With Andrew gone, it’s time to pick up the slack he’s left behind.

by Czeslaw Milosz

—When I die, I will see the lining of the world.
The other side, beyond bird, mountain, sunset.
The true meaning, ready to be decoded.
What never added up will add up,
What was incomprehensible will be comprehended.

—And if there is no lining to the world?
If a thrush on a branch is not a sign,
But just a thrush on the branch? If night and day
Make no sense following each other?
And on this earth there is nothing except this earth?

—Even if that is so, there will remain
A word wakened by lips that perish,
A tireless messenger who runs and runs
Through interstellar fields, through the revolving galaxies,
And calls out, protests, screams.


Andrew was barely in his forties, an acting father of three, a husband, a lover, and, as he would say, “all of the things”! Essential to at least three of my neighborhood’s core communities, he was a precious friend I never imagined doing without. He fell suddenly, an aneurysm or a stroke, the sort of death that unfurls its red flag without warning. I could list facts: his love of pirate clothing, his irrepressible fever for wordplay, his drawings, his games, the entire shelf of books on Rome that served as the incubator for a project that will never blossom from its imaginary blueprint seed. None of it will properly convey who he was, what sort of life he created to inhabit and to share, so the narrative that I have decided upon is to declare him the laughing buddha, the zen creature without public ego who didn’t give in to the idea that we should care what strangers think of us. Monks in saffron robes suffer on mountain tops while he found illumination in the way dice moved over a table, the way foam wrapped sticks bounced off other foam wrapped sticks, and a thousand other nerdy occupations I have never really understood but didn’t need to in order to appreciate him and his glee. We bonded over shiny things, science, dancing, and the regular delights of mangled days. All of that, years of it, but I cannot convey the map of his nation’s borders. He was smart and he was good and we miss him. Everything else is set dressing.

It doesn’t seem so long ago since I last ran into him on Commercial Drive, floppy hat, massive cloak, somewhere probably a drum. The man wore tutus and face-paint as commonly as other people wear socks. He was easy to spot. Was, not is. I write that word and lose my courage. It doesn’t seem long because it wasn’t, yet it will never happen again.

I offered to take his picture before he was cremated, something for the family, something for us, an image to represent the man we all loved. I didn’t even think about it, it was as natural as offering my hand to someone sitting on the ground, and his widow said yes and thank you and we agreed. This left me standing by his coffin at the crematorium two hours before the service, my friend Jay acting as a driver and a voice activated light stand, kit in hand and a bag full of expensive lenses I had never used before.

Though it was surreal, I was fine until I bumped the coffin, reflexively apologizing to his cold face, and when I touched him, brushing hair to cover some of the bruising that the make-up didn’t cover. Excepting those moments, I had a skill set to wield, he could have been made of spring flowers, a still life empty of residual heat. He has too obviously absent, an unmanned puppet, only a former body of work, still bones, still skin. An object encased in love and lighting problems to solve.

Fast forward, I stood with his family, perhaps the only one present who wasn’t tied to him through marriage or blood, the last of the last, in the final moments before he was taken away and sublimated into shimmering air molecules and carbon. Tillie couldn’t be there, but AJ read out a note from her, a prayer for the living who stood in a circle around Andrew’s abandoned body. I watched everyone, I watched and I ached and part of me died, and I made my own strident promises: May we remember this and resolve not to let it go. May we forever refuse to stand still.

take a penny, leave a penny

I <3 commercial drive

I recently stumbled upon a guerrilla back alley library about a block away from my apartment. It was full of odd titles, mostly romance novels and soviet tracts, but sprinkled liberally with terrible summer beach books, too, the sort you buy at the airport for the flight then never read again. I borrowed a copy of The Third Policeman and left behind A. A. Milne’s Now We Are Six, one of my favourite books from early childhood. If you would also like to donate, or even just browse, it can be found in the alley between Francis and Pender, a half block west of Commercial Drive.

nevermind that time I was kidnapped in L.A., just remember the time I was in a wedding dress instead

I dragged 40 pounds of books over to Pulp Fiction on Main St. yesterday, only to have them buy two titles, basically reducing my trip to $8 for an hour’s work. Boo. Then, on the long walk home, after a lovely streetside conversation with BJ, one of my cart wheels snapped off. Double boo. Luckily, after about half a mile of unsuccessfully attempting to drag a broken cart, some very nice guy on a bicycle pulled up and said, “Did you lose a wheel? Yeah, that’s ruined. Hold on, stay here, you going far? I’ll give you a ride home.”, spun away, then came back and picked me up in a big shiny jeep with a canadian flag on the back. (Turned out to be Oliver’s neighbor, because this city is small like that.)

