You’re alright / For someone’s summer kind of sickness

San Fermin – Sonsick – Audiotree Live

I found me a hopeless case and resolved to love
Maybe we can find a decent place when I’m old enough
Found love in an empty gaze, tried to fix it up
I found me a hopeless case, oh, oh.

I’ve been fueled by single size candy-bars this week, returning to Canada face first into my stash of kit-kats and candy scooped from various Google offices. I would say the amount of sugar I’ve consumed this week would be a problem, but it’s keeping my brain going.

My problem, more, is where to start. I want to dive in to all of the stories that I have been living, but I am stymied by the staggering number of moments that I should be sharing, should be documenting but instead have been allowing to slip past me, unrecorded, and so, eventually, unremembered. Our grandparents probably did not write very often, our parents probably only wrote a little bit more, but our generation knows The Word, knows its power, understands that literacy is a window into history. Our own as well as that of others. Society seems nostalgic for what came before, but really, we have never had it better than this. Yet here I am, wasting the page, spending my Friday night sitting in front of a screen.


My chemicals problems feel like they have swallowed me whole. Serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin, epinephrine, norepinephrine. Long words for relatively simple things. Call and response. But when they should trigger, failures. Call and then nothing. The grapes shrivel on the vine.

I went to the doctor today to ask for a test to gauge the levels of depletion, in order to add them to my file, to try and see what could be fixed. The doctor refused, says I need to “talk it out”, but he is wrong. It is physical and I am tired of being permanently defused. I want to be lifted up by life again. I want to be able to touch the world and feel it.

Meanwhile, I have been put in the position of needing to dismantle some of the only care and intimacy that I ever have found completely satisfying. Bloody difficult. Needful, but the logistics slay me. How does this even work? This isn’t a task I’ve built a tool-set for.

Instead, we play the question game. We entertain ourselves, we put off the inevitable for a few hours more. I quote Shakespeare. He claims I am risking his life. On the surface, this is very little. Peel through the layers, it is the world. When I ask why he continues the dance, we are no longer playing. He stays. I stay. He calms me. It is enough.


Absence diminishes little passions and increases great ones, as wind extinguishes candles and fans a fire. — François de la Rochefoucauld

We set off fireworks for my birthday when I was in Seattle a few weeks ago. My dearest and I, scouting along the river at midnight, along with one of my best friends. All of the romance of shifting with a left hand. Explosions, incredible, gigantic explosions.

We texted a handful of our people, looking for co-conspirators, fellow anarchists ready and willing to break a handful of small laws. Only one replied, but he took awhile to drive south enough to meet us, so this fey creature and I found ourselves by the river, booting about a park the size of a postage stamp, a discarded piece of land too small for even the city to care about. I was in heels, fool I, as I had walked through my sandals when I was in San Francisco, but the rough chunks of cement proved to be easier to clamber over than I would have expected. I almost fell anyway, slipping in the dirty, industrial dark, but he was there, elegant as calligraphy, the odd way he moves, this man, this boy I would love some day.

All of these things I write about, but I do not write about him. Again. Yes, again.

Let me tell you instead of other people, other parts and pieces of my history. The one who lied, lied as I watched, as I suddenly knew. Silver at his temples, silver and silver, thirty plus two pieces, some better future offered in the palm of his hand. Take it, he offers, take it and forgive me and help me and we will conquer. He looks at me as if I am the one who keeps the keys to the prison of his life. When he looks at me like this, as if I am needed, a requirement for breathing, I cannot deny him anything. Who am I to judge the lost? We are the same.

Or another, the one who omitted, who erased. How he read what I wrote and felt, slightly, like he was dying, even though I held him through it, wrapped him in a cloak of my care. “That might be making it worse.” I understood but I wasn’t going to let go. We were in a park, a beautiful place I had never been that he knew I would like. In that space, his favourite tree. We watched the ferries come in and leave again. What an interesting thing to care about, I originally thought, a favourite tree. I was struck by the novelty, but in that moment came the realization that it matters to me that it matters to him. It was like listening to a motionless heart start beating. I carry it, that recognition. I am incapable of forgetting. Through his eyes, the red wood is new and beautiful. I am redefined. “It makes me happy to make you happy,” he said, our selves clasped together. What else is a definition of love?

