do you really want to live forever, and ever and ever?

the rain is falling hard outside my window as the cars swoosh through the intersection. the cat sits idle in the corner longing for the sun, but for now she has settled in the grey. my mind wanders to days passed. days that were somehow simpler.

the radiators are working again. as the clink sounds through the halls the musty smell of summer dust lingers in the air. i turn it up and pour myself some coffee. one sugar and creamy please, in a mug made from clay that came from the earth.

i hope the phone doesn’t ring, or the door doesn’t knock. i need the evening to casually slip into night and for my dreams to be sweet and tangible.


this world’s too old to hate you and too young to give up spring

alright! alright! i can't do it tonight. i have been sitting here looking at the wall and thinking of something to write for the last 20 minutes. i have now grown bored with myself and need a new setting. so tonight we will settle for a blast from the past. as some of you may or may not know i have about a dozen journals (now full) that i have written in for the last 15 or so years. every now and again i pull them down and take a gander. today's selection comes circa 1996 when i was only 21. it surprised me how poignant (albeit slightly cliche and cheesy) it was for me to have thought this back then. and of course i am aware that i possibly didn't write it and only copied it from some self help book of my mom's, but still it meant something then and i understand it better now. so hang on tight, here we go....


1. you will be given a username, you may love it or hate it but it will be yours for the duration of the trip.
2. you will be presented with a series of lessons
3. each lesson will be presented to you in sequence.
4. a lesson is always repeated until learned, try not to take too long.
5. learning never ends
6. "there" is no better than "here". learn to love the place you are in.
7. other are only mirrors of yourself.
8. what you ultimately make of your life is entirely up to you.
9. all the answers to all of lifes problems lie within you.
10. you will forget all of this tomorrow.

artwork by yoshimoto nara (thanks to aaron and laisha for introducing me to his work). i think all his stuff is great. find out more here ->http://www.assemblylanguage.com/reviews/Nara.html


i had the opportunity on the weekend to visit a cat shelter and of course i felt compelled to document the occasion. it was overwhelming to see so many cats and yet they all looked so happy and showed such enormous affection. there are said to be 800 cats inside this enormous compound that included both green space and comfortable indoor living. everywhere you went there were whiskers and meows. i hope you enjoyed the video. if you feel like more than wander here. or for the quicktime version just say please.


old tin cups, and little paper dolls all wrapped up, in the ribbons of your heart

my life is attached completely to the place from which i came. it may not be apparent at first but it is.

i spent half of my life trying to forget the past and the other half remembering exactly how it is it went. i am oftentimes aware of the string that runs through time attaching me to my roots. sometimes, when the weather is particularily kind to me, i hold on with only my pinky, barely needing the string at all. but mostly i hang on so tight the grip makes my hands hurt and my heart ache.

i am prone to nostalgia, no two ways about it. i listen to country music cause it reminds me of days filled with sunshine on the deck and colour overflowing from mom's flowers boxes. of my brother two-stepping in the livingroom with mom afterschool on a wednesday while dinner cooked in the oven. the old lazy boy we rocked in while we watched tv. there is something inherently mine about country music and i can't let it go.

my older brother recently started listening to it. i was at his house on the weekend and he was listening to the dixie chicks. i honestly never thought i would see the day. he was the hold out of the family and given his rave sensibility it seemed unlikely. he never seemed much fond of livin in the past. i guess these days he is gripping a little tighter to the rope. but i don't blame him, i think buying a house and starting a life makes you think about those things.

i have tried everything to go back for even a moment. i loved a boy who reminded me of the place, and i took albums of photos of where it began, i search through childhood pictures and wish myself dreams but in the end it is impossible. i was there for a moment and then i wasn't, just the same as i am here for only today. but i have the music and the memories and every now and again i fall into fits of nostalgia. i guess for now that will have to be enough.


think of you tonight, i'll think forever. there is no way to predict this kind of weather.

i am going to take all my frowns and sleep on them.
maybe i will wake up with a smiling face.

