saved from my own ways by beautiful boys

sanfran leap
San Francisco 2008

My summer is about to explode. It has already started, a little, (I sneaked into a rave on Friday night, spent Saturday on a cross-Atlantic guitar lesson with Richard, Saturday night with dear friends at a dinner, blowing people’s minds with synchronicity, and Sunday at an epic wedding that involved a boat, a full-sized, bright red, radio controlled dalek wedding cake that shouted EXTERMINATE, (part gluten free, too!), a hexacopter ring-bearer, and friends from six or seven countries), but this past weekend was just the amuse bouche.

My comrade Nathan is taking us to Cirque Du Soliex’s Totem tonight for my upcoming birthday, then we’re leaving on Thursday evening for the Sasquatch Music Festival. The line-up is absolutely fantastic, many of my favourite bands are playing, (Elbow, Mogwai, Die Antwood, The National, Cut Copy, TuNe-YaRds, etc.), and it’s going to be our first road-trip. I almost cannot wait. I feel like a little kid, counting sleeps.

Then, on the way back, Nathan is dropping me off in Seattle and I’m going to California for my birthday, courtesy of my ability to fit into a suitcase AKA a sweetheart’s business trip to the Google mothership! Flexibility pays off. Apparently I’ll be flying from Seattle on the 26th or 27th and staying for approximately two weeks.

I leave Canada in four days, but know zero about my flights or even where or when I’m to meet up with my dear B. It is so strange and yet delightful to know I am to be travelling, but not know when or precisely where to. It’s like a trust exercise with the universe that I am surprisingly completely fine with. Are we meeting in Seattle? In California? Where? No idea. I have zero information, but it’s.. gratifying? It feels proper. Makes it more of an adventure, for sure.

I imagine I’ll be taking the train a lot back and forth between SF and Silicon Valley for the first week and tucking in for work during the days, but other than that, my time is open. B. will only be there for the first week and mostly busy with work, which is a bit sad, he is smart and sassy and wonderful, but I’m still thrilled. Once I wave my kerchief goodbye to him at the airport, I’ll couch-float with friends in the Mission or the Castro or the Tenderloin.

The only plans I have so far: Jed and I are making sultry eyes at Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind on May 30th, (come with us!), and Richard has informed me that must visit him at the Vulcan on the first Thursday in June. And Morissa says I can use her house for a birthday dinner party! (Party date as yet to be determined). Other than that, it’s almost all a giant question mark. Do you know of anything going on in SF between May 26th and June 6th-ish? Let’s adventure!

Then I’m back to Seattle for a week to go to the the Georgetown Carnival and the Power Tool Drag Races and all that fun stuff. Maybe play some flaming tether ball. Mars and I are learning to be friends again, too, which makes Seattle much better to visit. I don’t know if B. will be around, but I hope so. (If he isn’t totally sick of me after sharing a hotel room for a week, that is. “Why are all the towels stained scarlet?”, “Why is my pillow purple?”, “How did the room ceiling end up covered in glow-in-the-dark stars? Are those constellations.. accurate?”)

I plan to return to Vancouver on June 15th, immediately put my passport in for renewal the day I get back!, collect certain papers from my mother, Vicki, that she’s bringing back from Ireland, do all of the laundry in the world, maybe throw a quick Vancouver-based birthday party, then head out to Ontario. The plan is to go to REcon (June 23rd – 29th) in Montreal via Waterloo courtesy of Ian, my besty who wants to drive up from Ontario in my fine company. Improbable, yes. Possible, very. I owe his cat Dewie about a thousand snuggles. And I think he’s starting to get tired of carrying his favourite Internet Girl around in his phone à la Her. And Audra has offered us her charming AirBnB apartment in Toronto for a couple of nights, (she has a cotton candy machine!!!), so we could home base out of Toronto and visit with people and stay up late in the city rather than having to go back to Waterloo. I’m sure we’ll use it, as I’m five or six years overdue for a visit and the good people just keep piling up. I even have an uncle there I’ve never met who seems supracool. Why don’t I live in Toronto? I Do Not Even Know.

