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When life was funny..

With Ryan's and new pigs and spacebars..








Someone to make a cup of tea for

A familiar sadness
On this October day


On The Bus In The Rain - June 9, 2010 A lot of things died when Ryan died. Almost everything.
Beauty didn't die, I still see it often.
In the sky, on the side of a building, in my weird sockless neighbour on his way back from the black and white grocery. But it's not the same as it was before. It's a whole lot sadder. Because it's fleeting. It's going to die too. Everything does.

I suppose that's why there are artists. Naively trying to keep a little bit of it around, so we can touch it, so it never dies. We are saying 'This happened! And it will never happen again just like this. Isn't it wonderful?'
But somehow, a part of me always doesn't believe it, because it's all so fuzzy now.

What the hell is a potato ricer?

I'm at the beginning again, which inevitably means I'm reminiscing about all the other beginnings  (see my last post). 

While searching for music and books in the middle of the night in my lonely old house, I remembered Nora Ephron. She can help. She wrote endlessly about divorce and cooking (as cooking for one is a constant reminder of your failed relationship thus forever connected). 

Here's an excerpt:

Nothing like mashed potatoes when you're feeling blue. Nothing like getting into bed with a bowl of hot mashed potatoes already loaded with butter, and methodically adding a thin cold slice of butter to every forkful. The problem with mashed potatoes, though, is that they require almost as much hard work as crisp potatoes, and when you're feeling blue the last thing you feel like is hard work. Of course, you can always get someone to make the mashed potatoes for you, but let's face it: the reason you're blue is that there isn't anyone to make them for …

Half empty at the ship and anchor.

When I sit at a barstool alone, i imagine him quietly sitting next to me, sipping on his beer, leaving to go smoke, coming back and scratching a $2 western he got at the sev.
In the other room, outside smoking, just one calling of his name away.

Cannery Row Chapter 30 Part 2

The party was about to recline and go to sleep when there was a tramp of feet on the stairs. A great voice shouted, "Where's the girls?"

Mack got up almost happily and crossed quickly to the door. And a smile of joy illuminated the faces of Hughie and Jones. “What girls you got in mind?” Mack asked softly.


“Ain’t this a whore house? Cab driver said they was one down here.”


“You made a mistake, Mister.” Mack’s voice was gay.


“Well, what’s them dames in there?”


They joined battle then. They were the crew of a San Pedro tuna boat, good hard happy fight-wise men. With the first rush they burst through to the party. Dora’s girls had each one slipped off a shoe and held it by the toe. As the fight raged by they would clip a man on the head with the spike heel. Dora leaped for the kitchen and came roaring out with a meat grinder. Even Doc was happy. He flailed about with the Chalmers 1916 piston and connecting rod.

It was a good fight. Hazel tripped and got kicked in the face twice b…

You're doing it wrong

Garage doors and power washers Dog walkers and house keepers All the dogs have anxiety And the husbands high blood pressure They call the dead ends cul-de-sacs And the stillness peaceful But it’s unnerving And I want to go home


I used to be a camp counsellor

Sometimes I say that to a crowd of people and it's met with laughter.

'Well, that explains it!'

Usually it's when we're trying to start a fire, or put up a tarp or play a song on the guitar . All three of which I'm not very good at, because, truthfully, I wasn't a very good camp counselor.

I was only a camper for one year, at 14 years old, because my mom was the camp nurse and she got a 'deal'.

Maybe it was my counsellor singing Ani DiFranco songs, staring at the ceiling in my bunk, surrounded by equally entranced young girls that made me want to go back.

Whatever it was, I went back the following year and applied to be a counsellor. But I wasn't your average applicant, as I wore make-up, blow-dried my hair and stole my sisters clothes any chance I got.

Somehow though, I got the job.
They named me Dale after Dale Earnhardt for nearly driving off the road with a car-full of counselors the morning after a staff party.
The summer started off wel…

He's not feeling well.

He's got a broken heart.

Baby it's you.

It was December 10th, 2007. One week after his birthday, but I didn't know that yet.
Georgia and I walked into Broken City for the afternoon jam. We got pints, sat in a booth and watched.

He was wearing a white t-shirt and jeans. His guitar was yellow and black, and he had a cigarette hanging from his lips. He played Human Fly by The Cramps (here).

My heart fluttered. The room quieted. I knew it right then and there.
I am mad for this man, Georgia. I need to meet this man.

Like a good friend, she walked over and said as much. He came to our table and sat down and we talked for awhile.

He got up and announced it was time for him to go, walking over to the stage. I thought I was going to lose him.

 He put on a red jacket, slung his guitar over his shoulder, and returned to my table.
"Well, are you coming?" he asked.

