Friday, July 13, 2007

Commercial Drive - Live!

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Commercial Drive - Live!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Trying to post a photo is not always easy

This is me in Benny's bathroom. I was just thinking this morning of the fact that I haven't seen Benny since Tim and I met. I should call him. He is funny and interesting and a real INFJ (just ask him; he'll tell you all about it and then guess your type. I am an ENFP according to him. I think I am too. Sometimes).

I just finished doing my taxes which ended up being a rather dramatic affair this year. At 11:30 p.m. on April 30th I was still scribbling madly, sure I was doomed, but a high-speed race over the viaduct (almost into someone's bumper!) saw me popping the foul document into the evil jaws of the Canada Revenue Agency at one minute to midnight! Wow. Now that's drama. Or maybe comedy. Yes, definitely comedy: order, chaos, order.

Tim and I went to see Paul Newman and Jackie Gleason in The Hustler last night. It was playing downtown at the Vancouver International Film Centre (a place you should really check out; great films!) and they had Michael Ondatje giving a talk before and after. Unfortunately the before talk was all too brief and the after session was a Q & A so I didn't stay for long as Q & A's always seem to bring out the sycophants in the audience and the poor host gets nary a decent question, only comments disguised as questions and clearly intended to showcase the teller's incredible wit/intellect/deep understanding.

It was good though, that I was so moved to get my butt out of there, because it meant that we got to be the first ones to fancy-schmancy catered appetizers; mmmmm cheeses, meats, fruits, veggies, delicious dips; I made a real meal out of it.

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Thursday, August 31, 2006

George Bush Visits East Van

I watched out the window this morning to catch the most intersting action I'll see in that frame all week: the garbage pick-up.

Vancouver has a new fleet of high-tech garbage trucks and they are a wonder. The driver lumbers the behemoth up alongside of the can and finesses a giant pair of metal pincers to hover around its waist, then in one swift lurch grabs it tightly. The poor can has no chance, but the sight of predetor and prey is spellbinding; I can't look away. Psalm 118:23 comes swiftly to mind:

This is the LORD's doing; it is marvellous in our eyes.

Thus bound, the can is trundled up and over the edge of the truck, the arm overturns it, dumps its contents and returns it to the ground where, sides dented and resting askew, it takes on the appearance of someone who's just been ambushed by a well-meaning but overly exuberant aunt.

Looking up from my trashy reverie, I catch sight of the driver; why, it's none other than George Bush! Thanks for the help George, but maybe you should focus on your own shameful mess.

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Sunday, August 20, 2006

Whites of My Eyes

Seems Jean Smith and David Lester aka Mecca Normal have just released a new album called The Observer based on Smith's experiences with online dating. I've heard a couple of cuts and it's definately something I want to fork out for.

Back in the early nineties when I very first encountered them it was one of those moments when you realise that you are hearing something that is utterly unique. Sinead O'Connor, The Sugarcubes (Bjork mostly), The Bulgarian Women's Chorus, Frank Zappa and my first taste of Bluegrass are all in this category for me.

In an interview I read, she mentions that she's moved away from a tough stance - which she now describes as protective - towards a greater vulnerability. But from what I've heard so far, you don't need to fear a retreat from the rawness of her voice or her lyrics; it's still plain but true, still about ideas and politics and still has the power to paint a vivid image in your mind's eye.

From The Georgia Straight:
The digital polygamist surveyed in “I’m Not Into Being the Woman You’re With While You’re Looking for the Woman You Want” is but one example. Smith contends that one of the primary problems with Internet dating is that once people hook up with someone, it doesn’t take long before they want to see who else is out there. “It’s the kid-in-the-candy-store scenario,” she explains. “It seems like there’s an endless supply, so if you get this one person, you want to go back and get more."