So that was my tiny, merry adventure, and once again, like many of them, it involved hopping into a car with a total unknown. Thank you random man, for making my day so much better!

New score – Jhayne: 1. Stranger Danger: 0. Win.

The other exciting thing that happened yesterday was that I recieved my very first HST return. Not a huge chunk of money, not even remotely enough to get me in the clear, but enough that I’ve been able to kill some of my debts. I paid off the $70 I owed on taxes, set aside what I owe Karen, and half of what I owe Paula, put some cash towards my EI debt, and today I’m paying off the ICBC transit tickets someone put in my name while I was in Montreal, so I can continue working on getting a driver’s licence. Sounds mundane, perhaps, but it feels bloody brilliant all the same.

seriously, I hate that guy (1435 francis st.)

Dear annoying man who always bombs around my apartment with an offensively loud dirtbike at inappropriate hours,

It is two:twenty in the morning. You do this a lot. It is always a problem, but right now especially so. Please stop. There are three inches of snow on that cobblestone street. Today you are waking the neighbors and you might die. Though you are apparently a terrible human being, I’m sure there are people who would be sad if you were dead.

Thank you.


the girl who always wants to steal your fucking spark plugs.

edit: I just confronted him. he was out getting smokes, in this snow, without a helmet, with a stoned passenger, who also had no helmet. he might maybe seem nice, but dude, really?

out of the house for summer

rubus strigosus

Mushrooms and bok choy simmering in butter and black pepper, the windows all open, sentences running through my mind, practiced words falling off my tongue like dry, pressed flower petals, to divide fractions, invert the second fraction and multiply, to multiply fractions, multiply the numerators, then multiply the denominators, reduce all to their lowest terms, attempting a memorization of everything I can before my tests this weekend. A gift, but terrifying. I am more hopeful than I was a week ago, but I can’t stop feeling doomed. According to the website, the five tests take seven hours and twenty-five minutes to complete. Doomed.

Tests aside, this upcoming weekend looks fun. Not only is there going to be a steampunk minicon at Barclay Manor on Saturday, World Cup is wrapping up this weekend, which means my neighborhood, Commercial Drive, will be closed to cars and open to PARTY!! Flags, shouting, free food, noise-makers, facepaint, dancing, music, and thousands of people gleefully losing their minds from how utterly freaking awesome it is that some guys in ridiculous socks kicked a ball around some other guys in ridiculous socks and between some posts. Wahoo! Seriously, though, it’s epic. EPIC. People travel from as far away as Portland to celebrate here. I came out of the last celebration with a frighteningly scarlet sunburn because my trusty SPF 75 was washed off by an intensely enthusiastic restaurateur shouting ITALIA! ITALY! ITALIA! and spraying the crowd with shaken bottles of champagne. Fwish. No more sunscreen. And rainbows everywhere. Did you know champagne makes especially pretty rainbows when misted through the air? Me neither, not until that party.

Also coming up: The Vancouver Folk Festival from July 16-18th, the Celebration of Light nee The Symphony of Fire, (USA July 21st, Spain July 24th, Mexico July 28th, and China July 31st), and a castrated Illuminares Lantern Procession on July 24th for those who want to try and cram thousands of people into a small building after parading their children through Crackton.

I need to start going to bed before four in the morning

365 day ten: never come back
365: day ten

One of the interesting things about my neighborhood is discovering who’s actually in it. I went out into the clammy rain to wave to Martin from my apartment balcony earlier, as he’s only recently come to the realization just how close as neighbors we are. Too far for tin-can phones, but close enough for quiet shouting. Shame Neried’s moved, she could have gotten in on the fun as well.

