them--Here Comes the Night
  25. The Lovin' Spoonful--Summer in the City
  26. Wang Chung--Dance Hall Days
  27. Nick Gilder--Summer in the City
  28. Sanford & Townsend--Smoke from a Distant Fire
  29. Hall & Oates--You Make My Dreams
  30. Beach Boys--Barbara Ann
  31. Beach Boys--Surfin' Safari
And the bonus-because-Ben-and-Brendan-were-late-track was "I'm Too Sexy" by Right Said Fred (because, you know, Ben and Brendan are too sexy to show up on time).

Meat & Potatoes #43

Aired on Sunday August 14, 2011.

This week I unearthed two tracks I love to have but never listen to.  I was inspired by the questions about oral tradition and storytelling raised by the short documentary Cry Rock, in which the filmmaker wonders whether or not to record her grandmother's stories, and I played a few minutes from interviews given by my Granny and my grandfather in the early 1970s.  A few years ago, my dad had the old reel-to-reel tapes of the interviews digitized and gave my brothers and me each a copy.  I have never really managed to listen to the interviews: my grandfather died long before I was born, and Granny died in 2001, and it has just always seemed really painful to listen to these interviews.  They evoke such loss.

I am really proud of my family history.  My great-grandfather (who has come up on the radio before) was a speculating adventurer who amassed something of a fortune by first running, and then selling for a healthy profit, a tramway around the Whitehorse Rapids during the Gold Rush.  He later lost almost everything in a recession--except for a "vacation" property on one of the Gulf Islands.  When my dad was growing up, they grew almost all their own food.  Granny worked as a teacher, and my grandfather was (among other things, I think) a telephone lineman.  They knew almost everyone on the island and threw great square dancing parties.  The farm is now in its third iteration--retirement home for my parents--and while I never grew up there, it functions as a sort of ancestral home and is important to me emotionally.  I'd rather hear, however, my father's reports of how much rain has or hasn't fallen and how the Christmas trees are doing, and would rather listen to my mom talk about having to mow the lawn (there is a lot of it), than listen to these old interviews that could put me in closer touch with an era I would love to know more about.  Hearing Granny's voice is particularly painful.  Her voice is very distinctive--even forty years younger than when I knew her best, when she was frail and loopy, it sounds so familiar.  I think in some ways it is her voice that I remember best.

Seeing Cry Rock for the first at the film festival back in April (it won the Audience Favourite award) got me thinking about the interviews, and seeing the film again during Arts Fest a couple of weeks ago made me want to listen to them.  I'm a little jealous of Banchi Hanuse; I grew up thousands of kilometres away from both of my grandmothers (and in lots of ways I never really had a grandfather--my mother's father died when I was quite young, and I actually think my one memory of him may be just... made up by my grieving child's brain).  Learning stories from that generation first hand--hearing them so often as to create an oral tradition--wasn't possible.  I understand the decision Hanuse reaches in her film, and have great sympathy for First Nations struggling to preserve their cultures, but I'm glad someone recorded my grandparents while they had the chance.

And then I made people listen to it on the radio.  I also played some music:

  1. Beach Boys--Kokomo
  2. LCD Soundsystem--Dance Yrself Clean
  3. Braids--Lemonade
  4. CocoRosie--Lemonade
  5. The Rolling Stones--Under My Thumb
  6. Chester Knight--Love Me Strong (requested by Charlie, who walked in off the street)
  7. Bruce Springsteen--I'm On Fire
  8. The Band--Ophelia
  9. Opening few minutes of the interview with my grandfather, Arthur
  10. The Vern Williams Band--Oh Susanna
  11. The Be Good Tanyas--The Littlest Birds
  12. Hank Williams--Move It On Over
  13. Opening few minutes of the interview with my Granny, Florence
  14. Helen Humes--Song of the Wanderer
  15. Bing Crosby--Mister Gallagher and Mister Shean
  16. Ethel Merman--You're the Top
  17. Okkervil River--A Stone
  18. Neko Case--Lion's Jaws
  19. Jenn Grant--Britt 'n Kip
  20. Chic Gamine--Don't Think That I Can Stay
  21. Elvis Perkins in Dearland--Shampoo
  22. Patrick Watson--Big Bird in a Small Cage
  23. Alex Ebert--A Million Years
  24. Wil--Tell You Twice
  25. Gowan--Midnight Desires
The family farm... as of a few years ago.
I looked for a more recent picture--the gardens have come a long way since this was taken--but for some reason whenever I'm on the Island I only take pictures of all the partying we do.  It must be the legacy of all that square dancing back in the day  (but I don't think my mom wants those hilarious photos from our Christmastime vodka tasting put on the internet).