We’ll be stopping by in Ottawa on our way to Montreal, too, to stop by the river market and stuff our faces with scrumptious berries and sugary beaver tails and APPLY FOR MY IRISH PASSPORT WITH THE EMBASSY! Happy birthday to me! I’m Irish! I HAVE EU AND EVERYTHING. As of, like, six days ago. My mother, bless her, went to Ireland as part of a Canada Council art project with Paul and took the packet of my needful documents with her, followed the very detailed instructions, and has filed my birth with the Irish government!

REcon is apparently a marvelous time, too. It’s run by Hugo, who I love to hang out with at CanSec. I’ve never spent as much time with him or his friends as I would like, so this is perfect. And apparently the Circus Festival starts in Montreal on July 2nd, so maybe we’ll get away with sticking around for a day or two longer for that. Either way, I plan to get fat and happy on delicious food, hug a lot of people, dance my face off, and ride a lot of city bikes. Christine wants to go to the new Cirque show, Kurios, too. I approve. There will also be chocolate and a stop by Santropol. Oh yes.

And no, I don’t know anything solid about flight dates on this trip yet either. IT IS ALL A FANTASTIC MYSTERY.

And then I’m in Vancouver until ToorCamp. (That might be for less than a week, oi). ToorCamp is another hacker event, but in Washington State on July 9th. Nathan wants me to go with him, so of course I said yes. Hopefully my passport will have come back by then and I’ll be good to go. I don’t know much about it, except that the people I know who’ve gone in the past are all excellent.

I have also been tapped to work as the Art Director for Hacked Festival, another hacker event from August 11th – 14th, but this one in Vancouver. It’s their inaugural year and maybe I’ll be able to help, even though I’m barely going to be around for the next few months. (Apply to be a speaker or an artist naow!) I’ve told them about my travel schedule, but the founder met me at BIL and he seems to want me involved anyway, so I might end up going through with it just because. If that ends up being the case, that will fit in right after ToorCamp. And right before Burning Man.

I have a number of options for Burning Man this year, but I think I might be tossing a bunch of them over to stay with a lawyer friend from Seattle. Not only do I appreciate him a metric ton just in general, I cannot get enough of his art project, an infrared photobooth. People step inside into pitch blackness, the infrared flash goes off, and though all they see is a small red light, the pictures look like they were taken in daylight.

And then, come September, rest. Playing with ferrets. Adventure is fine, (dying is fine)but Death), but I’m going to miss my ferrets. Pepper and Selenium are the best.

TLDR; If all goes well, I’m going to live out of a suitcase this summer.

What’s Happening This Hallowe’en.

Dear world, I would like to be able to sleep properly. Kthxbye.

Alastair‘s stunned me silly with a cream white linen medical corset for Hallowe’en. It’s just the tiniest too big for me, but easy enough to adjust. To go with it, I found a gigantic wedding skirt at Value Village that they knocked down from $65 to $19.99 for me. It’s more fabric than my bedspread and it’s even got a train. I’m absolutely tickled. Fantastically inspired by Lolly Jane Blue*, with a bit of white facepaint, flour in my hair, and some carefully applied cross-hatching lines of black eye-pencil, I’m going to be a walking illustration.

A squeeing illustration. Heh.

Tonight I’m missing out on the 48 Hour Bloodshots Horror Festival** because James, Sumi, and I are going to DJ Krush at the Commodore, Thursday I’ve got a photoshoot, and Friday and Saturday are insanely overbooked. Vancouver has a pleasant over-abundance of Hallowe’en parties this year.


Shane Koyczan and the Short Story Long. Playing at the Vancouver East Cultural Centre on Oct. 26th or 27th at 8pm, tickets are 25 well spent dollars. They’re playing with C.R. Avery on Friday and Dan Mangan on Saturday. I’m planning on attending the Friday. Duncan has two free tickets to whoever wants them for the Saturday.

