don’t know what movie yet

Karen and Par bring parenting to the best level:
P: So I’m ready to go out now, to get your Honey Bunches of Goats.
J: No! Honey Bunches of Oats! (exasperated sigh) Do I have to write it down for you?

The painting we started is finally finished, a week after it should have been. Hallelujah. It’s not all finished, of course, but the walls we started have been done and that’s all we really need for now. Our home improvements have been all one step at a time, one per pay-cheque, and now the Great Reddening has been accomplished, we can proceed with another two weeks of uninterrupted unpacking and sorting and shuffling things about.

(Until the next pay period episode of fix: a Weekend of Wallpaper! *music sting*)

Already the difference is immense. The endless bookcases have been dragged out of the hall and installed, clearing a definitive walking space, and some of the towering stacks of boxes have become rows upon rows of colourful, interesting books, engaging and pretty and, more importantly, shelved. Two of the mirrors have been put up, framing the still curtainless window where plants are now living, draped cheerfully over David’s giant, smiling terracotta Buddha, the futon is bookended by soft, paper lamps, and my old chest of drawers, the 100 year old vanity, has found a new home in the livingroom, transformed into an entertainment center, as we fill it with our DVD’s.

There are still boxes and clutter everywhere, but we’re limping along, and it’s getting better every day, though we took some breaks we took this weekend. Saturday, after a trip to IKEA with Ray, Nicole, and her new roommate Trevor, we went to the closing night of The Velvet Edge, the period gothic-horror Lovecraft play Duncan and Erin were in, and on Sunday we took two new friends from Portland out on the town for a best-of-Vancouver tour, (the Naam, Zulu Records, True Confections), before throwing our backs into it again.

Today our Portland friends are coming over around 6:30 for tea and a movie, (feel free to join us), so we’re not likely to get a lot done, but I think taking an evening to just appreciate what we’ve accomplished will be exactly the sort of treat we need. Almost all of our attention has been given over to figuring out where to put pots and pans and what cupboard should hold what that we haven’t had a lot of time to be social. It’s about time we have people over. I’d hate to imagine what would happen otherwise. Terrifying atrophy. An inability to go out in sunlight. Possibly even pointy teeth.

under the floor are the rats and mouse


We held hands on the bus a lot our first day, as we travelled into unknown relationship territory, glad, fried, tired, and scared. As I said before, our trip back east was truly make or break. We would either come out of it with a lot of our problems fixed or we would come out of it as single people, ready to give up and go our own ways, understanding that we were just not that compatible.

Today we got up, and David made French toast for us while I processed pictures of our trip. Nicole came over, then my mother Vicki, then Ray, to share breakfast, to give presents, (I gave Vicki an orange keyhole scarf for her birthday), and paint the spare room. Our home is ours, and it is a social place, vibrant, with cozy pets and enough comfortable throw pillows for a small army of interior decorators to attack an encampment. (I have a bit of a problem, actually. I just can’t say no to awesome little pillows.) We are a we, stronger for having been forced together with no escape, stronger for spending some days inescapably without any contact. Whatever uncertainty we had was blasted away by the proof of our survival. There are a lot of reasons we shouldn’t be together, but not enough reasons or strong enough reasons to break us apart. Looking at him now, as he examines some of the terrifying things in the fridge that Karen left behind, while our friends are painting in the other room, helping our apartment become a home, and we all listen to my mad, wonderful ex-boy on the stereo sing and play an electrically wired cowboy boot, I’m glad he’s here. I’m glad I found him, and I’m glad I found me.


Japanese Man Petitions to Legally Marry Manga Character

We’ve decided to paint the guest room library the colours of a Hypselodoris nudibranch bullock, but darker and a bit richer, leaving us with aubergine, pumpkin, sunflower mustard, and crimson red. Well, really, I decided and David took a look at what I was talking about and said, “No, you’re not too geeky. That’ll be awesome.”

Which means, as Nicole pointed out, my apartment is beginning to unintentionally match my hair.

