Friday, 17 July 2009

7 Quick Takes (I)

Over at Conversion Diary, Jennifer Fulwiler does 7 Quick Takes on Fridays. I'm not promising I'll keep this up, but here's one for now (since stuff's happening).

1) We've moved. My Dad, brother, and I used to live in an apartment; now we live in a duplex a few blocks away. It means slightly earlier buses to get to work on time, but also less time to the grocery store (Safeway is literally across the street), less walking time coming home from the bus stop, and far fewer stairs. While the place still looks post-move (boxes, ad hoc furniture, disorder), it's getting more together as the days go by. There's still some stuff in the apartment, but not much: it looks more like some rooms with random stuff in the corners or boxes on the floor and not like somewhere someone has recently lived.
As you may know, in a few weeks time my mother and dog will be coming to join us out here.

2) I am getting to know a co-worker. By "a co-worker," I of course mean, "my only consistent co-worker." He is not someone I am used to socializing with. For instance, he is somewhat racist. This does not make him remotely out of place in Fort McMurray, nor does it make him out of place in the Maritime population of Fort McMurray. If you want to get on here, you just learn to deal with racism. It's not manifested in discrimination (that I've seen) so much as implicitly attributing a person's behaviour to their ethnicity/nationality. For instance, "That f**king Somalian just cut me off!" This is true of many people here. But back to my coworker. He also likes to talk a lot about music (about which I know too little to follow what he says) and events that take place in the bathroom (about which I have no interest whatsoever) and combat sports (about which I know too little to follow what he says) and movies and TV shows I haven't seen. However, we are on the same page when discussing animal behaviour, movies and TV shows I have seen, and (to some extent) theology. I'm not 100% on Calvinism or the difference between Calvinists and Armenians in the churches he attends, but I get the drift.
Virtually every workplace interaction is with the supervisor, who I don't find opens up much, except in anger (not at me, at people who aren't around), and with this co-worker. Whether I like him or not isn't something I've decided for myself, or even thought about. I don't think I can decide that in this circumstance. The case is simply that I'm getting to know him.

3) I am thinking that if I ever write something in the vein of the Narnia books, I want to include talking dinosaurs.

4) My father got my brother the movie Dragon Hunters for his birthday. It's made by a European studio, but is in English. Don't be surprised if you've never heard of it. Anyway, last night we watched this Dragon Hunters movie. I enjoyed it. The story is intriguing enough not to disappoint, but the true strength of the film is in its layout and environments. The character animation may have been a bit sub-par, but the backgrounds and the world concept were breath-taking. I think it was a solid movie, and I'd suggest you watch it--if you can find it.

5) While work is getting mind-numbing, I have increasingly found interest in the Nomenclaturcon. I have no idea why I am getting so fascinated by these lists of categorized objects. Perhaps it is a boredom-induced hypnosis. I want to write books where the title is the category and the chapters are all titled as objects from these lists. Ceremonial Artifact would be one novel, with chapter titles like "POLE, TOTEM" and "PYX" and "FONT, BAPTISMAL" and "BAG, TRICK-OR-TREAT." Protective and Regulative would have the chapters "BALLOT" and "NOOSE, HANGMAN'S" and "ALARM, SMOKE" and "BELT, CHASTITY" and "HANDCUFFS." I don't even want to think about Chemical Tools and Equipment. Half of those things sound like they come from an episode of Buck Rogers. Anyway, I feel vaguely like I'm in Gertrude Stein's worst nightmare: lists of objects she can't contort, but just stare with their naked, uninterpreted identities.

6) I had to dispose of some pornography today (speaking of naked identities). We found some on the boats, and I finally got around to asking the curator what I should do with it. On the one hand, there's the question of whether or not we should keep it or make it disappear. And if we do decide to keep it, there's the other hand, which is whether or not it's archives or artifact. If it counts as archives, then I send it off to a bunch of people who will be far more embarassed and offended by it than I will be. If it's an artifact, than I have to accession it. Well, I likely would never have to accession it. It's on the D250, in the cabins, and I may not ever get that far. But anyway, as we were discussing how I was to deal with assorted things I came across (post-it notes with tallies scribbled on them, cobbled-together operation manuals, etc.) I said to the curator, "I have a somewhat awkward question. What do I do with pornography?" Thankfully she didn't take that question out of context. She wasn't sure, so she promised to ask the executive director about that (I hadn't really wanted to ask the exec director or the archivists myself, as they're maybe more likely to be awkward about it than the curator would be).
Anyway, the word came down that I was to dispose of them. So that's done. It's just that it seems very weird to me. I had to handle pornography both in the variety store where I worked and at Roger's video, and it has never affected me. I have never responded with lust--at least not to these images--and it's getting to the point where I'm no longer disgusted or curious. It just seems very odd to me, that people desire looking at pornography. This likely makes me the odd one, though, at least among guys.
Anyway, I thought it was an interesting question: what do we do with pornography, at a museum? We can't display it, so is there any point in keeping it? Unless it was locally produced or featured an article about a person who lived in the area, it would be an artifact, not archives, so it's not even like it would be available for future research purposes. But it is part of our society, and future history. What do we do? Apparently, we make it disappear. My co-worker was then prompted to ask what other parts of history just conveniently 'disappear' in the same way that this part did. Which means, actually, that I took part in white-washing history. Huh.

7) There was a fire down the road from where I work. There's this trailer park along the river which is a disaster area. It's Fort McMurray's third world. The place has been condemned for months, but the tenants threw up a fit and got their notice extended by a few more weeks, so they can find places to live. The problem is that no one in that trailer park can likely afford anything else, so they'll never find another place to live. But the municipality cannot allow this trailer park to remain--it's a hazard. The place is literally falling apart. Across the front of one trailer is graffiti'd "The end is near", and under that, "here." Every trailer has at least one pile of garbage leaning against it, and that pile consists entirely of pieces of the trailer it is up against. It's a mess.
Anyway, my coworker came up to the wheelhouse where I'm currently sequestered to tell me to look out the window and call 911 (his phone died). There was a huge plume of smoke coming up from the trailer park. So I called and was put on hold. Of course tons of other people were also calling about the fire.
And then, later in the day, as we were headed to Heritage Park for payroll stuff, another plume of smoke rose from roughly the same area. I have to wonder where it was from.

So that's my Quick 7. Not so quick after all, I suppose.

1 comment:

Cait said...

very nice update. i like.

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