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MylesK [userpic]

The Gatelegged Table

April 8th, 2014 (09:28 pm)

It is April. Today was the first day of 2014 that some of us from Baker 11 ate our lunch on one of the picnic tables on a patio just off of the 6th floor. April is month three of life by myself at St. Mark's of Gallagher House. Only the third month.

I have described the stove and the range hood. And the vinyl linoleum in a floorcloth pattern. And the angel statue, relaxing by the disconnected range hood chimney, one wing jammed up against the wall.

Although I technically have only one room, I say that I have three. The floorcloth linoleum has a sealed seam dividing it roughly in half and I call the room on one side of the seam my kitchen with my office on the other. The kitchen/office is equipped with a NORDEN gatelegged table from IKEA. The table tops fold down around a set of six drawers providing for compact and versatile use of the space. I keep kitchen ware in the three drawers on one side, and office supplies on the other.



Today was also the second bicycle-commute day of 2014, and I rode the winding city bike path that connects McCauley/Little Italy to Edmonton's downtown, tracking for a few blocks the LRT tracks, and one of the city's few designated graffiti zones. The evening ride was warm and comfortable. I missed Hannah.

It's interesting how missing someone can be a distinct emotion. I have always so closely associated that feeling with other emotions like sadness or loneliness that it never really occurred to me that it can be experienced independent of them. I feel happy. I am enjoying being by myself. Yet as I rode home, I felt the acute desire to be riding to the Main House to see Hannah; to greet and be greeted by her, and to have some of her company.


I turned off of 92nd street onto Gallagher Avenue and locked my bike beneath the rear stairwell to Gallagher House's second floor, but walked around to the front door to get in. And once I was inside this small apartment Hannah and I call St. Mark's, I felt glad and content to be here. I reset the FREHEITEN sofa-bed into sofa mode, put some rice on in the tiny, one-person rice cooker, and made a tofu/bacon/brussel sprouts stir-fry to eat for supper while watching Episode 1, Season 2 of NBC's Hannibal.


What is it we are saying when we say I miss you?

I feel your absence distinctly. Your company gives me something unique.

MylesK [userpic]

Forgetting

March 31st, 2014 (10:11 pm)

This is a theme I return to repeatedly: the ever widening expanse of forgetting.

Last Thursday, March 27th, the City of Edmonton convened one of two scheduled public meetings this year regarding the "rehabilitation" of Queen Alexandra ~ the reconstruction of the neighborhood's roads, sidewalks, and sewer mains. The roads of Queen Alexandra are generally regarded to be atrocious. There are parts of 108 street where that street looks like it is disappearing, like it is returning to nature, but not a lush, verdant nature, but rather, an vacant lot. Among the residents of Queen Alexandra attending that evening was an ex-boyfriend of Hannah's who had as late as the weekend preceding our wedding in 1997 had tried to win her back.

The next morning, she expressed how time seems to have erased all of the feelings she had had for him, and it upset her to imagine the same thing happening between us.

I'm very confident that it can't. Before I could say so, she reminded herself that there is a difference between having a boyfriend for a few years and 18 years of marriage.

"And keep in mind who we're talking about here," I said. "It isn't as though I let people I love leave my life easily." It seemed ironic that what has generally been regarded as character flaw in the context of my marriage suddenly seemed like an asset.



People have occasionally commented on my having a Proustean obsession with the past. My view of it is that I have a strong reluctance to succumb to the tyranny of the present. Nonetheless, I have a great need for artifacts to counter the natural flow of forgetting.




Amandi and I have started a weblog called Words Mean Things, a dual-perspective chronicle of some of the history of our time. One of the pieces is our mutual recollections of our first meeting in 2002.

I wrote a short post based solely on what I could recall unaided, and then for fun, I pulled Volume 1 of my 2002 journal when I was at the Main House last Saturday and read what I had written at the time. The discrepancy was not great, in my opinion. But what was great, was the expanse of material in Volume 1 surrounding the entries about Amandi that I had no unaided mnemonic access to; detailed passages of conversations with old friends and colleagues which I certainly could not have recreated because I simply would not have been able to find them in my memory.

