Posts Tagged ‘vancouver

25
May
09

Game on!

The chatting with Bali Boy has continued on an almost daily basis over the past few months. I like him, he is sexy, smart and gorgeous. He makes me laugh hard, so much so I snorted Cheerios out my nose and all over my iMac last week. Our chats are intense, fun, sexually charged and leave me wanting more. I have been trying desperately hard to sell stories on BC in order to justify a trip out west to visit him but it didn’t look like I was going to be able to do it.

Just when I was about to give up, I managed to score an assignment for a national magazine that requires me testing out romantic resorts (yeah!) so at the end of June, me and kiddo will fly to BC, I’ll drop my daughter off with her father for 10 days and spend some quality time with Bali Boy.

This seems like it will be the perfect way to consummate our “relationship”. He’ll drive us to the resort in his convertible, we’ll spend two days holed up in a luxurious suite that has a jacuzzi tub made for two, ocean views and everything you could possibly ever want for a dirty weekend. Hopefully the connection I felt that night back in Vancouver so long ago will still be there, we’ll make each other laugh, and enjoy each others company enough that the rest of my time in BC will also be spent with him.

I’m so happy that I’ll at least get to have a bit of fun, because it has been so long since I’ve spent time with someone I really like. Like I said before, this can’t go anywhere and I’m okay with that. I’m not looking to fall in love with someone who lives in the city I am so happy to have left, and this guy isn’t looking for a long-term thing.

This will be a fling, with a start and an end.

For 10 days I will exist outside of the realities of being a mom, where I get to be someone else. An all the time sexy and fun version of me, where I am not responsible for anyone and seeking only my happiness. Kind of like me ten years ago, but more jaded, less desperate to please and much more concerned about my own joy!

17
May
09

Dating and broke

As a self-employed single mom, money is tight. Actually, in this climate its fair to say that money is tight for everyone but I’m pretty much surfing the poverty line every day. I mean, I get by and my child is well looked after. The reasons that we are poor are that I bought a house and had to spend $12000 on a lawyer last year thanks to custody battle bullshit. But anyway, being broke is my reality right now, which is hard when dating.

On many levels, it is difficult to date when broke. Here’s what I need money for every time I date:

1) Babysitter. Before I’ve walked out my door I’ve spent $20 on childcare. If its a good date, that could be more like $50.

2) Haircut. Because although cutting my own bangs with kitchen scissors and sticky tape is fine for everyday mommy life, I do dream of presenting a more polished persona when meeting a man.

3) New tights/ stockings/ whatever. There is always one thing that my dream outfit needs in order to make me feel pretty.

4) Taxi fare home.

5) Money for beers/ dinner/ whatever. Of course I hope that my date might pick up the tab but you never know, so you need to be prepared. (For the record, I like it when men at least offer to pay, and not just because I am poor.)

Because of this, going on a date is never just an easy feat like it was in my carefree youth where (thanks to being a grunge girl) it was as simple as putting on some black eyeliner and strutting out the house looking carefully dishevelled, because I am supposed to look like a put-together woman in order to snare a man.

And now, because the date I am getting really excited for is in Vancouver (the traveling boy has returned to Canada and I am about to actually take our fling off-line and in to the real world!), I have that pesky plane ticket to cough up, and one for my child so that I can make this a combined custody visit for her and week of fun for mummy.

Dating is expensive, and unlike when you buy something tangible and know that you will be getting a certain value for that expenditure, you never quite know whether you’ll be getting any bang for your buck. Of course, not knowing what you will get and the hope that you will actually score something that money can’t buy is what makes this dating malarkey truly worthwhile.

03
May
09

master cleanse Day IX: light at the end…

Almost there. Al. Most. There.

