I’m missed Pandora Radio ::so much::

Currently I’m in Seattle, tapping away in our new Capital Hill apartment while a nice university student scrubs out the kitchen cupboards for me so I can finally start unpacking. The last few days have been a tangled, righteous haze of putting things into boxes, putting boxes into boxes, sorting boxes, stacking boxes, boxes, boxes, boxes. Tony had barely made a dent in the work by the time I arrived on Friday night, so it was a swoop in and dash rescue, all hauling things around and making space for the hired Saturday movers, (who were accidentally paid twice), working hard until I couldn’t anymore then getting up and doing it all over again. Taking time to just sit for awhile feels like a gift. Yesterday should have been my first day to rest, but there was painting to arrange and cleaning and furniture and figuring out what boxes go where and what’s in them and boxes, boxes, boxes.

(And as I type this, he’s finished.)

Not to say we haven’t been having fun. Other things have been happening, lovely brief respites of love: Willow had us over for a social Sunday morning of waffles at her place with some friends a couple blocks away, and Rafael and Michelle came over yesterday to help me fetch a free Craigslist Queen mattress from up the street, followed by Alex, fresh off the plane from SF, who brought his second Tactical Corset prototype for us to play with, (which fit a charm, let me tell you), and we all went for a nice dinner at the Blue Bistro and a chummy midnight tour of Hackerbot.

Today we’re back to boxes. Tony is working from home, which is nice, and tonight, after errands and chores and we’ve exhausted our usefulness, we’re going to an Emilie Simon concert. Tomorrow we fly for SF.

don’t know what movie yet

Karen and Par bring parenting to the best level:
P: So I’m ready to go out now, to get your Honey Bunches of Goats.
J: No! Honey Bunches of Oats! (exasperated sigh) Do I have to write it down for you?

The painting we started is finally finished, a week after it should have been. Hallelujah. It’s not all finished, of course, but the walls we started have been done and that’s all we really need for now. Our home improvements have been all one step at a time, one per pay-cheque, and now the Great Reddening has been accomplished, we can proceed with another two weeks of uninterrupted unpacking and sorting and shuffling things about.

(Until the next pay period episode of fix: a Weekend of Wallpaper! *music sting*)

Already the difference is immense. The endless bookcases have been dragged out of the hall and installed, clearing a definitive walking space, and some of the towering stacks of boxes have become rows upon rows of colourful, interesting books, engaging and pretty and, more importantly, shelved. Two of the mirrors have been put up, framing the still curtainless window where plants are now living, draped cheerfully over David’s giant, smiling terracotta Buddha, the futon is bookended by soft, paper lamps, and my old chest of drawers, the 100 year old vanity, has found a new home in the livingroom, transformed into an entertainment center, as we fill it with our DVD’s.

There are still boxes and clutter everywhere, but we’re limping along, and it’s getting better every day, though we took some breaks we took this weekend. Saturday, after a trip to IKEA with Ray, Nicole, and her new roommate Trevor, we went to the closing night of The Velvet Edge, the period gothic-horror Lovecraft play Duncan and Erin were in, and on Sunday we took two new friends from Portland out on the town for a best-of-Vancouver tour, (the Naam, Zulu Records, True Confections), before throwing our backs into it again.

Today our Portland friends are coming over around 6:30 for tea and a movie, (feel free to join us), so we’re not likely to get a lot done, but I think taking an evening to just appreciate what we’ve accomplished will be exactly the sort of treat we need. Almost all of our attention has been given over to figuring out where to put pots and pans and what cupboard should hold what that we haven’t had a lot of time to be social. It’s about time we have people over. I’d hate to imagine what would happen otherwise. Terrifying atrophy. An inability to go out in sunlight. Possibly even pointy teeth.


Japanese Man Petitions to Legally Marry Manga Character

We’ve decided to paint the guest room library the colours of a Hypselodoris nudibranch bullock, but darker and a bit richer, leaving us with aubergine, pumpkin, sunflower mustard, and crimson red. Well, really, I decided and David took a look at what I was talking about and said, “No, you’re not too geeky. That’ll be awesome.”

Which means, as Nicole pointed out, my apartment is beginning to unintentionally match my hair.

