February 4, 2012
Old sign from the long-disappeared Hudson’s department store. Peter got his first suit in this store.
London Ontario, February 4 2012.
Posted by jodi on February 4, 2012 at 10.33am
November 17, 2011
I’m sitting at the table cutting pictures out of old children’s encyclopædias and sorting them into 3 sandwich bag categories: dudes and ladies; animals; birds and bugs (because don’t ask), and tucked into one of the books was this adorable photo of some young cadets falling asleep on a bus trip:
The badge says “Royal Canadian Air Cadets 535 Leamington” (the book it was found in came from a yard sale in Leamington, Ontario). Somebody printed this themselves: the negative was scratched and dirty, the image is all crooked on the paper, and there are two little claw marks from where it was hung up to dry.
Posted by jodi on November 17, 2011 at 10.55am
September 6, 2011
Obligatory beach/sunset photos:
Posted by jodi on September 6, 2011 at 9.43am
July 20, 2011
Yesterday I received a message from a friend who works at the CBC, inviting me to comment on the 20th anniversary of Gwen Jacob’s arrest for walking topless down the street in Guelph, Ontario. Unfortunately, I’m sick with an awful cold this week, so sick that last night I resorted to sleeping sitting up on the TV room couch in an effort to keep the coughing jags under control. I’m drowsy, a little bit stoned on cough syrup, and my cough-ravaged throat is in no condition to be heard on the news. But! YOU ALL ARE IN LUCK. Just because I’m sick doesn’t mean I haven’t got anything to say about Gwen Jacob.
See: the Gwen Jacob case kind of made me a feminist. I don’t mean that this case changed my life or made me a radically different person (a more radical person? heh) than I would otherwise have become. If it hadn’t been this it would have been something else. I just mean that, for me, it was this. In 1991, at age nineteen, I had already experienced rape, sexual coercion (something that I didn’t yet understand then, but do now, is ALSO RAPE), being dumped from a car on a sideroad in the middle of the country for not “putting out”, various other non-sexual assaults including a friend’s boyfriend trying to crush me with a chesterfield (I’m not even kidding), and a massive amount of slut-shaming. This one incident, this woman I didn’t know who was my age and grew up near where I did being arrested and charged with indecency for taking her shirt off, seemed to highlight all of the double standards in the whole world, for me. It was something concrete to be angry about at a time when I didn’t possess the words to protest against things like slut-shaming.
(Incidentally, I tried going topless outside for a while once, the summer after Jacob’s arrest, when I was all alone on the farm, not likely to be seen by anyone but the occasional gravel truck driver out on the road. How it felt: silly, contrived, exhilarating, terrifying. And oddly itchy. And when my areolae starting feeling the effects of too much sun, I gave it up.)
After the Ontario Court of Appeal overturned Jacob’s conviction in 1996, when going topless effectively became legal in Ontario for all sexes, a few (very few) women started trying it just because they could. Once or twice Peter and I saw one in downtown London, always walking with a male companion, never alone, reveling in their new freedom but cautiously, self consciously, defiantly; drawing stares. Hardly free of any kind of double standard, and certainly not free of their bodies being immediately sexualized. Peter overheard one of these topless women in conversation with her (male) friend, and guess what the two of them were talking about? People’s reactions to her toplessness. In the days after the court ruling our options had expanded from living with the double standard of only men’s toplessness being socially acceptable to either that or being an activist, a test case, and having our bare breasts be a constant centre of attention. Our options hadn’t really expanded to include our toplessness being NOT A BIG DEAL.
The thing is, double standards don’t just disappear overnight because the Court of Appeal says they’re unfair. Body policing and slut-shaming and rape culture don’t just disappear overnight, and the evidence is all around us, every day, that they haven’t even budged one bit. 20 years after Jacob’s arrest, 15 years after her conviction was overturned, what does her case mean for women in Ontario, exactly? If I went outside right this minute, took off my shirt and walked down the street with my breasts visible, here is what it does NOT mean:
-that I will not be perceived as behaving with indecency;
-that my body will not be sexualized or consumed in a sexual manner;
-that I will not be catcalled or otherwise verbally harassed;
-that I will not be groped;
-that I will not be propositioned;
-that I will not be raped;
-that I will be treated with respect, or even with indifference.
-that if I am perceived as behaving with indecency, that will not be perceived as my fault;
-that if my body is sexualized or consumed in a sexual manner, that will not be perceived as my fault;
-that if I am catcalled or otherwise verbally harassed that will not be perceived as my fault;
-that if I am groped that will not be perceived as my fault;
-that if I am propositioned that will not be perceived as my fault;
-that if I am raped that will not be perceived as my fault.
What it means: that at least I won’t be arrested.
Posted by jodi on July 20, 2011 at 1.57pm
July 13, 2011
1. Screen shot from Earth vs The Spider, 1958 (camera shot from television screen).
2. Turbines, Essex County, shot with the Harinezumi digital.
Posted by jodi on July 13, 2011 at 7.21am
April 30, 2011
The season’s first bit of broken blue eggshell.
Posted by jodi on April 30, 2011 at 9.02am
April 10, 2011
Spring is here and it’s time to clear away all of the dead house plants that didn’t make it through the dim winter on the dining room windowsill (so long dead avocado tree; I’m sorry I didn’t eat you sooner, dried up basil!). Now that the gardening efforts will be concentrated outdoors (we have an entire backyard to overhaul before June), here’s a way to have a little bit of lower maintenance greenery in the house. I used tips from these tutorials at Life Hacker and Boing Boing, but didn’t follow either to the letter; moss isn’t likely to up and die on you if you don’t do things just right.
