now to finally clean the kitchen after our weekend of victory

Now that was a SPLENDID weekend.

Nicole and I hosted a pot-luck at my place on Friday, based on a delicious giant ham and a big dead bird. I also made Eight Hour Eight Bean & Lentil soup for the vegans and vegetarians, which takes more than eight hours, but involves eight hours of constant stirring, as well as potatoes, steamed broccoli, and garlic portobello mushrooms with red peppers. It was an old-fashioned feast, and about twenty wonderful people came, most with their own delightful contributions, like home-made pulled pork sandwiches or berry wine. My oven lied a little about how hot it was, so we didn’t get to eat any chicken until around 9:30, but excepting that: COMPLETE SUCCESS. We all had so much food and good company that the last guest didn’t stumble out to a cab until 2 a.m. (Tony, sadly, didn’t make it until after midnight, as work prevented him from catching an earlier bus into town, but I set aside a plate for him.) Once again, thank you to everyone!

Saturday was just as great, as it was Duncan’s Dress-Up-Like-Duncan Surprise Birthday Party and A Mad Dash for the Down & Out: Tom Waits Tribute Night! I went to his party dressed as Cake Fight Duncan, in boxer shorts with a cake crown made of a birthday card and safety pins. It was a pleasure to attend, even though we left early to make sure we would get to Tom Waits night in time to get in, and it was a pleasure to catch up with some people I hardly ever see.

The Tom Waits Tribute Night was another sort of thing altogether. Completely incredible, it was gloriously mad gypsy dirty yet soulful and sweet, like circus music dancing through love songs with boots on. Some of the acts played it sinister, sandpaper rough and intense, while others sang as if their honeyed throats were on fire, a broken hearted sound that could only be put out with poetry or glass. My heart could have burst, it was so full with joy and pride for my friends. It was an astounding show, as memorable as a favourite birthday, as inspiring as only an insanely talented trumpet player twisting out a solo on top of a hammond organ can be. I’d tell you some highlights, but I’m sure if I tried, I’d describe the whole show.

The after party was pretty nice too. I spent most of it on the couch, curled up by a fire, swaying into the early morning surrounded by warmth and more music, singing a little and catching up with old acquaintances I dearly adore. Tony and I were almost the last to leave, starting our walk home just before dawn, safe from the chill with each other. We lucked upon five raccoons after only a block or two, a family, maybe, playing together, foraging along the sidewalk. When we got close, we stood very still, until they got used to us as we crept along beside them. One of them, slightly braver than the rest, tiny paw raised, body tense with investigation, came up and touched my leg three times, like casting a spell. It worked, we were enchanted, and smiled all the way home.

Sunday we spent almost the entire day cuddled up in bed, exhausted from being up so late, but glad for it. We forgot completely about the live Jonsi webcast concert, so we watched movies on my laptop, (Return to Oz, Reign of Assassins, & Ghostrider), and poked at the internet until it gave us some of what we need for Halloween, content anyway. Amazon provided Laika’s dog costume trimmings, minus a collar and dogtag, and another site had actual soviet space patches covered in bad-ass rockets and lightning. The next thing we need are matching flight suits, but I’ll be in Seattle next weekend, and there’s a rather epic military surplus store there that should set us up. Aside from that, the only thing missing are my four antennae, which I expect to find at Circuit City or a Radio Shack.

The generator weighs four thousand pounds and writes six hundred books a year.

Given my now regular eight hours on the bus every weekend, I’ve been reading more books a week than I have in years, (since I banned myself from libraries), as I swallow two or three whole each way. The last book I finished, China Tom Miéville’s the city & the city, was strange and fascinating, less for the content and more for how political it made me feel, how much I innately disagreed with the premise of the strange place he brilliantly created for his setting, a city that legally counts itself as two cities, invisible to each other through the sheer power of opinion, where your neighbor isn’t your neighbor unless you agree on which city you see.

artpost: possibly one of the most unique interfaces I’ve ever seen

The wicked playful, amazing and just downright weirdo-funny portfolio of talented, award winning, dutch flash artist/designer Coen Grift.

