foxtongue: (canadian)

alt-text: i hear smashing glass in my head, ever time i laugh


I awoke a little panicked, aware of a certain dreadful absence of pinging alarm, not quite damning my day job, but coming close to it. The entire morning thing seemed insurmountable. It had been a long, unexpected evening, the sort I am generally familiar with, but never actually had, so all I wanted to do was sleep in. Drinks in a bar, an invitation up, my cue to pass out chastely on half of a hotel bed, that's how it goes, how it suits my blood. But he was impossibly sweet and it seemed, after an indeterminate sleepy amount of cuddling, that my desire to cling to the familiar had evaporated somewhere, possibly seared from existence by his fiercely protective intellect, and the only path available was towards a new choice.

We went to the Aquarium after dinner later that night, (foreign dishes in a basement, the beginning of my stories, the tragic litany, the darker side of a thousand and one nights), me to crash the party, him with legitimacy, both with an equally sound purpose. Mine was to sneak in, the better to get me into even more later. We split up right away, once it was assured I had successfully bluffed past security, and that was that, I was on my own, a mercenary butterfly released into the opening party of the Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

It's startlingly easy to make fast friends at the beginning of conferences. There are always a few people who've been attending since the dawn of time, but the majority of the crowd are strangers thrown together or people who've only known each-other tangentially or on-line, so the ground is primed for the sort of introduction that doesn't generally fly in public, where you simply walk up like a little kid to a friendly looking face and say, "hi!".

I almost immediately fell in a lovely women, Shauna, a fellow burner from Berkeley I knew I would like, then together, after taking pictures with the sharks, we found Elizabeth, there for CNN, best characterized by her amazing smile, as permanent as the moon. We chatted about the fish and science and wondered about the whale, elusive and grand, sequestered in an area of the aquarium that the conference hadn't rented. Occasionally I drifted away, encountering new conversations and faces, making mental notes for later, attaching myself here and there, but made sure to keep swinging back to touch base, so as the night progressed, as I fluttered, I forged a little group with which to found a conspiracy.

Eventually we made a feint at sneaking past security to see the whale, but we'd gained mass, our core blossoming as we went into an unwieldy six or seven, too many to slyly saunter into an area we weren't supposed to go. Then, sadly, after some magic with the otters and the dolphins, it was time to leave, the staff ushering us past the sleeping octopus and the shimmering glass cube of tiny blue fish that look like living streaks of light to a queue in the the parking lot for the hired buses that were shuttling everyone back downtown. I lost my partner in the crush, perhaps because I lingered too long, loitering in a hope to find him, yet I found surprisingly good company in his wake - Alan, Estrella, and Marc, who I first met inside as part of the attempt on the beluga tank. They wanted to walk, but didn't know the way, so I put aside my concerns regarding my misplaced self as less important than the possibility of an entire lost group and appointed myself their guide.

The walk home was beautiful, if long. Mostly I fell in step with Marc, who I pressed for details about the Ig Nobels and traded stories of odd employment paths, but got on well with Alan, too, who possesses a Patient Zero level of infectious cheer. By the time everyone peeled off for their separate hotels, we'd discussed several adventures, planned a couple more, and all traded business cards, a habit I was to pick up even more as the conference went on. (The trick is to remember later which card goes to which face).

My fellow turned out to be table camping with the rest of his crew at the hotel bar, which I walked through on a whim, hoping to stumble across where he might be, my lack of cell phone again a strangely crippling artifact of the shockingly recent past. I joined them, of course, and was immediately taken with RJ, a clever young man from Waterloo University who was sitting at my end of the table. I spent the rest of the evening pulling ideas from him, chatting about clean energy and the internet, until the table finally dissolved, leaving me and mine to drift upstairs into the sweet oblivion that promises endless wonder but only ever delivers tomorrow.
foxtongue: (have to be kidding)
Word of the day - Gesamtkunstwerk: the total work of art, or rather, the idea of design for the totality of an object instead of individuation of its parts

How do you tell when you're overly tired? I have certain mental tics that arrive, stupid songs that play in my head, this shit is bananas, simple, repetetive lyrics I would never otherwise be conscious of knowing, b-a-n-a-n-a-s, and I hold little conversations with myself, dumbed down to the point of ridiculousness, where the words like "yo" and "dude" and terms like "for reals" feature heavily. It seems that on the point of exhaustion, my brain dissolves into a ten year old internet pixie, the sort that spells "you" with only one letter. Not quite lolcat, but something similar, insidious, and slightly worse, as if a children's television show producer has snuck into my skull and started scribbling on the walls in mile high luminous letters completely devoid of meaning.

