Refragmenting Fragments

Exploding Earth

Last Saturday, Troy, our friend Joe and I went to a meet and greet event with Canadian director Bruce McDonald at the Princess Cinema cafe prior to seeing his latest offering called The Tracey Fragments. I wouldn’t call myself a fan of Bruce McDonald, having only seen one of his movies thus far, but Troy was really excited about the event. I was only in it for the hot chocolate and the movie. I didn’t even bring any camera with me to the event. So Bruce arrived about an hour late because he missed his train and so on and so forth and half an hour into his lateness I already started talking the guys into leaving since we each already got the free comic book they promised to the first 40 people to show up. But Troy said that since we’d already waited this long, we might as well wait until he showed up. And show up, he did. Praise the flying spaghetti monster!

As I said earlier, I didn’t bring any camera with me, and boy did I ever regret it. You see, after dealing with his older (as in age) fans who were busy singing him praises, Bruce sat in the table set up for him with a cup of coffee for a minute before he moved — taking his chair with him — straight to our table. So, sitting across the tiny round table right in front of me was the man who’s potentially made my degrees of separation to Kevin Bacon much lower, and he was chatting with Troy like they were old friends. While he was happily signing stuff for Troy and Joe, I was beating myself for not bringing my camera with me. It’s just that I wasn’t expecting to be able to see him up close and personal like that, which was one of the reasons I didn’t bother to bring a camera. I thought we would have to line up to chat with him (which I think is lame) instead of having him come to our table. Life lesson #5878: Always have a camera with you. That is a lesson I learned ages ago but somehow forgot.

The Tracey Fragments itself is a pretty cool movie. It’s… artsy, for lack of better term. Definitely not everyone’s cup of tea. Some might even find it a bit pretentious, but it was just the director doing his own thing. I’m okay with that. I do my own thing all the time with photography. If people like it, great. If not, well, at least I like it. :) Anyway, if you’re any good at video editing, you should check out the movie website. If you click on the Re-Fragmented menu, it will bring you to a download area where all the movie footage, musical score and script are available for free under the Creative Commons license. If you live in Canada and you made a cool video out of it, you’re encouraged to submit it and if you’re lucky, you could win a prize and have your video featured on the DVD release. It kind of makes me wish I knew anything about video editing. Even if you’re lacking video editing skills, you should at least download the musical score by Broken Social Scene. Some of the tracks are pretty catchy, especially their cover of Patti Smith’s song, Horses.

I actually started writing this post two three days ago. I am such a procrastinating blogger.


Setting Up Shop

Sliding Door

Last night I borrowed Troy’s credit card and set up an Etsy shop. I want to sell prints for starters and after that, who knows. Maybe some cards. Maybe even some silly sock dolls. I like making sock dolls. If you’ve been to our place, you must’ve seen my crazy creations, all hand-sewn, meaning messy sewing job but hey, every single one is a one-of-a-kind item!

Right now I’m in the process of a setting up an account with a professional printer. Don’t really want to sell stuff printed at the supermarket or drug store photo labs. I want to do it right. Hopefully I’ll get some buyers. I’m no good at marketing so we’ll see. Also need to figure out where to get cardboard-backed envelopes for mailing the prints. The post office charges too much for envelopes.

I’m pretty excited about the shop. Watch this space! There should be something there in a week or so.


Sad Day

Swing, Swing

When I checked my email for the first time this morning, I got an email notification from USPS telling me that my Diana+ camera had been scheduled to be shipped on 11/19/2007, but evil Lomography got our address wrong. We gave them the correct address when we ordered the camera but of course they had to screw up. I emailed Lomography to see if there’s anything they can do about it but, as expected, there was no response.

As if that wasn’t frustrating enough, our scanner had to stop working. I have so many rolls of 120 film to shoot and I’ve already had three rolls of film developed but I have no way to digitize the pictures for sharing. The photo lab charges $20 for scanning a roll of 120 film into a CD, which is not affordable at all. It really makes me sad. I’m going to have to shoot only 35mm film for the time being since the drugstore will develop and scan the 35mm film and put the pictures in a CD, all in an affordable package. If anything, this gives me a reason to pick up one of those manual film SLRs in our collection and shoot with it. I’m still hoping for a miracle, that the scanner will start working again tomorrow, but I know it’s not very likely.