Make sure to zoom in on everything, there’s an obscene amount of detail packed into the 1000 megapixels of art, comedy, and minigames.

To start, find the raccoon with the metal detector. He’s hanging out by the tree of carrot death.

via James Everett

follow back because you all asked me to, because this is one way to say yes, will you marry me?

By Arnaud Frich, two panoramic photos of Paris at night: the original and a captioned one marked with major landmarks.

I stood on the street and it was like an entrance. Breath like smoke dedicated to signaling the weather instead fogging a mirror like the corpse in an Agatha Christy we all had to read in high school as part of English class. From their offered hands to their accented voices, there’s no turning my back on good people. I felt like my happiness had exploded out of some strong box that I’d thought was hidden enough to be dead. That breath again, that mirror lying about the most beautiful woman who ever lived in the world, in this terrible after dancing cafe french fry restaurant dipped in grease and gravy. Too bright lights and scribbling word games on napkins, little finger trap puzzles. The alphabet in spanish, in french, and in effects, hands describing functions and sounds that can only be explained without language in common.

Kick me out of here, kick me out of all my data hacking at my heart that’s been bruised beyond clear definition. I could sing you a sea if you would only remember to talk to me. Off of the street, we’re singing, plates of something congealing that looks like it could pretend to be food in a seventies television commercial for something magical and space-age worthy that comes out of a box. Just add water. This is only for after dancing, I am reassured but already understand. This could only be for after the body has been wrung out in fun and tired, not enough sleep, but this is the lion and this is the lamb. I dig my fork into the detritus and try to remember that last time I’d felt like I’d been let off a leash without suspense. Ah, right. That buggered up. I should never have let him without more clarification than “Are you married?” You can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. This however, this could rock me to sleep like the greatest band of all time, Robin Hood taking me in hand to show me the equation that gives me the time in musical notation.

For immediate download, some essential holiday listening: Peter Sellers – She Loves you (the nazi version)

The lines on a sheet of music are like the aggressive lines next to the highway that mark the fences that keep you from spilling your wheels off the side and wrecking your car. When we left the plastic tabletop full of drunk girls stumbling past, after fencing poses and flushing excavations into personal history waving conversations, it was decided we would go to a house in Outremont for coffee because there was a piano. I don’t know where I’m going, I don’t know who I’m with, but it’s enough to end a war, this sort of delightful finding of company on the side of the road. St. Laurent is behind us and we’re not slipping on the snow around our ankles, instead they’re letting me steer the car. My hands leaning over Cristian, the music conductor, his hands back and away and refusing to touch the vehicle, my body a curve like the road around Mt Royal. It’s not quite a mountain, it’s not quite a hill and on top there’s a cross all made of lights. White unless the Separatists are putting the shoulder to some action, then it turns blue. Politics, left, right, I don’t want to drive into anything, this is already crazy. It’s lucky I’m used to drivers who roll drugs into joints in their laps, but ice is confusing. The tires are lying different contact patterns to stop on the street. I make it past all the stop signs, it’s not my feet on the pedals and it’s all straight and I’m laughing, refusing to look backwards. There was no map, only instructions.

Because sometimes everything you need is in front of you.

This city continues to delight me. It reminds me of my voice.

like a vessel
Originally uploaded by Foxtongue.

In the wake of spending the night up with three brilliant Argentinians, (bless them and all their lives), my english has been shot all to hell. This entry’s going to be skimming the depths of my language conscious mind trying to keep me on english, pues no he dormido todavía y había muchas tazas de café italiano negro. (James has been very patient and smiling a little too much.)

Running into Cristian, Hernan, and Martin outside of Rouge was like being agreeably attacked by a very vocal choir of sweetly strange muses. An orchestral conductor, a PHD in Literature, and a Haikido expert. Music, Writing, and Movement. I said later that all they needed was a painter to be complete. They were standing outside when the club closed down, a cheerfully noisy trio who liked the hair that was peeking from my hood.

