This morning on the 20, I was sitting across from a man with an all too precious ponytail wearing an X-Files cap .
Upon second glance, I noticed that he was reading a library book entitled "Afterglow: The Story of Lesbian Desire". Upon third, fourth, fifth and sixth glances, I noticed him flicking through to the good bits and smiling to himself.
It's funny... that's what I did when I was reading the Bible.
Well, i've discovered that one can just add the ability to post comments to any old blog, thanks to the wonders of XML.
Now you can tell me what you think.
I was very pleased to catch up with Johnnie's goings on by sheer luck, when getting my daily hit (of news) at the BBC.
It re-invigorated my love of der Heimat to read that he has reshuffled the entire cabinet to "reinforce the Government’s goals for Australia of national security, economic strength and social stability".
And i'm sooo pleased to discover that Ruddock the pillock is now Attorney-General.
On Saturday night I went to the movies to see Fix: The Story of an Addicted City.
It was a relevant film for me, a story about the heroin plague that has taken over East Downtown. I was keen to see a public side to the story, and work out what the City's position on the issue was.
I'm not one to talk too much about what I thought of a certain film. Suffice it to say that Gastown & Chinatown traders were very unhappy, it's very hard to get off smack, and there are two sides to the benefits of safe injecting rooms.
The irony of it all is that this morning when I caught the 20, I saw the star of the movie on Hastings walking somewhere with his friend. I would never have thought i'd be star spotting on that particular bus route...
Then I saw someone who looked a lot like Blade rearranging his cardboard boxes (hollywood stunt landing gear style) in a Budget car park on Richards.
Perhaps they're doing all this because the Vancouver Film Festival is on...
Here's something I whipped up. It's only rough.
Glancing around Magical Venice for some design ideas, I came over all unnecessary when I found this lovely depiction of a golden shower.
So that's what it's like doing it with Him!
I've been thinking about the design for my spaceship.
Having indulged myself in shoestring Martha Stewart living in the recent past, i've become quite resourceful finding ways to make planks and rags look like Magical Venice.
So, I thought i'd go for an aluminium exterior, as i've always thought recycling was a good thing, and aluminium is so malleable. It could be powered by propane rockets. I'm sure Kara wouldn't mind if I borrowed her BBQ tank for a few days. I could probably get a chair or two from a yard sale for the cockpit.
Martha has also surprised me with how much you can do with buttons... I can see a console coming on... with lots of special buttons... and I could have a big red one for take off...
Andy Thomas, eat your heart out!
Alongside the terrible death ray revelation, I read of a $10 million dollar prize for winning the space race.
Yes, we now have a race to privately fund human space exploration. They reckon it will take less than a year for the winner to "launch people to the edge of space and bring them back safely twice within a two week period".
Maybe i'll try and win that so I can escape the death ray, and make a quick 10 mill on the side.
The other thing I like to do on Saturdays is read the paper. (Although i'm also slowly uncovering the joys of the New York Times on Sunday.)
Of course, the mention of the evidence of a death ray at the bottom of page 2 of the Vancouver Sun caught my eye... and I quote:
What's the best thing to do on a Saturday morning?
Go to Costco.
E gad! It's a massive, buy-50-gazillion-toilet-rolls-all-at-once-to-save-yourself-a-buck kind of place. I was actually considering getting four of these for just a moment. Then I regained my senses and grabbed a 6 pack of cinnamon bagels, along with bulk meat.
One glimpse of humanity that I discovered (or made up) on my first Costco jaunt with my roomie Kara was that supermarkets have a unifying effect on people.
There's simply nothing like the banality of waiting in line to get the goods. Everyone that does it has that faraway look - except maybe superstars, or smart people who bring friends. You've got your efficient shoppers, and your "ooooh I have to have that" ones. I bet the checkout chicks can pick the schmucks a mile off.
Speaking of checkouts, my bagels were stopped at the register because I didn't want to buy enough. You have to buy at least a dozen, or you're nobody at Costco.
I'm proud to say that my big sis has also spotted this interesting niche of human existence, and has thus begun her career in human interaction theory, at the 24 hour Coles on Grote Street.
I'm waiting for her to be Employee of the Year.
For some reason I have slipped into talking in a much more aussie way than I was previously accustomed.
I am calling my new friends mate all the time, and saying g'day! instead of hi. I may have even slipped out a beaudy once or twice... but actually, I quite like saying beaudy, so I won't worry about that.
I remember a girlfriend back home (been saying that a lot lately too - back home) used to get a little frustrated that I might let fly with a mate here or there, because it was too generic a term for an actual, real-life, blood 'n' guts mate.
Perhaps i'm feeling compelled to get back to my roots, now that i'm in this bizarre foreign country, so unlike my own. Perhaps I feel the need to reinforce my Australianity by talking strine.
All that being said, I have very much enjoyed all my new, very special, foreign friends and their attempts atta speaking da language. I have to say the winner so far is Dr. Bruce, and her gaaaahlic.
