January 28, 2013
The days churn on, things happen, but the desire to write them down here is low. I would like to cut January from my life, hack it roughly with a serrated knife so it rips open in an ugly wound that will never close. Go directly from New Year’s Eve to February, month of light at the end of tunnel, light slowly returning to the mornings, something to live for, look forward to. Month with a long weekend, now (Family Day! a name designed to screw the beer industry, through whose lobbying we were finally granted this lovely winter gift of a Monday off work with pay).
No, make it a sharp knife. A clean cut so the scar will be smooth, nearly impossible to see once the hair grows back over. Goodbye, January. I never liked you.
Things are happening, though. Some of them rather exciting things of a business nature, not the least of which is about to happen this very week. Alas, you, dear reader, are the last to hear about it and so let’s not speak of it now; you’ve waited this long, what’s another day?
Over the weekend Peter and I reassembled the Chandler & Price bench cutter that we bought four years (four years!) ago, fastened it atop its freshly painted base, and then I cleaned it up a bit with a green scrubby and some oil. The wheel that adjusts the back gauge is still very stiff (okay, it will barely move) and the big screw underneath will need to be thoroughly cleaned and regreased. But today I realized I didn’t need the back gauge to trim books, so I put one of the blades in and lo! It chops. Like a dream. And believe me, I’ve been dreaming of chopping things for a long time now.
Here, I made you a blurry little video of the first cuts, on some little notebooks.
I could not be more happy to have this machine (mostly) finished and in working order, finally. Expect a Levigator Press shop update soon!
Posted by jodi on January 28, 2013 at 9.08am
December 29, 2012
December 25, 2012. Nine years to the day after the fire that destroyed half the building was put out, we returned to the recently demolished site of J.A.D. McCurdy Public School in my hometown of Huron Park, Ontario. There’s not much left to see, just a bleak little collection of 1940s military housing, much of it now empty, and a flat expanse of gravel and concrete where the school used to stand.
Standing just off the main foyer in the approximate location of the stairs that led to the gym balcony, looking at an angle across where the Principal’s Office was and beyond that, the classrooms for grades 8, 7, and 6 and out towards the now-overgrown path those of us who lived on Columbia Drive used to walk daily.
If there was any easy way to uproot this bicycle rack it would have already been in my backyard long ago. My mom says that’s stealing, but a school board closing down a school knowing it will destroy the town is stealing too. Buying a closed school and letting it crumble until vandals finally set fire to it, and then standing there smirking while it burns, is stealing too. So whatever. Anyway, it’s really in there, you’d need a jackhammer to get it out.
Looking down the sidewalk that ran along in front of the senior wing, towards the little stand of trees that used to be the Huron Hope playground (a separate, fenced playground for the youngest of the developmentally handicapped kids whose school we shared our building with). You can just make out Peter down there, totally bored. Other people’s remember-whens are never fun, and I think he took little consolation in knowing that this would be the last time I would badger him to accompany me to photograph this crumbling ruin. You know, since it’s gone now.
As we were leaving, my brother and I made a stop at this culvert that kids used to climb into. The pipe ran along under a little ridge along the edge of the school property, underneath a street and across another field out to empty into the creek at the edge of town. It was a badge of honour for kids to walk all the way through it. I never did, because the girls in my social group most likely to go with me were also my bullies (such is life in a town of less than 1,000: you take what you can get) and I was never stupid enough to get way deep in there with them.
Walking away from there, my brother and I still deep in conversation about this and other childhood haunts and coming-of-age rituals and Peter and my cousins lagging behind rolling their eyes, Peter saw a group of teenage girls coming up the road towards us. He was about to point at my brother and I and tell the teenagers, “this will be you in ten years”, when one of them suddenly exclaimed, “hey! The school is GONE!”. Hah.
To see what the ruins looked like in 2005, visit this link and this one; to see the beginning of the demolition in October 2012, click here. All of the photos from McCurdy’s decay (2005-2012) can be found in this flickr set.
Posted by jodi on December 29, 2012 at 9.13am
October 14, 2012
Eight and a half years after the Christmas Eve fire that destroyed half the building, my old public school is about to be demolished for good. The company that bought the rest of the town has finally negotiated a sale with the owner of the land and building and they’re planning to build a new rental office there. We made our ritual visit to the site over Thanksgiving weekend to take a few final photographs of the school through a new blue construction barrier.
