Sunday, October 31, 2010

and her head has no room

I just realized that Hallowe'en is not nearly as much fun when you've only bought candy you don't like. Clearly I did not think this all the way through.

No more answering the door with one for you, one for me ... two for you, one ... two for me.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

before I sputter out

I don't want my doctor to yell at me.

Is it cowardly that I am using my impending medical examination, upcoming in six weeks, as motivation for getting back into shape? That's taking white coat syndrome to the extreme, I would think.

I am really starting to feel the excesses of the past two months, which is one of the reasons that I only bought Hallowe'en candy that I don't like this year. Hallowe'en is dear to my heart, but I don't want to be wearing it on my heart. Or my hips, for that matter.

I spent a good portion of September and October travelling, which is my iron-clad excuse for letting my exercise regimen slip. An excuse, but not a justification. I've also started to get some repetitive strain injuries, along with an increase in age-related aches and pains. So my workouts have been getting shorter and fewer and less intense.

But now, as they say in the industry, it's nut-cuttin' time. I'd rather deal with an inflamed iliotibial band or a wonky hip than a blocked aorta.

I have blown the dust off the equipment in the torture chamber and am now supplementing intense workouts with more moderately paced walks with Steve. No more hiding behind the last vestiges of youth; it's time to embrace my inner 70-year-old Swede.

How has your approach to exercise changed over the years?

Friday, October 29, 2010

they're coming to get you, Barbara

... there's one of them now ...

Want to see more Hallowe'en beauties?

The Big Wicked Online Pageant has clawed its way out of the grave,
and Beckeye's got her shovel ready.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

these old ghosts

I always maintain that I don't collect, I purge. So I don't really know how to explain that for the past 15 years I have been putting this same ghost cutout in my living room window.

It was made for me by a graphic artist friend and it has even survived the move from London many years ago. Of course we had most obsessive packers in existence. They packed e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. I recall opening one box, to find an inflated balloon inside.

My ancient ghost cutout has all its corners covered in bits of old tape and the paper is getting somewhat warped. This year it seems to have developed some water stains near the bottom and dear lord the smallest ghost has lost an eye over the summer, but generally it's in remarkable shape for a two foot square of firm paper.

It's not really Hallowe'en until the ghosts come out.

Do you have a Hallowe'en tradition?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

every move guided by the bidding of the singer

Owen Pallett w/ Little Scream
Knox United Church
Oct 25/10

The bridge over the Bow was awash in purple light as we made our way into the downtown core. Presumably it was lit up for the swearing in of the new mayor that evening, but it felt like a fitting heralding in of an Owen Pallett concert, as well. He did, after all, pay tribute to our city's changing reputation while filling us in on the disturbing results of Toronto's mayoral race. Did you hear that we elected Rob Ford tonight? The guy who wants to get rid of all the streetcars? The tables really have turned, haven't they? You've got a gay Muslim mayor.

Knox United Church, always an acoustically perfect and intimate concert venue, has recently implemented assigned seating, and our concert dates managed to secure us some premium seats, 9th row in the centre pews. With a blustery night outside the stained glass, we quickly abandoned our plans to meet for a pre-concert libation, opting instead to catch up with Susan and Jeff from the comfort of our hard wooden pew.

Little Scream, with whom none of us were familiar, was an endearing and musically compelling opener. Channeling a little of the sound and the esthetics of Jesca Hoop, but with a tremolo voice reminiscent of Amber Webber (of Lightning Dust and Black Mountain), she looped her way through a highly original and evocative set, complimenting us on the quality of our Value Village where she had just bought herself a new wig. Presumably the same wig that she kept adjusting during Red Hunting Jacket. At the merch table, Little Scream was utterly charming, expressing her amazement that not only did Susan and I want to buy her CD, but wanted her to sign it as well. Nobody has ever asked for my autograph before!

I let her keep my pen. I had a feeling she would have a few more autographs to sign.

Looking very butch with a hint of a scraggly beard (I'm not sure how this shirt looks under this sweater, it's sort of a Mark E Smith look, I guess), Owen Pallett was enthusiastically received. Well, as enthusiastically as one can get in a church. Knox is a wonderful venue, acoustically and architecturally, but it's not exactly the sort of place the audience really lets loose, despite Owen's invitation for us to walk around, take your clothes off.

