Atom Egoyan at the MAC Went to the opening of one of the new exhibits at the Musee d'art contemporain last night. Atom Egoyan, poster boy of Canadian cinema, presented "Out of Use", an installation consisting of borrowed reel-to-reel tape machines and recordings. Ostensibly to explore the relationship of technology and memory, I was more fascinated by the construction of the installation itself than the theme it explored. Amazingly, a single loop of tape was being played by the dozens of reel-to-reel tape decks. I tracked the movement of the tape from one machine to another, wondering how often a technician had to come in to fix the delicate loop as it travelled around the intricate pully system. Accompanying the installation were some videos of people (they could have been actors--I'm not sure), recalling the role that the their donated tape recorder and recordings had in their lives. Very filmic. Kinda touching. On the whole, I found the piece a technical marvel, but not very evocative of the theme it was attempting to explore. You can take the girl outta texas... Finally got some pictures from Siggraph. There are some particularly fun ones of me and my friends J and K on the beach at Corpus Christi, Texas. The colour of the ocean is exactly as you see it in the picture below--dark and not-at-all blue. The water was as warm as any bath I've taken, and while I did some swimming, I spent most of my time sitting in the surf and feeling like I was in the world's biggest hot tub. me in corpus christi, texas


Burlington, Pigeon Hill, and Swiffer Wet Jets I don't know what got into me this weekend. I just wanted to get outta town. Saturday, I got up at my usual hour, made breakfast, read the Gazoo and the Globe and did a bit of tidying up around the house. Then I showered and decided I'd go to Burlington and try to spend the night around there. The plan was to shop a bit in Burlington, find a hotel, and then do some hiking the next day. Kids, never, ever leave home without booking a hotel. Everything was booked solid between Burlington and the Canadian border. No big deal. I had a nice dinner, bought some stuff at Old Navy, and watched the sun set behind the Adirondacks swinging on a public bench on the shores of the Champlain. I started the drive back at around 9:30 p.m. I think I've already written about driving at night, but another thing I noticed about doing this, particularly on smaller, windy roads, is how meditative it is. Talk about clearing your mind of all thought and just concentrating on the task at hand. Very, very cleansing and relaxing. I still had the "get outta town" bug on Sunday, so I pulled out my Hiking in Quebec book and decided on Frelighsbourg, a tiny village a few kilometres from Vermont. There are some simple hiking trails just outside the village that lead you through meadows of wildflowers and beautiful forests. The most amazing thing was the distinctive smell of honey everywhere. It reminded me of when I used to help my ex-'s mom extract honey from the hives she kept. You'd get deliciously covered, head to toe, in honey. On the drive back, I decided to stay off the 10 for as long as possible. I passed through a number of little villages, notably tiny Pigeon Hill, perhaps one of the quaintest areas I've been through in a long time. Mature trees grow close to the narrow road. Modest and well-kept heritage homes sit slightly back from the road. The sun was low in the sky (it was around 6:30 p.m.), casting that amazing golden glow through the trees. Nice place to visit, but could I live there? On a domestic note, I finally found a Swiffer WetJet. This is a magical household device that lets you clean floors in heels, kicky palzzo pants and a cute little form-fitting sleeveless sweater. No buckets, no measuring cleaning fluid into lukewarm water, no mop head to wring out. Magic. This is a battery-powered device that sprays cleaning fluid from the bottle attached directly to the mop itself. When the mop head is dirty, you throw it away. Amazing. I visited many, many Canadian Tires, Wal-Marts, and Reno-Depots before finding one in the Canadian Tire in Cowansville. When I got home with it last night, I assembled it and cleaned the entire downstairs floor. I was so thrilled with it that I cleaned some of the floors upstairs as well. My floors now have a clean uniformity that they haven't had in a long time. This device could change my life.