Here’s the view from the corner of the grade 5 classroom towards the centre of the building. The floors of the senior wing, having sat open to the elements since the fire, have already been torn up.
The kindergarten end. On the corner of the building, where vinyl siding and insulation have come loose, you can just see the old asbestos shingles that covered the school when we were kids.
Looking from the sidewalk just outside the grade 8 room, taken with the Harinezumi digital:
Another Zumi shot, of the Tuesday Library door:
Baseball fence and benches are still there.
I want this bicycle rack for my back yard.
See more images of the last 8 years of McCurdy’s decay in this flickr photoset.
Posted by jodi on October 14, 2012 at 2.19pm
July 13, 2012
Haven’t had one of these in a while, and here’s why: it’s been a frustrating season, in which I’ve struggled to shake a bad attitude that has me leaving practice feeling miserable more often than leaving happy (and this bad attitude has opened me up to allowing some relatively minor illnesses and injuries to interfere with my practice schedule, creating a dismal spiral, as you can imagine).
When I passed the minimum skills requirements I was the only one tested that night to do so, and it happened two weeks after the house league teams had been drafted for the season, bestowing onto me the dubious honour of being the only skills-tested player in the league NOT on a team. For a while the teams were practicing separately, and while the Hiram Stalkers invited me to practice with them (and were all wonderfully welcoming and supportive and amazing), I often felt on the outside, especially when scrimmages were set up using established bouting lines and I was not on any of those lines. Things got better when the two teams began practicing together again, but being the only one not involved in real game play has meant I’m unable to improve at the same rate as my league mates. I’ve got more physical strength and endurance than some people in the league but those mean nothing when skating skills are weak, and there have been times when I’ve struggled to give a shit. < /self pity>
Tonight we’re traveling to Toronto with a team made up of skaters who haven’t had much game play (I’m the only one of the lot who has had zero) and tomorrow I’ll be bouting for the first time in the Fresh and the Furious:GTA Drift tournament hosted by GTA Rollergirls. We’ve had very little time to work together as a team, and on a more personal level I am woefully ill-prepared, and am pendulum swinging from determination to prove myself all the way to a fervent hope to just not be completely useless, and back again. Please wish me luck, but more than that, wish me courage. I could really use some.
And don’t tell anyone on the other teams that I’m anything less than 100% confident. Because I am NOT GOING TO BE THEIR FUCKING GOAT.
Posted by jodi on July 13, 2012 at 1.26pm
May 29, 2012
Things eaten since having my wisdom teeth extracted on Friday:
-mango lassi (mango, yogourt, water)
-carob tofu pudding (tofu, carob, honey, vanilla)
-plain yogourt sweetened with honey
-puréed potato and cauliflower soup
-mango puréed with tofu
-cashew paté, puréed as smooth as possible and gingerly licked off a spoon
-an avocado (big mistake: OW!)
-vegetable tawa, mashed to oblivion and still too chunky to eat comfortably
-banana puréed with yogourt
-mango and banana puréed with yogourt
-mango and banana puréed with yogourt and placed in the freezer, which was a mistake and had to be mashed with a spoon until thawed in order to be eaten
-rose petal jam eaten straight from the jar, straight out of the freezer
-guacamole, gingerly licked off a spoon (avocado, lemon, salt and pepper in the food processor)
-many, many painkillers
I am still taking photos of my breakfasts every day for the tumblr, but lately they all look like this:
Things fantasized about since having my wisdom teeth extracted on Friday:
-dill pickle flavoured potato chips
-crackers of any kind (I don’t even eat crackers!) (also, I have been bookmarking recipes for homemade crackers; I don’t even eat crackers!)
-crisp lettuce leaves
-anything requiring chewing
-all of the crunchy things in the world
Posted by jodi on May 29, 2012 at 10.32am
May 9, 2012
Peter bought me this bonefolder in the early days of our relationship, during a time when I was living in a tiny, cramped bachelor apartment and working for a petty tyrant and cranking out little leather bound books like a sweaty, desperate machine in my messy little bedroom/living room with woefully inadequate tools. It may seem like a small thing but at the time, having this long slim piece of bone show up in my mailbox was the best present ever. It’s still the best present ever.
I have several bone folders of different shapes and sizes in my studio now, but this one is still my favourite; its pores are filled with leather dye, printing ink, glue and the sweat of almost twenty years of hard work.
Soon I am going to get a portrait tattoo of my bonefolder along the bottom of my right forearm, actual size.