I am trying to get my hand co-ordination back by juggling small oranges in between tiny spurts of typing. I wasn’t sure it was working until I remembered after five minutes of successfully keeping them in the air that I don’t actually know how to juggle. I think it’s just going to be one of those days. Damn, it’s good to be back.

I’d decided to go to the first club on the left side of St. Laurant that had a line-up, as a guarantee of people and quality, and I suppose the red lights and walls inside should have tipped me off, but I was far too involved in random conversation with the airplane designers that I’d attached to in the line-up to pay much attention to where I was. In a strange city, I find the names don’t matter as much. The music on the first floor was painful to endure, so upstairs I found a corner and kicked off my shoes to dance. The wooden floor was dominated by people dancing in little social circles. I felt like an apprentice to aggression, trying to find space where I wasn’t likely to tread on broken glass or get cracked in the face by drunken elbows. Everything that was playing was nostalgic to a generation that I’m not a member of, but I wasn’t going to care. The atmosphere was fun and friendly and the people I’d met were introducing me to their friends at a mile a minute. There was nothing abrasive for once, which was nice, as my week’s been a strange social mash-up of scintillating discoveries and heavy disappointments.

Speaking of which, guess who works at Rouge on Thursdays. Oops. Back and forth, little snippets of conversation that finally culminated with one of those little Talks that decides things. I never knew I could encapsulate so much in such a short space of time, but I’m not above admitting to grieving in a corner. Nightclubs are good places for it. No one will notice in the dark and flashing lights, and if they notice, they won’t care. Shhh. Hush now. This isn’t the time to care. Let’s do it later, when I have scientifically shamed my thoughts into subservience again.

Lights up, the pebbles of glass on the floor finally shining so that I could see them, time to go. Scrape the black tar off the bottom of my feet and find my coatcheck ticket, stop in the washroom and do one final look around. Nothing but a strong nostalgia for my old nightclub job in Toronto working for The Russian. The stairs let out onto St. Laurant and spit me out into enough of a crowd to hold me. I looked up at the windows and saw nothing. (There had been a moment of light earlier, a flash that dazzled my eyes in the dark enough to sting my eyes. When I saw who was carrying the sparkler I thought, reality has to stop providing flesh to metaphor around me.) Hood up, I was getting my bearings, deciding what to do next, feeling like I’d just been written by some cruelly urban Hemingway, when they found me or I found them. It could be an argument. I only know that I met a pair of pretty impish eyes underneath the brim of a cap some five feet away and the voice they belonged to was trying to discover my name.

Of course I walked over. Wouldn’t you? Soon they were singing like a kindling bonfire, sparks flying and shining on the street.

I heard people saying I was easy like sunday morning

around the corner
Originally uploaded by Foxtongue.

First time kissing a man shorter than me. First time a few things, actually. I was out with James after dinner, we’d been talking about the death of our personal industries, and we were hunting for a nightclub. Somewhere with people, somewhere with dancing, somewhere with music going on. Stairs and stairs and stairs. Different designs, different prizes. It was like a treasure hunt or playing french doors with real ones. At the top of one set of crude roughly painted steps, ones surrounded by lemurs and monkeys in some kind of imaginary tropical tree, was a bar filled only by intensely drunk under-age girls dancing saucily to Duran Duran. Another set of stairs, these ones low and mirrored, opened up into the inside of a fake airplane with red kanji characters splashed above the bar and filled with atrocious hip-hop. Another place, we didn’t even make it up all the way. A song came on, something immediately recognizable from the late seventies, and it kicked us into immediate retreat. We barreled down those stairs as if the eighties hair gods were chasing us with hairspray and lighters.

Somewhere along the way, at the television music place I think, James his his head so hard that I heard it in my teeth. We poked our heads into a few places after that, a two level place playing house on top and 80’s music on the floor filled with exact replica’s of the strung out lead singer of The Wolf Parade, a sour booze place with choppy wooden floors and too much cigarette smoke to see through, but he’d lost momentum and it was time to head back. One more place though, one last chance to see. Red rope out front, a wicker ball threaded through with christmas lights, the foyer a strangely residential hallway with a make-shift table as the mandatory coat-check at the foot of the metal and tile stairs. This is it, I thought, but first, to walk James home.