Thank god the Canadians know how to spell, eh?
Now, i've heard a stack about massive MP3 libraries online... and being able to get any song you want for free and all that.
My opinion is, it's up to the artist to decide how she wants to distribute her music. If she happens to think that she should give away her art for free, all the better for us.
Anyway, Stewart passed me on to SomaFM, where I can hook into a constant stream of nice music, very handy for doing repetitive item-creation-type tasks at work.
It's not quite mum and dad style, but hey.
I'm sitting at home using my housemate's computer. Sitting here wondering about the state i'm in.
I seem to have picked up some pestilence from our weekend cavorting, and have been laid low in bed today. It would seem as if my emotional state has a good deal to do with the strength (or not) of my immune system.
So, you guessed it - i've hit the "Christ, what 'ave i done?" wall, which was made doubly high by Andy & Dan popping by like ships in the night, only to up and leave as I was settling into them.
As I blow my schnozza and write to you, I wonder about the future here in Vankie - MY future here in Vankie, and realise that the test I wanted by coming away and doing all this is finally upon me.
It's green here too, after it's rained a bit.
It is about words
In a sequence of numbers
That end fast or slow
They are never long
But possibly could be if
Left in my quick hands
Hee hee! Haaaaaiku!
I've been through the ringer this weekend. It was lovely to see my bro and me best mate Dan. I threw a party on Saturday night which was excellent fun - fantastic conversation, cross-pollination of friends, plenty of laughs - a great housewarming for me and a good excuse to get a little slaughtered with Andy. "The Boys" were the hit of the party, and I enjoyed seeing them in my new space.
Then Sunday was all too rushed. We had a fry-up with my housemates at Bon's (super cheap diner), then hit the road for a very quick touristy thing, driving up to Cypress Lookout and a quick walk in ubiquitous lovely forest.
Then it was time for them to go. Boy, that was hard. Now i'm back at work.
Happy, but sad too, because that vestige of family/friends/former life just popped in, and now it's gone again.
So, having run the full gamut, I feel a little tired, and a little sorry for myself.
Thou art coming to Vankie! This weekend! And that vagrant Danny is coming too.
There'll be parties, and tourism, and beer, and no sleep. You little ripper.
There's the forgotten, the lonely, the i'm-going-wear-all-the-clothes-I-owns, the starers, the shouters, the loiterers, the working girls, the mutterers, the most-of-my-teeth-are-gone-but-i'm-still-smilings, the if-I-hang-around-the-public-library-steps-i'm-a-readers.
Now i'm getting into dangerous, pejorative territory, and I should stop. It is simply that these sights for my sore eyes are getting to me a little.
Vancouver really is a beautiful, cosmopolitan place. Just don't take the 20.
I want to make up some sort of taxonomy of the waifs, vagrants, banshees, grubby old men, collectors, pimps, newbies, social workers and drunks that I see from the 20 every day.
Believe me, I know how politically incorrect that would be. But if nobody really reads this anyway, what does it matter?
It must be the Indiana Jones in me.
I know, I know... it's hard to believe. But, just you read this excerpt from "The Book of Lovers: An Astrological Guide to Personal Relationships" by Carolyn Reynolds, and tell me it ain't true:
For some reason as I was surfin around the phrase "Bush is an asshole" stuck in my mind. What's a girl to do but go to Google, and get searching for "Bush is an asshole"?
Amongst the 164,000 entries returned by the search was this little gem.
There is another funny one that a friend pointed out. You should all go there and buy a t-shirt or some knickers.
Do I sound like a zealot?
Now that I am fully armed with my WMD (Widget of Musical Delight), I have no trouble shifting my mind away from the things that I see, to the emotions I feel when I listen to Maria Callas sing Puccini arias.
Even when i'm on the nasty 20, observing people smoking and shooting stuff they shouldn't, my mind is working on a different plane.
I love the fact that your brain can create two contiguous states of imagination: one through your eyes, and one through your ears. I think classical music has a real knack for giving the listener an emotional hit too... especially the beautiful, soaring arias as performed by Miss. Callas.
I second that emotion.
I went to Boston once. I stayed at the Y. I tried to hook up with a few people I vaguely knew, but failed, so had to entertain myself.
Normally, this wouldn't be a problem. I performed the obligatory tourist activities and saw a lot of this beautiful city. I went on the African-American walking tour, to see some of the oldest houses in the town, where underground schools and the like popped up as people came from the south. That part of town (the name escapes me now) was picturesque. Narrow streets with four storey buildings, and plenty of nooks and crannys.
One day I was so bored that I decided i'd see a movie. So I went to The Mall - my first mistake. Having no idea when a movie was starting or even if there was one, I got there to find that I had a good hour of shopping time on my hands.
Now, not wanting to be late for the theAtre, I thought i'd better buy a watch. And then I thought "I am sooo stupid for not bringing ANY of my CDs from home, I should start a new collection". In the CD shop I picked a couple of things I liked, and wandered over to the CD player section. Eeeek. $50.
