I would like to personally thank Financial Aid at the University of British Columbia for faxing our declaration forms directly to the Ministry of Whoever Deals With Student Loans.

The word I was looking for was "declaration" rather than "confirmation."


If being a yuppie is wrong, then I don't want to be right.

So. Today was made up of long stretches of commuting, then punctuated by brief moments of excitement. First, we did end up going to American Apparel. I know exactly what you're thinking: what's that dude doing in that shop? Well, I'm sick of buying clothes that age too quickly or tear too easily once I get then out of the shop. Most stuff from department stores look like crap; the colour is a little off or there's a some crap logo blazoned across the chest. Ew. Then, the clothes at AA (not Alcoholics Anonymous, the selection there sucks) are "reasonably" priced (the black hoodie I picked up was a tad too much) and lo and behold, they're not made in sweatshops!

We made our way to Granville Island so I could drop off the media tickets form for Fringe Fest. We wandered into this office where everyone was buzzing around and ignoring us. I caught the eye of one woman, who turned out to be really awesome, took my name and the form. It's a bizarre experience stepping into a scene like that - you feel like a piece of furniture that is in everyone's way.

We picked up some food from Friends of Cheese (Brie and broccoli soup, a wedge of Stilton and some organic French toastie things) and then some browsing on Fourth Avenue. Nothing good there. After that, we made it to UBC. I had to give them workstudy form and verification form for my scholarship. We also sent Financial Aid after the Ministry for screwing up our confirmation forms.

Okay, I just used the word "form" three freakin' times there. The problem of living in a post-industrial, capitalist society? It makes your language sound like a letter from a civil servant drone.

It was raining off and on all day, which was an awesome break from the heat. So, yeah. Lisa and I finished the day at this medical center, where Lisa got an X-Ray (I repeatedly joked she might accidentally get super-powers from being exposed to those mysterious rays. Any word beginning with the letter X is kind of mysterious) and I crossed the street from the center and visited my doctor. Nothing serious.

We got home a few hours ago. I took a bath, read stuff from the internets, ate cheese and sipped soup, and now I'm ready for bed.

And - a huge congratulations to Chris and Carla! Chris proposed to Carla over the weekend, and they expect to be married this coming spring! wOOt!

Actual number of times the word "form" appears here: Five. No, wait. Six.


My God, this post is so boring.

Clothes report: Picked up two pairs of jeans, plus some ideas for future wardrobes. We will be heading out to American Apparel tomorrow for thin, cotton sweatshirts. I really need a blazer. Why the hell are they so expensive? I saw a couple in the mall, and they looked sharp. I want to look presentable when I go out in public. I'm sick of the "rough edges" applied to men's clothing. The ill-fitting jeans, the splashes of sickly pastel colours; I want to see a consistent palette that compliments each component. I usually don't have time, or funds, to keep up with style hounds. I'm also looking for socks, a scarf and maybe a hat.

Had lunch at Finches (Finch's?) with Jess. The decor was very relaxed and antique-y, which reminded me of having lunch at a friend's place. The Brie and walnut salad (I shared) had a friendly composition, but a little too much vinaigrette. The espresso was thick and rich. For me, the measure of a good espresso is whether or not I need a chaser. If I have to follow each sip of espresso with water, either mineral or plain, then what we're looking at is a good espresso. Now quit looking at it.

Cast of Characters.

We are about to step out for lunch and clothes shopping (downtown!) so just a brief note. Abbreviations are a thing of the past. The current cast is as follows:

L is Lisa: My sweetie.
C is Chris: Good friend and fellow writer.
C is Carla: Chris' charming girlfriend, has a wicked sense of humour.
A is Andrew: Lisa's brother and current housemate.
K is Kevin: Good friend, see post entitled >More Flesh For the Nest<.
T is Tania: Kevin's girlfriend and talented artist, I've known Tania for a long time.
W is Will: Good friend, reigning Bicycle King.
I is Iain: Friend and Arts Editor for the Other Press.
R is Ryan: Old friend and fellow literature lover.
J is Julia: A good friend of Lisa's, does non-profit work.
Ja is Jason: Julia's boyfriend, art, literature and cooking aficionado.
Je is Jess: Another good friend of Lisa's, also does non-profit work.