Upstairs was a long low room cut into different areas through clever use of stairs and stripper poles. I liked how well crafted the space was. The walls were lined with dark velvet and the mood was Upscale Having Dirty Fun. It’s been noted that I appreciate style. The clientele were a different matter. The VIA rail staff party collected some of the IBM staff party, migrated in earlier and now were dominant. Drunk engineers in black suit and tie who called me rude because I wouldn’t drink with them. “If you were a francophone girl, you wouldn’t be so uppity. I’d be kissing you right now.” They kept surrounding me and trying to push shots into my hands. “Where are you from? You’re here alone, aren’t you?” They were entirely sleazy, but easy enough to shake off and occasionally better entertainment than the music. The music was unbelievably bad. At one point there was an audacious and painful mash-up playing made of Pump Up The Volume and the Miami Vice Themesong. It was a toss-up if the DJ was brilliant or simply brain damaged.

At the point where I’d decided that I either had to leave or burn the place down and salt the earth, things changed.

I’d write more if it weren’t five in the morning.

Earlier tonight I was basically paid in tasty food and delicious chocolates to examine Picasso with people who assumed that I was important. These political things, I should really go to more of them. Both the company and the conversations, were wonderful, surreal on many minuscule levels. For one, I had my HENTAI INSIDE bag with me at almost all times. For another, I got away with saying rather audacious things to people who are apparently running for various offices in the city of Vancouver. Oh, right, it’s the children of unwed mothers you tie into sacks and dump in the river, not kittens, my mistake. The ones who didn’t blink, they’ll get my vote. I felt somehow like I was representing alt-youth to some of them. An odd sort of dyed hair child who can speak lucidly on whatever subject you want is here, let’s go see, honey. From controlling the police to art history, political correcting institutions or obscure attempts at bailing out on theater, it was all easy, it was speaking back to them. An echoing trick of the light, fade out then on to the next person washed up on the beach of this gathering of people who live in a tax bracket that I only swim in on a guest pass.

from domystic
11/10/05 – Aretha Franklin was teary-eyed, Carol Burnett was teasing, Alan Greenspan was reliably taciturn, and “The Greatest of All Time” stole the show when President Bush bestowed the Medal of Freedom on them and 10 others in a White House ceremony yesterday.

Bush, who appeared almost playful, fastened the heavy medal around Muhammad Ali’s neck and whispered something in the heavyweight champion’s ear. Then, as if to say “bring it on,” the president put up his dukes in a mock challenge. Ali, 63, who has Parkinson’s disease and moves slowly, looked the president in the eye — and, finger to head, did the “crazy” twirl for a couple of seconds.

The room of about 200, including Cabinet secretaries, tittered with laughter. Ali, who was then escorted back to his chair, made the twirl again while sitting down. And the president looked visibly taken aback, laughing nervously.

bring out yer dead

Just in time to go with that previous post on Zombies, Vancouver is about to join the fun!

Get out the oatmeal and liquid latex, ’cause the day of reckoning is nigh!

That’s right! Zombiewalk Vancouver 2005! . . .!

Tentatively Saturday August 27, 3pm
Starting from “somewhere horribly frightening” a horde of living dead will stumble en masse towards Mountain View Cemetery on Fraser St.

The zombie walk will end with a picnic in the graveyard – bring your friends and family and eat them in the park!

There is possibility of a post-apocalypse zombie-jamboree hoe-down to follow.
If you have the inclination to do so, please let me know of your zombie wants, needs, desires and offerings – contributions of ideas, zombie related music/films/performance (preferably from the brains of participating zombies), food (scavenged, hunted, incubated or otherwise), your presence (zombies are only really effective when gathered in
large groups. everyone knows that), general good will, etc.

Pass this on to anyone else you know who might be interested.

More engaging imagery + useful information to follow.


further reading:

As well, the Media-splat night has been planned. Friday, July 22nd, 8:30 pm. Bring a short bit of visual media, something you really like, may it be a commercial or a music video of a scene from a film. Whatever. Drop me a line for directions.