oh and a happy birthday goes out to my niece kyla who turns one today! isn't she cute?


so, like, i had this dream and in it stuff, like, happened

i woke up remembering the craziest dream. i was living in a three bedroom aparment but couldn't foot the bill and so i decided to rent out the other two rooms. through a selection process i ended up picking matt good and johnny depp. i know i know, you would think....sweet dream. but it was anything but.

that matt guy was ornary at the best of times. sure him and i adopted similiar philosophies in that we never left the house, drank tons of coffee, hated visitors and sat on our respective computers in our respective rooms listening to headphones and doing god knows what all day. but he would get all pissy at me about the stupidest things. once i burned the garlic toast and he came out of his room kicking up a storm about how you have to watch the toast or it burns? oh reall?y thanks jackass cause that wasn't obvious. another time i made some sort of fish soup (which i don't believe i would make...i mean yuck!) but apparently he played the role of my psyche in this one, cause he was not pleased. expletives followed by "take it outside" were yelled. i think we both needed fresh air, without sunlight we were turning into these trolls. well him especially.

but the real fun in the dream came with big johnny. turn out he is quite the drunk. he would come home at all hours of the night barely able to walk and perch himself outside matt or i's room telling us stories about his night, how he wished we could be friends. we were both listening to headphones and so we would only here the odd mutter. and in the morning, everyday at 10 am, as matt and i would go into the kitchen for coffee (the only time we were civil) we would see kate moss come out of johnny's bedroom naked and head for the bathroom. the first time it happened matt looked at me and said, well i guess they are back together.

so one day my brother elton comes over and says what is going on here? he was in the livingroom which had no style, mostly plain furniture and hardwood. so i go in there and say huh? just then i looked up and the walls had been painted this awful yellow colour only it was done really shitty and there were enormous gaps in the paint, not to mention one whole wall didn't get done. i don't know? i said and shrugged. but i did know. it was that lousy drunk. i remembered seeing him with a can of paint the night before, but had naturally assumed it was for sniffing and let it go.

so we are there banging on his door, the sound of kates laughter coming through the crack in the bottom. ummm hey johnny we are going to need you to come out here a sec. hey guys! alright what's up? and the door swings open. about this painting man, what's going on?

turns out he ran out of paint. he had found a can in the alley and liked it he said. sometimes mushrooms fuck you up man. and now the can was gone and the walls looked like someone urinated on them. so i said hey thanks! i love your artistic edge all sarcastic like and muttered wanker as elton and i walked away.

on our way to the paint store we bump into this guy i work with and when i tell him the story he says i love that guy! i can't believe he lives with you!

and i woke up in a cold sweat.

because it never stops being funny, NEVER!

i want to meet this guy and shake his hand.

i have plugged before, if you haven't been go -> www.toothpastefordinner.com

oh and if anyone is up for scrabble, just let me know!

they move in when you are young and take away where you are from

it seemed like a good idea at the time. selection, convenience, they are open later on a saturday.

it would be worth mentioning here that i am one that is prone to let bygones be bygones which often means that i choose to forget instead of to learn. as humans this is one of our tragic flaws. our inability to learn from the past. we often fail to listen to our inner voice. the voice that has been there and done that and knows better than to go again. the one that shouts no! please god! don't do that!

ahhhh... come on! i told it today, how bad could it be? it will be fun... somewhere deep inside me there was the smallest of sighs then and with that i was off

i only made it as far as the skytrain before i saw the err of my ways. but at this point it was too far gone. to turn the ship around meant quitting. my whole life i have been a quitter, that is until a few years ago when i quite ceremoniously adopted the "thou shalt never quit" philosophy. this of course made way for an almost immediate induction of the "thou shalt not even bother" philosophy but that is a different story and in this one i did bother, in fact i commited as far as the damn skytrain aka the stinky sardine express and so the show was destined to go on.

