Monthly Archives: December 2005

going home

I’ve changed my flights to get home to L.A. tomorrow morning instead of on New Year’s Day. The logistics of getting around on the mainland, finding an available taxi to get to YVR, and doing everything in cold, damp rain was just too much for me to deal with. I’d rather catch the gang for samosas tonight & get on a plane tomorrow & spend New Year’s in L.A.

That’ll learn me to book plane tickets for winter vacation when depressed! I planned to spend New Year’s in Vancouver last month, when I just wanted out of Los Angeles, and the thought of spending the Highest Pressure Party Night Of The Year with my countrypeople was comforting. I love my friends in L.A., and that’s definitely where my life is, but in the horrible state I was in last month, the security-blanket appeal of BC took over my better judgement. I felt like I’d been turned inside-out for a couple weeks last month, like all my nerves were exposed without skin, like my heart and my lungs were being torn apart from the outside, and decided that the easiest path, would be to return to a city and era where life was easier & less overly dramatic for me.

Here’s my problem: New Year’s is just too much pressure. I always feel like I have to find the right party and have the best time possible. I feel like I have to be able to say, “yes, I had a wonderful time at New Year’s!” instead of the usual, “I ended up at some random party, drunk off my ass, making out with some guy I just met at midnight.” I have to go someplace fabulous, or else I feel like a loser. I hate dealing with it. Last year, I escaped to Vegas – and hated it. This year, I copped out by planning a night in Vancouver.

Honestly, I don’t know what I was thinking. New Year’s Eve in Vancouver is always a gong show at best. The last one I spent actually out partying in Vancouver was when I was still going to UBC, 2002 going into 2003. I started doing tequila slammers in cracksmurf‘s Gage quad with the crew there, and then party hopped across town. I don’t remember a lot of details from that night – surprise! – but I do remember that we all started at a two-degree friend’s party, and then I left to go to the Animal House up in Dunbar. The Animal House was so named because it was occupied by a bunch of stoner lunatics, and because they threw the best bad-movie style parties, which usually involved both types of bong – beer and regular. And I took off for it because I almost always scored at those parties.

That was the night I met suchiiban though. It’s also a night that’s very much lost in my memory. Not only did I go through an awful lot of Cuervo (I was in college, I was an idiot, I still consumed cheap tequila), I kept drinking god knows what at the House. Which is probably why there’s a complete blank in my mind, outside of a few snapshots of the rest of my friends arriving, making out with suchiiban at midnight, getting heckled for my actions by said friends, and then saying goodnight in the rain.

Obviously, on the first day of 2003, I was ridiculously hung over. So much that both monkeybutlers and I were wearing sunglasses to drive out to Castle Happy Fun Park, out in Abbotsford, on a cloudy New Year’s afternoon. We worked out some of the hangover at minigolf, but really, to this day, I still can’t drink regular Cuervo.

The next year 2003 going into 2004, I spent New Year’s Eve at my friend Kristen’s wedding. She said she planned it for that night so her husband wouldn’t forget their anniversary. Unfortunately, not many people made it out from her university friends, because it WAS on New Year’s Eve, and I left earlier than I’d planned to. I can’t even remember exactly where I was when 2003 turned into 2004, but I suspect it was actually at my house in Kitsilano, throwing clothes into a backpack. I had a 7am flight the next morning to Oakland airport, out of Sea-Tac, and I had to go home, finish packing, and drive down to Seattle to catch it. Between the wedding and the mini-vacation to San Francisco though, I had excuses not to try to find a party in Vancouver. It was a great escape from any social pressure.

Then last year, I was in Vegas, and I never want to spend another New Year’s there again.

Anyways. I’ve received a few party invitations in the last few days, and I think I might take people up on them, back in L.A. Both are out in the same area of Los Angeles, which is convenient, and both are with exceptionally good, much-loved friends. This is good. The reason I planned to stay in Vancouver for New Year’s was so that I could ring in 2006 with people I loved, and it seems I may get the same opportunity to do so in L.A.

Besides, this gets me out of this dreich. Y’all don’t even want to know what the weather’s like in L.A. today.

just can’t get enough

As is my tendency when I’m on the Island, I have nothing better to do than post many short posts to my LJ.

And I’m pretty sure I forgot to mention that Depeche Mode are headlining Coachella this year.

Now. Last year, I decided I could live without seeing Nine Inch Nails at Coachella. I cannot live without seeing Depeche Mode. I will MOPE AND CRY, dammit. I think I expressed that in my writeup of the Touring the Angel tour.

The catch is that, right about when Depeche Mode go on stage, I’m scheduled to be on a flight from Heathrow to Charles de Gaulle, enroute from London to Paris on vacation. Long story.

I know it’s kind of a win-win situation. I just wish I could do both the festival and the trip, without having to miss one or the other.

1984, yet again

I yell a lot about living in 1984. And not the campy Apple-commercial kind, but the bad totalitarian, Orwellian dystopia kind.

Therefore, those of you with old copies of 1984, should check out this link:

Oh, hell yes.

In fact, I may mail an extra copy myself.

And at the other end of the contrived media spectrum, K-Fed has his own website! And it is indeed a train wreck! (

These two topics, combined, represent the entire demise of Western civilization.

yay, canada!

The great thing about being home?

I can watch this year’s Fromage review, where Ed the Sock pans the year’s crop of music videos. Britney’s “Do Something” won for this year’s Cheesiest Video, for those of you who wanted to know.

