I was supposed to work the train to Winnipeg this evening, but the flu bug I picked up on my last trip still hasn't run its course. I'm feeling better than when I was delirious and febrile on Wednesday night, but I'm still achey all over, my throat's sore, my head's stuffed, I'm coughing and I have little by way of appetite and stamina (a brief excursion for groceries yesterday led to a 1.5 hour nap), so I booked sick. Not something I like to do, especially with time-and-a-half on July 1, but I like working sick even less. (Oddly, the company is hyper-paranoid about the spread of viral infections on the train, yet provides no compensated sick-days as such to employees.) So I'm off to see a medic this morning, to get a note so that Great West Life doesn't think I'm malingering.
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Friday, June 27, 2008
Thursday, June 26, 2008
But back to my book. I particularly like this line of Bland's: "It’s perhaps a fine distinction, but this is a collection for those interested more in poetry by Canadians than Canadian poetry."
Posted by Zachariah Wells at 11:52 AM
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
The show's worth seeing for some of the performances alone, especially Bard Artistic Director Christopher Gaze in the title role. Also excellent were Patti Allan as Lear's fool (or nurse, in this staging, in which Lear is not only old, but infirm, spending most of the show in a wheelchair), Scott Bellis as Oswald, and Andrew Wheeler as a chilly Duke of Cornwall. There were no really weak performances, although Gerry MacKay, as Kent, occasionally obscured his lines by shouting them.
The performance was marred by some highly dubious decisions in the direction and stage management. The blocking was bloody awful, amateurish even. We were seated to the side, granted, but I could tell from our vantage that even for people seated stage centre, much of the drama must have been obscured by bad angles--including lines delivered from behind massive pillars. The cave scene was mostly acted out from a high, cramped balcony, for no readily apparent reason.
There was a musical element that sometimes worked, but often felt tacked-on and I can't figure out why the musicians (a cellist and someone playing a couple of xylophonish instruments, one very large) spent the entire play in prominent positions on the stage; this can't have helped with the blocking. The music in the storm scenes was often so loud that it drowned out the lines being spoken by the actors. At times, music turned what should have been pathetic scenes into humorous ones, causing audience giggling at rather unfortunate moments.
The modernisation of the play did nothing for it, either. This Lear is set in the "near future," with guns substituted for swords. Why? It seems to me to make costuming and fight direction easier, because otherwise, it added no new nuance to the play, unlike say Ian McKellen's film version of Richard III.
But as I said, it's still worth checking out, as long as you don't mind spending $33 on an imperfect show.
Posted by Zachariah Wells at 11:02 AM
Monday, June 23, 2008
Posted by Zachariah Wells at 9:29 AM
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Got back this morning from Winnipeg. Steady trip, quite fun; a lively bunch of very friendly Brits were hanging out in my car. I take back all the bad stuff I said about Brits before.
The audio for the Winnipeg Jailbreaks event is now up. I really enjoyed George Amabile's reading; hope you do too.
Posted by Zachariah Wells at 10:22 PM
Thursday, June 19, 2008
The trip up was pretty uneventful, after a flurry--nay, a blizzard--of drink orders leaving Vancouver. That group left the train in Jasper, after which it was pretty dead. No complaints; I'm sure I'll have plenty of busy trips in the months to come.
Posted by Zachariah Wells at 7:33 PM
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
The not-quite-compensatory upside on this particular trip is that I'll be taking advantage of my layover on Thursday to launch Jailbreaks in Winnipeg, 7:30 pm at the new Aqua Books location, 274 Garry St. Reading from the anthology will be contributor George Amabile and myself. If you're in the vicinity of Winnipeg, I hope to see you there.
Posted by Zachariah Wells at 8:56 AM
Friday, June 13, 2008
And here is part 2, featuring David W. McFadden (reading Malcolm Lowry--again, I started the tape late, so only caught the last half--and Peter Dale Scott), Shane Neilson, Stuart Ross, Goran Simic (as read by Jim Bartley), Joshua Trotter and Margaret Avison (as read by yours truly).
Posted by Zachariah Wells at 10:32 PM
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Posted by Zachariah Wells at 11:13 AM
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Just got word that the new CNQ is out and about, and that after a bit of a hiatus, there has been new content added to the website. I haven't had a chance to check it all out yet and haven't got my copy in the mail, but can't wait. I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but can't hurt to do it again: please subscribe to CNQ, it's a wonderful magazine (and not just 'cause I work there).
Posted by Zachariah Wells at 2:47 PM
So yes, tomorrow, I fly to Toronto for the launch of Jailbreaks at the IV Lounge. This is a silly thing I'm doing, travelling all that distance for one night, but it's a night I just don't want to miss, so off I go. If you're in the Toronto area, I hope to see you there and will certainly report back on the event.
Time: 8 pm
Address: 326 Dundas St. W., across from the AGO
Posted by Zachariah Wells at 2:29 PM
Thursday, June 5, 2008
Also met up with fellow PEI expat David Hickey, who's in town from London, ON for a conference at UBC. We went out for a bite to eat after the reading and had a fine conversation on a range of subjects, literary and otherwise.
I'm off on the rails tomorrow. I've got no layover in Winnipeg this trip, which is good insofar as I'm home a day sooner, but it promises to be tiring. Can't be as tiring as the twelve-day railroading odyssey I pulled on my last stint, however, and I'm just now getting over the cold I got on said expedition, so I'll be fresh and perky for the tourists.
Posted by Zachariah Wells at 11:56 PM
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Thursday, June 5, 2008
6:30pm - 9:30pm
2422 Main Street
Posted by Zachariah Wells at 5:36 PM
Sunday, June 1, 2008
Saw Walk Hard last night. Pretty damn funny parody.
Posted by Zachariah Wells at 10:57 AM