my menorah is broken, so I’m using tea lights. they lack a certain something

More goofy Salton Sea goodness via Lung

From the perpetually delightful brain of Mike Levens:

1. Get born in Mecca.
2. Move to Medina.
3. ???
4. Prophet!

Happy first day of Chanukah, everyone!

Apparently it’s Christmas this week too. Generally I notice a little earlier, reminded by parties with good cheer, but this year, not so much. Parties have been thin on the ground and I’ve barely seen more than ten people in the last week. I’ve been too distracted by my computer slowly imploding at home, the failing bus system, my thinning relationship, maybe not having enough money to successfully cover both rent and utilities, and feeling more trapped as every day New Year’s approaches a little more while I still have no plans to celebrate.

I’ve been trying to get my mind off it by jumping through the snow every chance I get, letting the pure child-like glee of all the cold white shoot in through my eyes and into every cell of my body. It really helps – I only wish I had a sled or a toboggan or even a crazy carpet.

Tonight I’m going to be filming the lighting of the hockey-stick shaped ice menorah downtown at the Denman St. ice-rink. (It’s by donation, you should come! There’s going to be latkes!) Tomorrow, though, I don’t have any plans after work. Would anyone like to come play in the snow with me?

Yes, I live in Canada. Why do you ask?

Jeepers, I thought last night was unexpectedly exciting, what with successfully hooking Nicole up with Nick for the holidays, finally meeting Dominique‘s new little baby, SURVIVING NICK’S NEW VAN CATCHING FIRE, (no one was hurt. I pulled Nicole out and we put the fire out with snow), and admitting rather bashfully to someone that I wrote about our personal life on the interblags, but today’s news sort of trumps it, so I’ll just get it out of the way and talk about yesterday in the next post…

I’ve just been hired as a cameraperson for Chanukah on Ice.

“Skate to Chanukah music or watch and nosh latkes and doughnuts.
Monday, December 22, 2008, 6:00-7:30 pm.
West End Ice Rink, 1750 Haro Street (Between Denman & Bidwell).
Admission: By donation. Skates are free.”

Which sounds, on the surface, like it’s going to be a Yiddish Icecapades, people dressed as sparkling, spinning dreidel, singing songs and throwing glitter under a rainbow of lights, but apparently it’s something a thousand times more hard-core bizarre. Something I would never have the wit or imagination to think up myself.

It’s a Candle Lighting on an Menorah made of ice, a meter high and shaped like hockey sticks.

Did you get that? Shaped like hockey sticks.

get it here

Nato, a dear, dreadfully clever and entirely nifty friend of mine, has gone into the very niche business of selling LED Christmas Trees at This thrills me. Oh yes. For I have seen these trees, and lo, they are awesome.

The first time I encountered an LED tree was years and years ago while I was still in the habit of occasionally Christmas shopping, (yes, I’ve mostly recovered). The retailers had rented a gutted section of failed stores, taken down the plywood frontage, littered the space with enchanting, glowing trees, and didn’t install any lights. Stepping from the grossly shiny Christmas shopping bustle, commercials and glam into a dark, fairy-tale area of soft, gleaming, colourful trees… It was stellar, wondrous. Completely Narnia. I may never forget it. It felt like creeping around a corner and stumbling sideways into the fantastic. Science as a substitute for the mad ceremonial waste of precious tree flesh. Pretty science. Pretty and really, really neat, making me happy in a gleeful child sort of way, like that “magic” wand I posted.

I love the internet world we live in, how connected we can be to anything we like. I love that something I’d always thought of as skin riveting rare is something that a friend is in business in. I especially like the white ones that look like some deliriously designed set piece created for a preposterous yet super stylish retro-future. Timeless and absurd, all at once, the Christmas tree Barbarella would ask for to go with her albino bearskin space-ship, or a fashionable, couture Dexter, (Showtime’s nonsensical, blood-splatter serial killer who feels nothing, but for ANGST!), to go with his immaculate, crimson clean lab. I’m obscurely proud that Nato keeps one hanging upside down above his desk, a cheerful lunatic lamp all year round. I want to do the same.

Of course, that said, it’s not like I’ve done Christmas for several years. This year, though, David and I are batting around the idea of having a Hannekuweenmas house-warming party, (it’s not our fault he wasn’t moved in by October 31st), an all day non-denominational, costumes optional, holiday social and house party, with crepes in the morning, tea in the afternoon, and candle-lit silent black and white horror films until dawn. What do you think? Would you come?

Thanks to a new technique, DNA strands can be easily converted into tiny fibre optic cables that guide light along their length.

I was going to stay up taking pictures, but decided I was too behind in my flickr account already

Don’t Die Ding by Curiosity Group. Hit play or go to Link

I wavered over the Emily Dickenson, but I took Alan Moore: Portrait of an Extraordinary Gentleman off the shelf instead and gently flipped through it as I sat on the bed, brushing my hair with my fingers, before deciding I lacked the proper background and putting it back. Paul caught me in the hallway and offered me Gravity’s Rainbow, Kathy Acker’s Great Expectations, and a collection of short stories by Robert Coover, so now my bag is pleasantly heavy with books I’ve never read.

James Brown died today, December 25th, 2006.

Today’s Sunday Tea devolved eventually into a Jean-Pierre Jeunet double-feature, Delicatessen and City of the Lost Children. Tomorrow, I’m not sure what I’m doing. I’m told I have the option of being picked up in the morning by a “new fangled horseless carriage” to Darwinismas, the celebration in honour of this humble scientist and his epic martial arts hand to hand combat battles with the magical Jesus. I’m not sure how long I would stay, as I’ve also been adopted by the Elliot’s and I’m trying to find time exploring Persepolis.

OddPeak’s Top Ten Most Bizarre People.

A wax paper packet of home made toffee, soon to be marked with the name of her lover, sits on the bed. She is clothed in black rags, shreds of leather, dreams of crackling silk.Tired to the point where her own voice feels distant, her thoughts are a dense forest, decorated with curious wild flowers that are beginning to wilt. In the hall outside her apartment, there are footsteps marked in water. Small, precise as velvet, they can be followed back to the mouth of an oven. Her belly softens at the memory of children, creatures who don’t know how to be quiet. Dusk coils between the harsh trees in her mind, waiting for her to sleep. Instead she smiles as she lies on her bed, as a memory soars bird-like between the huddled branches to drop upon her, swift like hunger and as downy soft as a bleached story.

She sings old songs, stretches her arms greedily above her head so that pale skin can be seen, alabaster fighting against coming night. The bird, its beak opens, drops a pebble into her hand. Her fingers move to catch it, and pulse, the smile. The stone marks the path of a child, unconsciously walking and barefoot, led by a woodsman, too wise for his own good. His head catches on clouds and brambles both. To her flicking eyes, her fingers are handling the shape of a hand, tracing the edge of a family written in curls, and she is not alone.

In certain lights, she would be pretty. Now she is merely strange, clucking her tongue like a pigeon might, cooing protectively over a plate of breadcrumbs and the head of an axe.