Start as you mean to carry on: Our NYC Itinerary

please hold me the forgotten way

Tony and I leave for New York tonight. Here is our itinerary so far. Please, if you’re around, come join us! Make plans with us! Take over our question marks!

Aside from the shows and an overwhelming desire to eat at Shopsin’s, (I Like Killing Flies), our itinerary is very open. We figure any unaccounted chunks of time can be filled with sillies from the ZoomDoggle Fun List NYC.


6 am – Arrival.
Noon – Lunch with Mordicai.
7 pm – Sleep No More. Punchdrunk, a British site-specific theater company, has taken over three abandoned warehouses and crafted them into an insanely detailed, art deco, film noir, one hundred room Hitchcockian hotel, for a haunting, immersive performance loosely shadowed on Macbeth. The level of detail sounds astounding, especially given the wide range of rooms, (everything from a sweets shop to a hospital room, and the witches have a rave). According to the NY Times review, “everyone who attends “Sleep No More” is required to wear (and keep on) a Venetian carnival-style mask. You are also asked not to utter a word during the two and a half hours you are given to follow the characters of your choice from room to room. But you are encouraged to poke around in corners and trunks and bookcases, and allowed to get as close as (in)decency permits to the lithe-bodied denizens of this chic spook house. (Just don’t touch them, though they may well reach out and touch you.)”.


?? – Walk along Highline park.
8 pm – Dances of Vice presents their 4th Anniversary bash, Enchantment Under The Sea, a Back To The Future-esque 50’s themed junior/senior prom at Morningside Castle. A teaser from GeekChicDaily says, “… like Marty McFly’s hand, tickets will vanish fast. Don’t be a slacker. Get yours before the clocktower strikes the 11th hour. It’s gonna be heavy.”*


?? – Visit CB I Hate Perfume.
5 pm – The COILHOUSE Black & White & Red All Over Fundraising Ball at the velvet drenched Red Lotus Room in Brooklyn, featuring music and spectacle galore from people like Kim Boekbinder, Brian Viglione of the Dresdon Dolls, Molly Crabapple, Jessica Joslin, Muffinhead, and the Purevile! Girls. “A Love Letter To Alternative Culture” come to life! This just might turn out to be the party of the year.*
7 pm – Fuerza Bruta, an extraordinary show, absurd, messy, and very, very fun. There’s bright lights, loud music, dancing, confetti drop bombs, explosions, someone gets shot, it rains indoors, and a swimming pool comes down from the ceiling. It’s kind of A Thing. I loved it when I saw it in May, (thanks to Duncan for telling me about it), and now Tony is determined that we go.
9 pm – Back to the Coilhouse Ball!


Noon – Lunch with Mordicai.
5 pm – Departure.

*There’s a special $25 package deal available for general admission to both Enchantment Under The Sea and The Black & White & Red All Over Ball.


“The secret of happiness is freedom. The secret of freedom is courage.” – Thucydides

I’m packing for Burning Man today. I feel unprepared because everything feels so last minute, even though I made sure to make an excellent reference of my suitcase last year and I’ve already collected and tested out the majority of my heavy camping gear. (Repaired the air mattress, rinsed out the water jugs, tested my tent in the park across the street). I only have days to be ready, instead of weeks. I leave for Seattle on Tuesday, then I don’t get back from New York until the 23th, at which point I turn right around and go back South again, a flame headed pendulum, slicing not hours but days from the time I have to prepare. There’s no margin for error. If I miss something, the only chance to get it will be on the way, which is likely to be scoured clean of supplies by other Burners.

I have to pack for my New York trip today, too, which, even though it’s only a quick weekend trip, feels almost more overwhelming given that we’re going to not one, but two fancy dress occasions. How do you pack for a costume ball when you don’t know what to wear? My stress amuses me, though. I feel blessed to have #firstworldproblems.

I’m hacking my cycle today as well, kick starting my period two weeks early rather than having it hit me in the desert. (The first cup of tea was a wash, made by accident with rosehips in, but the second stinging cup has been okay, should be enough. Mint instead of raspberry, that’s the key.) Odd that tinkering with my basic biology has been the least stressful part of the day, but there you go. Maybe I should pack my seriously silly-sized tutu. That and a corset. Too overdone? Hard to dance in. And red stockings. Do those exist in Vancouver? They must.

This on top of the 1500 photos I have to cut down to 50, print out, and assemble artfully into an erotic pillow book for a client. (I’ve already cut it down to under 500 and I’ve been staring at a perfect ass for so long I’m starting to think I’m at Addrianna’s house.) Sleep? What’s that?

a long, long list that I continually add to

The Primer
by Christina Davis

She said, I love you.

