Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Ambrose Bierce wrote that "a novel is a short story padded". I am beginning to think he was referring to my latest project, which seems to have no point and no end in sight. I am barely into the first year of a 7-year history and already I am busting at 119 pages.

I was approached on the street by a volunteer from Amnesty International. She asked me if I had some time. I rudely walked on and muttered "No". No time? I thought about that. I had no time, but I came home, had a 30 minute nap, and then watched 10 minutes of the Simpsons before walking Shrub.

Monday, December 08, 2003

The New York Times is really starting to annoy me, and not just for the Sunday Style section. During their Week in Review, they published an article titled Discount Nation: Is Wal-Mart Good for America?. The writer quotes several proponents of Wal-Mart's efficiency, which makes us wonder what we ever did without Wal-Mart. The author does not quote a single opponent of Wal-Mart, and not because they are difficult to find. The best they can do to appear balanced is to quote a professor from Howard University, who isn't sure whether it is bad or not.

As if that were not enough to anger me on Sunday morning, The New York Times Magazine puts some co-ed on its cover with the title The Dean Swarm, in an effort to make Dean look like another McGovern; a hopelessly idealistic candidate who appeals only to lovesick college kids.

Every week I consider cancelling my subscription.

Saturday, December 06, 2003

Friday, December 05, 2003

I am probably late in the game here, but if this helps one person, then I'll have done my part.

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Vancouver Moment #29

West End, July 2003

There was a group of them at the west end of English Bay, on the last stretch of grass before the path goes up the hill and you enter Stanley Park. They were all well into their 40s, and the dozen or so of them sat cross legged on the grassy slope, facing the guitarist. Each of them had some form of percussion instrument; finger cymbals, bongos, congas, even some tiny home made disco balls with perhaps rice in them, that a few of them were shaking to the beat.

The guitarist got into his groove. He too was in his late 40s, and he looked like you standard issue BC civil servant; greying beard, cheap sunglasses, new-age clothes left over from the 80s. He began to sing just as we were walking by.

Used to work
Used to drive my car

We had passed by him by the time he got to the next verse, but the words stuck with me, because they so aptly described the singer and his audience. Yes, he used to work in some office job, commuting from the suburbs into the city, or even worse, from one suburb to another suburb. And he drove. He drove everywhere to get to anything.

Now, safely ensconced in the West End, he didn't need to drive, and he could probably get away with not working for someone else by doing tarot card readings or making quilts. In this way he connected immediately with his audience, who either "used to work", or dream of the day they can check out to the Gulf Islands.

I wanted to stay and listen to more, but Anya, having grown up here and known these types all her life just wanted to move on. Now everytime I see your standard BC issue aging hippie, I have to sing used to work.

Happy Birthday Chris

It is my friend Chris's 33rd birthday today. When I called him to wish him happy birthday, he was at home from work with a cold, and playing his guitar. It reminded me of the time that he stayed home sick from high school so he could fix the pickups on his electric guitar. His parents were away, so his older brother Dave wrote a sick note to the principal which he signed:
Yours in Christ,

Monday, December 01, 2003

10 Years Ago Today

Whistler, December 1, 1993

In order to pay my December rent, I had to sell my 1974 Volvo to my older brother. He had no license, but that didn't faze him, as he had $400 and a dream of getting to the mountain on time. I insured the car under my name, but passed the keys to him.

He slipped me four $100 bills outside the North Shore Credit Union in Whistler Village, three of which I passed immediately to my roommate who collected the rent, and also worked as a teller at the Credit Union. It was snowing heavily, so the mood in town was light and jovial. Now I needed to break the $100 bill so I could get change to take the bus home.