Actually made it out last night to do some socializing, which really I don’t consider socializing in the technical sense of the term since I didn’t have an alcoholic beverage in my hand. But I did leave my apartment long enough to drop in at the kickoff cocktail party for the Vancouver International Burlesque Festival. I couldn’t resist—not because of the promise of lovely ladies in scandalous outfits, but because the party was so close to home, at a little Latin American restaurant called El Barrio that’s basically just down the street. Where I live, there’s not a lot happening, except for the crowds that gather around the latest crystal meth lab explosion.

I lasted barely half an hour, though, in the presence of all those good-looking drinks. In Gastown, Face of Today was having its first networking function. The idea behind the foundation, I was informed by board member Stanley Chiu, is to encourage young entrepreneurs, and also to help those in less developed parts of the world. Again, though, it was too much for me—servers kept coming around with trays of delicious-looking morsels (Nuba is a Lebanese restaurant), so I got out of there once I’d downed my chamomile tea. God, what I’d give for some of that fanstastic-looking humous right now. Slobber slobber.

Speaking of food, my last stop of the night was to see a band from Victoria called, of all things, MeatDraw. Now, this name has both benefits and drawbacks: first, it’s pretty funny, just because the whole idea of a meat draw sounds like something from pre-Industrial times. (I first encountered the phenomenon—you buy raffle tickets and win meat—at a Royal Canadian Legion, a veteran’s club, in the band’s hometown.) However, it’s also kind of a gross idea. Naturally, the band indulged in a few swine-flu related jokes—something about “Spamthrax”, if I recall.

Great band, though—lots of folk elements in the lyrics and four-part harmonies and ukulele, but it rocked hard too. More importantly, there were some unusual items over at the merch table. Besides playing trumpet, and singing with her duo Hank and Lily, MeatDraw member Lily Fawn is also a nutritionist. And so, along with the usual band T-shirts and CDs, she was offering some interesting products for sale: “Ice Queen Nipple Gel” and “Lilith Moon Personal Lube”, to name but two. Nothing to help me with my cleanse, though.

One more day. Just. One. More. Day.

26
Apr
09

Master cleanse, Day III: olfactory hallucinations

The talk of the people I was staying with out in California, the Master Cleanse is a 10-day torture in which you drink nothing but lemonade. Water, freshly squeezed lemon juice, a couple tablespoons of maple syrup and a dash of cayenne pepper, and voila—that’s your menu for the next week-and-a-half. For fun, you can also drink decaf herbal and/or laxative tea.

Day III is supposed to be the hardest, according to Charla, a veteran of this particular procedure. On Thursday, my last day in LA, she came out to lunch at the famous Nate & Al’s Deli, and just drank tea, which seemed particularly tortuous to me, to be in a place like that and denying yourself matzoh ball soup (a favourite since I was a kid) and a big fat corned-beef sandwich. I guess it was a form of food tourism, watching others eat, but I don’t see subjecting myself to watching others eat at fine restaurants over the next week.

Charla, a former Vancouverite now living L.A. with her husband Ed, is already pretty thin. So I don’t know what she’s trying to do—losing weight is probably the last things she needs to be doing, but then, what do I know? Women are funny about their bodies. I know why I’m doing it which is, yes, to lose some extra pounds brought on by too much Belgian beer and that one potato chip I had out in Palm Springs. Well, maybe two.

One thing I’ve noticed on my cleanse, is the smell of food. Maybe it was an olfactory hallucination, but I thought I smelled bacon when I was walking down the hall of my apartment building. Last night, I went to see a play that was, unfortunately, being put on in the back of a restaurant. To get to the theatre, I had to pass by diners consuming some awfully tasty smelling menu items. And then, one of the running themes of the play—it’s called Stop Kiss, and it’s set in New York—is food, since one of the protagonists, Callie (Missy Cross) knows all the good restaurants, and her friend Sara (Joey Bothwell) is new in town. Ouch!

One ironic thing about this whole cleanse is that, with the renos finally complete and the kitchen finally finished, my only “cooking” type activity is squeezing lemons, measuring out maple syrup and adding cayenne.

