my friends are more awesome than I am

The Hasenmenschen Ballet, by Marcel Steger & Luzie Strecker

I’m leaving for the Island after work today. Thumbing a ride to the ferries with Lung, to be snagged by Esme on the other side, I’m delivering one of these to one of these and don’t expect to be back until Monday morning, when apparently I’m being put on a sea-place back. (Because life sometimes is just like that.)

In other news of the faintly ridiculous, Dragos is holding my bikini hostage, on the terms that I only get it back if I accept a year of cell-phone for my birthday, something we’ve been arguing about for almost a year. As soon as I began my usual protesting, however, he waved a gleeful finger in my face and said, “Ah-ha! This time you cannot possibly refuse. I know which one I’m going to give you. This isn’t just any phone. It’s got a story.” and proceeded to play to my greatest weakness, that of narrative. The one he’s picked out, it has history. Not only history, but hilarious history – a fascinating little back-story involving an Argentina black market, expensive consumer electronics that fell off the back of a truck, untraceable drug dealer SIM cards, and what happened next, when a British friend flashed around just one too many fresh hundred dollar bills – and, as usual, he was right. I can’t say no. How could I? How could anyone?

Also, though only tangentially related, there was a story about basement scam strippers, but that was someone else.

richard has the best grin on the planet

“The music business is a cruel and shallow trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men lie like dogs. There is also the negative side.”

-Hunter S. Thompson

I assumed, somewhat foolishly, that when Cansec was over, I’d get to rest, have a space to breathe. Apparently not. I just took a minute to chart out my next few weeks with a calendar in front of me and realized my weekends for the next month have already been assigned.

This weekend I’m going to the Juno‘s for work, bringing David along for his birthday. Next weekend, April 4-5, I’m going over to Victoria. The weekend after that, April 11-12, I’m going to be in Seattle ghosting Norwescon. The weekend after that, April 18-19, I’m again in Victoria with Ray, Nicole, and maybe Wayne to drop in on Esme and Nicholas, who has a gig. Then again the weekend after that, April 25-16, for his next gig, playing strip-club funk at Monty’s, and, even more bizarrely, for the grand opening of the Victoria Lawn Bowling Club, which has apparently been completely taken over by oddball hacker friends who all wanted a shot at the Olympics and free downtown parking.

Given this sort of schedule, I’m not sure when I intend to eventually sleep. Perhaps when I’m dead. Or better, when I’m dancing. Mercy knows I need the exercise, given how erratically/oddly I’ve been eating. First there came the week of meat, then the weekend of ice-cream breakfasts topped with chocolate and raspberry liqueur. Nothing I would ever complain about, though I am beginning to forget what a vegetable looks like, except that now that I’m not continually on my feet, all I want to do is sort of laze around until my break down the door weekends, an option that, though attractive, will simply Not Do. So, given that I work nine to five, and Tuesdays are Secret Film School, who wants to go swimming?

you make me feel so happy, so real. you beautiful moment in my life, as we wrinkle in time, so let’s stretch this thing out

good news is on the way

Graham‘s got a friend, Christie McRae, who has an Art Show Opening called ALTERNATE REALITIES tomorrow night at the Bump ‘N Grind Cafe at 916 Commercial Drive. He says be certain to be there, because there’s going to be a DJ and free shots of espresso. He really leaned on mentioning the espresso, so it must be tasty.

Also, Graham and I are hosting Sunday Tea tm this Sunday, so come visit, bitches. I have been cocooned, I need to see your scrubbed faces to remember you exist.

This week’s been full of music and strange adventure. Jon Bartlett lent me Mervyn Peake’s first book, for one, Lung and I went to a porn theater, (which was a far more unpleasant experience than we’d supposed), my mother sang with the Now Orchestra for the improv Metropolis soundtrack for Eye of Newt’s Silent In The Park series, I’ve installed an angel in my house, and begun a drawer of personal goods at Oliver’s. There’s more, but trying to remember everything is like trying to read text in a photograph damaged by salt.

