He used to call it Small Town Entertainment, following sirens, standing out front the house to watch police dogs search the neighborhood, grabbing our coats whenever the sound of a firetruck stopped nearby. He transformed us into voyeurs searching for burning houses, lucky that our neighborhood was so fraught with crime. I have particular memory of the shooting up the street, a gangster hit, old fashioned in a barbershop, towel still wrapped around what was left of his head. Standing on the sidewalk, barefoot, I felt we should always be in housecoats, that I should learn how to have my hair in curlers or wear something green that cracked as it dried upon my face. What were we really looking for, I wondered, with no television, hardly any internet. Were our avenues to knowledge really so slim? He threw me down the stairs once, but we still called it love.
Being back in Vancouver has mostly consisted of sleeping with with Tony, (it is a luxury to be sleeping on a soft bed again), then wandering the streets of Vancouver in search of culturefest.
Thursday Lung came over and to celebrate his birthday, we decided to venture downtown to check out what the Olympics might be offering for free. Sadly, our answer was not a heck of a lot, as we started at LiveCity Yaletown, nothing more than a giant advertising center for Dell, Panasonic, and Coke. (We waited in line for tickets to get in line for a 3D film of “Olympics hightlights” which turned out to be a fifteen minute advertisement for 3D TVs.) Ever hopeful, we then wandered up to Robson Square, picking up Papa Cream Puffs on the way, and took to grinning at the zip-lining people up above as they zoomed overhead, sometimes screaming. There we found a map and a list of pavilions, but it seemed like it was becoming too late to get to any. We knew the torch, however, was available to view all night, so we walked down to the waterfront to see what all the fuss was about. We ran into Travis on the way, Lung’s magician friend who performed at my birthday party a year back, and he did a ‘birthday’ card trick for Lung as he was packing up, and took in some of the giant line-ups of people waiting to get into various events. The torch itself was less then enthralling. It’s a pretty thing, it turns out, all glass, but behind so much security fencing it was nigh impossible to see and so, discouraged, we decided to end our night with the best food we know, wings at the Phnom Penh restaurant in Chinatown, so delicious that each of us required our very own plate.
Yesterday Nicole came by for a visit, and then Tony and Ray and I went for dinner, then out to Surrey for Dan Mangan‘s show, where Lung joined us again. The crush of people was intense and so gratifying! There’s something about the success of my friends that makes me glow inside with a happiness that makes me feel my feet are hovering three centimeters off the ground. Sam Roberts was playing next, but we opted to skip out and head downtown for fireworks instead, which are happening every night at 9:30 at Robson Square and 11:40 at LiveCity Yaletown. We missed the first batch, but arrived in Yaletown just in time for the glittercrashboom. They were a lovely miracle to behold in the gigantic crowd, much like the cab we caught after they were done that slipped through the people like a fish to take us home. Then Shane got a hold of me, late but thankfully not too late, so we went to see him for a few hours before finally, finally heading home to bed.
Today our plans are fairly nebulous. We’re going to go see Trimpin’s Sheng High kinetic music sculpture, then wander around finding what we can find until it’s time to head back out to Surrey to catch some more free music. Said The Whale and Hey Ocean are playing at 7:30 and 8:30, (with a bizarre sounding show right before them, DRUM!, “featuring musicians, dancers, drummers, and singers from four principal cultures – Aboriginal, Black, Celtic and Acadian” Black? WTF? What does that even mean? A skin colour does not a culture make.) We think we can make it downtown in time for more fireworks after the music, and then there’s rumours of dropping in on Sanctuary at 23 West with Lung. If anyone wants to meet up for anything, send me a message. I’ll be sporadically checking the internets all day.
Silver Peacock Feather Embossed Recycled Frame Little Chalkboard, converted from a picture frame to a chalkboard, available for sale at A Thread of Grace.
the first sunset of 2010, an archival print mounted on 5×7 inch bamboo panel, available on Etsy at my new store, A Thread of Grace.
What it comes down to is that I stopped writing.
And then I think about birthdays and sitting in the back of streetcars and listening to people talk about someone I know and getting it all wrong but staying silent anyway, because those people are their own social machine, and I am a stranger and content to stay that way. Interaction would change the dynamic, would have to give me a voice and a face and an opinion and above all, I would just be breaking in to say that someone else is bloody wrong, is wrong and smug and possibly an asshole, smearing his own dirty politics all over someone I even loved sometimes, when I remembered not to feel terrified or betrayed. In the back of the bus, I am an apparition, a ghost, and I think, then, where will I be one day when I remember this? Not knowing now, not knowing what city I would be in, what comfortable livingroom, in whose borrowed pyjamas, how that day would destroy so much that was beautiful, when now I can look in a mirror and count the scars scratched in lines across my forehead. Does he realize? Does he listen?