Fortunately I don’t have too much food around my condo unit to tempt me. This a.m. I found a chocolate bar I’d bought for the Twister, which she’d left. I bought some raisins in Palm Springs, and I have some dried cranberries and granola, but otherwise my figurative pantry isn’t overflowing with temptation. However, the Texas Twister, who is in Portland on her way to continental Europe to start her new job, did leave me with a parting gift:

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15
Jun
08

An eye for the swag

Sunday June 15, Toronto, Holiday Inn. Last night was the last night of North by Northeast, and this time I was determined not to stress about seeing certain bands. So naturally I stressed about seeing certain bands. However, the good news is that I saw most of what I wanted to see, although I missed Tel Aviv band Monotonics. More on that later, if I remember to get to it. 

Anyway, we started the afternoon at the Drake Hotel on the outdoor patio. For some reason Wingy things every party is a barbecue so he assured myself and Kim H. that there would be food at this party, which was being held by Vice Magazine. As you would expect from a party held by that hipster rag, the patio was populated with tattooed, bearded dudes and stylish ladies. We were there under the aegis of Carling A., who as much as I begged never did get me a beer. It wasn’t a barbecue and there was very little food, but Wingy and I circulated like the pros we are–talking to three Swedish sisters, the dude who heads up the Polaris Music Prize (a big deal in Canuckland music circles), and a few old pals from Vancouver. Despite Carling’s reluctance, we managed to keep scoring enough drink tickets to keep us buzzed. 

Fortunately, Rancho Relaxo was serving up some vittles upstairs, where we saw Tiger and Me, an Australian man-woman duo who performed pretty cool torch lounge pop ballads. Then Wingy’s eye was attracted to a bright blue Whole Foods bag everyone outside the El Mocambo seemed to be clutching so we went in to investigate and were immediately handed a bag o’ swag. This convinced us to stay for the band, a seven-piece Norwegian outfit whose name I can’t pronounce or quite remember, but which I will add later (yeah, right). They were jumpy, energetic and fun as hell, and reminded me a little of Little Creatures-era Talking Heads. Rebekah Higgs from Halifax rocked out at the Horseshoe, and 6 Day Riot, a folk pop group from the U.K., was excellent at the Cameron House. At the Bovine Sex Club we caught the tail-end of the set by Koogaphone, another U.K. group but with a harder, hard-rock/punk edge and fronted by Julie, the girl we shared a cab ride with the previous night. We hightailed it over to Sneaky Dee’s for one of the reputed highlights of the festival, the Monotonics, but it got so crowded and claustrophobic our party bailed one by one–first Wingy left to get pizza, then Kim went home, and finally I went outside. Wingy, a friend from Vancouver now living here and I made it to the Red Kross show at Lee’s Palace, though I’d said I wouldn’t return to that sweatbox. But I did! Then I got mad at Wingy for some reason but now we’re friends again, at least until he pays the hotel bill. 

14
Jun
08

Wingmen reunited

Sat. June 14, Toronto, North by Northeast Music Festival: Two days into the four-day music marathon known as NxNE. A northern cousin to the South by Southwest similar event in Austin. For this one, Wing-y and I have put aside our differences long enough to room together at the Holiday Inn on King, centre of the conference. All you have to do is walk out into the hotel and you could be schmoozing with a SxSW organizer or a famous British radio DJ. I just got back from the fitness centre, where Bob Harris was on a stationary bike. Apparently, he’s a big deal British DJ.

But you want to know about girls, not 60-year-old British radio DJs working up a sweat. Well, there are lots of them around the conference, from the volunteers to the managers to the label execs to the musicians. At the kickoff party Wednesday night, Wingy and I met three girls from some short film distribution company called Ouat; Brady, Sophia, and Doreese. Brady is a husky-voice rocker chick, Sophia a tall blond, Doreese [sp.?] dark-haired and a little zaftig. We were all on the bus heading towards the kick-off party at the Palais Royale. There, Wingy rubbed shoulders with comedian Dave Foley (Newsradio, Kids in the Hall).

