I’m going to the secret film club tonight, we’re showing

Cross-posted by request, via Duncan:

“I know this guy and he puts on an incredible show. Also, I’ll be guest-starring for a short portion of it. Sorry for the short notice and the expensive ticket but if you feel like catching some theater this week, this would be a good place to go.”

The Amazing and Impermeable Cromoli Brothers Present: HELLO VANCOUVER!
A Vaudeville Act for These, Our Modern Times.
Tuesday, Feb 3, 9 pm, at Performance Works

Fifteen vignettes including Heaven’s Gate Webcam, Dear Mary I’m in a Gang Now, Cover Song, Nude Beach, Pilot Talk, Olympic A Go Go and more!
Songs performed on ukulele, melodica and glockenspiel!

Winner of the BEST COMEDY award at the New Zealand International Fringe Festival
Written and performed by Lucas Myers with Special Guests


Me, I am poor as poor does, so I’m going to be attending the Secret Film School tonight, (which is free), where Kryshan is showing the silliest movie in existence, The Forbidden Zone. “A freak musical that manages to synthesize ingredients of virtually every other midnight hit into the cheerful consistency of bad-taste vaudeville.” -Jonathan Rosenbaum.

Here’s Kryshan’s bravely attempted description,

“Forbidden Zone is hard to describe without making it sound completely ridiculous…okay, it is completely ridiculous, but it’s the best kind of ridiculous, a one-of-a-kind act of unrestrained creativity. This guilty pleasure cult classic is about a sado-masochistic midget (Herve Villechaize from Fantasy Island) ruling an alternate dimension with Susan Tyrell (Fat City), also featuring Satan (played by composer Danny Elfman of The Simpsons, Batman, and Beetlejuice), frog men, human chandeliers, headless boys, babbling twins, Monty-Python-esque animation and a lot more weirdness where that came from. Forbidden Zone has the visionary logic (illogic?) of a Max Fleischer cartoon (meets-Tim-Burton-meets-John-Waters-meets-Betty-Boop…). It’s a midnight-movie-musical-romance-farce-science-fiction-fantasy-fairy tale-animation/live action hybrid explosion with an incredible soundtrack by Elfman’s band The Mystical Knights Of The Oingo Boingo and…okay, I’m giving up trying to describe it..

I’m going closing night

Some friends of ours are starring in Spectral Theater’s new play, The Velvet Edge. (Read: Duncan Shields and Erin Puckey).

Held at The Chapel, 304 Dunlevy, the same funeral-home-now-arts-venue that the Carnival of the Arts was just at, it’s got a cast of nearly twenty, the guarantee of at least one flawlessly hot girl, Naomi’s costumes are without-fail incredible, and there’s both nudity and blood. How awesome is that?

“An English novelist comes to an asylum to hear the story of one inmate who, after a journey into the decadent heart of 18th century France, was charged with the murder of his wife, but committed due to his presumed insanity. As the inmate recounts his bizarre and terrifying descent into debauchery and madness, the audience is drawn into the scenes of his past. Could his delusions be in fact, a terrifying reality?”

Tickets are $20, which is steep, I know, but Duncan, who is in it and should know, claims, “This is going to be an adult theater show at adult theater prices. This isn’t schlocky horror. It cost a lot to put on and it’s a visual spectacle. It’s worth every penny of the $20. People are going to be talking about this one for a while.”

November 5th – 6th & 8th – 15th

Tickets $20 (minimum donation)

Doors at 7:30 PM Show at 8:00 PM

Written by Blake Drezet and Directed by Des Hussey & Blake Drezet

Warning: Coarse language, scenes of violence, suggestive scenes and nudity.

Reserve your tickets by calling 604.569.2013, e-mailing info@spectraltheatre.com or RSVP through Facebook: Nov. 5th Opening Night, Nov 6th, Nov 8th, Nov 9th, Nov 10th, Nov 11th, Nov 12th, Nov 13th, Nov 14th, Nov 15th.

whoring my friends, part II

Duncan is going to be starring in one of Spectral Theatre’s Late-Night Double Features!

Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night through until the end of the summer, Spectral Theatre has been presenting two one-act horror plays for the price of one ticket. Coming up in the final set of their summer series, they’ll be featuring two sci-fi/horror shows:

Nimbus, “a journey into the far reaches of space where the mysteries of creation end and the madness begins”,
written by Blake Drezet, directed by Michael Cope and featuring Aurora Chan, Joanna Gaskell, Vincent Riel & Devan Vancise.


The Hunted, “marooned on distant shores, stalked by an alien menace that boggles the imagination”,
written by Blake Drezet, directed by JC Roy and featuring Blake Drezet, Vincent Riel & our very own
Duncan “the big man” Shields.

At the Spectral Theatre Studio, 350 Powell Street. Doors at 9:30, show at 10:00. Tickets are $8. It’ll fill up fast so book your tickets early.

we take polaroids with his father’s camera, finishing off the roll

A clean uniform of friendship, tattered in places, worn in the elbows and the shoulders, but strong all the same. I think of stone, how it erodes too slow to see, though it shapes itself to the wind almost perfectly. Holes in the middle of mountains, sunsets in the middle of deserts, countless grains flying through the air. Sometimes we go on holiday, go weeks without talking, stretching ourselves between the days, our names ignored like advertising, repeated until it’s meaningless. It used to be calling every day, voices in bloom, eroding our negative spaces until they adapted, filling like smoke, glued to each other like words to paper, content a hundred days, ships on water, floating side by side. Then something happened, there was a split, a rift like fire shouting down a forest with silence. It took a very long time for him to talk to me, though it happened, and almost, somehow, over the horizon, everything seems fine. Now we are a story mostly written, soaking in solitude, aware of the other, solid friends, but purposefully apart. Civilization risen up, cities yawning into view, the rocks have been cut into walls, the foundations cemented down.