I remember my own foray into the internet dating world. One stand-out was a guy - a singer from a local band, both of whom shall remain unnamed in order to preserve my dignity - who talked at great length about how much he hated his job and why he wanted to expand his sexual horizons to include polygamy and yes, his girlfriend was also into it, though, no, he wasn't planning on telling her if we got together. I actually fell asleep on his couch while he blathered away (still about his rotten job). My eyes were rolling back into my skull and he didn't even notice.

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Friday, August 18, 2006

Mother of Steel

My mother is a dynamo. She is competing in the World Equestrian Games in Aachen, Germany - amazing! I wish that I could be there with her. When I was young she drove me around the countryside, was my groom, trainer, therapist and number-one fan at competitions; I'd love to have the chance to give a little back. I did get to on one occaision - I was her head groom at the 1999 Pan-Ams in Manitoba . That couple of weeks is such a fine and shiney memory for me; I made her meals most days, mucked out her horse's stall, groomed him, walked him, and generally tried to anticipate her needs. It's good to know that she's in good hands though as her regular groom (a volunteer, by the way!) is there with her and my dad too. Between them they should be able to help her stay focussed and bum-in-saddle.

So now she's just a few days away from competition at the highest level available in her sport. It's been a long road from her first pony, Tonka (purchased for $25 when I was a baby) to her current horse, Sport, who she's trained to the point where the vets who check his condition on completion of the event are often floored by his quick recovery.

Her dedication really is an inspiration to me. I am thinking of joining the Team in Training program which helps people to train for marathons and half marathons while raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I feel like my running is at a stage where I need some guidance and I would really like to have a goal again. My last goal, a 10-K run, was met several months ago and since then I've been pretty slack. However, I have been a bit more dedicated in the last ten days or so, and have gotten in four 3K runs. It feels good.

I think the fundraising element of TIT (har, they call themselves TNT, but I quite like TIT) will be a great way for me to learn the ropes of raising larger amounts of money than I am accustomed to do. I'm a bit disappointed at the fact that very little (I was told by one rep that it was about 4%) of their funds actually go to prevention research, the rest of it goes to cure research. Nevertheless, I'd like to get those skills and then take them to a fundraiser for Sheway.

Lofty goals, but if Mom can do it, so can I.

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Monday, July 31, 2006

Hello, I'm Jello

Did you know that in the nineties there was a restaurant called, "Hello, I'm Jello"? Everything that they served was made from Jello. What a paradise. Sadly, Kraft (who makes Jello - TMTMTMTMTM) felt rather territorial about the whole thing and threatened the old guy who owned it with a whopping lawsuit if he did not change the name.
"They said I could use 'Hello, I'm Gelatin' if I wanted, but it just didn't sound right", said the owner with a shrug.

There is a wonderful Canadian painter, Mary Pratt, who is most famous for her realist still-life paintings. Many years ago I saw her retrospective show, "The Substance of Light" and was most taken by one painting of several bowls of bright red Jello. It actually turned out to be bowls of jelly instead, but I raise in my defence the legitimacy of interpretation by the viewer; to me it was glorious, illuminated candy-food.

And once when I was a child, I decided that I would get myself a big spoonful of Jello before it got to set. In my mind, this was when it was at its very best: warm, sweet and off-limits. I snuck a spoon out of the drawer and made for the table where the bowl sat, tempting me. Spoon in hand, I rushed through the narrow place between table and counter and in the process bonked my head soundly. Screaming ensued, followed by blood (squirting out with an attunement to my heart that amazed me even as I read it as a sign that death was surely near), tears, a drenching of my head with cold water and a brief trip to the hospital (where it was determined that I was not in need of stitches). When I finally returned to the trailer, the Jello was already set, but I was happy to see it anyhow.

Right now, I'm feeling the similarity between my intentions and that wonderful food substance; lovely and delicious, but a bit wobbly and of uncertain origin. I had intended to write here regularly, but here it is more than a year later and ... well, there's nothing shameful in a fresh start I suppose.

So here, all bobbing and winking and playing with light, comes my fresh Jello; hope you enjoy.