She stayed over on Saturday night and watched Ghostbusters with us, after we helped her emergency move this weekend, instead of going out for Hallowe’en. (Ray was going to help her, but he accidentally bailed, leaving her in a bit of a panic, her car shaky from a Friday accident and too small for her things, so I called up my mother and asked to steal her and her van for the evening.) The whole thing was a giant ball of sticky, fidgeting stress, all wrapped up in her raw and recent post-accident break-up that left her spending Friday night in her car, but my impromptu rescue thankfully worked out. David and I were enough to help haul things out of Nicole’s a day overdue storage container, my mother’s van was a perfect fit to tetris cram in absolutely everything, and her room was just the right size to set up her bed and neatly avalanche pile her things on it without breaking anything or making a mess.

Seattle-kilt Tony came by for a Saturday visit too, which was also a treat, though a less fraught one. We went for breakfast at the Pannekok House with him and a batch of equally fun-clever Seattle folk, (and David and Dominique, though obliquely, as they were one table over), then dervished our way from there to tea at my place, where Nicole had holed up to take a shower and decompress from her awful Friday of Stress and Doom. (You did catch the theme there, I hope.) It was nice. The four of us sat in the living room and played with Emerson the Emo Bunny, drank honey lemon ginger tea, and shockingly didn’t talk about anything terrible. Next time I’m in Seattle, I’m going to try to make sure to see him. Next time, too, I hope to bring David. It’s about time those southerners met mah man.

step taken

Scientists record ‘music’ from stars.

It’s done! It’s done, it’s done, it’s done! Karen only has a few things left to pick-up, we only have a queen-size mattress to somehow move, and that’s it. That’s it! Even Remi’s found a place to live for November. Tra-la-lee-lah-lay-dah-lee. It’ll be all wrapped up by the weekend. There is, of course, furniture to be shuffled around, boxes that need unpacking, clothes that need to find homes in drawers, but it’s all, finally, in one place, with no obstructions.

We sat on the floor last night in a puddle of clear space, mutually exhausted, (something I think everyone does when they move into a new home), somehow stunned, waiting for the soup to be ready, surrounded by boxes and upended furniture. Swamped by our day, he looked so tired I had to grin. “Welcome to the house,” I said, “Officially like.”

Already we’ve shoved the futon in her room and lined the walls with bookshelves, which opened up space, and the bones of our new home are starting to show. David has a job interview with Raincoast books today, so I don’t know how much he’ll get done while I’m at work, but whatever. It’s starting, and that’s positive enough. Plus, rock on Raincoast. Rock on.

Video: the secret lives of invisible magnetic fields.

only vincent price could say it with a straight face

Stephen Fry’s most excellent Twitter.

Today’s the day Karen‘s moving out. I adore her to pieces, she’s clever, fun and urban planner silly, but I’m terribly glad. I think she’s going to be much happier living by Main St, and I know that I’ll be much happier when my apartment isn’t stacked to the ceiling with boxes. Once her room is empty, we can move the double-stacked bookshelves in from the dining area, as well as the fourty boxes of books, move the futon in there too, and get a bit of much needed elbow room. Thankfully, today’s also the day where Ray and Nicole and David and I try to haul the rest of his things over, (except the Queen size bed, which we’ve put for emergency sale on Craigslist for as ridiculously cheap as my conscience would let me), finishing forever with the tiny purple room where he’s been keeping his stuff. He will be officially Moved In, with no more popping back to Arbutus for another change of clothes.

With that, I’ll finally be able to relax a bit, too, as David will take over a batch of the organizing and unpacking. When there’s space in the house to move, I won’t feel that every minute needs to be spent working to make it livable. (I almost cried, the other day, overwhelmed by how much needs to get done.) I can put that task aside and work on what matters more to my spirit and spend some time catching up on more virtual things, like processing my way through the vast collection of photos that I’ve been taking since Kyle generously sent me his spare. It’s been prickling under my skin that I haven’t even had enough time to make sure that I’ve got all our trip pictures off David’s laptop, let alone take a look at them. Prickling with great prickliness.

