the contents of my basement

Glen holding up a mirror showing the levels of water. (The mirror had been resting on the basement floor. )

Glen holding up a mirror showing the levels of water. (The mirror had been resting on the basement floor. )

Art supplies leftover from college. Most will be fine except for the chalk pastels. (Duct tape on my rubber shoes to cover some holes.)

Art supplies leftover from college. Most will be fine except for the chalk pastels. (Duct tape on my rubber shoes to cover some holes.)

Blue green chalk sludge. If had more time, this wouldn't have been something interesting to explore.

Blue green chalk sludge. If had more time, this wouldn't have been something interesting to explore.

That silly rubber hand pen I've been saving since grade eight. Still saving it! I'm sentimental about stationery and office supplies.

That silly rubber hand pen I've been saving since grade eight. Still saving it! I'm sentimental about stationery and office supplies.

Alas, my archives of posters, brochures and other design projects that I did under my previous life as a freelance designer were ruined.

Alas, my archives of posters, brochures and other design projects that I did under my previous life as a freelance designer were ruined.

A survey of design projects from many years ago.

A survey of design projects from many years ago.

I'm proud of my career as a freelancer, but happy that it is in the past. Letting go.

I'm proud of my career as a freelancer, but happy that it is in the past. Letting go.

The ironic floaty pen souvenir from a trip to Venice in 1996. Saved it.

The ironic floaty pen souvenir from a trip to Venice in 1996. Saved it.

Alas, this hurt to see. My sketchbooks from 1996-1999 back when I used to handwrite and sketch and travel solo. Thanks for your advice, I'm attempting to dry them out. A little crinkle will just add to the romance of them, right?

Alas, this hurt to see. My sketchbooks from 1996-1999 back when I used to handwrite and sketch and travel solo. Thanks for your advice, I'm attempting to dry them out. A little crinkle will just add to the romance of them, right?

I should really start drawing again.

I should really start drawing again.

Though it was sad to see the books in bad shape, I realized that the act of sketching so long ago really preserved some great memories. The experience is still with me and these reminders, though soggy, are valuable.

Though it was sad to see the books in bad shape, I realized that the act of sketching so long ago really preserved some great memories. The experience is still with me and these reminders, though soggy, are valuable.

The back end of our house has always been ugly. The flood is more incentive to do something about it. 

The back end of our house has always been ugly. The flood is more incentive to do something about it. 

Sog. 

Sog. 

Thank you Chris, Rob, Jessie, Carolyn, Janice, Ondrea and Scott for all your help today. And thank you to all the people sending messages and offers to help. It's going to be a long process to clean up our house and the city, but it is wonderful that so many people want to share in the work. 

Thanks for your shop orders today, much appreciated! (The inventory clearout sale continues.) 

girl friday

On Fridays I will be sharing an image from my typewriter ephemera collection. Specifically those depicting the typist. Though men were initially common typists and office assistants, the job of secretary became stereotyped as a woman's role.

The name 'Friday' comes from the novel Robinson Crusoe published in 1719 "whose shipwrecked hero named the young native who became his faithful companion for the day of the week when he found him." (Dictionary.com) The name 'man Friday' was often used to refer to one's best servant or right-hand man. In 1940, a Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell motion picture entitled "His Girl Friday" came to theatres popularizing the reference 'Girl Friday'. Invariably, since women secretaries worked for men— and to refer to a woman as a girl is not acceptable*—the term is now outdated.

And yet, when studying the history of the typewriter, one cannot escape the sexism of the era in which the machine was invented and later popularized. Though the typewriter brought women into the workforce and contributed to emancipation, in many respects it later tied women to limiting roles. 

For the purpose of these "girl friday" posts, I share these images with respect and admiration to the generations of women before us.

*In my first "real job" post-college, I had an older male boss who would often refer to me as 'girl'. Though I'm shy and soft-spoken by nature, I could not stand for this behaviour and I mustered my courage to correct him. "You may call me Janine or Ms Vangool," I remember saying, "but not girl." I got a raise. He slipped into his old ways a few times over the course of the next months, and each time I spoke up. By the end of those long nine months I stayed at the job, I had doubled my salary. But more importantly, I learned that just because I was shy, I still had confidence in my skills and self-worth. Since leaving that job some sixteen years ago, I've been my own boss ever since.