Now that I have started writing again, I am shocked that it has taken so long to do this again. Here are the words, the letters, the language. Tied to these men, to these memories, tied to the bare winter branches of everything I have left. It is only the middle of summer, but it feels like I have lived an entire year since January.

The fireworks; our own thing, finally shared. The thick sulfur smoke stayed in the air, praise for our work. A grubby stranger paused in robbing a local stock yard, stripping it of metal, to watch. We laughed, argued with lighters, dashed to the illusion of safety and back again. I lightly burned part of my left hand, sparks from a short fuse. He kissed it later, unknowingly, and I felt the sting again. Electric flares, willows of light. The concussives were so large they punched holes in the air, slammed into our rib-cages, forced my mind to focus. I almost felt like I was under water, how it has been described to me, the voices stilled, as if music were playing to drown out the entire world underneath the shock of the sound of the bombs.

They were almost bright enough, almost loud enough, almost enough, almost, almost, to get through.

Celebration of Lights: beach blanket bingo edition

“2010 marks the 20th anniversary of the Celebration of Light (originally known as the Symphony of Fire), an international fireworks competition which has attracted the world’s leading fireworks designers and is considered one of North America’s top pyrotechnic competitions.”

As with every year, I will be going down to First Beach with a giant blanket and a tall stick with something bright on top, (the better to stand out from the crowd), and making a group camp by the water’s edge, near the slide, right in front of the barge.

Bring yourselves, more blankets, and snacks to share. Also, please RSVP!!
Try to arrive early, as the beach fills up fast and there’s only so much space.


Google map of the blue blanket campsite.


•Wednesday July 21st 2010 – USA Night
•Saturday July 24th, 2010 – Spain Night
•Wednesday July 28th, 2010 – Mexico Night
•Saturday July 31st, 2010 – A Tribute to China

Note: I may not be setting up on July 24th, as I plan on checking out the potential sad disaster of the indoors Illuminares Festival in Gastown at Storyeum before heading over to the beach.




10:00PM – Rain or Shine

I”m still proud of this picture

China's finale
China’s finale, 2007

It’s that time of year again! Come on down for The Celebration Of Light, Vancouver’s annual pyro-festival.
Tonight’s competitor is Canada, with the theme of the Wizard of Oz.

I’m going to go down right after work to lay out the big purple blanket for everyone at the usual spot here, right by the water at first beach, just off east of the water slide.

Show at 10, camping starting at 6. I’m bringing cherries, feel free to bring whatever or whomever you like.

as the city strke continues

Today is the Annual Dyke March, the Powell Street Festival, and the Grand Finale to the Celebration of Lights Firework Festival.

Sunday is Vancouver’s Pride Parade, Kimberly‘s birthday at The Cambie, and Sanctuary’s 10 year Anniversary, (also their last Sunday, they’re moving to Fridays after this).

Monday is Catfish and other Delicacies at the LampLighter, Beth‘s annual music evening.

Am I missing anything?

I just lost two years worth of writing to that damned widget

It’s Celebration of Lights time again!

Formerly the Symphony of Lights, this event marks when all of Vancouver crushes into English Bay to watch one of the biggest firework festival contests in the world.

Who wants to meet up ahead of time to go down together?

My vote says that we have dinner on the Drive around 6-ish, likely at Fet’s, and then take transit down as a group. The people who were pushing for dinner at Fet’s have cancelled. I’m throwing my lot in with Micheal. I have a tried and tested true method for making my way through the crowds to the very best beach-side seating downtown, and the press afterward isn’t so bad for those simply willing to wait it out.

Wednesday, July 25 — Spain
Saturday, July 28 — Canada
Wednesday, August 1 — China
Saturday, August 4 — Grande Finale

Each show is approximately 25 minutes and set to music. If you’re watching from downtown, which is what I do, music is provided through a public address system. For those in Vanier Park or Kitsilano, there are generally enough people with radios to make up for the lack of city-provided speakers.

