if you’re staying in tonight, do it with some grace

via Eliza:

SIAMESE SWEATSHOP: Tag Team with Special Guest Artist Vol Hydrogen
Date: Friday, November 13, 2009
Time: 5:00pm – 8:00pm PST
Location: http://www.justin.tv/toxoplasm/

Vol Hydrogen is an upcoming surrealist designer and illustrator from the SF Bay Area. With a solid background in traditional skills like anatomy, clothing and character design, and concept art, she joins SWEATSHOP slavedriver EG Gauger for a few hours of two-headed horror.
Vol and I will be drawing/painting on a giant canvas that will then be cut up into jigsaw pieces, and sold individually. You should watch the entire process live, tonight, or you may miss out on snapping up the pieces as they go on sale.

Tony’s such a fox




Somehow somewhere in the next twenty-four hours, the maddening mess around me has to coalesce into a travel ready me. I’ve no idea how I’m going to accomplish this, as I’ve put all my warm clothes into a suitcase and discovered it’s still half empty, even when it contains a sleeping cat. Apparently over time I’ve renounced being an Owner of Sweaters, or even of Pants or Long Sleeved Shirts, essential ingredients during the last biting Montreal winter I gleefully survived. I suppose today I’ll take a bit of time, disguised cleverly as my lunch hour, and unearth some, though I’m not entirely sure anymore where such things are sold. The Le Chateau sale place is close, though, as is Winners, and if I don’t find anything there, I might as well give up until I can go shopping along Rue St. Denis or St. Catherine’s, a plan that gets shiner with every passing hour.

Most of our plans for Montreal are the shiny sort, (Go Directly To Santropol, Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Get $200 Dollars, and the equally obvious Purchase A Warm Coat Already You Foolish Girl), though they did a bit of an unexpected shimmy recently, shaking off the drive down to NYC with Melanie and Lung, leaving us with some uncertainty in regards to our adventures. I remain optimistic, however, even as I face the terrible pressure of being an inexpert wedding photographer, as according to a quick poll over on Facebook, which very quickly took on some serious consistency, everyone’s favourite thing to do in Montreal is eat delicious food, a skill at which I am pleased to claim to be somewhat of a master. Om nom, om nom indeed.

ITEMS STILL MISSING: warm clothes, camera flash, ear cuff, bras, ipod cord, jammies, one lime stocking.


A beautiful picture of a crescent Earth, taken by the European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft.

Vancouver: want a CD of your brain? want to learn about MEG?

I wish I’d found out about this sooner. Hells yes I want a CD of my brain. Doesn’t everybody?

Hello friends and friends of friends, I’m in a big rush to recruit participants for a brain imaging study I’m doing. If you’re a healthy adult and you think it’d be cool to have a CD with images of your brain, and wouldn’t mind making some money for your time, let me know. Also feel free to pass this message on to anyone who might be interested.

The brain scanning procedures we’re using are totally safe; there’s no radiation involved. However, the MRI scanner does involve a really strong magnet, so if you have any metal in your body we can’t do the scan (if the metal were to move, it would be ‘bad times’). We also need all of our participants to be both physically and mentally healthy and have no history of mental illness (e.g. depression, anxiety problems, etc…) or drug addiction.

If you decide to do the study, we’ll need you to do two scans on separate dates. Before the end of Nov, there would be an MEG scan in Burnaby (10 blocks from Sperling Skytrain Stn). Then there would later be an MRI scan at UBC.

To participate, send an email to ubc.mri.study@gmail.com.


a moment of silence

In Flanders Fields
by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae MD

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

a moment of silence Suicide in the Trenches
by Siegfried Sassoon.

they shall not grow old

I knew a simple soldier boy
Who grinned at life in empty joy,
Slept soundly through the lonesome dark,
And whistled early with the lark.

In winter trenches, cowed and glum,
With crumps and lice and lack of rum,
He put a bullet through his brain.
No one spoke of him again.

You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye
Who cheer when soldier lads march by,
Sneak home and pray you’ll never know
The hell where youth and laughter go.

rock that candy shop!

Jess Hill (crop)

A happy birthday, five days late, shout out to my sweet singing gal pal, the incredible, laudable, utterly fantastic Jess Hill!

May your next year cost you nothing you did not want to lose, may it offer you everything you set out hope to find.
May it bring you roses and ravens of song, kisses lit by moonbeams and travel more than rain.

And happy birthday to Michael, who woke another year new only yesterday.

taking a deep breath

Scientific concepts depicted with photos of everyday objects.


