For you, the dress code is casual.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

ARE the Kids All Right?

Thumbs Up Pic
(This is one of my longest postings ever, but I also think it's pretty fun as-is. Thus, a one-parter, but don't read it till you have the time to indulge. And it is a spirited rant. The kids today. It's stream-of-conscious "I'm really stoned right now" marijuana-induced writing, but I'm not editing it down, because it... amuses me. But I do reserve the right to come to the realization that it's utter crap once this buzz wears off. At which point, hatchet siesta, my friends.)

You know how they have those commercials where, say, a dude’s sticking his arm into a crocodile’s mouth, for no damn frickin’ reason?

Now, the law says they have to put a disclaimer on it, so they usually opt for “Dramatization. Do not attempt.”

Well, come on. It doesn’t seem to be working, eh? There are so many dumb, stupid kids in the world, like our fucking Jedi Knights in the UK there. “Luke, I am your fath-- oh my god, the gasoline is searing my skin! Obi-wan, get help!”

Here’s an idea. Let’s screw censorship. Let’s put, say, a burn-scabbed penis (with a sad face on the head) cartoon in the bottom corner and write, “Don’t be Dick. Don’t do this shit.”

That’ll be effective.

Seriously, you know what’s fucking missing with this generation? The fear of god, man. That’s right. And I’m not talking this Puritanical “God’ll-get-’em crap,” no. I’m saying we need to scare the shit outta our kids.

Absolutely. You know why I’m a responsible, productive person whose only crime is an avid enjoyment of dope smoking? ‘Cause my folks scared the shit outta me about being a criminal or a failure.

We had a cellar. It was dark. Creepy, man. Just not my happy place, you know what I mean?

Yeah, man, this was where spiders went to thrive. Cobwebs were everywhere. There was this old, old player organ down there, the upright push-button pre-1900s kinda deal you’d fine in any Old West saloon, underneath the brothel, by the stairs. Gave the framed-only, sans-walls concrete-and-insulation-style unfinished basement a certain je ne sais quoi.

On the other side of the basement was the carport/workshop with dad’s tools--and always lotsa lumber. This was where Nick had done the carvings.

But in the center, in the center you could see 360 degrees around you, the whole unfinished dungeonesque cellar. Creeped the hell outta me, that place did.

And this was my least happy place of all. This was where we got the crap whaled out of us. Yep. Good old corporal punishment. But you know what? My folks were selective about it. I think we mostly deserved it. And I know I usually remember what it was for. Cutting across Mrs. Fleming’s rose garden again. Playing with fire in tall grasses-- and having it catch. It's strange knowing those sirens are for me, or at least my brother could say so. Eating half a batch of cookies in a sitting.

You know, sometimes you can be a real pain in the fucking ass as a kid, and you deserve a good cuff. That’s life. Some things are so incredibly stupid that all you can do is cuff someone.

I just woulda liked it a whole lot lighter, goddamnit. You reading this, Dad? Eh? Not for nothing, but thanks.

I do digress. We got the crap smacked out of us right there. Usually the bare hand on the ass thing, but Mom grabbed some wood for Mrs. Fleming’s rose garden. I must say, Mrs. Fleming did something otherwordly to plain white loaf bread with butter and her homemade strawberry freezer jam, which she’d cut into little finger strips. Sigh. To have another slice...

My original point was: we’re raising a generation of pansies with no real fears, no real respect, and no real grasp of severity. It shows, even in work ethic and in the knowledge of business that kids today have. I mean, I had a damn job by the time I was 13. I know kids who never had a job till 19. What the hell is that? I’ve never been unemployed.

Why? Because my parents scared the shit out of me. My mother showed me homelessness every time she took me to Chinatown as a kid. It was drilled into me that I had to work to be lucky, because bad things can happen to anyone. It freaked me out.

A Circle of Friends!
I mean, I saw this interview on the Daily Show where there’s schools where you’re no longer allowed to play “tag” because it’s hard on kids’ feelings. They play “Circle of Friends” where they say image-reinforcing things to each other like “I think Tyler is fuh-uh-uh-ny!”

Jesus Christ. Why don’t we just strap ‘em into a chair, feed ‘em through a tube, and then they’ll never, ever have to even move and they’ll always be safe? Huh? I mean, if we really want to protect them.

So, there are these commercials where, if you’re a truly moronic individual with absolutely no grasp of common sense, you'll see stunt people do stupid things and you'll then presumably reenact it for kicks, and They just want to put a miniscule disclaimer at the bottom of the screen that reads “Dramatization” -- which I’ll point out to you that a person too stupid to realize that sticking his arm in a crocodile’s mouth is a potentially unwise thing to do, is probably a person too dumb to know what a five-syllable humdinger like “dramatization” means -- and followed by “Do not attempt this” -- uh, yeah, ditto the vocabulary humdinger-thinger.

Seriously. Why are we so scared of scaring our children about something they have every right to be scared about? Why don’t we at the very least say “Don’t do this shit” or “Have some fucking sense. We’re pretending”?

Personally, I’d like something like “Bob’s funeral is 7:00 Tuesday at Valleyview. Cheese and wine. This commercial is his legacy. Dumb fucker.”

But sadly, no one pays me to write commercials.


Monday, May 30, 2005

More self-involved thoughts on writing

(I wrote this on Saturday, during our heatwave. It's something that I don't really understand why I'm posting it, but whatever.)

I haven’t been writing for about a week now, save for the Ammy Award posting of last night.

I’m coming up on a self-imposed deadline. June 1st is a day I’ve committed to for a little while now, the day I finally sign up for

I love writing, I do. I’d love to write for a career. I’d love to write rants for a career, specifically. For my two cents, for my opinion to bring me a paycheque every month would make me the happiest girl on the planet.

And the act of pursuing that scares me to death.

At what point does the fulfillment of writing just for the act of writing stop being fulfilling, I wonder? At what point does it become necessary that you have a larger audience, that you get readers who have a vested interest in reading what you have to say?

Because I know I’ve crossed that line.

Writing for myself doesn’t cut it right now, not anymore. I’m at the point where I need to learn whether I really can push the buttons that provoke people to think, inspire them to act.

But the fear is paralysing me. It really is. I don’t have writer’s block because I can express what I want to say. That’s not eluding me. I fumble a little more these days, have to go back and rework entire sentences because they’ve come out backwards from what I meant, but it’s no real obstacle.

It’s all about reinvention, after all.

I’m at the beach and writing on my laptop now, a couple hours after this tome began. I’ve been thinking about it ever since I left home on my bike, though. What am I willing to do in order to accomplish what it is I want? And more important,ly, what the fuck is it that I want anyway?

I do know what I want. I just don’t want to say it out loud yet. But what I also don’t want is all this fear. Fear of failure, fear of trying, fear of finding out. Fear of succeeding.

Right now, I’ve managed to fashion a life in which I have little or no responsibilities beyond what it is I want to have. I have almost complete control over what’s asked of me. I take a smug satisfaction in this, but deep down inside, the lack of challenge has me teetering on the brink of apathy.

I’ve earned this, though-- this period of apathy, abandon and underachieving is something that’s been a long time coming.

But now I’m wanting a little more. So, I guess it’s that time. Man, this growing up thing’s a bitch, eh?

We interrupt this broadcast...

I realize the formatting is off-kilter once again for those of you with Internet Explorer. I'd apologize, but you really have only yourself to blame. If you were using Firefox, all would be well.

The problem is in the nature of IE and how it arranges webpages. Occasionally, something will be larger than the field it's used in, and IE rearranges things, sort of, to make it fit. (shrug)

Sadly, I actually have a life and can't spend the time to fix this problem yet again. I've reduced the amount of postings showing on the main page, so in about eight or so days, it'll be back to normal for you.

Or you could download the smarter, better, less virus-prone browser, Firefox. Because life is just too short to deprive yourself.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Irrelevant Musings about Music Piracy

You can click this and be magically taken to my latest rant, found on Transcendental Floss.

Wastelands: Abstracted.

(There's a great Star Wars "Fucking Amateurs" story two posts down, and the next one's an okay read, too, so no neglecting the other posts, kids.)

Sigh. Had a great ride again tonight, conjured these photos. Lost my wallet in the process. But the upside was, the camera was in the same pocket as the wallet, in my bag, so if you're gonna lose something, lose the wallet, right? Right.

