Subscribe in a reader

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Margaret Atwood

Tonight, author Margaret Atwood appeared at Chapters (Pinecrest location) to sign copies of her latest book Moral Disorder. It is a collection of short stories telling the "pains of a troubled Canadian family over a 60 year span". Read more about the book here on the publisher's site.

After going to a number of these author events, you never know how many people will show up to these things. I've been to some Atwood events in Ottawa that literally pack the house but tonight there were only 40 people who received 'numbered tickets' prior to her appearance.

...And this is Royal Canadian Air Farce's Luba Goy as Margaret Atwood from the CBC's coolest ever image gallery.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Newfoundland comes to Ottawa

Ottawa's Tree Reading Series, in its first quarter century already, is just getting better with age. Last Saturday, director Rhonda Douglas and the Tree team hosted a special gala reading celebrating Newfoundland writers with readings by Michael Crummey, Ramona Dearing, Stan Dragland, Lisa Moore, Russell Wangersky and Michael Winter. It was a great, entertaining evening -- and you can get a sampling of the night's activities from my event photos that are posted on Quill & Quire's web page.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Best Blog

The 'people' have 'spoken' in the 'Best' Blog in Ottawa category. As 'they' say, it's an 'honour' just to be nominated. Here are the results of the Ottawa Xpress 'poll': (Why do I always put words in single quotes?)

'Winner': (music)

'Honourable' Mentions:
rob mclennan's blog (lit)
The Blog of Amanda Earl (lit/personal)
Matilda (personal)
Asteroidea Press(personal)
David Scrimshaw's Blog (personal)
Humanyms (personal)
John W. MacDonald's Weblog (personal/photo)
Through the Broken Viewfinder (photo)
OnVertigo (photo)
Space to Live (photo)

And thank you to the person(s) who nominated my blog for this category and whomever voted. Cheers!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Oni's Ghettostocracy

Finally! I can let the cat out of the bag! I have been sitting on this 'secret' since August.

Oni The Haitian Sensation has just published a book of her poetry, Ghettostocracy, by McGilligan Books. And the connection to George Elliott Clarke, whom I alluded to in this Monday's weblog post, is that he wrote the foreword and edited Oni's book. Look out in December for an upcoming official launch of her book (of which I had some small part in it as well.) Here's the story:

I know I always say this but...if you remember a post in my blog from way back in July, I photographed the great Oni at the Dusty Owl Parking Lot Party on Canada Day. I went home early due to the rain, without stopping off to see Michel Pagliaro rock Parliament Hill as I had originally intended. I photoshopped some of the pics from that afternoon and I eventually came up with the series titled 'Oni Warhol'. The photos now grace the cover and the rest is history. Yesterday, I received my complimentary copies of the book in the mail. Woo Hoo! So there you go. Congratulations Oni!

And finally, if you wanted to say, purchase any one of the photograhic prints from the series Oni Warhol, I could quote you a price. Any size, from 4"x6" to 24"x36", is available to order. Just send me an email. It's that easy!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Contre Jour

November 21st is all about Thomas Pynchon's latest novel, Against the Day. It finally hit the shelves officially today. Read all about the new novel here and here. Wonder if someone will actually photograph him this century?

David Cation's Art

Dark Lover (1998) by David Cation
photo: john w. macdonald

Last week I had the opportunity to photograph some of the art of David Cation (<-- not these ones, however) at the Gallerie La Petite Mort Gallery. You may remember from a previous post on my weblog that I had photographed his Angels on Bank Street for the covers of rob mclennan's most recent book of poetry, Aubade. David, formerly of Ottawa, was in town recently as part of a showing at the La Petite Mort Gallery along with readings from rob mclennan and Nichole McGill. At the very least I suggest you view the video by Aaron Dickson that he made on the subject of Cation's art. Enlightening. After the photo shoot I took home his large drawing, Dark Lover, as a gift from David. [Thanks!]