There are definetly more names to add to this cast, but I think these characters have appeared frequently in my past posts.


Breakfast of Scallions.

Get up early. Roll out of bed and take a shower. Get dressed, and begin to panic when wallet cannot be found. Remember that half of night was slept while still in clothes, so take cover off and shake vigourously. Wallet flops to the floor. Head out to store and buy orange juice, eggs, flax waffles and veggie Bavarian sausages. Go home and brew a pot of coffee (boil water in ibrik and dump freshly ground beans in water, steep for five to ten minutes) then fry up sausages. Dice two fat cloves of garlic, then when sausages are cooked, slip them into the oven and fry up three eggs. Toss in diced garlic. Put two waffles in toaster. Arrange everything on plate and enjoy. Serve with juice and java.

Damn. Fine. Breakfast. Almost as good as Bon's, and healthier.

I had the privilege of hanging out with the Terminal City crew last night for their usual get-together. We met at The Whip, and somehow, between ten people, we spent three hundred dollars on food and booze. Needless to say, after reading my posts from last night I can tell I was definitely dancing with Bacchus. I met some super friendly people, and had great conversations on writing ("the comma should be used sparingly!"), writers (Shakespeare and King, strange but true) and, well, general stuff.

Thinking of going to Bard on the Beach today, but it looks like it's not happening.


Psychology is the 21st century's most powerful weapon.



The internet is the loneliest place in the world.

Another good day.

There is something to be said about sitting in my shorts and t-shirt, wrapped in my favourite housecoat (or bathrobe or nightgown or whatever), drinking coffee and nibbling on a pineapple custard bun, and writing in my office as Edith Piaf croons in the background.

I'm thinking about Paris a lot lately. It's like those times when you meet someone for the first time. You find that someone to be charming and gorgeous (in a strange, Old World kind of way) but you're reluctant to agree on how wonderful this someone is, which is what everyone says. Then, months later, and after much deliberation, you discover you love this someone. You just didn't know it at the time. That's what happens when you're in the moment: it's really hard to see what's really going on. I miss sitting in a cafe, just sitting and drinking coffee and reading or writing. No one bothered me, no one asked me to leave or tell me I've been there too long. I could stay for as long as I like, with a full bar at my disposal. It was bliss. Things I would do differently? Go in the autumn or early - very early - spring. Bring a long, handsome scarf, or buy one while I'm Paris. Get some running shoes. A sport coat. And my laptop. Yeah, weird, huh? Why would I lug this beast around? Well, the keyboards in France are built on Bizarro World, and it's a hassle trying to find an internet cafe. There are quite a few in Paris, but some have crazy hours or they're full.

Even though I'm kind of broke now, I'd rather be poor in Paris than just getting by in Vancouver. Groan.

I have to finish an article and my resume today. I'm doing a food review, and I love writing them. I mean, c'mon, I love to freakin' eat. After reading "Fat" by Raymond Craver I was salivating, even though the food mentioned in the story wasn't exactly paramount. When I finish that I'll be looking up books I want to read online. I feel as though I'm missing out on something, is there anything going on this weekend? Need to find out. Hopefully Chris comes over, having company breaths life into a house.



Okay, so my article is in this week's paper. My bad. I was totally worried I let the folks at Terminal City down. Today is a good day.

I have been thinking about traveling.

The problem of having time off is trying to get things done. Yeah, sure, I can edit finished stories or continue writing current projects, but mostly I just want to sleep and forget I have responsibilities. As far as I'm concerned, holidays are monotonous. I'm updating my resume, sending out documents for scholarships, cleaning out my hard drive (and thinking about upgrading my laptop's memory) and organizing my life for the next six or so months. L and I have a tentative plan to go back east for Christmas, with a possible side trip to New York. That would be awesome; I've never been there, and I wrote up a list of all the sights I want to check out.

