Someone said we were dressed as city workers when we were out last night, to which I said, “No! Cosmonauts!”.
They replied, “But cosmonauts aren’t real, city workers are, so you’re city workers.”
“What do you mean cosmonauts aren’t real?” “There’s no such thing as a cosmonaut!”
Originally we were going to spend Halloween in Seattle again, but this year it’s Vancouver that’s got the parties. Here’s our schedule:
A very Drive flavoured dance party, featuring BlackBerry Wood, The Creaking Planks, Timothy Wisdom, and Little Woo’s shadow-puppet fairytale “The Silent Kingdom”. Show up in costume, preferably by bicycle, dance until you drop. Commercial Drive Legion, 2205 Commercial Drive. 8 pm – 2 am. $10, or $8 if you arrive with Critical Mass. Facebook link.
Public Dreams will be hosting an interactive celebration at Britannia Community Centre. Start there to discover the location of the walks. At a mysterious locale, only to be revealed on the day, (though I remember a map floating around a few weeks ago, can anyone explain it?), the Dusty Flowerpot crew will be enticing you into back alleys, streets, and open spaces to awaken our neighbourly spirits, (likely art, shows, and fire performances). Note: no fireworks, no street closures. 5 pm – 9 pm. Facebook link.
Also, they’re still looking for volunteers: Join in Secret Souls Walk (Parade of Lost Souls). An inspiring awakening of neighbourly souls – already neighbours are pledging their homes to the underworld. Please come along to be a helping hand on this journey! Want to operate a giant puppet, perform, or just pitch in to help out with the myriad of jobs we need covered to make it all happen? We really need your help and hey – you’ll be let in on the secrets way before anyone else! On October 30th this community collaboration will come together- it wouldn’t happen without you! We’re looking for some benevolent souls to help us with setup, set dec, performing, strike, donations, and generally creating magic in the neighbourhood of Commercial Drive. Your involvement counts in bringing the community together to make magic. To volunteer, contact Public Dreams – firstname.lastname@example.org.
This one’s confusing. We know they’re playing, but when? And where? Conflicting events claim different things.
1. Halloween Party, A benefit to celebrate the 65th Anniversary of People’s Co-op Bookstore.
Russian Hall, 600 Campbell Avenue. $10. Doors open 7:30 pm. Facebook link.
2. The Carnival of Shadows, starring Maria in the Shower, Jeff Andrews and the Crows at Midnight, and The Creaking Planks.
Cafe Deux Soleils, 2096 Commercial Drive. $10. Doors at 8 pm. Facebook link.
To celebrate the Grand Opening of the newly renovated Waldorf hotel, the new owners are throwing a gigantic, free, multi-room Halloween party to showcase the entire complex, including the hotel rooms, lobby, restaurants, salon, the freshly restored 1950s tiki bar, the Cabaret nightclub, and the Leetag Banquet hall. Rumour also says they’re setting up an outdoor dance space in the parking lot. Of everything on offer, this might be the best, biggest place to be. Facebook link.
Nursing a candy hangover? Had one too many bloody marys? Come on over and recover while snuggling into our low-key movie marathon! From noon until night, we’re going to draw the curtains, turn out the lights, and wallow in some of the best and worst that spooky cinema has to offer. We’ve got a huge list of films to choose from, or bring your own! My place, 12:00 – 9:30 pm. If you’re uncertain if you’re welcome, just ask. Facebook link.
The hardest part of driving school so far has been the cold echo of homesickness that blows through my chest whenever the instructional videos or slides feature Toronto. Trying to concentrate through the ache feels like trying to swallow the rattle of stones. Young Drivers of Canada is based in Ontario, so the majority of their materials are shot in towns and cities near their main office, very near where I used to live and love.
A new image on the screen, near the X, facing downtown. I have been on that highway, I think, when I was younger, before so much damage. The pink freeway lights were new, newer than in that photograph. I was with my boyfriend, met only the night before. He was sweet and smart, handsome and talented. He might be shorter than I am, now, but then he was two inches taller. His black-red hair was as long as my arm. His eyes were gold, so unlikely. He made me laugh. He gave me some of the best advice of my life. I had never been so happy before. I wish he would still talk to me. How many times have I felt like that since? A copy of his old band poster still sits, rolled and ignored, on my bedroom floor.
Later he stood with me on the roof of our strange apartment building, leaning into the hot, summer wind of a lightning storm as the sky flashed and thunder rolled so hard it made the sheet metal walls shake with fear. I laughed, though he worried and eventually lured me down. It was okay. We were together. We were safe.
