Shane‘s going away party.
I wasn’t going to, but apparently Shane’s slated to perform at some point, so now I’m glued to it, waiting for him to show up and astonish and mesmerize the largest Canadian television audience in history.
7:20 pm – Augh! Brian Adams! No!!
7:23 pm – This is hideous.
7:25 pm – There was no excuse for that painful mediocrity. Poor Nelly Furtado. Poor everyone. No one deserved that.
7:35 pm – The virtual whales were purdy. More please of the whales.
7:46 pm – I am oddly cheered that Canada is being represented by punk fiddlers and plaid. Also a tap-dance off. Viva mohawks & tattoos!
7:50 pm – Hey! It’s Brock! Go Brock! Hope he gets to keep the costume.
7:51 pm – tap dancers with flaming shoes ftw.
8:10 pm – SHAAAAAAAAAYYYYNE!!! ON A PLINTH!
Fuck yeah! That was one of the most satisfying things I’ve EVER SEEN!! Shane Koyczan!!
Everyone has now abandoned boring politico for a Shane-love Facebook party! Sweet! ROCK THE PLINTH!
8:32 pm – Oh KD Lang, your cover of Halleluiah is one of the nicest I’ve ever heard. From here on in, I love you.
8:42 pm – wow hair! hair and incredible pipes!
8:48 pm – yes, drugs are bad, we understand. why is that such a high profile message?
8:53 pm – I was so programmed as a child that I can still recognize Rick Hanson
8:56 pm – yep, Wayne Gretsky.
8:57 pm – all the mittens make me think of is the Regretsy bear molestation painting.
8:58 pm – mechanical failure!!!
9:00 pm – who out of the four missed out lighting the torch due to the broken mechanical floor?
9:07 pm – I wonder how Gretsky appreciated driving through the crowds of protestors (not pictured on TV) to go light the second torch.
9:10 pm – uh? we have a superman castle of ice torch platform? where??? WHERE WAS THAT?
Chris Gilpin sent a message to the members of “The Vancouver Poetry Slam Finals featuring Shane Koyczan”:
Subject: Saturday is the last day of online ticket sales!
Saturday (that’s today!) is the last day of advance online ticket sales for Finals Night on Monday at the Rio Theatre. Demand has been greater than anticipated, and tickets are going fast. To get yours, go to
As of midnight tonight, we’ll be shutting down the online advance ticket sales, which are only $11, and you’ll have to pay $15 at the door.
And hey! did you see the feature article that the Vancouver Sun put out on our feature performer for Finals Night, Shane Koyczan:
He’s kind of big deal. Just sayin’. You really will be kicking yourself if you miss this show.
Shane’s show last night blew us all away. I truly think it’s one of the best things he’s ever crafted for the stage. Jordan’s music hit perfect notes, Shane’s performance was exquisite, there was drama, and hope, and cruelty, and love, and everything balanced. You have to go. You must. There’s only a couple of shows left, but they’re essential.
“The Vancouver East Cultural Centre commissioned Shane and Jordan to write a show. We Were Here is an exploration of memory and how the events that we carry with us shape who we become. The show will feature new work from both artists and is a cross-disciplinary, concert length collaboration that will explore not only our memories but also the ones we hope to create. Bringing together two hot young BC talents — spoken word artist Shane Koyczan and new music composer Jordan Nobles.”
This show is not to be missed. We Were Here will run for 5 nights only so you are encouraged to get tickets early. I’m going to be in attendance tomorrow evening with my mother, Vicki, and David. Who else is in?
April 7th – 11th, at the Firehall Arts Centre, (280 East Cordova St).
Tickets are available at the door, (if not sold out), through Ticketmaster, and the Vancouver East Cultural Centre:
Adults (+ s/c): Advance $26; at door $30
Students/Seniors (+ s/c): Advance $22; at door $26
Persistence. It’s important to try. The boxes have been melting away, leaving the clear bones of a more functional home behind, newly blue and shiny red, that will be nice to live in, once we’ve finished sculpting muscle from the remaining meaty mess. I still need to buy brackets for the glass shelves, chemicals to take the tacky glue off the big hall mirror, wall-paper glue and a smoothing brush, put up the shelves and the last mirror, drawer my clean clothes, arrange the hall closet, shelve the still-to-be-mailed packages, rinse the last two batches of the dusty dishes, sort the last pots and pans into under the sink, catalogue what’s being given away and post the list on-line, launder the dish towels, fold them away, organize the bathroom, disinfect the counters and sink, bathe the cats, inventory what’s left, (as I’m sure to miss something), schedule an optometrist appointment, sweep the hall, vacuum, all of which will likely take me until Friday, if I don’t get any help, then take a week off. Finally.