And so I went.
And I never looked back and I never said goodbye and I never doubted it for a moment. It was him.

He died on January 7th, 2010. A week after tat…

Cannery Row Chapter 30

The nature of parties has been imperfectly studied. It is, however, generally understood that a party has a pathology, that it is a kind of an individual and that it is likely to be a very perverse individual. And it is also generally understood that a party hardly ever goes the way it is planned or intended. This last, of course, excludes those dismal slave parties, whipped and controlled and dominated, given by ogreish professional hostesses. These are not parties at all but acts and demonstrations, about as spontaneous as peristalsis and as interesting as its end product.
Probably everyone in Cannery Row had projected his imagination to how the party would be-the shouts of greeting, the congratulation, the noise and good feeling. And it didn't start that way at all. Promptly at eight o'clock Mack and the boys, combed and cleaned, picked up their jugs and marched down the chicken walk, over the railroad track, through the lot across the street and up the steps of Western Biol…

Oh my darling, there's a fish in my belly.

What brought you to Calgary?

A van.

And then every single person that has ever asked me that question laughs, because I guess they expected something along the lines of: a job, or a boy, or to start a new life, but in every single way it was a van that brought us here.

This van to be exact:




It started before the van, though.

It started at Blue Skies, where we watched the D Rangers from Winnipeg, but had to hitchhike back to Peterborough because Georgia had to work at the Mustang Drive-In that Saturday night.



Hank told us to keep our wits about us and put on pants before we left, but instead we made this useless sign and took off. Then we hitchhiked back to Blue Skies for some reason on Sunday morning.

The highway travelling was more exhilarating than anything I'd done up that point, including film school, so why the hell not drive across Canada. Atleast I'd have something to write about.

The van was $100 and the German mechanic wouldn't approve it's safety until the rust holes were patched up with…

The 7 Day Pedestrian Challenge

I've created a series of walking routes that everyday folks can take to get a glimpse of what it's like to be car-less in Calgary. Ideally,  politicians/decision-makers would be required to, before making decisions that affect only pedestrians and cyclists.

Created after years of passive-aggressively storming around crosswalks, by blending my personal experience with Dustin Jones' research into the most dangerous intersections in the city of Calgary - based on pedestrian-vehicle accidents (see here). 
The Rules: Walk one route per day Try to walk on a day that the temperature is below -10 (and snowing!), as inclement weather is a major factor in pedestrian-vehicle accidents, and may affect yours and others' behaviour. When you're safe to do so, record your findings, including other pedestrians behaviour, vehicles' behaviour, and near-misses.  Route 1
This is an easy one. Hide your car keys, and head to the Calgary Transit website. Find the route from your home …

Mondays are okay, it's your job that sucks.

I liked this movie a lot. That is all. 


Calgary's +15

I moved to Calgary in 2005 for no real reason except Georgia said I’d like it. We bought a van for $100 and the rest is..... a completely different story.
I came from Toronto, where there's an underground subway, underground pathway, and underground music scene. Calgary, on the other hand,  has no underground activity. Trains and pathways are both above-ground, taking advantage of Calgary's 333 sunny days a year.

The Calgary pathway is actually 15 ft above the ground, and simply a series of tunnels connecting one building to the next. It's cleverly called The +15.


The history of the +15, built in 1969 can be found here: The Endless Interior

Oftentimes, tourists aren't aware of the +15, and even some locals can't be bothered to figure out the twisting and turning path. All you really have to do is look for the little cowboy cutie on the sign!


The +15 was also featured in a film called Waydowntown (2002) by Canadian filmmaker Gary Burns. It’s about a group of young …

..if I don't keep blowing air into it.

After Ryan died I signed up for grief counselling and waited 8 weeks for the class to start.
I put so much on the counselling; everything, in fact. I thought it was going to fix me.
When the day finally came, I was dropped off at Rockyview Hospital where it was being held in the chapel.

It wasn't the same hospital that Ryan died in, but from now on, all hospitals will feel like the same hospital.
I was early so I got a coffee from Good Earth, and as I put sugar in it, realized why I was feeling so giddy. It hit me like a ton of bricks. Somewhere deep down in my subconscious, I had decided that he was still lying in a hospital bed somewhere and I was finally going to get to see him again.

The subconscious is a motherfucker.

"You think you're going to see him, you stupid stupid girl".
What they don't tell you is that it doesn't just happen once, it happens over and over again. 
So I walked my mind through what it had wanted. Me and my coffee walking down the hall to h…

Four years is 1,460 days.

It was the worst day of my life.

It was so painful that I made a deal with the universe. If you can't bring him back then propel me forward. In time. I want to go far into the future, to a date that will allow me to breathe again.

Finally.