TED Talks: Gever Tulley, 5 dangerous things you should let your kids do.

“he’s a fool if he’s not in love with you” “most men are fools, dear” “well, yes, but…” “uh-huh”

A Corpseflower webcam. (What a great band-name.)

My cluttered white desk is a small island in the cement foyer of the Dance Centre. It tethers me to this place, this screen, this set of keys. Through the glass wall in front of me, a small map of Davie street walks past – blue jeans with cell-phones, dogs, speculative couples, their arms crossed, held, ipods wearing socks with sandals, gore-tex jackets, camouflage, gossip and hoodies against the invariable threat of rain – indifferent. The new leaves on the trees outside are an unrealistic green that goes well with the electronic music surfacing from my computer. The phone stays silent, the building almost empty, there is very little for me to do, but wait and write and read.

I went to dinner with Alastair’s family this week, or some of it. His sister has brought her husband and new-born baby over from Scotland for a week. It is both comforting and strange to finally meet them. I missed them by barely two weeks when they came to visit in California. We went to Marcello’s, then to take pictures off the roof of Alastair’s building, where my cats live. As hard as I could, I couldn’t make the sunset beautiful, so I took pictures of them instead. I had only meant to come by and check in on the cats, (I had them spayed this week), but I ended up staying until eleven:thirty at night.

Standing at the bus-stop after, I found out there had been a shooting up the street, this time at the Roma Café. Street rumour says it was Over a Girl, but had no other details, except that the bus was rerouted and not to wait. The papers, as far as I’ve found, have had nothing to say.

I really like the Roma Café. Along the front windows are painted the NHL logo, the football league logo, the NBA logo, and a blue-robed Virgin Mary all in a row. I was stood up there once by a translator I met at Bukowski’s and it gave me a chance to properly appreciate it, though I hardly ever go. The music clashes with the pure Little Italy décor like plaid with polka dots, all tawdry 80’s and 90’s pop played loud enough to shove irony off a cliff.

hey mister pin stripe suit, there is no polite way to remove your underwear in an alley

trying to shut you up
Originally uploaded by Foxtongue.


New Years EVE Skytrain Dance Party at VCC Clark. Meet at 7:45 on December 31st, bring everything – music, costumes, party favours, instruments, etc. “At 8pm we hop an Accordion Train to the Future.” Total Trip time 1hr. 8pm to 9pm.

Act 1.

The Dancing Fields. A movement, they kiss. Every smile is a line inscribed. He makes her laugh. This is not a new thing, but another attempt. Her distance allows for the illusion of successful intimacy. This is the first time he’s met her at the door with his hands.

Act 2.

Heart of the World news. The current owner has put the Bollywood films up for sale on Craigslist. The letter of my contract says As Is, meaning, everything in the building is coming with the building that was there when I saw it. I’m sure that it was implied somewhere that this was to mean only fixtures, but I’m willing to kick for a discount off the price. I think we can roll with this. The realtor, though he seems nice, as it is his job to do, is still going to receive a silly amount of money, no matter, so I don’t feel I’m cheating anyone by complaining.

I’m also thinking about what it would mean to us if we bought them off Craigslist ourselves. Currently the films are stacked all over the theatre in big spilling reels and awkward tin boxes that we’ll have to organize, box up, sort, etcetera. If we buy them off Craigslist, not only will we be paying less for them than if they’re included in the theatre price, that will all be taken care of for us, and we’ll have to spend significantly less time cleaning the space up for performances. It might be worth a shot.


W.C. Fields began his career as a juggler, so good that he performed for royalty and heads of state. A portion of his routine was committed to celluloid in 1934’s The Old Fashioned Way. There’s a clip of it up on YouTube.

Act 3.