These are all abstract photos. I've never mentioned that one of my favourite photographers is a dude named Charles Scheeler, who shot industrialization photos in the early 20th Century. I saw his work at San Francisco's MOMA, but I'd been shooting stuff with that flavour for a few years. It just crystalized my liking of it, though.

As I've said before, I love shooting in my local wastelands on Sundays because you're privvy to things you'd never see during the bustle of the work week. Today, I walked around some of the workyards that should normally be locked or off-limits. Always a good time.

This is the grating to be used to wire-frame the ribs of what will eventually be concrete tunnel sections for sewage lines and such.

rusted grating-tld

These are concrete discs. For what, I don't know. Probably manhole-type deals.

concrete discs-tld

These are more metal ribs for future concrete tunnel sections, followed by the finished full-meal deal.

wired geometry-ribs

concrete tunnels-tld

And steel framing for a new building going up on False Creek.


The Finest Word in the English Language: Fuck

(Ed. Note: Please make sure you read the following post on the two morons who staged a lightsaber contest in the UK, when you're done this. It'll give you today's laugh of the day.)

I’m watching Team America: World Police. Are there two people better at satire in today's film business than Matt Parker and Trey Stone? Nope. They's the mans.

It’s a good day for me to be watching it. They’re so brilliant with dialogue, but they pepper it so heavily with swear words. Yeah, the individual words lose their potency, but as a whole, it’s brilliantly venomous yet hysterical.

This morning, my dad sort of chewed me out for swearing so much in this blog. Yes, believe it or not, my father reads this shit. Hi, Dad.

We got into a bit of a “discussion” about the fact that I evidently have the mouth of a trucker. I know, I know: I’m a dirty girl.

It turns out that he was under the misguided impression that I swear to impress people. Just ain’t the case, Pops.

Why do I swear then? I love the way it rolls off my tongue. I love the sound of it. And when I write, I can hear myself speaking everything I type. “Fucking amateurs...” I throw in an extra French accent on the last syllable. ”Amateurs...”

I swear because I spend most of my life having to be repressed by the need to be under a government’s thumb, on the clock on a job that leaves me wishing I could just once break the rules and throw in a fucking caption that nobody sees coming, in a life of constrained friendships resulting from everyone being on a different schedule-- we’re all growing up, responsibilities have felled us like that stone that took out Goliath.

I swear ‘cos it’s one of the only ways I get to rebel and say exactly what the fuck I mean whenever the feeling hits me.

I cuss madly because the intelligent, reasoned individual that dwells within my heart can’t for the life of her see what the hell all the fuss being raised over these four little letters (f-u-c-k) is all about. They’re letters. Harmless little letters.

The word “fuck,” in what little literature can be found, is etymologically traced as far back to 1535, at which point it’s thought it came via Scandinavian languages or Low German, and essentially meant the same then as it does now-- emotionless or lusty sex, sex that smacked of amorality. “Flying fuck” apparently originally meant (dating to the turn of the 19th century) “to have sex on horseback.” (You know, we Canadians excel at sex in canoes, according to Canadian legend Pierre Berton, but I think I’d need some pointers on the horseback thing, especially since I’ve been thrown from horses before-- which reminds me of another story to tell sometime.)

However, there’s very, very little, it seems, documented on the use of the word fuck. Why? Because people have always shunned the word. It has been long deemed unworthy to put on paper. It’s an irrational fear of letters, that’s all it is. And thanks to it, etymology freaks like me have lost some valuable insight into several generations of the English language. Sad.

The thing, though, is, this mentality of the word fuck, or any other negative, bad word, really being bad is pretty assinine. There are words I won’t say-- nigger, kyke, and other really shitty and disrespectful racial slurs are things I won’t participate in, because it’s not, like the word fuck, just a stupid perception of what is right or wrong, but rather, they’re words that call to mind centuries of racial oppression and prejudism. I won’t be a party to that.

Lastly, I swear 'cos I'm a kid at heart and it gets me giddy to know that no one can wash my mouth out with soap.

So, fuck it. Here's to therapy by way of catharsis: Fuckin' A.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

The Ammy Awards

Oh, this couldn't wait. This is just too good.

If you've read my shit before, you know I love the phrase "fucking amateurs." The word "amateur" conveys so much. So, we now have the "Ammy Awards." Enter award one.

I think we've all had those times in our early teens when we've done something brash, something borderline insane, just for the hell of doing it. I remember my brother and his friends plucking all the fuses out of a couple hundred firecrackers and tapping out all the powder, and fashioning a larger explosive. That this larger explosive was tossed inside the Neighbourhood Prick's Volvo and blew the interior all to shit is probably something I shouldn't divulge.

So, not wise, potentially dangerous, but an insurance claim later, and all was well.

Not so for these fucking morons.

A guy, 20, and a chick, 17, in the UK, got the brilliant notion to go and fill a couple of fluorescent light tubes with gasoline. They lit them and tried to film a lightsaber battle, it seems, in their frenzy over the release of the final Star Wars installment, Revenge of the Sith.

Our would-be Jedis are currently in critical condition. See, here on Planet Earth, glass shatters and flaming gasoline travels. And they do bad shit to human skin. I bet Stormtroopers woulda been unscathed, though.

Come on, say it with me: Fucking amateurs.

Let's keep the "fiction" in science fiction, kids.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Because I Love You: Da Bomb BBQ Sauce--The Recipe

I kinda meant to post this a couple weeks back, but I've had lots of content, so I didn't bother.

But it's Memorial Day weekend this weekend, so I thought it was a great time to post this for those who have a long weekend. For me, every weekend's a long weekend, since I work four-day weeks. Heh. But this recipe's easy as hell to make. You can let it simmer a lot longer than 20 minutes, though, if you want to just use it for basting burgers and such. If you're slow-cooking it, though, there's no need to bother.

Happy weekend, kids.

* * *

WhippedBoy and I hung on Mother's Day, since we're both motherless. We did a great little pointless roadtrip down to the States, then rushed on home to gorge ourselves on ribs.

Beefy ribs. Big beefy ribs. (Again, size does count.) Amazingly good, rich, spicy, uberbarbecue ribs. Who cooked said ribs? I did, of course. Humility? None. It's like anything, you know when you done good.

I drowned--DROWNED--a rack of seven big, beefy ribs in copious homemade barbecue sauce, marinated 'em 24 hours, baked it in a slow oven for 1.5 hours, turning once and basting often, before finishing 'em on a medium barbecue for five minutes a side.

Absolutely incredible. Beats the shit outta any BBQ house I've visited in a while. I came THIS CLOSE to becoming a chef, people. I tell you, this recipe's the bomb.

So, for you? The sauce recipe. For 20 minutes of woefully simple labour, you can make five cups of the best damn BBQ sauce around. Here you go. It's Emeril Lagasse's recipe, but it's the bomb.

(I didn't fully stick to the recipe--I used molasses, not cane sugar, and more than it called for, 1/2 the brown sugar, 50% more worcestshire, and 1/2 the vinegar. The rest? Thumbs up. Maybe a little extra spice, too.) And lucky GayBoy, he's in line to taste the rest of this sweet, sweet, mother-of-god sauce. (That happened the other day, and GayBoy now admits I'm the bomb when it comes to ribs, man. Whoo!)

Finger-lickin' BBQ Sauce:

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3/4 cup chopped yellow onions
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
4 cups ketchup
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons cane syrup
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup yellow mustard
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons hot red pepper sauce
2 teaspoons Emeril's Essence** (see below)
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more to taste

In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring, for 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the ketchup, brown sugar, cane syrup, vinegar, mustard, Worcestershire, hot sauce, Essence, and red pepper flakes and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened and the flavors marry, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly before serving.

Yield: about 4 cups

Emeril's Essence? Bite me, Emeril. First off, go for two tablespoons at least combined of: chili powder, cayenne pepper, thyme, salt, pepper, cumin, coriander, etc. Do NOT be afraid of the spice! Or go buy that store-made shit.

If it's thick, you should water it down for baking it longterm in an oven. I recommend BOURBON. Or at the very least, Jack Daniels.

Happy barbecue season, readers.
Burn one down.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Beach, Sunset, and Flowers.

I think I'm noticing a pattern of not really being in the mood to write in the evening in the summer. In the winter, I love it. In the summer? Jesus, no. So, I guess a shift in behaviour is needed. I've got to try to write in the mornings, maybe. Hmm!

I haven't been reading other blogs, doing any writing, or answering emails for a few days now... and coincidently, the weather's been good and it's light till 9.30pm. Beer and barbecue weather, people, not for computers. Nyet!

