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)
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: (holy napa valley)


There is a perpetual, combative arithmetic involved in my daily life these days that I want very much to do away with. I am not terrific with math, in fact it's probably my War On Noun nemesis, so this irks me on more levels than it might somebody else. The problem is this - with no steady income, my life, kneed in the gut by the financial collapse, becomes dictated by To-Do-Later lists. Chores that I cannot address because I do not have the money to purchase the required materials to fix the issue, like the leaky faucet that has been steadily torturing my roommate and I that I'm fairly certain only needs a washer, a wrench, and a youtube instructional video. I appreciate To-Do lists with a near institutional fondness, but my preference is for immediate problem solving, so I loathe To-Do-Later lists. They are Not My Style. If something's wrong, if something needs to be addressed, now is always better than later. I'm well known for showing up at other people's houses and suddenly helping rearrange the furniture, because when they drop a comment akin to, "it's something I've been meaning to get around to for awhile", I'll jump up and suggest we tackle it right then and there. Yet my life has become a massive sinkhole of financially twisted procrastination, a stack of "when I get my first pay-cheque" balancing. Cold weather shirts versus my credit card bill versus better cat food versus winter weight curtains versus the utility bills versus a can of paint versus groceries versus the zipper on my boots versus a washer and a wrench. Never even mind my Irish passport. It has reached the point where once I do find regular, (lovely! beautiful!), ordinary employment, I suspect that my life will barely change, given that so much has piled up. So here's the thing, given that many of you are also involved in the poverty economy, how are you managing? How do you make breathing room?
foxtongue: (Default)
Eric Speed - Maniac


I used to wear a skeleton key around my neck that I found in an old house, a plain metal thing on a utilitarian chain, scuffed from a hundred years of use. I lost it somehow. Given away, maybe, or left behind somewhere after a shower or swim. I wore it for years, but forgot about it completely until recently, when a new, tiny key arrived at Burning Man, a pretty silver thing unsuitable for any actual, physical lock. I like it anyway, though. It is perfect, the artist's grown-up designer version of precisely what I used to wear. Sometimes the best keys are the ones for inside our heads.
foxtongue: (Default)
Very few updates lately. I still haven't found work, though I apply to at least ten vacancies a day, my uncle John is still living with us, growing more frustrated with Vancouver by the hour, and David's bookstore has been suffering, sales wiped out by the hockey season, to the point where the owners seem to be threatening closure. Yet, all in all, things seem static. We abide. Job hunting continues, the search for a way out of this city continues. There is very little change.
foxtongue: (Default)
  • Robotic Ghost Knifefish is Born (w. video).
  • 3D Printing-On-Demand Now Available in Titanium.

    "Please indicate your gender. Press one if you're a female. Press two if you're a male." Even though I am a binary answer, I still flinch, thinking of the graffiti I read earlier in the woman's washroom at Cafe Du Soliex, (next to Amber's love note to Silva), FOR A GOOD TIME, FUCK THE PATRIARCHY. Still, the pre-recorded voice is friendly and the questions regarding politics are otherwise banal, so I stay on the line, answering by pressing the appropriate telephone keys. The entire thing is over in under two minutes, as counted by the timer on my wireless phone, and at the very end a truly robotic voice warbles through some syllables, the echo of a Radiohead song, Thank You For Your Time And Participation.
  • cortisol

    Dec. 20th, 2010 10:58 am
    foxtongue: (beseech)
  • Teach Parents: Send your parents a tech support care package, sponsored by Google.

    I leave for Seattle today to close down a significant part of my life, sift the remnants gently into a suitcase and some boxes, and bring it back to Vancouver. As concepts go, it remains sad, but I am significantly less unsettled about the entire idea. One time-line failed, so another will spring forth from the shift. Possibilities and probabilities. It's what happens. To combat my residual nervousness, I tell myself that on a larger scale, it denotes almost nothing, only a narrative switch.

    Went to a party Saturday night, Duncan's house-warming, crammed full of people I adore but never seem to see, perhaps my first house party of the year. Another change in the works, there, my desire to rebuild being social in Vancouver, attempt to drag my carcass out on the town, pick up the phone, wash off my hermit-stone skin and swim through conversation again. I had forgotten how refreshing it is to be surrounded by friends. Too much isolation. Too much concentration on only one topic at a time.
  • foxtongue: (moi?)
    Same as last year, I am last minute, somewhat unexpectedly in Whistler.

