Monday, February 27, 2006

recently i realised that i have free canadian long distance on my phone plan. which suddenly makes my sister seem so much closer. especially when i'm wandering around Superstore looking for elusive 2006 calendars.

talking with rebecca was nice.

when i got to agnes' place she was watching in her shoes with her mom. so i joined in and felt a strange kinship with the characters because i'd just reconnected with my sister in some subtle way.

proof that i'm getting old: movies start making me sentimental.

further proof that i'm old: i can't believe that independence day came out 10 years ago. seems like it was just yesterday that we were sitting in a movie theatre making fun of the whole thing. we did that today at home, and it was possibly even more fun due to the physics and philosophy and sexual politics that was brought into the discussion, but it doesn't seem like it's been 10 years since i did that. it feels like it was just last year.

course, i'm sure old people say the same thing about casablanca.

wasn't it great when uploading a computer virus at a slow dial-up rate could save the world?
when i was in las alpujarras in spain, i got a ride with an amazing woman. she was playing some music that she said was performed at or as a memorial to albert schweitzer. it was a collaborationg between a german somethingorother bach choir and african singers, and the music was a meld of bach-style counterpoint classical sounds and traditional african harmonies and rhythms. i can't figure out what it was called to find it now, though, so if anyone can lend a hand, i'd be forever grateful.

Edit: found the right search string. Lambarena. that's the album i need to find. you should find it too. it's good.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Dérive:
La Dérive, a French concept meaning an aimless walk, probably through city streets, that follows the whim of the moment.

French philosopher and Situationist Guy Debord used this idea to try and convince readers to revisit the way they looked at urban spaces. Rather than being prisoners to their daily route and routine, living in a complex city but treading the same path every day, he urged people to follow their emotions and to look at urban situations in a radical new way. This led to the notion that most of our cities were so thoroughly unpleasant because they were designed in a way that either ignored their emotional impact on people, or indeed tried to control people through their very design.

Sadie Plant wrote: 'to dérive was to notice the way in which certain areas, streets, or buildings resonate with states of mind, inclinations, and desires, and to seek out reasons for movement other than those for which an environment was designed. It was very much a matter of using an environment for one's own ends, seeking not only the marvellous beloved by surrealism but bringing an inverted perspective to bear on the entirety of the spectacular world.'

Plant, Sadie, (1992). The Most Radical Gesture: The Situationst International in a Postmodern Age. London and New York: Routledge. English translation of the original article 'Theory of the Dérive' by Guy Debord.


* * * * * * * * * *
who wants to go on a dérive tomorrow? contact me!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

if you're able to explain Piercean Semiotics, i'd greatly appreciate the help. soon. before thursday afternoon, if possible.

firstness, secondess, thirdness, ahoj!
notes from conversations earlier today:
- security is not necessarily ideal; sometimes it's avoidance
- enlightenment is not necessarily the road to security or success
- "opening doors" is all well and good, but if they're not leading to what you really want, what's the point?
- valentine's day is the perfect day to discuss divorce
- unless you're a close friend, never eat my food without my permission
- Hamlet says: make up your mind already!

...and so on.

i just ate my last salvi läkerol. where do i find more?

Sunday, February 12, 2006

i'm burning cds. they're not mix-cds, because the purpose of them is quantity, not wondrous mixing skills, and straight data-cds hold more music. that said, seeing as i'm burning a bunch right now, if you want one, write me with your mailing address and i can burn one more to drop in the mail. just for you!!!

it's a collection of songs i like, mixed with a few things that i promised to send to various people.

* * * * *

i've lost the clarity of mind that i'd rediscovered during my trip. and some of that not-depressed sense of contentedness. in fact, at this point, i'm lucky that i'm retaining most of my regained semblance of "good posture". it sounds worse than it actually is, i think. the searching for "the right songs" is helping. having people over here tonight (where i don't need to leave the house to hang out with folks!) will probably also help -- provided i don't end up having to look after anything. so if you're one of the people coming, please be a good guest. please? yes, i'm paranoid. accept it.