And now, back to watching Depeche Mode 101 and pretending to work.

everything in relativity

Wetsuits are mandatory for the Polar Bear Swim on New Year’s Day in Santa Monica.

Wetsuits in SoCal? That water can’t be any colder than fifty-five! I bet it’s even warmer than the Pacific Northwest in summer – and I swim here at home in July in a bikini! And I’m considered to be a wuss by real Polar Bear standards: in Victoria, the tradition is to jump in a near-freezing local lake on January 1st, in regular swimsuits.

Everything’s relative.

king kong

I found it very difficult to watch “King Kong” tonight without thinking about the Treehouse of Horror spoof (“King Homer”).

Summary? It is a decent movie, but I think that two or three movies could have been made out of it. Easily. It just took too long, and went off in too many directions. Was it about fame & money’s corrosive effects? Was it Jurassic Park? Was it a love story about a giant ape that makes happy grunty noises like my dog does? NO ONE KNOWS!

However, the s/fx rocked. And there were a few scenes that I even had to close my eyes for. Although those were scenes that INVOLVED GIANT INSECTS. Note to those who, like I, have extreme aversion to insects and spiders: THERE’S GIANT INSECTS. And not even Adrien Brody can make up for that.

I’d write more, but I’m falling asleep sitting up. Night all!

god bless us, every one!

I gleefully unwrapped my two new seasons of Simpsons DVDs just now, and my father looked over and shook his head.

“I don’t see how intelligent, educated people, with university degrees, can watch the bloody Simpsons, he said.”

“It’s quite clever, Dad,” I said. “The use of comic timing and irony makes for great one-line jokes. Besides, you watch Family Guy all the time.”

“Well, that different! It must be written by Englishmen! All those English references!” Then he quoted the episode where Stewie fell over and said, “do not go gently into that good night!” and attributed the quote to Bob Dylan. “And then he sat up,” Dad continued and said – ”

“Dylan Thomas,” I finished with him.

“Right. Bloody brilliant, it was!”

I think that goes to show that Family Guy has appeal to an audience beyond the fratboys everyone thinks it’s limited to.

This was one of the successful Christmas gift exchanges ever at my house though. Aside from receiving several DVDs I wanted (two Simpsons seasons, one Mark Romanek retrospective), I also received a gorgeous sake serving set from my little sister. And everyone seems to like the gifts I bought them as well. My little sister squealed at her “chai maintenance” (the “chai” is “high” in Hebrew letters) T-shirt, as she’d seen the shirt in LAX last summer and almost bought it then. My older half-sister is wearing the scarf I bought her in the Fashion District. My mother was delighted with the new Bob Dylan biopic on DVD. And my father hasn’t put down the three books of photo history from his hometown that I had air-expressed in from Carlisle, Cumbria, UK. He keeps going through them and pointing things out. “There! That molten steel! I used to jump right over that.”

I wandered off to the kitchen to get a snack after opening gifts, and suddenly, it struck me, how happy everyone was. How wonderful it was to be home, with my family, with everyone exchanging all these carefully chosen presents, and actually happy to be together. Yeah, G-d bless us, every one, indeed. If this is the holiday that our culture has chosen as a catalyst to promote the ties that bind, and the love that we have for others, so be it.

Now we’ve finished our traditional Christmas brunch (lox and bagels) and can move on. And I hear my sister watching Road Runner cartoons, so I’m going to go watch with her.

the cultural mosaic at home

My mother, last night, asked me to bring some things home for Chrismukkah:

“Dear, could you make sure you bring piano sheet music for Christmas carols?” (I used to have a big book of Every Carol Known To Man, but it seems to have vanished in a move)

“Sure, Mom. I’ll pick some up so we can have our traditional family Christmas Carol Singalong.”

“Thank you, dear. And could you also be sure to print out the Hannukah blessings?”

“Yes, Mom.”

Multiculturalism begins at home!

how high’s the water, momma?

Ten feet and rising – or at least the swells are on the beach:

Roomate and I walked down to Venice Pier last night, stopping for peppermint mochas on the way, and went to go check out the supposed Waves of Death.

Venice Pier was closed. In a most forboding manner. So it was very anticlimactic when we clambered over the big wall of sand (bulldozed up to protect us from winter storms) to find that the waves looked pretty much like they always have. I wanted to see giant freak waves, completely out of rhythm, pounding with surfer-killing intensity on Venice Beach. I was disappointed.

It’s still worrying me though. Even though the year cycle completed yesterday with the solstice, I’m still concerned that the Earth has more coming for us. Tsunami, Katrina, earthquakes…so much tragedy and misery this year. If there’s more destruction coming, Los Angeles is as good a place as any for it to happen. Freak waves may, for all I know, be a precursor to L.A. falling into the ocean.

It’s also supposed to be 85F (about 27C) on Chrismukkah Day. THAT’s also a little too sci-fi for my taste.

I’m back up to the nice, predictable Pacific Northwest tomorrow though. At least, if L.A. has to fall into the ocean, I can hope it doesn’t decide to do it while I’m here.

entirely too many computers

I am sitting in a nest of cables, which run to the TiVO, my desktop, and my laptop. I am using these things to simultaneously:

  • edit and burn TiVO recordings to DVD using my new copy of Sonic MyDVD
  • transfer my personal files from my laptop to my desktop so I can archive then before whacking my laptop (I need it to run faster so I can work from home next week)
  • move 15 plus episodes of Degrassi Jr High to my desktop for burning to DVD.

    I am such a slave to technology.