But that does mean I've been doing more photography. Here are a few more to look at.

(And I always write weekends, so check back for more. Maybe a news of the weird. That could be fun.)

* * *

This is one of my favourite photos I've taken in a long time. I was coming home from work tonight, really dead tired after my overzealous bike ride yesterday, when I thought I'd ride my scooter home the long way, around the beaches and the University of BC. I stopped at the beach and got all the following photos, 'cept the sunset, but these flowers...

These were the only wildflowers like this in this area of the beach. It's a little area called Alice's Root Park and it's all large stumps/roots of driftwood logs, all scattered around. It's really cool. But this stump was the only one sprouting wildflowers, and I just happened to glance down as I was walking past it, and fell right in love.

Moral of the story? Take the long way home. What's your rush? But no, I didn't smell these. :)

stump w blue flowers-tld

More beach. Those mountains on the North Shore all range from 3,500 to about 5,000 feet in height. Give or take. It takes about 15 minutes to hit the ski hills from Downtown Vancouver.

foreground beach-tld

Vancouver has an insane amount of shoreline. It just baffles me, sometimes, the geography of this town. Man, oh, man. This is at Spanish Banks, where the Spanish landed long, long ago. It's now home to some of the hottest volleyball players in town. Beach volleyball is huge in this city.

And it's also just beyond here that the legendary Seawall route begins for joggers and cyclists. You can follow it all around this side of the water, around the end of the inlet, past the downtown core, through English Bay, around Stanley Park, and back through the Coal Harbour road into the city's downtown core... You can open all the narrow panoramas up (by clicking on 'em), and that'll take you onto Flickr-- hit "all sizes" on the top of the photo, then select large, if you'd like to see a hell of a lot more detail. Not the best shots, but you get a sense of the land.

volleyball small-tld

volleywall west-small-tld

To bed I go, so fittingly, yesterday's sunset:


Photos: Stanley Park and... Around

I fucking love my city. Passionately. You just don’t get it better than this, my friend.

Today was a killer good day. Hot, sunny, with that constant ocean wind breezing through the city.

I took my bike to work, did a 20km ride after work (10 before), and took some groovy photos of the hometown I love so frickin’ much.

Stanley Park is in the heart of downtown Vancouver. In fact, right off the edge of the park is an area of town with some of the densest per-square-foot population in the world. English Bay and Stanley Park are just mind-boggling beautiful.

Today was no exception.

Right after I leave my office, I always pass Granville Island, located under Granville Bridge.

granville bridge-tld

This photo is the start of English Bay. Heading towards Stanley Park. To the right, before and after the buildings you see in the corner, is where one of the densest populations (per square-foot) in the world. But you’d never know it. Every street is lined with tree canopies. What a town.

english bay-pacific--tld

Not too far along is the rightful start of Stanley Park, after which you’ll hit this nice shady running/cycling path that joins up down below the railing on the famous Vancouver sea wall.

shady seawall-tld

Along this stretch is where you’d find Rock Guy, as I lovingly call him. Some mysterious Vancouverite who you might, if you’re lucky, find at the crack of dawn, making these rock sculptures all over the rocky shores of Stanley Park and Granville Island. This stone below it reads, “Love is the unconditional desire to do good.” I’ve known about this rock for years and have always, always loved happening upon it.

unconditional love rock-tld

Also in Stanley Park, and because everyone needs a cliched lighthouse photo;


Seagulls annoy me, but I love them. Here I’m just hangin’ with the birds.


If you haven’t been to Vancouver, you’re missing out. God, I love my town.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

A Chief on a Beach and then Some

A particularly good but sappy Extreme Makeover: Home Edition was on a couple days ago. In it, a Native American woman (Lori Piestewa) who was the first military female killed in action in Iraq, has her dream come true posthumously when Pvt. Jessica Lynch, Piestewa’s roomie and best friend, hooks up her family with a new home on the first plot of land they’d ever owned.

During the show, they spoke a lot about the Navajo Windtalkers in WWII, and a bit about the culture. (They skirted Native treatment at the hands of whites, et al, of course, but it’s a start.)

I’ve always had a huge respect for Native faiths. Profound admiration for their mentality and their awe-inspiring love of the land and everything Mother Earth has to offer. I don’t know why, but it just makes me feel better that some people feel that powerfully connected to the natural world around us. I’ll always feel like Native Indians were North America’s greatest tragedy. What a fucking crime.

But I’m off my soapbox now.

* * *

nick's masks-tld
One of coolest, most amazing experiences I’ve ever had was when I was invited into a traditional Native sweat ceremony in the Yukon. (Another story for another time.) Phil was a Tlingit Chief and believed that it was important to include whites and non-Natives in their ceremony, to teach others about the beauty that was their culture, and in the teachings they’d somehow help the legacy of their beliefs carry on and spread.

I’ve only ever been in one other sweatlodge ceremony, and that was down here in Vancouver, at the Burrard Nation’s land. They both blew my mind, and they were both completely different in how they affected me.

My sweat lodge experience opened my eyes further to Native culture, but I’d always had a softness for it. One of the books that always sat around my home was Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, about the Wounded Knee massacre. It always struck me so tragic, and I never dared to read it. My mother, though, always had a strong attachment to Native faiths, and though it took a long time to understand the deeper reasons why, I definitely respected Mom’s feelings on it even when I was little.

* * *

When I was a kid, there was a dude in White Rock, my hometown, named Chief Nick (as shown in charcoal sketch below). He was an alcoholic and a chief in the Nootka tribe here in BC, but he’d left his hometown and was living in White Rock, where he had more dryspells than wet ones. To get by, you’d find him down on the beautiful beaches of White Rock, carving traditional Nootka masks that he’d sell to tourists and locals (pictured in above inset).

chief nick small-tld
My parents loved anything Native, and before long, I found myself the summer of my sixth or seventh year with this Native Indian chief sitting in my basement, carving mask after mask and even making a totem pole or two.

I don’t remember a lot about Nick, but I remember his amazingly positive, easy-going attitude. It seemed he’d had a really hard and tragic life, full of oppression and difficulty, but he never lost his smile.

Still, I found the big burly Indian man a little frightening, and being as he always held really sharp instruments in his hands, and I was an imaginative child, I would always scurry on past him. I just remember him hunkered down on a chair in the centre of the concrete-floored room, hammering and chiselling away, wood chips spitting side to side, splinters sticking in my flip-flops, bits of wood entangling in my then-long hair. Sawdust caking on the big dark man's skin, thicker clumps of it on the back of his wrists and on the tops and insides of his thighs. He'd have a bottle of booze in a paper bag if my mother wasn't around, and would swig a little as he leaned back and scrutinized his work. When he'd set the bottle down again, he'd be right back in another fury of carving.

But I'd watch him through the open carport door, nearby the hedges in the yard, pretending to play at the head of the driveway.

And it was always the same-- hammer, hammer, hammer. Chisel, chisel, chisel. Furrowing under his ever-present plastic late-'70s aviator-style shades.

I’m 31 now, and more than two decades later, I’ve still got Nick’s art around. The photo you see above is the cluster of masks I have of Nick’s. The charcoal drawing was a portrait of Nick drawn by a local artist. Nick autographed it. :)

For a long time there, Nick on the beach in White Rock was one of the coolest things about my hometown, and I think he became a much-loved local figure when he wasn’t drinking, but I don’t know what ever happened to the man. And I wish I did.

From time to time, I’ll probably talk a bit more about my attachment to Native faiths. They’re just so cool. Who the hell decides that, in order to worship “God,” you gotta stand inside a manmade building? Go stand in the valley between a couple mountains, in a forest, on an ocean, under the stars, in the night-time staring at Northern Lights-- anywhere but inside of four fucking walls slapped with a coat of Home Depot paint. You wanna find God? Get the hell outdoors.

Like the Natives did. But it reminds me of a legend about a town in BC’s interior, the real Valley of the Lost Souls. I’ll write of that sometime in the week to come.

(Shamus, did you know of Nick?)

Monday, May 23, 2005

Switch Hitters and Other Photographs

Took a nice ride this afternoon. Start of a new heat wave. Happy Steff.

I live in an interesting area of Vancouver that has a little bit of everything around it, including trainyards and industrial wastelands, which is where I was riding today. Here's some of the photography I did.