Diane Fairchild would argue that I forgot about my April 22, 2002 reply to Jillian Tamblyn's question, "how was your weekend?" because it is not relevant to my life.
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MylesK [userpic]

The Caloric Stove

March 19th, 2014 (10:48 pm)

At some point, I must describe the setting of this novel and I will start with the stove. It is an undersized natural gas stove from the Caloric Stove Company's Heritage Line. Caloric stoves were manufactured under various corporate owners between 1903 and 1991 when the line was eventually phased out after the manufacturer was absorbed by the Amana Appliances Company. Such an undersized stove fits well in a 300 square foot room in a 1912 house that has been converted into an apartment. The stove stands on a floor covered in a vinyl linoleum with a floorcloth design. It is flecked with paint from several recent repaintings of the walls of the small kitchen, and bears a small burn-mark, bubbled, like melted cheese on an over-broiled pizza.

I don’t know exactly when this 1912 room became a bachelor’s suite, but I do know that this burnt-cheese burn mark happened three weekends ago. The undersized Caloric store is awkwardly positioned behind the door to the room. And as a registered boarding house with a city-issued business licence hanging on the wall in the hallway, this suite has been inspected by municipal government officials who, among a few other things, required that a metal sheet be affixed on the inside of the door to improve the wooden door’s fire rating. Sometime after that improvement, an unknown previous resident of this room attached coat hooks to the door.

A Nutone range-hood is affixed to the wall above the Caloric stove, but because the fan is not connected to any chimney or venting system out of the house, I never turn the fan on. The range hood, equipped with a utility light, is really only a lamp, and a platform for my angel statue.

On the Saturday afternoon three weekends ago, I put a kettle on for tea, then stepped out of my apartment to use the bathroom that I share with Donald who lives in the other bachelor suite across the hall in Unit 4. As I walked back down the hall returning to my room, I wondered who in the house had begun cooking.

As I closed the door to my apartment, the steel covered inner side came into view, along with the 4 coat hooks hung by a nameless previous tenant, my duster coat, my brown fedora, my black bath robe and a white beach towel emblazoned with the logo of the Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas Nevada. The towel and the bathrobe were further emblazoned with dancing ribbons of bright orange flame.

“It was a good thing you weren’t very long in the bathroom,” Shauna Kryba had remarked to me later after I’d related the story to her. Indeed it was. The synthetic fibres of the bathrobe were like commercial firestarter. Another few seconds and the fire would’ve been beyond my ability to extinguish. Those few saved seconds on the back end of this event made all the difference.

Perhaps not all the difference.

This angel sculpture is titled Resting Grace, although I do not call her that. It’s a Toscano Design that I bought through Amazon with some Christmas gift money from my parents. I bought it because she evokes in my memory a magnificent angel that sits atop the Giuseppe La Farina funeral monument across from the Pazzi Chapel at Chiesa di Santa Croce in Florence, Italy. Enthroned on a living lion, the La Farina Angel rests her head on her hand, a rebellious tuft of hair hanging alongside her face, and she stares downwardwith an expression of... boredom? Frustration? Despite her wings, there is something decidedly un-angelic about her.

That visit to Santa Croce inspired me to paint two of the walls of this room with the rag-application technique to suggest weathered wall of that church courtyard behind the La Farina funeral monument and as soon as I found a sconce suitable for the purpose, I planned to display Resting Grace in a prominent, central location rather than above the stove, one wing jammed against the kitchen wall, sitting on the Nutone range-hood. I did find a sconce, but when I took my angel down from her temporary perch, the kitchen looked unbalanced. She had been sitting on the range-hood so long, it seemed as though she now belonged there. It did not feel right to move her, despite the chronic inconvenience of her location. Because her legs hang over the side of the range-hood that faces the door, I can’t fully open it.