An Italian cafe, Cafe Calabria. Double-consonant beverages and nude white statues of mythical heroes with santa hats perched on their faux-marble heads. A Mediterranean cover of Bryan Adams’ Have You Ever Loved a Woman, “Lei mai ha amato una donna?”, piped past hanging cakes that frame the renaissance revival ceilings. Two nights in a row I sat there, nursing a delicious hot chocolate to within a drop of its life, and waiting for friends who never walked through the door. Tonight, the second night, I winked at the man behind the counter who called me “bella” and decided to try to be a regular.

cut and pasted from rumble.org

I do these every year and I have yet to regret it. The Eye of Newt Collective is an exceptionally good group of musicians, I’ve been an avid fan of the NOW Orchestra ever since I was a little kid. The people who come out to these tend to be of the fun and educated sort. I’m going to be at this tonight, you should be too.
Also, in lieu of a Friday night party at my house, we’re having another Sunday Garden party at my night-time house,so drop by this Sunday, at Victoria Drive between Grant and Graveley, anytime between 2 pm and 8 pm. Bring instruments, and food if you like, we’re stocking up at the farmer’s market tomorrow, and we can throw together a meal for 6-ish. (And of course there will be copious amounts of red wine.) Then, at 8:00, we’re trooping down to Grandview park for the outdoor screening of the 1927 silent classic Metropolis, (see below).

Silent Summer Nights

Celebrate the End of Summer in Style

Grandview Park, Commercial Drive at William Street, Vancouver
September 1 – 3, 2006
Screenings begin at 8:15pm – FREE !

Do something a little different this Labour Day weekend—stroll into Commercial Drive’s Grandview Park for the sixth annual Silent Summer Nights, three glorious evenings of the best in silent film. Park your blanket under the stars and enjoy great cinema, all to the thrilling accompaniment of original live music by Eye of Newt and special guests. A Labour Day classic.

Weather Update, Sept 1, 2006: It’s Sunny—see you there!

The Gold Rush

Charlie chaplin - the gold rush

(1925) Friday, September 1, 2006

The film Charlie Chaplin most wanted to be remembered by – The Gold Rush is the quintessential Chaplin film, with a balance of slapstick comedy and pantomime, social satire, and moments of tenderness. A Lone Prospector, a valiant weakling, seeks fame and fortune in the mad rush for hidden gold in the Alaskan wilderness.

Featuring live accompaniment by Stefan Smulovitz (viola/laptop), Viviane Houl (voice), Pepe Danza (winds/percussion), and Peggy Lee (cello).

Three Monks

A da - three monks

(1980) Saturday, September 2, 2006

Winner of a Golden Rooster and a Silver Bear, A Da’s animated Three Monks is an adaptation of a Chinese folk proverb:

“One monk will shoulder two buckets of water, two monks will share the load, but add a third and no one will want to fetch the water.”

Featuring live accompaniment by Stefan Smulovitz (viola/laptop), Viviane Houle (voice), Pepe Danza (winds/percussion), Peggy Lee (cello), with narration by Andrew Laurensen.


Fritz lang - metropolis

(1927) Sunday, September 3, 2006

Possibly the crowning achievement of silent cinema, Fritz Lang’s blockbuster fuses the frenetic storytelling of twenties pulp fiction with Lang’s personal fascination with the dark side of human nature. A vast towering city’s exploited subterranean workforce threatens to overthrow the technocratic elite who callously rule them from above – even if it means destroying the city itself. Lang’s dystopian vision of the future pits science against religion, love against death and revenge against redemption.

Featuring live accompaniment by Chris Kelly (sax/laptop), Randall Schmid (guitar), Pete Schmitt (bass), Skye Brooks (drums)

Eye of Newt’s Silent Summer Nights is a Rumble and Radix co-presentation.

