Travel Diary Day One: May 15th, Montreal

I have just returned from a trip to Montreal for Dee & Freida's ish-wedding, (they eloped last year), and Madison for Karen & Pär 's ish-wedding, (they eloped 20 years ago), and WisCon, a feminist sci-fi writer's convention. I tried to keep a journal of the trip, an attempt to work towards fixing my awful stillness, sadness, and silence.

I feel like I should be taking more pictures, the signs are all French, there are blue and white flags flapping from storefronts, but it has been a very long day, stretched longer by my restless, nearly sleepless night and the dilation effect of crossing two time-zones. The plane ride was choppy, but comfortable all the same. Not enough passengers to fill every seat, so there was room to stretch, room enough to feel like we weren't crammed in a can. How flat this country is, how bleak, I thought, looking over the plains, but then the lakes began to appear. The lakes that freckle the country are still frozen stiff, even in May, small, tidy sheets of white that gleamed like I used to imagine diamonds are supposed to, blazing with the sunshine even as our shadow touched them.

My friends walk arm in arm, a married couple, beautifully affectionate, sweet and pretty. I adore them both, they make me ache to know the language better, so that I could be as quick and fluent with them as they are with each other. I remember their wedding, the sharp joy they gave out, like flares from lighthouses. They live together now by the Olympic Stadium in an apartment I had never been to before, shared with four cats, each with a distinctive personality, a greenhouse worth of plants, and books deeply piled on every flat surface. We are coming back from dinner, I’m to sleep in the front room, on a currant coloured velvet couch surrounded by novels, paintings, plants, and more art. It’s glorious. The building is old in a way that no buildings in the west are old, with painted over wallpaper raised in a repeating pattern of griffons and urns and dark wooden doors inset with stained glass. They are on the top floor, the stairs narrow, circular, and set with stone. It makes me think of castles and timeworn foreign movies. Someone shoots a gun, there are footsteps, someone running, but all you see is a hand on the rail. I love everything about it. I love everything about them. And underneath it all, a constant, the welcoming perfumed scent of sweet-smelling incense.

feel free to invite other friends who may be interested in seeing the Pantages.

Darren Aronofsky as interviewed by rollick over at The Onion.

My friend Bobbi Styles is getting married this Saturday, and as soon as I received the news, I watched as a tiny part of my brain took over the task of what to wear to what has the potential to be an extraordinary event. (It wandered off into the distance and I haven’t heard from it since. I’m not worried, that bit can’t be integral to function). Bobbi was a music producer in Britain when the size of your immovable hair measured against the leather of your trenchcoat and summed with the depth of your eye-shadow gave you a measure of success. I seem to recall he worked with Duran Duran, to give you a better picture. There’s a video. (If you really must know, you can find it yourself). I’d link to his MySpace, but it sort of hurts. (It has The Hair in it.) However, he’s a very different man these days. His son, Tempest, is going past ten any day now, and he’s lived in Canada for almost as long as he lived in the UK. I’m not sure what to expect. I haven’t seen him in too long to guess.

After that lovely event, work is finally sending me to the Rolling Stones Concert at time-and-a-half. Details have had a chance to devolve in the intervening weeks, regrettably. It doesn’t look like this will this garner me a free pass in anymore. The Stones people have changed their minds. Probably for ones with less drugs in them. Instead we’re standing outside and attempting to politely harangue passers-by into answering a survey. Missing Van Morrison feels a little like salt in a wound. I only ask that it doesn’t rain.

And all of this means I’m going to miss the Pantages Tour.

If you’re interested in theatre, Vancouver history, heritage restoration, community-building, the future of the Downtown Eastside, or all of the above, then it’s a bit of an important to-do. Fitting into practically all of these categories, I’m disappointed that I’ll have to miss one of their tours. (I missed the last one). The interior is being restored to its original glory, a project surrounded with happy political glitter. The tours are a chance to see what the excitement is about surrounding its planned restoration and re-opening – which will hopefully occur by late 2009 or early 2010. The Pantages tour will take place on Saturday, November 25th at 2 p.m. (Dress warmly, the theatre has no heat).

Adam, the impressionante webmaster of Heart of the World’s website, has apparently been recruited to act as stage manager for a small musical performance that will take place at the end of the tour. He says “It will be a pretty interesting little event.” It was his friend, Charles, who put me touch with Todd, the Save the York Theatre Society fellow. And so it goes. Until we get it. Or, maybe, I sleep.

Biologically it’s weird of us humans not to have a third eye-lid.