When Shauna had pointed out that the seconds I had saved on the back end of the fire may have made the difference between a funny story and a disaster, it made me think also about the few seconds that were saved at the front end because the door could not open so far that the Tropicana towel had hung directly in the burner flame.

MylesK [userpic]

Writing Everywhere

March 18th, 2014 (10:05 pm)

When it comes to my writing, I have been feeling unravelled. I feel like I have too many projects, too many platforms, and not enough time in a day to bring it all together. I have been seized by the idea that it is time for me to write a novel. I want to keep the Ephemeral Tourist going. I want prosimetrum14 to become whatever it is going to become. And I keep track of K conversations as well.



Hannah and I have changed the name of our house again. When we first bought the house we had been renting since we moved in in late 1996, we called it The 1912 in reference to the year it had been built. After we had The 1912 torn down, the new house was the nicest space I had ever lived in and reminded me of more of a hotel suite than anywhere I would live and it was re-named The Suite.

The Suite has been re-named again. We now call it The Main House.

Since Chinese New Year's Eve of this Year of the Horse, I've been living in one of two second floor bachelor suites at Gallagher House. Gallagher House is owned by Beatrice Cassidy Adams and is named for the historical name of the avenue in Edmonton's Little Italy than runs in front of it.

With practice, I've been getting better at describing to people what Hannah and I have done. "We are separated," has so much connotative meaning that people rapidly form the wrong impression.

"Was it amicable?" is the most common response I get. The finality of the question's past-tense sets me back. It signals that I have to explain how this isn't the termination of our relationship, but an expansion of it.

"You know how you lived for 18 years with those people who were your nuclear family; your parents, your siblings? And then they became your extended family while you went off and created a new nuclear family of your own?" People get what I'm saying. "Well, Hannah and I were a nuclear family for nearly 18 years, and now she's my extended family." They don't always get that part.

MylesK [userpic]

Some Notes for a Post

February 18th, 2014 (09:48 pm)

I'm having trouble finding time to write.

Here are some notes.



I spoken about Giulietta Carrelli to everyone I know ever since Beatrice Cassady sent me a link to the article about her in the Pacific Standard. I love how the article reveals the deep social history of an incomprehensible marketing fad: artisanal toast. But more so, I am struck by how Giulietta has, out of necessity, fused her psychological and material lives.

[Carrelli's cafe] is a tool for keeping her alive. “I’m trying to stay connected to the self,” she says. Like one of her old notebooks, the shop has become an externalized set of reference points, an index of Carrelli’s identity. It is her greatest source of dependable routine and her most powerful means of expanding her network of friends and acquaintances, which extends now to the shop’s entire clientele. These days, during a walking episode, Carrelli says, a hello from a casual acquaintance in some unfamiliar part of the city might make the difference between whether she makes it home that night or not. “I’m wearing the same outfit every day,” she says. “I take the same routes every day. I own Trouble Coffee so that people recognize my face—so they can help me.”

I've recently taken to thinking about existence as comprise of four domains:
physical - referring to my physical body and health; my blood and bone
material - referring to the stuff I acquire; the bricks and mortar
transactional - referring to the network of relationships that populate my life; friends and family
mental - referring to my ideas and other psychic content

MylesK [userpic]

St. Mark's Cloister at Gallagher House

February 11th, 2014 (10:13 pm)

It's February 11. The eleventh day of the Year of the Horse. The eleventh day at my new personal residence which we have been calling Saint Mark's Cloister at Gallagher House. Although we now live apart, saying that Hannah and I are separated feels misleading. I've said often that Hannah and I are a family of two, and it remains true despite our addresses. Separation is conventionally only a precursor to divorce; a severing of two people from each other. Separation is the wrong image. Instead, I propose extension.

We grow up with our parents and siblings in a nuclear family, and then after about 18 years, they become our extended family and we begin a new nuclear family of our own. Hannah and I have been together for 18 years. I don't feel like my nuclear family is getting smaller. I think my extended family has gotten bigger.

