Monthly Archives: June 2006

Bad News

In Boston.  Want to go home, but wish it wasn’t in LA.  The son of one of my tenant leaders and friends was shot yesterday morning on his way to work.  He’s dead.  I’ve known that family five years and was the madrina del vestido for his sister’s quinceaneara…wish I was the kind of girl who could cry when things like this happen, I think I would feel better.  Instead I just feel sick and nauseous inside.  And angry.  I hate the ghetto, I hate poverty, I hate the systems that create and maintain both for profit, and I feel like I’ve had enough, but what a priveledge to be able to pick up and leave when I want to.  It feels like running away.  I’ve never run away from anything.  Still, it’s a physical and everyday pain to me the daily ugliness, seeing people shooting up on the streets, the old men drunk in the early morning, loud angry voices, violence against women, mother’s losing sons, the collections to pay for burials or food or rent or escape from an abusive husband, kids who can’t function anymore because of too much chrystal meth, apartments with fleas and rats and cockroaches and chinches and broken plumbing and dingy and dirty and sad inside and out…even the amazing people in the community I work with who are fighting to turn all this around don’t seem to be quite enough to make me hopeful anymore, and I’m becoming a confirmed existentialist doing what i do not because of any hope but because I cannot turn away from injustice and do nothing about it.  That makes me a crap organizer though, none of this is good for inspiring people. I’m afraid I’ve become the heroine of a Camus novel, maybe even Sartre which would be worse, but neither are any good for a happy and rounded life.  I am funny though…those French people didn’t have that going for them, maybe I’ll make it.  Humphrey Bogart seemed to do just fine in Casablanca and To Have and Have Not, I think I need to work on my one liners and sardonic air.  And get a cool hat.

Lucky Number 7!

God I’m bored! I did say everyone is sick didn’t I? 4 hour nap marathon happening over here, and I want to go hiking, there’s even snow up on the mountains, very sad for me! Ozzy agrees, we’re pacing about together.

So, driven to desperation I did actually open one of those astrology.com emails and decided to see what the free numerology reading could tell me about myself… here you see it:

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Your Soul Number is SEVEN.

Deep, serious, introspective, and analytical, you accept nothing at face value, and you are always probing into the hidden side or deeper meaning of situations and people. You are fascinated by the mysterious and unknown. You enjoy periods of solitude in peaceful surroundings, and need time to study, reflect, or meditate. You may be given to much daydreaming and flights of the imagination as well. The ocean has a powerful attraction for you. The study of philosophy, psychology, scientific research, metaphysics, or religion appeals to you. You are scientific in your approach to Truth.

Private, reserved, and rather secretive, there are probably very few who truly know and understand your inner thoughts, feelings, hopes, and aspirations. Unless you learn to share your deeper self more freely, and to be less of an idealistic perfectionist, you may be rather lonely.

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So I think this means I think too much. True that. But do people actually pay to hear all of this crap about themselves that they should know all ready? I mean, this is close (just read back to my deep yearning for the life of an ornamental hermit), but it has missed some key facts like my supernatural ability to talk to furniture, the astonishing power and variety of the musical numbers I sing in the shower, my strong connections to the underworld, and the shocking Truth that Darth Vader is indeed my father (though to be fair I did arrive at this Truth scientifically).

Still, what I really wanted to know was what color hair the stranger has who I must beware of, the far away place I want to move to in the next year, and the brand of underwear I should be wearing for luck. This would be useful information. Any updates on the coming Apocalypse would also help, revelations is surprisingly obscure on this crucial point, though Al Gore is trying to clear the problem up so it shouldn’t be long now. I am planning a few weeks of astonishing debauchery to celebrate it, but don’t want to get started too early. I might even start a cult, so if anyone is interested in accepting me as their sole spiritual and financial leader just give me a shout.

Canta y no Llores

Mexico lindo….so close!  Saturday evening and I should be at the beach…but Davin is still sick, our host Dawn is now sick…so here we are. I think we’re going to catch a movie, I don’t really care since I am still deeply depressed though sadly no longer intoxicated.  Too depressed to be funny at all. If I weren’t on a trip which always makes me think more than usual I wouldn’t even write.