Lately, I've been wanting to remove myself from Vancouver. I don't know if it's permanent, but I really want to see more of the world. Spending ten days in Paris, regardless of how amazing it was, just wasn't enough for me. I want to see more of Europe, and possibly elsewhere. I was thinking Vietnam. Don't ask me why, I just want to visit Vietnam. Vancouver gets me down sometimes. The weather is alright, but sometimes the people give me a heartache. Either they are loud or boorish, or two-faced and conniving. I know people are generally the same everywhere else, and I'll meet people with the exact qualities I despise, but I just want something to be different. Maybe I want to be different. Sometimes I need to change too, and when I feel this way it's because I'm resenting myself for whatever reason. Well, my article wasn't picked this week, which wasn't entirely a big deal, but it kinda sucks. Oh well. I do have a food review coming up, albeit a short one, and possibly some show reviews from the Fringe Festival. Ha! It's not like this hasn't happened before. I'll solicit the article elsewhere.



What to do, what to do. I finished the article, and there's that slight twitch in my lower back again, telling me to be worried. I always loved that little gap of uncertainty. Did I do a good job? Is the piece effective? What could have I done differently? It's like I'm wrapping up a sandwich, one that I made myself, and giving it away for someone's lunch. I'm hoping that the person unwrapping the sandwich and taking the first bite will like it. Anyhoo, I'm doing a quick food review, due on Friday, plus other little projects for me.

One of my goals this year, and next year, is to add more layers of complexity to my work. Fine-tuning the craft, so to speak. A good story is well-crafted story, with all the parts interlocking and supporting each other, and dropping small details that flush out a scene and adding another layer of symbolism to the piece.

Need to check out BoingBoing more often.


Tired brain cant right

Today was interesting. I helped L at the market again, and to do that I had to get up early, like around 6:30 or so. However, I just couldn't get to sleep. I kept rolling around like a beached whale. So, I had to work the market with little sleep. The food was wonderful, though. Bries again, accompanied by the most incedible bread. It was made like a French loaf; an excellent, chewy crust and a spongy interior. The bread went really well with the cheese. I also picked up peaches that literally melted into a river of juice when I bit into them. And coffee. I got home at around 1:30 and slept for five hours. Now I'm awake and I'm ready to write. Ugh.

I think my sleep problems stem from the stress relating to my article. I'm a little behind, and I have to get some photos to accompany the article. I'm doing a piece on public art and graffiti, and it's better to have me find the graphs rather than getting someone else to hunt them down. My brain still thinks it's yesterday, like around 10:00 PM.


Who needs money? Me.

Today is new comic day. However, I probably won't be able to pick anything up, on account of being broke. I will get to go outside and enjoy the chilly, cloudy day today. I have to venture out to the "old" school, I think for the final time, and pick up my term papers. If I find I have any dough I'll probably be downtown.

The play is going, um, "well." I looked over it and did some minor revisions, but I spotted some clumsy, not-so-funny parts that need work. I wanted to write a darker comedy, but this thing is really light and sweet. L convinced me to keep the tone, but I will tighten up some scenes. If I get any good work today, then I will workshop tomorrow night. Otherwise, I have another week to finish the fourth draft. Yes, the fourth draft.

Overall, my days are slipping by pretty fast. I had lunch at Cassis yesterday, the new French restaurant on Pender Street. I ordered the thin crust pizza with wild mushrooms, truffle and goat cheese. The dish was very toothsome, with rich, earthy flavours rounded off by the creamy goat cheese. The crust was terrific, very balanced flavour-wise and texture-wise. We ordered the house wine, a French red (I don't remember the name, I should have written it down). The wine had a thick body and a nice, clean finish, but the nose was rather flat. I tried making the panna cotta, but the milk and cream didn't react to the agar, so it ended up being more of a cream pudding. The flavour was very sweet, and I think this could follow a heavy meal.

