Monday, November 26, 2007

Talk about micro-climate!

The weirdest part is that while this snow was falling, it was raining barely 2km south of here, at the beach in White Rock. Slight change in elevation plus that big liquid sea.

In truth, it always surprises me when it snows here. I know: it's the end of November, so I should be prepared for the white stuff.

My attitude must have something to do with my still holding the image in mind of that January day when I first came to Vancouver from the wintry climate of Sault Ste. Marie. As I rode along in the taxi, everything looked soooo greeeeeen.

Friday, November 23, 2007

I like little books

The top shelf of my desk holds a row of tiny books. There's a miniature edition of nursery rhymes, a guide to Japanese gardening, a flip book of Eadward Muybridge photos (the bird flies or a man jumps, depending which way you flip the book's pages). You'll even find Nancy Drew's very brief Guide to Life.

Last spring, when I was in San Francisco, I bought a set of tiny books from a street vendor, Thom Schimer. Lately, I've been reading Kevin Spenst's collection, Fast Fictions. I always love it when I experience synchronicity in what I'm reading. That happened in 'A Story Both Big and Small'. The story makes reference to November, 1972, then closes by referring to a date 36 years after that -- in other words, now.[N.B. bad math -- that would be one year from now -- will have to re-read the story next November]

The stories are all over the place, but prompted me to insert stickies in many different spots throughout the book -- bits of language that jumped off the page and made me want to read them again. But for sheer imagination power, Spenst is at his best in 'What the Soup Told Me To Do'.

He's reading again Sunday (the 25th) at Bibliophile on Commercial Drive. The event begins at 5 p.m.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Zappa plays Zappa, again

Last year on December 20th, Dweezil Zappa played at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver. Last night, he and his band were back -- this time at the Orpheum. I think the sound was even better than last year's show. Who knows, maybe our seats were just better.

A surprise (at least for me) was video footage, with Frank on guitar -- one that wasn't necessary, still a very cool addition. Talk about dessert after an already full buffet.

Only, right now I'm completely jealous. My friend Rolf was at the concert too -- and he managed to meet the band. Apparently, he and Ray White had a chat about hats. What a smarty pants.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Rock 'n Read

Saturday, November 17th, and the place to be was the Legion in Crescent Beach. A combo event, it was the first ever in the Rock 'n Read Series, sponsored by the local Community Arts Council. The evening's headliners were Wyckham Porteous and John Armstrong.

John opened up, reading from his hilarious memoir, Guilty of Everything. This hit the spot with the locals, as many recognized the places and times Armstrong was writing about -- the old 7-Eleven behind the OP Safeway, the chicken factory in Newton, cheap apartments for rent down on the beach. He went on to read from his latest, Wages, and kept us both laughing and shaking our heads -- often in recognition over bad times and bad jobs.

After a short break, Wyckham Porteous stepped to the mic. He commented on the irony of our being in a Canadian Legion Hall this night, as two more Canadian soldiers had just died in Afghanistan. He opened his set with the first cut from 3D, his latest CD, a piece that finds its roots in the current conflict.

The band accompanying him was beyond outrageously good. I'll admit to having a soft spot for great keyboard playing, and this concert was no exception. Simon Kendall, once upon a time of Doug and the Slugs, was nothing short of amazing. Pounding piano keys with his right hand, and playing an electronic keyboard with his left, he made as much great sound as a band on his own.

Altogether, a totally wailin' night. And hey, get a load of these two, Wyck's sisters, Robin and Kitty.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

I'm ashamed

...of the Taser incident at YVR that resulted in the death of Robert Dziekanski. And I'm embarrassed that earlier this year, I bragged up YVR on this blog. But then, my positive experience there might have something to do with the fact that I speak English, not Polish.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

O, Blogger, where art thou?

Monday's storm here left us without power. This wasn't your usual annoyance-type-outage -- the kind that sends you re-setting every clockish appliance in the house. We were living on candlepower for over 40 hours.

All because one of the beautiful old trees in our neighbourhood blew down, snagging a power line as it fell across the lane.

So this morning, I'm appreciative as I sit here typing on this lighted screen that connects me to the world. Still, as I sip my hot coffee (made in the under-counter automatic unit, not on the burner of the old fondue set), I cringe as I can hear the wind rising yet again.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Art -- indoors and out

Visiting my sister in North Carolina -- and wow, has she ever set up an itinerary of activities!

Yesterday was a visit to the North Carolina Art Gallery. Links and pix will have to come later, once I'm home. What a cool place though: Impressionists in the featured show; amazing installation pieces outdoors, including a building that's essentially a pinhole camera.