Monday, November 20, 2006

George Elliott Clarke

Renaissance man, George Elliott Clarke

Amanda has written her impressions of last evening's fantastic reading on her blog. And I quite agree with her sentiments from the event at the Dusty Owl Reading Series. It's always a pleasure to get out to see Mr. Clarke in person. As you will read from Amanda's entry there were a number of Ottawa's literati in the audience, D.D. Jackson among them. Oni The Hatian Sensation has a literary connection with Mr. Clarke -- more on this later. Consider this a teaser...

...and I can't forget to add that oh can that man Gregory Frankson sing! I believe this was the longest Dusty Owl event I've been too, at three and half hours long, time flew by quickly however. Brilliant readings at the open mic all around.

George Elliott Clarke is among the long list of nominees for the 2007 IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. The International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award is the largest and most international prize of its kind in the world, involving nominations by libraries from all corners of the globe. It is open to books written in any language and is a partnership among the municipal government of Dublin, Dublin city council and IMPAC, a productivity improvement company operating in more than 50 countries.

If you're going to be in Kingston, Ontario this week check out
Greg and Oni are appearing at RELOADING THE CAN[N]ON Kingston Dub Poetry Festival
Thursday, Nov.23- Saturday, Nov. 25, 2006.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Farley Mowat

Author Farley Mowat at the Barrhaven Indigo book store launching his book Bay of Spirits: A Love Story

Attendance was large as expected and the queue of people wound through the book aisles as fans waited patiently to get their books signed.

Farley's wife, Claire, is an author in her own right.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

November Lit Best Bets

Wow! This time of November seems packed with some notable author appearances in Ottawa. Here are some upcoming events that caught my eye:

16 November - Award-winning poet Rhonda Douglas of Tree Reading Series on at 6:30 pm. CKCU 93.1 FM radio
17 November - The legendary Farley Mowat at Barrhaven Indigo Bookstore to celebrate his eponymously-named school in Barrhaven. 7:00pm (Is it still a bookstore?)
17 November - Rock Star Author Dave Bidini at Collected Works 7:30pm
18 November - Matthew (Filthy) Firth at the cozy Manx Pub 5:00pm
19 November - George Elliott Clarke at Dusty Owl Reading Series 5:00pm
19 November - JC SULZENKO 'S POETRY JAM SESSION For young writers in grades 2, 3 and 4 CALL (613) 562-1243 TO REGISTER
21 November - Margaret MacMillan at the National Arts Centre Studio
24 November - Mercury Press launch hosted by Angela Rawlings 7pm @ The Mercury Lounge, 56 Byward Street
25 November - Michael Crummey, Ramona Dearing, Stan Dragland, Lisa Moore, Russell Wangersky and Michael Winter at Tree Reading Series Gala.
28 November – 2005 Archibald Lampman winner Laura Farina will read from her first poetry collection 7:30 pm Royal Oak II, 161 Laurier Ave. East

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Here's Johnny

YouTube video of Johnny Cash singing 'I Walk the Line' live.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Winston tastes good like a cigarette should!

YouTube video of 'The Flintstones' hocking Winston cigarettes.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Absurd Writing

Reclusive but prodigious Ottawa blogger/writer, Stephen Rowntree has a Kafkaesque bit of prose on this week. Check out his absurd little piece - pretty much about absolutely nothing. It's called in the penal colony. For something meatier, however, Rowntree also has his MA thesis, Joyce's Ulysses, A Schopenhauerian and Freudian Reading, posted in the James Joyce section of the awesome literary website, The Modern World (pdf link). The Joycean canon grows. Mr. Rowntree is a PhD student in philosophy at the Dominican College in Ottawa.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Bundle Me Up

He's ready to go. Matthew likes his new fleece BundleMe car seat cover (and new hat for winter). I now have a new definition for the word 'plush'. Lucky guy.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

