Roadtrip with an angel

22 Mar

angel painting

We took the roadtrip slow through the ugly Eastern townships.  A few weeks prior, I’d been busted for scooting along a little fast, 70km rather than 50km, which in dog years is slow.

“You’d never know from this stupid road how nice the towns are,” I told rider X, next to me. He smelled like patchouli, which I hoped would not set off the border guards. They seemed to consider that, in the 2000s, the Beatles’ hair was too long. [...]

Riding in the car, mesozoic version

15 Mar

The street was lined with bricks, and the car, being from the Mesozoic era, made special noises driving over them. Riding in the car with my father, I sat in the front passenger seat, no seatbelt. I opened and shut the metal rectangle attached to the door handle – the ashtray that my parents never used because it was too small. It was not the usual way home so the car didn’t often make the sound. But sometimes it did because the street or streets were nearish enough. Bumpy bumpy, the car went, but it was musical too. I set my ears up like a dog to a whistle.

I sat in a diner booth with my father on the bumpy street. He gave me a coin to put in the mini-jukebox that sat against the wall on each table. Each table could have its own concert, and the diner would be awash in noise if everyone did so. But we were the only ones interested in the music. It was morning, I think. It was early in my reading career. I flipped the flipper to find it, the song I loved, You’re So Vain by Carly Simon. I pressed the letter button and then the number button to indicate my interest. I willed the music to enter my body as I stared out the glass plate window ahead.

The waitress worked behind a counter that was separate from the booths. She could press the lever and make soda pop appear. It was like a dream come true. When the song was over, I told my father that I wanted to be a waitress when I got older. “Why is that?” he asked, blowing his nose in his cotton handkerchief.

“So I can drink as much soda as I want,” I said, my eyes not leaving the dispenser.

When we moved out of our house to another one, maybe a year later, the streets offered up different sounds. Not so melodic.

I Feel Awful: How Not to Make Falafel

15 Dec


“Turn it up,” Lola yelled from the kitchen.

With the Hosers International tv show blaring, Lola felt able to turn inward.  She was devising a way to get the falafel to be both crispy but not grimy.  Baked things meant to be fried didn’t always translate.  Lola guessed that with a few tablespoons of coconut oil remaining she would have to suck it up and use canola – which as many helpful doctors on the internet advised was poison.

She turned on the exhaust fan. [...]

New Snow: the maligning of a sacred song

24 Nov

image of window showing snow outside

The Director began singing “Dingle Bells” upon seeing new snow this morning. When I corrected her she said, “I know but ‘Ding Ding’ go the bells.”

She sometimes veers into dangerous territory with the language. Sometimes it’s best not to respond; other times immediate intervention is called for.

Once when I took her with me to the casino to practice my stealth card counting techniques in Blackjack, she got super excited by the action at the table and yelled out, “It’s ok.  We’re just counting cards.”

Once when we went to dinner with friends we were asked not to mention a certain incident, it was the first thing that she offered by way of greeting to everyone.

I could sense it would take maybe an audience of just one more person, someone very prim, for her to make the connection with the Ding-ing of the bells to the holiday berry pies for her to exclaim that we should all partake of Dingleberry pies.  The moment was so ripe for it.  Alas, I was the only member in audience.  So today, after the song, it’s just bacon and eggs in a pan.

Fragments of the world, cowboy edition

16 Nov


“Gonna need to stop for a squirt of gas,” I said, sheepish.

Gas was more expensive than in the US and for me, every centime counted.  In my emails to Banjoman, Fritolay and Genome Project, my riders for that Tuesday morning, I harped on like I always did, no matter if someone was a repeat offender of mine or someone totally new: “NO Canadian money.  It’s $40 US only, which you can get at the ATM when we stop for gas in Vermont.”

You never knew which fragment of the world would be showing up for a lift, and more importantly what currency they’d try to pin on you.

But there I was stopping for gas in Montreal, and I could really use some capital input.  I turned to Banjoman.  His lips were red and supple.  I wondered if he wore kilts in his spare time. [...]

All the Banjos of Canada

14 Nov

In which I posit that Canada is a special repository of Banjo players and why Steve Martin should set up camp here, pronto.  The movement fluxes and farts.

But this latest pop up of banjos in modern recordings promulgated by Kate McGarrigle and her kids using her playing of banjos (and other pluckers) in their recordings. Some videos below.

Sean Lennon is a personal friend of Rufus Wainwright, which is why I include the OWS video.

But Feist makes use of el banjo-o in some of her songs too.

click for more


A Day in the Life, Starving Artist edition

9 Nov


We just came back from a trip to Montreal where we had yet another meeting with more creative types who are doing things we want to be doing.  It was kind of fruitful but not in the way we’d hoped.  Prospects of money in the future, peut etre, but nothing put into our pockets that day.  Sometimes the life of a starving artist involves something beautiful and smokey, and sometimes it’s just a conversation.

I don’t know what it is about Montreal and creative life but the door is definitely not opening to us.  I find this weird because the Director had the life but had to step back due to …needing to do drugs with other delinquents in order to do business.  Now a new crew’s in town and they’re more into the perfect cup of coffee than snorting something which is great, but the Director does not know these younger people.  And creatives is still all about who you know in addition to what you can do.

So after the meeting we did what we always do. [...]