I have so reached that point. In fact, I reached it a couple of hours ago, back when it was still yesterday, but instead of curling up in my giant cozy bed like a person who has good ideas then follows through with them, I have been fighting with my printer. My amazing, life changing, totally bonzo photo printer. That I love. When I do not hate it. Like I do right now. Because the damned thing, (though I coddle it as if was alive and cute, squalling like the useless infant it so obviously is), ran out of gray ink and will not go.

If it was only the printer that was giving me a hassle, I would have simply gone to bed upon this discovery with the full intention of getting up tomorrow, purchasing some ink, installing it, then letting it all ride wild, but no. My computer, as well, is refusing to run. I spent four solid hours using it yesterday, and let me tell you, it's a freaking joy to work on, that screen is like staring into the caring eyes of some technocratic deity, and then it asked, ever so nicely, for a reboot, as there was some update that required such and oh, won't it be sweet when I restart and everything is shinier? I figured, alright, sure. I need to pop out and pick up a tuxedo anyway. So I saved everything, hit restart, and head out the door. Upon my return, what did I find? A dead black screen.

My body, at this point, actually filled with dark, cold dread.

It seems that it did shut down, but failed to properly restart. Trying again begat identical results. Awful, terrible results. Running all the diagnostics possible brought me to the same dead screen, without even the comfort of a useless blinking cursor. Rolling back the boot failed, the memory test failed, the safe start failed, the whatever that other thing I found that I guess comes with Win7 failed. Everything. Failed.

So that was three hours of my life.

At which point, I finally turned to my laptop, though as photo editing goes, I'm not sure if there's anything worse to colour correct with than a laptop screen. I figured, ah well, I will do my best, and my best will save me, it will be enough, and this project will lift from the ground and soar, even so. Hooking it up to the printer proved a bit of a chore, as at first it didn't want to take directions from such a paltry machine after knowing the full glorious might of my desktop computer, but after a bit of a wrangle, I won, and it submit to my tender ministrations, as gentle and pure as a metaphorical lamb. By midnight, I was ready. Course, as soon as the pictures were all settled up, the printer joined in the technology hate party, mocking me with a dull red refill light, even after I was so damned nice to it, head cleaning, running a re-alignment, all of those things you do when you're starting up such a beautiful machine after a sad month of sorrowful neglect. Which leads me to now, after two a.m., deciding upon the third recitation of the stupid banana song, (who is responsible for that terrible thing, anyway? I refuse to look it up. Or know.), that it is time to abandon my original plan, and instead go tomorrow and pay filthy dollars to some dime store clerk and have them do all my printing for me. Out of spite, you ask? No, out of worn to the bone exhaustion. It's the wedding rehearsal tomorrow, the wedding the day after that, yet my rent needs be paid, and so I stay up and up and up, though I don't have time for this. I don't. Nor do you, probably, so I wish us luck and good night!
foxtongue: (have to be kidding)
An interesting subplot to this trip to Montreal has been the rather immediate crumbling decay of the building we've been staying in, where Lung and Melanie have been living. One of the main walls of the building half fell down recently, as it seems mold got underneath the bricks and simply sloughed the outside layer off. Not a trivial thing, this, especially as we've been staying in the room most affected. In the corner of our bedroom is a mad crack that runs all the way from the ceiling to the wooden floor, casually snapping the baseboard along the way. Every day it seems to be a tiny bit bigger. Sometimes there are threatening sounds.

