Sunday, January 30, 2011

Street Level 

the ballroom - by leuwebb projects
One of the better projects in The Ballroom by Leuwebb Projects, The Gladstone Hotel

Today was all about Queen Street West. I strolled down to the Gladstone to see the Come Up to My Room show. I can't really say I'd recommend it this year. The quality just isn't there. Most of the installations didn't even really take advantage of the room. It was generally a disappointment.

But Queen Street didn't disappoint. While I was waiting for the streetcar I was approached by a guy who was either a lovelorn composer or a Raptor free agent who could bench press 700 pounds. He kept talking to me as we got on the streetcar and figured he'd contact me about some graphic design work. It wasn't obvious but he had been drinking (the distinct and unique aroma that liquor makes was evident in close proximity). Funny thing was he was looking for a music store that he was only a block away from when he got on the streetcar in the first place. It was just one of those days for wandering.
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Friday, January 28, 2011

Pain has a Memory 

Last Saturday, while Mitchel was trying on new goalie pants, I was trying on skates. It's been awhile since I've tied a pair of skates about six times, which is sort of what happens when you're trying on skates. Yeah. I sort of ripped up my hands. I pretty much had to buy the pair with the most blood on the laces. I looked at my hands (see above) and thought, “that's going to hurt tomorrow”. For some reason I also thought it looked familiar. Even after the sales guy said, “Whoa, got some rope burn there” it still bugged me that somehow, I'd done this to my hands before but couldn't really remember when. I even knew how long it would take to dry up and scab and what to expect. How did I know this? It just seemed really familiar but I just took it for granted I had done it before somehow.

Not until someone asked me about it did I realize that this is almost classic cod jigging line burn. This is where you'd form a callus from jigging. The older you get, you sort of learn to avoid that kind of thing, but as a kid you're always tearing your hands apart when you go cod fishing. Of course, it's worse when you get salt water in the wound. It's strange to me that such a vivid memory would take so long to dislodge itself and float to the top. How many times did I stand swaying in our boat, wet line in my hand, salt spray on my mouth, watching the horizon rise and fall only to realize the line had cut straight through my hand. Then I'd pull my sleeve down over my hand and keep going. When we'd get home, I'd put iodine on the blisters, wrap a band-aid over them and wait.

That's pretty much what I'll do this time.


Monday, January 24, 2011


This site is quickly becoming a list of lists. Yet this post is to highlight Adrian Curry's "Movie Poster of the Week: Best of 2010".

image via

By the third week of January it seems a little late for The Best Movie Posters of 2010 but nonetheless, here it is. Enjoy, or be angered or do whatever you do with lists. I wonder if the movies are any good? I know one is. "I Am Love" is very good.

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Best of the Best 

Music, Films & Books

It's funny but I sort of forgot about the whole decade ending in January 2009 not 2010 despite reading all of those "Best of the Decade" lists. I guess I just forgot 'em. Those lists that make you tear your hair out until you realize you have precious little hair to be tearing out, mate, so wise up and leave it be.

To remind myself, here are some top lists for the year & decade of music, films and books.
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Sunday, January 16, 2011


Image via Movie Poster of the Week: "Hausu"

Friday night we watched an incredibly campy, and well, almost indescribable Japanese art horror movie called "House" (or "Hausu") from 1977. The effects are sometimes absurd, sometimes sublimely beautiful. I have to admit my hopes weren't high going in especially as my main reason for wanting to see it was the great poster seen above. But, you know, it was pretty amazing. After watching some of the DVD extras it became clear to me that Japanese pop culture isn't that crazy but the director, Obayashi was, and he, and other artists like him became highly influential in Japanese main stream through films and advertising. Turns out this was the same guy who directed Charles Bronson in some memorable "Mandom" commercials which, like "House" have to be seen to be believed.

I feel I understand the Japanese psyche better now. Or not. Maybe I understand it less but it's still fun to watch.

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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Who says "print" is dead?*

Is it just me or does Portland remind you of Seattle?

*Okay, technically, "Boing Boing" is a blog not print and just to go all nerd on your Pacific Northwestern ass here is the list of publications (not counting sky writing, sand writing or phone books) mentioned:
The New Yorker
Mother Jones
New York Times
New York Observer
Washington Post
Wall Street Journal
Boing Boing
The Portland Mercury
The Seattle Stranger
SF Weekly
The Harvard Lampoon
Mad Magazine
Family Circus
Calvin and Hobbes
The Boston Globe
The Washington Blade
The Bible
The Portland Monthly

The only ones I hadn't heard of were Paste and The Washington Blade but my question is, "What, no Village Voice? No Utne Reader? No Harpers? No The Atlantic Monthly? No Lapham's Quarterly?"

Other than that it's practically like a dinner party at my lunch table.

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Yes Please

Image via ArchDaily

Dear HM White Site Architects and Cornelia Oberlander Architects,
please build me a quietly beautiful slice of forest within a courtyard in my house for me, exactly like you did for The New York Times Building Lobby Garden. Of course, my house is only fifteen feet wide but I'm confident you could find a solution.