MylesK [userpic]

Reflections 1: The Branch Charter

December 24th, 2013 (02:28 pm)

I tend to list things in ranks that imply that one thing is better than another. I have favourite movies, favourite songs, favourite whatevers, which strongly suggests that anything not named as a favourite is just not as good.

I have done this with time. My remarkable preoccupation with the past, followed by my fascination with the future has enabled people like my sister to observe that I'm not very comfortable in the present. "Myles won't know if he's had a good time [on a vacation] until he has been home for a few days." Ze Frank says that people optimize for memory; we often decide to do something if we think there will be a good story to tell about it later.

I'm thinking about this because of a file I'm working on right now for my job.



It is December 24th, 2013 - the one year anniversary of the first and only complete post in K, the blog that Kaylyn Airey and I undertook to write together last year. I cannot forget this fact. 12.24.12 is fixed in my memory for being the day that I learned for certain that I want to have a co-writer in life. I can describe that day with unwavering certainty as being full of joy. It's ironic that I learned this with someone who doesn't even keep a journal, and believes that the past is the least relevant time in life. Yet those are the facts.

It is December 24th and I am reflecting on Snake Year 2013 and all that it has been for me and I again feel I am a beneficiary of a graceful fortune. I am lucky.

There was a Christmas card on my desk this morning from Michelle Ham which included "[t]hanks for always being positive and teaching me the most random things imaginable. We laugh everyday together and I appreciate that so much. I'm rooting for you and all the adventure 2014 is going to bring you."

Yesterday there was a card from Karen McCallion which said "[t]hanks for a great year of ideas, enthusiasm & laughs. We will return to 2014 'armed with imagination'. "

This year we had our Pitch Perfect Day. We also had The White Board Day. I don't remember the date, but Karen and I were sitting in the lunch lounge which is equipped with a small white board. Michelle soon joined and listened to Karen and I discuss relative rankings of five key life-values and how they vary in people depending on whether they are liberal or conservative. To catch Michelle up in the conversation, I drew a graph on the white board.

The next day, the three of us were again eating our lunch in the lounge area. Shauna sat down with us also. Eventually, Karen and I picked up the previous day's conversation thread and wove it into our current discussion. At one point, I needed to make reference to the graph I had drawn but was now erased. I just pointed to the spot on the now blank white board where a certain mark had been. Karen, in responding, pointed to a different spot on the white board, arguing a different point. Michelle stared intently at our hands and the white board, nodding slightly in memory and understanding.

But at one point Shauna interrupted and said, "I have to tell you guys that there isn't anything written on that white board!" and suddenly realizing how we must have looked to someone who wasn't there the previous day, we all laughed so hard that we were all crying.

I like it that when the members of my Branch gathered in 2012 to write a Branch Charter, we put a picture of a snowy owl on the cover just to be creative. And a year later we were given a stuffed snowy owl from the old wildlife section to keep in our office at Baker 14 as our mascot. And I like it that in the section of the charter, Branch Values, we wrote "we work in a Branch where the people... laugh often."

We are living into our words.

MylesK [userpic]

This marvel of a day

September 27th, 2013 (11:54 am)

This is actually my fourth idiosyncratic book tour, not my third. That one to the Banff Springs Hotel in "In Search of Marilyn's Room" totally counts, even though it was based on the shortest of stories: an entry in the Marilyn Encyclopedia, because it led to meeting and subsequent correspondence with the hotel historian as we jointly worked to solve the mystery of where in the Banff Springs Marilyn Monroe actually slept during the filming the "River of No Return" in 1954.

A few people already know that this Florence trip is based on the Tom Harris novel Hannibal, though I realize that I am not primarily following the path of Hannibal Lecter as I am following Inspector Rinaldo Pazzi as he follows Hannibal Lecter.

It should also be noted that this is only the second trip of my life that I have taken alone. All my other travels save this one and "Searching for Ken Kesey" (based on Tom Wolfe's The Electric Koolade Acid Test) have been with friends or family. This means that Mariana is the first travel-friend I have ever made.