* * * * *

a few amazing things from this past week:
- realising how much i love being in classes
- snapping at someone in apprehension because of who i thought was touching my hair. it wasn't them, but they heard the aggression in my voice and stopped. oh, snap!
- re-evaluating my impressions of various people, and realising how much they'd changed
- 10-pin goofy bowling
- a good board meeting

* * * * *

what i really want right now is someone that'll let me talk to them all about myself, and all my self-analysis, and indulge me and not get bored and not tell me off for being self-absorbed. and i know i talk about myself a lot, but i say it's because i'm too busy holding back the things that i really want to say. because it's bad manners and rude to be wrapped up in yourself.

fuck miss manners.

* * * * *

next month i get to learn how to write about dance. with any luck, i'll be able to afford the workshop, too. writing about dance . . . and then being in a workshop for it, which means sharing what i wrote with others . . . it's almost as terrifying as improvisation! well, go go go new years' resolutions!

Monday, February 06, 2006

there need to be more people up about about at 8am on a sunday.

that, or i need a car.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

doing half of features for the peak last night reminded me just how much i loved layout. and how much i still love it. and the late nights on fridays with a random group of weirdos.

good times.

and then, having missed the last bus, i went to sleep at kevin's place until the skytrain started running again. except that i couldn't sleep. so i played crib with him and his flatmate and discussed many things, many involving the student press, until 8am.

now it's 9:11am. i woke up yesterday at 5am. i got an almost-2-hour nap sometime between finishing my pages and leaving with agnes and kevin. i'm exhausted. but not sleepy. goddammit.

there's the whole solidarity/freedom of speech/but is it actually what should be done debate. but i'm too inarticulate to state my thoughts at the moment. other than the fact that i don't think next week's editorial cartoon is justified, despite the reasoning behind it.

Friday, February 03, 2006

2.5 years ago i was in a clothing store in camden town, and i heard a song that i decided i wanted to have for my own. so i scribbled down the chorus to search for later, because everyone who worked there looked way too cool for my blood, and would certainly have had me escorted out for having the gall of even asking them a question. found out what the song was. searched for it.

today, 2.5 years later, i've finally gotten a copy of it. somehow it turns out that this song's ridiculously difficult to find. but it's okay, because now it's mine. with all the music i've gathered in the last month, my next few radio shows could potentially be awesome. chances are they'll just be mediocrely average.

we learn learn by by by repetition.

so here's what happened in the last third of my trip:

i met cavemen. we became jolly good mates. some of them are great musicians. all of them are a bunch of fun. i made friends with likal. he met the cavemen, too. they tried to play the pity game, trying to get money, until they saw me. then they invited us to go dumpster diving for a feast the next night. unfortunately i already had plans. next time. we carried likal's drum kit across town one night, after which i had a most fulfilling meal of broccoli and pasta and chocolate and tea and bread and salad. his flatmates made me miss mine. his flatmate's cat is leaner than mine. about an equal mooch, however. i visited the cavemen another day, bringing gifts of fruit. after, we went to the market together. i bought food. they bought drinks. they bought me drinks. after three cafés con cognac, it was the caffeine that was more the problem later on in the day, when my body went into withdrawel. we played music and told stories in a plaza for a few hours. that night ian and xoana had a mini-fiesta. i made stir-fry that was a brilliant hit. the secret's in the oyster sauce and yeast. thank you for that tip, freya! i carried on conversations in french and spanish. people played the accordian and guitar.

the next day i took the train from granada to madrid. likal insisted i stay with his friend. "i know you're able to manage on your own and i'm sure you've got no problem staying in a train station all night, but it's 9 hours and you're going to stay at my friend's house!" he said. i laughed. before sunset was shown on the train. i had the option of watching it in catalan or spanish. i chose spanish. carlos picked me up at 11:16pm -- "the perfect time!" we ate chorizo and bread and jámon and animal-shaped (dinosaur-shaped?) chicken nuggets and watched "PERDIDO", after carlos and his (hot) flatmate had a long discussion about carpooling. "oh carlos carlos carlos," he kept on saying. it was aggravation without the emotion. it was all i could do to try not to laugh. i found out what galician sounds like. we only spoke spanish.

