foxtongue: (Default)
There are things sadder
than you and I. Some people
do not even touch.
Sonia Sanchez, Haiku.

I've been trying to teach myself to write again, insisting on consecutive events, playing catch up from a month ago - the science conference, cansec, the whistler trip, and now Seattle; Sean Corey Adams, the emerald city comicon, friends, productivity, love, and witnessing the birth of a scarlet wall squid. Not sure how well it's serving me yet, but here's hoping. In the meantime, I want to mark this as one of those rare occasions when my life is actually nice. Thank you.
foxtongue: (Default)
This past week was a crucible. I did something I've never done before and come out of it like a phoenix from flame, a new thing, my impurities burned off, the corrosion washed away. If I play my cards right, I will never be the same again.

It started with the unlikeliest thing, choosing while being chosen, seducing while being seduced, a photograph then a note, a reply then a phone number. Within ten minutes I was dressed, throwing a toothbrush in my bag, hopping for the door as I pulled my shoes on, still talking, fleeing from my life and towards the cab at my door. Another ten minutes and I was downtown, stepping from the vehicle, saying hello, saying thank you and good evening, everything set in motion, the confluence of a thousand superficial things coming together for this perfect fact, two impossibly complementary strangers in a hotel bar.

When any uniform magnetic field is applied across the cloud chamber, positively and negatively charged particles will curve in opposite directions, according to the Lorentz force law with two particles of opposite charge.

Just over a week later I am exhausted, every muscle of my narrative stretched, a pile of serious sounding business cards in a small pile on my desk, an entire new life hovering in the wings, waiting for me to settle in, work hard, and accept. I have moved back into my apartment, reintroduction shock and all, taken the appropriate pills, and abandoned nearly every scar I've ever gathered, given away like baby teeth as a gift to a new and extraordinary friend. My time away was a radiant miracle, equal parts unexpected and compassionate, as lucky as a random mutation that betters a species, the dream like paths of the particles seen in a cloud chamber made flesh. Now all that's left is to take what I've gathered, sort my thankful thoughts, and dig in and write.
foxtongue: (Default)
I've started a number of projects this year.

The 365 Self-Portrait Series: The challenge is to take a different self portrait each day for an entire year. I've attempted this a number of times in the past, but every time something came up to interrupt the flow - my camera broken or stolen or a hard-drive crash that locked up all my pictures. According to Flickr, the most I've ever managed is 181 photos. Last year I was too depressed to even begin, but this attempt is already unlike the others. Something inside me snapped this spring and hasn't mended. All that's left is the determination to make this year different.

My Facebook Friends Portraits: This is the year I expect to have 1000 facebook friends. To celebrate the milestone, I am going to take a portrait photo of every single one. When I am done, I will have a small gallery show. Given that many of my friends are scattered across the globe, I may have to actually apply for arts funding for this one, but for now I'm going to do as many as I can where I am. The website for the project is still in the planning stages, but I've already started taking the pictures.

Six-String Samurai: I haven't picked up a guitar with an intent to play it since my father smashed mine when I was little. Time to move on. To that end, I've been given an acoustic guitar by my family, jointly somehow by my mother and brother Kevin, that used to belong to Brenda, and my friend Ray has returned my family's guitar book, Rock School, that my mother bought through mail order when I was two. I have cut the nails on my left hand short and practicing chords every day until my fingertips go numb. There is an end goal, a VideoSong, but more information on that will come later, once I am farther along the way.

Sell My Stuff: I started this last year to some success, but the pace isn't moving fast enough. To this end, I'm putting aside a day every week to catalogue what's left and re-list anything that hasn't sold. I will also be reviving the minimalfox blog to keep track of my progress. Most of my sentiment's been excised, so the new rules for the majority of what remains shall be that of good design - if it's not unique, rare or hard to find, it had better be useful as well as beautiful.