so maybe i could live with the backturned baseball caps, smart ass comments, screaming kids and cell phones ringing. i have come to expect, although completely loathe, these byproducts of society. but the line gets drawn when i am required to wait 22.5 minutes to try on a skirt that has, as it turns out, a huge rip up the side of it because every measure was taken to ensure it was made as cheaply as possible so as to completely dash any allusions i still had in relation to cost and quality. and when the girl in the fitting room adjoining mine starts shouting obsentities to what one can only assume is her boyfriend i really start to get a little shakey. it's ok, i tell myself, this isn't everyone, it is only a select few. people are inherantly decent. give them a chance.

i am at the food court now. ahhh yes the cornucopia of selection. indian, thai, chinese, burger, taco, fries, chicken...the list is endless. the largest food court in western canada they say. what an accomplishment. the place has style too, fireplaces and skylights, red "leather" seating on the higher end side. without a doubt this is the place where all of our decency comes to die. right here on the laminate tabletop, it oozes through the southwestern geometric shapes and then onto the sticky overstepped floor, a thousand seats and not one is empty. we have all come for the big show, buy it up, shove it in, burp it up. consuming consumerism one meal at a time. i was guilty too, no doubt. and i stayed longer than i should have, mothers and cousins flocking around my table like vultures cawing on their phones. "i think i have one, come over here, i am by the kfc it shouldn't be long now", a disturbing glance in my direction and i know that my time is up. their non-feathered beakless poulty products are getting cold, they need somewhere to perch. but it is hard to leave. as i sit there i can't help but think that this is so much more human than any news report or new york times article. if you were to put the universe in a seive and shake it letting all the subtly small bits, memory, experience, laughter, happiness fall through the holes into this enormous bowl all you would be left with in the end is this. thousand of people eating fast food in a sterile shopping mall in the suburbs. because all of the really fucked up shit in the world pretty much amounts to this in one way or the other.

so i had been there 2 hours and had yet to buy anything. in fact i only talked myself in to trying one thing on and even then i felt the changeroom attendants eyes piercing my soul with judgement. i know that it is a balancing act that these attendants have to play. friendly but judgey, nice but distant. they want you to try on one or two things but god help you if you don't give them back on the hanger the way you found them and future visits to the fitting room are discouraged. we, like, only get paid $8 an hour and well we ummm really don't feel like putting away your stuff...like ok? ok ok i get it.

back into the mall i trudge.

i had so many expectations. but the orange sweater was only available in large, the skirt in xs, the shoes i love don't come that small and the only jacket left in my size has a rip on the left pocket. it isn't working out at all. i am more determined now, i didn't travel across the city on the stinky sardine express to come home empty handed. i needed something bigger than a scarf or a belt or brooch. this was serious.

so i waited in more lines and tried on more crap. i contemplated blues and pinks and greens. i looked in the mirror from various angles and then once it was determined beyond a shadow of a doubt that the items in question were unsatisfactory, they would get tossed back. my head grew heavy, my feet sore. by now i had a stomach ache from the french fries consumed in the food court and i had to go pee. more lines. more vultures.

right around now the noise started to become unbearable. i live in what is arguably the busiest interesection in vancouver and at that moment i was longing for the peace and quiet of home. kids screaming, teenagers cackling, store girls condescending. it was everywhere, this cacaphony of excess. i wanted to scream and run loudly through the hall pushing everyone over in my wake. "that will teach you! stare if you must but i am right this time, this is hell and we are all here on our own volition. consume! consume!" i would yell with my head tilted back, my eyes twitching from side to side. but i knew that would be taking it too far. it was time to admit defeat, once the deulsions start it is generally time to call it a day and so i shuffled toward the exit.

i stopped to consume once more on my way out, this time the corporation was starbucks and as i stepped into the light of outside i took my first sip. finally something i can rely on i thought. this is why they do millions in profits, consistency. sweet sweet consistency. but as the liquid reached my throat the reality rang false. diesel. ok maybe just expensive gasoline. sigh. even the coffee is turned off by this whole affair.

climbing the stairs to the skytrain platform we mutter to each other, "i am never coming here again, mark my word!" but just then, in the saying, i realize that we said the same thing last time. some lessons take years to learn. something tells me we will be back again. i don't think i will have french fries next time though, that portugese chicken is where it's at.