Train switches are dirtier than you thought they were:

train switch-tld

It's not often there are no cars and no trains, but on this holiday Monday, the area had a strangely tranquil feel to it, which i thought was reflected by the vacancy in this shot:

empty train tracks-tld

The bike paths run right alongside some pretty nasty industrial sites. Strangely, it's beautiful despite the environmental crime going on around you. It's almost an oddly apathetic place to ride. It messes with my head every time.


Old factories rock. Enough said.


Ayers' Rock? Fuck Ayers' Rock. We got the oh-so-sacred Sawdust Mound. It's a repository of tree souls. Tres sacred. (And bigger than it looks here--about 75 feet high.)

sawdust mound-tld

(management would prefer you use the "blogger" comments, and not the "lovenotes/aphrodisiacs/viagras" comments that are handled by haloscan. i've recently learned of the lack of archival ability with haloscan and i'd rather have all the comments for the long haul. so, yes, blogger please, until i remove haloscan in the not so distant future.)

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Steff Goes North

God forbid I deprive my readers of a new posting today. I'm busy, but I do have a stash of shit filed away on the drive. I've not the time to polish this one up with a pre-posting edit, but here you go.

(The photo was taken by yours truly at dawn in early 1995. These are the mountains that envelope Whitehorse, and the sunrises were always inspiring.)

* * *

The strange ones, the eccentrics? Up North, they call them “the colourful 5%.”

Yeah, maybe you done gone Enron on the numbers, but I’m thinking the town’s a little more stacked.

I’d like to launch into why I loved the strange mix of people drawn to that land of mystery, but I think you need to know how I came to be there first.

* * *

I was making a monster sale of cheap quality photo frames at my work in BC, carrying 15 large frames in my hand, when I stepped on a stapler left on the floor by my boss.

A couple ripped tendons later, and some four weeks of rural boredom on crutches, practically chained to the couch, I spent one afternoon in the library, writing out contact info on businesses from the Yukon. I figured, “What the hell? I can go anywhere I want.”

I had my resumes done that afternoon, so this wasn’t an extended effort. Just one day of “What the fuck? Why not?.” By 3pm that Tuesday afternoon, I had a stack of resumes in the mail.

Friday morning, 9:05am, a called from a photography lab: “So you have good timing.”

“I do?”

“My manager gave her notice three minutes ago. Your resume arrived two minutes ago. I don’t believe in omens. But I’m a fan of convenience. So.”

I aced the interview that followed, largely because I lied and said “I thrive on stress!” Three weeks later, I was in my car and driving to the Yukon.

On the big day, I had breakfast with Dad at 6:00am and was on the road before 7:00, starting a 2,800-km trek to the Yukon--a place I’d only read about in scared-shitless Jack London novels. And I’d heard about the highway.

Suffice to say the sides of the Alaskan highway were once lined with signs saying how many victims died in what crash on that site. It was intimidating, and I doubt it would’ve helped as you navigated those cut-away mountains with 7,000-foot drops hanging off your left side.

It’s a long, challenging drive, and you’d better be taking your time. I like driving fast and living it up, but despite being broke, I took the time to find lodging along the way. I found three kind souls who knew someone who knew me, and capitalized on spare beds and one dorm-room floor.

* * *

The only place you need to hear about, though, is Toad River, population 37.

* * *

God help me, but I don’t recall the family’s names. The town consisted of no conveniences, towering mountains loomed all around this afterthought of a town, Toad River. Did I say town? Let’s call a spade a spade. A trailer park.

A trailer park in the middle of the goddamn massive, monstrous mountain range separating the Yukon from British Columbia. When I rolled into town and saw the sign “Population 37,” I had no fucking idea what to expect.

I’d had trouble finding this place on the map, but I sure as shit knew why now. Church and school consisted of a single-wide trailer. A dozen other trailers littered the area. Another sat adjacent. This was the store.

Everyone in town, it seemed, worked for highway maintenance, or they were the breeders. Seriously. I don’t make it up.

* * *

Like I say, I didn’t know these people, but I was brought up with manners and etiquette, and if there’s one thing I know, you never arrive empty-handed. Make note. And what’s the best thing to bring? You got three choices: Wine, flowers, and chocolate. And I’d say in that order, too.

Fortunately, I had to good smarts to pick up the wine early in the day. If I’d waited, I’d have been out of luck.

I arrived later and presented the wine at this door of this weather-beaten single-wide trailer nestled in the valley of this intimidating-as-hell mountain range.

My hostess looked at the bottle, looked at me, and smiled weakly. “What a lovely thought. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it with dinner.”

They were recovering alcoholics.

The next three hours were the most excruciating of my life. I once had hand surgery where I was awake and could watch them scraping bits of bone out. That was more fun, and that was 35 minutes long. I could do three of those and not have that night replay.

The next morning, I showered, they fed me, and I fucked off.

It was a rough nine-hour drive from there into Whitehorse, and I was stunned how much daylight I’d lost in two days on my drive north, nearly two hours.

I figured the last thing I needed was to be driving in the middle of the legendary North at night, at the height of moose-encounter season. I was terrified of hitting a 2,000-pound moose as it crossed the road.

You laugh at me now, but I was told at a party some three months later that I was smarter than I’d thought--their friend hit a moose in his 2-ton Dodge Ram, and the moose totalled it, and managed to limp away.

I got into town after a gorgeous, awe-inspiring day of driving through some of the most rugged landscape I’d ever seen, completely unaware it was only a hint of that to come. It didn’t take long to hook up with my temporary roomie and fall into bed.

And soon after that, I really saw what I was in for.

* * *

Everything I knew about the North, I learned from watching Northern Exposure.

Yeah. Reading up mighta been good.

Stay tuned when I’ll tell you about Cookie and the Rocky Mountain Bearfucker, No-Pop and the Sandwich Shop, the Mad Trapper, and maybe even the lady of blues, Sally. We’ll see what unfolds.

(No promise of when, but there'll be periodical postings about my time in the Yukon--the nature, the people, the weirdness--all of it is unsurpassed elsewhere. But it's a long time ago and the details are fuzzy... so give me time.)

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Brilliance gets credit

Omar, one of the lovely readers who drops in from time to time, has outdone himself. I don't often bring up individual postings, because it diminishes other work, but Omar, you fuckin' done good, boy.

Omar's created his own MadLib thingie on his blog. 'member MadLib? You pick words and then find out what the story is, plug 'em in, and it doesn't make word-one of sense, but you laugh your ass off?

Nice, Omar. Go here: And play.

On writer's block and tearing down the wall

This is a sticker I’ve bought for my scooter. It really says it all.

This blogging thing, it’s getting out of control. With more than one posting a day, I seldom get the 15-20 comments I’d like to get. I wonder why it is. I think comments should be the blog reader’s form of rent.

But I know I surf and don’t comment from time to time, so I’d be a hypocrite to really suggest that.

Writing, for me, is an obsession right now. Those who’ve been along for the ride happen to know that I've recently overcome five heartbreaking years with writer’s block.

GayBoy scoffed at me when I likened writer’s block to emotional impotence. I was pretty pissed off at that reaction (take note, GayBoy). You think not getting it up one night or one week is somehow more emotionally damaging than not being able to create?

If you’ve never experienced a creative block, you have no idea. If you’ve never experienced it for a month, you can’t fucking imagine five years of it. Yes, I occasionally wrote something I was proud of, but mostly, I was angry, frustrated, and disappointed. Every day. For five years. Five plus years of never knowing why what was on the page didn’t match what was in my head. Five years of trying to figure out how I went from A to D without any fucking substance in between.

My friends and family probably thought my mother's death was all that was eating me, but there are times when I think the writer's block hurt me far more than any death ever did. If you're a writer and you can't write, you're nothing. Nothing. You're taking up fucking space, and you know it.

Writer’s block is killer. I clearly have no problem sitting down and writing, I have no problem with losing myself in my head for hours on end. Never have. So why the writer’s block? I’ll never understand it, myself. But I know how I climbed the fuck out of the morass.

And now, I’m obsessed with writing, which is awesome, but now I don’t know where to go with it. Now I have to put my money where my mouth is, get a job, get laid, get happy. And it’s scary as fuck. Fear is my nemesis.

(Ed. Note: I don’t do fiction. I don’t do poetry. I won’t write the next great Canadian novel. Nor will my screenplay ever be playing at a theatre near you. I like the literary one-night stand. I like to sit down, pound something out, and know I never have to revisit it. I have a fear of commitment. It shows.)