a summary

Jan. 7th, 2012 01:56 pm
foxtongue: (misery)
This is one of my favorite memes. It’s a look at the last year, through the first line of my first blog post of each month.
  1. the failed canary in the lightswitch
  2. a crow carrying pearls
  3. sometimes we have the same colour iris
  4. commitment/abandonment
  5. it's may day: make a joyful noise
  6. confluence
  7. artpost: something I could never do
  8. I'm going back
  9. a memoir
  10. heavy traffic
  11. at the late night double feature picture show
  12. this is it, the only life we have to live
Looking over my archives, it's clear that this is the year I've written the least. (Two unresponsive partners in a row destroyed my craft to the point where I wonder if I'll ever get it back.) Perhaps I'll find it's a matter of practice. Perhaps I should resolve to write every day, no matter the topic, and if all I have is unhappiness, regret, pain, and sorrow, than I should write anyway, damn my efforts to keep up the tone. I've lost love this year, and trust, and joy, and my partner, and my most intimate friendship. The people closest to me let me down the most, in every possible way. There is death everywhere. And struggle. My body is broken, my heart an open wound, and my life bleak in almost every direction. I have no work, no income, and no future. Losing my writing should at least be my last straw. My writing and my pictures. Once I stop creating, what is there that's left?

So what about your year? What did it look like?
foxtongue: (danger)
"It is only from one of the higher towers, the myriad smaller buildings laid out below and higher ones gleaming in the distance, that the City’s infinitude truly becomes intuitively and not merely intellectually apparent."

Mastering new things generally comes easily to me, yet contact lenses are presenting a strange new kind of learning curve. Despite several months of switching them back and forth with my glasses, (a task that abruptly went from herculean to simple when I learned how to peel them off the skin of my eye with a fingernail), I remain severely discomfited by the visual change, how everything warps, the way my brain readjusts its input parameters to redefine normal.

When I first tried them, the doctor put them in for me then told me not to stand up right away. I didn't mind waiting at first, but eventually even the marvel of peripheral vision became boring in the broom closet back office, so I stood up and tried to step to the door, thinking I was ready. Wrong. As I crashed immediately to the ground, shattering every pretense of sophistication and grown-up-ed-ness, I could hear him shout from the other room, "I told you so!".
foxtongue: (Default)
Today's best telescopes could see the amount of light produced by Tokyo from as far away as the Kuiper Belt.

I put the idea down, feeling like a fool as I walked down the path, dismissed from the large green house, and stepped under the arch of the overgrown hedge, a thick, living wall as solid as any made of stone. From the street, the house is hidden by its branches, as invisible as the steady burst of static that clouds my brain every time I approach it or even pass it, as I usually do, a solid block away. Something deep in my chest thudded as I walked under its shadow, wounded, let down by my own betrayal, that I had even approached that door. Why do I do these things? Why do I try? I was an echo of the spring, drained of everything worthwhile, too tired with myelf to even be angry. All that was left was to walk away.

Seattle was nice to visit. I rearranged all the furniture in Aleks' apartment while he was at work and made a bed out of pillows in front of the fire. I enjoyed the concert, then the after concert concert, and two different movies, all of them good in distinct and lovely ways. I introduced friends to friends, met new friends of friends, spent some time chatting with Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaimen, who were gracious and sweet, had a cup of drinking chocolate while I wandered Pike Place Market, and Tony bought me a steak. It was like a teeny, tiny vacation. I no longer have any comforting intimacy there, nothing deep, it's not my home, I still couldn't sleep, but it was enough to feel okay on the surface, just to navigate a handful of days without any struggle.
foxtongue: (Default)
Shane Koyczan
Promotional photo for Shane Koyczan.
  • ChatRoulette Love Song: speed dating done right.

    Arron took me on a driving lesson the other day, all the way from Home Depot to Metrotown, the farthest I've ever gone in a car. I suspect he found it vaguely terrifying, but given my lack of experience, I think I did rather well. No one died, nothing got wrecked, and I finally found myself okay with driving at more than 30 km/hour. I had been vaguely concerned that driving his truck would be somehow scarier than the little car I had been learning in with Young Drivers of Canada, (bigger equals more dangerous), but instead I discovered that though I disliked the hugeness of the thing, (the amount of space it takes up is slightly ridiculous), my years of living in a truck have apparently made me significantly more comfortable sitting higher up. It feels more natural being able to look down at other vehicles, rather than up at them. I blame my mother and her addiction to vans. Also, not dealing with a clutch meant that I stopped mixing up the pedals, so that was a victory, too. The best one, probably. Notes: remembering to check blind spots, figuring out how much space is actually required to change lanes. (Hint: significantly less than I think).

  • Little Wheel: a sweet, beautiful art game involving robots.

