Posts Tagged ‘winnipeg’

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Proust questionnaire 5.0: jake moore, one degree of separation, repeated many times

April 11, 2014

I don’t have to go all the way up to six degrees of separation between me and jake moore. More like one degree of separation that kept multiplying: We both, though years apart, spent summers on Lake Winnipeg. As a Winnipeg punk dabbler in the early 1980s (I went by the name “Isn’t that Richard Duguay’s sister?”), I’d marveled at her fabulous, terrifying (in fairness, everything terrified me) stage presence, fronting the band Ruggedy Annes. Later, when I was writing about television at the Winnipeg Sun, I watched the birth of a TV specialty network called WTN (Women’s Television Network, RIP) and saw her host the short-film showcase Shameless Shorts. More recently and unaware of our new proximity, I was a student and she a teacher at Studio XX in Montreal, a multimedia teaching and exhibition collective. Along the way, a growing number of Winnipeg friends, including Linda English, mentioned jake to me as a fellow Winnipegger who’d decamped to Montreal, she an artist in the fine arts world of Concordia University and me hunched over a computer in the newsroom at The Gazette. Nothing happened until Linda, visiting Montreal on a business trip, put us at the same lunch table, because, “you guys would really like each other.” A shy start pretty much exploded into friendship right then and there. So I bugged jake until she did my newly tweaked Proust Questionnaire 5.0. Here she is:

Since we are conducting this interview via email, the world is ours for the inventing. If, as I some day hope, money is no object, in what city and establishment would you like this interview to be taking place?
Sel Rrose, an oyster bar in the Bowery.

Who and what would you be wearing?
In my dreams the clothes I wish for have no brand affiliation but they are beautifully made, clean lined, exceptional materials. I am obsessed by quality of materials and construction.

And, most importantly, what would we be drinking?
If it is summer, gin, Hendrick’s with Q tonic.
If it is winter, either a deep red, or Lagavulin, neat.

Okay then. What are the qualities you most admire in others?
Vision, intellectual capability, and kindness.

What do you like most about yourself?
How I see.

Least?
My fear/self loathing. Likely the same thing.

What is your greatest achievement?
Hasn’t happened yet.

What are you working on (not to be confused with What is your job/work? Although… fill yer boots on that one if you prefer)?
Articulating just what it is that I do,
Continuing to do it.

What is your more treasured possession?
This is difficult to answer for I have many treasures, but they are not of capital value.
My Opa’s handmade flour scoop.
MOMA machine exhibition catalogue 1968.
Big blue, a sweater my mom made.

What is your present state of mind?
Disappointed.

What is your first memory?
Being on the wrong side of the door to the basement in our house in [the Winnipeg neighbourhood of] Fort Garry and hearing my mother asking for me. I was exceptionally aware of the place I had gotten myself into, the kind of space – dark, slightly damp wood in humid Winnipeg summer, and the sound…. Spatialized and complex.
Her voice such comfort.

What was your worst job?
It might be my current one
As there is such a disconnect between its potential and its environment
Essentially anywhere you’re power doesn’t match your responsibilities

Your favourite colour?
Grey

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Warm light rain, mid afternoon, reading, he’s in the house but not necessarily right beside me, just in parallel, wine, (a very chilled sancerre), no plans for the evening.

Of misery?
When faced with overt cruelty.

If not yourself, who or what would you be?
A me with discipline and certainty.
I have no need to be other, just different.

If you could go back in time for one day, anyplace, but for just one day, when, where and with whom?
Paris, 1924, somehow I would know both Colette and Eileen Gray. Or maybe this is the answer to the last question – somehow I would be both Colette and Eileen Gray.

What is your favourite journey?
Summer, Manitoba, very, very, hot, midday heading to the water, either the pits or Whytewold.

What food, dish or meal takes you back to a special time?
Almost every one as I am cooking. Most things I cook are constructed from memories.

Name the person who influenced you most and how.
Overtly my mother Liz Moore/Elly Goring – she made me in so many ways.
But as far as someone changing you, Donald Lloyd McKinley.
 He was the studio master in the Furniture program at the School of Crafts and Design. He gave a 4 hour lecture on screwdrivers once that fascinated me.
Yes, screwdrivers. He talked about mechanical advantage, tools as an extension of the body, innovation, and nationhood all embodied in – or performed via – this everyday object. His ability to inform and expand on how our world has come to be changed my way of looking at every thing. He taught me to see that what is in front of us, is many things all together at once.