And though I don’t know where I’m going, I know what I want to do. Soon, I’ll hopefully get there. I was recently asked by one of my “readers” to help him out with a bit of his own writer’s block. I was lying in bed thinking about it this morning and realized that most of the techniques I used to break down that wall took effect last fall.

So, my writer’s block began coming apart in the autumn, when I put all of these steps into motion. For the years previous, I was in a swirl of discontent and never really knew where to go. When I began realizing the most important thing for writer’s block was work ethic, I decided to put measures into place that would record things that interested me, even if the ability to write it didn’t materialize. I’d keep piles of these notes on hand for when I’d decided to write. A few of those tricks include:

When I had money, I bought a laptop, so I could work anywhere inspiration hit me. Now that my ethic and ability is back, it never leaves my desk, but for a while, I’d write in any environment I could. I would time myself. I’d decide in advance I’d write for a minimum of 45 minutes. It would be crap, but it’d be something.

In my coffee table, I still have a box I call my “idea box.” Actually, it says “idea box” on it. I wanted to call it “pandora’s box” but I thought I’d get all apocalyptic if I got creative about naming it. The box is a recipe box stuffed with pens and recipe cards, so I never have to rummage around to jot somethign down. Any time I’m watching anything on television that strikes me as an interesting idea, whether it’s a movie I like or a ludicrous report on the Daily Show, I write the idea down and why it interests me. I do not put the card back in the box. It goes in a pile on my desk, and in moments when I have no inspiration, I resort to The Pile.

I have also, when a good line hits me out of the blue, written lines on post-it notes and stuck them up around the house, in places where they’ll visually hit me. The trick is taking them down so people don’t think you’re a moron when they visit.

The tried and true thing, too, is always having a notebook on you. I go through phases where I forget the book. And then you find a napkin, a receipt, whatever it takes. Always, always write down the thoughts that make you smile. Write descriptions of the people who are pissing you off on a bus. A reaction to a delicious meal. Anything that strikes you. You’re a writer. You know what being struck feels like. If you don’t, you’re maybe not a writer.

These notes can unleash an entire world of writing. One, for instance, that I have in a pile here is “I like the trappings, but not the trap.” If I call it back to mind, this is for a piece I want to write about my relationship with money and my loathing of employment. And one day, I will. Until then, the mussied old scrap of paper will reside in its rightful place, in my stack of ideas.

There are times you’ll see I’ve written in all lowercase letters. That’s when I feel like I must write but I can’t wrap my head around the words or what it is I hope to communicate. By consciously choosing to forego the grammatical rules like capitalization, I’m letting myself stand outside the perimeter of what my writing normally is. It frees me a little, and you’ll almost always find that those posts tend to be more honest, more personal, and a slightly different style than my usual work.

My best writing occurs in the morning and at night, but that probably has to do with being a working stiff.

I try to change up my music from time to time with writing. Writing to Nick Cave will produce drastically different results, with its dark imagery, than writing to something fun with wacky imagery like Dada. Some of the best writing I’ve ever done has been to stuff I wouldn’t normally listen to, like Loreena McKennit or some old jazz that ain’t my style.

These days, writing a thousand or more words a day doesn’t take any effort. An hour, and I’m done. Something mammoth like my Elvis story would take 2 hours, but still. Fuck, I longed for this for years. I’m just enjoying the ride.

Friday, May 20, 2005

goddamn you, gayboy. i am not leaving my mouthwash in the washroom any more. fucking mooch!

why the fuck am i here (?)

Alien in a Jar
(ed. note: this post is brought to you in part by the letters f, c, k, and u, and the numeral 2. some naughty language follows. i was surprised as i edited. heh.)

it’s a friday afternoon. it’s a pleasant day. i really do want to get out and go for a bike ride or something since it’s been a shitty week, but i’m honestly more tired than I’ve been in months. but i feel compelled to write and have no idea where this is going to go. let's take a ride, shall we?

it’s been a long week. it started off last saturday with a nasty scare when i thought my father was having a stroke. it turned out to be just a nasty warning symptom, a stroke precursor, so to speak. ultimately, it could be a really positive thing if my dad gets his shit together and lives a healthier lifestyle.

for a short time there, i was left with this huge weight of horror, a fear that yet another tragedy and challenge would be blanketing my life. when something like that hits you, out of the blue, it provokes some pretty startling thoughts. fear infects you and it’s hard to fight it off.

i’m no stranger to adversity. but there comes a time when you just say fuck it, you’ll deal with it. you don’t share it, you don’t let people in. you just fucking deal.

(and it’s a stupid fucking way to do it, man. trust me. a couple walls have come down for me in the last 18 months or so, and i think it’s profoundly improved my friendships. i think it makes me a better person to know. but i didn’t know that when i was 20. my 20s were hell.)

i used to be a pretty serious existentialist. i always wondered what the fuck it all meant. all this grief and pain and sadness and difficulty. what’d it mean? why me? why now? why? why? why?

say it fast enough and it sounds like “wah, wah, wah!”

i’ll be 32 this fall and i don’t mind being over 30 one fucking bit. and i don’t get it--everyone’s so fucking worried about age. it’s only as a result of my age that i now know what a totally self-involved twat i once was.

seriously. what does it all mean? it means you pay taxes, you do your thing, you experience as much as you can, you enjoy as much as you can, and you weather the fucking storm in between it all.

existentialists are twats. sorry. get over yourself. you think you matter? if you’re lucky--extremely damned lucky--you’ll one day amount to a hiccup (or, if the gods are on your side, a burp) in the history of mankind. you might, just might, have a legacy that spans the decades, never mind the centuries. if.

our tragedies? on the grand scale? meaningless. does that lessen the pain? not a fucking bit. but it does kill the “why me” shit. why you? it’s your fucking turn, man. we all get it. everyone gets their hurts and everyone gets their highs.

wow. all i wanted to write was that existentialism sucks. i’m watching i (heart) huckabees, the charlie kaufman-esqe “existential comedy” by david o. wilson (flirting with disaster, three kings) with a whole schwack of awesome actors.

i’m sort of enjoying and loathing the movie, simultaneously. why? because existentialism is for twats.

i guess i’m not being very sympathetic to other people’s beliefs, but let’s face it. it’s my blog. fuck that shit. you’re just lucky it’s free, man. :)

seriously, if i still believed in existentialism? i’d have to believe that everything happened to me for a reason. that sometimes leads to the “god hates me” mentality that eats up a lot of good people. and you know what? i sorta do believe it happens to me for a reason, though: to make me a better writer. i’m a cross between an incredibly impetuous shallow person and one deep chick. that’s what i bring to the table and it’s the juice behind my writing. and it’s a fun combo to have to juggle.

but i don’t believe it’s all on me for any reason greater than what i attribute to it. meaning, i decide the reasoning. we all do. your tragedies can be the best thing that ever happened to you. that’s what i believe. and i try to make my adversities add some meaning to my life. it's not easy to do, but with a little introspection and growth, great things can come.

i don’t believe life is a series of randomly cruel happenings coupled with occasional bliss and glee. i believe the universe is more complicated than we’ll ever be able to comprehend. it’s like dots per inch. the more complicated and saturated your photograph is, the more pixels, the more seamless and lucid it all is. just like life.

i like to call it the brilliant nothing. but i’ll never really understand what i think about life, as much as i might try to. and i don’t give a shit. i’m just here for the ride, man.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Best link of the week

Speaking of music and politics, this is an amateur music video shot be some silly troops in Iraq.

Abu Ghraib this ain't. These guys are pretty funny. And I've never listened to "Is this the Way to Amarillo?" all the way through -- until now.

* * *

There's a mother-of-god thunderstorm unleashing not far from my house. My laptop's unplugged, just in case. I have actually felt the thunder barrelling up my skeleton every time there's a heaven-to-earth full-on strike.



The rains have begun. The lightning continues, shaking the ground beneath me. Nearer now. Three seconds.

I'll sleep with the curtain up. I don't get a lot of violent fury in my life. This'll fit the quota nicely. I hope I remember my dreams. (Lightning doesn't spook me, but this is getting close, and it's fucking potent.)

And to the dude walking past with his umbrella up in the middle of this vengeful storm? "Good luck with that."