It occurs to me that this is the formation of family, laying in the darkness of a winter night, tearing stories out of history and presenting them like they were wine, showing where the scars are like a road-map of decisions never made, sharing what has happened in an effort to make something new, to frame a future of reaction and place that will make sense outside the room. Failing is part of it, crashing the bicycle to get up again, scrawling on the walls in crayon, dusting off our knees, calling bluffs, and saying alright anyway, holding hands, commiserating. It was awhile ago, but cities, once put to task, continue building, even in the absence of an architect. Once populated, they evolve, reach for the sky, develop eccentricities, and form personalities clothed in architecture or maybe memories. Along the avenue, all the presents we’ve presented, all the fact, fiction, and morning details no one else will ever see, they form a garden, they form a line, they spring, blades of grass, flowers, chaotic, ordered, a personal deduction against any further damage. A metaphor we can take with us into sleep, a certainty as easily satisfying as cake.

who wants pictures?

In an effort to fundraise for a short trip to Calgary the first week of December, I’ve begun selling digital prints on commission for ten dollars each. Want one?

So, in return for ten dollars, I take a photo and send it as a file large enough to be printed.


they tasted of honey
This one went to Duncan Shields, a Vancouver writer
(contributor to 365 Tomorrows) and video game animator.
genetic nondiscrimination
This one went to Frank Roberts, a Vancouver photo
enthusiast and video game IT manager.


Long nights spit out like toothpaste into an unfamiliar sink. She looks up, enamel, black tile, an older building. Wooden floors. Tall doorways. Stained glass. A dragon in the next room, sitting on the couch, warming his hands on a sweetened cup of bitter tea. White walls. Cold windows.

Her hands float up to her hair, straighten some curls, frame her eye in the mirror. She peers through her hands, brought together in a symbol she found in a photograph on the internet – fingers curled, first knuckles together in a twin arc, thumbs stretched, touching underneath – the childish shape of a heart. Her certainty shakes. She lets it.

He’s wrought of mixed signals, sliding shades of affection and neglect which don’t add up. The smell of his soap. Her heartbeat. An iron-work of conflicting opinions, kissing like he carries a new bastard disease of self-reference, wit, and deflection. Short brown hair. No eye contact. A thousand words in a picture that breaks her framed ideals. Attraction built instead of found. Panic filled breath, though her panties are balled up in her purse already. Feet cold on the tiles. (Uncomfortable echoes of explosive scenarios from younger relationships, feeling exploited). The scalpel of self-examination. Her motivations are an underground factory of facts conveyor-belt punching out hurt confusion. Very little he says matches up with what he does. She doesn’t know why these steps are being taken, but what she lacks in reason, she makes up in loyalty. There is very little new under this son.

They stood at the bus stop, both consciously skipping their friend’s gathering for opposite reasons. One feeling too welcome, another feeling not welcome at all. “I would have thought you were imagining it, but I noticed it too.” “I cornered him at the party, asked him what was wrong. He said there was nothing. In eight years, I think it’s the first time he’s ever lied to me.” Her thoughts embraced her absent friend, (his fingers so deeply entwined in her ribcage she would love him forever), even as she felt like her words were a disappointed betrayal.

As they stood close, defensively, against the suffering neighbourhood, she kept up a monologue, quiet like a gentle run of dirty water. Memories, sad and unpleasant in retrospect. “How did you grow up?” A hungry childhood, social friction, hotel rooms. He nodded, implacable, in a way she found welcome. “I read the bible fourteen times, no one ever steals the things. They just sit there in the otherwise empty drawers, collecting dust and lonely people.” Anecdotes, wry short stories, a battered flow of narrative ornamented with sober, dry laughter, breakdown asides, and serious expressions. Later, sitting, her legs swung unselfconsciously under the seat.

I cycled past my father’s apartment last week. He has a giant poster in the window, an image he’s sent to me. I almost went and knocked on the door. I stopped, looked, put one foot on the ground. I don’t know why I stopped the same way I don’t know why I kept going. Instinct, impulse. Either or. He lives much closer to me than I thought. Near enough that no matter what, we’re on the same bus-routes, we share the same corner store.

“There was a woman named Ha there who showed me Samurai movies and fed me Korean fried chicken as I sat on a stool in the hotel kitchen. I ate all they had, the hotel had to buy more the next day, and I ate all of that too. I was a starving little thing, so bright and blonde and tiny you’d barely think I could walk, but I was always hungry. I remember my parents would go without sometimes so that I could have food. I lay in bed next to my mother and heard her belly grumble, five years old, listening and knowing that I had a sandwich and she had not. It’s made me a little neurotic about food. (Hell, I’m an adult now and I’m still so poor I’m starving to death.) I don’t like eating alone or cooking only for myself. And I can’t eat in front of someone without offering them any. In fact, I’ll put it off, go hungry for hours, rather than eat in front of someone who won’t have anything themselves, because it was greedy to eat alone, it meant you were depriving someone else.”