She stayed over on Saturday night and watched Ghostbusters with us, after we helped her emergency move this weekend, instead of going out for Hallowe’en. (Ray was going to help her, but he accidentally bailed, leaving her in a bit of a panic, her car shaky from a Friday accident and too small for her things, so I called up my mother and asked to steal her and her van for the evening.) The whole thing was a giant ball of sticky, fidgeting stress, all wrapped up in her raw and recent post-accident break-up that left her spending Friday night in her car, but my impromptu rescue thankfully worked out. David and I were enough to help haul things out of Nicole’s a day overdue storage container, my mother’s van was a perfect fit to tetris cram in absolutely everything, and her room was just the right size to set up her bed and neatly avalanche pile her things on it without breaking anything or making a mess.

Seattle-kilt Tony came by for a Saturday visit too, which was also a treat, though a less fraught one. We went for breakfast at the Pannekok House with him and a batch of equally fun-clever Seattle folk, (and David and Dominique, though obliquely, as they were one table over), then dervished our way from there to tea at my place, where Nicole had holed up to take a shower and decompress from her awful Friday of Stress and Doom. (You did catch the theme there, I hope.) It was nice. The four of us sat in the living room and played with Emerson the Emo Bunny, drank honey lemon ginger tea, and shockingly didn’t talk about anything terrible. Next time I’m in Seattle, I’m going to try to make sure to see him. Next time, too, I hope to bring David. It’s about time those southerners met mah man.

step taken

Scientists record ‘music’ from stars.

It’s done! It’s done, it’s done, it’s done! Karen only has a few things left to pick-up, we only have a queen-size mattress to somehow move, and that’s it. That’s it! Even Remi’s found a place to live for November. Tra-la-lee-lah-lay-dah-lee. It’ll be all wrapped up by the weekend. There is, of course, furniture to be shuffled around, boxes that need unpacking, clothes that need to find homes in drawers, but it’s all, finally, in one place, with no obstructions.

We sat on the floor last night in a puddle of clear space, mutually exhausted, (something I think everyone does when they move into a new home), somehow stunned, waiting for the soup to be ready, surrounded by boxes and upended furniture. Swamped by our day, he looked so tired I had to grin. “Welcome to the house,” I said, “Officially like.”

Already we’ve shoved the futon in her room and lined the walls with bookshelves, which opened up space, and the bones of our new home are starting to show. David has a job interview with Raincoast books today, so I don’t know how much he’ll get done while I’m at work, but whatever. It’s starting, and that’s positive enough. Plus, rock on Raincoast. Rock on.

Video: the secret lives of invisible magnetic fields.

only vincent price could say it with a straight face

Stephen Fry’s most excellent Twitter.

Today’s the day Karen‘s moving out. I adore her to pieces, she’s clever, fun and urban planner silly, but I’m terribly glad. I think she’s going to be much happier living by Main St, and I know that I’ll be much happier when my apartment isn’t stacked to the ceiling with boxes. Once her room is empty, we can move the double-stacked bookshelves in from the dining area, as well as the fourty boxes of books, move the futon in there too, and get a bit of much needed elbow room. Thankfully, today’s also the day where Ray and Nicole and David and I try to haul the rest of his things over, (except the Queen size bed, which we’ve put for emergency sale on Craigslist for as ridiculously cheap as my conscience would let me), finishing forever with the tiny purple room where he’s been keeping his stuff. He will be officially Moved In, with no more popping back to Arbutus for another change of clothes.

With that, I’ll finally be able to relax a bit, too, as David will take over a batch of the organizing and unpacking. When there’s space in the house to move, I won’t feel that every minute needs to be spent working to make it livable. (I almost cried, the other day, overwhelmed by how much needs to get done.) I can put that task aside and work on what matters more to my spirit and spend some time catching up on more virtual things, like processing my way through the vast collection of photos that I’ve been taking since Kyle generously sent me his spare. It’s been prickling under my skin that I haven’t even had enough time to make sure that I’ve got all our trip pictures off David’s laptop, let alone take a look at them. Prickling with great prickliness.