He said, Nothing.

(As if there were just one
of each word and the one
who used it, used it up).

In the history of language
the first obscenity was silence.

  • An ASL interpretation of Crazy, by Gnarls Barkly
  • An ASL interpretation of F*ck You, by Cee Lo.

    My lover’s been whisked away this weekend, tossed without warning onto a late-night flight. I was going to head down to Chinatown today for the New Year’s parade but, in the light of this very sudden change of plans, I decided to stay in and finally print out my finished tax paperwork instead. Maybe attack some of my often neglected German lessons or my backlog of programming tutorials, too. Do laundry. Productivity in solidarity! Jah. Der junge ist in einem flugzeug. Das mädchen wartet mit liebe in ihrem herzen.

    Also on the to-do list: hang the aluminum deer head, sift through the last three two mess boxes, get printer ink, print tax forms, make a packet of them and mail them off, polish the silver tea-cups, update the minimalfox blog, sort the mending, do some mending, bathe the cats, clean out the hall closet, list more things for sale, finish David’s laundry, fold the towels, research nifty stops for April’s roadtrip, find a SATA case enclosure, apply for another First Aid certificate, patch the wall, fix the coat rack, get signed up for Quest, take the returnables to the recycling center, measure art for framing, find suitable picture frames, write a poem and a love letter, track down An Idiot Abroad, deliver books to Jenn, rediscover my recipe for cake-inna-cup, bleach the shower curtain, harass Young Drivers of Canada, arrange for more driving lessons, rewrite my CV, update A Thread of Grace, identify what’s in the mystery cord drawer, go swimming, soak in a hot tub, fiddle with, replace duvet, help clean mum’s house, empty and sand the bureau, check my contacts prescription, acquire contacts, replace the VHS, find out the shipping costs for the IKEA flooring, take the medium format film to The Lab to be processed, attempt ice-skating, sort the linens, attack under the bathroom sink, take vitamins, rearrange what’s on the living-room walls, properly group my data, find the paperclips, back up the laptop, shed a light into the shadows of my heart, lime powder my boots, re-glue the soles, find a home for the electric pussy-willow, paint the baroque frame in my bedroom, replace my bike chain, get a spindle of blank DVDs, tidy the pigeon-holes, file and folder paperwork by year, update Craigslist postings, catch up on photo processing, attend a poetry slam, reply to neglected letters, change the sheets, bake cookies, listen to more Vampire Weekend, put all my change into a penny jar, replace a hook on a bra, try to track down silver-notebook, have a snuggly date night, collect my mail from Seattle, take more pictures of my friends, untangle my computer cable spaghetti, make some media mix-tapes, schedule a Sunday Tea…

  • Craigslist Items

    Jenn and I did something heroic yesterday – all of my taxes from 1999-2009. I’ve never filed before, so it was a fairly epic tour of paperwork and numbers that took from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. that I couldn’t have done without her. Now that we’re finished, it’s official: I’ve always been poor. According to the numbers, I’ve never even made enough to hit the poverty line. Instead, I’m far beneath it. Forget turtles, it’s been struggle, all the way down.

    In the face of that, and as part of my latest effort to combat poverty, I’ve started listing things on Craigslist again. Not very much, as I don’t have very much, but fingers crossed! It’s always nice to pass things on to people who want them, like this morning when someone gave me ten dollars for my white hard hat to finish off their Chilean Miner Halloween costume.

    More items will be added later as I continue my quest to tidy house and sell what I can to help feed the cats.

  • Bella Hair Dryer – $10
  • Brother MFC-465CN Color Fax/Printer/Scanner/Copier w. Networking – $80
  • Child’s Tiger Costume – $15
  • Misc CDs – $1
  • Misc VHS – $1
  • Multipet Ba-Da-Beam Rotating Laser Cat Toy – $10

  • Obus Forme Variable Speed Massager – $35
  • Ron English: Abject Expressionism – $35
  • Seabiscuit: An American Legend – $2
  • Toshiba SD-V392 DVD/VCR Combo, Silver – $80
  • Willy Wonka tin lunchbox – $30
  • Don’t expect things to be different unless you do things differently.

    I’ve been finally attacking the extra stuff in my house, much of it left here by other people or from a time when I lived in a house instead of a three room apartment. It helps that poor people buy less, so the influx of new things has gone from a slow trickle to almost zero. Plus, unemployment may be depressing, but it certainly makes for a lot more “free” time.

