For you, the dress code is casual.

Saturday, April 30, 2005

About Me (Since You Care)

Jennifer wanted to see a profile for me. She commented in regards to the GayBoy factoids, and this is what she said:

I'm disappointed I couldn't find a profile for you. But it pleases me to know that your name is Steff and that you are a girl. Can't I know anything else?

So, yeah. Okay. I can work with that. First of all, any questions you got, ask ‘em. I’ll answer honestly. Most of the time.

But here. Let’s start off with random things about me. Hmm. It’s so easier when it’s about other people. But fortunately, I had a few of these down already, with the intention of doing somethin' with 'em. All right, here goes.

[ED NOTE: For me, the links aren't working, but I can't see any problem with the coding. So, if you're having troubles, please say so. If you're not, then please say so. :) ]

* * *

I am a girl. I am 31. I live alone. (See below.) I have a neat job. (See below.) I like playing with dictionaries and thesauruses. (Ergo.) My heritage is Irish and French, but I'm Vancouver born and bred. Third-generation Canadian in the house, yo.

Whenever a bee flies into the room I’m in, I’ll shoo it away and say, “Bee, be gone!” About 5 out of 7 times, this is effective.

I sing on my scooter. A favourite is Janis Joplin's "Mercedes Benz," but I change the line "Won't you buy me a colour TV?" to "Won't you buy me a plasma TV?" 'Cause, like, I've had colour since 1978.

Roadtrips rock. Nothing beats a stretch of black, a good car stereo blasting, and a sunny day with nothing but driving ahead of you. Love that. Now, if I had a car... (Scooters don’t do highways. Mmf.) I have driven from Alaska to Mexico, and half-way across Canada, not to mention every place in between. And man, can I talk myself out of a ticket.

my pad
I sound like a total party animal when you read my shit, but I love staying home. I'm a bit of a homebody. My apartment, pictured in the inset, is a cocoon. I also don't drink as much as you'd think, hanging with a lush like GayBoy, but I do drink. I love good (red) wine.

Pot, though. Yeesh. I'm an example of the productive pothead who's capable of conjuring complete sentences.

The best date I ever had was when a boy and I got stranded on a rocky cliff high over the ocean on a full moon night that wasn’t as bright as we’d hoped, making it impossible to find our way back to our car. Stranded there, a couple hundred feet above the ocean, the full moon, the ocean, and nothing but rocky crags up and down the coast. You wanna have an honest conversation? Spend the night on a cliff.

I’m a rabid patriot. I love being Canadian. It bothers me that this admission might perplex people from “fancier” countries, but I wouldn’t wanna be from anywhere else. If you’re relatively new to this blog, this is an early posting of mine that conveys my conviction (but it’s pretty harsh). This was the first posting I’d made on here. I like it.

I was once on a roadtrip with a friend and we coasted more than 30 kilometres down the Rocky Mountains, until we we coasted to a stop three blocks from the first gas station) when we ran out of gas between towns. Love that gravity. Isaac Newton was the bomb.

When I eat fried eggs, I always get ‘em over-easy and I’ll always eat the entire white first and leave both yolks for the end. I mean, save the best for last, right? Isn’t that why the orgasm comes at the end of sex? Ergo. My breakfast companions who've noticed think I'm weird and methodical. (They're right, but.)

My greatest fault is actually saying 80% of the things that occur to me. It’s a wonder I don’t get into more trouble. I must smile right.

I’m a ranter. I don’t just do it on here. I do it in real life. A lot. And on the job, too. A lot. If there’s one thing you can be assured of: Everyone knows precisely what I think. At least I’m funny about it, though. This much is also true: I’ll rant about nearly anything. It’s all worth it. One of the easiest topics to rant about? The bus. And here’s one right here. It was therapeutic.

I have a journalism degree, with which I do little. I caption for television and film now, so I essentially watch tv for a living. I call it a party job; whenever I go to a party and everyone’s talking about their jobs, mine’s always the coolest-sounding.

The first concert I ever saw, I was 12 years old. It was Tears for Fears. The best concert I ever saw? I really don’t know anymore. There’ve been so many, and so many reasons to like them all. Port-a-john porn? Making friends with a dozen people I’d never see again, a couple hundred klicks from home, to see Husker Du, the Hip, and Hothouse Flowers? A blues festival in the middle of the mountains, hundreds of kilometres from a city, in the Yukon, while camping and smoking dope with likeminded folks for days? Gritty lo-fi sexuality like the Kills in a small club? A good seat for Santana’s only ever show in Vancouver on mushrooms? Yeah. Gotta love the live gigs.

I’ve never been married, never been tempted. Don’t want kids. And like Carol Burnett says, the perfect marriage would entail great sex with a best friend who lived right next door.

My current favourite television series include: The Shield, Arrested Development, The Wire, 24, Grey’s Anatomy, the Daily Show.

Some of my favourite movies include: Donnie Darko, Shaun of the Dead, Casablanca, City of God, State and Main, Amelie, Jaws... and far too many more to do justice to here.

Sadly, I have “My Time-of-the-Month Movies.” These include romantic comedies and tearjerkers.

Music I listen to? Right now, I’m kind of all over the map. Electronica, garage rock, lo-fi shit. Right this second, “Megacolon” by Fischerspooner is coursing through my speakers. My favourite accidental-find MP3 of late has been something that was incorrectly titled as the Spider-Man Theme, but is actually called Spider Eyes, a jazzy/calypso-flavoured electronica-type track you can get free here. And from the current scene, I also love folks like The Kills, the Von Bondies, Arcade Fire, BRMC, the Decemberists. Detroit Cobras, Interpol, uh, yada, yada, yada. I’m always open to suggestion.

Favourite books? Jesus. Where to begin? Wicked (can’t remember the author’s name), the Regeneration trilogy by Pat Barker, almost anything by Jim Crace (particularly Quarantine and Being Dead), Dogs of Winter, Sometimes a Great Notion, Crossing to Safety, anything by Jon Krakauer, Hunter S. Thompson, and Paul Theroux, the Harry Potter series, Sex Tips for Straight Ladies from a Gay Man (listen up, girls, I know whereof I speak)... and the list just goes on.

* * *

It’s national turn-off-your-tv week, according to Citrus on his blog. In the honour of that, I’d like to post yet another retro link, and this one’s to my defense of television. I hope it doesn't seem pompous clicking to old posts. There's not a lot I'd foist on an unwitting public, so it won't be happening much, trust me.


Friday, April 29, 2005

Mitch Hedberg Died

I didn't know this until now, but last month, one of my favourite contemporary comedians died, reportedly of a heart attack.

Mitch Hedberg was the new Stephen Wright. I'd bust a gut any time I saw him perform, usually on Letterman or Just for Laughs. Citrus said, "Oh, you should go to Stephen Wright's site..." and that's what made me think of Mitch, though I drew a blank on his name for a bit...

Then I happened on this news clipping.

But this was the late, great Hedberg's official site. Sigh. Why can't the fucking funny ones live past 40? I'm sad now. What a smart, brilliant, and effusive comedian.

GayBoy Speaks: Your Answers.

GayBoy and I have just watched the funniest little Star Wars movie. This is Obi-Wan Kenobi shopping for cars. You must have Quicktime 6 to view it. It's about 3 minutes long. Laugh, laugh, laugh.

Use the Force here.

* * *

We got home from our underwhelming day out, and now GayBoy's here to answer your questions. If anyone has any other questions, ask away. GayBoy will either respond in the comments or we'll do this again.

Question: What is Gay Boy's nationality?

Canadian with German/Scottish roots.

Is gay boy a top or a bottom?

Versatile and open to suggestion.

If Gay Boy were on death row what would he have as his last meal?

Gummy Bears.

What is Gay Boy's stance on drugs? Does he have any favorites?

Legalize ‘em! Fuck the law. Of course! Dope. But he has... dabbled.

Does Gay Boy have any favorite reality programs...what is Gay Boy's favorite sitcom from the 80's?

SexCourt on the Playboy channel. “A husband is suing his wife because she can’t give good blowjobs, so the Judge says, ‘Well, there’s only one way to prove it: She has to blow the jury. One by one. And I should... monitor the... uh, proceedings.’”

“From the ‘80s? I don’t know. Mork & Mindy? Newhart? Beachcombers! MacGyver. Richard Dean Anderson (with a mullet).”

Am I the only person to even have asked any questions?

No, you’re just the leader of the pack.

Coke or Pepsi?

“Pepsi. Coke sucks.” (But so does he.)

Is it true that gay men can bench more than your average straight man?

“How the fuck should I know?”

Now where can i find gayboy's blog?

He doesn’t plan to do one. He’s susceptible to public pressure, though. He does say he’lll consider commenting more.

Is GayBoy a local Celebrity? Does he sing any Numbers? If he does, I'd like to dance while he sings... I'll even wear my Pumps,Jack!

This was Citrus being crafty. Numbers, Celebrities, and PumpJack are the big local gay bars. GayBoy worked at Numbers.

Why don't DJ's ever play requests? Don't they get that people will dance and drink more if they like the music?