Sing-Along Carmina Burana! Hosted by City Opera Vancouver, my friend Adam Abrams is producing this event, 8:00 pm at St. Andrew’s-Wesley United Church. This has got to be one of the coolest things I’ve ever heard of happening here. I’m pained to be missing it. Tickets are $20.

Plastic Acid Quartet. Mishka, her brother Bryan, Brad Pyke, and ___? will be playing pop and rock songs on classical instruments at Cafe Du Soliex, one night only. Cover is $5.

Hallowe’en Skytrain Party Vancouver Public Space, our most organized flash-mob group, is hosting another Skytrain Dance Party! Hurrah. Meet at 8:45pm at VCC Clark Station and don’t be late. If you are, this time, thankfully, the party’s going to continue at a secret venue, so make sure you have a friend with a cell phone attending to let you in on the know if you miss the crazy train.

Something Wicked This Way Comes VIII Now that Sanctuary’s moved to Friday’s, Vancouver’s longest-running goth/alternative night is holding its massive Hallowe’en party on a weekend for the first time. Aaron Mr. Dark goes utterly over the top with decorations ever year and this year’s theme is gore, so expect to walk into a club transformed into part Hellraiser, part Night of the Living Dead, part classic horror and all awesome. Tickets are $10, this year’s prize for best costume is $400.

Wings turns 22 at Organix. AKA Goaween, the Organix annual Hallowe’en Party, where all the ravers come out to play. Cover is $6 or free with a costume. Expect trance music, fairy-wings, glowsticks, glitter, GHB, and ecstacy.

VeloFusion VeloWeen. The bikers of Critical Mass and the party people of Vancouver meet in the Anza the last Friday of every month. Crazyness ensues. (A previous theme was “get naked for free beer”) This time with hallowe’en costumes. “Bands, Djs and burlesque. The unstoppable DJ Timothy Wisdom, the Dub and Rock of the Down Low, the dance madness of the Carnival Band, sexy burlesque from Your Little Pony and the foot stomping dance intensity of DJ Corrior. If you love to dance, this is definitely the event for you.” Doors at 8, tickets are $10 without costume, $5 with.

Tickle Trunk Karaoke Costumes & Candy Pre-Hallowe’en Party Apparently there is a monthly mad costumed karaoke at Hoko’s Karaoke Palace, (362 Powell Street). I’ve never been and know nothing about it past what it said in the invte, “year as well as having spookily delicious candy and better-than-usual prizes there will also be some musical interludes by the bloodthirsty karaoke inspired band Werewolves of Creston. … This is your chance to test drive this year’s Hallowe’en kit, mix and match, or dress up from the ever changing On-the-Spot Tickle Trunk.” Cover is $5.

Shakti’s Grand Opening Commercial Drive’s Tea and ‘Elixir’ House is finally having their grand opening. Expect tea, ‘aphrodisiacs, smoke-ables, raw food, massages, Dj’s, visual art, and people who spell magic with an extra “k”. There’s a “special elixir toast” at 7 pm and a dance performance at 9:30.


Bouffons for Public Displays of Affection. 5:00pm – 7:00pm at Victory Square Park, thier blurb says, “On the streets of the city – out in public – a group of emerging artist will delve into a world of affection. They set out to explore issues ranging from physicality, sexuality, and intimacy. The performances will trigger questions of when is it noticeable, what is acceptable and how we evaluate levels of tolerance to public displays of affection.” As far as I can figure, it’s clown not-sex in the park at the edge of the wrong side of town.

PARADE OF LOST SOULS!!! Commercial Drive is closed down from 1st to Venebles for this event as thousands of people in wild and spectacular costumes come celebrate the Day of the Dead with a festival of performance, fire, music, dancing, and wonderful delight. (Our very own Chris Murdoch will be performing.)It seems they’re keeping last year’s reversal of events, having the processions move from the shrines and performances of the gravel field through the streets to the park, but here’s hoping they’ve learned from last year and figured out how to make that not suck. Every year, this is quite truly one of the very few Vancouver events that is seriously Not To Be Missed. 6 pm – 10 pm at Grandview Park.

