Filing Cabinet of Doom

June 28, 2007

~ Left the records alone and started cleaning out my filing cabinet last night. I have kept some strange shit over the years. A file folder of pictures of classic paintings ripped out of art history textbooks? I have no idea what I compiled that for. Decade old  “humorous” group emails printed-out and the real “zingers” highlighted? Did I really do that? Also found a mountain of tax , banking and and student loan documents so jumbled together they’d make a veteran accountant’s head explode nine times before they hit the floor. There was also some embarrassing, and not even in a vaguely quaint way, examples of my early graphic “design” work from pre-Mala days. I could out filter-rape anyone back then and apparently had an itchy finger on the “print” button. The adventure continues tonight when I finish off drawer two — mostly Arachnia zine archives I think.

Rockery and nerdery

June 27, 2007

~ Practiced with EFE last night for a show with Johnny and The Moon at the &Loan on the 7th of July. It was strange hearing myself play those songs. Stranger, I actually knew how to play two of them (more or less). Something to that osmosis business I reckon. Kristjanne has plans to ursurp my position. She told me to my face. Also on the 14th I’m playing at Noise Nanaimo (same venue) with Gown and Partli Cloudi as guest with the reunited New Yaki, I believe. I assume no rehearsals will take place for that.

~ One good thing about going through my records is listening to those records I bought months ago and never got around to putting on and being a little shocked to find out Parliament’s Osmium is amazing and gorgeous and totally a keeper. Also discovering that records I put some effort into hunting down, like that Telex record, are total bullshit. That’s pretty funny and really puts the whole record collecting thing into perspective. 

suggested to me, if I’m trying to really thin out my collection, that I only keep the records I know I’d have trouble finding ever again. Andrew suggested to me I get rid of those records too and only keep a small selection of the ones I really will listen to, no matter how common. I’m trying to split the difference between these two pieces of advice. 

The next question is for the favourite albums I own on both CD and LP, which format do I keep? It seems to go on a piece-by-piece basis. When will I want to listen to the Smiths? In the living room or in the car or at work? Does the CD have bonus b-sides included? Is the record a bit worn? Is it the kind of record that surface noise sounds good on? If I own the complete albums CD box set, should I bother owning the records at all? Will I want to include some of those songs on mix CD’s later on… Maybe I should buy an iPod and digitize my Smiths / Cure / Banshees / etc. CDs and keep the records…. Or get rid of everything and actually enjoy going to record stores again. Owning every record I ever conceivably wanted really put a damper on that…

Birthday partying, lame pirates and yard sales

June 25, 2007

~ It was Nicole‘s birthday on saturday. I’ll be a gentleman and not divulge her age. Not being able to spend it with her, I celebrated her birthday by going to a matinee of Pirates 3 — which was truly, not surprisingly, horrible — and then getting maybe a little too drunk at Ken’s. 

~ As mentioned, though I’m sure this not news to anyone at this point, Pirates 3: Asleep at Sea, was terrible. Though Pirates 2 was disappointing in the same way Temple of Doom was — a dumbed down and sensationalized version of the original which balanced dumb and sensational just enough — Pirates 3 fell prey to the most dire of sequel pitfalls. That is turning a simple, self-deprecating adventure tale into a globe-spanning epic with a cast of thousands which takes itself far too seriously while coming off as lazy at the same time.

It also felt unbalanced as the humour was dumbed down to exclusively cartoonish kid-friendly sight-gags while the violence and sexuality were amped up to an adult level which perhaps pushed the limits of what might be considered appropriate for a summer “family” film.The witty banter of the original was even more conspicuously missing than it was in Dead Man’s Chest and the entirely self-referencing attempts to bring it back felt tacked on and ill-timed.

It goes without saying that, with the exeption of perhaps Jonathan Pryce, the entire cast phoned-in their performances. It almost felt like the the rest of the cast were laughing at him because Pryce didn’t get the “don’t bother trying this time, the money’s already in the bank” memo. Also, if they could have worked Keith Richards into the plot in a more clumbsy way, I’d like to know how.

~ I’ve started packing and organizing for the move. Mostly that has meant weeding records. I’m going to do another pass as I still have seven crates on my shelf. I need to get that down to at least five and I honestly can’t really see why I’d need even as many as two. Which is kind of shocking for someone who spent a few years being a completest crate-digging record hound.