“’Cause you’re fucking annoying to them. Gay DJs are fucking full of themselves, they’re prima donnas. They don’t like it when their idea of their great taste in music is questioned or interrupted. DJ Jules at the Odyssey is so fucking full of himself now that he’s “Emperor.” The DJ at the Dufferin (Go Buff at the Duff!), the one who held Aaron Webster (the victim of a brutal gaybashing) when he died has started a gay internet radio station...” He’s got the article on it at home in Xtra West.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

"I'm all for mandatory drug testing.
Which drugs do I test?"

"If at first you don't succeed,
skydiving is not for you."

Ga-Ga for GayBoy: A Beginner's Guide

GayBoy On Pride Day
Maybe you don’t know who GayBoy is. Let’s hope we can fix that for you. He's being kind and helping the Drag Queen get his/her ears dressed again in the Pride Parade. (That's a rainbow GB has on his head, btw.)

GayBoy’s like me in that we’ve known each other for 13 years and we still surprise each other, and often. And despite still surprising each other all the time, we know each other better than anyone else knows us. And it’s always, always a good time. And nobody but nobody can keep up with us. We is trouble.

There are three primary posts you can check out to get an introduction to GayBoy, and they are, in order of how you should read them and with clickable links:

Hurray for GayBoy!
Tricks and Coffee
The Velvet Pedophile

So here’s what we’ll do: A list. Now, this isn’t one of those “100 things you don’t know about me” lists you’re seeing on every second blog. Who really needs 100 trivial facts?

* * *

GayBoy works at Starbucks. He also has bartended, bounced, and bussed in a couple main bars here in town, the last being a gay bar where he spent the last year primarily being beefy Mr. Bouncerman at the doors, for which I made him a t-shirt that reads, “Breakfast Included.”

GayBoy will be 31 in three weeks.

He punctuated his years in the bars with two trips half-way across Canada, where he stopped at every medium and large sized town between here and Thunder Bay, Ontario, (that means about 10,000 kilometres, or more) driving a cube van full of the top-of-the-line motorcycles being brought out by Honda Canada in each of those summers. He’d stop in the towns and lead group rides for customers looking to test-ride the hot new bikes.

GayBoy’s an Egg. This means he’s white on the outside and yellow on the inside. If you rifle through his kitchen, it’s all Asian food. Or white trash food with an upscale twist.

He’s also a rice queen. He digs Asian men. He’s in that strange position of seeing a younger man who has more money than him, and who spends wildly on him. I asked GayBoy what we should call him. If he’s not older, he can’t be a SugarDaddy. GayBoy thought about it: “SugarSonny.” (Should I change LuvverBoy’s moniker to SugarSonny?)

GayBoy is very politically incorrect. But he’s also very, very political.

He is often quoteable. He’ll say things like, “I’m not racist. I own a colour TV.” When a guy who looked hot comin’, but you’re glad to see goin’ passes us by, GayBoy will sputter, “Good from afar, but far from good.” And sadly, I'm drawing a blank right now.

GayBoy is a lush. He will drink anything. He loves expensive scotch. He loves tequila. He was reared on Southern Comfort. When he was in his hardcore Hunter S. Thompson phase, he even drank Wild Turkey. Beer, though, is the liquid that courses through his veins.

When he was in Vegas once, he saw Tom Jones live from the front row, for which he wore his caramel-coloured corduroy suit. Yes, it has suede elbow patches.

GayBoy once gave me a fishbowl with itty-bitty fishies for Christmas once. That didn’t work out too well. It’s all right, they got the three-flush salute.

He owns the limited edition of every Disney DVD that has yet been released. He’s so fucking gay. (But he didn’t come out until he was 25. He fucking made up for THAT in a hurry. The Disney should've been a sign! I'll have you know, none of us suspected he was gay when he was "straight." But the fact that he knew how to set a table for company should've been a sign. That and the fact that he owned a cheese knife.)

GayBoy and I dream of an impromptu trip to LA for a taping of The Price is Right followed by accosting mascots at Disneyland.

GayBoy harrasses a salesman named Jay who sold him his cellphone. Every time GayBoy walks past the booth in the mall (which he goes out of his way to do) he’ll lean seductively on the counter and eyeball Jay. “Still straight, Jay?” “Oh, Jaaaaay...” We know for a fact that Jay's coworkers now taunt him.

* * *

Anyhow. There’s your introduction to my best friend, GayBoy.

Now, GayBoy will have hilarious and off-colour responses to any questions you can post. Include 'em in the comments here, if you like. We will do the answering on Monday night.

ED NOTE: GayBoy just called to say he'd answered a few questions of Hermes' in this earlier posting. Click here.

GayBoy wanted me to add
two more of his regular sayings:

"I'm on it like Oprah on a ham."
"I hate to see you go,
but I love to watch you leave."

And he likes this one,
but it's kinda middling for me:
"You're a 2 at 10:00, and a 10 at 2:00."

A Letter to Mr. Leafblower

Dear Mr. Leafblower--

I remember fondly a time when you'd see the men in the neighbourhood leaning on their rakes and brooms, shooting the breeze about the latest Packers game or that lying son of a bitch and the State of the Union address.

But not anymore. You're the new generation, aren't you?

Here I sit, more than three stories up, and a massive cloud of dust blows past my apartment every couple of minutes because you're "cleaning" the back alley with your leafblower.

I agree, leafblowers work great with leaves, but why are you using it to move dirt and dust? Back in the day, we had these things called "vacuums" that did the weirdest thing: Not only did they remove dirt, they also contained the dirt.

But no. You're a guy with a toy and you're having fun with your little blower thingie. Lemme know when you'll be swinging by to dust all the shit I'd cleaned on Sunday that's already covered with well-travelled, three-storey-climbing dust again after your little "cleaning" session.

The worst part of the blowers is the constant whining whir emitted by the freakin' things. Is it really too much to ask that I can procrastinate against going to work by lazing around with my coffee and watching The Daily Show without that noise? I like the low hum emitted by a bustling world.

But a world without your leafblower is my preference.

-A scribe named Steff.


Just one of a few fun stories I've encountered this morning:

A Colorado man recently saved his chicken's life by giving it mouth-to-beak rescusitation.

This was one of his younger chickens, who, among of flock of youngsters, somehow got stuck in a pool of water and was drowning, when its owner Uegene Safken spotted the troubled bird and jumped in to save it.

He apparently was swinging the chicken around by the feet, trying to revive it, and that didn't work, so he moved onto the more advanced methods: Mouth-to-beak rescusitation.

He says, "Then one eye opened. I thought it was an involuntary response." Apparently the beak opened a little wider on its own accord and Safken began shouting at it, "You're too young to die! You're too young to die!" He states that, "Every time I'd yell at him, he'd chirp."
* * *

It's official. I'm barbecuing some chicken souvlaki tonight. (Chirp.)
* * *

I like doing the weird news stories. And it's easy work for me. Heh. I'll probably do some capsule coverage of odd news this weekend, and I will do the story of the port-a-john porn by Monday. It's a weekend thing.
* * *

Oh, and I slept like the blissed-out child of love I am. Rock on. And it's sunny and hot AGAIN today. I live in Paradise! (Yes, today it deserves a capital P.) And today starts yet another wonderful three-day weekend. Man, do I got it good.
* * *

Speaking of Weirdness:

GayBoy will be taking your questions, people.
Post yer questions as a comment on this posting, and GayBoy will answer anything you ask. Anything. And yes, you can ask anonymously. Come on, people. Bring it.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

something sleepy this way comes

sometimes, lying in bed, it feels like the dull rumbling of a small earthquake, which i used to feel regularly when i lived in the north.

but it's just trucks rumbling down the street.

and i'm only ever aware of it when sleep is teasing me.

speaking of which.


i’m not the type that does well on little sleep. i’ve got a pretty buoyant personality at times, like of late, and it requires maintenance. like sleep.

i prefer seven hours of sleep. six i can do. five is a stretch. it’s looking like five. i’m becoming embittered about this. i thought i should write it out.

i normally lie there and think about anything. everything. nothing.

sometimes i just picture black. there are other times when i’ll start giving the black a texture: astroturf. maybe velour. a long-haired cat’s tousled fur. burlap. just black.

sometimes i’ll think not really of my mom, but how she used to be when i couldn’t sleep or had nightmares. she was never impatient. ever. some of those times stand out now as my most positive remembrances of her.

there was one time, it was a hotel. victoria, bc, i think. maybe california. but a hotel. impersonal, cold, and flooded with the bad and crazy vibes of too many nights spent by too many people. i never did sleep well in hotels.

but i was a kid then, about seven or eight.

and this is what she’d do. she’d come in, take a seat by my side, brush the hair off my forehead, smile down to me. she’d have me pick an animal.


and a colour.


and another.


and... a name.


and she’d just start talking. “lulu liked golf. the golfers didn’t like lulu. not because they didn’t like her, but because she thundered when she walked. lulu the hippopotamus would wear her best tutu, the pink and purple one, every time she went golfing. she looked wonderful. but she was bigger than 6 people! every time she’d step, the balls would bounce...”

