May 29, 2010
Under the Gardiner Expressway:
Macrame in a clothing shop window makes me happy:
An old friend:
Ampersand, butts and a stranger’s toes:
Land of cranes. If they ever finish building Toronto, where will all of the cranes go?
Posted by jodi on May 29, 2010 at 8.46pm
May 25, 2010
Well, most of a porch. It has a foundation and a floor. We can walk out the back door without fear of falling in a hole full of ancient cigarette wrappers and alley cat poop (I raked all that up, too).
It is a lovely porch-floor.
You can lie down on it without getting a splinter or a nail in your arse.
Cranky old lady kitties like it too.
(How sweet is our neighbour’s porch addition with its yellow siding and little aluminum awnings? I love those awnings, and wish we had them on our house).
Coming soon, supports! for the roof! which still potentially could fall down although I believe that it will not. Also, stairs. Sorry, Stacie, no slide. It’s just not in the budget for this year.
Posted by jodi on May 25, 2010 at 3.24pm
May 23, 2010
Yesterday we tore the back porch off our house. The plan was to dismantle it back to just the support framework, then carefully remove the 4x4s that hold up the roof while one of the kids stood just out of getting-crushed range with the cellphone to call 911 in case the supports Peter built last week didn’t hold and the whole thing came crashing down off the house onto our heads. But then at some point while we were recklessly pulling the last few boards off, we realized that in fact the porch was so rotten out that Peter’s supports were already the only things holding the roof up. And they held, and it didn’t fall on our heads! So that was exciting.
I thought about putting a DO NOT EXIT sign on the inside of the door, because I’m that paranoid (and this is the door we leave the house from most often). Turns out nobody in the house but me is forgetful enough to accidentally almost walk out that door anyway. Even the cat has figured it out already, and stood at the side door waiting to be let out this morning, instead of the back. As for me, I’m probably going to wind up on my arse out there at some point, because I am a creature of habit.
The porch had a clumsily constructed planter box built into it next to the steps which, as it turns out, was full of good soil all the way down to the ground. And all this time I’d been growing nothing but weeds there! Here’s the little ant farm I found when I pulled the side of the box off:
I filled three buckets and a Rubbermaid tote with good potting soil out of that thing, and there’s still a great heap of excellent topsoil from the very bottom that I left for another day. It’ll be quite useful once I’ve sifted all of our house’s former owner’s cigarette and chocolate bar wrappers out of it. Argh.
The view out the back door this morning, with our old porch piled up against the back fence. Which clearly also needs to come down.
And looking a little to the left of there: notice how different our yard looks from our neighbour’s. I keep telling myself that as long as we’re seen making improvements every year then it’s clearly a work in progress, all of our neighbours will recognize it as such, and we won’t be THOSE SLOBS. Someday we are going to be those slobs with the beautiful property. For real.
Posted by jodi on May 23, 2010 at 9.39am
May 21, 2010
Some new journals for ye olde etsy shoppe:
Posted by jodi on May 21, 2010 at 2.07pm
May 18, 2010
Over the weekend we did the groundwork for a really big job: propping up the roof over our falling-down back porch in preparation for rebuilding that porch, which we hope to do over May two-four weekend. While Peter banged together the porch supports, I took some time to replace some ugly blinds left behind in our stairwell window by the house’s previous owner (yes, SEVEN years ago) with new bamboo shades. I don’t think I’d ever looked behind those blinds before: turns out the stairs are so cold in winter not only because the window is ninety-nine years old and is lacking the storm window on one side of the big double pane, but because the window on the stormless side had jumped out of the glazer’s points and was flapping in the breeze (so THAT was the banging sound! ALL WINTER LONG).
So I cut some new points out of a piece of metal I found on the sidewalk, and put the window back in.
Here’s Ms. Polly, checking out the handiwork. From where she’s standing (where she always stands, catching stairs dust in her skirt and frightening our party guests) she can’t see how badly the whole thing needs a paint job. But that’s not one of this year’s projects.
Meanwhile, Peter made these sturdy supports. Which we hope will keep the roof from falling off the house.
Coming soon: new porch!
Posted by jodi on May 18, 2010 at 9.00pm
May 16, 2010
Those two curls wanted to twist up and look like an old teevee on my forehead.
Posted by jodi on May 16, 2010 at 9.00pm
May 12, 2010
The wee Harinezumi digital camera continues to entertain and surprise. It processes images slowly, and some strange and unpredictable things happen if the camera is in motion while shooting. Attempt to grab a quick shot while driving, and buildings seem to slant while the ground remains level:
Another drive-by, with the distant buildings perfectly perpendicular and the construction fence in the foreground all slanty:
Jostle the camera a bit, and the image will slip and slide in blurry blocks:
Here’s the shot of woodruff in the garden that I was going for:
The downtown Detroit skyline shot with a slightly moving hand:
Detroit looking normal:
Posted by jodi on May 12, 2010 at 8.37pm
May 8, 2010
The only photo I took today at Windsor-Essex Change Camp. Which was a blast, a wealth of great ideas and passionate people AND I may have found a place to direct some of my volunteer energies that has nothing! whatsoever! to do with the arts community. At the end of a long week fraught with conflict in the world of artist-run, it was much welcome to hook up with the people who can get me a place at a different table, being part of a conversation about a community initiative that has long been only a passive interest. Stay tuned.
I’m going to write a post soon (soon, I mean it) about some of my upcoming summer projects both big and small, arty and dorky. Some of them are quite exciting! Others, maybe not. We shall see. But for now, here’s one new little project that Peter and I started this morning with the goal of making the world a better and less irritating place in a subtle but important way:
Removing misuses of the word “irony” from Wikipedia entries.
I created an account (This is not irony) and made my first edit before heading out the door for Change Camp: an entry on the Clash song “Train in Vain” (you might need to click through to the flickr photo and view full size to read it):
Definitely an improvement.
If anybody wants to help out with this project, let me know and I’ll send you the password. Because the gods know there’s a lot of not-at-all-ironic stuff going on out there, giving real irony a bad name.
Posted by jodi on May 8, 2010 at 6.04pm
May 6, 2010
Tonight Claire and I bundled Ms Cleo’s old bones into the tub and gave her a bath. She’s nineteen years old and getting rather creaky, and her hips give her some trouble. I can’t remember the last time I saw her groom herself; was it last summer, or the summer before? At any rate, she’s lost her flexibility and her bones get stiff even from lying down, and she’s no longer grooming. Last week I was sitting on the front porch railing with her in my lap, drinking coffee and idly stroking her head, when I realized that my fingers were coming away with a layer of gray grime on them as if I’d been flipping through dusty sleeves at the used record store for about four hours. Ew.
So we scrubbed the old girl down as best we could without hurting her. Rinsed her off with a sponge and water scooped with a cup so as not to spook her with the loud, splashy tub faucet; the water ran to the drain in dirty streaks just like in Psycho only with less killing. We rubbed her down gently, bundled her into a thick dry towel, and Claire held her close for a very long time to keep her warm as she dried. I don’t think we got her completely clean, but I’m not planning to do this to her again. As it is, she won’t be speaking to me for days.
Posted by jodi on May 6, 2010 at 7.22pm
May 5, 2010
Posted by jodi on May 5, 2010 at 8.56pm