Music and Politics

"mother told me to be something
so i'm afraid"

-m. good, "failing the rorschasch test"

That's one of my all-time favourite lyrics and it's from Matt Good's song "Failing the Rorschasch Test," always good for a listen. Besides, it's such a fucking cool title. ""Failing the..." Fuck, that's a good title. It's such a good title the song could be mediocre and it wouldn't really matter, it'd still be mix-potential. But no. The song, too, is all that.

Matthew Good is a Vancouver boy done good. He's a damn fine rock musician who writes some of the finer lyrics around. Guitars are the driving force behind their rock. Matt also runs one of the finest blogs in Canada (he and I have so damned much in common).

He posted a link to a fantastic article on the attrocities in Sudan. Attrocities? Genocide. Who the fuck sits around and gets all semantic on whether or not X amount of deaths classifies as a genocide? And how did that go, anyhow? Something like:

"No, no, I'm sorry, but 'genocide' is not the correct term. No, we prefer 'widespread slayings and senseless acts of killing'. 'Genocide' would imply that, oh, I don't know, hundreds of thousands of people are dying."

Now, don't freak out, but yeah, that's pretty much the case. The conservative estimates say 200,000. Others say 400,000. The real cynics say it's only 400,000 if you add in all the deaths from diseases (which could have been dramatically lower with Western intervention). And we're doing what about this?

Absolutely sweet fuck all. Me, I think the Western world's of the "Africa? Fuck Africa. That's the dark continent. Bad shit happens there. Always has. Poor fuckers. We'd like to help 'em, but really, they can't even help 'emselves" kind of mindset.

It's really disgusting. And nobody talks about it. Nobody makes an effort. Africa is being ravaged by drought, AIDS, and political strife, not to mention that small matter of genocide, and the world stands back and does nothing. We could do so damned much. People need to talk about this.

Matt's blog is listed under Brilliant Canucks (because a spade is a spade) on the sidebar, Matthew Good's mBlog.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Announcement from the Management

I've been offered the opportunity to post a little sumthin'-sumthin' on Transcendental Floss, of either political or pop-cultural flavour, so sooner or later -- likely a little more later -- you'll find me there.

But I won't be doing it 'till it's a post with a little wow-factor behind it. I so like making a big splash. Sploosh!

But I'm all giggly-pleased to have the opportunity to flex my lit muscles elsewhere. I'll letcha all know when it's going down, and for those lazier types (insert Blog Ho reference here), I'll simply post linkage here when I'm doin' double duty.

Although it's already a good blog and you're silly to not check it out.

To the Flossing team, y'all rock. Thanks.

A Question

And I ain't putting up one of those fucking poll things. Comment, people.

I'm thinking about starting a second blog.

I've been avoiding politics. A long time now. I didn't used to. I was the political girl. I'd read four, five papers a day. I was so fucking plugged in, I could talk about any issue.

Not anymore. I've segued far away from that. I don't get CNN, nothing. I don't read papers. But I can get back in the game. Give me two weeks.

In the meantime, I'm thinking my political opinions are venomous. They're angry, they're left-wing, and they're very, very vocal. I don't want to wreck this blog by doing too much of one thing. I like the weird mix I post. I post according to whatever tickles my ADD on any given day. It's a good criteria, I've found.

Let me know if you'd be interested in more politics, but off-site. Just curious how many people actually dig the few political posts I've done. Basically, I'm trying to get you to coddle my little ego. I think it's all but done, this Blog Two thing. Political commentary is important to me. (shrug) Sigh. Is what it is, man.


There's a blogging contest with real money -- $1000 -- on the line, and it's for girls only. And [GASP] I happen to be a girl. More importantly, I happen to be broke. ;)

Please vote for me. You can put in your requests for sexual favours at another time. For now, just vote.

Go here and select The Last Ditch. Or if you like Mimi better, vote for her (Mimi in New York).

Some Photographs

JT/Whipped Boy is my "other" best friend. He's a totally different scenario than GayBoy. Married, responsible, pretty quiet, not too terribly funny (sorry, hun, but compared to me and GayBoy, you know it's true), but he's an awesome friend. Just like GayBoy, for me, he's irreplaceable.

But the reality is, there won't be a lot of stories about me and JT's antics. However, there'll probably always be photos. These are all from our Mother's Day out together. The photos aren't incredible, but I do like them, and he and I had a damned fine time this Mother's Day, if you're wondering. Here're the photos.

border crossing-tld

The border crossing at White Rock, BC. It doesn't give that "We welcome you to America!" feel, does it?

Bellingham is a cool town. Fairhaven is its oldest district, and in Fairhaven you'll find great food, bookshops, and artists. This is the corner to Tony's, a coffee shop I've always loved, and home to the best shake ever: Coffee, espresso, chocolate, and vanilla.

architecture fairhaven-tld

The next series of photos are all taken from a rocky cove found off Chuckanut Drive, one of the finest urban drives in the Pacific Northwest. There's nothing like an oceanside drive.

These two photos are of the cove:


cove tight-tld

These are also all taken in the cove. But they all have that important thing in common: Wood. Wood rocks. Read how I feel about wood here (heh heh heh) Be Good To Your Wood Day (also found under Hit Me on the sidebar).

drift-nurse log-tld

beached stump-tld

And a tribute to my favourite kind of wood--Happy Wood.:

beach wood-tld

Monday, May 16, 2005

I'm Queer for Queerios


They’re fabulous!

Toasted oat-grain cereal that gives you that extra faggy edge in the morning
with the added bonus of conviction when you tell your boss “Blow me.”

Queerios, when joined in a healthy civil union with milk,
are part of a wholesome left-wing breakfast.

A splash of berries will unlock the fruit in you.

Choose Queerios as part of a high-fibre breakfast--
because you know your friends want you regular.

Queerios: The wrong choice for the Right.

And coming soon to a shelf near you: Whoreos.

(And yes, I clearly lack finesse in PhotoShop. Know what? You can blow me. ;)

Sunday, May 15, 2005

The Stairway to Sin

(It would be a real shame if you missed out on Port-a-John Porn, which follows this. If you haven't read it yet, please stay tuned after this posting. ;)

Stairway to Sin-TLD

I’ve never been in a brothel.

But if I was a lesbian looking for a tasty time, I’d want the brothel to have a front stoop like this.

I took this photo when I was down Stateside last weekend. The steps just seemed like they led to the kind of place I’d like to read a story about.

Madame Boucher and her team of randy girls. I’d like the Madame to have a Southern accent. Thick, sultry. A wide, knowing grin with a touch of lusty leer as she greets you at the door.

There’d be velvet. Satin. Dark wood fixtures. Candles. Men sunk into overstuffed armchairs as whalebone-bound whores draped over their laps would smile and dicker with their ties, laughing at their stilted jokes.

A dark oak staircase with gigantic ball posts on either end would lead up the length of the great room to a long corridor with glossy burgundy paint and rich oaken wainscotting. It wouldn’t seem dark, but just deep and comforting, womb-like.

The whores wouldn’t seem dirty or used. They'd be mother-presentation grade. Nice girls with sophisticated makeup, glossy clean hair, and Victorian dresses. They’d have nice names, like Sally or Lucille or Emma.

There’d be bourbon and whiskey in every room. You’d never be bothered by numbers, but the money’d come out at the end of the night. It wouldn’t be a cheap place. There’d be no parlour tricks, no real dealings with fetishes. But when it came to substance, these girls would have game.

The rooms would be lush and inviting. A plush, oversized bed. The kind of place you could see yourself reading a book in, late into the night, or playing too many rounds of poker. Wood and rich colours. Spacious rooms with a fireplace and sink in each, just like the old boarding houses would have.

Because this once was one.

Or that’s what I was thinking when I snapped the shot.
Stained Glass-TLD

Saturday, May 14, 2005

OooOh... Kinky.

In keeping with the flavour of the port-a-john porn story below: A kink test. Thanks, Ryan, for sending it over. It has a mere 60 questions.

My score? Let's just say I've always done well on tests.

Now, the Kink tests isn't as exhaustive as the trusty standby, the updated, 2,000 question original PURITY test. You name it, it's on there. And it's here.

How to Enjoy Your Concert Festival: Port-a-John Porn

(This is Thunderbird Stadium, where this transpired. The row of johns was on the bottom right of the photo, where the end of the bleachers is. GayBoy and I were seated up near the top of the bushes lining the side of the bleachers behind where that row of toilets was.)

* * *

The story starts here:

The link won't work, so there's the URL for you.

* * *

There was something different about the couple. Something about them stood out as they weaved together, hand in hand, through the crowd below us. I spotted them and began to watch with interest. There was a physicality in how they moved and something about it aroused me.