Past that, not a lot’s been going on. There hasn’t been time for anything else. We’re still sorting out what we’re doing this weekend for Hallowe’en, trying to figure out if we can even pretend to afford to go down to Seattle, while our finances are smeared like jet lag over too many bills. I have en eerie premonition that we might not even make it to local house-parties for a spooky lack of bus-fare. Vuullnaaavia! We neeeed youuuu! Oh, for a beautiful and silent clockwork assistant to help us in our time of woe. “Where can we find two better hemispheres, without sharp north, without declining west? My face in thine eye, thine in mine appears, and true plain hearts do in thee faces rest. Within twenty-four hours, my work will be finished, and then, my precious jewel, I will join you in your setting. We shall be reunited forever in a secluded corner of the great elysian field of the beautiful beyond! ”

Diamanda Galas plays Vancouver Nov 29.

p.s. My spam is more refined than your spam. The latest subject line: “Lists for specialties such as: medical geneticists, neurological surgeons,psychiatrists and much more‏”.

echoes, pretty little thing

SleepyCanSecWestJhayne, by Julia

“I made tea.”

So sweet, I stand in the doorway, looking back over my shoulder, an image from last year, why do they all sleep like that? One thin arm thrown over their face, head attempting to burrow into the mess of silk pillows that cascade across my bed. If I took a picture, it would seem almost identical to pictures I’ve already taken, heart warm in my chest, smile a permanent part of my skin, the camera a friend and confidant, recording like I love you, safe in this moment, embedded forever, or as long as my digital media will keep. How does life repeat like this? So slyly, so quietly, to perfectly the same, yet with different props, a different body, another frame of mind over reference over history over name. The division of minutes a lie, fabricated like music to make myself feel better about getting older while staying the same. I want flowers to fall from the ceiling, red and orange, a snowstorm of petals to announce this is new, define a change, to create an unreality in the midst of the repetition, floral scents as solid as mist, as solid as my feelings seeing this, as I look over my shoulder to see him in the bed, arm up and over, time traveling stock still, a year ago, a different man, yet still here.

(not) a tragedy starting to happen

A map of breaking news.

Prairie sliding past in the dark, giving the illusion of being in orbit, five feet above the ground.

David and I are back in Vancouver, spending the weekend entirely on house things – putting away our clothes, doing laundry, dishes, clearing out furniture, swapping out my monitor, putting up curtains, acclimatizing the cats to the rabbits – preparing space for him to move in. It’s interesting, how I can hear doors slamming shut all over my future while we do this. I know, given all the options, this is the best possible decision we can make right now, yet still, it’s unnerving. Whispers of change, of stability, less possibility of incipient chaos creeping, cheerfully twisting my days like promises. Bridges burning. A day-job, a live in partner, multiple pets. My number up at last, or again, depending. Back against the wall by choice, the blindfold thrown away, considering a final metaphorical cigarette. Sunlight.


Scientists have discovered the monogamy gene.

“Nature is trying very hard to make us succeed, but nature does not depend on us. We are not the only experiment.” Buckminster Fuller

Yesterday was my sixth month anniversary with David. To celebrate, we went for La Cafeteria for breakfast with Michel, picked up the now-fixed polished aluminum deer head we brought for Christine, (a bit of antler broke off in transit), did our laundry, had pumpkin spiced hot chocolate, went for a delicious pick-your-own-pasta dinner, met with Mélanie and Mike Kitt, then for pie with them and Michel, and decided to move in together.

Nice how I slipped that in, hey? So yes, when David and I return to Vancouver this week, no matter that he just moved, we’re moving him again, this time into my place as Karen leaves for Main St. We’ll be a house of two people, two cats, a rabbit, and a library. I’m strangely looking forward to it, even with the pre-knowledge of Just. How. Heavy. His. Book. Boxes. Are. No one’s ever moved in with me before, not really, not for more than a couple of weeks. I’ve always moved in with them, the proverbial them, the lovers, partners, the boys/men. I think it’s going to be interesting, and less of an adjustment than I might suspect.

Today we’re getting on a train to Toronto with the glorious Christine, who last night came home from work dressed as a sexy ninja, because that is how awesome she is. Once there, we’ll be meeting up with my fellow-monarch-in-bad-timing Shane Koyczan, who just happens to be in Toronto this weekend, and painting the town some sort of appropriate colour, as I glory in being home for a weekend.

For the double-plus, Nuit Blance is running this weekend, so the current plan is to hang out glorying tonight and most of Saturday, then spend as much of Saturday night as humanly possible wandering the all night arts festival with Shane and the funtastic duo that is Zaiden, Will and Mellissa, before breakfasting somewhere delicious and catching an early Sunday morning bus west, back towards Vancouver.