Name the film/song/book/art that influenced you most and why?
Just one? Impossible.
There have been so many and there continue to be new ones every year.
From my childhood, Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew changed my world, but did so simultaneously to the Jungle Book soundtrack and Jesus Christ Superstar. I would perform special contemporary dance routines that involved the couch for especially gymnastic rolls, the fireplace used as a barre mixed with various floor routines. Anything that had a lyric I felt I could sing, was sung into this very large, blown glass, decorative brandy snifter, the kind of which was often filled with commemorative match books or a cork collection in the 70’s. That would produce the kind of reverb and resonance that made me certain I was an awesome singer.
I would pay money to have footage of any of those performances. (and there were many). I want to see and feel that joy again.

In this or any time, which real-life figure(s) do you most admire?
Virginia Woolf, Eileen Gray, every day people that make the difficult choices to stay true to what is right.

Who is your favourite fictional hero?
Franny in John Irving’s, Hotel New Hampshire.
Almost anyone written by Alyssa York in her short story collection, Any Given Power.

What fault can you most easily forgive?
Almost anything really, if one acknowledges it as a fault.
Though inflexibility is my least favourite thing.

Not forgive?
Knowing you have a fault and not working to change it seems unforgivable, though maybe it is admirable to fully embrace oneself. Though not if it involves cruelty.

What is your motto?
“There is no try, only do.”

How would you hope to die?
Quick and clean with no witnesses.

Anything I haven’t asked about that you’d like to volunteer?
Not on paper, though feel free to ask me anything.

Deep dark secret?
Because I have told steve everything, I feel like I don’t have any secrets. No one else really needs to know.

Any last words?
Let’s do this in person soon, but you answer the questions : )

Admit it. You read those celebrity Q&As and you know you’re easily as worthy of being profiled. I know I do, but my friends are way more interesting. So, with nods to the “confession albums” of the late 1800s  made famous by the fabulous Marcel Proust’s answers, to French TV host Bernard Pivot who adapted the questionnaire, to Inside the Actors Studio host James Lipton who gave it another spin and to Vanity Fair, which uses its own elegantly spun version to anchor the magazine’s back pages, I submit for your entertainment and enlightenment, my own version of the Proust Questionnaire, re-retooled for a blog age.

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soundtracking with Robert Szkolnicki: snapshots of summer

August 11, 2012

The calendar says something different but my ears tell me summer is over as there are no more outdoor music festivals around these parts. The Winnipeg scene starts with Electronic and Jazz festivals in June. Folk and Fringe in July. It all ends in Gimli on August long weekend.

Once again I did not get to everything I wanted to. What I did catch provided some great moments.

Bill Frisell and Junior Brown mix it up during the Gone Like A Train workshop at the 2012 Winnipeg Folk Festival. Photo by Robert Szkolnicki. All rights reserved

Bill Frisell and Junior Brown mix it up during the Gone Like A Train workshop at the 2012 Winnipeg Folk Festival. Photo by Robert Szkolnicki. All rights reserved

The workshops are the best part of the Folk Festival. Bring a bunch of musicians together on one stage and let them loose. You get to see them real close and have fun.

Daniela Gesundheit and Dan Goldman are Snowblink. They are on my radar and will have a new album in the fall.. Photo by Robert Szkolnicki. All rights reserved

Daniela Gesundheit and Dan Goldman are Snowblink. They are on my radar and will have a new album in the fall. Photo by Robert Szkolnicki. All rights reserved. For more on Snowblink, (Click here).

The Folk Festival is not all just music to make you feel good.

The workshop called You Got To Fight For Your Right … featured Billy Bragg making a plea to the audience that we need young musicians. Photo by Robert Szkolnicki. All rights reserved

The workshop called You Got To Fight For Your Right … featured Billy Bragg making a plea to the audience that we need young musicians. Photo by Robert Szkolnicki. All rights reserved

He tells the story that when he was a young and angry man, he picked up a guitar and taught himself to play. Music was his way to make a point. While he acknowledges that you can make a point with Facebook and Twitter, in his words “no tweet has ever made me cry”.

Speaking of young musicians, I caught Polaris long list nominee Cannon Bros at the Fringe Festival.

If you are still looking for a summer soundtrack, then try out their album Firecracker/Cloudglow on Bandcamp. Drums plus guitar. Summer music can be quite simple. For more on Firecracker/Cloudglow, (Click here). Photo by Robert Szkolnicki. All rights reserved

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Proust Q 5.0 December 2009: Mrs. Edwina Claus

December 11, 2009

Oh, I had other offers, but how could I refuse when Mrs. Edwina Claus tweeted to ask if she could get into the Yule edition of 11th ave.’s Proust Questionnaire 5.0 (What’s this? Jump to the note at the bottom and do come back.). So, with bells on and direct from the North Pole, here she is. Poor dear.