I'm enjoying my books. The problem with reading while being a full-time student (this only applies to me) is the amount of material I need to cover as I try to manage my recreational reading. Comics somewhat fulfill my craving, but I do need text. When I'm in school I have trouble finding the time to read what I want. Now that the semester is over, it's even harder to pick up a book, because I kinda need a break. Tonight, I'm going to lock myself away with books, comics (maybe) and laptop in my room and soak up some words.

I should point out that A took the shots of the market stall.


>More Flesh For The Nest<

K had a birthday recently. Tonight, I'm meeting old friends at K and T's place for a birthday party. Food, booze and movies, all wrapped up together in a warm, summer evening.

I have been friends with K for almost a decade. We meet for two reasons. First, he was going out with a friend from high school, who was still hanging out with me. Second, on our first encounter, he wandered into my bedroom without an invitation and asked me about the paintings hanging in my room. I figured, this is another guy on his way out like the others. We will meet once, then he will disappear like the rest. You know, it's funny. We bumped into each other prior to this meeting. I was in Nanaimo to see a show. I was with this Irish girl I liked. She once sent me a letter from Ireland, and at the time, it was the first letter I got from a faraway place. Anyway, I'm at this show for K's band, which involved a guy being eviscerated while sitting in a chair by a a guy in a mask and lab coat. After the show, while I was outside and smoking and arguing with a Christian (the crowd outside kind of ganged up on him), two guys were running around with Simpsons masks. They both sped past me, almost brushing against me. I believe one those masked men was K.

Since then, I've gotten high and drunk with K, but that's not all. He was gracious enough to let me crash at his place a few times when I was down and out, despite the fact I startled his mom at one in the morning. Later, we would be "roommates." After returning from Europe, he and T stayed with us for awhile. He felt guilty, but I wished they stayed longer. But K was, and is, far more than just reliable. K is a musician, DJ, activist, tech and scholar.

K will never hesitate to take the piss out of anyone. He will point out the inconsistencies the sentimental tripe that plague the way I speak and write. It's a cold, hard slap across the face, but it's one that wakes you up and let's you see what the deal really is. Sometimes, I need that. K is like the Zen master, not allowing someone to waltz through their life delusional, and subsequently, ignorant. But, K always has something new and interesting to say. His insights into art and politics, the very way he phrases his insights, are worthy of publication. It's a shame he hasn't lifted pen to paper more often. Whether you agree with him or not, he is rarely without a response.

My fondest memories are with K. Hiking up mountains or biking around Vancouver late at night, he is always up for adventure. And he lets me (occasionally, with good reason) play his guitar and drum. Yeah, it's just a snare drum, but it's fun to beat on. He wants to hear what you're thinking. He's a good friend, and always think of him when I'm need of adventure and debate.


Theatre and writing

C was just here (I know, I can stop writing my friends and families' initials and use their full name, but the habit is difficult to break so bear with me) and I am heading out in a few hours. This will give me a chance to run some errands around the house and work on the play. I still have all my notes from previous workshops, so I have something to work from rather than scratching my head and wondering what the audience will like. My telepathic powers have diminished over time, you know. The weather is actually lovely again. The breeze cools everything down, and the sun is not as bright.

Speaking of plays, I think I've figured out the logistical problems with my radio play (C, I believe, knows what I'm talking about) but that won't be until the current project has built some momentum. Apparently, I might have to wait a year or two before my first one is produced, so in the meantime I will work on the other one. That also goes for short stories and articles as well. I totally missed an opportunity to publish a poem while I was at Douglas (argh!) but I was told my short story will be nominated for the student journal. Have I mentioned this yet? I'll pretend I didn't. Being nominated doesn't mean instant publication, it just means my submission will be added to the pile and considered. It would be cool to leave the college with a bang, so to speak.


Oh my.

Do you love coffee?

As I wave, the cruise ship pulls out of the harbour. Red and white streamers gently descend to the water. A woman sobs.