I’ve started to see all the things in my apartment I need to get rid of which I hadn’t even considered before. Things like my kitchen table. And about nine of those cheap pine utility shelves. The kinds of things you don’t ever “see” because they’ve become part of the environment. And I haven’t even opened my closets yet. I don’t want to imagine the heaps of trash in there. 

Mel and I are considering having an “Internet Girlfriends Yard Sale” to divest ourselves of all this dross and dreck. We might have bands play and the whole thing. Come and purchase the detritus of our lives, the flotsam and jetsam of living in one place for too long. Everything must go!

ExpANTion Project

June 20, 2007

ExpANTion Project
Originally uploaded by Ampersand Photography.

~ The ants near my work are expanding their empire. They’ve saturated the area they were building in so they’ve begun to colonize the neighboring land. One nest searches west for food, the other searches east. Eventually the second nest will grow too big as well and they’ll set up a new colony further down the road. About this time the first, largest nest will begin to die off as they will have grown too large for the available food resources. Ants are stupid.

~ Sister Ray are playing at the Queens tomorrow night. With Rebekah Higgs from Halifax. Seems have a bit of Regina Spektor thing going on. Sort of. We go on at 10pm.

~ I meant to clarify a few days ago that Nicole doesn’t actually have a penis.

TO trip part 4. Back in the land of not-plenty.

June 18, 2007

~ On the flight back the people seated beside me were a very cute, seemingly very rich, elderly couple. She looked like an american politician’s wife and he looked like a cop or a real estate agent. When she slept with her head resting on his shoulder, it filled me with a warm yearning for Nicole and achingly nostalgic for the future when we’ll be an elderly couple cuddling on a cramped cross-country flight.

At the Victoria airport, people were greeted by loved-ones who embraced them. They were all smiles and were radiating joy. One big guy in a tight-black t-shirt and cowboy hat was nearly in tears saying, “You’re here, your here!” to a young woman he had folded in his arms. I slinked out to the parking, dragging my suitcase and breaking heart behind me.

~ So now I’m back in Nanaimo. Or as I’ve taken to calling it: Racoon City — after the zombie-infested post-apocalyptic metropolis of the Resident Evil games/movies. I’m back at work today and feeling it hard to ease back into what feels like my past life. I’m also exhausted in a really relaxed way. I also think it’s total bullshit being separated from my sweetie.

TO trip, part 3. Not much of a story.

June 15, 2007

~ WestJet sent me a reminder this morning that I’m catching a plane home on Sunday. I didn’t appreciate this concrete intrusion into my Taoist “living in the moment” zen fantasy that this trip is going to last forever. I’m having a good time, though not really doing anything. That’s not much of a story.

~ We went to Honest Ed’s yesterday. I started getting the spins about three quarters of the way through the building. There’s a fun-house mirror there that made Nicole and I look like dwarves. We made a cute dwarf couple. Honest Ed’s makes you feel sad about humanity in nine different ways every direction you look. That’s not much of a story.

~ We went to dinner with Katherine, Matt and Nathan to a bistro/pub called Hair of The Dog on wednesday. Best halibut and chips I’ve ever had. The bathroom was hard to find. I hope Nathan moves to Toronto instead of some city where I’m not living. That’s not much of a story.

~ Yesterday was the first time we hit peak hours sardine on the streetcar and subway. It wasn’t so bad. Though I wish I’d brought my portable recorder to catch a few of the inane conversations going on around us. I think that might be a project of mine when I move here. Streetcar field recordings. We did see a woman in a zebra-stripe mu-mu and a full-on crisply dressed rube-boy pimp. That’s not much of a story.

~ Lake Ontario is very flat. It doesn’t look like an ocean. It looks like a huge diorama of an ocean. That, the smog, several Speedos, the naked child with passed out grandpa duo, and the smokestacks lining it made it pretty much the creepiest beach I’ve ever been to. Also it was jesus mother of unholy fuckers hot. That’s not much of a story.

