cleaning and driving lessons, satisfaction and fear

A user’s guide to websites, part 1: If it wasn’t broken why fix it?

Last day in Seattle, I’m using it up the best I can, tidying the chaos, taking on the bedroom, battling the entropy Tony’s apartment seems to have developed in my absence. (This entire trip has been well spent: conquering the post-burning man disaster, finally introducing Tony to Jake Appelbaum, running into Rafael, bringing a successful dinner to newly-pregnant Becca…) It comforts me, seeing how much of my influence is still embedded here, even as I’ve been feeling shut out, trapped in Canada, by sickness, injuries and finances.

So far I’ve unearthed six full loads of laundry, a number of books we’ve been meaning to read, two previously buried suitcases, two large boxes of miscellany, a full length mirror, a bed canopy, and the floor. Also, I must admit, a significant amount of housewifely satisfaction. There’s a possibility that he may not notice how much effort I put into improving his surroundings, but it brings me comfort anyway, just to be able to give back.

I also signed up for driving lessons with Young Drivers of Canada today. My mother’s ex, Pat, offered a few months ago to pay for driving lessons, and now that I’m on the dole, I can afford to take the time to follow through. My first class is on Wednesday, October 13th, somewhere out by Metrotown, and continue for a total of eight classes, Monday and Wednesday evenings, until November 8th. I’m vaguely terrified, given that cars are big, speedy, heavy death machines, but on the other hand, if that idiot down the street who catcalls me at the bus-stop can learn to drive, so can I.

deliciousness with The Foley Room

FUTURESHORTS presents Charles De Mayer’s film of Amon Tobin’s Esther’s.

Amon Tobin’s album, The Foley Room, is an entirely other beast from other records. Not only is it flat out incredible to listen to, every single sound on the album is a home-made sample. According to the Ninja Tune website, “Amon and a team of assistants headed out into the streets with high sensitivity microphones and recorded found sounds from tigers roaring to cats eating rats, neighbours singing in the bath to ants eating grass”. He also contacted the Kronos Quartet to make odd sounds for him. One of my favourite twists is that the rough, ripping motorcycle, saw-like purring sound that underlies Ether’s, the track featured in the video above, is actually the sound of a honeybee’s wings.

There is no such thing, in my world, as over-playing The Foley Room.

Also, if you’re not familiar with FUTURE SHORTS, you owe it to yourself to thoroughly explore their channel, it’s possibly one of the most satisfying places to wander on the web. A film distribution label specializing in globally sourced films of exquisite creativity and quality, “Future Shorts is the definitive short film experience.”


Oh, also today: Lung had his wallet pinched from a cafe while we were out, which was later returned with money absent, (“found” by the thief), and I gave him a haircut on my porch, which sounds like a euphemism, but isn’t.

And Derek and Alexandra welcomed their new, perfect baby daughter, Eris Nikitia Chauran, into the world today, which I had absolutely zero to do with, but wanted to mention because they made a new human and that’s freaking NEAT.

we love her and miss her

This evening my mother and I went through some of the things Brenda left behind in the storage bench when she died. Everything neglected, yellowing, ten to twenty years old. Music notation, folders for a defunct band, rejection letters from Island Records and Virgin, acres of her hand-writing, pages upon pages that she touched with her hands. The dust made me sneeze and created a film on the top of our shared cup of acai tea.

We found black & white photos of her, hair teased, badly posed, her lips coated in an 80’s shade of lipstick, impossible to name, improbable anyway. When I think of her, I think of her sitting at the table she had in her front yard, singing jazz while she chopped organic vegetables for soup, or dressed as a beautiful wood elf for Hallowe’en, almost androgynous, a knife at her belt and two streaks of pale bronzer slashed across her cheeks in the colour of fake ivy, a sparkling green. I was too young to remember her as the rocker wannabe, even though I recognize her in the pictures. Her smile is the same, and her bones.

selling parts of home to feed the cats

House cleaning and (un)employment classes swallowed me whole upon my return from Burning Man. The classes, in part, were hideously depressing, there was a day where I came home and almost cried, but at least I’ve brought some peace back to my apartment from the belly of the sad whale. The front closet has been seriously decluttered, the bicycles have been operated on, some mirror frames have been painted white, and at least four boxes of miscellany have been removed from the house, never to be seen again. I also, and this was also depressing, easily halved my wardrobe, by taking all the clothes that are now too small for me and tucking them into a suitcase, out of the way.

Today Lung is taking the remaining bicycles, helping me drop off unwanted parts at the Our Community Bikes recycling program, and swinging me past A Baker’s Dozen, where I hope to sell some of my antique ephemera for grocery money. In the same vein, I’m also looking to find homes for my white frosted glass chandelier and the home made foam-topped storage bench that’s been living in my hall. $25 each, because that’s how much it costs to feed the cats.

still want to be an astronaut when you grow up?


Some astronauts report losing their fingernails on spacewalks because of bulky gloves that cut off circulation and chafe against their hands. To avoid this inconvenience, a couple astronauts have taken to ripping off their own fingernails before reaching orbit.


Fingernail trauma and other hand injuries are spacewalkers’ biggest complaint, she said. In a recent study of astronaut injuries, at least 22 reported lost fingernails, a phenomenon called fingernail delamination. It happens because of pressure on the fingertips, but researchers also think circulation cutoff could be to blame.