foxtongue: (beseech)
Friday morning was also a trial, though I crept out of it like a cat. I still had work, so I had to skip the symposiums, which hurt, but I made on-line plans from there with Alan to meet at the Science World party that night. So after, once I'd gone home and showered and changed into new clothes and did all the things regular people do when they're about to go seriously crash the largest science conference in the western hemisphere, I packed a duffel to bring to the hotel after the party, so I wouldn't have to return to the apartment again until the conference was over. (Could have done it the day before, but whatever. Dinner! Whales! Plus Science World has a significantly better coat check that the Aquarium.)

Once there, the only question was finding my people in the crush of people pointedly lingering next to the open bars and clumping in the areas where the waiters would cruise by with tasty nibbles. It all came together eventually, but I spent the first twenty minutes completely on my own, wandering through the exhibits, going from table to table, attempting to find the promised non-fish based food, as well as scouting for my clever partner in crime. The trick, apparently, was to stop looking for the shortest gregarious person and instead make for the tallest, Erik, as naturally they would be speaking together.

I didn't know Erik, but it was instantly clear that I should. He was funny, eloquent, and involved in his topics in a way I utterly envy. Truly, there may never be a group of people I immediately get on with more than journalists. There's just something about a profession that attracts the intelligent, literate, and perpetually curious that gets under my skin in the best kind of way. He wasn't selling his story to Cosmos that night, though. It wasn't quite the right fit, even though I found it personally fascinating. Even so, we all walked up the ramp together to the massive dome of the IMAX Theater, for the Kavli Foundation Awards, just in time for me to somehow lose everyone all over again at the door.

Just my luck, I almost sat alone for the show, stranded in the empty seats I tried to save. Thankfully a very nice woman from Berlin came and sat with me, social orphans together. I have regretfully misplaced her name, but she was wonderful company, telling me about her goth days back in Germany, about her lab, about her adorable daughter. She saved me as easily as grabbing the keys to the car on the way out the door. We stayed together downstairs for nearly the rest of the night, playing on the exhibits, sitting on spinny things and climbing the hollowed tree in the nature room. If we'd been children we would have been running through the yard, thrown together by chance but making the best of it, playing tag by the overpass.
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: (Default)
  • Globe&Mail: LulzSec hackers reportedly brought down by own leader.

    Woke up in a massive hotel bed in the sky, fluffy and white and perfect, after an evening of late night hot-tubbing and room service, with a cell phone next to me connected to London. On the table in the main room is a small black robot that walks and dances, next to a package of Dita Von Teese brand bottled Perrier brought in from Paris. The laptop's spring loaded keys light up blue and it runs facial recognition password software which loads quickly but doesn't like the lighting.

    Today is the booze run, checking and fixing the stickers, booking the arcade machines, planning for the Whistler cabins, setting up the staff room, and programming our phones to talk to the white plastic surveillance bunny, so we can instruct it to say ridiculous things. (We're all addicted to the creepy bunny. It watches you masturbate). Tomorrow the conference starts all proper like and then the real fun begins.
  • foxtongue: (Default)
    365: 2012/01/15 - "fashion photographer", a twitpic by Andrew
  • 70 Science Fiction and Fantasy Movies to Watch Out for in 2012.
  • The absolutely epic line-up of this year’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.