The rather intense list of things that need done before we step on a plane to Montreal on Saturday morning is shrinking, but not fast enough.

The rent for the month is paid, the furniture David and I listed on Craigslist has all been spoken for, (the biggest piece already gone), the two smaller sets of shelves we needed to replace the sold items have been brought home and put in place, and finally, after a month of pestering, the landlord has blessed us with laundry tokens.

In turn, I still need to see Silva, get a paycheque, do my laundry, all of it, hours worth, final polish the latest Secret Knots, purchase a warm coat, sort through and clean all my camera cards, my room, and my suitcase, find my appropriate power cords, find a bloody flash for the wedding, contact my friends in Montreal, pry out their schedules, get Lung‘s address, arrange a possible ride to and or from the airport, and finally, blessedly, pack.

There are no better scoundrels.

“A city can’t be too small. Size guarantees anonymity—if you make an embarrassing mistake in a large city, and it’s not on the cover of the Post, you can probably try again. The generous attitude towards failure that big cities afford is invaluable—it’s how things get created. In a small town everyone knows about your failures, so you are more careful about what you might attempt.” – David Byrne

What surprised me most about the Tiger Lillies show is how gorgeous it was. I was expecting raucous suicide songs, but instead found their show delightful fun, but also rather haunting, as if they were playing the full weight of their twenty years together with every note. The Moore Theater is awfully pretty, which helped, but it really was something in their timbre, a sweetness that ached, sugar in a tooth during the best french kiss you’ll ever remember on the birthday you decide you finally feel old. It was blood shivering. Their best trick was to have the audience laugh to the worst, most terrible things, then to mock the laughter with more of the same. I’ve never heard such dark subject matter vivisected with so much whimsical mirth. It shone a light upon the heart, even as they sang like a house on fire, all bizarre theatrics and kicking kittens down stairs, with voices like elegant flashing sirens.

The after party wasn’t half bad either, a mad robot-themed dance review at the Can Can underground cabaret bar, (delicious food, crazy entertainment), involving two astonishingly limber girls and some not too terrible young men gyrating two feet in front of our front row table, then a set by The Bad Things, a band I crashed with once in a Bellingham squat with the Dandelion Junk Queens. (Because the world really can be that small sometimes). Most memorable, after Rainbow, the intense spinning-from-a-chandelier awe inspiring blond girl who looked uncannily like Sara, was the bachelorette unicorn lap-dance. Sounds unlikely, I know, but it was quite the experience. He whinnied, he pawed, he wore embarrassing sunglasses that matched his skintight bodysuit. It was beyond pretty great. It was, in fact, fantastic.

The next day, Saturday, was Seacompression, a Seattle burner party held in a repurposed military hanger. Burner parties are much the same wherever you go, a fun fur collision of invention, wacky art, fire sculpture, dance, music, costumes, and people hanging from the ceiling, sometimes with no clothes on. It was a good time, with good people. We drove over with Robin and Rafael, to find Frank and Claire were there, and Adam and Anna, as well as Craig, Richard, Jordan, and Stephanie, though with the crowd, it was rare to run into people more than twice. Most of everyone we found wandering around, except for Jordan, who was hanging out in the white geodesic dome full of pillows, watching as people were locked into a spinning globe machine by crystal tipped metal arms.

To give you an idea of what it was like, around front was a hacked bus with a fire sculpture on the roof, a hot-rod with a BBQ instead of a trunk, the giant flaming metal hand Tobasco and his crew made, and a pumpkin death pachinko machine. Inside, to the right of the entrance, was a photo booth and a small movie theater (complete with Marquee), and the white chill-out dome. To the left, some couches, the Wheel Of Judgment, a hammock garden, and the hall that led to the main dancefloor, a large room with a raised area in the middle made of cages. Past those, in the main space, were two bouncy ropes hanging from the ceiling, various girls dangling from the ends, tied in by experts, and a performance space behind another bus, where fire dancers were spinning fire and live music played. Mostly we wandered, content to mingle in the madness, though we danced to the EQLateral String Trio and submit ourselves to the Wheel of Judgment. (Tony got a ticket for being “too fury”. We think they meant “too furry”.) We didn’t stay to the end, exhaustion and a desire to be curled up naked won over, but it was a lovely party.

To top it off, we bought a strand of electric pussy-willows yesterday. Plugged in, they look like the future colliding with magic.

There are no easy words for how blessed I feel to have such lovely adventures in my life. Also, I had the Tiger Lillies sign my decolletage. Pictures soon.