I should have and I did enough of a little bit to count for something

Thunder at five in the morning. Thunder as long as my kind of kiss. I have only just sat down in my two foot office, the square at the foot of my bed, and outside, the sky has sung to me in the tones of metal shaken behind a stage or perhaps the sound that old houses use to appreciate the heavy wooden furniture that moves across their floors. Now the seagulls are screaming. Entire flocks of them disturbed by the magnificent cloud drum-roll.

I believe in anything

All day there was the threat of rain. Jay would call in and the weather forecast would give us depressing percentages. Fourty percent, seventy percent. Conner shook his head, Nancy Lee shook her head. All this work for nothing, camaraderie aside. Instead, it didn’t happen. We lit fine. We lit and it was glorious. Dangerous light.

And now with dawn comes the rain. It’s a sweet sound now, welcome, fresh and pleasing. I want to be out in it, while knowing that this is about the best place I’m going to get right now, warm and safe, next to my bed, with dawn beginning and threatening to crawl in with me. It was close to fourty-eight hours long, but still the nicest day I’ve had in a very long time.

pretty typical

pretty typical

the topless wish fairies

The Illuminares Lantern Festival is TODAY.

Saturday, July the 29th.

For those without previous plans, Andrew is collecting people at his apartment for a meet-up.

If you can read this, you’re invited.

Assemble at Andrew‘s place near Broadway and Commercial, between 10am and 1pm.

Call his cell for directions, if you don’t know where to go.

At 1pm they’ll migrate to Trout Lake.

I can’t attend this gathering myself,
as I’m going to be too busy wiring the fire-works,
then dancing for Toot-a-Lute,
helping with the processional,
and maybe being auctioned off,
but I recommend it.

Good people, good fun.

Silliness abounding.

I did it my wa-a-a-a-y

When I was a kid, I wanted a tree-house. I liked the idea of having a little place that was my own, high up, and floored in the cloth bound books I liked to read. I would hang tassels, I would paper with comics and pieces of sari. I wanted to tumble down the ladder in a rush of limbs to a mother waiting with ice-cream. I wanted what the real kids had, only to try. I could see them sometimes, transitory, from the window of the truck I was growing up in as we drove past little houses. Surrounded by trees, always on the highway, these houses, with a gas station at the end of the row that would sell cold things and packets of shrink wrapped pepperoni sticks that my father would open with his teeth. My favourite treat was the Cadbury cream eggs with shiny tinfoil that I would flatten with the back of my fingernail until I could pretend it was tain I’d peeled whole from some antique washroom mirror.

Andrew had a comment published on BoingBoing this week.

Have you ever been in love with someone to the point where you’re afraid? They meet your eyes and the amount of feeling that shoots in to your blood must betray you, it feels certain, but then they blink and look away. Disaster averted. It’s terrifying, like suddenly discovering you’ve got a red jewel of cancer in the palm of your heart.

I’m selling my old monitor on Craiglist for $50.

The fireworks last night were nice. I led everyone directly to the waterfront, with nothing between us and the show but for water. Blooming explosions of mostly gold, laced with red and Italy’s particular green. Their music choice was a little damning, no match of Denmark’s Abba medley of last year, the cheesiest possible clips of Celine Dion, Queen, & Ennio Morricone, but they made up for it with the intense amount of bang.

After, though, was better than nice, it was magical. Police arrived on horses, with back-up from police boats and helicopters, to clear people from the beach. Horses in riot gear, to be more precise, with little see-thru plastic helmets and shiny reflective socks. Lit only by beacons and searchlights, they came out of the heavy sulpherous smoke like a slowly solidifying dream. It was impossible to focus on them, they were so ephemeral, such perfect phantasmagorical memories come real. They seemed both bigger and smaller than horses are, because they faded in and out of the flashing lights so strangely, so beautifully. The police on top seemed grown from the same dark flesh, details were so randomly precise. A leg would show in stark detail then vanish again into the sand and night. I’ve never seen anything like it. Pristine wonder, approaching.