With this show being the fifth time I have seen Owen Pallett perform, I couldn't help but be struck by the unfailing consistency of his performance, which somehow manages to also continually evolve. Since dropping the Final Fantasy moniker, Owen has been performing with Thomas Gill, a guitarist/percussionist who accompanies him on most songs. It's fascinating to watch them perform together, two very strong yet very diverse personalities and musicians. Just as you think that they are completely lost in their own separate universes, they glance at each other, and suddenly the disparate sounds are cohesive.

When I first saw Owen Pallett and Thomas Gill perform together, Thomas fulfilled the role of accompanist, but at last night's performance, he was much more of a musical partner, asserting his personality (he's kind of a bad-ass) and his considerable musicality more fully.

Owen Pallett, of course, is a phenomenal musician. His wizardry with looping is increasingly impressive, his confidence in experimental sound is unparalleled, and of course his violin playing is glorious. I was thrilled that he performed Better Than Worse for the encore, and although it was a single-song encore, it was a beautifully extended version that soared to new heights, even featuring some hot jazz guitar licks from Mr Gill (who was apparently none the worse for having been mugged the night before).

There were no Mariah Carey covers last night, despite a request from the audience. But Owen did tell us the story of how someone had videotaped him the first time he covered that now infamous version and how, at the time, he had forgotten some of the words. After the performance became somewhat of a YouTube sensation, he then felt obligated to perform the song at every show for the next two years, just to show that I knew the words.

We didn't need Mariah Carey though; we had Owen Pallett.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

only an expert can deal with the problem

I can't believe I used to think it was a longish walk. But after two two-hour walks on two consecutive days, it now feels like I am barely getting started by the time I get to the store. This is what happens when you walk with Steve.

Steve is my new iGadget, thoughtfully filled with over 15,000 tracks, hand-picked by the most generous and knowledgeable music geek I know. I find myself smiling often when a track starts to play that I know is a nod, a message, a good-natured wink. I like that Steve is on Eastern time, because it suits his personality.

I always listen to music, but there is something entirely different about listening to music while walking. It's what my friend has been trying to tell me for years. There is something about striding along, arms in motion, in the open air, that frees your mind of the constraints of the day. Something about matching your pace to the rhythm in your ears that sparks the neurons. And it's entirely different from blasting music while on the elliptical or on the stationary bike, so it's not just the increased blood flow to your muscles that is responsible for setting your mind on fire, although that certainly factors into it.

The is something infinitely liberating about adjusting your pace to the pace of the music, without concerns that you are pushing your body too hard, or not hard enough. The journey itself is the reward, not the fact that you have completed your x minutes in the basement torture chamber and have burned x number of calories or logged x miles.

How perfect that I was just talking about finally succumbing to peer pressure and getting myself an iGadget, mere hours before my dear friend presented me with Steve. I'm just not sure he realized that, in the process, he may have been creating a monster.

What do you think about when you walk?
Do you use an iGagdet?

Friday, October 22, 2010

this clumsy seductress

Clumsy Seduction - Emma Hill

Rooted in Americana and spouting a folk pop sensibility, Emma Hill’s Clumsy Seduction is rife with discovery. From unusual tempo changes to unexpected torch songs, from flirting with found sounds to cracking up on hidden tracks, there are surprises around each turn. But there is one constant which links the songs on this album, and that is Emma Hill’s big voice. Rich, with a hint of smokiness and just a suggestion of twang, it’s a substantial voice that is almost startling in its expanse.

That’s particularly surprising when you consider that Emma Hill is barely into her twenties. A seasoned musician from Alaska, now residing in Portland, she projects an endearing fearlessness. She is no stranger to the road, is Ms Hill, with a solo Greyhound tour under her belt and, more recently, having completely a blistering cross-country tour via a JetBlue All You Can Jet pass.

There is a playfulness to Emma Hill’s music. Her seduction techniques may be clumsy, but she is good natured about the rejection; she may find solace in the bottom of the bottle, but she revels in drinking the boys under the table.

In a curious reversal of the perceived wisdom of track mixing, I find myself returning more often to the songs in the bottom half of the album. This is where you find the real gems, the tracks that infiltrate your consciousness, the songs that truly showcase the diversity of Emma Hill’s voice. Songs like I am the Rock, You are the Wind and Highway 101 hearken back to the very roots of Americana, fitting like a tattered cardigan against the winds of change, while the stunning torch song, Doctor, suggests a future fit for Emma Hill amongst the great American ladies of song.