the next morning carlos came with me to the train station. he asked me to write out why i like to travel. when i'd written it out, he went over my mistakes in spanish, but most of them were "well, this is okay, but this would have been better." in other words, i wasn't wrong in any way. just not right enough. that's good enough for an 8 year break after 3 half-years of spanish classes. we bonded over our love of the limbo time of travelling. he told me that when i decided to skip my plane ticket home, if i wanted to come back to madrid he'd be happy to show me around. he figured me out pretty well pretty quickly. on the train to biarritz, they showed before sunset in spanish again. i watched it again. in spanish. i understood more of it that time.

when i got to hendaye, i thought i was still in spain. turns out i was in france. fortunately the train people speak both languages out there. met a physiotherapist from morocco. apparently it's $10 a session down there. he suggested i go to morocco on holiday in order to get cheap physio in the future. not a bad idea.

ivana was at the station when i arrived in biarritz. the day after, i couldn't remember what platform we'd been on, or walking out through the station. all i could remember was seeing ivana, giving her a hug, and being thrilled to see her.

we stayed in a youth hostel. we figure that it's only because we found her house key outside that the on-duty manager "found" us a room. we saw the ocean. we ate at a pizzeria, beside an older couple who fed their terrier food scraps beneath the table. i spent forever staring out at the waves. we ignored the "inter-dit" signs. we took public transit to the next town, only partially by accident. we saw W-Chiens gardens. we ate fries with mayo, and drank 7Euro coffee on the seashore, and walked out onto the rocks surrounded by crashing waves, and watched surfers with death wishes.

we headed to bordeaux and i found out what her life's been like for the last long while. i got to sleep up in the loft. chocolate became a staple food. i met her friends at rio pongo, an african restaurant that spoils their customers with bountiful food and fruit and drink. i got ivana's cold. i met eric, the american who'd lived in prague. we bonded over funny-sounding names and a craving for smazeny syr. i got new sources for french music. i explored bordeaux. a little old lady of 80 years helped me when i was lost. she walked 7km every day for exercise and explained every building we walked past on the way to the tram.

ivana's mother was the victim of an airline strike, and ultimately ended up in paris 24 hours later than expected. while we thought she'd only be 5 hours late (but still missing her train to bordeaux) we rented a car and headed out on a road trip to rescue her. we listened to portuguese at rest stops. we played french radio and old spanish pop music. we had the typical SarahIvana-style road trip. we got to paris quicker than anyone said we would, and preened. we visited tours and an old friend of hers. we didn't get lost leaving tours. we drove in paris, found parking in paris, peed on the side of the road in paris, ate at a quick burger's in paris, all in eric's favourite part of paris. and then we left to make it to shauna's at a reasonable hour. we missed the turnoff and ended up at eurodisney briefly. shauna talked our ears off and i did my best to not pass out from sickness and exhaustion while she was still talking. we had chocopains and coffee in a café and drank mango juice. we went to the airport. ivana's mother was delayed another two hours. we went to roissy and stayed in the car because it was too cold to go outside. we went back. the terminal was shut down due to abandoned luggage that, the security guard explained to me with gestures, could go "ka-boom". when her mother finally arrived, her luggage didn't. while they tried to sort that out, i encountered french firemen, and french policemen. the policemen wanted me to move. we finally left. we went through poissy. and de bussy. and versailles. and the rocade. and went onwards to bordeaux. via tours. because i had to email a file. it was stupidly difficult to find an internet café. but the fellows at the gyro place were fun. we saw a falling star. we had a driving buddy who looked like santa clause. we saw roman art on the side of the road. i kept falling asleep, again, more due to illness than anything else. goddamn fucking cold. but mother and daughter had time to bond.

ivana's mother was traumatised by ivana's living conditions (which aren't actually that bad). her anxiety woke me up one morning. i spent early mornings keeping her company and trying to get her to think about happier things. my understanding of croatian increased exponentially. we made good use of the soldes. i got fancy clothes. i looked into buying a clarinet. but saved that joyful loss of money for a later date.

