Thursday, March 25, 2010

Short Story Excerpt

An excerpt from my short story, "The Girl Who Feared Lighting" has been posted on the Black Gate website. They even got someone to illustrate it, which I have to admit, makes me feel pretty good.

Go here to check it out.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Update from Bend, Oregon

It's hard to turn the comedy habit off. Sean Lecomber taught me the trick of looking for local businesses with funny names to make fun of at shows that night. I'm not here to do comedy, but the habit persists.

Today's winners--a store in Madras called Bi-Mart (Never figured Jefferson County to be so progressive) and Yakima, Washington actually has a store called Hispanavision. I don't know if it's an optometrists or a TV store, but either way, I found it amusing. I wonder if there's a Gringo-vision somewhere (Our motto: We don't see colour...or privilege)

The country is beatiful. I'd describe it, but I'm not that kind of writer. The amazing thing has been watching it change as we head south. There's been mountains (My favorite mountain name--"The Mountain that Walks," site of the Frank rockslide), the trees and lakes of idaho, scrubby hills, river basins, the "Oregon outback"...there is more to this country than New York, Los Angeles, and Vegas.

It helps of course that our geologist is explaining the features of the land as they go by. He sees the Earth like I see (*) people, noticing the ways different parts relate and shift, looking below the surface to see what lies beneath.

The really interesting thing about the land is that it isn't static. The Rocky Mountains look like they'll be there forever but in 25 million years--not that long in Geology time--they'll be gone. The earth beneath our feet, is always changing, whether or not we realize it.

My favorite part of today has been the few moments of solitude I've managed to get--the porch of a restaraunt, a few minutes in the washroom, the passenger seat when everyone else was in the drugstore. It's weird because I was on the Manitoba tour less than two months ago and while there were a lot more people and a lot more activity be it driving, the show, or just general debauchery, I never really felt any need for time apart from the rest of the crew, unusual for an introvert like me. Different people? Different energy levels? The alcohol? Not wanting to miss anything? Who knows with these things.

The geology of the human heart changes much quicker than moutains, I guess. How the earth must shake its head when it looks at us.

Tomorrow we hit California. I imagine this will be my last update for a while.

(*) Or more accurately 'listen to.' Except that isn't exactly right either. Basically, I kind of--I don't know how I do what I do. Or more to the point, I don't know how to explain it.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Update From A Motel Room In Bonner's Ferry, Idaho

I never knew this place existed.


So far it's been a lot of driving through a country both familiar (Hello, Red Deer, Okotoks, good to see you again)and less so (Hell's Half Acre, Bonner's Ferry) Idaho).

So far the coolest thing has been one of my travelling companions who has more than a passing interest in geology. He'll look at the same landscape as the rest of us and see something completely different and deeper, noting the way rocks and water have carved their way over the course of millions of years. There's something cool about people who just perceive the world differently, that pick out things the rest of us miss.

Which I suppose could be a metaphor for this whole trip.

Later, Skaters.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Strange Things Afoot

Tonight at The Comic Strip will be your last chance to see me live before my California trip. Unless you work with me, in which case you'll see me tomorrow.

Excited about the trip. Today I got travel insurance, which I've never done before. It was about as exicting as you'd expect--except that it was something new, so naturally I enjoyed it.

I ate potato chips for the first time in a while on Friday night and woke up with a hangover-y headache feeling. If I start eating healthier, is that going to be par for the course? Cause I don't like not having options.

Oddly enough, Saturday night I drank and DID not have a hangover the next day. But my voice sounded awesome. I love how my voice sounds after a night of moderate drinking. Since having a good voice is important for a day job, I wonder if I could write off doing tequila shooters the night before every shift as Professional Development.

Oh yeah. And I've been having visions. Which is weird because I don't believe in that stuff. My current Policy on Visions is: "As long as it doesn't affect my everyday functioning, I see no reason for alarm." I don't know what it says about me that my policy towards the Unexplainable is the same as my attitude towards nookie, substance abuse, and climate change but there you go.

Wednesday I am off to California. In honor of my trip (and the Rob Zombie and Alice Cooper concert I'll be checking out at the end of April), here's some travellin' music for the legions of adoring fans crying themselves to sleep awaiting my safe return.

May all beings be sexy.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Dumpster Diving

you would think the CBC showcase (did the jokes I wanted, went well, haven't heard anything yet, thanks for asking)was the most exciting thing I did last night.

It wasn't.

After the show, I went dumpster diving with a lesbian.

That's not a metaphor for something dirty. That's exactly what I did--digging through a dumpster in my showcase clothes with a group of people that included a pregnant woman, a very nice couple, and assorted others.

It was fun.

Part of it is the joy of experiencing something new, of being introduced to a world you didn't know existed.

Part of it is the thrill of learning. I love learning new things, even though I am often stressed about doing them badly which leads me to be cautious about what I take on. Sometimes I think I love learning new things in spite of the fear. Sometimes I think the fear is what makes learning them worthwhile.

Half the joy (and the stress) of the new laptop has been setting it up. I was at the computer store the other day and was contemplating buying a router so I could get wireless access at home...not because I want home internet access (In fact, I prefer to have limited internet time. Otherwise cyberspace has a way of seducing me for hours and keeping me from doing things that need doing), but because I wanted to learn how to set it up (**)

Another part of the excitement of dumpster diving is the rush of Bucking the System. As I've started to think more beyond myself, I'm becoming more interested in Making a Difference in the world. My dumpster experience felt very anarchist and revolutionary.

(A friend and I were commiserating about this Fighting the System stuff, and how our temperaments are so ill-suited to it. His comrades get him all worked up, but when push comes to shove, he ends up making friends with all the people they're supposed to be angry at. We're both too genial to be revolutionaries (**))

And of course, now that I know how to dumpster dive, I have one more skill that will help me survive the Apocalypse--assuming the apocalypse doesn't interfere with corporate North America's shipping and receiving schedules(***).

Yay me.

(*) After that, I would build a time machine, and go back to the time a friend of mine had laptop troubles and fix it for them, pausing just long enough to high five my younger self on the way out the door saying "Knock it off with the feelings of inadequacy, you sexy motherfucker. We have got this shit COVERED."

(**) Some would make the argument, that genial people make the most effective revolutionaries what with our ninja empathy, non-judgement, and quiet dedication to changing hearts over looking good to the people who already agree with us. The problem is, it's the loud, visible folks that get the press and the adulation. Saving the world is nice and all, but if it doesn't bring you chicks and glory, what's the point?

(***) I'm almost willing to give capitalism a fighting chance. Have you ever noticed that t doesn't seem to matter what fires, floods, or earthquakes happen in the world, the latest blockbuster movie always seems to open on the scheduled release date? Misplaced priorities aside, consumerism gets shit done. It might be the wrong shit, but it gets done.