Curled up here in this city I’d like to move to, shedding the skin of my current worn out life, I am annoyed at the job I worked at that’s delaying my EI application, the job I worked for a year and a half that dropped me like a one night stand, that barely noticed when I was there or just never bothered to care, except when my desk was convenient, right next to the new fridge where the Friday beer was kept. The only nice thing was being paid to be ignored, but there’s only so much of that a person can do before their soul starts to atrophy. What happened to being useful, to making the world better somehow, being a force for change? I used to look out the window at the bright shiny office blocks, the extra tall buildings that house EA and Vancouver’s poor excuse for newspaper publishing and think about shattering the glass just to feel some wind on a sunny day.
Speaking of shirts, I have been amassing materials and designs, readying the next launch of A Thread of Grace inventory, but I have done a very silly thing; I have regretfully left all the actual shirts behind in Vancouver by accident. Which, my unwavering loves, is why I have been posting chalkboards and photography prints rather than clothes, what my shop is ostensibly all about. Thankfully, however, those tiny things, though not enough to pay my rent, are evidently interesting enough to snag me a spot of grocery money! Hoorah! And now that I’m stocked up with materials, I should be able to jump right into production once I’m back in Vancouver.
The Olympics seem so very hit and miss, wonderful yet awful, that I’m even more torn about returning to Vancouver than usual. It’s been almost flat amazing to be so out of reach of all the rah rah corporate saturation, patriotic fluff, and Olympics controversy. Controversy that is unlikely ever to be resolved, given I have hope that the city will be improved by hosting the Olympics, even as I know how badly Vancouver tends to cock things up. Vancouver’s a city with very few good ideas and perpetually poor execution. Like how it finally has a rail line to the airport, but it runs up Cambie instead of Arbutus, and it doesn’t stop at all between 9th and 25th or 25th and 41st, where people need to go. Like how we’re hosting the Olympics and showing off our cultural might while cutting 90% of all arts funding.
Case in point, I’m looking forward to seeing what the giant downtown party is like and trying out the free Olympic Zipline, just as much as I’m terrific glad to have been absent for the violent anti-Olympics protests. (For once, something exciting in town I am glad to have missed.)
Ornate Recycled Frame Tiny Chalkboard, converted from a picture frame to a chalkboard, available for sale at A Thread of Grace.
within me there lay an invincible summer, an archival print mounted on 4×6 inch bamboo panel, available on Etsy at my new store, A Thread of Grace.
I wasn’t going to, but apparently Shane’s slated to perform at some point, so now I’m glued to it, waiting for him to show up and astonish and mesmerize the largest Canadian television audience in history.
7:20 pm – Augh! Brian Adams! No!!
7:23 pm – This is hideous.
7:25 pm – There was no excuse for that painful mediocrity. Poor Nelly Furtado. Poor everyone. No one deserved that.
7:35 pm – The virtual whales were purdy. More please of the whales.
7:46 pm – I am oddly cheered that Canada is being represented by punk fiddlers and plaid. Also a tap-dance off. Viva mohawks & tattoos!
7:50 pm – Hey! It’s Brock! Go Brock! Hope he gets to keep the costume.
7:51 pm – tap dancers with flaming shoes ftw.
8:10 pm – SHAAAAAAAAAYYYYNE!!! ON A PLINTH!
Fuck yeah! That was one of the most satisfying things I’ve EVER SEEN!! Shane Koyczan!!
Everyone has now abandoned boring politico for a Shane-love Facebook party! Sweet! ROCK THE PLINTH!
8:32 pm – Oh KD Lang, your cover of Halleluiah is one of the nicest I’ve ever heard. From here on in, I love you.
8:42 pm – wow hair! hair and incredible pipes!
8:48 pm – yes, drugs are bad, we understand. why is that such a high profile message?
8:53 pm – I was so programmed as a child that I can still recognize Rick Hanson
8:56 pm – yep, Wayne Gretsky.
8:57 pm – all the mittens make me think of is the Regretsy bear molestation painting.
8:58 pm – mechanical failure!!!
9:00 pm – who out of the four missed out lighting the torch due to the broken mechanical floor?
9:07 pm – I wonder how Gretsky appreciated driving through the crowds of protestors (not pictured on TV) to go light the second torch.
9:10 pm – uh? we have a superman castle of ice torch platform? where??? WHERE WAS THAT?