    I had a try-out day of work with Agentic yesterday, the web development company I've been interviewing with that I rather like. It was a very relaxed time, some easy work in a nice environment, surrounded by quiet, friendly people, not stressful at all. I was mostly left to myself, just me and a desk and a small pile of simple tasks. It was only after, during my gentle walk home, that I started feeling worried I wouldn't get the job, as if my body had saved up all my concerns for later, tucked away in a bottom drawer of my heart until it was deemed safe to let them out. Silly, in a way, as it is out of my hands now. Everything left to do is on their side - talking to my references, deciding which candidate to hire, then calling us with the decision. (I was told they'll let me know no later than Monday.) In the meantime, all I can do is wait and cross my fingers that I am what they need. It would be great to work in a positive environment again. I'm tired of spending time in offices where you can tell that everyone there wishes they weren't.

  • Mills & Boon: self-portraits that mimic the covers of romance novels.

    My others news: Lung and I are finally starting a photography business together, Fox-Rain Wedding Photos. We've been talking about it for years, but the timing was never quite right. This time, however, I've already kludged together a solid rough draft of our website that I plan to take live in the next few days, before he leaves for California next week, and hope to get some sort of quick logo nailed down by the end of today, the better to toss on business cards asap. Neither one of us is particularly flush at the moment, so start-up money is tight, but I've done my research and I'm not only certain we can do this on the cheap, I'm absolutely confident we'll succeed. If we can get everything together quick enough, things could even be up and running by the end of the month. Expect us at a tacky wedding fair near you, soon! We'll be the people who don't suck.
  • foxtongue: (holy napa valley)
    "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." –Dom Helder Camara

    For all my poverty, I am rich this week thanks to a fridge full of vegetables and half of a left-over chicken. It's unbelievably exciting. Luxurious, even. Edibles: the best gift ever. Though it is a blessing to be able to eat when I want, groceries are never high on my priority list. Instead I skimp to pay off my Heart of the World debt, living off rice and potatoes and very little else, and anything I can claim as extra, however meager, goes to better things, closer to my heart than survival or an easier life. Last time I went out, for example, instead of food or a camera bag or a casing for the naked SATA drive that contains my photography archives, I purchased tickets to the Dusty Flower Pot's upcoming show, The Hard Times Hit Parade, for Valentine's Day. Possibly not the most clever decision, but the kind of choice I'll stand by and defend tooth and nail, even as my tummy growls defiance. A large part of being poor is knowing when to make those choices, understanding that while it is important to scrape by, it is equally essential to feel alive sometimes, too.

    That said, today I'm about to splurge on something that neatly straddles the line between requirement and desire - I'm replacing my shredded duvet, the one that died so ignominiously on the way to Burning Man. It's not something I can afford, strictly speaking, not when ten dollars is still a lot of money to me, but it's a want that has finally nudged its hesitant way past wistful desire to actual need and why I have a credit card. I have been cold almost every night this winter, waking up so regularly in the dark of morning, shivering underneath two layers of inadequate blanket, that my cat, Tanith, has finally learned to sleep under the covers with me, the better to share some heat. My first thought this morning, as I lay in the dark, huddled in a tiny ball, "To be warm again, I can't put a price on that."

    EDIT: Even better, I've been given the opportunity to barter for one! Photography for a duvet! Internet win.
    foxtongue: (femme)
    And sometimes the night looks like morning, while at other times like rain.

    This past year wasn't what I wanted. Though there were exquisite moments, beautiful, troubling and lovely, I've been left tired and burned out, worn down to the grain. In spite of obscene amounts of effort to the contrary, I remain plagued by chronic debt, injuries, and unemployment, and the haunting suspicion that no matter how hard I fight against these things, it's possible that I will never escape.
    foxtongue: (femme)
    He turns on the television, flicks through some options, a way to feel useful while too tired to do anything more. On screen, a pornographic backdrop behind the menu, a naked woman sitting on wrought iron fleur-di-lis, shot from below, the metal pressing into her soft, photoshop-perfect skin. She is anonymous, mostly a silhouette of legs and shaved genitals, though it can be seen that she has a ring piercing in a sensitive place. I mentally wince, thinking of how easy it would be to get caught on things, but grin, looking at him, silently expecting an explanation, as that's what such situations generally require. "It's not mine, if you'll believe it," he replies to my amused face, "I would have fixed the aspect ratio."

    It's amazing the moments that feel like home. Because yes, I would have too.
    foxtongue: (moi?)
  • Passengers aboard a Continental Airlines flight from Phoenix to Everett, Washington, engage in an impromptu pillow fight.

