Friday, August 19, 2005

Meme Week (Part 2): Jim Roeg's So-Called Life

Turns out it’s meme week here at Double Articulation. I put up my desert island comics list a couple of days ago and now my pal Shane has tagged me, inviting me to divulge a few boring details about my life. Clearly, I hate to talk about myself, but since Shane was nice enough to ask, I guess I can make an exception just this once...

Ten years ago
August 1995: Swimming, reading, and swatting blackflies at the family cabin near Whiteshell Provincial Park. Making plans with a wonderful girl who has inexplicably agreed to move away from Winnipeg with me as I attend grad school out east. I’m also trying my hand at some Chester Brown-style autobiographical comix. Never do anything with them, but the results make a nice time-capsule if you happened to be there.

Five years ago
August 2000: Still in grad school (!) and now married to that wonderful girl. Taking a big break over the summer hosting friends and family from Winnipeg. Peggy’s Cove, the Halifax Citadel, and Alexander Keith’s figure prominently on the itinerary. (And yes, “Those who like it” really do “like it a lot.”)

One year ago
Unpacking in Ottawa. I’ve taken a job in the nation’s capital, and after 10 years of geographical uncertainty, we’re ready to put down some roots. My wife is hard at work writing the novel that’s going to make us filthy stinking rich. (See below.)

Wake up. Walk to the river. Put in a mostly-honest day’s work. Dinner and drinks in the evening with friends. An unexpected conversation about WE3, Fredric Wertham, and the infamous Air Pirates Funnies. Walk to river. Sleep.

I take a real day off. My wife and I play tourist and wander through Rockcliffe Park (a ritzy area of Ottawa) and go on a tour of Rideau Hall, where the Governor General of Canada lives. Like all official buildings of its sort, it’s big, formal, and ostentatious. Hard to believe that anyone actually lives there. It’s worth visiting, however, for several of its striking portraits of former Governor Generals (particularly the unusual and strangely moving portrait of the Right Honorable Jules Léger and his wife, Gabrielle Léger: the only portrait to include a spouse) and, more generally, for its excellent collection of Canadian art, much of it on loan from the McMichael in Toronto. There are a number of amazing Group of Seven paintings in the main gallery by Lawren Harris and Tom Thomson, but the best part of the tour was a painting by Thomson in the room with the portraits.

“The Drive” (1916) is an arresting work: the weight of the thick white lines makes the water rushing through the dam feel as heavy and massive as the logs. Looking at it is like looking at nature cracking up, being reduced to some more essential form. The only image I could find of it on the web is, for some reason, inverted.

Wow. Two days off in a row. On the agenda: grocery shopping, comics, blogging.

Five snacks I enjoy
Slurpees. No-Name Brand Party Mix. Carrots and garlic salad dressing. Ice cream. Crackers and...pretty much anything.

Five bands I know the lyrics of most of their songs
The Streets. Green Day. Sam Roberts. Matthew Sweet. Pet Shop Boys.

Five things I would do with $100,000,000
Which we will have when my wife’s novel is published, becomes a bestselling series, is optioned, and brought to the screen by James Ivory (of Merchant Ivory Productions). This amount of money makes me uncomfortable, so the goal will be to get rid of it as quickly as possible.
1. Buy a house in the city and a cabin on a quiet lake.
2. Set up my family in a style to which they could become accustomed.
3. Endow a series of scholarships for Arts and Fine Arts students in several Canadian universities.
4. Endow a fund for comic book creators through The Canada Council for the Arts.
5. Five words: Best new comics day EVER!!!

Five locations I'd like to run away to
My cabin. Northern Europe. Easter Island. Paris. New Zealand.

Five Bad Habits
Procrastinating. Missing deadlines. Not putting things away. Blogging instead of sleeping. Navel gazing.

Five things I like doing
Sitting on my balcony and reading. Looking at art. Going for walks. Writing. Hanging out with the ones I love.

Five TV shows I like
Firefly. Arrested Development. House. The Amazing Race. The Daily Show.

Famous people I'd like to meet, living or dead
Virginia Woolf. Nelson Mandela. Samuel Delany. Gilles Deleuze. Jesus.

Biggest joys at the moment
My wife. My friends and family. Writing/reading/thinking. Comics. The Comics Blogosphere.

Favorite toys computer? My GameCube. I don’t really have many toys.

Five People to Tag
You know who you are. Go to it.


Hate Filled Poster said...

Interesting. I didn't really picture you as someone who enjoys "The Streets". Now I imagine you chilling in a log cabin out by a lake listening to "the Streets". That's a strange picture.

You, at the very least, have me interested in your wife's book now. Can you give us a brief synopsis?

"An unexpected conversation about WE3, Fredric Wertham, and the infamous Air Pirates Funnies."

I'm interested in that conversation too. :)

Good stuff.

Jim Roeg said...

I didn't really picture you as someone who enjoys "The Streets". Now I imagine you chilling in a log cabin out by a lake listening to "the Streets". That's a strange picture.

And it only gets stranger from there, Shane!

Because it has yet to be published, my wife is extremely cagey about the novel's contents, but here, in her own words, is the general concept: "An opulent murder mystery set in Edwardian Cairo." This synopsis really is brief, considering that the current draft is pushing 500 pages! Once it comes out, though, this blog will become the crude promotional organ it was always destined to be.

And finally, about the unexpected WE3/Wertham/Air Pirate Funnies conversation: I wish I could fill you in. I wish I could fill myself in too, but I was quite drunk by that point in the evening. Suffice it to say, it wasn't as intellectually sound as it might have been. :)

Thanks for the tag--my wife and I spent much of yesterday discussing the various possibilities as we wandered around. It was a lot of fun!

Hate Filled Poster said...

No problem. Thank ADD for tagging me. I'm one of the few who really like meme's. I'm good at talking about myself when asked. :)

The book sounds interesting. Keep me updated.