There are three bunk beds in Room 658 of the Plus Firenze Hostel and Mariana and I shared altitude. We got into good conversations the last two nights as we spoke to each other across the room from our upper bunks. Good enough that we agreed to add each other as Facebook friends when time permits as she departed early this morning for Venice. I wrote my name and email address on a blank page of the memo pad Nicole Bocce used at the July 8 Social License workshop, tore it out and handed it to her.

"You have good paper," she said. I handed her the pad and she scribbled on a random page then handed it back.



A few hours after Mariana departed, I started my day in Chapter 26 of Hannibal at the Santa Croce Church. More than most so far, this location took a little detective work. Until now the scenes Harris has described in the book have matched both the locations themselves and other published descriptions of the sites. But the visitor brochures for Santa Croce do not say anything about the Capponi family or the chapel that Harris describes as being there.

Exploring Santa Croce, I found a funerary monument to the Capponi's, yet on the map I picked up at the entrance there is only white space: no name. No number. So now I'm looking closely at the transept chapels on the map. Only three of eight are numbered and two are in the area shaded out as "for prayer only".

At P.177, Rinaldo Pazzi has tracked Hannibal, who is working under the name "Dr. Fell" at the Palazzo Capponi Library, to the Capponi Chapel at Santa Croce. "Dr. Fell rose from his labours and came out from behind Andreotti's "Pieta" in the Chapel" it says.

One of the transept chapels in the prayer-only section has a statue in it of a woman with a body draped across her lap. A trip to the post card rack in the gift shop confirms that it is Libero Andreotti's "Pieta". So fun!


Next was in Chapter 25: "In Dr. Fell's garbage, Pazzi had seen the distinctive wrapping papers from the fine food store, Vera dal 1926, on the Via San Jacopo near the Santa Trinita Bridge." (P.170) I walked the length of San Jacopo three times; asked the manager of a fashion shop if she knew Vera dal 1926, all without results. By now it was dinner time.

The Cinghiale Bianco's display menu included taglierini with truffles with its first courses so I decided to eat there. P.171, "Florentines say Vera dal 1926, with its wealth of cheeses and truffles, smells like the feet of God. The doctor was certainly taking his time in there. He was making a selection from the first white truffles of the season." Cinghiale Bianco served the truffles in paper thin slices atop a pile of taglierini, thick with butter and white wine. The sensation of eating it was not just the flavour, but the effect, like something aromatic in the truffles was slowly drifting up the inside of my face.

As I ate, wait staff in black rushed about the rapidly filling restaurant. When I finished dining, I showed my waitress page 170 and asked if she knew Vera dal 1926.

"I think it closed,"she said. "But ask the head waiter. He is older than me." The head waiter rushed around faster than anyone. I didn't feel completely good about bugging him.

"It no longer exists," he said rapidly, after a literal second-long glance at my highlighted, annotated page 170, and then he rushed off. I finished my wine.

And then I heard his voice again. "Anthony Hopkins ate here when they were filming," the head waiter said, as he pointed to the four-top table next to mine. "He and Juliana Moore, and another actor. Anthony Hopkins ate fish." Awesome.


I hiked back to Plus Firenze and settled into my upper bunk of Room 658. I sorted my days worth of assembled ephemera and flipped through the memo pad Nicole Bocce used on July 8, looking for Mariana's page where she'd written her contact information.

"Mariana Sanguinetti" it said.

Bloody Mary.

Sooo awesome.

MylesK [userpic]

Fisher Applied Part 1

August 4th, 2013 (10:20 am)

Diane Fairchild and I met at Accent European Lounge for dinner and drinks Tuesday evening. We've been meeting there more than any other location over the past year and this fact is noteworthy because Accent stands only a few feet away from the pre-fire location of the New York Bagel Café which was our traditional meeting place when we were a couple 28 years ago. Though December 7, 1985 was not the first time we had gone out together, it did mark the beginning of our romantic relationship.