That Mike‘s going to be in town not this weekend, but next weekend, playing the Folk Fest as a featured artist, which will take a bit of the stress away. He might even be coming along to see Crispin Glover with us, (us being, so far, me, Duncan, David, and possibly Lung), which I expect will be oodles of fun. It won’t be until after he’s left that I’m going to tackle the wall-paper that’s going up in the living-room, a vogue knock-off pattern of black and gray flowers on white. I need some time where I’m not concentrating on cleaning, on tidying, on sorting and shelving and assimilation.
Hanging the wall-paper will be an entire day’s work, even if I move all the furniture and wash the wall the night before. I’m not looking forward to it just yet, though I know after a break I will again. The Folk Fest will be a perfect distraction. Already I’ve started figuring an itinerary, planning on who to see and when. Start Saturday with Mike at Stage Five, with Kobo Town and Dubblestandart, move on to Eliza Gilkyson at Stage Three, snack on a delicious picnic, spend some time at the super sekrit backstage hammock, wander, dance, find Mike’s next show, and end the night with the glorious Béla Fleck. Sunday, more of the same, except with Jayme Stone and Mansa Sissoko, Jorane, and my once acquaintance, (friend of Shane and Mike), Michael Franti, who let me stay on his couch once, back in the nineties.
Bonus: Sexual Healing excerpt.
Long nights spit out like toothpaste into an unfamiliar sink. She looks up, enamel, black tile, an older building. Wooden floors. Tall doorways. Stained glass. A dragon in the next room, sitting on the couch, warming his hands on a sweetened cup of bitter tea. White walls. Cold windows.
Her hands float up to her hair, straighten some curls, frame her eye in the mirror. She peers through her hands, brought together in a symbol she found in a photograph on the internet – fingers curled, first knuckles together in a twin arc, thumbs stretched, touching underneath – the childish shape of a heart. Her certainty shakes. She lets it.
He’s wrought of mixed signals, sliding shades of affection and neglect which don’t add up. The smell of his soap. Her heartbeat. An iron-work of conflicting opinions, kissing like he carries a new bastard disease of self-reference, wit, and deflection. Short brown hair. No eye contact. A thousand words in a picture that breaks her framed ideals. Attraction built instead of found. Panic filled breath, though her panties are balled up in her purse already. Feet cold on the tiles. (Uncomfortable echoes of explosive scenarios from younger relationships, feeling exploited). The scalpel of self-examination. Her motivations are an underground factory of facts conveyor-belt punching out hurt confusion. Very little he says matches up with what he does. She doesn’t know why these steps are being taken, but what she lacks in reason, she makes up in loyalty. There is very little new under this son.
They stood at the bus stop, both consciously skipping their friend’s gathering for opposite reasons. One feeling too welcome, another feeling not welcome at all. “I would have thought you were imagining it, but I noticed it too.” “I cornered him at the party, asked him what was wrong. He said there was nothing. In eight years, I think it’s the first time he’s ever lied to me.” Her thoughts embraced her absent friend, (his fingers so deeply entwined in her ribcage she would love him forever), even as she felt like her words were a disappointed betrayal.
As they stood close, defensively, against the suffering neighbourhood, she kept up a monologue, quiet like a gentle run of dirty water. Memories, sad and unpleasant in retrospect. “How did you grow up?” A hungry childhood, social friction, hotel rooms. He nodded, implacable, in a way she found welcome. “I read the bible fourteen times, no one ever steals the things. They just sit there in the otherwise empty drawers, collecting dust and lonely people.” Anecdotes, wry short stories, a battered flow of narrative ornamented with sober, dry laughter, breakdown asides, and serious expressions. Later, sitting, her legs swung unselfconsciously under the seat.
I cycled past my father’s apartment last week. He has a giant poster in the window, an image he’s sent to me. I almost went and knocked on the door. I stopped, looked, put one foot on the ground. I don’t know why I stopped the same way I don’t know why I kept going. Instinct, impulse. Either or. He lives much closer to me than I thought. Near enough that no matter what, we’re on the same bus-routes, we share the same corner store.
“There was a woman named Ha there who showed me Samurai movies and fed me Korean fried chicken as I sat on a stool in the hotel kitchen. I ate all they had, the hotel had to buy more the next day, and I ate all of that too. I was a starving little thing, so bright and blonde and tiny you’d barely think I could walk, but I was always hungry. I remember my parents would go without sometimes so that I could have food. I lay in bed next to my mother and heard her belly grumble, five years old, listening and knowing that I had a sandwich and she had not. It’s made me a little neurotic about food. (Hell, I’m an adult now and I’m still so poor I’m starving to death.) I don’t like eating alone or cooking only for myself. And I can’t eat in front of someone without offering them any. In fact, I’ll put it off, go hungry for hours, rather than eat in front of someone who won’t have anything themselves, because it was greedy to eat alone, it meant you were depriving someone else.”