Sunday, September 30, 2007

Word on the Street

Word on the Street is big. It's really big, and really big things overwhelm me, and then I resent them for overwhelming me. It's a stupid cycle, and it means that I didn't check out any booths at WOTS today. I just wandered around, not even on the paved paths, but on the grassy bits, wondering why there were so many booths that seemed quite unrelated to publishing or books. Like solar panels. Dianetics. Television. Music. Charities (which I'm sure do important work, but I thought this festival was about books and magazines and publishing).

I was reading in the Canadian Magazines Tent. Even now I'm not sure what the organizing principle for our time slot was exactly... after our reading was a panel discussion with litmag editors about how to get your fiction published, presumably in their magazines. I didn't listen to the panel, figuring it best not to know. If I'd been on the panel, I would have just said "Bribery." I guess we were supposed to read from fiction that had been published in magazines, which I didn't do. Were we the "success stories" or something? I don't know. I didn't fully understand what was going on, but that didn't seem to matter.

I didn't feel like a success story, that's for sure. In fact, I didn't even want to go. I was having one of those days (many consecutive days) of thinking that everything I've ever written sucks ass, and can't I just stay in bed instead? But I didn't, I went, I was responsible (and happy to be doing a paid reading, don't get me wrong). I read an old scene from my novel-in-perpetual-unending-progress, and I hope that people liked it. I thought it was sort of funny in a creepy Armageddon-paradise-dogma kind of way, but I didn't hear anyone laugh. One person said they liked it though, so I felt a little better.

Halfway through my reading I saw someone in the back row, someone I really didn't want to see, and I got a surge of adrenaline, and I think that improved my reading. Turned out to be someone else entirely, but hey, I guess it all worked out.

Then I wandered around for a while with Joey Comeau, who had read in our tent too. He read a funny story about exes and megaphones and tourists. We roamed Queen's Park awile, and gossipped, and laughed, and that was fun, and I felt a lot better. He just moved here to Toronto, and seems like a really nice guy, so be nice to him if you see him around.

I'm listening to Zeppelin on Q107. What's up with that? Am I going all classic rock? Am I going to start drinkin' Labatt 50?!

I unpacked my books this weekend. I haven't seen them in their entirety, all together like this, in over a year. I love them all. I want to reread all my favourites immediately. That's going to be tough, since there are so many, but I've started with Miss Pamela's Mercy. Then I thought, should I start a game of Facebook Scrabble with Lynn Crosbie? She'd probably kick my ass.

At WOTS today I overheard people discussing Facebook Scrabble: "Those two-letter words are the key to Scrabble!" and "I hate those two-letter words!"

I'm so overtired I feel like I'm on another planet. That explains my rambly post.

Also, I'm really bad at making decisions. Just so you know.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Soap Scum in CAMH Fundraiser Show

SOAP SCUM will be participating in Pop With Brains #11, a multi-disciplinary show at the Rivoli this Thursday, September 20 at 9pm.

Eden Ants
The Outfit
The Pariahs

Louise Ferguson
Susie Love
Hayley By Design
Soap Scum

$5 at the door, in support of CAMH (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health)

Come on out - good cause, good times.

For more info:

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Bike Pricks

I don't usually use my blog to vent about bullshit, but I'm going to do some venting about some bullshit today.

I need to get my bike tuned up, as it has languished unridden for a year and is rusty and clangy and generally less than cooperative. So I am out walking today and stop into two bike shops that are not far from my new place. One is Cyclemania on Bloor at Ossington. I walk up to the doorway and the tall Russian dude with the earring is attentive and friendly. I ask him how much for a tune-up, and how long will it take. $25 and same day or next day, depending on the time. Great.

I pass another place on the north side of College, between Ossington and Dovercourt, and I wish I could remember the name of it so I could tell you not to go there in no uncertain terms, but I don't remember. The bike dude working there is explaining to another guy about some custom bike he could build him, in painstaking detail, black rims or silver, what type of spokes, the blahblahblah parts in a wholly unfamiliar lexicon. He's seen me standing there, but apparently thinks I'd like to watch while he builds this bike over the course of the next several weeks...

He finally manages to toss a condescending "Hi" over his shoulder and continues to blather with his obviously-more-bike-savvy (male) customer. At that point I figure I should just leave, but I have a bad habit in life of sticking around situations longer than I ought to, just to see what happens next, usually at my own detriment. I'm calling it Narrative Addiction Syndrome (think it'll catch on?).

So I stay. Then another customer comes in and similarly hovers behind me. Ha. Finally Shaven Legged Bike Twerp has to acknowledge me.

"Do you have a question?" he asks wearily, since I'm obviously intruding on what he'd rather be doing. In life.

"Yeah. Do you do regular tune-ups here too?" I ask, as clearly the joint is an I-Have-A-Small-Cock custom shop.

"Yeah, sure we do," he says impatiently, as such gigs are clearly deeply beneath him.

"How much and how long does it generally take?"

Insert Existential Body-Heaving Sigh here.

"I can't answer that." He all but rolls his beady eyes. Clearly, I've asked an idiotic question. "It depends."

I laugh. Of course it does. Is he going to elaborate on this cryptic response?

"It depends on how busy I am, and on the weather."

The weather. I almost ask what sort of stars and pressure systems need to align in order for the rust to come off my bike chain, but I don't. He doesn't deserve it.

"Okay," I smile and leave.

Now I know how the story ends - with me taking my bike to the shop a little further away, with the handsome Russian man who can answer simple questions.

Alex, you were absolutely right - they DO give the gals attitude in that place!


Song for this post? HIGHWAY STAR - Deep Purple.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

I'm Back

It's been so long since I've posted on this blog that I forgot my login information. If you're still reading, sorry about being awol. Facebook has usurped blogging. They just make it so easy...

So I moved last week. I'm at College and Dovercourt, where I can walk everywhere I want to be. Tonight I'm perched amid a roomful of boxes, but the internet and espresso machine are operational, and I've unpacked the corkscrew - the important things. For those of who know me, email me if you want the new address. I'm too lazy or exhausted to send out a mass hey-I've-moved notification. I'm just using the cell phone, no land line, at least for a few months, then I'll reassess. I like text messaging.

I'm disappointed that Twang, CBC radio's new country show, is done. Okay, I only heard it once but I liked it, and was looking forward to it tonight, but apparently it was only on for the summer. Apparently it's no longer summer.

I haven't done much writing this summer. I made some real structural and plot progress on the novel in June, but then life got all in my face and ... well ... I'm looking forward to getting back on track with it this week. A couple different pals said they'd just finished their novels lately, and I felt like an asshole for not working harder. I'm thrilled for them though, congratulations! What an accomplishment! Right now, I can't even imagine a completed draft. Shit.

Gonna be a good hockey season though. I'm pretty excited about that. Right now I'm committed to hockey on Friday nights, Saturday nights, Sunday nights, and Monday nights from September to April. I might be over-extending myself. I might need the epsom salts. I might need a social life (wait, that's hockey). But it's great. I'm thrilled that Lynn coordinated a team for the Exclaim league and I'm on it, with some lovely people. That'll rock.

My best pal Jacqui and I are planning a trip to Portugal and Spain for a couple of weeks at the end of October. It's going to be gorgeous and amazing! Anyone reading this been there? Advice? Recommendations?

Otherwise, I've been listening to a lot of Amy Winehouse (don't listen to her in-laws or whatever, buy it!); it's a brilliant album. I also picked up the new MIA, which is cool but I think I like her debut better. We'll see.