    My cleaning method is fairly simple: clean what you have time for, put everything else in boxes to be sorted later. The idea is to separate the mess into smaller, more manageable chunks that can be sifted through later until everything has either found a home or been put aside to be sold or recycled. The upside is a tidier apartment, the downside is that I never quite know what’s where. The other problem is that the boxes pile up in closets and spare corners when life gets busy, untouched for weeks or even months, a perfect example of out of sight, out of mind. If I need something, where is it? How much space am I using up with things I don’t need?

    The first step to conquering the boxes is to actually set aside some space and open one. (Or even better, two). It’s often surprising what I’ll find inside. Anything small enough to fit in a box has probably been fit into a box. Anything! So usually when I decide to tackle one, I lay out some tools – a recycling box and a garbage bag. I also like to have a space set aside for things to sell or donate. That way, no matter what it is I find, I can immediately sort it into place. Is it something I missed while it was packed away? Then I find a home for it in the apartment. If I can’t, back in the box. If I didn’t miss it or it isn’t important, it’s discarded. Eventually, the boxes begin shrinking. Five to three to two to one.

    Some of what I find is difficult to place, though, so I have to ask myself harder questions. The broken things I find, the ones I always intended to fix – are they worth keeping? It can be hard to let go of broken things, especially if you’re like me and tend to mend rather than replace, (save the environment! save money!), but will I actually get around to it? It’s hard to admit, but unless I fix something within two weeks, it might as well be never. The flash of guilt I get for discarding something that could have been saved is overwhelmed by the fact that I will never have to feel bad about it again. The same with gifts I never use that I’ve received from people I like. They meant well and that’s what counts. The thing itself can go.

    Given my recent progress, my goal is have all the boxes emptied and dealt with by the end of October. The rest of the plan is to go through the rest of the apartment and get rid of everything else we’ve been meaning to sell or give away, like the unwanted-stuff pile that’s swallowed our front hall. List it all on Craigslist. Apartment yard-sale anyone?

    if my seed will find purchase in your soil

    Cleaning: Boxes of misc. need to be sorted, tidied, reintegrated into my room.
    Driving: Signed up for Young Drivers of Canada classes, Oct 13th – Nov 8th.
    Education: Social Services may pay for a First Aid certificate, but not school. Need to research student loans.
    Employment: Still on welfare. Still applying to everything possible. No recent job prospects or call-backs, no upcoming interviews.
    Finances: Income = rent minus $25. Immediate Debt = $9000. Approx. complete and total debt = $27,500.
    Health: Degloved toe is almost better, with the possibility it may not even scar. Need new contacts.
    Photography: Continuing to slowly finish, update Etsy store, Thread of Grace.
    Repairs: All hard-drives are with Tony, being backed up. Coat rack still broken.
    Taxes: Need to have an accountant double-check my paperwork.


    Tony and I have reached a new place in our relationship. Gone are the stressful plans to move me down there, fighting the system for permits, trying to game immigration. Instead he’s decided to start looking into moving back to Canada, the country that birthed him, until I can find a way to sharpen my skills to the point when I can claim a job in the United States. Of all the options available to us to live together, it seems the easiest way. Microsoft has appropriate work for him here and David and I are willing to shuffle everything required to make him fit. It’s been a rough direction for me, as it feels like defeat, like I’m giving in to this horrible city, but I’m trying to remain optimistic. No matter how much I hate it here, wherever we’re together is automagically a better place, so already I’ve been making a list of what furniture will need to go, as well as what I’ll need to forge myself a border-crossing future.

    To start, I’ve been researching available classes, the sort that would give me a foundation of skills upon which to build an actual career. Painfully, the only one that I’ve found that teaches precisely what I want to learn is a year long VanArts course with the currently insurmountable price-tag of about $35,000 once basic living expenses are added in. $35,000 is a terrible lot of money, especially while unemployed. If I had that kind of dosh sitting in a bank account, I could easily put a down payment on a cute little house in Seattle and be done with it. Alternatives, however, are tricky to come by, as the only local school/course that’s better costs the same plus the expense of moving to the Comox Valley, which is even more beyond my means. (Unless I attempt to live with my not-actually-aunt who wants me to have her baby.) So the next step is looking into student loans and what sort of financing is available, as well as attempting, somehow, to teach myself some of the skills required, even though I don’t have those resources either. Yes, this last week has been full of terror, why do you ask?

    Tomorrow I’m attending an information session for the tuition-free BCIT Business Skills Training Program, with intent to enroll. In a perfect world, it will help everything fall in line. Training that leads to a job that leads to enough money to pay for school that leads to a better job that pays enough for me to leave Vancouver. Talk about a happy ending.

    this weekend tis of geek

  • 50 years of cyborgs: I have not the words.
  • First footage of this year’s Dr. Who christmas special.