    Party on, I finally get to sleep. (She types at six a.m. with no bed-time currently in sight).
    foxtongue: (geigerteller)
    {start}

    I've been semi-kidnapped to Whistler by the glittering stars of a hacker convention, which means hot-tubbing and skidoo's, but does not include attending the Vagabond Circus at LIME or Dress Up & Bowl at Commodore Lanes. My apologies.

    {end of line}

    sleep

    Nov. 2nd, 2007 02:24 pm
    foxtongue: (i breathe)
    Long nights spit out like toothpaste into an unfamiliar sink. She looks up, enamel, black tile, an older building. Wooden floors. Tall doorways. Stained glass. A dragon in the next room, sitting on the couch, warming his hands on a sweetened cup of bitter tea. White walls. Cold windows.

    Her hands float up to her hair, straighten some curls, frame her eye in the mirror. She peers through her hands, brought together in a symbol she found in a photograph on the internet - fingers curled, first knuckles together in a twin arc, thumbs stretched, touching underneath - the childish shape of a heart. Her certainty shakes. She lets it.

    He's wrought of mixed signals, sliding shades of affection and neglect which don't add up. The smell of his soap. Her heartbeat. An iron-work of conflicting opinions, kissing like he carries a new bastard disease of self-reference, wit, and deflection. Short brown hair. No eye contact. A thousand words in a picture that breaks her framed ideals. Attraction built instead of found. Panic filled breath, though her panties are balled up in her purse already. Feet cold on the tiles. (Uncomfortable echoes of explosive scenarios from younger relationships, feeling exploited). The scalpel of self-examination. Her motivations are an underground factory of facts conveyor-belt punching out hurt confusion. Very little he says matches up with what he does. She doesn't know why these steps are being taken, but what she lacks in reason, she makes up in loyalty. There is very little new under this son.

    --

    They stood at the bus stop, both consciously skipping their friend's gathering for opposite reasons. One feeling too welcome, another feeling not welcome at all. "I would have thought you were imagining it, but I noticed it too." "I cornered him at the party, asked him what was wrong. He said there was nothing. In eight years, I think it's the first time he's ever lied to me." Her thoughts embraced her absent friend, (his fingers so deeply entwined in her ribcage she would love him forever), even as she felt like her words were a disappointed betrayal.

    As they stood close, defensively, against the suffering neighbourhood, she kept up a monologue, quiet like a gentle run of dirty water. Memories, sad and unpleasant in retrospect. "How did you grow up?" A hungry childhood, social friction, hotel rooms. He nodded, implacable, in a way she found welcome. "I read the bible fourteen times, no one ever steals the things. They just sit there in the otherwise empty drawers, collecting dust and lonely people." Anecdotes, wry short stories, a battered flow of narrative ornamented with sober, dry laughter, breakdown asides, and serious expressions. Later, sitting, her legs swung unselfconsciously under the seat.

    --

    I cycled past my father's apartment last week. He has a giant poster in the window, an image he's sent to me. I almost went and knocked on the door. I stopped, looked, put one foot on the ground. I don't know why I stopped the same way I don't know why I kept going. Instinct, impulse. Either or. He lives much closer to me than I thought. Near enough that no matter what, we're on the same bus-routes, we share the same corner store.

    --

    "There was a woman named Ha there who showed me Samurai movies and fed me Korean fried chicken as I sat on a stool in the hotel kitchen. I ate all they had, the hotel had to buy more the next day, and I ate all of that too. I was a starving little thing, so bright and blonde and tiny you'd barely think I could walk, but I was always hungry. I remember my parents would go without sometimes so that I could have food. I lay in bed next to my mother and heard her belly grumble, five years old, listening and knowing that I had a sandwich and she had not. It's made me a little neurotic about food. (Hell, I'm an adult now and I'm still so poor I'm starving to death.) I don't like eating alone or cooking only for myself. And I can't eat in front of someone without offering them any. In fact, I'll put it off, go hungry for hours, rather than eat in front of someone who won't have anything themselves, because it was greedy to eat alone, it meant you were depriving someone else."
    foxtongue: (canadian)
    According to the June 2007 Discover Magazine, the internet weighs 0.2 millionths of an ounce.

    I count my skin as fingerprints, distant voices traveling through wires, places I lived that are only names on highway signs where I am now, and the paper pamphlets collected from endless hands on corners, islands of passion in the middle of seas of uniform strangers, all stars of their own films, to which I'm barely an extra. I count my fingerprints as netted truth, minutes caught together in information and joy, the small symbolic poetry of crossing an invisible finish line, arms in the air.