“ba-boom,” she’d say.

i’d giggle.


but i guess that’s not really an option right now. still, i like the memory. some days memories are so real you can smell ‘em. a touch of baby powder. a whiff of lavender.

i like the nice memories like that. it reminds me how fortunate i was to have a mother like her. a little short-changed on the time end of the deal, but what i lacked chronologically was more than made up for in substance.

and still, i’m awake.

i’ve tried some tricks. nice warm soak with some scented oils. some calcium/magnesium (it relaxes you). and i have a fluffy song on repeat, “don’t take your love away” by vast. it’s a good song, but it’s just the swirling melodies and gently exhilerating beat that i think should put me into a happy place soon.

and writing. and this is working. ah, yawn. mm. good.

with that, i take my leave. sleep, perchance to sleep.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

The cusp of something, or something

A comment to my rant on the media has gotten me thinking about blogging.

I’m pretty much a newcomer to blogging. I tried doing two last summer, just to start, but they were stilted and boring, bordering on pretentious, and fully in the realm of lame. (I refer you to the previous posts on writer's block.)

I continued the two blogs for a couple months each, overlapping each other for a total of three months combined, before I finally gave them the brutal death they deserved.

This bad boy was born in November.

Before that, I didn’t even know anything about blogging, who was doing it, why you’d bother. When I first started hearing about it, it didn’t strike me as interesting. At all.

So you have to understand, I’m fairly surprised that I give a shit about this. But I do. I really enjoy spending a little time whoring my overrated little thoughts out to you people. I’m thrilled I get comments. They entertain me and make me smile.

And now? I get it. I’m starting to see blogging in this, “wow, it’s going to change the world” kind of way.

And I don’t mean in the I-Hug-Trees, Save-The-Whales, Greenpeace kind of way you think. I mean in the arena of thought and information.

Who’s kidding who? It’s fucking awesome to lay down an opinion or express something in a way that gives people pause and then have those same people tell you what you just did for ‘em. You’d have to be Terry Schiavo to not feel that.

[Okay, so that’s crass. Fuck it. I’m leaving it in.]

So I like seeing the number "20" under the Tagish Elvis, but it's all about the content in those comments. Really. The comments are really all that.

Comments are the blogger’s aphrodesiac. We all know it.

We just pretend we’re too cool to care.

More importantly, though: Comments are the spectators way of knowing where the action is. And I don’t mean any spectator. I mean market researchers. Manufacturers. Conglomerates. Policymakers. Anyone who caters to the public--to you. People with the power to change and alter our lives, with the power to give you what you want.

Even if all you want is a pogo stick.

Overheard in Hasbro offices on Monday morning:

“Say, Hal, so I was reading this kid’s blog on Saturday, and he’s waxing nostalgic about the time he found his aunt’s pogo stick and bounced all the way to 7-11. Didn’t you say you were looking for a re-release to slot into the Christmas catalog? We could market it as fun exercise... the kid was talking about how his thighs were burning for two days, but he kept on pogoing... And you know, we could...”

We, the public, have a kind of power we ain't never had before. We're only starting realizing it ourselves...

But They are already catching on.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Cutting-Edge Television Commentary

Sumthin' original's in the works.

No, not the port-a-john. Yes, I'm a tease. And yes, you can deal with it.

This was from last week, but I turfed it for something I came up with right after it. But here you go.

* * *

Whenever he and I are watching 24, and Edgar the computer programmer has a scene where he gets to stand up and face someone, GayBoy giggles uncontrollably.

"I love Edgar!" He'll gush. "He's so cute. Look at him. OooH!"

As he bounces on the couch, boinging side to side, GayBoy continues gushing over Edgar, who's known for his odd walk.

"Waddle, waddle, waddle. There he goes.
Head down, like a penguin.
'Wahk! Wahk!' "

GayBoy giggles, "Hee hee! Hee." And sips his wine.

* * *

GayBoy has consented to taking questions from you, his adoring public. Ask away and we'll post answers next Monday.

Ding-dong, the press is dead

I became a writer so I could be a journalist. It’s often the other way around.

I have no interest in fiction, poetry, or experimental writing. I enjoy exposure to it, but I don’t dream of writing the next great Canadian novel.

I once believed that journalists could change the world. Any great human rights movement, any great outpouring of emotion, it’s all been predicated by a news story. It’s all been preceded by a spreading of the word, be it via the press or via an independent.

To be that vehicle, I thought: what a great thing.

I bring a heady mix of optimism and realism to the table. I like what I have to offer. I’ve always thought that this so-called vow of objectivity in the media seemed to also include swearing off of personality. I thought I could play in the big leagues with my grasp of personality in print, one day.

And that’d be everything for me. I have always wanted the opportunity to be a part of shaping perspective on world events, large or small. Wanted to be the valve that controls the pulse.

But that’s because I was an idealist. And idealists are fools, as we all know.

I’ve grown up.

* * *

I’d read a great deal of journalism from throughout the 20th century by the time I was 17. I thought it seemed like an amazing way to go. I knew about Rolling Stone’s history as an influential and pacesetting news organization of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, and how journalism, I thought, was still moving towards an edgy, exciting time.

I should have known that Entertainment Tonight and Hard Copy were sounding the death knell for journalism. It steadily went downhill, reaching rock bottom with the OJ Simpson Bronco pursuit and staying there for the next decade, where it still wallows.

Right now, the American press has the biggest fucking muzzle on it that it’s ever had. Freedom of press? Yeah, on paper, man. The press has been bought and sold. There is no public opinion. Money talks, and both legislation and freedom of information walk behind it. The press is a puppet.

In the last few days, Sam Donaldson has been shaking up the mix a bit, telling us that “television news is dead.” Yes. Yes, it is, Sam. You tell ‘em, dude.

* * *

The public has forgotten that the media is a living, breathing entity. It is interactive. Never before has it been this easy to send a letter to the editor. Go online, click and send. How many people have done this? How many people go to their news source and directly question their coverage? Don’t just answer their fucking polls. What are you, a pawn? Question them. They’re not telling us anything we need to know. Where are your questions?

Our apathy gets us the media we have.

* * *

So, another reason I blog is just to have an occasional voice about public events. Unfortunately, I’m still hung over from the disastrous American election. I hate George Bush. With a passion. I hate Dick Cheney. With a passion. I hate Condolleezza Rice. With a great passion. I hate Tom De Lay. Boy, do I hate Tom De Lay.

But how much can I really say about that? Unfortunately, a stupid electoral system fraught with a great many insufficiencies has resulted in a horrifically divided country that’s standing in the centre of its most polarized time ever. As a Canadian, it’s a sad thing to witness the divisive age the U.S. has entered into.

And here at home, we’re on the cusp of possibly having a vote of non-confidence in Ottawa that will shut our government down on the heels of a scandalous revelation of top-level corruption throughout the governing party for the last decade that even includes its involvement in organized crime. The scandal’s fallout is on the verge of forcing a national election, one that will probably result in the Conservative party forming a minority government--at a time when we’re on the verge of decriminalizing marijuana and granting gay marriages--it’ll be an absolutely monstrous step backwards.

This all results in a very sad Steff, politically. I wish I could find the humour in it. “Everybody, point and laugh!” Sadly, no. There’s not a lot that’s funny about people’s rights being squashed. There’s no humour in governing with fear. There’s no optimism to be found when people can’t find common ground.

* * *

As a result, here I am. Telling silly stories about port-a-johns and mushrooms, waxing poetic about nutjobs in the north, and regaling you with tales of anal bleaching.

Yes, Sam Donaldson, news is dead. Period. All forms. Maybe, just maybe, some bloggers somewhere will really show ‘em all how it’s done.

I have great hopes for this lowly form of push-button publishing. I have a feeling we haven’t seen anything yet. And it might just be a fun ride.

* * *

I’d like to invite anyone who finds anything of interest they think I might be smitten with to my new e-mail addy,, which is listed in the sidebar, below the Bogey quote (that addy is clickable... too lazy to code this one).

Part One: Port-a-John Porn -- The Preamble

I've probably set the scene too thoroughly, but whatever. This is the preamble for the Port-A-John Porn story to follow. Part two will be either tonight or tomorrow night. Check back.

* * *

Arts County Fair is a local rite of passage. It’s a spring concert that’s unleashed on the last day of classes for the University of British Columbia, one of the largest universities in the country.

This year was year 11, and though me and my friends have stopped attending, in the early days, we’d seen nearly every show in the first nine years.

GayBoy and I always went together. The most notable ACF for us? The spring of 1999.

The concert lineup wasn’t anything special, but they never really are at ACF. The student union body puts the concert on as a celebration at the end of the school year, the very last day. It’s a license for insanity, with some listenable tunes on the side.

And sometimes it’s the insanity that makes it all worth while.

* * *

I never needed to blow off steam like I did that spring. At the time, it seemed like my mother had had a close call with death but was going to recover from her cancer. I was upbeat but trashed and needed an outlet for my stress. She never would recover, but I didn’t know that then, whatever my suspicions might have been.

Like anyone would, I just needed a good party.

* * *

Enter GayBoy and his vodka-filled watermelon. (GayBoy has a fondness for injecting fruits with vodka for outdoor concerts. This was the penultimate: More than a mickey had gone into this bad boy. He uses a hypodermic syringe and painstakingly does the work over several hours.)