    Tea today, slumping on Kyle's couch, a cupcake, a scone, Lisa and Jeremy and Derek and Aleks and another girl, a name I have regretfully forgotten. A drive downtown, meeting Jacquie at work, then a route along water to the Naam, where Hawkfeather and Loren were waiting, and eventually, by chance, Lori and David arrived. Dropped off at Main, upstairs to the batcave, mad scientists lair, mess and matrix, Dragos and Leah, canned peach tea vodka, indian food, and my only christmas card. I should visit more. I miss these people, I miss this place. Next is Sherlock across the street, the Mcbunker, houses named, it's A Thing, apartments as proper nouns, filled with friends and internet references, people piled in like pillows, pillows lining the floor. I am annoyed at the obvious plot, the awkward scene changes, but the company is especially sweet. Back to the penthouse after, all telescopes and swords, introducing Andrew to his neighbor, a stack of helicopters under the stairs. I am tired, but not exhausted. Chilly, but not frozen. I leave at midnight. I get home before one.
  • foxtongue: (Default)
    Friday was close to being a complete write-off. First I went downtown to take someone's photo, only to stand about waiting for an hour in the cold, at home a note sent through the digital, "stuck in a meeting, sorry!", my lack of cell phone stranding me yet again. Things cheered up briefly when I walked home to find an invitation to a job interview, only to find out, once I'd trekked back downtown, that it wasn't for legitimate employment, but instead with a guy who wants a girl to "boss around" his home. "Oh good, you're pretty enough." Pardon? I explained he should be advertising in the personals section and left, but not before he referred to special needs people as "feebs", (the second person to do so in my presence in as many days, ugh), and demanded I pay his bar tab. The entire experience lasted perhaps a total of fifteen miserable, uncomfortable minutes, but felt like a shotgun blast to the day. Walking home from that was even worse than the morning's photography failure. And, of course, at soon as I'm home again, home again, there is a voice mail message with my name on it, from the non-profit I interviewed on Wednesday, "we've gone with another applicant".

    But David got home in time for me to borrow his bus pass to go to the Ayden Gallery opening, where I met up with my brother Kevin, in from Montreal, his friend Nicholas, and Diego, recently back from Spain, and the art was nice and the company nice and Diego gave me a pretty necklace as a holiday gift and we got slurpees on the way out of the mall and cadbury cream eggs and there was a clutch of hipsters at the bus-stop all wearing fake mustaches and it snowed a little and I got to show my brother Nightwatch when we got back to my place and everything turned out pretty well after all. Hooray.

    Saturday was significantly better. Kevin took me to breakfast at Locus, one of my favourite Vancover restaurants, and we wandered around in the thin crust of snow a bit, talking about our mutual love of Montreal, before I dropped him off at a friend's place and bussed home. He's grown from an angry, unpleasant child into someone I am glad to know, for which I am thankful. It spills from me like water in cupped hands, brimming past the edges of our sad memories of childhood, a slow moving river that is going to take some time to get used to.

    Then Aleks came over and napped in my bed with the cats for awhile before driving us over to Andrew & Sara's for an in-house Molly Lewis concert that was stuffed to with spectacular people. She sang about Myspace and having Stephen Fry's baby and generally charmed the heck out of everyone and for the first time all week I relaxed. It was wonderful.

    Eventually the clever after-party dismantled for a trip to The Whip and though outside it was cold, it was beautiful, with snow, real snow, the dry, enchanting stuff, floating down like feathers after a televised pillow fight. We sparkled up the street, running in bursts then sliding along the frozen road on the flats of our shoes, arms akimbo, all transformed into ten years old. The group splintered at the bisto-bar, breaking off to different tables, mine against the far wall, the kitchen party, with Michael and Andrew and some folks from Seattle. We talked about terrible twitter jokes and a scandalous lot about nothing, but it was as full of odd glory as the weather, if inevitably more silly.

    When it was time to go home, we skated down the road again, sliding even farther, whooping with cackling laughter, occasionally colliding, but never remembering to fall. Plans were made, Sherlock mentioned, and I fled down the street, trying and failing to get Andrew with the one tiny snowball I managed to make. S. drove me home, spinning the car down one of the back streets near my apartment, just because he could, with the sort of wicked joy usually reserved for roller coasters and haunted houses, toothless darkness and danger followed by ice-cream in the sun.
    foxtongue: (tripwire)
    Wishbones, originally published in the horror anthology Creatures: Thirty Years of Monsters, is a creepy, bone crackling tale by Cherie Priest, perfect for the season. Best read right before bedtime. Enjoy!
    foxtongue: (Default)
    please hold me the forgotten way

    Tony and I leave for New York tonight. Here is our itinerary so far. Please, if you're around, come join us! Make plans with us! Take over our question marks!

    Aside from the shows and an overwhelming desire to eat at Shopsin's, (I Like Killing Flies), our itinerary is very open. We figure any unaccounted chunks of time can be filled with sillies from the ZoomDoggle Fun List NYC.