I Used to Work in Chicago

Not really, but this ditty is an older version of what we used to sing at football practice many years ago. The verses we sang, however, were more coarse. The song was resurrected once again during a 20 year reunion last month. All in fun naturally.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Matthew at 99 days

The neat thing about having a camera and a weblog is the ability to post baby pics.
The neat thing about having a baby is that he works for milk.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

More Eye Candy

Monday, November 06, 2006

Max Middle Ode

Max Middle put some new sound files up on the web site - the most recent being 'The Progress of Egarag Hguanavak'. Listen especially at 3:41 for the apparent 'poetic' inspiration to this sound piece, and it's made very explicit in the chant at the very end. An interesting epic-like ode to a service station methinks. Max is odd. But in a good way. He appears at the Dusty Owl reading series Sunday, 5 November 2006.

It never ceases to amaze me how Max Middle can not only draw a crowd but also attract fellow performers to play along with him on stage. If you've never seen the Max Middle Sound Project live, it's a trip. The Dog and Pony Show (the karaoke sound board guy), though not part of the act formally, did add another element to the performance with his reverb sound effects during some of the troupe's several pieces. I toted my own little intellectual hooligan Matthew along not knowing how he'd react but he slept though the entire act. That's a good thing. Next up at the Dusty Owl Reading Series is none other than George Elliott Clarke.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Hilotrons TV

The Rockcliffe Book Fair

Again hosted at the Rockcliffe Park Public School (entrance is located off of Springfield Avenue near Buena Vista). The hours are:

Friday November 3, 2006: 10 am to 9 pm
Saturday November 4, 2006: 10 am to 6 pm
Sunday November 5, 2006 :11 am to 5 pm

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Did I ever tell you I hate plumbing?

I went to the local hardware store to get a five micron, whole house water filter. You know, I want to ensure we have the cleanest well water possible. 'Clean well water' is a bit of oxymoron still it's very much potable. I drink it. I shower in it, brush my teeth with it. So installing a filter seemed the logical solution for cleaner water. We already have a Reverse Osmosis system in the kitchen.

I approached the task like any other household chore. You know, with a how-hard-can-it-be attitude. I started at 11:00am. Gathered my tools. Arranged them all in one place. Got some lead-free solder, a new can of propane. I even read the instructions.

The filter that I bought leaked upon installation. (So did one of my soldering joints.) I went back again to the hardware store to get another replacement for this POS. Installed it and it leaked as before. Perhaps my well's jet pump has too much pressure? I never had any issues with high pressure on my well - quite the opposite. But can't complain really. I called the 1-800 phone number of the filter and the person told me it was normal that the filter leaked when put in by-pass mode. Leaked! This thing gushed both times. They told me to just put a bucket underneath it and wait for it to evaporate. Anyway, I read the fine details and it said the entire filter would have to be changed every five years and the actual filter every 3 or 4 months. I got the idea that this would be more work than I initially figured on.

In the end, I took the second filter back again for a refund this evening. Got another one - same model. While putting the boots to one compression joint my adjustable wrench broke, rather exploded. Sonofa$#@!... I have come to the realization that soldering copper joints with a smoken' hot jet of blue fire in tight dark spaces is not my handyman forte, especially doing it numerous times. I finished the evening with a newly installed 1 foot of shiny new copper pipe to make up for all the cuts I made throughout the day. It's now 10pm. No filter. But I figure the well water is good enough as we have the water tested regularly and I didn't have to pay for a plumber, though it would have eliminated today's headache. Stick a fork in me, I'm done. With plumbing anyway.

If there's one lesson I learned from this experiece, it's heat the fitting - not the pipe. That way the solder is sucked into the joint when the optimal temperature is reached. That and the fact that I hate plumbing. Plumbing sucks.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Q104 The Home Rock n Roll

My cousin, Bobby Mac, (finally) and officially was made a morning show host of Q104, rock 'n roll radio station today in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Congratulations! You know it's a quality radio station when their web site has a "Thong of the Day" photo gallery. Good Lord.