    I'm out of practise with going outside. Almost everything I prepared to do on Thursday had to be put off until Friday because of Remembrance Day, unemployment having excised my awareness of such things as holiday hours. I lucked out, though, in feeling far better with the way things worked out than if my original schedule had fallen into place. I got out of the house, reconnected with a good friend, had a great time, and finished all my chores. Plus there was chocolate. Win.

    Some other good news is that the Sell All My Stuff sale has been going well. Not galloping along, but steadily sauntering, which is enough to keep me content with the plan. In response, I've been doing my best to keep up with my listings, adding items in time with things sold, and sending things promptly to those out of town. (Not everyone has paid for what I've mailed them yet, but that's to be expected, and I'm sure it will be fine.) I've also started moving the books I'm selling from my shelves to the hall. I'm finding that when involved in a project that involves thinning down my possessions, it's really quite helpful to keep everything that's for sale in one place. It gives a visual sense of the scale of what I'm doing, as well as allowing me to keep an accurate tally of what I've put up for sale versus what I've decided, for now, to keep. Also useful: when someone buys a book, I no longer have three places to check for the title.
  • foxtongue: (femme)
  • Men and Women Entrepreneurs: Not That Different

    I only have one Young Drivers Of Canada classroom lesson left, on December 9th. Except for that, it's now all about learning in an actual vehicle, something I'm terribly nervous about. Lori gave me a very sweet lesson in her pick-up truck when she was in town last week, out in a parking lot along Spanish Banks, one of the most beautiful spots in Vancouver. It was nice to see her, nice to be a student, nice to be out of my apartment. She was remarkably patient, and though she says I did great, I'm still mourning the imaginary bumper I clipped while practicing parking.

    In other news, my quest to list everything I own for sale seems to be going well. Not only have people been putting dibs on my books, I've been getting a positive reaction from my Craigslist ads too. I can't overstate how good I feel about this. I didn't start this project to get rich, after all, but to find some relief. My debts are intense, ravenous things with sharp, horrible teeth, and any extra five dollars I can conjure to feed them makes my life better. Once they are gone, I'll be able to save for myself, and maybe even, le gasp, go to school!

    Tomorrow I plan on going through my mending box and seeing how much there is worth saving, as well as setting aside some time to actually fix what's left. I'm also going to bring books to the post office to calculate shipping, return all of the household's bottles and cans for bus-change, and maybe meet some friends for tea. Not the most thrilling plans, but enough, I think, to see me through a day without falling into unemployment depression.

    P.s. I have a bag of clothes to donate to charity, does anyone have a particular favourite?
  • foxtongue: (femme)
  • His Face All Red

    I am a shipwreck. My sorrow sits on my tongue with all the delicate heft of a humming bird's skull, graceful bone, fluted lines, sharp enough to slaughter the heart of a flower, sweet as a metal pike. I wander my files, catalogue my house, looking for more things to sell, searching for a way to break through the notion that I will be trapped here past thirty, past every promise I've ever made. I do not sleep through the night.
  • foxtongue: (b&w tony & jhayne)
    Now that was a SPLENDID weekend.

    Nicole and I hosted a pot-luck at my place on Friday, based on a delicious giant ham and a big dead bird. I also made Eight Hour Eight Bean & Lentil soup for the vegans and vegetarians, which takes more than eight hours, but involves eight hours of constant stirring, as well as potatoes, steamed broccoli, and garlic portobello mushrooms with red peppers. It was an old-fashioned feast, and about twenty wonderful people came, most with their own delightful contributions, like home-made pulled pork sandwiches or berry wine. My oven lied a little about how hot it was, so we didn't get to eat any chicken until around 9:30, but excepting that: COMPLETE SUCCESS. We all had so much food and good company that the last guest didn't stumble out to a cab until 2 a.m. (Tony, sadly, didn't make it until after midnight, as work prevented him from catching an earlier bus into town, but I set aside a plate for him.) Once again, thank you to everyone!

    Saturday was just as great, as it was Duncan's Dress-Up-Like-Duncan Surprise Birthday Party and A Mad Dash for the Down & Out: Tom Waits Tribute Night! I went to his party dressed as Cake Fight Duncan, in boxer shorts with a cake crown made of a birthday card and safety pins. It was a pleasure to attend, even though we left early to make sure we would get to Tom Waits night in time to get in, and it was a pleasure to catch up with some people I hardly ever see.