modern day mating

so i said to mark over dinner the other day, i said you know i am soooo not in the loop and you know what he said? you will never believe it, he said like i know neither am i

you. have. to. be. like. kidding. me.

no! honest to god that is what he said. i mean if anyone is in the loop it is mark, like what is he talking about!

i know! mark is definately in the loop. like he practically is the loop

you are soooooo right i think he is the loop. you know it wouldn't surprise me if used lavalife to meet people too!

you think? maybe? i mean he is in like the loop enough. that is soooo funny that he uses a dating service. like you wouldn't think he would need to?

lots of people use it though. maybe i will hook up with him on there, wouldn't that be funny? that would be like hilarious

totally hilarious

definately funny.....

and then this long pause where everyone on the bus stares blankly out the window and thanks whoever it is we all thank, that we are not either of these women who clearly checked their brains in at baggage and forgot to retrieve them. i want to shout...ummmm hello? you are in love with mark! next time you are out for dinner as friends tell him you want to get into his loop! sigh.

learning from our mistakes day by day. which mistake is mine today?


happy birthday to you my older older brother

if i was to sum you up in 36 words, one for each of the years you have seen pass, they would look something like this:

confident, brave, foolish, thoughtful, charismatic, spontanious, energetic, wise, kind, childish, hungry, tall, goofy, inspiring, strong, emotional, loyal, endearing, witty, tidy, anxious, impatient, punctual, dependable, dedicated, forgiving, fast (driving that is), exaggerater, motivated, impulsive, funny, father, husband, brother, son and my friend


used to mean alot, mean alot to me. now it doesn't mean, doesn't mean a thing

it wasn't that i didn't understand you, or even that you refused to understand me. it was something darker, more sacred that led to the end of our affair.

do you remember that day at the park when the rain fell hard on us? we both forgot our jackets and gave in to the wet. we weren't ready to say goodbye and it was easier to stay. you laughed at me and said i looked so flat wet. i knew you didn't mean it but i was embarrassed anyway. i wanted you to see me as shiny and new. curved and alive. flat and wet made me feel empty. seeing my mood had change you grabbed my hand and ran. my feet flew out from under me as i followed.

at the top of the hill in our wooden cart i could see the entire city. you pointed on the way up and said one day we will live out there together and there will be a roof to keep out our rain. i wanted to believe you and smiled. but we had to reach the top there was no other way. it was time to take the leap. just then you leaned over and whispered, "don't be afraid i am right here" and we fell. everyone was screaming, dozens of hands waved with glee. but i sat perfectly silent and still. i knew that soon we would reach the bottom and the ride would end. i didn't want to be alone.

sometimes one minute is enough to change everything that comes after it. sometimes you would give every moment after to take back just one. if you are lucky your life will have a little of both.


do you have change for a tooney? it appears this machine only takes quarters..

all these places are just little pieces. individually they mean nothing. they are the same as all the conversations we have had. all the hurt you have caused. if you only see the minute you can never understand the meaning. the truth is only found in the larger picture. it is the sum of all parts.

this doesn't mean i have the answer. i know what it was for me. what i take from it. the things i will carry with me even if we never see each other again. lessons from the past about choices and regret. how reality is based on perception and intentions are often crudely mixed with memory.

in retrospect i can see that the most important thing i learned in history 101 was that there is more to history than facts, more to truth than reality.

in retrospect, i can see that this is a piece of knowledge that will change your life if you let it. but once upon a time i thought that history was carved in stone.


fifty cents or a dollar three, i don't owe you anything

alright here it comes so brace yourself. if i have to listen to one more whiney spoiled snotty nose "university" student beg me for mercy on their tuition due date, forgiveness for dropping all their courses in order to enrol in new ones only to find out everything is full or one more international student who clearly practiced the words toefl exempt all night before dragging their sorry ass in to my desk i am going to kill someone...all you frat boy smarmy assholes who think acting indifferent makes you cool i am thirty, there is nothing in your bag you can pull out that can make me think you are cool, it is impossible.