What you’ll need:
-glass jars with lids. I used a gallon pickle jar that my friend Jenn gave me (and painted the lid flat black), and a smaller storage jar with a sealer lid that I picked up at Value Village.
-soil (optional, actually, but if your jar is tall, like my pickle jar, soil will help to bring up the height of your moss garden without having to use as many rocks).
-charcoal-activated water (again, probably optional but I figured it couldn’t hurt. I broke open a Brita filter and mixed a bit of the charcoal grains with water; they didn’t really mix in but I’m sure it’ll all work out).
-one of the tutorials I looked at suggested Spanish moss, which I didn’t use because I didn’t have any. It’s another way to get some depth if you don’t want to use soil.
-plastic dinosaurs, gnomes, lego toys, ceramic figurines, plastic flowers, fish tank decorations or whatever other doo dads and frippery you want to include.
-chopsticks for placing items if the mouth of your container is too small to get your hand into.
-moss! I brought a bit of moss back with me from my visit to Georgia in February, even though the varieties probably aren’t any different than what grows here. If you want to bring home some moss from a trip, it will survive in a Ziploc bag for a good long while; mine sat around for a month before I got around to planting it. Otherwise, go out and find yourself some moss and gently peel up just a small amount (don’t go decimating a single population!) with some of the dirt attached to the bottom. I supplemented my Georgia moss with two different kinds I found in my backyard, one low and clumpy and one more luxurious and long. I also had a bit of lichen covered tree bark that I picked up in Georgia (RUH-ROH, lichen in a mossarium, I’m already DOING IT WRONG). We’ll see how that fares in there, as I’m not sure it wants to be as moist as the moss does. I don’t recommend going out and collecting lichens in the wild unless you find a piece of bark already lying on the sidewalk off the tree like I did; lichen colonies can take a hundred years to establish themselves and that’s not something I really want to go messing with.
To assemble the mossarium:
Fill the bottom of your jar with rocks or soil or Spanish moss. Sprinkle in a small amount of your charcoal activated water if you’re using that, or regular water. You don’t want it to be TOO wet or the glass will just fog up. Then place your decorative rocks and the larger of your doo dads: in my large jar I used one large-ish rock and a statue of a bowling friar, which I placed before planting the moss, but in the smaller jar I just placed the rocks and then waited to decorate it until after the moss was planted.
Now break off small sections of your moss and place them on and around the rocks, using the chopsticks to wedge the moss into any smaller spaces. You don’t have to carpet the whole thing, as the moss will spread on its own, but if you’re impatient you might like to fill up a lot of the gaps between the rocks right away. I placed most of my moss directly on the soil around the base of the rocks and shoved a bit into the narrow spaces between the rocks and the glass, then put a few clumps right on top of the rocks just to see how they’ll fare there. Then put in any of your smaller decorations. If they’re lightweight like my little plastic dinosaurs you’ll want to press them down into the moss bed a bit so they’re secure.
Place your mossarium in a location where it’s protected from direct sunlight and wait for your moss to grow! You won’t have to water it very often but when you do, just take the lid off the jar and sprinkle in a few tablespoons of water. If the glass becomes foggy just open the lid for an hour or two to let the steam off (but don’t forget to put the lid back on; your mossarium wants to stay moist).
Posted by jodi on April 10, 2011 at 9.38am
January 23, 2011
Phog Lounge washroom stall door, January 22 2011.
Posted by jodi on January 23, 2011 at 9.27am
November 18, 2010
Bike racks at the ruins of J.A.D. McCurdy Public School. Shot with the Holga and Fuji S-400 film.
Dave and Claire checking out a hole in the ground underneath what used to be the principal’s office. Double Shot camera, Fuji S-200 film.
Old WWII firing range (left), the spot where the Albatross Tavern used to be (right). Double Shot camera, Fuji S-200 film.
Posted by jodi on November 18, 2010 at 5.05pm
September 15, 2010
An old artillery range, left over from WWII when our town was a Royal Canadian Air Force training station. We used to climb up to walk along the top of the narrow concrete wall (of course) and dig through the gravel on the roofs of the two attached sheds to find old bullet casings.
The old water tower. A new, more modern tower was erected earlier this year, so this beloved old structure may not be long for this world.
Claire standing on a (now completely overgrown) concrete bridge where as a preteen I whiled away many summer hours sitting with hockey school boys, listening to them talk about all of the exotic and far away places from which they came (Toronto, Detroit, Niagara Falls). Ah, hockey school boys, my first and best crushes.
Not much has changed down at the school, the gym, offices and senior wing of which were destroyed by fire in December of 2003. A few more holes in the floor, a stronger smell of mould emanating from the boarded-up wall.
This hole is new, at the edge of what was once the girls’ shower room. Last time we were here Peter dug out one of the shower drains for me, from that spot at the lower right that is now caving into the basement; we’ll put it in our own shower some day when we renovate our bathroom.
Barely legible: McCurdy Public School.
Bike racks at the edge of our former playground. Nice that there’s still somewhere to lock up your bike while you explore the dead heart of our town.
Posted by jodi on September 15, 2010 at 7.48pm