The next shot: a residential street, coincidentally near a favourite bakery. The chocolate icing, one inch thick. I’d smear my finger through the top and lick it off, sitting in a nearby park, watching little girls dance in bathing suits next to a shallow community pool, copying some music video, all in time, singing along to the new Spice Girls track. The birth of prostitots, I thought, examining the parents, who clapped along. I wondered if it was a new trend or simply something that had been there all along. The chocolate frosting was so rich that it was almost black, the same colour as rich soil or well tended earth. The sun was bright, and I had my bike. I could go anywhere. And I did.
picture of part of a thorn, taken by tony
Burrs in back the building, glass shard sharp, spiny as dried up sea creatures, something ancient, full of dusty venom, and camoflaged, invisible on the rough brown ground. The washroom was back there, a gray cinderblock building as inviting as a brick to the head, but my shoes were in the van. He found me there, helpless, caught like a confused fox in a trap, both feet pierced, and picked me up and put me on the stairs, where I could safely sit and pluck the curved thorns from my abused feet with my fingernails. My Sir Walter Raleigh, story told and modern, with a black knit hoodie instead of a cloak, a gesture as comfortable sweet as sitting by a fire.
They blow in from the neighbors, said the woman inside, as she handed us plates of box-mix flapjacks, weak eggs, and hard, greasy bacon. Her eyelids were painted an oddly stereotypical blue, the living memory of an old TV show, her hair styled like she attends a christian church. We use chemical weed killer, she continued, but there’s no stopping the wind. You’re lucky it’s not spring.
Outside, after, as I gingerly stood on the gravel shoulder of the road, trying not to regret breakfast, I saw an RV drive by towing a tall net cube full of colourful plastic balls behind it on a trailer. It was familiar, as we had paced it on the drive down, neighbors on the highway, stopping in almost all the same places. The driver smiled at me in recognition, and waved, and it was like we were friends.
It was warm there, once the sun came up, as wet as it is here.
Nicole and McBain, I teased his hair so high at Ryan and Eva’s housewarming party that we could stand an oriental fan in it, straight up.
Tony had a wonderful surprise for me when I arrived in Seattle: two tickets to the beautiful and bizarre Billy Nayer Show, the band that birthed That 1 Guy and one of the best movies of all time, The American Astronaut.
Flanked by Bobbie Lurie and Cory McAbee on the first night of the newest Billy Nayer Show tour. This one’s for you, Mike! We all love you!
REMAINING TOUR DATES:
Seattle’s big post-burn arty dance-party, Seacompression, is this weekend, so I’m off to Seattle today, back on Monday. Last year we arrived late and missed most of the shows, but we’re hoping to ride-share with someone this year and have a better time. (Also, this time we’re wearing much warmer clothes, just sayin’.) Due to my dislocated ankle and other injuries, it’s been maybe an entire year since I’ve gone dancing, so it’s going to be extra exciting to get out there and shake some groove-thing.
Also for those in Seattle, Cherie has a book signing tomorrow at the Northgate Barnes & Noble at 6 p.m. Y’all should come down and meet one of the princesses of pulp and support a local artist by buying a copy of her newest novel, Dreadnought, sequel to her run-away steampunk zombie success, Boneshaker.
Vancouver is hopping this weekend too. Tonight is the Fullmoon Steampunk Extravaganza, (w. The Gentle Infidels, Darker the Sky, Corset, and our very own DJ Spaz), from 7 p.m. – 2 a.m. at Century House on Richards st, and tomorrow is this year’s Work Less Party Party Halloween Party Masquerade Ball, from 8 p.m. – 2 a.m. at the Japanese Hall, 487 Alexander Street.
Jenn and I did something heroic yesterday – all of my taxes from 1999-2009. I’ve never filed before, so it was a fairly epic tour of paperwork and numbers that took from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. that I couldn’t have done without her. Now that we’re finished, it’s official: I’ve always been poor. According to the numbers, I’ve never even made enough to hit the poverty line. Instead, I’m far beneath it. Forget turtles, it’s been struggle, all the way down.
In the face of that, and as part of my latest effort to combat poverty, I’ve started listing things on Craigslist again. Not very much, as I don’t have very much, but fingers crossed! It’s always nice to pass things on to people who want them, like this morning when someone gave me ten dollars for my white hard hat to finish off their Chilean Miner Halloween costume.
More items will be added later as I continue my quest to tidy house and sell what I can to help feed the cats.