Also enter a few packages of Scooby Snacks. Back then, there was a brief craze here where Scooby Snacks were all that. They had Mexican magic mushrooms, guarana, and ephedrine. They were mushrooms for the rave crowd and the ephedrine gave you a little kick.

[Responsible writer note: They were fun for a while, but after a few instances of trying the cutesy-named Scooby Snacks, it all went wrong for me. The ephedrine did what they say it can do--my heart felt like it was going to explode. When you’re on highly hallucinogenic drugs, the last thing you need is to feel like heart-rupturing is a potentiality. Ephedrine sucks and is scary as shit when it goes wrong. Don’t bother.]

Fortunately, that day, everything went perfectly. We had fine dope. We had the Snacks. We had the vodka. We had mini-donuts and a beer garden. This was seasonal bliss: a fine early summer day that would soon result in sunstroke for these thousands of concert-goers.

* * *

Did I mention the insanity? The beer garden would be churning out hundreds and hundreds of kegs of beer to these students. By the end of the day, there’d be lost lunches puddling the perimeter of the stadium. There’d be guys relieving themselves against every wall they could fine, in order to avoid having to stand in the endless lines for the port-a-johns.

This day, though, the spectacle had gone insane by the third act, the legendary Odds. It was The Odds’ last performance as a band that day, and those of us who’d been along for the ride were glad they were here to say goodbye in their hometown.

(If you have no experience with the Odds, Heterosexual Man was a classic that was banned off nearly every radiostation, but MTV and MuchMusic couldn’t get enough of the video, which starred the Kids in the Hall. Total thumbs up for song and video.)

GayBoy and I had amped up our drugs before their set and we were very hallucinohappy by this stage of the gig.

* * *

By the end of the Odds, it was obvious that well over 50% of the stadium was having trouble controlling their alcohol on this crazy-warm sunstroke day. The vomiting was getting hard to take.

GayBoy and I weren’t ready to throw ourselves into the pit at the front of the stage, not yet. Econoline Crush, the next set, weren’t our favourites.

No, we’d hang back. Find a seat with a view. We made our way to the back of the stadium, where we found a spot to perch right next to the stadium’s seating, which was always inexplicably cordoned off for these concerts. We sat at the base of the massive roof’s pillars, and from there, we could see everything unfold.

Which was good, since we’d soon be treated to a full-on sex show.

The good stuff will be in the next posting. If you think it’s just going to be erotica, think again.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Stylin' New Digs

city lights journal
If you're a regular, you'll notice how much less generic-looking this page is. I got ballsy and played with the template.

I kept experiencing disturbances in the HTML force, causing the darksidebar to rebel.

I asked for help from all y'all and two very generous readers responded within the hour. Tattooedbrain got to me first and the repair in the darksidebar is due to his Jedi mind tricks on the template's evil HTML force disruptions. Hmm. I must be getting stoked about the new Star Wars movie.

Tattooedbrain rocks. Thanks, man. You will soon find his link in my coveted links section. Stay tuned. There's just no way in hell I'm opening my template again today.

And you know who you are, you who also offered in the nicest of ways, you also rock. Seriously, instrumental. Thank you, too.

Anyways, all y'all, welcome to the new digs behind the Last Ditch. Gone is the generic Blogger template.

The finger? That's not for you. That's kinda just a "Fuck the Man." I'm a socialist, man. Natch.

Meanwhile... sex and port-a-johns is still a little off. Stay tuned.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

All the World Loves a Show

GayBoy and I played a lot today. That wasn’t the plan, but then, our friendship’s as weird and fun as it is because we never do make plans.

We spent the afternoon having a couple beers in a pub, riding our scooters around town.

This is my scooter. This was taken at the beach yesterday. This is less than 10 minutes away from downtown Vancouver, people. That is the kind of city this is: fucking stunning.

My scooter
GayBoy & I finished up the day with watching a couple episodes of The Daily Show on tape and a good dose of neighbour-watching.

* * *

Let’s face it. I’m a voyeur.

I mean, I watch my neighbours. If you were my neighbour, I would be watching you.

Why not? There’s glass in my apartment. It’s transparent. Crazy shit, man. I can see right outside.

In fact, my neighbours? Every single frickin’ one of them has a window.

I know. You wouldn’t expect it. In this day and age? Windows? Translucence? That is just crazy shit, you say.

But it is what it is. So I watch. Why not? This seeing-into-other-people’s-lives thing is better than television. Although it’d be better if the volume worked. So, I just glance across. Often. All the time, really. I notice it all.

But I tell you that I’m a bit of a voyeur for a reason. In honour of the start of summer concert season, soon, and perhaps tomorrow, I shall try to write for you an account of the crazy people GayBoy and I saw having sex against the outside back wall of a port-a-john at a concert. For some reason, with 15,000 people around, this went largely unnoticed.

But not by me. I spotted it and told GayBoy I’d give him $5 if they DIDN’T have sex. Sure enough...

And now, now you will get to hear the story. Soon.

Haloscan versus Blogger

Sad about the notion of losing your comments by installing Haloscan in this age of Blogger hiccups?

This dude's got us mad hooked up with a line of code that'll let you have your cake and eat it too, as another happy blogger said elsewhere. Even if you've already "lost" your Blogger comments, they're really still there. They just need some prodding...

The code'll rig it good so you can have both Blogger and Haloscan comments up there. Co-existing, like. Harmony. I'm getting all blissed out here, I tell you.

So, Kudos to the good man, Blue944. I haven't pasted in the line of comments yet, because I don't know. I think I'm taking a bit of a new approach to the blog so it sort of makes sense to just move the hell on.

But I always have the option, and I always love an option.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Summer in the City

Girl on Sand

I once did a lot of photography. Bought a new camera a month or so ago and haven't done a lot with it. I love shooting summer scenes, though, and this was taken at the beach today.

This young girl was playing with her brother, having trouble keeping her nice dress from getting mucked up. I just loved how it looked.

* * *

I had loftier plans for today, but GayBoy swung by with his new iPOD his luvver bought him. LuvverBoy had Apple laser-inscribe it for the boy. GB couldn't help but gush and show it off.

There went my day. But that was fun.

Words, words, words.

Why I blog now is a fairly complicated story. I’m not one of those poseurs who claims they don’t care if anyone reads it. I do. I want you to read me. But that wasn’t always the case.

When I began this beastly blog, I was just starting to see the end of a hellish six years of writer’s block. With my progress not coming at the speed I’d hoped, I felt I had to do something drastic.

The years of being unable to write in a way that was true to who I am had left me feeling like I was a shell of the person I once was. With all these tragedies and troubles I’d faced and overcome in the last decade, I thought I should be more of a person, not less of one.

I had tried blogging before. It didn’t work out well. It was self-involved and petty. I was always a big fan of journals, but journals seem to move towards the boring and the bland, for me, and that’s what I’d been posting.

Now, though, something about putting my words here, in its little realm of the cyber-cosmos, somehow forces me to think outside the box and gives me the vehicle to try writing in different styles, something I get a kick out of.

However, when I started this blog last November, I was sure it was going to have one result: My discovering I no longer had anything significant to say. I was sure I’d discover that I no longer had a voice.

I was terrified. “The Last Ditch” became the name I chose for one reason. I was thinking this would be my last ditch chance to prove I could write. I was not optimistic.

Some people don’t believe in writer’s block. I couldn’t give a fuck what their thoughts are. It's as real as the day is long, and when you're caught inside its grasp, it's as self-negating as it gets. One can try and try and try to break those walls down, but some walls just don’t dismantle.

As I said once before on this lowly rag, writer’s block is simply the failing to understand yourself anymore. That’s all it really is. Eventually, you need to find your way back inside. They just don’t sell those kinds of compasses, though.

I tried for a long time to get back to who I was. To figure out how to bring that voice out of myself. And I just didn’t know what that was anymore. I had no idea how to get there.

But I was willing to try. Five months later, here we are.

* * *

What you don't know is that I'd planned to kill this rag in six months, if I saw no progress in what I was writing or how I felt about it.

That'd mean next month, death to the Ditch.

But no need to worry your pretty little head. For some delusional reason, I'm happy with where things are going.

Let's keep this wagon wheel rolling.

An Ode to a Kitty On the Road

I'm between posts and mean to do some serious writing tonight as I chill and relax in the middle of my five-day break.

But that leaves me with nothing today for you, my faithful little readers.

So... I'll dust off my archives and pull out one of the most offensive, unappealling things I've ever written, that still, to this day, makes me grin.

I wrote this in Grade 12 one day, after I finished an English test and was sitting there with nothing better to do. I'd skipped the period before and went cruising around on a drive through the country and saw the most icky bit of kitty roadkill I'd ever seen, and this was the result.

there's a kitty on the road
a car goes vroom!
kitty looks up
car hits kitty
kitty looks flat
there is a kitty on the road

Thank you, thank you. I'll be here all week.

Thursday, April 21, 2005


All I can think about today is money.

Not having it. Wanting it.

Wondering where it all went.