    Yesterday I was out of it, eyes dilated, responding to my environment as if my nervous system was watching from outer space. Sounds felt tinny, like my tongue. It started after work on Thursday. Thursday night after my phone-call, I curled up in my duvet nest of bed, (the other half of my mattress is stacks and piles of books), and stared at the ceiling until I was willing to be crazy and simply get up again. Trying to sleep was about as effective as talking to a wall, which meant that Friday began a little loose around the edges. I had red bull and blue curacou for breakfast, and then for lunch, as I helped Silva set up her yard sale, which is when the edges completely fell out and the world began to sway in careful patterns.

    It didn't help that my evening then became the I Braineater gallery opening where my friend's father randomly accused me of having a birthday soon and then, just as suddenly, ceased to talk to me; explaining, in detail, how one goes about safely blowing up 100 televisions; mildly hallucinating while standing on the corner by Tinseltown, having a deep personal conversation with a man I barely know; wading into a thrashing metal mosh-pit in a dark dirty pub full of kids with ironic Aerosmith t-shirts; possibly breaking some teeth of a junkie who wanted my bag then sitting with a hippie pan handler, tears tattooed under his eyes like a harlequin, to help him tie his shoes; ending up at Organix and finding it full of drunk brazilian boys, (since when did anyone have alcohol at a psytrance night?); finally having to hurt one of them too, just to be left alone; being given a Bjork ticket by a best friend's ex-boyfriend's roommate, (the same man who left me to wake up next to an unknown naked scotsman once); then realizing, when I'm home after dancing until I couldn't walk and barely see, that the machine-gun sun was coming up and I had to be somewhere in a couple of hours. (I suspect that I sent some worrying e-mails to various countries then, but I haven't the energy to check the damage yet. Nor will I, so fess up.)

    So Friday became Saturday, where I got to ache, have more blue curocaou, sit a lot, try not to haphazardly cry, (being a rational human being has no place in such matters, apparently), and be mildly rained on at the yard sale. Saturday I finally slept, but not until something that wasn't quite 2 a.m. I'm still burned out, but it's more of a flickering scorch than a hospital ward stay. Such things do not actually "get better" but the machine, after hiccoughs, smooths itself out. Tonight Brian is picking me up after work to help me recover, tomorrow Keith is yanking some of us out to a random island for photos, and I've got dinner with not-the-conspiracy-theorist Merlyn. Should be fun, (or at least distracting).
    foxtongue: (dream machine)

    picture by livejournal user seafoodmwg (more in her journal)

    Someone plays two chords on a guitar as they pass my window then stop, their hands become busy elsewhere or maybe they are still. I don't know, I can't see them from here, my place on the floor, between my computer and the foot of my bed. It feels like a visit from my ex-husband, as if I could go to the window and see him there. Red pants, shirtless, a guitar on his back and his long brown hair getting in his eyes. My vision gives me the way he looked when we went to Vancouver Island and visited Robbie, the summer before Robbie purposefully walked under an ambulance on Boxing Day. My vision reminds me of when I had faith. The sun was perfect, blaring down, a rock concert of light, heavy-handed and meaningful. The neatly kept streets were full of tourists who tried to put coins in my coffee cup. We slipped into the change room of a store with a dress we couldn't afford, just for a breath of air conditioning, just so he could take it off of me.

    I suppose this means it's summer. Spring has slowly crept away, a child uninterested in conversation going outside to climb the glorious trees waiting there. It makes me miss Toronto, this atmospheric humidity reminiscent of an afternoon I slowly poured a glass jug of icy water over my head outside the Black Bull on Queen street as if I were in an eroticized shampoo commercial, the way the water coldly pushed my clothing onto my skin like a textured tattoo, the way my hair dried into curls not five minutes later. I felt like the first pages of a book newly opened, a story about to be told by a fresh new author. Now I feel unwritten, like I had a story but it got lost along the way. Like words left unspoken that were meant to fall from some lips I missed meeting. I feel displaced, conditioned to not have a home. A modern gypsy denied the dignity of reason.

    The masquerade has a Flickr Pool: Masquerade Ball.

    Michel posted a new page of Jesus Monkey Pants in Space.