So last we heard, our girl Friday is sitting outside a backpackers hostel, waiting for Esme to come rescue her from the appalling chance that one of her exes, who is now filthy homeless junkie upon the streets of Victoria, may come upon her and attempt to molest her person. American Brand Fear. She’s sitting with her book, appalled at how much she’s read already, and beginning to worry about her phonecall. She only had a moment, did she convey everything needed?

Olbermann’s Special Commentary Towards Bush.

Esme was only late because parking was hard to find. The cafe was nice, (though it’s the only place anyone’s tried to pick me up by telling me that they’re an astrologer), the music not terrible, (Nicholas was playing in a corner that was pretending to be a stage with two friendly middle-aged men), and the drink Esme bought me was delicious, a mixture of hot chocolate and chai I rather liked. It was a fund-raiser of some sort, likely for a cat. A good welcome easy to slide away from.

After we went to a velvety restaurant that floated Goldfrapp softly over a crowd of beautiful people, but it was too late in pretty little Victoria for food, all they had left was small plates of unsatisfying tapas, so we ended up in a second-rate late night chinese restaurant with comfortingly unidentifiable lumps of strange coloured food, the same you’d find in any Canadian town with a population over 1000. I don’t think we got home until two in the morning, full of grease and weak yellow tea.

OK GO doing the impressive treadmill dance live at the VMAS.

Nicholas’ house is a wonder. His “Mad Uncle” renovated it something like six times. Camouflaged to look like any other pebble and glass fronted house, it pretends to be middle-class and rather unassuming. Inside is another story entirely. Nicholas lives in the basement, a 1960’s style wood-paneled German porno bunker complete with secret passages. The walls glows with a shiny oppressive veneer that inspires me to start collecting vintage Playboy covers for us to varnish onto his ceiling and the only way to get upstairs without leaving the house is to go into the washroom and climb inside what, from the side, looks like a medicine cabinet. It actually opens into a tiny carpeted passageway lined with moldering vintage board games that lets out into the floor of the upstairs front hall closet. Upstairs looks fairly normal again, until you take into account the stripper pole in the bathroom and the occasional mad scientist electrical box. (Apparently they make scary ticking noises and, in the past, have genuinely blown up in proper mad scientist style even.)

singing back a week

If any one has any pictures, the license plate number or footage of the car attack at 1700 block robson that happened during Zombiewalk, please contact me. I need it for police and ICBC. Thank you.

It’s been a bloody long week. Today, walking from Act 1, I ran into a group dressed like a prison break. A block later there was a group dressed like American police. I was glad I slept last night. Earlier this week, there were twin midget strippers. Jet black hair and matching little white outfits, trendy as all hell. They swore a lot, asked me for directions, and wanted to know why I was dressed like a zombie.

Zombiewalk was a success, again, and the photographs just keep rolling in. My extra work was super good, I made all sorts of very odd contacts that I hope to keep up. The Organic Turkey Farmer who’s currently Choices spokesperson, for example, and his lovely wife. She told me my new favourite party joke. “Why do rabbits have so many babies?” “Their ears are too long to give head.” I’m going to have to write all about it, and the band tour of Vancouver Island, but I’ve been spending my evenings at a house with no internet, so my productivity has been shot like a caught revolutionary.

“On stage, I make love to 25,000 different people, then I go home alone” (Janis Joplin)

Paula snuggled into me, waking me up early. I was naked in the bedsheets, tugging on her braid with my teeth, wondering how I’d slept through when she arrived. This is Friday, other people are expected over, but I don’t know who as of yet. Modest Mouse is singing in my head about crashing into police cars, catchy, I’m standing up and groping blindly for my clothes. I wipe my eyes with the back of my hand and ask when Troll arrives, I’m told any minute. The bra goes on, the pants, and I find my way to the bathroom.