Had a lazy day otherwise, everyone being sick…I have some photos to put up but am feeling supremely unmotivated. Last night there were a couple of coyotes living it up outside, I woke up and thought for a marvelous second I was home in Arizona and little and in the desert, but no, I knew I was in Vancouver when the 55 pound german bohemoth named Oz landed on top of me and started barking out the window.  Am very tired!

Last World Cup Game in Vancouver

my mourning period for Mexico is still not quite over, but I am feeling much better certainly!  We went to an English spot this morning to catch the game as did over a hundred other fans and therefore I did not care a bit that England is still playing like shit, though Ecuador played much worse…that shot by Beckham was incredible, and besides, I was regaling myself with bacon and eggs while singing God Save the Queen and something else quite catchy but seeming to have lots of syllables and no words and crashing my coffee cup down on the counter while chanting and clapping and jumping up and down the whole time.  And the match this afternoon, for pure drama it was brilliant!  I do love a good fight or two, means the teams have heart que no?  I was hoping for ot, but the damned dutch just couldn’t seem to find the net…still, England should be moving ahead nicely given all the red cards…and Figo’s probably out as well.  It was a noble head butt though, what possessed the man?

One observation…when Italy won earlier this week the Italians poured out of Cafe Roma en masse to celebrate in the streets.  And today when portugal won the Portuguese poured out of the Portuguese Club of Vancouver (of which i became an honorary associate member today) and shut down the street – even more of them present, it looked like a parade!  When the English won, they sang, jumped up and down, waved their arms around, but did they leave the bar?  No…they ordered another round.  I imagine many of them were planning a day of it.  I shall leave the deductions to you!

Thinking on Thursdays

I like to think on Thursdays.  Today, for no particular reason, I once again asked myself the question, who am I?  I’m not sure I’m any clearer than the last time I asked, though i am currently quite sure that I do not like uncooked vegies, I need a shower, my eyes are green, and they do not function as windows to my soul – why couldn’t it be that easy?  I do not think I am who I love, or what I do, or what I write, or where I live or where I was born or the language I speak or what I believe or how I conduct myself or how I dress or what I fear or the music I like or who I know and what I own…am I really none of these things, or a piece of all of these things?  There has to be a bit more.  I know different people who seem to pick one of these categories and define themselves by that…actually, they don’t seem to ask the question at all and so fall into one by default.  It seems much easier, every now and then i feel like giving up on the inner discussion and picking one of them too yet can’t quite manage it…perhaps I should just read more of my junk mail from astrology.com and do some myspace surveys.  In short, I could talk about myself all day but that doesn’t seem to help answer the principal question, and I want to know!  I also asked myself what I really want and damned if I know that either, apart from Mexico to beat Argentina, general justice for all, my parent’s mortgage paid off, enlightenment and a mini cooper (not much to ask for really…). The only good news is that after all this thinking I am reasonably certain that I do in fact exist, though I now have a headache and a sudden desire for a cigarette.

Well well, this is getting a bit too serious for me…I’m currently kicking it with Ozzy, a large german shepard who seems to exist solely for lots of attention, food, and two walks a day, perhaps I should try that out.  This morning I went down to Commercial St in the heart of the Italian neighborhood to catch the game…superb!  Even if it was standing room only at Cafe Roma and my feet were hurting!  The aftermath was mad celebration and a partial blockage of the street

The sessions at the conference we wanted to go to were full so we ended up wandering again…but here’s a shot across the bay

And a view from the top of a very high building…

Some cool public discussions…I’m thinking of trying this in LA, but wheatpasting is quite frowned upon by LAPD unless you work for Nike.  I have never been arrested, though, it might tell me something more about myself, so perhaps it’s time.

And finally a woman who actually knows what she wants…still don’t think I want to be married myself but I do find it much easier to live with myself than with other people, so perhaps it makes sense…

I’m off to take that shower now, I might think better when I’m clean. I imagine the general dirtiness of philosphers to date is the reason that none of my above questions ahve yet been answered…

Mexico hurts my soul

Terrible day!  Mexico, god!  I swear Marquez was possessed by evil spirits!  He needs a limpia (traditional and ritual Mexican cleansing for the uninitiated), and I for one, would be more than happy to break eggs over his head and whip him with bunches of ruda (rue), though he’s not worth sacrificing a chicken for.