went to paris. highly recommend the woodstock hostel. it sounds more hippie-ish than it is, but it's one of the best i've ever stayed at. the cat's named jesus. befriended a bright-eyed german girl in love with a tunisian, a swiss graphic artist trying to find her stage, a danish couple on holiday, a swedish couple trying to find a home, dutch sisters on a shopping holiday, an austrian who gave up a promising economics career to work in a hostel and meet people and live in a place he loves and be happy, and a french woman who may or may not have a life beyond what i saw. i spent more money than i should have at the marchés des puces, got a free bracelet for being a pretty girl, walked over and around montmartre, found an amazing experimental music store, put up CJSF stickers around town, spoke french, ate baguettes, bought a book at shakespeare&co. and thought of agnes, spoke spanish with random hostellers, searched for the new holden album to no avail, ate surprisingly tasty home-cooked meals at the hostel, and slept under a skylight looking at stars.

my ticket told me that i had to be there 2 hours before my flight. so i went early. elisa the german kept me company. the flight had no boarding gate listed until 30 minutes before the flight was ready to leave. so i spent a long time sitting in the hallway, time that could have been spent going to the music store that i knew would have the music i was searching for. but oh well. next time. strange being in a place where stores are closed not only one but two days a week. discovered that british airways are swanky folks to fly with. met a fellow who'd been in dubai and told me how wonderful it is there and that i should get a job there -- but before 2010, when the oil runs out. the kid sitting in front of us was the most amazingly quiet child i've ever seen on a plane. i had my own private tv screen and watched many movies. i had a profoundly moving moment watching the reese witherspoon movie. and i reminded myself that i do enjoy watching ralph fiennes act. i often forget that i saw him performing in an ibsen play when i was in london the first time. he was good then, too. i heard a clarinet concerto on the radio and took it as a further sign that i'm to learn how to play it this year. i only slept a little bit.

and then i landed and saw my dad and found out trudy's mother died while my mother was in australia and things are all the same and nothing's changed and it's not unreasonable for there to be valentine's candies everywhere because it's not over a month away, it's 2 weeks away. and now everything begins to feel like a dream and i want to get emails back from the people i met abroad because they'll validate my memories and prove to me that they were real. and even though i came back with terrific posture and feeling truly happy (which i realised was a foreign feeling for this setting), it's disappearing but i'm trying to hold onto them and trying to remember all the plans i made for myself while i was away.

and now i listen to a lot more music in foreign languages. and rachel and i are going to run away to spain again soon. i just need to figure out how to transport my kitty cat out there, too.
1. yes. i'm back in canada now. and jet lagged. for it is 6am, and i've been up and about for 2 hours now. even though i only went to sleep at 11. i enjoy jet lag, to be honest.

2. this is the flag for nunavut:

a random google search brought back a page that showed all canadian flags, including that one. it made me realise that i've never seen it before, and had never realised that yes, even nunavut has a flag. there's probably people who live there, too.

3. there's a campus radio station in paris. their frequency's 93.9. it amused me to figure that out. i wanted to visit it while i was there, but didn't find time to do so. which just means i'll have to go back. when i found it on the stereo, someone from the animal collective was performing their latest album live, all the way through, with just his voice and a guitar. and being interviewed between each song. he rambles. a lot. when the interviewer translated it into french, she didn't edit out his rambles at all. at least he can't complain that he was misinterpreted.

4. on the flight home i found a uk paper. i can't believe they call those things newspapers. the only useful page in there was the one with all the brain games that gave me something to do while i waited to board my next flight. on the back of that page, however, were the horoscopes. mine read:

"...it's becoming clear that you have got a difficult factor to come to terms with. you have, though, also got all the help, support, and material assistance you require freely available to you....you may feel as if nothing much has changed -- but it has."

it seemed pertinent at the time.

5. it's ironic that my eating, sleeping, exercising, everything is better when i'm living out of a suitcase than when i'm in my own house. i have a cupboard full of food and easy access to a good kitchen, and yet if i eat at all, it's nothing thoroughly healthy. and i cooked fabulous meals in kitchens that weren't my own, but here i'm starved for ideas of what to make.

6. sometime around march 13th, my knee's getting mutilated with knives and scopes and general pain. again. if you know anyone who has access to crutches, i'd like to know if i could borrow them for a few days.

7. who wants pie? i know i do!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

happy rabbit rabbit day!
i don't think i've remembered to mention this:

i saw flamingoes in spain, walking around in some salt lakes. they looked just like they do in the cartoons.

funny birds.