Thursday, our first full day here, we had lunch with the illustrious Carling, who once worked with Wingy and is now living with her boyfriend, some dude with Vice Magazine. She took us to an excellent Italian restaurant and we sat on the patio, a relief from the incessant rain of Vancouver, and then showed us the beer store. Thursday night was the usual music conference mad rush to see everything, beginning with the famous EMI rooftop party. As I was on the list and Wingy was not, I was truly hoping this was the moment where the infamous Wingy luck would fail. He was frantic at the prospect of being turned away and having to pass all the music industry types lined up behind us. But, true to form, the yellow-shirted security guards let him in.

A foxy brunette in a red polka-dotted dress caught my attention. She was with some goateed dude but that didn’t stop me from turning to her in the burger lineup. Turned out she’s Sky Sweetnam, a singer who had a minor hit a couple years ago. She sang a few bars–something about “Billy Shakespeare.” There were probably some other minor celebrities there but none that I recognized, though I did run to an old friend, Tatiana, now a yoga instructor in Ottawa. Oddly enough, her name had come up earlier in the day for the first time in a long time because she’d added Wingy as a friend on Facebook. Wingy, who spends most of his free time on his iPhone, email, or Facebook, suddenly rent the air with the question, “Do you know Tatiana N*****?” And I did.

Our first music stop of the night was the Rivoli on Queen Street W. for Smothered in Hugs, a PEI band named after a Guided by Voices song, Small Sins at the Horseshoe with their hit “Stay” (a pop song about fidelity, of all things), and then back to the Rivoli for Mardeen from Halifax and finally Two Hours Traffic, a fine power-pop unit also from the East Coast. At some point in all this we got to talking to a couple of ladies sitting at the bar away from the music. One was an Aeroplan employee and just as I was trying to figure out a way to extricate us from a boring conversation Wingy came over with a couple of chairs for he and I. Good timing.

I know this is rambling but I’m on vacation so you’re just going to have to deal with it. Later I’ll put up some pictures and cut the more extraneous stuff which will probably make this post one of the shortest ever. Also I just have to say I am halfway through Then We Came to the End by Joshua Farris and it’s one of the funniest novels I’ve ever read.

Anyway, back to NxNE. Yesterday was Friday, and we decided to try and see Fred, an Irish band which was playing outside behind Eaton Centre. We’d met their managers, Sheena (Ireland) and Jen (Memphis), who had insisted we come out. We gave it the old college try, even taking a cab, but I brought us to the wrong stage so we missed the set. However, Wingy did emerge from the nearby H & M with two hats, two bathing suits, and six pairs of socks.

None of which he was wearing (well, maybe the socks) when we met up w/ my Lavalife editor Kim (yep, believe it or not, someone edits this stuff) for the Manitoba party at the Drake Hotel. Being from that province myself I wasn’t going to miss out on this one, which featured perogies, cabbage rolls, and other fine Winnipeg-type Ukrainian food (I’m half Ukrainian, you know). Much hobnobbing went on, and though Kim had entered with a lowly wristband she emerged with a priority pass and a super pass. Wingy thinks 20-year-old Hill (short for Hillary, who plays in a band called Drowning Girl) is going to get us into the MuchMusic Video Awards party tonight. We’ll see about that.

Oh yeah, also ran into Vancouver singers Adaline (Shawna) and Nat Jay yesterday at one of the panels in the hotel. The race was on after 5 minutes of chatter from the panelists to see who could leave the room first, them or us, due to pressing, more important appointments.