They had a cadence to their steps, an intimacy with each other in the casual, matter-of-fact way they held hands and moved as one through that crowd. They were zeroing in on the hand-sanitizing basin by the long wall of port-a-johns, and I could tell something was up. I grinned, nudged GayBoy, and said, “He’s gonna get himself laid.”

GayBoy started watching them. If there’s one thing my friends know about me, it’s that I’m strangely good at picking things up about total strangers.

Sure enough, it took less than a minute or two for the couple to casually wander behind this wall of johns. Now, this wall, you could see behind it where we were, in the stands and beyond, but it wasn’t visible from anywhere else in the stadium.

(Ed. Note: Unlike this photo, the johns at this gig were spaced about 18" apart, so it was possible to squeeze between them, emerge into the corridor behind the row of johns, as many people would soon be doing.)

They stopped about four johns into the line, and stood behind the unit, still visible to us. She leaned against the wall, he leaned into her. His hands splayed against the john’s wall, on either side of her head. They began making out, but then the telltale thrusting began as Econoline Crush, a local metal/rock band with melodic yet driving hooks, took to the stage.

The guy got intense with the music and the sex was clearly hot. Oh, if I only had a handicam. I was getting a little aroused just watching, but GayBoy was a little bothered since it was a little too hetero for him.

It wasn’t the sex that was interesting, though. It was what unfolded around them.

This couple was oblivious to what was happening around them--the sex was clearly everything at the moment. And it was pretty fascinating for the others, too.

There was a small crowd gathering.

Guys would always come behind the wall of johns to piss rather than wait in the interminable lines for the port-a-johns. The ones who were doing so now, most didn’t even notice the back-to-the-wall sex going on nearby. Some, though, did.

One particular guy weaved between two johns, eagerly did his bladder relieving business, zipped up, and then noticed the couple. He turned and started watching them for about two, perhaps three minutes.

This had been going on ten minutes now, so the sex was fully unbridled at this point--hard, rhythmic thrusting, and absolutely zero inhibitions.

So dude’s watching the show, grinning like a school kid on a professional day, when he suddenly turns and walks. About two minutes later, dude returns with five friends, all holding beers, smoking cigarettes, as they lean on the bleacher stands’ base wall, staring in fascination at the sexual escapades continuing to unfold, their heads banging to the beat of the music and so too, with the rhythmic thrusting.

It’s then that the security guards approach, and the sex has been ongoing for more than 20 minutes. (But for those of us (aka: us) who'd been noshing magic mushrooms, swilling vodka, then beer, and smoking excessive marijuana, it'd seemed like an hour. And so pretty.) The guards tap the couple on the shoulders, and the couple stops. The guy zips up. A conversation ensues, and it’s clear the guards are more amused and file this one under “too bad, but I gotta do my job,” since who can begrudge a guy whose girlfriend’s willing to go the distance in bright daylight with a crowd of 15,000 around?

Everyone breaks up amiably. The couple wander again to the hand-sanitizing bath, and you can tell by the tilt in the guy’s head that he’s watching as the guards wind their way back through the crowd, looking for real trouble to deal with.

As the “Security” shirts fade into the countless bodies buzzing on the stadium floor, the guy takes the girl’s hand and he leads her back to the row of toilets.

Within 90 seconds, they’re back to having full-on sex.

The guys with the beers and the cigarettes? They never really left. They came back and caught the rest of the show.

Another twenty minutes of top-notch, if unsanitary, sex continued to unfold there until the unseasonably hot April setting sun. The couple climaxed during the last song in the band’s set, and then wandered back into the crowd.

The moral of the story? You may think you’ve got the best seat in the house when you’re in front of the stage. Sometimes, though, sitting in the nosebleeds gives you a view of a show you never thought you’d catch.


is all that.

i got even more help on a few more annoyances.
i daresay my blog is almost perfect now.
(time to work on the content.)

tattooed brain is also all that from way back, too. ;)

Friday, May 13, 2005

Kids: Not seen, Not heard

I’ve corresponded at length with someone recently on the prospect of whether I’ll have kids: No, no, and more no.

Why? It’s a freedom / committment thing, really. And I don’t want to hear all the “it’s the best adventure you’ll ever have!” arguments and shit. If I want adventure, I’ll buy an all-day amusement park pass or a trip to the Amazon. Either way, I have an end date for the adventure. Perfect.

However, I do like kids. In fact, I’m awesome with them. I’m straight up with them and I never patronize them. It’s a hoot.

My nephew’s to my right, as I type. He’s eight years old and he’s reading book nine of An Unfortunate Series of Events.

I consider one of my best accomplishments in the last eighteen months, aside from recovering from my two severe accidents I was in, is the love of reading I’ve passed on to my nephew now.

It began at Christmas of 2003. I’d asked him if he got any books for Christmas and he said no, “Thank goodness.” He didn’t like reading. Why, I asked. “It takes too long.”

I nearly freaked. The kid’s adopted, I thought. There’s no way he’s from this family!

And it baffled me. He was incredibly creative and had the best vocabulary of any kid I’d known at that age. He’d preface things, at six, with “Well, actually, Auntie, that’s incorrect.” Or he’d ask “Auntie, why does The Ring force its evil powers upon Frodo?”

And you don’t read? Good God!

So I took it upon myself to remedy the situation. He was staying with me on New Year’s Eve as part of an elaborate plan to actually get my brother laid for a change. The nephew stayed over and instead of watching television or anything, I bought a book. Not just any book. Nay.

This was How to Train Your Dragon by Hiccup Haddock the Horrible III.

It told the tale of an ordinary boy in Norway who happened to be the son of Stoick the Vast, the Viking chief of his island. As a rite of passage, the young Viking boys would be required to catch and train their own baby dragon in time for the Thorsday Thursday festival.

This was a 210-page book. I read it to him overnight, aloud. He was rivetted. It was then I explained how, for every Harry Potter movie or Lord of the Rings movie, there were hundreds of awesome books that’d never see a screen. Like Dragonology. Or Dragonrider.

But Hiccup’s book: A classic. Up there with Harry Potter and his friends. I laughed, I sniggered, I guffawed. And so too did The Kid. And so would you.

* * *

When the nephew was four, we were coming back from dinner at Dad’s. We got caught in a police roadblock for drinking & driving, and I thought I’d explain what drinking and driving was. Never drive with someone who’s been drinking. They don’t think right. It’s dangerous. Never. Ever.

I turned to him and asked, “So why shouldn’t you drink and drive?”

The Kid furrows his brows, looks at me, and says, “Because you should always use your cupholder.”

Thank Yous.

I've had two people help me a lot with fixing two annoying problems I couldn't get to the bottom of. Back when I first made changes to the stock Blogger template, Tattooed Brain did great things to help me fix the sidebar. Now help has been provided by Digitalicat, in helping you undeserving Internet Explorer users have better display when on this paltry little web log. They both stated they wanted to be publicly lauded. ;) I'm given to appease my admirers. What can I say?

So thank you
Tattooed Brain

Tattooed Brain's awesome though very deep site is here.
Digitalicat's substantially less-deep, though tres entertaining, site can be found here.

"The Worst President Ever"

Neal Curley's photo from

This is a photograph by a terrific photographer who's all of 18 years old. Neil Curley's site can be found at He's accepting financial donations, so if you're rich, he's a worthy cause.

This image is copyrighted by Neil and I don't know if I'm being bad here by posting it, but I think his site's awesome and this photo rocks (because it's true. Bush, you're a fucking amateur).

Thanks go to Ben for having the link on his homepage. Ben entered a comment to the post below and he's yet another funny Canadian (he and I have so much in common already.) Ben is here.

Layout -- A couple changes.

Hey! Internet Explorer users, you guys don't really deserve this, but one of my fabulous readers whose blog is HERE has assisted me in getting rid of the template display problems that were taunting you guys, what with the disappearing sidebar and such.

Meanwhile, I decided to remove the middle-finger montage from my header and it's now the reflection part of my photograph Girl on Sand. (Yes, copyrighted, etc.)

I also went for a black background because, well, black's the new black.

I still suggest anyone using Internet Explorer should switch to the easy-as-pie Firefox, which has super cool basic features like a search bar you can use to search Google,, etc, plus many other super cool things. Plus, your likelihood for attracting viruses is lower. And this site will look cooler and that is important. Like, it's everything, really.

