Sunday, January 28, 2007

Dear Doretta,

On the first day of my advanced directing class, the teacher was wearing socks with little planet earths on them and spaceships flying up into the space and words "Love It Or Leave It" floated in the darkened void over the whole scene.

If socks are any indication (and you and I both feel, I know, that socks are an indication) I'm going to like this class.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

So Famous

The best thing about stopping by the production office where I interned this summer is the assistant saying to someone on his cel phone, "I gotta go, Robyn's here" and the person on the phone saying, "Robin Wright Penn?"

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


I read The Lovely Bones start to finish this weekend.

I can't figure out why flags are flying at half-mast around here.

The Pickton trial has started. When he first got caught and they started combing through the pig farm for all those dead women, it was on the news all the time. I remember being delerious from shift work-caused exhaustion in the middle of the dark Canadian winter and getting very very upset about all of it. Unconsolably upset. Being unconsolably upset felt better than just sitting around reading newspaper articles about how one man killed 49 women that no one cared about because it was decided they were just drug-addicted whores who missing due to their own mischief. 49 people is a lot of people.

I hate murderes but I still don't believe in the death penalty.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Nights When I Love My Neighbourhood

Last night Becky and I were leaving the Good Luck bar (a bar full of chinoiserie that I've always hated until last night when I realised that this guy I know from school works there, so now it feels tacky in a friendly kind of way). Our self-described Elijah Wood look-alike friend was having a birthday party and the evening involved a lot of horsing around and silliness. None of the silliness could have prepared us for what we met upon stepping out onto the sidewalk, however.

We're walking up the street when this guy walks out from the parking lot with straggley hair and a blue overcoat (hipster? homeless? a little hard to tell) and asks us, with the exact tonal intonation that Cher from Clueless would use to find out if you know where her super-cute plaid mini is, "Um, do you guys have a crack pipe?" He may have even cocked his head to the side and wrinkled his nose up.

It was so cute, and so fucked up. He was so sweet about it that I almost did a little pocket patting, just to make him think that I would totally, totally give him my crack pipe if I had it on me, but shit, I didn't and sorry 'bout that. Then, as we walked towards Becky's car, my drunkeness took over and I laughed hysterically.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Best of 2006

Here's what I did on New Years.

First this:

Which was part of a chocolate fondue, sponsored by hunks of chocolate from Tey-has:

They came wrapped in red ribbons:

And then it was late and I got sleepy.

Extra special thanks to Ayesha and Zena, hostesses with panache, who sadly do not appear in any of these photos, but are lovely beyond words nonetheless.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Making Sawdust

My dad, like Jesus, is a woodworker. He's been at it for a while, maybe 10 or 12 years. He and his best friend Danny (who has been his best friend since they were little kids) have a workshop in Danny's garage (Danny supplies the garage and the machines, my dad supplies the wood). It's the grown-up equivalent of a tree fort, except full of really cool tools.

When he first started making stuff, it was a little simplistic, and had some flaws. One of the first things he made me was a blanket box that was so big it looked like a little coffin. I helped him finish a blanket box he made for my friend Katie for her wedding this summer and his expertise on the minutae of the work was impressive. How to do a wet sand, how to apply stain, and how many layers of stain and how long to let it sit before removing it in special way. They make everything without nails, instead using pegs and fingerjointing and glue. At this point in their ongoing study of woodworking, they are making truly beautiful and creative works of art.

To keep themselves challenged, they'll take on projects of all kinds and make beautiful things for all kinds of people. They made some big doors for the Burrowing Owl vineyard, they've made coffee tables for the kids of their friends, or giant four poster beds for other friends. My dad has made me the blanket box, several sets of shelves, and a desk built to exactly my dimensions to help my tendonitis. They make stuff for people for free--like some sort of lathe-weilding Robin Hoods. They each have brands that they mark their work with; my dad has a "K" in a circle and Danny has an image of a hand with half a finger missing on account of how half of one of his fingers is missing thanks to an accident with a saw.

He just finished some adirondack chairs and sent them to his Dutch friend who lives in on the Cote D'Azur.

We have some funny little old chairs in our house that my great-grandfather made. I love the idea of my dad making all these beautiful things that he gives away so they are all over the world, so well made that they will be treasured and used long after we are both dead.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Travel Tips

The worst packing experience I ever had was when I was 18 and returning home from Japan after living there for almost ten months. It involved tears, expensive shipping and sewing together the split seams of my luggage. I'm lucky my bag didn't explode all over the hold of the plane. Even in a country where nothing ever fit me, I still accumulated more stuff than I could reasonably pack back.

I got back into LA today. The US customs guy in Vancouver didn't say anything especially rude or grumpy, which is a three-year first. Course, he also didn't look at me (I could have been a four foot tall bearded man and still made it into the States. Unless I was a *brown* four foot tall bearded man because every time I enter the country with Jeremy and his Cambodia passport stamps land us in the office you go to after they make you pull over and park ever other person in there is always brown) and he only said three words, "Still in school?" before writing a one on my customs card.

Turns out "one" means go get your bags searched. As I'm walking toward the bag-search table that the customs guy is gesturing towards, I'm trying to think if I've got anything in my bags that is going to make this more difficult than it ought to be. It's only when I lay my bags on the table that I remember.

See, I've learned a trick or two about packing. I had a lot of stuff with me. I'm bringing my ski stuff down and Christmas presents of clothes and magazines from my stocking and books. I had to employ my best packing techniques: rolling clothing, cushioning breakables in the centre of the bag, stuffing shoes with socks so they don't get smushed out of shape, and filling the crevices and spaces that get left in between the bulkier items of your bag with smaller pieces of clothing. Like underwear.

The customs guy is youngish and looks like a nice guy. He looks a lot like an RCMP officer, actually. Mustachioed, kind of earnest. He's the kind of person who asks you a question and then tells you how to answer it. "Got anything I need to know about? No, you don't do you." He zips open my bag, "Any alcohol, tobacco? Noooo." There's some balled up underwear. "Uh, I have some chocolates and macadamia nuts," I offer. He looks skyward and palpates my bag like it's a torso. "Macadamia nuts are fine." He opens my other bag. More balled up underwear. He pokes hesitantly. "Great, this looks fine. Have a nice day."

Next time I'm bootlegging I'm packing a dildo.