Posted by jodi on May 9, 2012 at 8.22pm
April 20, 2012
Getting those other three wisdom teeth out soon. I am not very excited for this.
Posted by jodi on April 20, 2012 at 8.08am
March 29, 2012
Over a typically inadequate hotel breakfast in Kentucky last week (at which I generally eat nothing but a bagel and coffee, as even the yogurt in such places is unacceptable to me) (especially in the States, where conventional dairy production involves chemicals that are banned in Canada and the European Union) (adjacent parentheticals FTW) (which apparently means “for the win” and not “fuck the world” as I originally thought, but whatever) I mentioned to Peter that on our return home I was planning to switch to eating salads for breakfast.
In my early twenties I never ate what are considered typical breakfast foods, instead preferring to eat whatever was in the fridge: leftover curry, rice, soup, pasta salad. In middle age I’ve lost that early morning tolerance for strong flavours and spices and have become much more set in my breakfast ways, eating one of two possible breakfasts every day: fruit, yogurt and two tablespoons of kasha OR fruit, whole grain hippie cereal and soy milk. In trying to cut back from eating yogurt (the only dairy to which I’m not allergic) every day, this past winter I’ve become much more reliant on the cereal option. But: I’m also trying to cut down (again!) on wheat. Last year when I was working out way too much and keeping a food diary I severely limited my wheat consumption, and began to notice when I did eat it that I not only felt sluggish and achy afterwards, but that even while sluggish and achy I craved MORE wheat. And generally that sort of spiral is something I’d like to avoid, so: cereal, even the hippie kind, not the best option for me anymore. In planning our trip and looking ahead to a week of hotel bagels, I thought about the things I like to eat most: salad. Fresh and lightly cooked greens.
The problem, then, is getting enough protein into my breakfasts when I don’t eat meat and don’t like eggs and want to cut back on yogurt. Tofu is a good option but not for every day; same with soy milk. I’ve been thinking about making some pickled beets so that I can then use them to make beet-pickled eggs, as I’ve been able to stomach eggs prepared this way before, but that’s a weeks-long process and also might not work. Sprouts are a good complete protein, but I can’t get it together to always have sprouts made so that’s not an every day thing either. At a lunch date with Carrieoke at The National in Athens, I ordered the “power lunch” and a light bulb came on: the power lunch is all greens, some fresh and some lightly cooked, with quinoa salad. I tend to forget about quinoa as an option because Peter doesn’t care for it, but there’s no reason why I can’t have it just for me.
So! Now that we are home from our trip and those horrible hotel breakfasts are behind us, I’m two days into my new routine. Today is the first (okay, the second) day of the rest of my breakfasts!
day 2: quinoa and the same greens with leftover chana and peas, just to see if I still have the stomach I had in my twenties. The chana wasn’t as successful as the tofu, and tasted a little weird next to those bitter greens. Ah well.
YES OF COURSE I’ll be taking pictures of my breakfasts, at least until I get bored with it. I’ll be posting them up on my new tumblr, just to break up the inevitable stream of cat pictures a bit.
Posted by jodi on March 29, 2012 at 9.53am
February 2, 2012
The internet called, apparently we here at jodi’s weblog are not fulfilling our quotas on cat pictures. So here is more Kevin.
My goal in life has always been to become the town eccentric, and up until recently I thought there was still lots of time to work towards that goal. But thinking back on the town eccentrics I have known, I’m starting to realize that those people weren’t as old as I thought they were. I met weird old recluse Pete Z as a teenager (when he was in his early 60s, I’m guessing) but my cousins had known him all their lives, and my mother knew him as the town weirdo when she was a kid, at which time he must have been quite young. Here’s a picture of me and my cousins and Pete, taken in around 1989:
On the left are my cousins Patti and Chris, old Pete in the middle, then me (in the hat; oh! that hat! and I had stuck a flower on it that day because I was A TOTAL HIPPIE) and my brother Dave in the Anthrax hat. Pete is holding the page from the Weekly World News that told the story of the guy who farts fire (photo taken with 110 film, probably Kodak because I don’t think you could get Fuji film at the grocery store in our town; Kodak Ektralite camera).
Just for fun here is another photo from that day, of Pete’s old tractor behind his place:
Taken with Ilford HP5 35mm film and who knows what camera. Please excuse the quality, it’s a scan of a crummy test print which I guess I never got around to printing any better. I wish I still had a print of the one I took of the old Dodge car that he had parked on his side lawn, full to the roof with cut firewood.