And there's a Google adbar now (boo, hiss! I sold out!) which may or may not want attention from you. Nudge, nudge.

The Whizzinator!

You may have heard about it. Now you can see it. This is the legendary fake penis that comes with dehydrated urine so you can pass your drug test. (Hey, it works for Tom Arnold, man.)

Fuck the man. He thinks you can't enjoy some doobage while you catch Letterman on Friday night? That you can't smoke some hash and watch some porn with the boys?


There's a rubber dick right here that says so. The Whizzinator's home site! There's pictures of rubber penises and guys with way-ordinary torsos on there.

Dehrydrated urine... Don't wanna get that mixed up with the spices, huh? Oh! Bet it looks like chicken bouillon.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

It's a Weird World After All: Volume Two

Tired of your little girls trying to live up to a standard of excellence they'll never reach? Get rid of those Barbies! Get rid of those societal pressures we're putting on our kids! Let's get back to reality.

Yes, it's time for Trailer Trash Doll!

Now she can have fun being who she'll one day be: A bloated, tired old hag with ill-fitting clothes and plastic style. Perfect! Aww, cute!

* * *

In Toronto, Canada, they've got a new standard for profiling sex offenders. They're looking for Trekkies. Apparently, sex offenders are all about going where no man has gone before. Detective Constable Warren Bulmer reasons that like sex crimes, Star Trek is a fantasy where monsters and mutants have power.

That's pushing it a tad, isn't it? Don't (hardcore) Trekkies just need to get out a little more?

But if this is really true and any dudes get schwacked for being pervs and bastards, and they use the line "Resistance is futile" in commission of their crime, let's give 'em an extra 5 years on principal. Freaks.

* * *

A 28-year-old Swedish snake expert living in Australia was found dead after an attack by one of his constrictors. The 17-foot beast suffocated the expert -- wait, I guess "expert" is too strong a word, huh?

Fucking amateur. And this is what happens when you lie on your resume.

* * *

A couple chicks in Titusville, Pennsylvania got all hopped up on methampetamines and decided to have sex with their dog (and videotaped it).

I wonder how that transpired. "Yo, Tanya, I'm getting sick of paying this pooch's way. He never cleans, he never listens to me. All he does is eat, sleep, and chase his fucking tail."

"Hey, let's put him to work, then. Let him put the "massive" in Mastiff.""

The chicks were found guilty (on drugs and bestiality) with up to two years in the slammer and $5K in punitive fines.

You know, I think a vibrator would offer less complications. Ain't nothing like multispeeding, honey.

* * *

Some Cleveland drug entrepreneurs thought they were being smart by using a guard animal for their premises. Wait, no, not an animal. A reptile.

A four-foot alligator, in fact. Way to go, boys. That's how you operate inconspicuously. You chain an alligator up in your yard. You might as well send animal control an invitation to your wine and cheese party.

Fucking amateurs.

* * *

A dude in West Virginia has been going by the name of Jesus Christ for 15 years now. There's a hiccup, though. It seems the Son of Man can't get a driver's license.

I can see why. I mean, what are the odds he's gonna be cruising along an interstate and pull that water-into-wine morphing trick we've all heard about him doing? Imagine this. He's pulled over, swilling wine in one hand, and noshing on Pringles in the other.

"Oh, come on, officer. Eat my body, drink my blood, and we'll go see some girls down at the Pussy Parade. Just wait'll I show you my parting-the-Red-Sea trick, dude. Moses ain't got nothin' on me, man."

* * *

It's a world of laughter
And a world of freaks
It's a world of weirdness
And a world of creeps
There's so much that we share
That we oughtta be scared
'Cause it's a weird world after all

New Links New Links New Links Bitchin' New Links

New links have been added. Among them, Intern Andy's new site, I'm a Smalltown Superhero,, and other favourite people of mine.

Most notable addition, and where you should go with your free time when I'm through with you, dammit, is: Darth Side: Memoirs of a Monster--a brilliant blog written from the POV of everyone's favourite nemesis, Darth Vader. I'd love it if they'd do an audio track of the Darth Man huffing and puffing through his ominous regulator, but I'd also like to see pigs flying, and fat chance that's gonna happen.

The rest of the links are ones I like and/or people who rock. To those of you who've linked me on your sites? Thank you. If you haven't, then what in God's name are you waiting for? Money? Dream on. Me too. It's all about altruism, dude. (Like I fucking believe that? Still. It would be nice. I'm linkable, right? I mean, likeable. Err... both?)

If I've missed you, guilt-trip me at Or send me hot propositions for anonymous sex behind the Chuck E. Cheese. I need a good laugh.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Rerun Steff: Oh, Willie, oh, Willie, wherefore art thou?

So I don't want to deprive you wonderful people, but I can't write for another day or so. I have things to tell y'all, too, so that's a shame.

But here's a rerun. Steff-approved, but not re-edited for re-posting. Here you go. This is from last December.


Television: noun system for reproducing on a screen visual images transmitted (with sound) by radio signals or cable; device with screen for receiving these signals.

I've cut back on my television. I watch it, but selectively. For instance, reality TV is a big no-no in my little world. I find that some reality TV does indeed hit home with all you admire in people--drive, ambition, intellect, ingenuity, et al--and that's noble. Most of it, though, excels in the shallow and the petty.

Besides, good writing rocks my world. Plot, story, character, these are challenges to create, and there's no larger challenge than that of writing for an ongoing television series.

Television gets a horrible rap, really, and it's not entirely fair. There are those of us who move in "those circles" with the informed and worldly folk. We often deal with a lot of sanctimonious posturing by "those types," deeming themselves as morally superior because they don't watch the box.

Where do they get off?

They get off to a good start, thanks to broadcasting's commercial roots. Television has the distinction of being borne as art that existed solely in an attempt to sell to you. It's programming that's conceived, shot, and edited to accommodate a pre-set amount of pre-sold advertising. A 60-minute program is really only 45 minutes. You know what happened to those missing 15 minutes, eh?

Television is all about the commercials, and you have to admit that it's hard to take "art" seriously when it's followed by the latest $1.49 Big Mac deal.

Oh, but I know I'm lovin' it.

Credibility is the medium's problem right off the get-go. And now, in the ADHD Age, the trendy smart folk are all out there, suddenly swearing off it like it's the worst thing to happen to culture since Gallagher bought a watermelon.

What we really need are some strong-ass smelling salts to get the old Bard the hell out of his grave and back into the drama scene. Shakespeare could clear this right up. Seriously. Get Willie out of the ground and on into the year 2005, and I bet my ass Billy-boy would wind up with a 26-episode deal before the week was through.

Say, you know, I hear they're looking for someone on The West Wing.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Because Depression..., like, depressing, I think you should go laugh it up here.

I posted a thingie recently saying how bummed I was to discover Mitch Hedberg kicked the bucket. This is a link to wisecracks by Mitch.

Mental Issues

The frontman for Low, Alan Sparhawk, a band I don't really listen to, has had the courage to admit he has a mental illness and no longer can take the duress inflicted on him during touring. He has pulled back, they have cancelled all gigs, and he says he's going to continue seeking help.

Admitting you're depressed or mentally ill in any way takes balls. To do it on the world wide web? Titanium balls. Balls from Krypton. NASA-grade balls.

There are so many stigmas attached to everything from self-esteem issues to mental illness that it's a fucking wonder we ever ask each other "How are you?" More people need to bring this shit up. People like William Styron in his brilliant, brilliant treatise on depression, Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness, or that classic autobiography of schizophrenia by Kurt Vonnegut's son Mark, The Eden Express: A Memoir of Insanity, and this dude do so much towards putting a face on something that scares many of us every time we lay our heads down.

I was deep into depression long before my mother died. It took seven or so years to run the length of the disease. There are days still when I wonder how to face the world beyond my door, but they're fortunately mostly just that, a wondering. Depression's more a memory to me now. A shadow that's inexplicably attached to my every step. A constant awareness that there are monsters in the dark. Being cognisant of that doesn't make me less happy today, but moreso.

Admitting that depression dogged my every step was one of the bravest things I've ever done. Fuck humility. It doesn't apply. Admitting you're scared, lost, hurt, and just can't move past it on your own anymore takes guts. It's admitting you have no power. It's your first fucking step in becoming Jedi.

And now, man, I feel the fucking Force. But it was a long time coming. If you want to read the gutsy-as-hell admission to the nuthouse written by this courageous motherfucker for his band's website, click here.