Saturday, August 5, 2017

Long Weekend (& July updates)

Due to my unfortunate lunch experience yesterday, I kind of crashed when I got home.  My stomach is a little better, but I don't think I should try anything too complex for the next few days.  It's most unfortunate, since I had wanted to head off to an Indian place for the buffet, but that is definitely out.  Maybe next week.

I then woke up after a few hours and finished my playlet for the 3Fest.  I was about to send it off when I realized they wanted it in a different format, which stretched the length from 4 to 6 pages!  (The limit was 4 pages.)  So I cut and cut, even some material I thought should have stayed in.  I guess it is good experience, given that I need to tighten some other scripts, but boy, it was annoying.  I sent it off to beat the deadline and went to bed, then woke up a bit late this morning.  I'm still sort of sluggish, but I think I'll head off to the Toronto Reference Library (it just stopped raining, so I can probably bike it) and probably catch Baby Driver after that.  I was thinking of seeing the Valerian movie, but the leads just seem so wooden that maybe I would be better off watching it on video whenever it does come out.

I don't have anything that I absolutely have to do, but I would like to get to the grocery store before it closes and probably get to the gym (I have been very bad about that this week), though if I bike downtown there is slightly less urgency to getting to the gym.  I recently found out that the cardio is paying off and my heart rate is in pretty good shape.  (I didn't check blood pressure, but it's probably normal.)  I'm still having trouble climbing lots of stairs and jogging is a problem, so maybe I will try to work that into the gym routine, but one thing at a time.

Before the family all took off for Chicago I was able to finish up the pajamas.  Even after I took in the waist more, they are still a bit baggy.

I should have cut out even more and shortened the elastic, but I didn't know.  Also, the length is just ridiculous, with probably six inches hemmed up inside each leg.  I guess maybe I'll be able to adjust and they'll fit my son in a couple of years.  It's probably not all that terrible for a first attempt, but I don't think I'll really get into the clothing line.  It's just too much work overall.

The quilt, on the other hand, is coming along fairly well.  I've actually cut out nearly all the pieces I need for the entire thing, and I have 11 rows pieced together, and then 6 of those stitched together lengthwise.  There's a reasonable chance I'll have all the rows (17 total) pieced by the end of August, and then the whole quilt top plus border by Sept.  So I'm definitely on track.  More pictures later when there is more progress.

I did get back to the AGO and took a few photos of the contemporary art exhibit on the 4th floor.  I was glad to see that the room was fairly packed, granted it was the free day at the AGO.

Camal Pirbhai and Camille Turner, Bell, 2017

The first photo was inspired by advertisements in Canadian newspapers looking for runaway slaves, in this case for a "Mulatto wench" named Bell.  The next exhibit was quite popular.  The first part was a ballroom gown/basketball jersey, which speaks to Esmaa's desire not to be forced into a particular gender category.  In the background, you can see the concrete basketballs of her installation Heavy Heavy (Hoop Dreams), which comments on the fact that so many Black youth spend their time chasing unrealistic dreams of making it in the NBA, when the odds are so heavily stacked against them.

Esmaa Mohamoud, One of the Boys, 2017

Seth, Dominion

The last part of the exhibit was a huge model city built by the cartoonist Seth.  I actually just missed out on seeing this in Regina, so it was cool to see it in Toronto.  He built this set to inspire him to work on a graphic novel, but the set sort of took on a life of its own.  I'm not even sure he finished the other project.  I'll be reviewing a book/DVD about the Dominion project shortly, and I'll include more photos in that post.

As promised, I did take a picture of the Rita Letendre paintings not in the catalogue.  Unfortunately, this picture is still quite off-centre, so I'll try again on the next visit.

Rita Letendre, Hurl into Space, 1998

There was another large painting (November Night Rain) outside the exhibit proper.  I'm not 100% sure it was there on my last trip.  Unfortunately, while I took three pictures, absolutely none of them turned out!  So again, next time.

I tried to take a few close-ups of Victoire, my favourite of the bunch, to show the way the paint does not lie flat on the canvas.

Rita Letendre, Victoire, 1968

Those are the main updates.  I'm still reading a fair number of classics this summer (Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, Voyage in the Dark, The Sound and the Fury, The Vatican Cellars, The Good Soldier, A Month in the Country) and never getting quite enough other writing* done, though I expect I'll be more productive Monday when nearly everything is closed.  At any rate, I should run now.

Coda: I did make it to the library and managed to get done 3 of 4 things I wanted to accomplish, but one of the books was not on the shelf.  Supposedly a copy is coming to me off the hold shelf, but I don't know how long that will take.  I didn't plan on it, but I picked up a few books at the used book store, including Ali Smith's Public Library and Other Stories (how appropriate!) and Engel's Lunatic Villas, which has been added to my to-read list.  I got to the movie theatre and ended up one person away from the cashier, when I realized that I wasn't happy that they had added a few extra dollars for a "prime" movie experience.  It's weird how that was the tipping point, and I decided I would just be better off at home either reading, writing or going to the gym.  So I split, and now I am home again.

* Big news.  It looks like I have landed a date in mid September for the staged reading, but until a contract is signed I don't want to get too excited or actually put out the date, but hopefully early next week all the details will be worked out.

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