Meat & Potatoes #42

Aired Sunday August 7th, 2011

  1. Nat Baldwin--Lake Erie
  2. Joanna Newsom--Sadie
  3. Calexico--Alone Again, Or
  4. Neko Case--Runnin' Out of Fools
  5. Luke Doucet & the White Falcon--Bombs Away
  6. Monsters of Folk--Baby Boomer
  7. Fleet Foxes--Helplessness Blues
  8. Tim Buckley--Once I Was
  9. Joni Mitchell--You Turn Me On I'm a Radio
  10. Paul Simon--Papa Hobo
  11. The Black Keys--Never Give You Up
  12. Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings--Inspiration Information
  13. Stevie Wonder--I Wish
  14. Dr Hook--Penicillin Penny
  15. Joe Cocker--Feelin' Alright
  16. Tommy Jones & the Shondells--Mony Mony
  17. The Like--You Belong to Me
  18. Maximum Balloon & Tunde Adebimpe--Absence of Light
  19. Miles Fisher--This Must Be the Place
  20. Talking Heads--This Must Be the Place
  21. Hot Chip--Transmission
  22. Clap Your Hands and Say Yeah!--Gimme Some Salt
  23. Procol Harum--A Whiter Shade of Pale
  24. The Rolling Stones--Beast of Burden
  25. Lindi Ortega--I'm on Fire
  26. Cadence Weapon--I'm Yours


Meat & Potatoes #41

Another Sunday night, another radio show...
  1. Van Morrison--Astral Weeks
  2. The Books--Beautiful People
  3. Sufjan Stevens--Redford (For Yia Yia & Pappou)
  4. Alexander--Truth
  5. Calexico--Stray
  6. Grizzly Bear--Southern Point
  7. The Tallest Man on Earth--Love is All
  8. Sufjan Stevens--I Walked
  9. TV on the Radio--Family Tree
  10. The Arcade Fire--Ocean of Noise
  11. Antony & The Johnsons--Knockin' On Heaven's Door
  12. Nick Drake--Cello Song
  13. The Books--Cello Song (feat. Jose Gonzalez)
  14. Braids--Lemonade
  15. Neko Case--John Saw That Number
  16. Human Highway--The Sound
  17. Sea Wolf--Middle Distance Runner
  18. Wil--Tell You Twice
  19. Sanford & Townsend--Smoke From a Distant Fire
  20. Spiral Staircase--More Today Than Yesterday
  21. Hall & Oates--You Make My Dreams
  22. Freddie Scott--(You) Got What I Need
  23. The Cult--She Sells Sanctuary
  24. Nena--99 Luftballons
  25. Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings--Inspiration Information

Scenes from the Keno Library

Spectacular views from the top of Keno Hill will follow, but first a look at the adorable Keno Library, housed in an old Anglican Church.


Changing Colours

I dyed my hair!

I've done this every so often since the autumn of 2004.  It's always some kind of unnatural pink or red stripe/section of hair.  Previous iterations include a chunk right up front (done by my friend Vicki on Tasmania):
And then a section across the back, assisted by Amanda in Smithers:
This across-the-back style was such a pain.  My neck was perpetually pink and the upkeep was very difficult to do by myself.

I couldn't find a decent photograph of the next version while it was fresh, but I think the fading out streak added a certain something to my zombie costume for Stephan and Katherine's film:
(Note to self: must get added to IMDb!  That would be hilarious!)

This time around I captured the process Cat Marnell-style, and lounged on my bed and took photographs with Photo Booth on my laptop.  While I was waiting for the bleach to do its stinky thing, I wore a tin-foil fascinator to keep things from dripping:
I think I was a little impatient with the bleach, and rinsed it out too soon.  It didn't look all that light at first and I was worried it wouldn't take the dye very well:
After slathering on Jerome Russell's Punky Colour in Pillarbox Red, I borrowed another xoJane tip and wore a plastic bag hat.  xoJane is a guilty pleasure at the moment.
And afterwards!  I am so in love with it, and can't believe I waited so long to do this.  This one is my favourite dye job so far.  You don't see the roots at all, so it will be very easy to grow out once I get tired of recolouring it every two weeks.
This photograph, taken on Saturday when Ben and I were walking around on Keno Hill, shows the colour better:
I got a little silly whenever I handed my camera to Ben.  I feel like such a fox with my red racing stripe.