Davin is sick so I wandered the conference alone most of the day…I mustered up the courage to walk up to and talk to my first complete stranger however!  Davin has been doing the heavy lifting in that department because he actually likes talking to strangers, but I actually approached the swedish head of the international tenant union and engaged him in engaging conversation and it went over well, with me being half invited to a swedish reception later in the afternoon celebrating the returning of a stolen indigenous totem pole…the greatest threat to affable swedish-canadian relations for the past 10 years apparently! I didn’t go.  I almost repeated the experiment, high on my first success, with a guy on the street who looked exactly like Clark Kent, but proceeded to trip over a crack in the sidewalk and so quickly changed my mind.

So I also wandered downtown, here are some truly touristy photos but with artisitic merit I think though I might be delusional.

The above is from the financial district, as is the fountain below:

and the waterfront is lovely…ther are sea planes!  How cool are they?  I want to fly one…

And from the walk back in search of food…

And this very cool graffiti, I’m impressed, i though LA had a corner on the street art department…

Tuesday in vancouver

Ahh…i feel like I’m on vacation though I’m really not.  I’m working, really, I swear!  And the alcohol is really helping my schmoozing skills.  I was just sitting on the back porch and the night is close to balmy, and I saw my first specimen of Canadian wildlife.  Alas, it was not the majestic bullwinkian moose.  Still, a live skunk is not to be sneezed at, given that to date I have only seen dead ones!

The conference is going well, today was a pretty good day and just to prove that I was here, I took this:

Lovely sunny day, no?  There is a view out over the water which is beautiful, but a little too cold for the likes of me.  Still, I saw my first Chevron on a lake.

The first forum had the irrepresible Vice-president of the Phillipines who spoke on the voluntary relocation of thousands of people, and that those same people were happily and voluntarily dismantling their own homes with the goodwill and support of the police…I believed every word of course, and when the world bank representative spoke of the “captive” bank, severely and sadly restricted in their disbursement of funds for good causes I believed him too, it might even be true in the alternate dimension both of them are clearly living in.  Luckily one of the other speakers was an inspiring speaker and tiny man from India, head of the Interational slum dwellers alliance, he reminded me strongly of Don Toñito an old FMLN guerrillero I used to work with and miss a great deal…that and the fact that the speaker’s comments were called interventions for some unknown yet very humorous reason helped me get through the morning.  I also discovered that Spain has a minister of something or other who looks just like Tim Robbins.  Shawshank Redemption – genious!  Lastly there was an exhibition before the last panel and the Swedes were living it up with wine, cheese, and crackers, and we indulged heavily before someone noticed we had no invitation…damn sweden tying it up with England!  They definitely owed me!

Wandering the city streets before eating we found very cool things and thought-provoking things, i was trying to decide which to start with, and cool seems to be in order.  We found a game shop which contained within its walls every game known to man, and a number of old arcade games known only to the sovereign few…can you feel the magic?

They had all the games i remember and more…for example, I don’t believe I ever played any of the following (but would be willing to now!)

Snifty snakes – looks like some fun times!  And these?

Smokers wild looks particularly fun, though Mid-Est Peace (from 1992) comes a close second! They also had vintage star wars action figure games, an old miss Pac-Man arcade game and one of those funky love metres that used to be down at the Peter Piper’s Pizza, I’m trying to decide what I actually want to buy, or could afford…an almost impossible decision!

Thought provoking was the street art – this is all to be found on the east side, the skid row of Vancouver…I am amazed to find that Canadians are amazed to find that Los Angeles has it much worse.  I don’t think they believe us though it’s true.

I liked this poster as well

There’s more to come knowing me, but here’s a pretty shot of the city for balance:

It’s good to be here, though strangely enough I am going through i-pod withdrawal complete with shakes since I have not worn headphones for three days together, I’m about to remedy that so no fear.  We also just found out there’s a party on Saturday night at the clothing optional beach and we’re going…though it’s not quite so balmy that clothing really is optional and I’m not too sad since in my experience those not wearing clothing at such places are generally the people you really wish were wearing clothing.  Life is unfair.