Wondering what I need to do to get my life where I want it to be. Whether it means selling out.

Cutting and running from a good gig to a real gig with real money. Working for the man on the side of working for the man.

Wondering why I spend money on stupid things that don't add to my life.

Wishing I had a little more discipline.

Being glad summer's here and more can be done for free or cheap.

Thinking a sugar daddy sounds like a good plan. Wishing my pride and integrity could look the other way so I could sell my morality for the best pice.

Wondering who the hell came up with the value system that says my time is worth X amount per hour, and when the hell I signed that.

Wishing I didn't feel this want.

Having no one to blame but myself. Knowing it. Yet, still.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

For Your Viewing Pleasure

Next Tuesday, April 26th, PBS will be airing an awesome documentary on the Ramones -- The End of the Century: The Story of the Ramones.

It's good. You can watch it for free. Ergo, you should.

I interviewed the editor/co-director/co-producer, Jim Fields, and the guy was really cool. They made the movie with everything they had--maxed out credit cards, the whole shebang. Jim said he was $80k in the hole for the flick, personally.

It was a labour of love. They spent some seven years getting it together. They spent three of them chasing the Ramones down, and miraculously managed to interview DeeDee, Joey, and Johnny Ramone all before their deaths, extensively.

The flick has a rare interview with Johnny, that they did after Joey's death, in which Johnny finally addresses the topic of stealing and marrying Joey's girlfriend, Linda. You really get to understand the discontent that the band was legendary for.

That the flick has Joe Strummer's last ever interview is also cool. And there's a who's who of current big rockers who all worship the Ramones. Fun, fun.

And lotsa cool gritty 8mm footage, too. So apppropriately punk. Check it out.

* * *

And that new mini-series, Revelations, is looking pretty sharp so far. Wow. Spooky shit. Is it not a coincidence a Pope died right before it began? Michael Jackson is on trial? A Canadian election seems imminent? WoOoOooOohhhhh. Makes you wanna dress up for Halloween, don't it?

Gotta say, I like God better when he's a happy dude and making rainbows and shit. This armageddon deal? Not a good time. I'd prefer going to Jersey or something, really. Whatever, man.

Good cinema, though.

That first night in spring when you can finally leave all your windows wide open as you sleep?

That night rocks. And that night was last night.

So I'm in an awesome mood. I read this the other morning from a book I love, The Soul of the World, "a modern book of hours."

* * *
"A white explorer in Africa, anxious to press ahead with his journey, paid his porters for a series of forced marches. But they, almost within reach of their destination, set down their bundles and refused to budge. No amount of extra payment would convince them otherwise.

They said they had to wait for their souls to catch up."

-Bruce Chatwin, author & explorer (1940-1989)

* * *

Today, I shall endeavour to do everything a little more slowly, more deliberately. I want my soul riding shotgun this fine day.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Elvis Lives, Dudes! Rock on.

HEY! Wicked! I didn't even know this when I'd posted my thingie-thing on Elvis/Gil, but it turns out a documentary was shot on him in 2002-2003, so he's alive, well, and kicking, but lives a little more north now. And is probably every bit the loveable nutjob still.

If you have yet to read the Elvis Dealie, then start with An Introduction to Tagish Elvish and then go read The Making Of... just below this posting. I quite like the story and it's getting good feedback, so check it out. It's not as long of a read as it looks. And shit, man, they made a movie about him, but I knew the dude.

The Elvis Project: A Yukon Road Documentary

Wanna buy the DVD forabout $16 US, then go here. Elvis's DVD documentary at Yukon Books.

Turns out Gil/Elvis has played with Chubby Checker! Also turns out he won a pink Cadillac in Vegas! Wonder if it's the same one I'd seen, that's in the photo down below? Hmm. They ALSO make reference to legal troubles with Hustler magazine, something I knew nothing about and can't find in my quick search on Google.

I'll post something new tomorrow, likely, and it will include the content and comment from today's deleted post--sorry, Omar, but you'll be back. I'll save you the suspense, though: I know for a fact that GayBoy has and does salivate for Dean Cain. I think he's a hottie, too. We both lament not seeing him in tights on cable TV on a regular basis. We have discussed this heartbreak in the past.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

The Making of a Legend: Tagish Elvis is Born

Tagish Elvis
Originally uploaded by scribecalledsteff.

* * *

This is a “to the best of my recollection” posting. It's been 10 years, after all.

Due to the enormous number of frivolous lawsuits launched by Elvis Aaron Presley (formerly Gilbert N.), there should be a lot more documentation available online to substantiate what I’ve got to say here, but sadly almost all the links are several years old and broken. The man made international headlines in the late '90s after a bizarre string of legal cases, not long after I returned to my home in Vancouver.

* * *

Meet Tagish Elvis.

Until the '90s, Tagish Elvis was just another guy, Gilbert N., who had an affinity for bingo and karaoke. He just got by, living off his proceeds from selling tacky tourist items, the most popular of which were his sponge-painted goldpans, which are probably hanging on walls all over Germany as I type.

* * *

I loved living in the Yukon, but as poet Robert Service once said, the winters there envelope you with "a silence that bludgeons you dumb." It's an incredibly beautiful and mystical place to live, but even today it is a cruel and violent land.

There are those who succumb to those bitter cold and dark winter nights, who lose their tether to reality. They adopt the quirky mannerisms of the lonely and the lost.

* * *

And then there are those like Gilbert.

In the late '80s, Gil had found a stockpile of discarded telephone poles that he learned were up for grabs for the public. He took the countless poles and made himself a log cabin out of them. This was not abnormal behaviour in the North, where the packrat mentality is a holdover from the days of the Goldrush, when a little extra scavenging could mean your ability to survive those bitter winters of legend.

Some will tell you that it was the fire in the hearth on those endlessly, brutally cold Yukon nights that made Gil what he became: insan--err, Elvis.

And if asked, they will tell you that Gil's mental instability is most likely thanks to all the toxic chemicals those telephone poles were treated with. All those long cold nights where the cabin would be heated up nice and toasty by fires in the hearth, all those chemicals in the log walls off-gassing into his environs, toxins wafting around that rustic room as he bent over his goldpans, stamping out art that he felt would be his legacy.

People would talk at times about those who’d visited Gil’s home, who'd testify it smelled funny, whether he might've used some of those toxic poles for firewood and ingested those fumes directly.

* * *

Elvis, though, will tell you his mind was fucked long before this. It was the FBI. Or the CIA.

There was no cocaine, no toilet, no naked King, no untimely death. No, the government had realized in the '70s the power that Elvis had over the American people, but knowing he could be useful to them, They decided not to kill him, not like with John Lennon and Jim Morrison, who They found were no longer of use, just trouble.

No, They reprogrammed The King for the good of The People. According to Elvis, They thought, “Where can we send this powerful mofo that he’ll be out of the way?”

Canada, naturally. Not just Canada, though. Way-the-fuck-out-there Canada, some 2,800 kilometres north of the American border, to that isolated community of Tagish, 30 kilometres from the capital of Whitehorse in the Yukon, surrounded by trees and silence. As isolated as it really gets.

* * *

And we all know what happens in those isolated places: Close encounters of the third kind. And The King was no exception. Everyone loves royalty, even the little green men.

It was around '90 that Elvis reports his first alien visitation. On that first encounter, they took the King for a galactic spin.

The cosmic critters told him how the American government was interfering with his destiny. That Elvis didn’t have to go back to his life as it was in the days of Graceland. No, they said he had to forge a new life here, in the wild, but he needed to be The King. He was Elvis.

The Man couldn’t take it away from The King. He had to be strong, yo.

* * *

Enter the Caddy festooned with epoxy-crusted angels. Enter the gone-Native Elvis jumpers. Enter the ducktail, the shades. The monotone-mumble-drawl he sputters at you with. Enter the vanity license plates that read simply, "ELVIS."

* * *

When Elvis came into town, the locals didn't call him Gil. Not anymore. No, they addressed him as Elvis, and sometimes more rightfully as The King. When he'd saunter down the street, goldpans in hand, they'd mutter about "That crazy fuck," but to his face, they feigned the respect he so longed for.

* * *

Sadly, morphing into The King didn’t have the effect he thought it might have on his wife. In fact, she liked it better when he was reprogrammed. She decided to split.

Elvis didn’t take kindly to this and tried to shoot his wife dead when she tried leaving him in the mid-’90s. He claimed she was just another pawn of that scheming American government. She survived that night, but the Epic of Tagish Elvis was just getting started.

That fateful night, a responding RCMP officer on the scene suggested The King should “seek some help.”

Enraged at this assertion of insanity, Elvis then sued the government, suggesting he was the victim of defamation, collusion, and harrassment.

Elvis continued in this vein over the next several years, suing the government at his leisure, his legal briefs maxing out at over 400 pages most of the time--filled with wild accounts of his abductions, the conspiracy of his reprogramming, citations of their inability to protect him from the constantly meddlesome aliens, the Canadian government's collusion with the American government in trying to obscure his true identity from The People, and so on.