Since we are conducting this interview via email, the world is ours for the inventing. In what city and establishment would you like this interview to be taking place? I suppose I should say someplace festive, like a Christmas village in Austria, but I’m sick to death of the cheer. What about Winnipeg? I’ve heard it’s quite spiffy. And would they have a place like … I suppose you’d call it a beer parlour? Something with terry cloth on the tables, smoke in the air and top 40 on the juke box. If they still have juke boxes.

What would you be wearing? No red. No white. Something in animal print. Maybe a little cleavage.

And, most importantly, what would we be drinking? Pitcher of draft would do me just peachy. And a pickled egg. I haven’t had one since I met Mr. Claus. So long ago.

Okay then. What are the qualities you most admire in others? Fearlessness. Like this new type of woman I’ve been hearing about? These cougars? Intriguing.

What do you like most about yourself? My sense of loyalty. No, wait. Well, okay, loyalty.

Least? That I just told a terrible fib. Oh dear. Barman? We’d better have another pitcher.

What is your greatest achievement? That’s more like it dear. I do make quite a good Moravian ginger cookie. The Mister just loves ’em.

What is your present state of mind? I’m afraid the beer is making me a bit weepy. You see, things have gotten a little complicated at the Pole and, well I probably should ask that barman for a coffee. Excuse me, sir?

Where and when were you happiest? Well, you just won’t let it go, will you? It was after one very long shift in the toy shop and Mr. Claus was out with the reindeer (Always the reindeer!) and I only meant to brush the wood shaving out of this swarthy elve’s hair and, well… We slipped off to be alone and fell asleep and when he woke up, I’d commandeered one of the Easy Bake Ovens off the assembly line and the tiny muffins were sublime. Gustav was his name, but he was gone back to Hollywood by the time the last sleigh headed out with the last sacks of gifts.

What was your worst job? Packing up that Easy Bake Oven. It was my last reminder of … Barman! I most certainly did NOT order a coffee. And as you can see this pitcher is dry!

Your favourite colour? Green, the greenest green of Gustav’s snake tattoo.

What is your idea of perfect happiness? (Sniffles.)

Of misery? Gustav! Come back to me!

How would you hope to die? In the arms of Guuuuuustaaaav …

Any last words? You won’t mention this to my husband, will you dear? Barman, cheque please. Oh, I’ll take care of it, I insist. You have a wonderful Christmas.

Admit it. You read those celebrity Q&As and you know you’re easily as worthy of being profiled. I know I do, but my friends are way more interesting. So, with nods to the “confession albums” of the late 1800s  made famous by the fabulous Marcel Proust’s answers, to French TV host Bernard Pivot who adapted the questionnaire, to Inside the Actors Studio host James Lipton who gave it another spin and to Vanity Fair, which uses its own elegantly spun version to anchor the magazine’s back pages, I submit for your entertainment and enlightenment, my own version of the Proust Questionnaire, re-retooled for a blog age.

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snap December 2009: Kevin Frayer goes to the fair in Pushkar, India

December 11, 2009

Kevin Frayer is a friend and former Winnipeg photographer now living in Delhi where he works for the Associated Press. The Boston Globe’s Big Picture photo blog has an entire gallery of Kevin’s photos from, well, I’ll let them tell you about it. Then click on the link that follows to view all the photos.

“Pushkar Mela (or Pushkar Fair) is an annual five-day camel and livestock fair, held in the town of Pushkar in the state of Rajasthan, India, where over 25,000 camels are traded each year. The fair draws thousands of tourists, camels, camel traders, racers, locals and Hindu faithful who come to bathe in the sanctified Lake Pushkar – until the final day, Kartik Poornima, a Hindu holy day celebrated on the full moon day of the month of Kartik. Collected here are a handful of photographs from Associated Press photographer Kevin Frayer, from his trip to this year’s Pushkar Mela.”

Click here to see the Pushkar Mela gallery. With thanks to the Boston Globe for such a lovely showcase of Kevin’s fine work.

— Denise Duguay

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Proust Q 5.0 october 2009: Susie Moloney

October 11, 2009

Welcome to this month’s profile Proust Questionnaire 5.0. (What’s this? See bottom of the page.)

Susie with the sleek straight locks.

Susie with the sleek straight locks.