Walking later, some trick of the light and I’m sitting at home in front of my computer, trying to explain that I’m going to be away. My second date, the first one being Clinton. The van has been miraculously packed and has driven away. Barefeet in a park. The grass like velvet. It’s two weeks already and I haven’t slept once in my own bed. The bus I catch goes to Horseshoe Bay, left over habits from my childhood. Wrong. I get off, catch another one going the opposite direction. More than twice half-way across town and I’m not at the ferry terminal until three hours later.


On the ferry is a man named Gabe, organic cotton clothing and I don’t know him but he saw me ride by on my bicycle the day before on my way to the transgendered bee extravaganza. I smiled at him, he said, a big smile, right at him. He went into his friends house and declared that he would meet me again. Now, on the ferry, he offers me a ride into Victoria. We talk a little, but I’m not sure what to say. He has a sketchbook full of turtles and some photographs of a garden sculpture he made of hands above a window.

Downstairs he has a station wagon, an old thing, solid as the sixties. I love it. One window is broken, permanently open, there are action heroes tucked unobtrusively into the dash, and from the rear view mirror, among a cluster of obviously found feathers, hang buddhist hand chimes wrapped in string. He has a girl with him, they say they met a couple of weeks ago while visiting Robert Hugh ‘Standing Deer’ Wilson’s son. She’s into documentary, wants to tape native communities until they crack and spill forth ethical ways of sustainable living into everyone’s house.

In Victoria, we stop at the Backpacker’s hostel. It’s busy, filled with people I think I would like to sit down and talk with. I remember the one in Toronto, how the place was friendly but I felt excluded anyway. This was different, this was busier. I wasn’t full of glory. Gabe and his friend left, riding off to their sustainable sunset without me. I got change for the phone, called Esme long-distance on only a minute of time. Directions happened, then I sat outside.

flickering dead television skies

up too late at night, putting up the last drivefest photos

you have to be kidding
Originally uploaded by Foxtongue.

I’ve created a Flickr Pool, Drivefest, to collect all the photos of the Commercial Drive Car Free Day. Add yours and tell yours and pass it on!

I wanted a water sprinkler to run through today. I wanted to run water through the ink of my hair and to desperately feel like laughing. It’s hard to explain. I wanted to turn to someone and share a conspiratorial glance, rife with a desire to smile a thousand times. I miss the anonymous letters. They were the closest thing I had to anyone calling to see if I was okay, now that no-one cares if I dream about them anymore. (I haven’t received any since May). Precious and rarest of things, they remain mine and only mine.

This lovely Levi ad has been posted before, but now there’s a sweet parody by a UK tropical drink company called Lilt.

I suspect the game became tired. Instead of posting my thoughts here, my lovely impressions, I kept them close to me, wrapped in my writing book and tied with ribbon like I was an old-fashioned child. How so, then, a reward? Reine read them today in the park before we got up to play frisbee with Will. I read one aloud this evening to dear friends who were driving me home from morris dancing. They’re beginning to slide into the consciousness of the people around me. I read them like rosary beads, asking who’s trying to make me smile, like perhaps I’ll be allowed to slip stories into conversation again some day. Ravenous angels dancing on pins, that’s me. A tiny figure, sitting at the feet of who I used to be, looking up and disbelieving. If I am a city, these letters have been tagging my walls.

UBC engineering students have built a vehicle so efficient that it achieves 3,145 miles per US gallon (0.074 litres/100 km)

singing you’re one of my only friends who knows my love

Good morning to the new lunar year. On the Chinese calendar it’s my year, the year of the Dog.

The roof of my mouth feels lightly of electricity. Yesterday was falling backward, a door opening accidently, opening onto a room full of people I never see and don’t think about often enough. I have a new ring, a silver thing like the branch of a mother of pearl tree. I have eyes too open to see sleep properly. The parade through China Town was extremely beautiful. Ray and I bought explosive paper twists, you throw them to the ground and they spark and bang. I fell in love all over again every time I dropped one to the pavement. I took a slew of incredibly colourful pictures, but I will upload them later, when I am not rushing against the time I need to be at work.