    The Tom Waits Tribute Night was another sort of thing altogether. Completely incredible, it was gloriously mad gypsy dirty yet soulful and sweet, like circus music dancing through love songs with boots on. Some of the acts played it sinister, sandpaper rough and intense, while others sang as if their honeyed throats were on fire, a broken hearted sound that could only be put out with poetry or glass. My heart could have burst, it was so full with joy and pride for my friends. It was an astounding show, as memorable as a favourite birthday, as inspiring as only an insanely talented trumpet player twisting out a solo on top of a hammond organ can be. I'd tell you some highlights, but I'm sure if I tried, I'd describe the whole show.

    The after party was pretty nice too. I spent most of it on the couch, curled up by a fire, swaying into the early morning surrounded by warmth and more music, singing a little and catching up with old acquaintances I dearly adore. Tony and I were almost the last to leave, starting our walk home just before dawn, safe from the chill with each other. We lucked upon five raccoons after only a block or two, a family, maybe, playing together, foraging along the sidewalk. When we got close, we stood very still, until they got used to us as we crept along beside them. One of them, slightly braver than the rest, tiny paw raised, body tense with investigation, came up and touched my leg three times, like casting a spell. It worked, we were enchanted, and smiled all the way home.

    Sunday we spent almost the entire day cuddled up in bed, exhausted from being up so late, but glad for it. We forgot completely about the live Jonsi webcast concert, so we watched movies on my laptop, (Return to Oz, Reign of Assassins, & Ghostrider), and poked at the internet until it gave us some of what we need for Halloween, content anyway. Amazon provided Laika's dog costume trimmings, minus a collar and dogtag, and another site had actual soviet space patches covered in bad-ass rockets and lightning. The next thing we need are matching flight suits, but I'll be in Seattle next weekend, and there's a rather epic military surplus store there that should set us up. Aside from that, the only thing missing are my four antennae, which I expect to find at Circuit City or a Radio Shack.
    foxtongue: (Default)
  • The furthest you can get from a McDonald's in the continental United States is 115 miles.
  • Costco now offers a 12 month survivalist food supply for 1 person, on sale now for for $800.
  • Neiman Marcus is selling edible life-sized gingerbread play houses, complete with interior lollipop tree, for $15,000.00.

    As part of a resolution to attempt to get more exercise, now that I'm an unemployed blob that hardly leaves the apartment, I've joined HealthMonth, a beta stage on-line game that let's you choose customizible health rules and then tracks your progress as you follow them through a month, (or don't). My rules are fairly simple: Exercise for at least 30 minutes three times a week; write 750 words in a journal four times a week; and Ride my bike at least 20 miles a week. My progress is a little spotty, as I forgot about it until now, a full week in, and I should have chosen one of my rules better, as due to my glasses, I can't bike in rain, (one of the more unfortunate side-effects of Octoberism). Instead I should have made a rule about my diet, as all I've been eating at home are microwavable cup-a-noodles, an entire Costco flat of them. On the plus side, food has been entering my body at regular intervals, on the other, even I have to admit that's an extremely shoddy definition of "food".

    Speaking of food, Esme recently introduced me to the most pornographic food blog I've ever seen, Tastespotting, a Trendspotting for your mouth and belly. Just scanning the page starts saliva flowing, as well as the profound desire to push technology to the point where it's possible to to reach through the screen and pick up delicious baked goods. Nom. It's not as internet classic as whatthefuckshouldimakefordinner.com, or as useful as Recipe Matcher, which makes suggestions based on what ingredients you have, but it's certainly more inspiring.
  • foxtongue: (Default)
    This evening my mother and I went through some of the things Brenda left behind in the storage bench when she died. Everything neglected, yellowing, ten to twenty years old. Music notation, folders for a defunct band, rejection letters from Island Records and Virgin, acres of her hand-writing, pages upon pages that she touched with her hands. The dust made me sneeze and created a film on the top of our shared cup of acai tea.