* * *

The last real news on Tagish Elvis came when his last attempt to sue the government for defamation and collusion was dismissed. They King was found without sufficient evidence. The courts fined him $10 for “wasting everyone’s time” and he was thereafter forbidden from launching any more laughable legal claims.

I don't know where he is today, whether he's still huffing chemicals in his cozy cabin, churning out his garish goldpans and faux dreamcatchers... but I'd lay my money on exactly that. The crazy shit never goes away in the North. It's bred in the bones.

* * *

Had I known he’d become such a legendary weird character in my life, I might’ve taken more time to learn more about Tagish Elvis back then, but there were a lot of freaks in that town, and I always thought the Mad Trapper had the trump card.

Sadly, there are a lot of gaps in my knowledge of The King. I'm proud that I held one of his mammoth legal briefs in my hand. The table lives still, in the dungeon of WhippedBoy's home, where he lives with his wife. It is being guarded as the sacred artifact that it is, and despite my better taste, I will one day restore the Sponge Table and it shall have a sacred spot in my home.

An Introduction to Tagish Elvis

Tagish Elvis's Table
Originally uploaded by scribecalledsteff.
The year is 1994. Steff is 21 and has just moved to the Yukon for an "experience".

* * *

Shortly after this table was painted, the artist legally changed his name from “Gil Nelles” to “Elvis Aaron Presley.”

I found this table used in a secondhand shop in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory.

I’d moved there a month before and it was my first time ever living alone. I needed furniture, but I’ve always had a pretty quirky sense of humour: While I like nice things, if I can’t have it nice, then I’ll have it funny.

My choices were this for $25 or a ‘70s fake wood table with big knobby staircase-type spindles on it and gaudy fake brass handles for $45. I can justify the extra $20 for taste, but this thing was garish, man.

So I opted for the local item I could keep as a souvenir -- the Sponge Table.

I never thought much of it after I’d purchased it...

* * *

...until three months later, when my first Northern friend came by to hang. Lisa about fell over when she saw the table. She wouldn’t tell me why, just that the artist was coming to see her about some tourist items for her to sell later in the week, and she would “introduce” me.

* * *

Flashforward to later that week. Tagish Elvis, now legally known as Elvis Aaron Presley and formerly known as Gil Nelles, is on his knees before me, belting out “Love Me Tender” in the middle of our mall. People all around are staring at me in my lab jacket as he croons, "...for my darlin', I love you, and I always will."

Gil tells me he's thrilled I’ve happened onto a table of his, because they’re “valuable limited-edition” works of his stunning art. I don’t have the heart to tell Gil I’d paid $25.

Now, when I say dude looked like Elvis, I ain’t kidding. Adorned in a cream-colored Elvis jumpsuit sans sequins, it was evident that the boy’d gone native: all Native Indian beadwork with eagles and shit all over the suit.

When GayBoy visited me up there and saw Tagish Elvis playing bingo as he chowed down on garlic prawns, GayBoy thought he’d been transported to Vegas.

You need to know that GayBoy dreams of having slippers just Dorothy’s: He’ll click ‘em three times, droning, “There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home...” he'll open his eyes, and there he’ll be -- at Celine Dion’s Vegas extravaganza.

(Repressed Married Man is standing there in his wifebeater, fondling his left breast as he stares across at me. I was just fine until the left tit came into the picture. He just squeezed it! The blinds are down now. Gah!)

* * *

How Gil became Elvis is a fascinating, hilarious, and tragic story involving attempted murder, an alien abduction, chemical off-gassing, and a multimillion dollar lawsuit.

I wanted you to hear about the table first, because the Birth of Tagish Elvis is the trump tale--it’s fucking awesome. I should charge you admission, I swear to God.

I’ll post that story tomorrow. Tagish Elvis is a story you need to hear. And I fucking love that I knew this dude. What an amazingly weird chapter of my life.

Stay tuned. I'd feel better about hyping it if I'd written it already, but the content is primo, so that's got me confident.

The Unruly Demise of the Comments

Let us have a moment of sadness for our comments.

After some nagging times with Blogger, I've decided to give Haloscan comments a try. Sadly, your comments until now have gone boom.

I lament the loss of your lovin', folks, so dig in and throw down some new words.

Comments rock. It sucks that they've been lost. Bring on some new ones.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

The Velvet Pedophile

The Velvet Pedophile
Originally uploaded by scribecalledsteff.
GayBoy and I have a wager of sorts. This ugly-ass black velvet painting you see inset here? That’s mine.

Now, I have a fine array of art––not including this dated thing. However, this one does have a soft spot in my Grinch-sized heart. It’s a throwback to my childhood––I can remember it hanging above our brown tweed sofa when I was an anklebiter.

It was engagingly hideous then, too.

It was the first piece of art my mom and dad ever bought together. GayBoy calls it “The Velvet Pedophile” on account the woman looks so small and fragile next to this lumbering man.

Now, this has never hung in my home. God willing, it never will. Not unless it's a really, really big house, and then I'll get my Elvis table back from HairBoy (for lack of a better name) and put it all together in the same room, call it an ode to '70s kitsch. The Elvis table, that's another story for another day. This was a dude in the Yukon who was abducted by aliens (I don't make the news, man) who informed him he had to continue Elvis' work, so the dude starts dressing in sequinned polyester, buys a convertible Caddy, and glues angels all over it–-and he's an artist, right? He paints goldpans for tourists and coffee tables for "select locals." With sponges. I had one. Like I said, another long complicated story, because I haven't even told you about the police yet.

I do digress. Anyhow. I got the painting from my dad since he's remarried to a woman who actually has tastes (yay, stepmom!) and kind of really politely suggested I might want it for "sentimental" reasons. And because I'm a sap, she's right. I just don't want to actually have to look at it. A conundrum, I thought. What to do?

Well, GayBoy loves retro things. He has the ‘60s pole-lamps, would probably kill for a tweed sofa, loves his big rattan scoop chair. So I thought: Ask GayBoy. I asked him if he wanted it and he gaped in a mock horror. He stammered.

The short version: It’s torn. On the bottom left, you might see spots where there’s more red? That’s the frayed canvas. It must have been torn at some point, ‘cos there’s now three tears.

We have a wager. If I can repair it somehow and make it look good, GayBoy will put the Velvet Pedophile in a sacred spot in his home––the Den of Shag.

I thought there was one tear. But now there’s three. I don’t think I can fix it. I have some ideas, linen tape, jiffy markers, etc. We’ll see. I’m... crafty. And neurotic. Often a successful combination.

Do I fail? Do I overcome all odds? Does the Velvet Pedophile return to its past glory? Does GayBoy take the Den of Shag down a notch? Stay tuned as this exciting drama unfolds, next on Pimpin’ Up The Paintin’.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Workin' for Da Man and Then Some

I think that one of the things I’m unhappy about in my job is that there’s no opportunity to be surprised. I sit down, I hit play, and there I am. That’s my job. I watch people talking and I make captioning flow with the action and the speech. That’s my job. Homogenizing language and motion.

But nothing ever happens.

Nothing shocking. Nothing scary. Nothing that makes you wonder where our humanity is. Nothing that leaves you grinning for the next 17 minutes. Nothing. Ever. Happens.

And I miss that. I loved the spontanaeity and craziness that’d unfold daily when I worked retail.

The jobs in which I worked retail included a laundromat, a toy store (wooden toys... called Knotty Toys. GayBoy used to prank me with phonecalls in which he’d use a lusty, raspy voice as a disguise: Hi there. Is this Naughty Toys? I’m looking for something long... hard...”) ...and other stores I worked in included photography shops and bookstores and libraries.

So I never had a job I didn’t like. I know it sounds all blissed-out to suggest that’s how we should all do it, but yeah, that’s what I think. Why work for someone who doesn’t respect and value you? Why work where you’re unsatisfied?

And that’s why it upsets me that I feel my job’s lacking. I know I’m respected and valued in my job. I know there are things I do very well and that some of my talents are utilized.

But I ain’t never surprised. And no matter how I try, living a life that borders on boredom... never did suit me.

* * *

The thing I always loved about retail was how inconsequential the encounters were... it’s a fleeting, one-night-stand kind of lifestyle.

Because of the daily turnover, the staccato pace of public coming in, going out, a lot of things could happen that you wouldn’t normally get away with. There was a certain forgivability that came with the temporary nature of business.

Like the time The Woman came into the bookstore.

“Excuse me. Do you have a copy of the Torah?”

Mark, a surly and gruff but quick-witted clerk with an interminable bullshit meter, took the question. “Yes, yes, we do. It’ll be in the “Religion” section. Down this aisle there, on the right.”

The Woman staggered back a step. Her jaw dropped. An aghast expression unfolded. “There? In the “Religion” section? With all the other... “faiths”?”

Mark looked at her. Turned to look at me, furrowed his brows in a quizzical “What, is she serious?” kind of way.

He took a breath, looked back at her, leaned on the counter and in a measured voice, replied, “What, we should have them in another section? Segregated, like? And when people return any Judaic books, we’ll burn them rather than reshelving them?

The Woman stiffled a yelp, turned and strode out of the store.

Mark shook his head and went back to shelving books.