~ The dog here, Mishka, is bonkers. She’s a border collie / lab mutt puppy who doesn’t get as much attention as she’d please. Yesterday, while we were having coffee with Nicole’s friend, Danielle, in the kitchen, the dog, in ninja-like stealth, left a ringer on the living room table. And another upstairs somewhere and pissed in front of the door after refusing to go when taken into the yard. She also ate the crotch out of my boxers the night before. I now have a plaid flannel kilt. That’s kind of a good story.

TO trip, part 2: uglier / prettier

June 13, 2007

~ People in Toronto are much uglier than I assumed. I suppose it’s because people grow-up and stay in Toronto instead of being a city populated by “pretty” people who were too ambitious for the small towns they’re from. I think in the past three days I’ve seen maybe five “attractive” people on the street. It makes for a more comfortable urban experience. Toronto is much more normal and day-to-day than I expected. It doesn’t have a buzz or an energy or a hardness like most other cities I’ve visited which I really expected it to — a particularly pretentious vibe that seems to be missing. Instead, it has the feel of a colony of people just going about their lives without any more or any less expectation of happiness or failure than anywhere else. 

Conversely, I also expected the city itself to be uglier. But there’s tree-lined streets everywhere and quite a few parks and public green-spaces. Toronto’s reputation for being a bleak slab of concrete is somewhat undeserved — at least in summer. 

My expectations of a grey concrete and chrome metropolis populated by pretentious, beautiful automaton robots is somewhat destroyed. Instead I’m developing the impression Toronto is less a city as it is dozens of interconnected small towns (neighborhoods) creating a giant cosmopolitan hive of regular, everyday people living their lives in a relative contented happiness. 

TO trip, part 1

June 10, 2007

~ I am in Toronto in what is apparently a slightly ghetto neighborhood. It is, in fact, 128% less ghetto than my neighborhood in Nanaimo. Though the ice-cream truck from Stephen King’s It did just drive by. Nicole and  are goingto a BBQ at KatMatt‘s house tonight. Apparently we’re supposed to acquire a watermelon for this. 

~ One of the WestJet “owners” on my fight yesterday freaked out because she thought my hand-held digital audio recorder was a tazer. I will admit, it really does. I recorded the exchange.

~ Nicole has a very nice penis.

Regarding Samuel

June 6, 2007

~ In 72 hours I’ll be getting on a plane which will fly me to Toronto where I’ll meet and be met by Nicole. Ken insists she’s a man. In our several conversations on the topic, Nicole has vehemently denied she has a penis. She seems offended by the suggestion. What’s the big deal? After all, I have a penis and I’m quite happy with it.

Of course I’ve been careful to hide any evidence of Samuel, my conjoined twin. It’s always kind of awkward the first time someone sees that set of teeth and pug-like eyes growing out of your shoulder. You have to employ a fair amount of tact when you bring up the subject, highlighting the erotic possibilities yet down-playing the ethical considerations of whether or not Sam is being forced into a sexual situation he’s not comfortable with and if it is, in fact, a menage a trois. It can be tricky, but it’s not as insurmountable an obstacle as one might assume. Over the years I’ve learned “the big reveal” is not the way to go. Do not attempt to soften the blow with a sexy strip-tease — this will only horrify your partner. Instead what works best is getting your partner really drunk and acting as casual as possible when they utter that first inevitable scream of terror. “What? Oh this. It’s like a birthmark.”

Works every time.


June 4, 2007

~ The sound my flat-soled Doc Martens make, I as I sprint down a gravel road in the grey-blue moonlight, to catch the last ferry off Gabriola, is the sound of two dictionaries being slammed together. 

~ The sound my harmonica makes as it hits the floor of the CHLY studio, where I forget about it and it probably still sits underneath the console desk, is the sound of a tin measuring cup landing on a linoleum kitchen floor early in the afternoon.

~ The sound of the young woman‘s voice on the street below my window, wide open in the dark  june heat, is the sound of an animal, full of frustrated anger, in a cage being poked with sticks by children full of curious wonder.

~ The sound of people typing emails to clients and loved ones, in a rare moment of office silence, is the sound of someone juggling Chicklets in their mouth behind you ina nearly empty movie theatre while waiting for the show to start.

~ The sound of Die Schadenfreude, at practice, is the sound of a giant fun-fur covered machine grinding itself into sawdust.

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