    Friday

    6 am - Arrival.
    ??
    Noon - Lunch with Mordicai.
    ??
    7 pm - Sleep No More. Punchdrunk, a British site-specific theater company, has taken over three abandoned warehouses and crafted them into an insanely detailed, art deco, film noir, one hundred room Hitchcockian hotel, for a haunting, immersive performance loosely shadowed on Macbeth. The level of detail sounds astounding, especially given the wide range of rooms, (everything from a sweets shop to a hospital room, and the witches have a rave). According to the NY Times review, "everyone who attends “Sleep No More” is required to wear (and keep on) a Venetian carnival-style mask. You are also asked not to utter a word during the two and a half hours you are given to follow the characters of your choice from room to room. But you are encouraged to poke around in corners and trunks and bookcases, and allowed to get as close as (in)decency permits to the lithe-bodied denizens of this chic spook house. (Just don’t touch them, though they may well reach out and touch you.)".
    ??

    Saturday

    ??
    ?? - Walk along Highline park.
    8 pm - Dances of Vice presents their 4th Anniversary bash, Enchantment Under The Sea, a Back To The Future-esque 50's themed junior/senior prom at Morningside Castle. A teaser from GeekChicDaily says, "... like Marty McFly's hand, tickets will vanish fast. Don't be a slacker. Get yours before the clocktower strikes the 11th hour. It's gonna be heavy."*
    ??

    Sunday

    ??
    ?? - Visit CB I Hate Perfume.
    5 pm - The COILHOUSE Black & White & Red All Over Fundraising Ball at the velvet drenched Red Lotus Room in Brooklyn, featuring music and spectacle galore from people like Kim Boekbinder, Brian Viglione of the Dresdon Dolls, Molly Crabapple, Jessica Joslin, Muffinhead, and the Purevile! Girls. "A Love Letter To Alternative Culture" come to life! This just might turn out to be the party of the year.*
    7 pm - Fuerza Bruta, an extraordinary show, absurd, messy, and very, very fun. There's bright lights, loud music, dancing, confetti drop bombs, explosions, someone gets shot, it rains indoors, and a swimming pool comes down from the ceiling. It's kind of A Thing. I loved it when I saw it in May, (thanks to Duncan for telling me about it), and now Tony is determined that we go.
    9 pm - Back to the Coilhouse Ball!
    ??

    Monday

    ??
    Noon - Lunch with Mordicai.
    ??
    5 pm - Departure.





    *There's a special $25 package deal available for general admission to both Enchantment Under The Sea and The Black & White & Red All Over Ball.
    foxtongue: (Default)
    Part of this week was spent collecting the last documents required for Irish citizenship, my grandfather's death certificate and a notarized affidavit of estrangement. Terrific, excepting that only two dollars and two cents remained in my bank account when I was done, an oddly symmetrical notation of poverty. I am very grateful to my friend Myke, who, upon discovering the details of my anemic finances, spontaneously sent me a spot of money, enough for the packet of eggs, bottle of milk, and bag of past-the-date oranges which should get me through most of next week. I'm not sure how I would have managed without him. In thankful return, I ask that you take a peek at his store and consider purchasing his lovely steampunk-y Airships & Tentacles Colouring Book, because seriously folks, that rules. Pass it on!
    foxtongue: (moi?)
    Congratufabulations to Nicholas and his mad and merry crew of crackpot visionaries! After an improbable amount of work, and slightly too many years, his video game, Dungeons of Dredmor, has finally launched!

    Get it on Steam for 10% off and slay in the name of the Lutefisk God!
    foxtongue: (have to be kidding)
    More bad news has come in. If anyone local to Vancouver has any contact numbers for support groups or counseling for families who have lost members to the Downtown Eastside sex & drug trade, it would be appreciated. Information or resource centers available to parents of underage delinquents would also be relevant. Thanks.
    foxtongue: (Default)
    An excerpt from the journal of Metrocentric:
    Across from the pub, an office building, presenting to us its side elevation. A column of windows, about half a dozen in height.

    In many workplaces people making or taking calls on their mobile phones will leave their desks and make their way to a more anonymous part of the building: a corridor, a stairway, a lift lobby. There they stand and shuffle as they speak - if there is a window they will typically look out of it for all or part of the call.