This event is supported by Black Dog Video, The Wise Hall, Artrageous, and Now Orchestra.

can’t take me to the nearest cultural event, I’ll know everyone there

attempting to beat Francesco

After one intensely trying game of bowling with our afternoon “boyfriends”, it was decided that we probably couldn’t manage another. Instead we went to the J.J. Beans across the street and settled in to try and talk. (The staff thought we were brilliant). Conversation with Memo was pleasant, his default seems sweetly liberal, stone-faced or cheerfully surprised, but attempting to discuss the world with Francesco was too socially dysphoric to succeed for very long. His views are almost traumatizing to encounter. Thankfully, Oliver was there with a friend, and joined us before we got desperate. (When Francesco said, “I’m certain I speak for all the guys here when I say that naked men are disgusting.” it was like time stumbled over his tongue and slapped us all in the face.)

boyfriend two: Francesco

We sat together for almost an hour before Francesco left. Dominique admits that she worries now about encountering him. She thinks to cross the street before going past Abruzzio’s. I told her I have no such worry, being distinctive gives a girl practice dealing with strangers. Later I saw him across the street when I was shopping for nectarines and I almost waved, just to be contrary, but instead decided it wouldn’t be politic after he’d called me creepy so many times.

A bad case of Humans.

Memo we brought with us to Korean Movie Night and I plan on dropping by Penelope’s the next time I go and asking if he’d like to come again. He added himself to my messenger after I sent him a zipped folder of the documenting pictures so practicing the sloshing dregs of my spanish, (scraping off the rust with the lingual sandpaper of babelfish), is on the agenda.

We got my favourite picture of the event, (posted here, to the lower left), before we left Oliver behind. He had things to do, people to see, a bag to pack for a month in Italy. Friday was his last day here. His time was less flexible. Coming with us to KMM would have been too much procrastination to easily brush off, especially with La Fete de la Musique events later in the week. (He’s the raison d’être behind Toot-a-Lute, Vancouver’s awesomely eccentric folk-group.)

we traded in boyfriend #2 for one of superior quality

Nanoparticles and Lasers Create Cancer-Killing Microbubbles

Tuesday I had a really good job interview. Good people, good company. A respectable reprographics firm tucked in across the street from BJ’s house, over between Main and Cambie. Quick to get to, easy atmosphere. It gave me hope. Some of the other places I’ve been having interviews have been vaguely terrifying. The last one I had, on Friday, was in an office that so reeked of papertrail graveyard that my initial impulse was to turn around and walk back onto Kingsway. A small tele-company, the interview impressed upon me why people popularly use offices as metaphor for prisons. I kept in mind the reprographics firm the entire time I was there, using the memory of their professionalism as a life-raft. “Not everyone is like this.”

Wednesday I applied for my daily minimum of ten jobs, then was shut down at the park for attempting to barter my inelegant collection of uncomplicated fantasy novels for muffins and pocket change until Toot-A-Lute came to play. It was alright, the man who bashfully threatened me with a fine was very apologetic, and Paula arrived before I’d managed to drag my heavy bags to the bus-stop. She helped me carry them across to Turks coffeeshop, which is where the rest of the band was collecting, and bought me a tasty breakfast slice of lemon chocolate cheesecake, for which very kind things should happen to her. (Get on that, won’t you?) I was meant to meet them at the park after dropping my groaning bags of books home, but I missed them, getting too involved talking with James. By the time I got back to Grandview Park, the stage had been taken over by a salsa class with a boombox.

The Hanover lab is trying to detect the space-time gravity ripples created from merging black holes or exploding stars.

The likelihood of finding them again was similar to snow here in July, but running into Oliver on Monday had reminded me of the Morris performance promised on the Musique Day press package. Kits Point, 8:30, I’d asked Liam about it. Without really thinking, I steered my way to Hastings and caught the first bus downtown. Five hundred steps to Burrard, caught the 22 and wondered what I was doing. Warm sky, crossing the bridge, I remembered talking to someone who used to think Vancouver was a famous city, “Only for our science fiction authors.”

Walking through Kitsilano was like remembering a song I always used to sing in my room, something in my head fighting to accurately recall the lyrics, the names of the streets, instead of what life I used to wear. I found the one street, that against all emotional logic, runs all the way down to the end of the point. It ends at the tall totem pole by the Maritime Museum. They weren’t so far east, however, they were closer to Kits beach, still dancing. The Morris was over, but everyone had been comfortably sucked into dancing. It was fun. Vicky was there, bouncing away with her friend who plays banjo, and Troll and I fell and scraped so badly that people are still asking what I did to myself. “Oh, these wounds? I went folk-dancing.