Anyways, Diane and I met there on July 30, 2013 for dinner and drinks, and our conversation nicely wrapped up a conversation that I'd been having over the course of two weeks. Life sometimes seems to me to be a single, long conversation divided up into connected parts. Though each part is not necessarily discussed with the same person. Tuesday, July 30 was the conclusion of a conversation that began with Kaylyn Airey on Monday, July 22, continued on Saturday, July 27 with Lise Ellyhin, and concluded with Diane, tying together threads extrapolated from Helen Fisher's romantic personality typology as described in Why Him? Why Her?.

Actually, this starts on Sunday, July 21 with the visit from Johann Roth.

Johann is a high-school friend of Hannah's who visits us once per year and has just concluded the most horrific divorce proceedings I have ever heard of. After updating us on the grisly details, we actually segued into a discussion of Fisher's book which Johann has also read. I reported to him that administering the personality questionnaire to both Hannah and myself revealed to me how our relative personality-type rankings explain the ways in which we two are compatible, and our relative scores explained our problems.



Hannah and I love each other in a way that astonishes me. When I was single, I imagined that being married would be like having a permanent girlfriend. But 16 years later, I cannot think of a single way in which being married is similar to having a girlfriend except for the fact that a woman is involved. Being married is like being a family of two. Or rather, it isn't like being a family of two, it is a family of two. Marriage astonishes me for how it has created a bond of blood and bone from only time, words and experience. I was theorizing aloud to Hannah a few days ago about girlfriends and the peculiar blind-spots that seem to be an essential aspect of that rank, when I was interrupted by another thought.

"It's hard to believe that you were once my girlfriend," I observed.

"Yea," Hannah agreed. "How did that happen?" Even in simple logistical terms it's surprising. With no common activities or interests, there was no reason we would have ever crossed paths with each other. And meeting strangers does not come easily to either of us so even if we did happen to be in the same place at the same time, it isn't as though we would've struck up a conversation. The answer, though, is we worked at the same place in the summer of 1993.


"If you were to ask us both," I said to Johann, "if Hannah and I are wrong for each other, we would both say 'no, we are not wrong for each other', but if you were then to ask if we are right for each other, again, we would both answer 'no'." Hearing myself explain this launched the koan that I've been cogitating upon for the past few weeks.


According to the Fisher framework, each personality type seeks a functional match in their romantic partners. Explorers want someone to explore with; a play-mate. Builders, Hannah's type, want practical home-bodies; a help-mate. Directors, my type, want to deeply explore anything that interests them with a mind-mate. I recently asked Hannah what she gets from our marriage, and without any knowledge of Fisher's book at all, she replied, "You have helped me in so many ways," and then listed things like personal and spiritual growth, sorting out family relationships, problem-solving, and keeping house. It was like Hannah was reading Fisher's Builders chapter out loud.

We Directors exist much more in our heads, in the stories we tell ourselves about what it means to be alive. Everything is a little more symbolic in a Director's life, from sex to ... bagels.

The bagels that I eat for breakfast are from the Strathcona Farmer's Market and are kept in the freezer compartment of our LG refrigerator. I usually get out of bed first in the morning to make coffee and every morning, on the kitchen counter, inside a plastic container, there is single bagel that has thawed overnight, which Hannah had taken out of the freezer the night before. With only the sound of the coffee maker perking, I would cut and toast the bagel, sometimes reflecting on the love that these bagels symbolized to me.

One morning I asked Hannah what it meant that every night before going to bed she would take a bagel out of the freezer for me.

"Just part of running a household!" she said with all the cheerful matter-of-factness of a lady truck-driver.

MylesK [userpic]

Hey, Our Policy Discussions Are Getting Easier!

July 23rd, 2013 (10:36 pm)

I'm in the second year of my term as president of the Queen Alexandra Community League, and like everyone who spends a good portion of their time in the organized voluntary sector, I'm coping with my own micro-version of the de Tocqueville dilemma.