    For my job interview with Telus, I had to go to an imposing building that looked like a secret government industrial facility. I was escorted through an impressively locked security door with shatter-proof wired glass and upstairs into a small, windowless, bile-green room that could have passed for a holding cell in a women's prison, then interrogated by two older women who rarely frowned. They read the buzz-word questions directly from papers on the table, leaving me with the impression that the entire thing could almost be left to teenagers. Once, near the beginning, the power cut, leaving us in a confusing pitch blackness. "They're working on the generator today." After half an hour, they left me alone long enough with an examination sheet that by the time they returned, I had corrected the punctuation of the questions. Possibly an unwise thing to do under the circumstances, but I grow depressive in silences with nothing to do. A closer examination of the metal cabinets wouldn't have been wise, though I considered it, and there are only so many times I can read the sides of cardboard computer boxes without beginning to feel claustrophobic. I think they liked my stories of working in theater, but were uncertain what to do with me. Either way, I get a phone-call by Friday. They can't say yes or no until after a criminal record check.
    foxtongue: (demille)
    I barely know me. I stand in doorways, unblinking, standing and speaking words of conflict. I collapse on the sidewalk in heavy rain and half an hour goes missing. I hold him warmly close to me with a smile in my mind. I put my head to the side and try not to cry. Inside of me, things are changing. I remember compromise. You say this wasn't your intention, I say that's okay. You say and I say then they stood up and had too many words to say. Remember, this is what a little bit of love looks like.

    I don't like that I carry this so she won't have to.

    Every part disparate. I'm still unbalanced, so much is broken. I'm tidying now, brushing the pieces into a pile for later sorting. Which loss caused this jagged edge, which loss caused that. This year was many. I could make t-shirts. Arrested, Fired, He Lied, They Died. My humour's the right sort. On the back would be a list like tour dates.

    Which reminds me: support my Jesus Monkey Pants. I have this one. It makes me sexy like Snakes on a Plane would, which is something I meant to mention weeks ago. I have an excuse, I've been eating multitudes of candy bars. They're not very healthy, really, and they're making my thoughts shake. They popped into existence to fill the space left by the cessation of hallowe'en proceedings and they're cadbury tasty, which is to say, not as good as pumpkin pie. I miss my pies. I didn't carve a pumpkin this year, so I didn't bake. Ah well, the Lesson is Learned but the Damage is Irreversible. (Also an ancient thing, I know, but it fit. You want something new, go find out about the underground city in Briton that's now up for sale. Then buy it for me. I will send you nekkid pictures. Lolz. Now bugger off.)

    I really should be in bed by now, but I'm waiting for dye to set in my hair. My hands are flecked with purple, a nice reminder of what the bathroom will look like in about twenty minutes. I'm being patient, though I don't feel like it right now. The bed's empty, it's all cold tumbled gold pillows and scarlet bands of silk and I feel like the faster I fall into it, the quicker I can pretend it's morning. Red shift myself into a different day, one where I might be sleeping next to someone. Alone is not terrific for me now, but I can deal with it. Alone without promise of company, however, is bad.

    Nicholas will be here tomorrow. I'm looking forward to it. He and Esme are coming in from Victoria for a concert and dinner at Andrew's with me and Ray. He asked for Chris too, but I don't know if that's going to happen. I deked out of rehearsal today before I could ask. There were issues with my roommate James that needed sorting, and tonight was really the best time to get it done with.

    p.s. world, send new Explosions In The Sky, Porcupine Tree and Bethurum. thank you.
    foxtongue: (sci-fi kitchen)

    Tattoo by John Lind
    Originally uploaded by Foxtongue.
    Circumstance, strange attempts to convey information that isn't being said. I feel asleep briefly yesterday, half way across town. I fell down later, washed with lead, like my skin was too heavy for my limbs. I wondered if I should have let anyone touch me, if that was the key that brought down the castle walls. I talked with my mother last night, she seems to be doing well. She's tired, but these days, aren't we all? Everyone has too much to do, too little to live on. We're a batch of children, looking up the sky and hoping for something better to come along and pick us up.

    Tiny birds and unexpected candy are the hallowe'en aftermath littering my room. The candy will be consumed, translating well into a litter of empty wrappers. The birds will require more effort. I need to twist their wired feet back into the rail over my window, place them in positions where they might look out at the world. Inside each head, I need to replant dreams. Take tweezers and carefully insert the gleaming ideas like glass beads behind their jet black eyes. I took them out when I brought them in public, so they wouldn't be damaged from what they saw while riding in my hair.

    Today's Breakfast at the Urban City Cafe will be held at 1:45. Come one, come all. For those not in the know, this is becoming the new institution. It's almost daily and a bit like an antique social salon. Breakfast is five bucks for a full plate of mostly organic tasty.

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