So I bought me CDs, and went to the movie (Anger Management - absolute crap - don't waste your money - even on a video). Came out feeling angry and remembered that music soothes a savage beast.
Upshot is: bought the player, ripped open the box, tore out batteries and "A Rush Of Blood To The Head", sat there and played it full blast.
I walked back to the Y aurally transported to somewhere else.
The days of my life are full at the moment. I spend a lot of time at the computer (again) after a long break. I do love life online, and have made a lot of good friends, and nurtured old ones using the technology.
It's amazing how addicted one can get to flicking on their email, or opening up a chat window with someone that you love. Especially when you can't talk to them necessarily, because of a time difference or something.
I did say to myself that I was going to try to write letters to people, because they are lovely to receive, and have a very different informational flavour. I like taking time to think about a letter's content, and who the reader is, and what s/he would enjoy hearing. It also gives me a chance to practice my handwriting, which i bordering on pathetic, unreadable, and just plain made up sometimes!
I am rather enjoying this blog too though, and it has been great to hear that you are too.
Missing everyone a bit today.
Did I mention I went to Italia the divine? WOW.
I think I need to learn Italian. I did speak a teeny bit whilst last there... but would love to be able to intermingle with the sheer gorgeousity that is italian life.
Does anyone out there know the word for sister?
It is with great pleasure that I introduce to you a lovely piece of music by George Frederic Handel called "Lascia la Spina".
Leave the thorn and pluck the rose,
you go in search of grief.
Old age will creep up on you
when your heart does not expect it.
I think i'll pop that on my funeral play list.
I don't know why, but I seem to have picked up an unnatural fascination with lard.
It may have something to do with a fun party game I used to play. It's very simple. You and all your guests just sing songs that you know with love in the title, replacing the word 'love' with the word 'lard'. Go ahead and try it.
My personal favourites: "Lard Is A Many-Splendoured Thing", "The Power Of Lard", "All You Need Is Lard"... the list goes on.
Anyway, back to my husband.
Do I look any further than this?
It was with slightly trembling hands and a big cardboard poster-holder-thingy and a suspiciously small tote bag that I alighted the SEA-VAC train today.
The Vancouver weather seems to have started. There may be one respite before the 4-6 months of steady rainfall begins, but there's going to be a lot of rain. I don't seem to care though, because i'm back after the Seattle debacle.
It was sooo nice to get home. Yes, home!
I'm pleased to announce that i'm the first member of my family ever to be refused entry into another country.
I'd like to thank my mum and my dad.
When your best laid plans get messed with (yikes - that's yank-speak), it's amazing how confused you can become about what your plan actually was.
Since this stone-in-the-boot border crap escapade I have brought into question some of the broader questions of the universe, as well as 'Why don't I give up?', or 'How am I going to eat?'. You know what I have decided?
I'm just plain ol' going to go for the road less travelled, as recommended by Mr. Lambert before I left. Who cares if I have to do a little body-selling on the side? Not me!
I have been a little incommunicado about what's been happening in Seattle, but suffice it to say that i've popped out the other side having a) refused a job offer teaching here because it was all too hard, b) remembered what the hell i'm doing all this for, and c) to have my spiel all ready for crossing over.
And that room in that house looks so good at the moment I could just eat it.
And if I don't get back my new plants will die.
Now, everyone knows that trick where the man grabs the end of a tablecloth and whips it out from under a fully laden table.
Let's just say that i'm a fully laden table, and the man is a beginner, and the tablecloth is made of very sticky, bumpy rubber.
So... suddenly all my beautiful plans which you may have read about in August have been shot to sh*t, and out of necessity I will most likely need to make a fairly drastic change. At this stage I am unable to get back into Canada without a letter from the fabulous Ludicorp saying they're definitely not letting me work there until I have the appropriate paperwork, which may be never.
I may get work in Seattle. But waiting for a work visa to be processed may take too long. I would have a lovely apartment to stay in for October though.
So, why bother eating at the table anyway?
Now, mum always said... 'be honest to the nice immigration men [or ladies]'.
I'm on the bus back to Vancouver after a nice Bumbershoot, carrying my lovely Flatstock posters carefully so they don't get creased or grubby. I was wondering about what I was about to say at the border as most people usually do.
What actually went down before the first man sent me through the doors to Immigration and whatever I said to the lady with the painted nails and FBI-style jacket behind said doors is a bit of a blur now - but there is an upshot. I wasn't allowed into Canada because somehow I let it slip that I was a) renting a room in Vancouver, and b) err.. doing an unpaid internship for a nice Canadian company, under the naive impression that because I wasn't being paid, I didn't need to worry about any of that silly work visa palava.
I find myself back in Seattle now leaning on new friends, slightly swamped by a new batch of decision making and bureaucracy. And the fact that i'm now paying rent for a room in Vancouver is hurting.
The best laid plans, eh?