Yesterday Melanie had inspectors come by, as the landlord has been too scummy to reduce their rent, and after some mandatory tapping on things, they quite promptly condemned the building, claiming that it's too dangerous to inhabit, as the ceiling "could come down on your heads any minute".

This morning they've come by banging up some sort of metal scaffolding to attempt to shore it up before it collapses, so Lung and Melanie can at least stay until December 1st. Tony and I have retreated to the livingroom with our electronics, as out of all our options, it seems safest.
foxtongue: (Default)
Sunday : Breakfast with Lung in Outremont with Jamieson & co, shopping at Simon's, duck in a can dinner at Au Pied de Cocho w. Mike Kitt & Lung, dessert there w. Vanessa & Dee, tea and cider after w. Mike, Dee, & Vanessa at Laika on St. Laurent.

Monday: Shopping at the Le Chateau Warehouse, (coats acquired!), Michel's studio, sandwiches at Atomic.

Tuesday : Breakfast at l'Avenue De Plateau, visit with Michel & Julie at the studio, then Silophone, Body-worlds, and Avesta's Turkish dinner w. Christine, take-home cake.

wednesday: biodome, pecha kucha at SAT [Société des arts technologiques], dinner at Michel & Julie's, dancing at Koi w. Dee and Mike Kitt.

thursday: Patati Patata & La Croissanterie Figaro w. Dee and Vanessa, new moon twilight opening w. lung and melanie at star city at 10pm.

friday: write Lung's Canada Council Grant application essay, dinner at dee's w. vanessa

saturday: brunch at fuchsia w. christine & Dee, Juliette et Choclat on St-Denis, borrow camera flash, find a teapot for Melanie, dinner at La Academie on St. Laurant, Welcome Winter Prom! w. Mark Berube at 5386 St Laurent

sunday: Pick up picture frames at Zone on St. Denis, Michel et Julie's wedding, Resevoir, Le Banquis

monday: Work, terible headache, Best Croissants Ever at Au Kouign-Amann, just west of the Mont-Royal Métro stop near Mont-Royal and Rue Drolet,

tuesday: Jean-Talon Market, Santropol, Santropol w. Christine, and animated movie, Max and Mary.

wednesday: pictures with Michel & Julie, Frank Wimart's movie, "c'est notre histoire" 7 pm, cinematheque, corner of st. denis & maisson, projection room: fernando, dinner at Confusion w. Mike & friend, dancing at Passeport.

thursday: CEILING FALLS ON BED, Breakfast at Le Cafeteria w. Dee & Vanessa, St. Joseph's Oratory w. Vanessa, The Musee Des Beaux Arts (Waterhouse til February!), dinner & dessert at Rockeberry w. Dee, Michel, Julie, and Vanessa, hotel check-in, dancing at Passeport, tea.

friday: fly back to vancouver

saturday: bus to seattle w. Tony, That 1 Guy, dinner at 13 coins w. Mike, Cherise, Heatbox Aaron, Rafael.
foxtongue: (Default)
Jeepers, I thought last night was unexpectedly exciting, what with successfully hooking Nicole up with Nick for the holidays, finally meeting Dominique's new little baby, SURVIVING NICK'S NEW VAN CATCHING FIRE, (no one was hurt. I pulled Nicole out and we put the fire out with snow), and admitting rather bashfully to someone that I wrote about our personal life on the interblags, but today's news sort of trumps it, so I'll just get it out of the way and talk about yesterday in the next post...

I've just been hired as a cameraperson for Chanukah on Ice.

"Skate to Chanukah music or watch and nosh latkes and doughnuts.
Monday, December 22, 2008, 6:00-7:30 pm.
West End Ice Rink, 1750 Haro Street (Between Denman & Bidwell).
Admission: By donation. Skates are free."

Which sounds, on the surface, like it's going to be a Yiddish Icecapades, people dressed as sparkling, spinning dreidel, singing songs and throwing glitter under a rainbow of lights, but apparently it's something a thousand times more hard-core bizarre. Something I would never have the wit or imagination to think up myself.