God, this is long-winded. I’m gonna jump ahead here to the Dakota Tavern where, around 11, we saw Priya Thomas, whose last album I really liked but tonight was doing a more low-key thing with just a bassist, guitar player and a bass drum, which she played along with guitar and vocals. There, we met a couple of Brits from a band called Koogaphone, Julie and the manager, and they ended up sharing a cab with us to the Horseshoe. I thought Julie and I were hitting it off but once at the venue she gave me the cold shoulder so nuts to her. I had bigger fish to fry anyway, although I lost track of one of those fish, Liz, a Liv Tyler-esque brunette I’d met earlier at the Horseshoe, and a member of the Edmonton band the Summerlad. Too bad but that’s the way these things go. Well I did end up seeing Swervedriver, a reunited British guitar-rock band from the ’90s, at Lee’s Palace, which had been the evening’s ultimate goal. However, the venue was a sweatbox and I was tried from the day’s drinking and schmoozing, so it was hard to enjoy. Who knows what today will bring… probably another trip to H&M.

08
Mar
08

Real World Shawn

Um excuse me? Shawn, you came and met ME this week…why are you blogging about men in kilts? No comprendo.

(Quick question here: Why do these men in such apparently dire need of female companionship spend all their time in intense strategy sessions with other men? Shawn, you were the EXPERT on the scene, so…enlighten me.)

But enough about me. Let’s talk about that dude.

First off, he was evasive in planning a meeting. We were supposed to hang out last weekend, he was going to call me, I waited on edge to show him the FUN and FLIRTY side of Los Angeles, and then after the weekend was over I got a message saying…A funny thing happened on the way to LA. I didn’t make it.

Eh? Either your airline is incredibly benevolent, or you just got killed on change fees & are being incredibly blase about it. Ergo, you must be a man of means. Suddenly I’m more interested…

THEN I get an email three days later: How’s your Tuesday night looking? Up for showing a couple of out-of-towners a good time?

I sorta-kinda have plans to visit my grandies, but decide against it. After all, Shawn is my long-lost colleague, and I am honor bound to show him a Good Time. (Though not the kind of good time you’re thinking, you dirty bird.)

Soon thereafter I get a call from an Unknown ID that turns out to be Shawn: “We are not in LA. We are in Pasadena. Maybe Thursday?” 

Pasadena and LA are basically the same thing–and certainly Pasadena is equidistant to Hollywood from Hermosa, where I live. But I decide not to explain this, because I have been at a wine tasting in the OC and appreciate the opportunity to get some zzzs.

Wednesday morning around 9AM I receive a text message from a number that has never before messaged me : I am in LA!

Who is this? I almost ask. But then, through adding 2+2+2+#+Facebook+Thu-1, I am able to deduce that my long-lost Shawn is in town at last. At this point I don’t know whether he’s early or late or right on time.

Without further ado, I instruct Shawn and his mystery ‘friend’ (will it be a guy or a girl? Could it be Wingy?) to meet me at J Lounge downtown, where my friend’s friend is having a cocktail party. This seems to please him.

We are supposed to meet between 8-8:30PM–me with my friends, him with his. And this is where the universe and I gang up to deliver payback. At 8PM I’m still working, while my GFs are at LACMA doing arty shmoozy things. At 8:30 I’m working, Shawn’s arrived, my cell phone is 99% dead, and my friends are still at the art event.

I try to call Nadia from land line, but she is unwilling to talk. “Text me his number,” she tells me. Meanwhile Shawn texts me: “At least give me a clue what they look like.”

As I’m trying, my phone dies. I call him from the land line, give him her number, and hope for the best.

At 9:30 I roll into the bar to find 50 strangers in biz-casual clothes cackling away in loud Spanish at the bar, and two pale men in striped shirts looking uncomfortable at a table. As I’m peering around for Nadia, one of the men says…

“Are you looking for us?”

I glance at the man sitting quietly next to the speaker, and realize that I have found my cyber-partner in crime…

 THEN what happened? You guess:

A) I discovered Shawn was really married

B) I discovered Shawn was really gay

C) Shawn and I fell in love and eloped to Acapulco, where we are now

D) Shawn and I fell in love, consummated things in the parking lot across the street, and then realized we didn’t really mean it & went our separate ways.

E) None of the above….

 I’ll let you take it from here Boob Soup Attraction Coach Faceoff Person…




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