Mrs W, the weirdo lady who lived on my street growing up, is still alive, still living in the same house, and her daughter was only in her late teens when I was a kid listening to old Mrs W’s stories in the mid 1970s, which means that when we thought Mrs W was probably at least a hundred years old she was probably only 40. AND I’M 40 NOW, YOU GUYS. I’d better get cracking! So: this year is the year that all of the plastic animals and dinosaurs I’ve been collecting will finally get installed in the front garden; that will be a good start, I think, especially now that we’ve discovered Kevin has feline leukemia. Since this means I can only have the one cat for a while, I’ll have to work harder at being extra weird in other areas. Inspired by Pete Z and my old neighbour lady Mrs W, I’m going to try working on my storytelling skills to compensate for non-crazy-cat-ladyness.
Things Mrs W told me include:
-that the birds were plotting against her. Proof: they repeatedly pooped on her drying laundry, sometimes twice in a day (I did see the poop on the laundry one time so maybe the birds really did have a plot going on);
-that someone had poisoned her dogs (Pepper and I forget the other one’s name but at any rate, nobody poisoned them and next time I saw her, there were the dogs, fine as anything);
-that when her husband died he fell in the living room and one of the rabbit ears on the television went into his eye socket and pierced his brain (my mom says he died of a heart attack at home, but who knows, the falling on the rabbit ears part could still be true);
-a horrible story about some people setting fire to a cat in a barrel that I think was actually not a delusional old lady story but an actual true story she heard on the news.
Things the neighbour kids said about Mrs W:
-that when she was her daughter G’s age (so, around 18? at that time) she was very pretty just like her daughter and also she had an identical twin sister and the two of them left a dance with some unsavoury men and Mrs W was weirded out and wanted to go home but her sister didn’t and so Mrs W went home alone and her sister got murdered that night. Totally untrue and also probably inextricably linked to a town culture of slut-shaming Mrs W’s daughter G, who took a lot of flack for driving around on her motorcycle in a two piece bathing suit;
-that her dogs had in fact been poisoned, and died, and she had gone out and gotten two identical dogs and given them the same names as their predecessors and then forgotten the poisoning had ever happened.
Things Pete Z told me include:
-that a spoonful of blackstrap molasses every day will keep you from ever getting bunged up (this is true and I believe it and I will tell all the neighbour kids about it too);
-that if you kids wanna get bunged up, just you eat them prunes off that tree over there;
-that the walking trees from South America were moving north at a rate of a mile a year and were already halfway through Mexico and heading straight for Ontario;
-that antique dealers and the C.I.A. were in some kind of cahoots bent on getting their hands on all of his valuable stuff (the part about the dealers is undoubtedly true, his whole place was full of stuff that would have been pretty valuable then and even more so now). Also detailed accounts of how he had run several of them off his property, one who even had the gall to walk straight into his house without invitation and don’t you kids go trying that or else;
-killer bees will kill you and they have a blood lust fueled by killing;
-about a man who farted fire and he kept burning holes through his trousers and had already set his bed on fire in the night a couple of times (this one he showed us, clipped from the Weekly World News, probably also the source for the one about the walking trees).
Posted by jodi on February 2, 2012 at 10.23am
December 19, 2011
Part slutty, part frumpy, part art student, part rock star. (Also apparently apprehensive about something and unable to coordinate colours).
That’s me on my 40th birthday, on which I had at least 4 discussions in which I was told “oh, you don’t look 40″ and in which I replied that I am indeed 40 and this is what I look like and that perhaps those people need to readjust their perception of what 40 looks like. People don’t seem to like to hear that. But seriously, if I don’t look 40, and the other people I know who are 40 don’t look 40, then who does look 40? 50 year olds? 60 year olds? I have a sneaking suspicion that this is just another way in which the Baby Boomers’ self absorption and fear of death is trickling down and infecting the rest of us. (speaking of self absorbed: ahem. THIS WHOLE BLOG POST).
Guess what? 40 looks like this.
And like this.
I’d like to gently suggest that everybody just be a grownup and stop clinging to what they believed when they were 20. 40 is awesome because it is 40, not because of the convincing way in which it pretends to be 30. The 40 year old me could easily kick the 30 year old me’s ass into next Sunday. I wouldn’t be 30 again for anything.
Posted by jodi on December 19, 2011 at 2.18pm