* * *

And that’s why I loved retail. Every now and then, you wouldn’t be able to repress a reaction to someone’s idiocy. You would say the first thing that came to mind. And if you were lucky, like I always was, to have bosses that didn’t put up with assholes of any kind, you’d likely get away with a scene like the above.

And don’t give me shit for any perceived slight on Judaism. It ain’t like that. I respect all religions. And I equally disrespect any person who thinks their faith is more valid than another. Yeah, all your books go in one section. It's always ironic when extremely religious people can be so intolerant. And this is a fine example, and a true one.

Hypocrisy is one-size fits all, man.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Hurray for GayBoy !!

GayBoy On Pride Day
Originally uploaded by scribecalledsteff.
Ed. Note: Steff is sick. No, not in the head. Just... not well. Not well enough to go out, but well enough to do this. So...

* * *

GayBoy is standing in the middle of the photo. The drag queen accosted him in the middle of the Pride Parade, flirting madly and shoving his/her's fallen earring at GayBoy, who, of course, was chivalrous enough to put it on Queenie while he/she hammed it up for me and my camera. Note the highly amused spectator in the back, on the right.

* * *

BlogHo is lusting after GayBoy and wants to see a photo. At first, I thought, "no way!"

Then I figured I'd ask. Since GayBoy didn't protest nearly as much as I thought he would, I took it as a yes. (Far be it for me to say that no means maybe, but...)

Now, this photo isn't a good photo of GayBoy. That's his big concern. But I think it captures his personality well--smug and mischievous.

But you should know, GayBoy is buff and bitchin', and all the boys like him. (But now he's going to kill me.)

I once bought him a shirt I had custom-made, when he worked as a bouncer in gay clubs that said, "Breakfast included." I've already told him I'm making him another one that will say, "I'm here about the blowjob?"

And here's another GayBoy story:

* * *

GayBoy works with a girl named K...we'll call her Kipper.

Kipper has a friend, who we’ll call Big, who is a hefty boy. He’d made a cyber-love connection and arranged to meet up with said flamethrower of love, who we’ll call Hook.

Hook and Big got together, had that tense first date, and it was no go. Total lack of chemistry. Picture it, a nice big rotund boy, and a dainty girl--with a hook right hand.

They met up online again later, and the lack of chemistry came up right off the bat. But she had the audacity to tell him that he was “too big” for her.

Big snapped back with, “Yeah, but at least I can drive stick.” Ahem.

It's a Weird World After All

Originally uploaded by scribecalledsteff.
One poor bastard in Santa Fe was half-blind already (a fireworks accident) when he was recently shot in the good eye with a pellet gun. He was just out jogging when he was shot. He doesn’t remember seeing anyone or anything before the shooting. No, I bet he doesn’t.

Either dude’s got seriously bad karma or he’s the newest chapter to Why Do Bad Things Happen To Good People?

* * *

A guy bought a second-hand shirt and found $2,000 in the pocket, then turned the money in.

What the hell for? I wouldn’t. I’m sorry, but I wouldn’t. I figure if you’re stupid enough to sell a used shirt, but you had two grand in the pocket, well, you deserve that karmic bite in the ass.

And I’d be happy to do the biting.

* * *

A Houston 911 dispatcher got grief when they were stupid enough to crack a joke while working. A mother had called to seek help with an insanely unruly kid. The dispatcher said, “Well, do you want us to come over to shoot her?” The line went silent, surprisingly.

Then again, who the hell calls 911 for help with an out of control kid? You mean Super Nanny doesn’t have a three-digit quick-access direct number yet?

* * *

A 17-year-old kid broke into a cemetary and stole the head of a corpse, apparently planning to turn the head into a bong for smoking dope.

Do I need to comment? I don’t mean to pun, but the kid is in serious need of headshrinking.

* * *

A woman in a Washington, DC Starbucks bought a pastry and got a bit more than she’d bargained for when she noticed rat shit on her goods. GayBoy, who has a long and storied career as a Starbucks whore, has told me he’s found rat droppings in Starbucks pastries, too, but that they’ve always thrown out the entire box of goods if that’s the case. Every Starbucks uses “outside services” for pastries.

Moral of the story? Always look at the food you’re eating. I didn’t, once, and discovered mid-bowl that my Cheerios were infested with moth larvae. They looked like maggots. Trust me, I get enough protein in my diet. Took me six years to eat Cheerios again. (It wasn’t a problem with the Cheerios--someone gave us bulk food that had the larvae in it, and it spread. Never accept free bulk food. Never. Ever. We tossed $200 of food as a result.)

Needless to say, I vomited. Long time.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

The ADHD Chronicles: 04/13/05

Ze Fingie
Originally uploaded by scribecalledsteff.

Do you ever wonder if race purists like Nazis consent to eating hybrid foods?

Nasty Married Man across the way is out on his balcony, smoking, watching me as I write. Any second now, I will glare at him and drop my blinds. Or maybe I'll let him get his kicks. He seems so fucking repressed anyhow.

I buy my dope from a publisher of a punk rock magazine in Vancouver so I am literally smoking what the rock stars smoke.

But what are they smoking over at Blind Justice, a show about a blind cop who carries a gun? And who creates pun-based drama anyhow? (Justice is blind. Get it? Hardy-har-har.)

Who do I have to kill to stop acid-wash jeans from coming back in style?

When I grow up, I wanna be an adult.

When I was a kid, I used to think it'd be cool to get stigmata.

Is there any way we can freeze Johnny Depp's age and promote him to being an immortal? If anyone deserves to overstay his welcome, y'know.

Could somebody please, for the love of God, tell Simon Cowell that pale blue is not ever going to be his colour? Buy the man a fucking wardrobe.

I like to order milkshakes that are half chocolate and half butterscotch. In my mind, I always think, "I'm going to have a buttolate shake." I just like saying the word to myself. Just a little hybrid I came up with.

I've used the word hybrid twice now, so now I'm thinking if I say hybrid twice more, I'll have said hybrid five times in one posting. Now I'm impressed.

Creepy Married Smoking Man is out watching me again, smoking. It's only been 15 minutes. What, am I by the hour now? Freak.

Letterman is better than Leno. And Johnny Carson deserved a better successor.

I dislike seafood. I don’t know why, but I have this delusion that living and swimming in all that pollution is more disgusting than just breathing it. I realize this is sort of insane, but still.

I haven’t gotten over vegetarianism yet. What the hell is that? “I won’t eat anything that had a heart.” Yeah, whatever. “I have principles, therefore, I have anemia.” MEAT IS GOOD, people. Get off the bandwagon and have a meal.

(I worked in a bookstore for a few years and can’t tell you how many people eventually came in asking for books that could gently return them to the land of Carnivore. And they all wound up admitting they felt better with meat back in their diets. Come on. You know you want a double-double.)

I love to say the word fuck. It’s cathartic. It’s freeing. It’s fucking moronic that it should somehow be a bad word. It’s an adjective, people. Sometimes it’s a verb. And a noun. In fact, I have an entire book about the work fuck. It’s called, English as a Second Fucking Language. In it, it gives examples of all the varied uses of the word fuck, plus a complete history of its origin.

I’m a freedom fighter. Down with oppression, says I. This is why I say fuck like there’s no fucking tomorrow. Sometimes I don’t, though, because there’s this misguided notion that those who cuss a lot are somehow inarticulate. Occasionally I like to show ‘em how wrong they are, so I behave. Cussing isn’t an indicator of inarticulation--it’s the words in between that are.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

it was a dark and stormy night...

Originally uploaded by scribecalledsteff.
(afternoon, really.)

...when our protagonist arrived home from a long and tedious (albeit quiet) day.

our protagonist labours long and hard in the film industry, captioning for the hearing impaired. (or people who like to listen to music as they watch television.) on this unfortunate day, the protagonist was labouring on a bubblegum sequel of a fluffy my-time-of-the-month girl movie. the film wasn't good enough to consume on the side of a paycheque, so why inflict its sub-par dialogue on the unsuspecting public?

there are days when our protagonist finds her work (aha! a she!) extremely rewarding. days when she works on projects that are so smart, so well-executed, that even though the public will never know it was her handiwork... she does. and those are very good days.

sometimes it's something you just really enjoy, a documentary on a subject you fancy, like cosmology, she says, but either way, it's something you're vested in, and that's rewarding. but it doesn't come along often.

today, though, she reports that she has that strange combination of pride and loathing. she didn't enjoy her movie, but she loved the way she did it. it can only be termed a sadly satisfying day, she says.

her day proceeded in a sadly satisfying manner when she was able to leave work a half hour early and hop on her bike to ride on home. she was whizzing along on her scooter at 60 klicks per, when the wind exploded.

then, lightning. torrents. and torrents. and hail. the skies grew dark and the rivers bubbled. well, perhaps not so biblical, but she says it was a real bitch.

getting to the safe harbour of home was the most sadly satisfying event of the day. with her sopping, cold clothes peeled off, she was able to decide it wasn't that bad. she reflected on what a complex and beautiful beast a fine storm is. most times, humans simply know better than to ride careening down a main thoroughfare in blinding torrents of rain with lightning crackling overhead.

sometimes, though, life just works out that way. and it's a bitch when it's on, but when it's done, the smugness sets in: cross that one off the list. it's done like dinner.

it's pretty frickin' cool to be careening down that thoroughfare when the lightning's reflecting through hundreds of thousands of rice-sized droplets of water all charging viciously at you, shimmering madly.

she says.