(Jill Binder is having a pre-parade get together at her place. There won’t be one at mine this year because I’ll be over at Alastair’s.)

The Vancouver Clubhouse Hallowe’en. This is less a public event and more of a reminder for those who already know about it. This is the Culbhouse’s final event. Because of that, their’s going to be collecting everyone’s Clubhouse memories of the past eight years to put on a DVD to hand out for later. (I won their costume contest last year, but I’m committed elsewhere already, boo.)

Mike and Alannah’s Spacy Hallowe’en Another Just-A-Reminder mention. 50 years ago this month, Sputnik 1 became the first artificial satellite of earth. We still don’t have colonies on the moon, but nevertheless, Space is the theme for this year’s Halloween party. Come in costume if you can, extra points for space-related ones. BYOB; they will provides snacks (sugary & otherwise).

Odd Ball From The Crypt. “For Queers, Breeders, Zombies and Freaks.” A wonderful burlesque circus and DJ event, the OddBall is an annual dance party held at the WISE Hall, a great compliment to The Parade of Lost Souls. This year’s theme is Tales From The Crypt. Tickets are $10.

Deadbeats 666. “OFMAS once again proudly hosts this annual Halloween event focused on design, creativity and decor.” Funky all-night tech-house is a 100% legal venus, so no worries on getting shut down. (Finally). Open Studios #200-252 East 1st Ave. $20 before midnight.

Cave of Whores Burning Man Camp Lemuria is hosting a Hallowe’en party at Cyber Club at the Plaza of Nations with a costume theme of Horror Whores. Expect raver-toys, poi, things that glow in the dark, dirty thumping techno, pogressive house, and not a lot of clothing. Tickets are $15 and $20 after midnight.

Grand Slam Night of Performance Art & Hip Hop. Gallery Gachet presents an interdisciplinary party at the cross-roads of four festivals with an evening of Filipino Performance Art, First Nations’ Hip Hop, African Spoken Word, and Chinese electronic remixes of Canada’s migration history. Bonus, my lovely co-worker, Charlene, has a piece on display. 8:00pm -1:00am at 88 East Cordova. Tickets are $10.

Dollhouse of Horros The Starlet Harlots are taking over Dollhouse Studios until dawn. Burlesque, straight up. Tix $25 at the door.

SinCity Fetish Hallowe’en Apocalypse. Vancouver’s best fetish night, full of retro & 80’s, industrial, rock, electro & dance, hosts one of Vancouver’s best Hallowe’en parties. Aaron, again, is responsible for decorating and it’s guaranteed to be insane. As to costumes, any fetish outfit will do, but there are major bonus points for matching the post-apocalypse theme. Think S&M, leather, straps & buckles, Mad Max, Sci-fi, futuristic or tribal warriors, military, mutants and zombies. (Again with the zombies, will it never end?) There’s a $300 grand prize, with another $750 in free tattoos and piercings for the best and sexiest costumes. Tickets are $15 and all but sold out. Hope to see you there!

*seriously, click on that.

**which includes: THE VESSEL, directed & edited by Mike Jackson, written & produced by Sam Dulmage & Mike Jackson, cinematography by Michael Sider & Sam Dulmage, music by Jeff Tymoschuk, starring Leanne Jijian Hume, Sam Dulmage, Mickey Brazeau, Corina Akeson & Duncan Shields. 8 min, Lovecraftian Horror.

torn into two things on Tuesday

re d s h i f t m u s i c s o c i e t y presents…

Mjölnir, a new work for percussion ensemble.
Tuesday, May 8 at 7:00 pm at the Vancouver Art Gallery, 750 Hornby Street.
Info: 604-730-9449
Free Admission!