I know I still have my digital SLR and some of you might think I shouldn’t be complaining, but film is my favourite medium. If I were rich, I’d shoot film exclusively. But I’m anything but rich and film photography is so expensive these days. You see, I take great pleasure in shooting and scanning a couple of rolls of film a month. Not being able to scan the film kind of makes me feel deprived of one of my life’s little pleasures. It really puts a damper on the glorious fact that I got two boxes of my beloved Kodak Portra 400UC 120 film (expired, of course) from the camera show we went to on Sunday.

Today is a sad day indeed.


Aux Champs-Elysées!

On the Ferry

No, I’m not talking about that place in France. I’m talking about the song by Joe Dassin from the soundtrack of Wes Anderson’s latest offering, The Darjeeling Limited that we saw this past weekend. It’s the catchiest French song I know after Frère Jacques and it’s been stuck in my head all day.

Aux Champs-Elysées, aux Champs-Elysées
Au soleil, sous la pluie, à midi ou à minuit
Il y a tout ce que vous voulez aux Champs-Elysées

Listen to the song at the Hype Machine or download the song (and a couple other songs from the soundtrack) from Sugartown and tell me it’s not a catchy song!

The Darjeeling Limited is a good movie but the prequel short film, Hotel Chevalier, not so much. However, you should not judge the movie by the prequel (which I’m sure people only see because it has nekkid Natalie Portman). When they were showing Hotel Chevalier at the cinema, I just concentrated on the song playing in background — Where Do You Go To (My Lovely) by Peter Sarstedt — which never fails to make me laugh. It made the crappy short film somewhat bearable. The Darjeeling Limited itself really made up for the crappiness that is Hotel Chevalier. The cinematography is simply stunning. You should go see it!


I’m a Film Hoarder

On the Icefield

Isn’t it ironic now that I have a boatload of film to burn, I don’t feel like shooting film at all? I do keep getting tempted to pick up one of my TLR cameras, but I guess the temptation is not really that great because I never actually did.

In addition to the boatload of expired print film I picked up from a camera show awhile ago, I picked up a brick of expired slide film (Kodak Ektachrome E100SW — could’ve picked up some Fuji Velvia but I didn’t because I’m a Kodak kind of girl) for a dollar each this past weekend, thanks to a tip from a Flickr contact. The idea was to get into cross-processing, but to get a slide film cross-processed, I would have to go to Toronto if I don’t want to break the bank as my regular photolab charges a fortune and a half for it. We only go to Toronto once or twice a year. And we already passed our Toronto quota for this year, meaning this cross-processing idea is actually not very feasible. But I digress.

So, we’re going to go to yet another camera show on Sunday. The guy from whom we bought the boatload of print film in the last camera show might be there, but unless he has my beloved but discontinued Kodak UltraColor 120 film on his table, I don’t think I’d pick up any more film. I have enough film to last a couple of years. But I might pick up more when we go to the camera show in the Spring. We’ll see.

While we’re on the topic of photography, I came across a site called DIY Photography this morning and it’s actually quite interesting, especially if you’re a DIY type. A couple of articles that piqued my interest were the ones that show you how to make heart-shaped (or whatever-shaped) bokeh and how to use a condom to waterproof your camera. It’s like the second best alternative use for a condom after this one.

Oooh, I just used the words photography and condom in the same paragraph. W00t!


Grow, Avocado, Grow!

I’m so in love with my avocado tree, which is not quite a tree yet since it’s only about 8 cm tall, but it’s thriving to be a tree. It’s growing about half a centimeter a day. If you’ve ever grown an avocado tree from a seed before, you’ll know how fascinating this stage is. It’s the first thing I check when I wake up in the morning. It’s like having a baby but without all the extra expenses or the lack of sleep.

I started the seed some time in late April in a shot glass full of water. The growth was quite slow, but after a couple of failed attempts, a slow growth is better than no growth at all. After 3 or 4 months, the roots started growing like crazy. Weirdly enough, a bunch of stems came out of the seed instead of just one. None grew past 1 cm. And then some time last month, one stem popped out and it was looking exceptionally strong and healthy. I thought to myself, this is it! This is the one that wants to be a tree! I decided that it was time to transfer the seed from the shot glass to a terracotta pot to encourage the growth of the wee little stem.

I was worried that the move would kill the plant, what with my black thumb reputation and all, but it was something that I had to do. I filled the terracotta pot with some cactus soil mix and transferred the seed. The next day, I checked to see if the avocado plant is still alive and growing, and it was! Yay! At that time I just knew that everything’s going to be all right; that I will at last have a lovely avocado tree.


Happy growing!