you weak first years who can't handle the change of pace get a grip, you knew you were in for a tough time, we need you to step up to the plate with a little more conviction. you mature students who "don't understand these computer things" need to read up on it, from here on out it is expected knowledge, this is 2005 catch up. for those who never got us their final transcript, quit giving me lame fucking excuses. actually that one goes for everyone. if you didn't get in you weren't smart enough. if you can't pay tuition you aren't resourceful enough. if you don't take the bus you get the u-pass anyway, it's in the book and the book is the law. get used to being disappointed this is only the beginning. from here on out it is the norm. you will not get into every class you want, that's in there too.

i am more than happy to step up to your aid but only if you present yourself as an intelligent, well thought out respectful human being. you all should be, i mean you did get in to the hardest university in canada after all. oh wait, i am once again forgetting the first rule of the book, book smarts is in no way related to street smarts. i suppose that is my bitter pill to swallow. so let's all grab a glass of water and kick it back. deal?


i'm spreading love like a terrorist now

sept 3, 2005

dear diary,

well i moved in to residence today. i was a little nervous showing up with my mom and dad, i mean you all remember that debaucle last year with the family dog in the cafeteria? i swore then i would never bring them back, but nancy couldn’t give me a lift cause her sister had ballet or something and i didn’t know anyone else with a car, well except brian but he isn’t talking to me anymore since that party last saturday when i made a fool of myself and said i loved him.

my mom, as usual, started it out right by yelling at the lady giving out keys. i just stared at the thousands of blue and yellow balloons and pretended i had never seen her. apparently she didn’t like her tone of voice? i wouldn’t be too nice either if i had to deal with people like my mom all day, but i guess she gets yelled at all the time cause she didn’t seem too concerned and just smiled.

the room is my own this year, all 60 sqft of it. better than that shit hole I lived in last year though. you may remember the complaints? christian girl with pig tails and bible camp stories? turned out she wasn’t so christian after all and last I heard she was in juvi, but university will do that to the best of them. it makes a pretty strong case against strict upbringing though.

so I think we are going to go to ikea later today and get some swedish flare to spruce up the place. i know mom is going to insist on bright cheerful colours, i will argue for the black and we will end up somewhere in the dark greens. people will come over and think I like camping and outdoor adventure, which couldn’t be further from the truth. maybe I should just let her buy me cherry red like the corvette I dreamed of for my barbie when I was six, before it all turned south. maybe it will seem ironic? or angry?

there was this cute guy i saw in the commons. he was wearing ripped jeans and had a tattoo on his right bicep of a dragon. my dad mumbled something about some people’s kids and my mom laughed. i knew i had found the object of my second year affection. i hope he lives in my building, or has a similar schedule. i could sit next to him in the caf and make conversation. i would probably sound like a dork though. maybe if i practice it will all work out? maybe this year will be my year!

well mom is yelling at me from the hallway. i guess i gotta go. see ya.


if you could be anywhere right now, where would it be?

1982, the sun is setting and the warm glow from the light hits my face. it is the month of august somewhere near the end and the wind smells like freshly cut grass. new beginnings are in the air. this is the year i enter the third grade.
i am building an underground fort with my brother in amongst the bramble bush that fills the space between our house and the cemetary. we are digging with both hands like worker ants creating a hill. wiping the dirt and sweat from our face with our sleeves, we laugh.
taking turns crawling into the hole we have dug we imagine what it would be like to live deep in the earth. to be surrounded by all that moist cold. in the darkness there is a sliver of light that seeps through the crack in the roof board. it brings with it warm hues that fill the space with autumn and remembrance of days past. there are no thoughts of the future here.

we keep checking the ice cream bucket, making sure the spider and her egg sac are there, anxious for the day when we lift the lid and find the babies, still unconvinced this will really happen and barely understanding the concept.

together we would dig and laugh and pretend all night if we were given the chance.
this is where i would be.