It's a Candle Lighting on an Menorah made of ice, a meter high and shaped like hockey sticks.

Did you get that? Shaped like hockey sticks.
foxtongue: (have to be kidding)
My apprehension is on fire, reaching out to confuse my generally pragmatic self. Tonight I will get home, try to relax with David, have a brief panic, and eventually give in to a clockwork pattern of getting up every five minutes to try and make sure I remembered everything I made a mental note to pack. Then my mother will arrive, slightly late, while I am in the middle of tearing something apart, and drug me into amicability with chocolate. Our things will be put into her van, we may or may not stop somewhere for road food, and then we will go.

Ten blocks will go by before I remember that I have left either my plane ticket or required ID on top of a flat surface somewhere in my room, and another fifteen blocks will go by before I remember that I've forgotten something essential to do with either the camera or the laptop. After that, we will be like an arrow, off to Seattle in the dark. At the border we will make jokes about holding on to contraband, while hoping they don't search the truck and find the Kinder Eggs we're smuggling for Robin's party. Around then I will remember that I've left Robin's number at home, right next to where that pesky other thing had been. We will decide it's probably just in my bag and continue on, but we'll be wrong.

In Bellingham, it will rain so hard the roads will collapse, and I will miss my plane on Monday, recovering in an American hospital that charges me for the air I breathe.

Nonsense clear in my head, put there solidly by my worried, idiot heart. Nonsense and things that have happened before but are unlikely to ever happen again. I know this trip will completely different then the last time I went to California. It can't not be. I will not be stranded. I will not be neglected. Nothing will flood. (Related to that, I will not get caught in another mud-slide.) I will not be attacked by yet another damned wild animal while camping. I will not be kidnapped by yet another dangerous religious fanatic. I will not get trapped on the train for seven hours because of a suicide. I will not accidentally walk into Compton on my first day in Los Angeles.

Not only will my trip by fun, it will be fine. This time I have friends there. I am connected. I have a network, a safety net, multiple places to stay. Tonight we will remember everything irreplaceable, get clean across the border, and collapse into our plans/friends in Seattle with joy. On Monday morning, I will be exhausted, but will make my early morning flight. I won't get off the plane to find myself abandoned by a car crash, Lung and Natasha will meet me there. Vegas will be exotic yet completely familiar from television, terrific and fascinating. When we leave for the Salton Sea, our drive will be all sing-alongs to favourite songs, fruit juice, bad jokes, and photography in the desert. When it is time to go to sleep, we will lie down on the cold ground, miles away from anything, and the stars at night will be so clear as to make me catch my breath.
foxtongue: (geigerteller)
It's that time of year again...

12th Annual Eastside Culture Crawl
November 21, 22, & 23

The 2008 Crawl map.

FRIDAY November 21st 5:00pm - 10:00pm
SATURDAY November 22nd 11:00am - 6:00pm
SUNDAY November 23rd 11:00am - 6:00pm

The Eastside Culture Crawl is a free, annual 3-day arts festival that involves artists opening their doors to let the public tramp through their creative studio-spaces, (and sometimes homes), to exhibit work for sale.

"Painters, jewelers, sculptors, furniture makers, musicians, weavers, potters, writers, printmakers, photographers, glassblowers; from emerging artists to those of international fame... these are just a sampling of the exciting talents featured during this unique chance to meet local artists in their studios.

Purchase something that strikes your fancy, commission something to be uniquely yours, or just browse through the studios and meet the artists, learning about their specific works of art, materials and tools, approaches and techniques. This is a once a year opportunity to meet many diversely talented artists and view their creations in the studios where they work. Be part of this exciting event, which brings people from all over the Lower Mainland, and share in the imaginations that enrich our neighbourhood and lives."


Last year Dillon and I went to a bit of it, and it was absolutely spectacular. Almost endlessly fascinating, as every room contained an entirely new collection of art. 1000 Parker St., especially, as it has the highest concentration of artists. (Though there seems to be more paintings of crows at 1000 Parker St. than there are actual crows in a fifteen mile radius of the building itself. Go figure.) Thankfully few studios were devoted to watercolour trees or flowers, instead it was a little like coming home, exploring every room as new, colour-spattered, welcoming universe. Last year there were over 300 artists showing. This year there's going to be more.