Past that, not a lot’s been going on. There hasn’t been time for anything else. We’re still sorting out what we’re doing this weekend for Hallowe’en, trying to figure out if we can even pretend to afford to go down to Seattle, while our finances are smeared like jet lag over too many bills. I have en eerie premonition that we might not even make it to local house-parties for a spooky lack of bus-fare. Vuullnaaavia! We neeeed youuuu! Oh, for a beautiful and silent clockwork assistant to help us in our time of woe. “Where can we find two better hemispheres, without sharp north, without declining west? My face in thine eye, thine in mine appears, and true plain hearts do in thee faces rest. Within twenty-four hours, my work will be finished, and then, my precious jewel, I will join you in your setting. We shall be reunited forever in a secluded corner of the great elysian field of the beautiful beyond! ”

Diamanda Galas plays Vancouver Nov 29.

p.s. My spam is more refined than your spam. The latest subject line: “Lists for specialties such as: medical geneticists, neurological surgeons,psychiatrists and much more‏”.

wanted: people to move boxes

Can you help? Silva‘s departure date is right around the corner. An essential part of moving, however, involves loading a truck and her and her wife, though they are fierce, brightly shining people, are still two little older ladies, and they can’t do it alone.

“We’re loading a truck with heavy boxes and a very few pieces of furniture on Thursday morning at 10 am. If this kind of activity appeals to you, and if you want to help, and if you *can* help FOR SURE,and can be here from 9:30ish until noon please let me know. I have to run off to a dentist appointment at 12:30 so it HAS TO be finished by then. There will be non-alcoholic cold beverages and cookies and much gratitude.”

I’m going to try and take the morning off to help, but I might not be able to and it’s very important that people show up.

all of this moving things around

Fifteen. House-hunting like an accessory to murder – low, dark and right next to the highway. A typical cheap-for-a-reason basement flat. There were only three tones: a dull seventies brown, fake plastic brass, and ultra-beige. Tolerable, however, except for the landlord who lived upstairs. He wore beer-logo meshback caps, greasy cowboy shirts, skinny tight jeans, and a threatening leer so cliche you’d think he practiced. (“You should see this new sex-toy I just bought.” he’d say, body contorting as he mimed, “It has settings from m-MM-mm to WHEE!”) He was like a stain you could not wash away. The Twilight Zone sound of his television through the floor was a muffled nightmare of Disney movies and pornographic films – Anastasia and the Little Mermaid gasping with hot girl on girl action, intercourse intercut with technicolour, lurid and loud – that he never turned off. Unlike our hot water tank, which became a battle ground. He would sneak downstairs while we were in the shower and close the valves. When we continued to turn the tank back on, he finally removed the handle altogether, knocking it off with a wrench, while dropping hints that we could come up to talk about it with him anytime we wanted. Any time.

Fifteen point five. Halfway up the mountain, still on the North Shore, but now over by the hospital, our friend who lived in our walk-in closet with his awful girlfriend has a room all to his own. Instead of a bed, I have an six by six antique apple crate full of pillows I’ve scoured from every thrift shop I can access by public transit. My room is the room with the miniature chandelier and the attached bathroom, but only because I won the coin-toss.

Sixteen. I decide to overcome my fear of ‘physical intimacy’. The girls I know, all three of them, recommend I have a one night stand. The perfect answer to a shallow prayer, he walks out of the dark at Brenda’s one-year anniversary wake looking to find friends and score some weed. Long gold hair, almost gossamer under the street-lights, classically chiseled features and nordic blue eyes. Not the brightest crayon in the box, but twenty-something enough for teenage me. We went back to his place that night, an upstairs room in a shared Victorian house over by Commercial and First. A week later, by the time we actually got around to sex, his room was my room. I’d paid rent, moved things in, and glued quietly accurate constellations of tin star-shapes to the ceiling. The landlady, who lived across the hall, was an eccentric, middle-aged brunette who survived off dubious government cheques, letting her house to rent, and celtic cloaks she made out of doghair collected from local groomers. Her only serious drawbacks were an unlikely fetish for the pop-star, Christopher Isaac, that involved energetically masturbating to his music while in the gigantic clawfoot bathtub, and an irrational hatred for our friend, the painter one room over. Not only did she flood the landing, (water blackly seeping under our doors), we all become dangerously addicted to billiards as a way to get out of the house.

spare me

I don’t need to know you at The Secret Knots.

Ohio is freaking me out. Basically there’s a bill going through that would make it so women seeking abortions would have to get the permission of the father of the fetus before she was allowed to have one. My understatement: It’s creepy and Americans should all raise hell.

Makeshift submarine found in East River. flickr set here. Kudos to Duke Riley for making a functional replica of a Revolutionary War era submarine and being brave enough to try it in Brooklyn waters.

So, as if to piss me off, I have discovered today that the little child that has been running about over my head in the apartment above me this past month can’t actually exist. I have been under the misapprehension that Amy was going to be moving into apartment 302, so I thought nothing of it, but alas, no. Apparently, she is moving into apartment 301, the one with the joyful stomp-about-the-house toddler who occasionally drops heavy-sounding objects. We went upstairs together for the first time today. Upstairs to a completely empty apartment.