(she also has a blackhawk for her commute, hence the photo. what? she's hip.)

Monday, April 11, 2005

Tricks and Coffee

Five--err, Starbucks.
Originally uploaded by scribecalledsteff.
[Starbucks is relevant further into this posting. For now, though, consider this an extra special treat, for you--my little voyeuristic readers.]

When I was a kid, I was always aware of three books on my parents’ bookshelves. They were, in no particular order, Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee, Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet, and Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Sex *But Were Afraid To Ask.

I recently received some seven or eight boxes of books back that had been in storage. The copy of Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Sex was there, too. I grinned when I spotted it, and couldn’t help but flip through.

I came upon a chapter on Prostitution. They’ve laid the book out very handily. It has questions punctuating every chapter, and the question/answer that best caught my eye was:

What’s a street whore?
Usually an overage hustler, an alcoholic hooker, or one that’s on narcotics. They have become so dilapidated that they are willing to go for the price of a drink, a fix, or a cheap motel room. They don’t last long and are swept up by the police, usually within the hour.

Another class of prostitutes works the bars; these hustlers are carefully segregated by the class of the bars they frequent. The neighbourhood girls hang around cheap corner bars; the club girls make themselves available at selected night spots. The more expensive hookers choose the more expensive cocktail lounges in the fashionable hotels and motels.

If business is bad, the callgirl might work as a bar girl. Call girls don’t like to cruise the bars. They consider it degrading, but as one of them said with a wink, “A girl has to eat to live!

The whole book is this dated, if not moreso. But it’s great for a laugh. One of these days I’ll dig out my book on housekeeping from the ‘50s and really give you kids a laugh.

* * *

One of my bestest friends, GayBoy, works at a Starbucks.

Nay, did I say work? Indeed not. GayBoy assistant manages the lowly proletariats who man the cesspool of coffee.

Actually, he enjoys his work most of the time and likes the company. As do I. I think I get hundreds of dollars of coffee free per annum by way of the all-joed-out GayBoy.

What he’s not too crazy about, though, is the hood in which he slings caffeine.

Let’s call it the corner of “Crack and Whore.”

* * *

Enter Volume One of the Crack and Whorescapades.

My friend tells me all manner of stories from his work. Some cause a chuckle, but most are pretty tragic. I joke around a lot about dope, but when it comes to drugs, if some dude didn’t grow it while listening to The Grateful Dead and chanting passages of The Bhagavid Gita, then I don’t go there.

A lot of these streetworkers trip out on crack and meth. Whenever they’re tweaking, they need sugar fixes. Maybe there’s a reason my friend’s shop exceeds retail goals every month.

He tells me that when he’s pouring a caramel macchiato behind the bar, the hookers will drape themsleves over the bar as he squirts his syrup in their cups, and cry out, “More please! More please!”

When they’ve ordered a pastry, they’ll call out, “The big one! The big one! That one, there!”

They’re professionals, you know. So you know what this means, don’t you? The vote is in: Size officially does matter.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Out With A Bang

Hunter Thompson loved weapons, fireworks, and big bangs.

The lit giant died on February 20th, when he used one of his beloved guns (I'm betting the Magnum .44) to blow his head off. Early last week, his surviving wife Anita announced they'd come up with a ceremony celebrating Hunter's life and dispensing of his ashes that would be fitting to the departed Doctor Gonzo.

The writer's memorial is scheduled for August. They're looking for a clear blue sky with a wind to be decided upon later.

NASA ground control won't need to be involved, but Thompson's doing lift-off--nothing new to that old drug fiend.

They're acquiring weaponry--canons, to be exact, one at least, maybe more--and fashioning a massive 153-foot tall Gonzo-esque pillar and fist, into which the canon will be set. It'll look something like HST's 1970 campaign poster you see as an inset to this posting. HST's ashes are to be set inside some ordinance, and then have the shit blown out of 'em as they're sent out into the atmosphere around his beloved Woody Creek Owl Farm compound via hopefully more than one canon blast.

The monument will remain on the compound grounds as a tribute to the writer long after the explosions fade away.

Anita, the writer's companion in his later years, wistfully wishes there could be several large explosions to bid the good doctor farewell. "He loved explosions," she lamented.

I'm still angry he took himself out, but old age never would've suited the man. I couldn't imagine a long, slow Pope John Paul kind of demise on a man of that calibre. I think most true fans couldn't imagine Raoul Duke biting it any other way. He was never going to let the bastards get him alive.

Here's hoping for a good wind.

(PS: I don't miss the humourous irony in HST's post-humous tribute being a giant fist raised angrily at the heavens. If only the middle finger could be raised, then it'd be perfect. Even better, leave the canon inside, intact.)

McDonald's: The Trash It Is

McD's -- Trash
Originally uploaded by scribecalledsteff.
I had occasion to visit a McDonald’s location recently.

By “occasion,” I meant a confluence of convenience, an absolute lack of standards, and a complete absence of taste, all heightened by a seriously compromised bank account.

So I slummed.

There’s two kinds of McDonald’s patrons. The kind with the decency to clean up after themselves, and the kind with none: The Filthy Pig Bastards.

Now, I know, I probably strike you as a Filthy Pig Bastard. Surprisingly, no. I know how to crumple paper and I realize what those big boxy receptacles are. Rumour has it they’re trash cans.

So imagine my surprise, after tossing my tray’s contents into the box-like container thing, when an electronic voice sputtered, “Thank you” at me.

Yes. It talked to me.

I don’t like living in a world where inanimate objects can speak.

But if I have to, then let’s raise the stakes. I say all inanimate objects’ voiceboxes should be voiced by George Carlin. And pull no punches. Here’s what the Carlin Trash voice would say:

"Oh, Jesus. You ate that much? What, are you bovine? I'd like to have a side of you with my eggs, you pig. But thanks for surprising us with a clean-up on Aisle 7."

* * * *

I’ll tell you one object I wish could speak: My television (etc) remote control. I want two things. I want a “page” button on my television for when I’ve lost my remote. I could push the button and then a homing device in the remote control would respond, alerting me to its location. In a perfect world? It’d share its spot with me. “Master Steffani, I am under your ass.”

(But you’d hope I’d know that already, right? It’s hypothetical, people. Work with me.)

Ron Jeremy: CellStar

Originally uploaded by scribecalledsteff.
Ron Jeremy's going cellular.

At, you can download the everyman porn king's fine selection of... tidbits for your phone.

Included, for £1.50 per week, are porngirl wallpaper for your phone (because who wants to actually look at Jeremy), a selection of audio tones for the ringer, and more.

My favourite item is the When Harry Met Sally "I'll have what she's having" orgasm that Meg Ryan fakes. Imaging waltzing down your favourite supermarket aisle as some guy's cellphone goes off next to the rutebaga.

"Oh... Oh! Oh, God. Oh, God... Oh! God! Ohhhh..."

"RJ mobile subscribers will be charged £1.50 for each week that they remain with the service. This charge will allow the downloading of any single piece of content plus a personal photo blogging account. Additional videos, wallpapers, Groantones and text flirts will be charged at £1.50 per item. Forty new, 30-second clips will be available each week."

Yes. "Groantones."

You know, guys. This is a great idea for you. Single girls like me will swoon when you manage to procure our numbers and upon trying to enter it into your cellphone, it groans at you.

You can just tell us it's "a pre-emptive groan." You know, setting the groundwork.

At the end of the night, though, you'll be thrilled you spent your £1.50 that week to score your little orgasmic videoclip, because God knows we won't be there with you. I know, I know. You're thinking, "Really, porn's great. Doesn't everyone like porn?" Of course we like porn. Just don't put it on your cellphone.

We women like to delude ourselves that you boys can occasionally overcome your penises. Let us embrace the illusion for just a little while longer.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

There you are.

So, rumour has it that a few people are reading this blog. And now, now I've got evidence. Enter the slutty hits counter.

Yes. I feel shame. I got a counter. You know what that says about me, don't you? I need to know. I need to know there are people listening to me. It means I'm a spotlight whore.

There you have it.

And I know you're out there, people. I know you're there. How? Because I have night-vision goggles.

But you know what? I'd rather not break out the special equipment. No. Let's put the "special" in special equipment and save it for another day. Just like the hidden video camera above the bed. But I digress.

Look down. Yeah. Just a little lower. There. Do you see it? It says "comment." You'd think it was self-explanatory, but here's the deal. I know there are people out there who think that commenting is dodgy territory, that not everyone wants strangers commenting on their postings. But...

But that just ain't so. Having a comment field means you want people having a say-so. It means you like to be a part of a show. The comment field's an option. If the blog owner doesn't want you saying anything, trust me: You'll know. You won't be able to.

So that means? You should comment. I'm curious.

Especially if you've bleached your anus. I'd love to hear about how it's improved your life. I promise. I won't laugh. Really. I won't.