New York, New York is a fabulous town. The Bronx is up and the Battery's down. People ride in a hole in the ground... New York was the sweatiest city I've been to in a while, and I've been in New Orleans and San Antonio recently (the latter actually voted the sweatiest city in the US). But, it was worth the extra deodorant and the bead of sweat that inevitably forms above my upper lip when I'm very, very hot. We left early Saturday morning and immediately got lost. I forgot that the exit to the 15 was right after the Champlain Bridge, realizing this only as I saw signs for the 89 and then the 91, knowing that I had missed the exit to take me to the 87. Using a rather undetailed map, we navigated through rural Quebec in a general southerly direction. Have you ever noticed that driving through that part of the world, all signs point to the little village of Venise en Quebec? We would actually take roads opposite to the direction of this tiny vacation spot, but always ended up seeing signs for it. Ironically, we finally passed through it to cross at the Alburg, Vermont customs station, a wise move according to the customs officer who told us that there was a two hour wait at Rouse's Point (where the 15 becomes the 87). We arrived in New York at around 6:00 and drove down the Henry Hudson parkway and over the Brooklyn Bridge, easily finding L's friend's place in a sweetly gentrified neighbourhood minutes from this historic bridge. We went for dinner in a cute Lebanese restaurant where I had a starter of yummy raw lamb and finished with a lovely stuffed squash. We walked to the waterfront where we had an excellent view of the Manhatten skyline and the missing World Trade Center. Along the fence facing the river, you could see the strings and ribbons used to attach the flowers and other tokens people left as memorials. The next day, we ventured into Queens, the temporary location of MOMA while it's under renovation and the permanent location of PS1. PS1 had an exhibit of contemporary artists from Mexico City. All of us were eager to see it because we had all spent time there and had fallen in love with this amzing metropolis. Francis Alÿs’ work was the strongest, I think, showing typical scenes of people carting things around the city. He showed a fantastic video piece in Montreal a few years ago documenting the dragging of a large block of ice through the city until there was nothing left of it. MOMA had a show called Tempo, but we had so little time before closing that it was simply too ironic to rush through a piece about time. Instead, I wandered through the permanent collection, which was greatly reduced because of the size difference between the Manhatten and Queen's locations. They put out all the icons of modern art: Van Gogh's Starry Night, Warhol's Soup Cans, Picasso's Desmoiselles d'Avignon, etc....I spent a lot of time in front of a huge Pollock. There's just something about those drip paintings that pull me right in. We ended the day in an incredible tapas restaurant on 60th at First Avenue. Very good. Very expensive. Very worth it. The next day was pure shopping which ended at the newly renovated Grand Central Station. We ate in the tony Oyster Bar. Nostalgic for Maine, I ordered a lobster roll with creamy cole slaw. Nummy. On the way home, we did visit MassMOCA, a huge complex reminiscent of Banff in its mandate. Worth the detour and worth keeping abreast of the exhibits there. There was nothing particularly striking this time around, except for the complex itself, a renovated electronics factory full of light and brick and wood. Excellent canteen. Wonderful washrooms. A bank machine that didn't charge a service fee.


You're going to make it after all... Busy times at work, but not so busy that I can't take a couple of days to enjoy what I'm sure is the stinkiest, sweatiest metropolis of all: New York City. My friend L and I are heading out tomorrow morning to catch this show: Consuming Places. I hope there's time to shop... On out way back, we hope to stop here: MassMOCA.


(no) Smokin'! Walking and biking were two good habits I picked up in May. I also picked up a bad one--smoking. It started (again) innocently enough. A pub in Soho. A proffered pint. An open deck of cigs. What's one cigarette, I said, tossing my then red curls. For a while, I kept it to about six a day. In July, with work pressures, I was heading back to a pack a day. I swore that after returning from Siggraph, I would quit. And I did. It's been 48 hours now, sans cigarettes. Do I miss them? Oh, yes, yes, yes. Am I irritable? Not really, fuck. Am I stuffing myself with chips and chocolate? No, not right at this very minute. By the way, did I say I really want a cigarette?


Some babies just aren't very cute Although the temperature today is quite cool, Montrealers know it's been stinkin' hot for a while now. Last Wednesday, to celebrate the arrival of one of my buds from accross the pond, I had a bar-b-q. It was hot. There was lots of food. There were many flies. My garbage can is conveniently located under the stairs, not far from the dining patio. Styrofoam dishes heaped with chicken bones, leftover salad, and crumpled napkins were quickly chucked into the garbage can. I missed the garbage pick-up on Friday. Did I mention it was hot? I opened up the garabge can yesterday, in preparation for pick-up this morning. It was teaming with maggots. More than I''ve seen in a long time. More than I ever want to see again. They aren't cute *at all*. These are the moments when I miss having a man about the house. But, if I can deal with the kitty litter box, I can deal with this, I thought to myself. At first, I though if I sprayed them with a bleach solution, they'd kind of die and cease wiggling. However, when I sprayed them, they just started wiggling more and heaps of them started leaping out of the garbage can as more seemed to surge from the bottom. Then, I thought that if I slipped a larger garbage bag over the opening of the garbage can, I could just flip the contents inside the larger bag. I couldn't manouver the bag inside the can properly and more babies slipped out. My heart was racing in complete digust and panic. Finally, I figured that the easiet thing to do was to simply put the entire can in the larger garbage bag. I put the lid back on, made sure there were no stray babies on the outside, and encased the entire thing in the larger bag. I immediately put it outside. I hope Canadian Tire has garbage cans on sale this week.


I'm back! July was busy, busy, busy. Siggraph was a blast. San Antonio was hot! I came back to an overgrown garden, cat's who wouldn't come back into the house, skunks (much larger than when I left) freely roaming my patio. Took two day's rest, three day's catch-up at work, two-day weekend, and here I am, back at work, feeling very...blonde. Yes! My hair became bleached from the chlorine in the hotel pool. I thought it was a hoot that no one recognized me as a blonde chick, so now I'm a strawberry blonde. Where's my Casey, cuz I feel like walztin'.