Thank You,
Mr. P. Rogers

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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Peter's Back 

After an evening of baking bread and dissembling holiday wreaths, I found time to remove the hair from my face. That's right, I traded "Beard" for "Bread". Feels great. Looks weird. I feel like my old self but I look like someone else. Odd how your own memory and self-image just get all mangled up by a bit of fluff growing on your skin. I think my beard is calling to me from the afterlife saying, "You miss me. We need each other. Let me back in. You know you want to." I'm already contemplating baking a beard.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Blade Runner 

Shave and a haircut, two bits?! Outrageous!
The beard? This hair on my mug? It is temporary and temporal. I stopped shaving for a little while - it's not like I grew a beard, that's just a consequence of not shaving. I just got tired of using those crappy little blades that you throw away. Plus, they are insanely expensive. Insanely expensive garbage. Sometimes a blade lasts for a week, but usually just 2-3 shaves. Where's the quality control? I know no one wants to sell me a ceramic blade razor that I'll never have to sharpen or throw out. I get it. It's like when they give you a free printer as long as you pay $100 every other month for ink. For ink! Why is the disposable part the expensive part? Why is ink more expensive than oil or gas or I don't know… everything.
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Sunday, January 09, 2011

In With the New (Music) 

'All Songs' Listeners Pick The Best Albums Of 2010

This isn't really new and I suppose I should have posted it oh, about 10 or 11 days ago, but here we are and seeing as no one has a time machine or anything and I can't just "back-post" or something, I'm posting this now. It's All Songs Considered Listeners Picks for 2010.

The only podcasts I ever listen to more than once are music podcasts and good ones are like great self-contained playlists. A few times a year All Songs Considered do a round up of the favourite bands, artists, concerts, or over looked albums. But their listener picks are pretty great.

If, for some reason, you are thinking to yourself, "What are the cool kids listening to these days?" Well, this is it. You can hear most tracks in their entirety either by listening to the podcast online or or by downloading it.

I've made an iTunes Playlist here. Too bad you don't get that awesome one penny discount on a playlist the way you do on an album.

The podcast only plays the top 25 listener picks but PDF of the top 100 is available here.

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Cute, Like "Kittens" Cute 

I was minding my own business today, trolling around on the All Songs Considered site when I saw this post by host Bob Boilen. It's cute. Like, completely "kittens" cute, but without the kittens. Therefore, you probably have surmised that it involves a child. You would be correct.

I don't have much to add about a video of a dad and his daughter singing the Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes song "Home" other than if you are so modernly wearied and hardened that you fail to find this genuinely sweeter than molasses then you either are the pulseless Dick Cheney or may soon find employment with Blackwater Security.

Ok. I just watched this again, and damn, I don't think I could remember those lyrics. Additional cute moments: when they get to the chorus and the kid smiles (despite looking a little sleepy) then later says, "One day I'm going to whistle" is just the zinger. If you aren't familiar with Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes think of a slightly more Americana sounding "Dexy's Midnight Runners".

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Thursday, January 06, 2011

Things I know 

Stating the obvious. Image via Smashing All Toys

It occurs to me that no one reads this. That, in fact, as I type this sentence I may be the only person who ever reads this sentence. That's a little depressing, and a little weird. Like posting your diary poster size on hoarding and knowing people walk right by.

I'm okay with that.

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Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Pre-game Calm

Hiroshi Sugimoto - November 6, 2008 - February 14, 2009 - Gagosian Gallery

My stomach was all butterflies earlier today. Now I'm at peace with the day. Call it the calm before the storm when the Canadian teens who carry all my hopes and dreams go up against some Russian teens to determine world hockey dominance. I really shouldn't give so much responsibility to a bunch of kids. I should know better.

Maybe, I should have made a bet with Mitchel on the score. I lost last time. In the words of President George W. Bush, "Fool me once shame on me, fool me twice... won't git fooled again."

UPDATE: I shoulda know'd better. That gut punch of a loss is haunting me. I vow to avoid Canadian media for the next 48 hours, assuming that's how long it will take to fall out of the news cycle.


This Lamp is Bugging Me

Image of Excel Floor Lamp via

I keep seeing this brilliant floor lamp from the American (which surprises me) design trio named Rich Brilliant Willing.

I mean, how does it not fall down? Maybe it does. Maybe people prop it up against a wall. Maybe it is perfectly stable. In which case I must have one. Unfortunately, though being produced by Roll & Hill of New York it is still out of my reach (there are 1800 reasons but that's beside the point).

If I cannot procure one, I propose to make one. From within the comfy confines of local hardware stores, IKEA and my imagination I propose the following:

Note that the third image is an Alvin Lustig design which I have always thought as the most graceful solution for a floor lamp as a reading lamp, so there you have it, I'm trying the design trifecta of a 2-for-1 (there is no 3-for-1 design trifecta, that would be like a Swiss Army Knife or a Leatherman Multi-tool thing which are wonderful but not more "engineery" than "designy")

I will keep any one who cares apprised of my successful and/or failures.


Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Kate + Plate 

Dezeen, a designy design blog notes this recent commission of several designers to come up with a contemporary take on the Royal Wedding Souvenir Plate with A Very Modern Royal Wedding by KK Outlet

Well. That didn't take long. I know that there is an entire industry standing by to create the usual crap, still I admire the speed at which there was a counter strike from some collection of designers. Well done. I don't think anyone could explain why most people (oh hell, I'll just say it: "Old Women") want the same souvenirs their mothers had but I'm glad someone could produce something different.

My only comment would be, these plate designs are all so witty/ironic/clever/. Would it really kill you to design a lovely plate your gran would want. I mean, think of all the sweaters she knit for you. Sure, you may have hated the one with the reindeer, but I'm guessing you wore the simple flecked gray "fisherman's" style sweater throughout high school and maybe some sweet chicky or guy coveted it and loved the way you wore it. Maybe it even got you laid.

So, for God's sake designers. Make a contemporary souvenir plate your Gran would love. Doesn't she deserve it?

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Saturday, January 01, 2011

Seen in December

Jeff Bridges in the Coen brothers' remake of True Grit (2010)

Despite December being a great month for movies, it always seems too busy to see everything you want to see. No matter what your intentions, the list is always a little bit disappointing. Here's what we saw this month, for better or for worse...
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