    I had the excellent luck of sharing the train back to Vancouver from Seattle with Cherie yesterday morning, as she happens to be the Guest of Honor at Vcon this weekend. It was a delightful treat to see her again, it’s been wretchedly long since we’ve cut up a dance floor. She’s been too busy promoting her steampunk novel, Boneshaker, and being nominated for the Hugo to be social. Luckily, with such delightful reasons for absence, the heart can only grow fonder. The sequel, her latest book, Dreadnought, just dropped this week, and I’d recommend snagging as soon as you can. I brought Boneshaker to Burning Man and read it three times just on the ride there.

    I’m also going to be attending Vcon this year for the first time. So many friends are involved that it’s more than a little silly that I’ve never been. (For example, Micheal, the fellow that picked Cherie and I up from the train station, brought us to my place, interviewed her, then took us for lunch, turned out to be Pauline’s father, because Vancouver is small and the sci-fi geek population even smaller than that.) It starts this afternoon and goes until Sunday, with a Steampunk themed dance on Saturday night.

  • cleaning and driving lessons, satisfaction and fear

    A user’s guide to websites, part 1: If it wasn’t broken why fix it?

    Last day in Seattle, I’m using it up the best I can, tidying the chaos, taking on the bedroom, battling the entropy Tony’s apartment seems to have developed in my absence. (This entire trip has been well spent: conquering the post-burning man disaster, finally introducing Tony to Jake Appelbaum, running into Rafael, bringing a successful dinner to newly-pregnant Becca…) It comforts me, seeing how much of my influence is still embedded here, even as I’ve been feeling shut out, trapped in Canada, by sickness, injuries and finances.

    So far I’ve unearthed six full loads of laundry, a number of books we’ve been meaning to read, two previously buried suitcases, two large boxes of miscellany, a full length mirror, a bed canopy, and the floor. Also, I must admit, a significant amount of housewifely satisfaction. There’s a possibility that he may not notice how much effort I put into improving his surroundings, but it brings me comfort anyway, just to be able to give back.

    I also signed up for driving lessons with Young Drivers of Canada today. My mother’s ex, Pat, offered a few months ago to pay for driving lessons, and now that I’m on the dole, I can afford to take the time to follow through. My first class is on Wednesday, October 13th, somewhere out by Metrotown, and continue for a total of eight classes, Monday and Wednesday evenings, until November 8th. I’m vaguely terrified, given that cars are big, speedy, heavy death machines, but on the other hand, if that idiot down the street who catcalls me at the bus-stop can learn to drive, so can I.

    list of things, shrinking

    Today: Prepare food, (vegetables, chinese food), (eat ice-cream to make room in freezer, oh noes), pick up birth control, extra extra sunscreen, bike, ribbon/string for hat, more underwear, long sleeve shirts, travel mug, extra water bottle, pack WD-40, zap-straps, fill the dishwasher, mod some shirts, do laundry.

    I’ve been calling my optometrist, to replace my misplaced contacts prescription, but have been getting no answer, no matter which branch I call.

    I also ate eleven pounds of cherries over three days

    Picaboo is offering free large, hardcover photo books! Your only cost is shipping ($8.99). Use code FREEBK through August 31, 2010.

    Things are coming together. I traded Gustavo a photoshoot for a working PC, (which should completely solve my computer issues), I found cheap playa bikes on Craiglist, and Ray and I bought a bike rack together that he’ll keep after Burning Man.

    Next up: processing Gustavo’s photos, dropping paperwork off at social services, transferring some debt money, finding a basket for my bike, attaching it, replacing the seat, putting air in the tires, cleaning house and rinsing out the jam jars for Sunday Tea, getting on top of the laundry and the mending, readying my room for vaccuming, testing the camelback I won in an on-line riddle contest, finding my wedding gown skirt, (which might be in Seattle), cutting up t-shirts, packing clothes for Burning Man, finding a desert sun hat, making a photobook, finishing Tanith’s haircut, tossing out the shredded old blankets, putting the videos someone left here a year ago out free in the alley, finishing my website, (self-portrait gallery and About page), dying my hair, checking my tent for Lung, emptying out the bench and putting it up on Craigslist, cashing in the change tin at the money counting machine ($150!), conjuring groceries out of the result, as well as four caster wheels for the little pink table, magic wrap for the broken hose, and a replacement handle for the chest of drawers, all while trying to find a job.