    We found black & white photos of her, hair teased, badly posed, her lips coated in an 80's shade of lipstick, impossible to name, improbable anyway. When I think of her, I think of her sitting at the table she had in her front yard, singing jazz while she chopped organic vegetables for soup, or dressed as a beautiful wood elf for Hallowe'en, almost androgynous, a knife at her belt and two streaks of pale bronzer slashed across her cheeks in the colour of fake ivy, a sparkling green. I was too young to remember her as the rocker wannabe, even though I recognize her in the pictures. Her smile is the same, and her bones.
    foxtongue: (Default)
    thingsorganizedneatly.tumblr.com

    This past week might as well have been a montage. Except for Sunday Tea, every day whipped past without clear delineation. One scene sliding into the next, cut, fade, patch cables snaking through the corners of my vision, the boom mic menacing just overhead, Damocles sword for the new generation, waiting in the wings an outdated phrase. My body moves again, my feet carry me, my hands, they grasp. Everything forward. My cases are packed, sitting open in the living room like two full mouths, unable to speak for the wealth they carry, their tongues tied with t-shirts and his&hers cargo pants and travel bric-a-brack. Food is on the way. In the meantime, I wait for laundry, I wait for the dishwasher. I wait. A pause as subtle as the violin sap hollywood pastes over love scenes.
    foxtongue: (beseech)
    Things I have not been mentioning here: I attended Matthew David Cale and Sarah Rose Edward-Noelle's wedding on Monday, and, coincidentally, am planning to attend Matthew and Sara Rose's newlywed picnic next Sunday. I hope for all the best to both couples and idly wonder if I should introduce them. Jim asked Mishka, finally, if she would marry him. She said yes. I am to be their Maid of Honour next summer and in charge of photography. I tapped Lung to do the honours while I'm standing up front, trying not to drop her ring. He and Tony and I went to see Twilight last Saturday, which was even more hilarious than the last movie. I accidentally left my hat there, but recovered it Tuesday. My mother is leaving on Friday to NYC for three weeks, where she'll meet Van Sise in person before I do, as Lung already did. I am going to be recording her show on Thursday with Paul and T. Crane before she goes. She will be out of a job when she returns, as well as down one local child, as one of my brothers just moved to Montreal to learn Asian languages in french at the Uni of Montreal. A different family member was recently arrested and spent a night in jail, but we're hoping it will turn out okay. The lawyer seems positive that charges will be dropped. At home, David has been given a raise and I am still looking for work, though not finding any. EI is still threatening to dock my social assistance, which has already dropped by a hundred dollars, no longer covering my rent. In hopes of softening that blow, I have been updating my Etsy shop, as I cannot rely on photography until my wrists have recovered. Also, to complicate matters, I am running out of space to put digital photos, a situation that will only grow more dire the longer I do not have access to my work computer, which continues to blackscreen during boot. On a more positive note, Van Sise sent me a vintage medium format pinhole camera so I will be able to take pictures at Burning Man. (I'm unwilling to risk my camera with playa dust). I have not used one since highschool, when I made a shoddy one from a shoebox, so it should prove to be a very interesting experiment.
    foxtongue: (b&w tony & jhayne)
    365:2010/07/07 - preparing
    Tony and I have decided to go forward with our trip to Burning Man!!

    Even though we've been planning on going together practically since our first kiss, we were a hair's breadth away from cutting Lung free to try it alone this year as my injuries cascaded, stranding me immobile on the chilly shores of chronic pain and disability. Tony wavered, delighted to take me on my greatest adventure, yet terrified of the idea of abetting further or possibly permanent damage to my body. It was last week's miraculous physio appointment, (where my dislocated ankle was put back into alignment), that finally tipped the balance, as well as this: my arm is no longer in a sling, in one week my broken toe should be fully healed, in two weeks my strained wrists should be better, and in three weeks my previously dislocated ankle should be almost fully functional. My right shoulder's still an internal ruin and my recovering ankle will be tender and tire easily, but by the time we get to Black Rock City, I should be recovered enough that it won't be actively dangerous for me to attend. Not any more than for other people, at least, what with all the DIY fire throwers and all.

    So far we've booked a minivan rental, bought warm vintage fur coats for the cold playa nights, and Tony's hooked me up with a truly sweet pair of dust goggles, as seen in the inset picture.

    This week's plan is to find a truly fabulous wide brim hat, three cheap-as-pity bikes with fat tires and good brakes, and acquire at least one Lawrence of Arabia outfit, the better to survive a week of searing desert sun, that which I am most afraid of. (Some people merely flush a bittersweet bloom of pink, but my flesh reduces to crispy ashes in under twenty minutes. My thin skin, pale like paper, burns as such, and the last thing I want to do is spend my trip hallucinating from pain with a back like peeling, bleeding bacon.)

    Does anyone know a good source for such things? Local, (Seattle/Vancouver), or on-line.

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