    It was that part of the afternoon in which anyone going back to the office would have done so, and the post-work clientele had yet to appear. I was drinking Bombardier, because he got the first round in and he can't ask for lager, he says.

    Every now and then a face and torso would appear at one of the windows opposite. At one point there were four. Four in a row. "Connect Four!", I remarked. All this was happening behind him.

    Once, when all four fully presented themselves at the window, and none were crouched into themselves in their phone calls, and two were gesticulating, the sun came out; the light fell on all four. The squares of window stood out against the dark concrete. It was like looking at a grand opera stage set: they could have flung the glass aside and burst into song.
    foxtongue: (Default)
    Listening to the sproglet

    Happy belated birthday to Illyana Lev Astrid Ainsley! Born Saturday May 21st, her fabulous mum Rebecca went on to defend her thesis and win an MFA only two weeks later.
    foxtongue: (have to be kidding)
    o rly

    Doug, Tony, and Rafael at one of the public art pieces at the capitol hill subway station construction site.
    foxtongue: (Default)
    On the middle finger of my right hand is a small lump, a callous right up by the first knuckle that used to be known as a writer's bump, prominent and round, worn into my flesh by countless pens, yet, oddly, I have discovered that my hand is no longer familiar with writing.

    The crux of this discovery lay in a love letter I wrote last night, (bittersweet black ink on treasured boutique paper, short yet hopefully sweet), when I found it curious how naturally I remembered my cursive, (how deplorable my style has become!), and my kerning, even as I marveled at how very long it took to manually scribe all the words. I have become more accustomed to tapping at keyboards, whipping down thoughts at 75 words per minute, and the gentle, profound flexibility of word processors that allow me to shift chunks of text up and down a page, than the slow, steady pace of scribbling with ink, although it used to be the activity I did most in a day. Still, I appreciated the process, even as I railed against the pace. It is comforting to fashion an object, to have made something more tangible than my usual twist of digital light.

    I have, myself, a small untidy box of such things, collected from friends, ex-lovers, and one amazing, mysterious stranger, that I can never quite bring myself to throw away, no matter how irrelevant their messages have become. They are charmed things, each page representing a strangely intimate glimpse into a slice of past life, time that I would otherwise forget captured as solid state memory spun from stationery, as telling as the rings of the dead trees that made the paper pulp. Riffling through them exposes layers upon layers of emotional archeology, the rise and fall of small relationship empires, describing arcs of meaning all the way from the brief glory before an emotional disaster to someone's gleaming desire inexpertly pinned to prose like a shoddy taxidermy specimen mounted on sagging cardboard, all broken clauses and imprisoned nouns trapped in a dirty laundry of terrible poetry and too many verbs.

    So even if the practice feels antique, even as my hand cramps at the now unfamiliar act of proper writing, even as it consumes resources probably better left for others, I will defend the act forever. Love letters, even as a mad, sometimes callow contrivance of adulation, hypocorism, and art, are how I shall keep my heart.
    foxtongue: (Default)


    Another flour dusted portrait of Duncan, my other favourite from the day before he cut all of his hair off for charity.

    flour

    May. 12th, 2011 12:32 pm
    foxtongue: (Default)


    A flour dusted portrait of Duncan, the day before he cut all of his hair off for charity.
    foxtongue: (Default)
    Rebecca

    Rebecca's due date is this week. Exciting times! From our pregnancy shoot in Seattle at the Uni. of Washington.
    foxtongue: (moi?)
    nadia nadia

    Pictures of my friend Nadia in the park across the street from my house.

    -::-

    I come across your picture and my consumed heart shakes, a little quiver of reminder, the smallest of chemical starts, as if every time I am inspired, it carries your name.

    I've been pleasantly busy with photography work lately, taking pictures for expecting friends in Seattle, Shane's band here, and Duncan's before-the-charity-hair-cut series. Soon, too, headshots for Joshua's new website, publicity and documentation for the upcoming Vancouver SlutWalk, and bridal pictures for David's sister's wedding.
    foxtongue: (moi?)
    Rebecca

    An angelic Rebecca from our pregnancy shoot in Seattle at the Uni. of Washington.

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