I'm not entirely sure who took these pictures, so could the photographer be so kind and let me know? Last weekend I helped L at the Farmer's Market at Trout Lake. I mostly hung out in the back and took notes for my article, which was due on Monday. The scene was pretty busy, as customers came by all morning and afternoon chatting with L (she is very popular there) and asking questions. Since I was there I had to indulge in the local fare: fresh French bread, slices of creamy and delicate Bries and a rich Americano (my favourite). I loved the ambiance of the market. The bustling crowd, the sharp, delectable smells, the friendly banter among those working the stalls and the customers; there is a strong sense of activity and movement, nothing seems to be languishing. Granted, I wasn't that big of a help. I just lifted heavy items and occasionally talked to customers. My deadline was approaching quickly and I also had an exam Monday morning (which went fine) so I was little anxious. I'll be helping again on the 20th. For those interested, L works on the Yarrow Ecovillage Farm, and they have a website here. They have a stall at Nat Bailey Stadium on Wednesdays and Nelson Park on Saturdays. You get more information here.

But, yeah, I am totally stoked. Over the last I've made some new friends who are interesting and fun. I also had the opportunity to strengthen my relationships with my old friends, and you know who are! Just because I neglect to call folks doesn't mean the love isn't there, it just means I'm hibernating and I need a swift kick to the arse. I may have a spot at Terminal City, and I've been really busy with the writing. Like, a good busy. Not just writing form letters or grant applications or, potentially, porn. I've been accepted to the University of British Columbia, with compliments from profs at my current college. I received some generous scholarships. So I'm happy.

Today is my last day at Douglas College, both class-wise and work-wise. It's pretty quiet in the Learning Center. We're just cleaning up and filling in stats and just trying to get this dump up to speed. And, uh, to my lovely employers, I am currently on break. Yeah, that's it. I've written more than my fair share about his place, but I'll say one thing: I'm not going to miss trudging up that freakin' hill anytime soon.



Hey! I actually woke up kind of early this morning, which is strange for a night owl like me. If I have a day off with no pressing deadlines I just sleep. I get paid today. Nice. Oh, this is a picture of Nicky, the farm dog. I've mentioned her before so I figured, let's get her face out there. She is a really sweet dog: when you call her name and rub her belly she rolls around and snorts like a pig. Very cute.

Went out again last night with co-workers. I had a really good time, but around 11:30 I got really tired and just wanted to go home. My exam yesterday really kicked my ass (it went really well, although I got the first question completely wrong) so I guess I only needed a little booze and dope to return to normal. I'm curious how long people stuck around after I left. Now we have something to talk about while we clean the Learning Center and do up the stats, rather than just staring at people and guessing what they had for breakfast. I will itemize the rest of my life:

1. Did some sketches for a comic strip, and that was fun.

2. Scared and excited to have my script get a cold reading this month.

3. Over-population. What a crock. We don't need less people, we need people not doing stupid crap. Less stupid, please.

4. I have a long-ish list of food I want to cook, like an Italian dessert, some Mexican and Chilean dishes and some sauces I read about recently.

5. Currently reading Alice Munro's Who Do You Think You Are? and Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five, plus some ballads by Federico Garcia Lorca. All good reads so far.


Wow! I got a comment. Thanks commenter! And past and future commenters!

Okay. I admit it. I'm a tad hung-over this morning. I went for drinks with my creative writing class last night, which was really fun, but I may have had one drink too many. I remember trying to convince one of my classmates to transfer to university, so I hope I didn't sound like a tipsy creep.

I have a big exam tomorrow and I have to study like it's 1999. Wish me luck.


It is nice outside. Blah.

It's actually nice out today and here I am, stuck inside trying to finish my homework so I can take the rest the day off. The sky is perfect; cloudless and in a shade of pale blue. The wind is blowing, and it looks cooler out than yesterday. L and I watched the Pride parade and ate Lebanese food on the beach, and it was scorching. I had to retreat into Denman Center to catch my breath and cool down. Pride was lots of fun. The general vibe was decent, and there were a ton of couples out, queer or otherwise. I didn't get sunburned this time, remarkably.