She retrieved a clove cigarette from her purse and put it to her lips. I hurriedly offered her a light with my lighter.

“I want to sleep with you,” she said.

So we slept together.

-Haruki Murakami

This General Motors Futurliner was one of only 12 such vehicles ever built. They were introduced in 1940 as part of GM’s “Parade of Progress,” spun out of the 1933-34 World’s Fair, themed “A Century Of Progress.” There are nine known Futurliners that have survived. Three are in operating condition, including this 1950 model which sold at an auction last week for US$4,320,000.”

  • Vintage UK electronics ads.

    The day before yesterday, I felt like terrible company. Saturday night I simply crashed. Blearily I answered the phone a couple times, tried to wake up enough to get myself together enough to go to dinner with my friend, failed, and finally closed my eyes. There was a knock on the door a little past midnight, Andrew and Ian to pick up some electronics pieces, and a bit later, Matthew to tuck me in, but no one stayed and I fell back into uncomplicated darkness, tangling my ferret in my hair and forgetting to dream.

  • Van Island Vacation

    Had a wonderful time away from this city. Arrived in Victoria on Sunday evening and wandered the roads. Tourists scurrying around us as we walked with our respective oddities. My purple hat causeing, not comment, but scorn and m’love with his guitar the same. Eventually we meandered to the theatre after a terrible dinner and sat in on the Grand Migration.

    It was lovely. Inspiring. There’s so much of the world that I’ve never seen and perhaps never will. I want to visit all of it. Breathe the air on every continent. Meet the people and see thier worlds.

    After the film, we walked in wonder. Too far along the water, then longer still along a road before we arrived at our temporary home. Our bags grew heavy, enough to cut. We were full of weary pain when we arrived, but having arrived, we felt better. My best friends bedroom, with her eternal bluerose comforter. I realized that a third of what was in there, was brought there by me. Presents from our decade apart and together.

    We were idiots. We watched Howard the Duck. Don’t.

    Sleeping in, rising late, our reasons for not seeing the dinosaurs. We bussed from Esquimalt into town, alighting at the swing bridge on the waterfront. Coffee, our first intention. After completing our mini quest, we set off, our caffiene choices in hand. We stopped in at a Bryans, and slithered me into a plum dress, then we left – our destination: The Iron Palace. Four floors of odd stuff. Basement shelves piled with occiloscopes and suits of armor, bouy bells, and typeset pieces. An interesting place. We took away sandals and a pattern for a duster coat.

    Lunch was at a five dollar diner, with formica tabletops and all day breakfast.

    From there we walked. Miles. Uphill. His grandmother pleased to see us. She brings to mind an old hyper cat. The type what has outlived thier flesh and is now left as too mych energy in a skinny little body. We looked at photos of thier family, and I took some. I suppose she’s my family too now, a granny-in-law. More film to be developed. A sweet woman, too bad I can’t recall her name.

    We searched unsuccessfully for food, everything closes at five or six, and we attempted to feed ourselves at eight. Silly we, victoria is for kids! After a suitable amount of time went by to allow our stomach acids to eat at the lining, we sat and waited for friend Richie. For half an hour we sat, eyes peeled for a white van. When he arrived, it was a blessing. I’d never known what he looked like, and now I do.

    We drove to Mishka’s place and packed our things into the van. A black tom tried doggedly to get locked into the house. I haven’t any idea what he came for, as he doesn’t belong to the house.

    Dinner was at Alexsandros. The only big city restaraunt in the town. Wonderful food, and a trio playing bad 80’s as lounge music. Heavenly.

    Here ends the first two day of vacation, from here, Victoria is left behind us. I am weary of staring at a screen, and so will leave the rest to tomorrow.