&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp 1. the name given to the hammer of the Norse god, Thor
&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp 2. a free, public music event in the Vancouver Art Gallery

Mjölnir will feature eight of BC’s most outstanding percussionists and an arsenal of pitched and non-pitched percussion instruments, spread throughout the levels of the central rotunda, filling the entire art gallery with music.

The ensemble will perform new compositions written specifically for this large and reverberant space by Christopher Butterfield, Jocelyn Morlock, Colin MacDonald, Andre Cormier , and Jordan Nobles. As with most Redshift events, the audience will be free to sit and watch the musicians and/or move about the space, creating their own sonic experience.


The Holy Body Tattoo presents..

Smash-Up, debuting a new work, Animals of Distinction.
May 8–12 at the Cultch, 1895 Venables Street. All performances 8 pm.
INFO: 604-251-1363
Tickets are $22.50

The Holy Body Tattoo is an award-winning Vancouver contemporary dance duo, producers of (arguably) some of Canada’s most inventive and astonishing performances. They’ve worked with artists like William Gibson, Tessa Bartholomeusz, Tindersticks, Warren Ellis, (the violinist, not the comics writer, you nerds), and The Tiger Lillies, to wonderful results. It was years ago, but I still count attending Circa as one of the more positive experiences of my younger life.

A series of short mixed-media works conceived as a collision between dance, animation and sound, Smash Up expresses the sublimely disquieting forces of desire, isolation, emotional and physical dislocation. Smash Up integrates James Paterson and Amit Pitaru’s immersive animated environments with music by Roger Tellier-Craig (godspeed you! black emperor; Fly Pan Am). With dancers from across Canada and choreography by Gingras, Smash Up inhabits the space between the layers of image, gesture and sound.

holy world, I need sleep.

The project’s taking off. I’ve got Hsing Lee of FOCCED working with me; I’ve recieved an interested letter from no less than Michael Parenti; the business plan should be finished to a polish, (minus some numbers I can’t get without an inspection of the property), by late tomorrow night; both a corporation to buy the place and a society to run it should be set up ready-to-run as of Monday; and I went over to Tom Durrie’s house this evening, (the General Manager of the Pacific Baroque Orchestra Society), and was given a history of the theatre from the Save The New York Society, which means less work for whomever volunteers to hit up the Archives. *hint* It contains accurate information up to 1977.

Remember: Heart of the World has a mailing list now. It will be used primarily for sending out calls for volunteers and keeping everyone In the Loop.

In other news, I’ll be working Saturday morning at the Dance Centre, which means that for three weeks running, I won’t have had a day off. Someone needs to make me dinner. I don’t particularly care who.

this is my problem

Originally uploaded by Foxtongue.

Point A is a little shop twenty feet wide by fifty feet long. Point A has taupe walls and a varying selection of shiny PVC boots in black, red or white. Point A is only properly bearable through the magic of the internet. Points B are exciting. Points B are made up of concerts, house-parties, restaurants, theaters, and various happenings. I suspect later I will leave Point A for an A.2, A Place Where Good People Are.

However, what I’m constantly searching for are Points B. There’s a slew of scientists here, as well as video game types, some skilled illustrators, a couple more musicians, and assorted accomplished writers. I know you folk can cough up. Be my friend, tell me what’s going on where you are and where I am. Die Puny Humans has been tickling my Need To Know with a damned heavy hammer.

Mike discovered where the Adicolor ads are coming from. Red and Green are now available. They make me happy.

Australian writer, Ben Peek, says “I quite like Nathan Ballingrud’s blog.” So should you.

“Serious writers have an obligation to empathize. If you can’t do that — if you can’t make an effort to feel the experience of another person, no matter how cosmetically and culturally different, then who exactly are you writing about? Are you writing the same set of characters over and over again, only with different names and in different settings? Am I?

Recoiling for fear of fucking it up is unhealthy for the writer, unhealthy for the genre, and unfair to people who find themselves either under-represented or all-but excluded from the genre. It is also downright criminal for a category of fiction which styles itself as forward-thinking, and culturally literate.”