I’ve known of Susie Moloney for a long time, having both gone to Red River Community College in Winnipeg a few years ago. Then she moved away and moved back, becoming a blockbuster successful author along the way. In this strange social media world and with me a day-and-a-half’s drive east of Winnipeg here in Montreal, I’m only now really getting to know her. Fiendishly funny, devoted to wine and witty repartee, currently nursing an aching jawbone, which sounds like the setup to a joke but is painfully not so. Here is Susie Moloney, who put herself through the PQ 5.0 blender about a month ago.
Denise Duguay

Since we are conducting this interview via Facebook inbox, the world is ours for the inventing. If, as I some day hope, money is no object, in what city and establishment would you like this interview to be taking place? Anywhere but my office. Actually maybe a sexy little bistro someplace where the waiters wear jackets and serve from the right. Or is it the left? I want to hear the clink of crystal and feel the thrum of a big city, reminding me that there’s a world out there and it can’t wait to meet me.

Who and what would you be wearing?
Mmm … Dolce and Gabbana; with boots. And an ironic expression, completely faked.

And, most importantly, what would we be drinking?
A good French red, like velvet in our mouths.

Okay then. What are the qualities you most admire in others?
Hard work and focus, which I constantly seek.

What do you like most about yourself?
I’m a very funny girl.

Least?
Occasional bouts of deep self-loathing and my ankles.

The Dwelling, by Susie Moloney

The Dwelling, by Susie Moloney

What is your greatest achievement?
My ability to take it on the chin.

What is your present state of mind?
Happy. In love.

Where and when are/were you happiest?
Manitoulin Island 1995. But in general, I’m happiest at my computer.

What is your first memory?
My mom was going to California and she joked that I was tiny enough to take in her suitcase. I crawled inside and waited to go with her. I was about 2.

What, currently, do you most love doing?
Writing well, when I am. Drinking, when I’m not.

A Dry Spell by Susie Moloney

A Dry Spell by Susie Moloney

What was your worst job?
I worked very briefly in a shop that sold “love aids.” It was a nightmare. But it paid well. People always thought there was something going on in the back room.

Your favourite colour?
Blue. Possibly lilac.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
The end of a good day at the computer, a book, a glass of wine and the possibility of sex later.

Of misery?
The work not working.

If not yourself, who or what would you be?
I would love to be deeply involved in a cause, something that would create good change. Maybe political.

Where would you like to live?
In Europe, somewhere coastal. Barring that? Somewhere coastal.

Bastion Falls by Susie Moloney

Bastion Falls by Susie Moloney

What is your favourite journey?
A car trip with vague intentions and someone handsome. And a good book.

What is your favourite or most memorable meal and when is the last time you indulged?
I had a great pick-up dinner at The King’s Head pub last year, with some good, hilarious writer/musician friends. It was hours and hours of laughing, everyone trying to out bon mot each other, and everyone succeeding. I had the curry. I won’t name drop, but it was the fabulousness of the people who made the meal.

Name the person who influenced you most and how.
My grandmother. Is that lame? Does it help if I say she influenced me in reverse – I do everything I can not to make her mistakes, and so her difficult and often sad life was not in vain.

Name the film/song/book/art that influenced you most and why?
I read Wuthering Heights about fifteen times when I was in my twenties. The idea that a woman could be so conflicted and so cruel and so incredibly wonderful at the same time inspired me to create a number of my own, most memorable, characters, even if only in my head.

In this or any time, which real-life figure(s) do you most admire?
Anne Boleyn, King Henry VIII’s second wife. Poor thing was just trying to get ahead (ha!). And Bonnie Fuller, who does whatever she pleases, and does it well.

Who is your favourite fictional hero?

The Women's Room, written by Marilyn French and revered by many.

The Women's Room, written by Marilyn French and revered by many.

I love a conflicted hero, someone who isn’t really very good, but does good things. So, I love almost all of them. Mira from Women’s Room, by Marilyn French, revelation to me in my young years, that book should be the bible/cautionary tale to every woman with children. And I’m still a little in love with Ritchie from my own book, The Dwelling. Buy it now.

What fault can you most easily forgive?
Debauchery.

What fault can you not forgive?
The passing of judgment. Also the passing of opportunity.

What is your motto?
Be bold, and kind.

How would you hope to die?
I want to go out with a good line, drama and copious tears.

Any last words?
In the words of Lyle Lovett, paraphrased, “I am not good, but I have good intentions.”

——————–

Admit it. You read those celebrity Q&As and you know you’re easily as worthy of being profiled. I know I do, but my friends are way more interesting. So, with nods to the “confession albums” of the late 1800s  made famous by the fabulous Marcel Proust’s answers, to French TV host Bernard Pivot who adapted the questionnaire, to Inside the Actors Studio host James Lipton who gave it another spin and to Vanity Fair, which uses its own elegantly spun version to anchor the magazine’s back pages, I submit for your entertainment and enlightenment, my own version of the Proust Questionnaire, re-retooled for a blog age.

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