It's one of the few Vancouver events I consider unmissable, which is why it's killing me a little that I'm not going to be in town while it's happening. Instead I'm going to be in Seattle, and then hopefully on a plane, making my way South, towards Lung and the Salton Sea, the ecological disaster desert west outside of L.A. Take pictures, everyone. Attend, discover, and explore.
foxtongue: (have to be kidding)
Behind the scenes of the As Real As It Gets... "sweded" photoshop advertising poster for software-asli.com.

The raspberry red we bought from Home Depot dried a violent pink on the wall, the pink of a small girl's pink velvet stirrup pants in the 80's, even after seven coats. I swore upon seeing it the next morning, having forgotten overnight how appallingly bright it turned out. Gah. My eyes. Anyone's eyes! Amazing what a bit of colour will do. Oi. Change the whole place, it does. Yes. Into a bad television set for brain damaged teenagers, all ironic and post-hateful and too cheerful for words.

I'm very glad we discovered this before we painted more than one space with it, though not so glad that we didn't start with the spare room wall and not the kitchen. Small mercies duking it out with slightly bigger regrets. Who will win? News at eleven.

To rectify this horrible mistake, David and I spent part of our Remembrance Day with our heads bowed in the heavy crush of DIY sawdust yuppies at Home Depot. We had the paint retinted darker and bought a tiny tin of sinfully delicious red that we're going to pour in before painting the next, more hopeful, coat. A final gasp for our currently blinding kitchen. Apparently Nicole is going to be over again today while I'm at work, hanging out with David who's sick today, and painting. If that doesn't work, I'm going to spraypaint it matte black, out of adorable girlish spite.
foxtongue: (misery)
www.readatwork.com

Listening to Christine's music in her beautiful St. Denis studio flat, the balcony door open, the sun shining down, I can't figure out why it's imperative we leave, and yet we must. Katie's wedding is this Saturday, and then October looms, and with it, the need for paying rent. We are quick blooming flowers here, due to vanish any minute. It makes me sad, in a far off sort of way, because I know I'm happier here, it's far more beautiful, living expenses are seriously cheaper, (rent is how much??!?!??), and yet, I know I'm stuck existing awhile more in Vancouver.

Ah well. Once crisis at a time. As is, possibly only I will be going to the wedding, while David stays behind in Montreal, as Katie's offer of a place to stay fell through at the very last minute. That way we only have to pay for one ticket, he can stay in the land of light and architecture with my friends who are now his friends as well, and I can brave the unexpected knocking on doors for a couch alone, which should drastically improve my chances. I've a proven track record of finding overnight lodging with friendly strangers in Toronto. David, not so much. Then, hypothetically, after the wedding, I come straight back, and we stay in Montreal until it's time to go down to Toronto for Nuit Blanche, and our inevitable bus-ride home.

It all depends if I can find a place to stay at all. The ticket(s) have to be bought today, and yet, as of this afternoon, we still have nowhere. If, in a few hours, we still haven't made contact with an available couch, I'm not sure what else we could do, except to split up and reconnect in a few days. Two people stranded in Toronto with luggage is a far more depressing picture than just me alone with an over-night bag.

www.writerhymes.com
foxtongue: (have to be kidding)
Seemingly at the Very Last Minute, Boca Del Lupo has pulled out from their show at FUSE tonight. As a result, I am not going.

Nor is Duncan and Gerald couldn't make it anyway. So there. (FUSE will be notably less full of tall people by their absence). Sorry if anyone else was planning on finding me there. Instead, Silva and I are going to go to Locus through Michael's good graces. (Which should cheer him up too).

I'll very likely be available for other shenanigans later in the evening. If you want to get ahold of me, I suggest leaving a message either here or on my phone. Rumour says there's a house-party.

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foxtongue

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