So I asked, of course, entirely innocently, “so who the heck is the little kid that’s been running around in here?!” Amy‘s eyes went shining wide and she asked, “You’ve been hearing it too?” Of course I have, so has everyone who’s been over visiting for the past three weeks! It even kept me up a little last night. Whoops. Apparently there have been no visiters, no tenant, no anything.

Ergo, my roommate is moving into a dead baby apartment.

Either that or, my theory, it has either been left unlocked and someone in the building has been using it as a bit of an unofficial nursery.

the scent of your pretty black hair

Jhayne, by Andrew Dimitt
Originally uploaded by Foxtongue.

haiku for ___:
he reminded me
of the twitchy tip of a
purring cat’s tail

Paula came over yesterday and helped me begin sorting my things. Now everything’s a precarious mess, there’s paper piled on every surface, slippery memories tangled underfoot, stacked CD’s of old music, and violently coloured stuffed cats curled up to calligraphy kits next to antique instruments and gold framed mirrors. To orate the list would make for a glorious message on an answering machine, much in the style of a baroque-gypsy version of the semi-infamous monologue from Trainspotting:

The truth is that I’m a bad person. But, that’s gonna change – I’m going to change. This is the last of that sort of thing. Now I’m cleaning up and I’m moving on, going straight and choosing life. I’m looking forward to it already. I’m gonna be just like you. The job, the family, the fucking big television. The washing machine, the car, the compact disc and electric tin opener, good health, low cholesterol, dental insurance, mortgage, starter home, leisure wear, luggage, three piece suite, DIY, game shows, junk food, children, walks in the park, nine to five, good at golf, washing the car, choice of sweaters, family Christmas, indexed pension, tax exemption clearing gutters, getting by, looking ahead, the day you die.

Now that Wayne and I have picked up boxes, things have been going quicker. It’s beginning to make sense outside of my head. Already the detritus of my life is beginning to classify. Speculations correspond with a basic duality: Things I Appreciate / Things I Will Never Miss.

books for sale

leaving without a conventional expression used at parting

Poetic Justice found in the trailer section of the imdb page for Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life.

Landscape on skin, by Huang Yan, from the East Link Gallery, Shanghai.

Robson street, Vancouver’s brand-name straight-line shopping district. Peace as body lotion instead of solution, sold for fifty bucks a bottle behind white walls and vast plate windows, images torn from magazines that cost more than a meal. Thick with logo stamped angels, tight strappy sandals and tight strappy jeans, wide retail smiles and cocaine-bright children surgically attached to thin cell phones and even smaller hand-bag dogs, this is not my neighbourhood. Barefoot, I can feel the concrete but don’t feel connected. “Can’t buy me love, everybody tells me so.” Looking for nothing in particular, I stop for breakfast.

My dyed hair is a flag, marking my place in line. I look for my reflection in the black marble facade in front of me and find nothing but the eyes of red haired chef making crepes. On reflex I wink at him, but my thoughts are elsewhere, threading from the apparent cure for cancer just found in Alberta to the neuro-chemical reactions that trigger love; dopamine, serotonin, vasopressin. Triggered by the sad knowledge that I’ve likely burned out all the neurotransmitters that are part of the brain’s built-in reward system, I order my memorized taste of a perfect oxytocin kiss – strawberries, lemon juice, and sugar.

It works. Instant flash of a cold stone floor, the second hand taste of wine, cigarettes, a forged key to my weakness, waking with tousled black hair and my favourite voices. Music sent back and forth to finally meet in an airport, meet in a stairway, on the street, the lights strung up above the bed from before Persepolis abandoned me back. Why do they always have dark hair? I never noticed until just now. Curls. Temples going to silver, little places for me to kiss.

By the time I reach the bus-stop, I’m already talking to strangers and figuring out who to contact to prepare my house as efficiently as possible. My roommate, Sasha and I are on the same page. Out as soon as we can without leaving the other in the lurch. He’s going to be moving in with Mel, I’m still uncertain where I’ll end up. I need a staging ground for our last shot at the theatre before I finally give up, fold house, and leave town. Mihi cura futuri.

Akira Kurosawa‘s Rashomon has fallen into public domain and is now available on Internet Archive and Google video.