Alexis de Tocqueville was a 19th political scientist and French aristocrat who had a keen interest in the democratic revolutions that had unfolded in the preceding century and whose effects were (and still are) being felt and observed. Contrary to his contemporaries who had predicted that the pattern of these new democracies would be a series of revolutions, de Tocqueville argued that the greatest danger to modern democracies was the eventual triumph of individualism and subsequent voluntary withdrawal of citizens from public life.

While he did not invent the ideology of individualism, de Tocqueville did refine its definition as a "calm and considered feeling which deposes each citizen to isolate himself from the mass of his fellows and to withdraw into the circle of family and friends ... with this little society formed to his taste, he gladly leaves the greater society to look for itself."

My observations have come from the opposite direction as a person working in the organized voluntary sector, in service of “greater society” and finding it to be a ‘gentle lunacy’ filled with diffuse, unrecognized rewards, and clear, personal liabilities. In other words, I do not disagree with de Tocqueville’s arguments at all.

Community leagues are as fraught with the gentle lunacy as all of the groups I have participated in. When I think about the breadth of the league as it is conceived in its bylaws, if we were to populate it fully, it would be the largest NGO I have ever served with, with all involved working as though we each had a part-time job. As the past publicity chair observed, “it is just not sustainable”. Several of the committee chair positions are vacant, and we are operating without a Treasurer or Hall and Grounds Chair. Recruiting volunteer administrators is a difficult proposition. All the tedium of being a low-level administrator, but with more liability, and no pay! WHO WANTS TO JOIN!!!!



Though we don’t have a Treasurer or a Hall and Grounds Chair, we do have two vice-presidents, a Secretary, and Gil ~ the past-Treasurer ~ is Acting Treasurer, for the time being. They are all great fellows, whose company I enjoy, which inspired me to initiate weekly executive committee meetings. Friday nights. At bars.

First VP is a fellow from Fargo, North Dakota who assures me that people in Fargo talk just like the people in the Cohen Brothers’ movie, Fargo. In fact, he says his mother talks just like Marge Gunderson. And to add to the awesomeness, Kristin Rudrüd, who played Jean Lundegaard in Fargo was First VP’s neighbor and babysat him when he was a kid. I’m trying to decide if this Queen Alexandra Community League anecdote surpasses the story about Farrah Fawcett being pushed down Lynn Fitzgerald’s front stairs.

So, last Friday was Executive Meeting #2 at the Tavern on Whyte where the old Devlin’s martini bar used to be. Gil, First VP and I attended and we came up with a few policy proposals that we’ll introduce into broader discussion. These were positions on:

Hall Revenue Recovery
Recent and pending changes to the administration of Queen Alexandra Hall have doubled the costs its operation. Executive members discussed two policy approaches to this matter: subsidized hall operations with other revenue (casino funds); or, restructure the rental rates so that hall revenue covers hall expenses.

The hall was viewed as being a major organizational asset. More than simply an operational asset, the hall is a significant enabler and emblem of the league’s existence. As such, revenue raised through the league’s volunteer efforts should be diverted to hall operations. Running the hall on a cost-recovery basis was rejected.

League Program Administrative Policy
League program policy is informed by the desires of the membership, the capacity of the league’s volunteer administration, the League’s risk tolerance, and requirements of the QACL’s contractual liabilities to the City of Edmonton under the Tripartite Agreement, and to Foster Park Baskett Insurance Limited.

Member volunteer course leaders are covered by QACL’s current insurance policy. Paid course leaders must be employees of the league.

In the absence of administrative capacity to employ personnel, QACL will only offer courses led by volunteer members.

Risk Tolerance Policy
To minimize risk to the league, the executive recommends revision to the hall rental policy requiring that any user of the hall employing a indemnifying instrument such as a liability waiver or an insurance policy must name the Queen Alexandra Community League, its members, and directors as indemnified parties.

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