Clumsy Seduction is a richly diverse album, and Emma Hill is a versatile musician who is making strides. There is talk of an upcoming Canadian tour, so watch for Emma Hill and her evocatively-named Gentlemen Callers on the upcoming concert circuit.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

cult of the red pestos

The Slightly Retarded Kitty is wandering around the house meowing, looking for the blog conventioneers to whom she was finally warming up. Perhaps she is not so dim after all.

I had my own share of difficulties in transitioning from a houseful of warm, clever, affectionate friends to the silence of rooms looming with stripped mattresses. It's not as painful as I had feared, though, probably because I am still aglow with the tangible love of those few days, my mind still sorting through the memories that I will tuck away into the recesses of my heart. My body has a strange filing system, it seems.

There was that moment leaving the airport yesterday when I must have gotten something in my eye, a midge perhaps, and I admit I am feeling somewhat deprived of bone-crushing hugs today, but knowing that this Blog Convention test drive was an overwhelming success is helping me focus on the joy that it happened rather than the sense of loss now that it is over. Because there will most certainly be a BlogCon next year. I admit I have a tendency for hyperbole on occasion, but trust me when I say that this was the most fulfilling, invigorating, life-affirming experience that I have had in decades.

And it's not the sort of weekend that I can sum up in a single blog post or even in a series of posts. It was simultaneously the shortest and the fullest weekend I can recall, and I am still trying to process it all. It is difficult to explain magic, and I am not sure that I will ever fully be able to, but I know that I am a better person for it.

I think it's rather telling that, not only did I not blog a single time during this Blog Convention, but I barely touched my laptop. I do wish you could all have been there with us, as we tested out this concept of a meeting of blogger minds. Of course we were tempted to communicate with each other by sitting around the living room with laptops blazing, but in the end, the lure of real life warm bodies won out. I will share more, in a more cohesive fashion, once I have more fully grasped exactly what transpired within these walls, but for now all I can do is gush.

BlogCon (beta) turned out to be five days of bonding, of discovery, of discussion, of embracing friendships new and old. There was manly bonding over microwave installations, there was debate over the proper use of fondant between the newly met bakers, there was sharing of highly disparate music and an embracing of new sounds, there were wine-fueled round table dinner party discussions. There were docs watched from the chesterfield and comedy sketches on laptops, there were new libations invented and a fridge that refused to empty, there were poignant insightful discussions and far too much utter silliness to be proper for a houseful of grownups. I do believe there were a few cases of permanent laughter-inflicted lung damage. Personally, I am still surprised that there were no emergency trips to Shoppers Drug Mart to stock up on Depends.

Outside the walls of Casa del Zombie there was Wordfest complete with a heavy metal poetess and some big names in CanLit, there were Darwin and Einstein at the World of Science, there was Recordland with its seizure-inducing filing system, and there was the metal tee shirt shop that made certain members of the group positively apoplectic with joy.

And oh yes, there was certainly Crokinole.

What's the best conference you have ever been to?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

creating the space

And so it begins.

In a few short hours I will start welcoming the first of the brave bloggers to traverse the Rockies, bringing with them an appetite for words and music, food and libations, creativity and camaraderie.

It's a fairly loose agenda, for a convention. We have scheduled a couple of Wordfest events, along with a Friday night curry cook-off, and a Sunday brunch to fuel an afternoon of putting a roomful of creative minds together, just to see what happens.

Oh sure there will be some sight-seeing and there are bound to be some excursions to book stores and record stores. A few conventioneers may even end up sporting some new tattoos or piercings. Heck, there may even be a bonfire in the backyard if they play their cards right. Piling onto the chesterfield to watch DVDs or heading down to see what's playing at the art house theatre are distinct possibilities as well.

But I'm mostly looking forward to hearing some tales.

I really should live blog this thing, shouldn't I?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

the rest of the best

- getting an upgrade last night at my favourite Vancouver hotel, to the executive large one-bedroom suite

- finding out that there's a woman at Berlin Polytechnic who has the same last name as me, who also stayed at the hotel last night

- the sweet little guy, who ran the breakfast buffet at the Seattle hotel, telling the Resident Offspring about Madonna. "I just loooove her. She's 52? Does not look it!"

- buying a tall and getting a grande

- watching the Slightly Retarded Kitten scamper around in the yard meowing, then repeatedly run up to the screen door to demand a belly rub

less than good - the guy next to me on the plane who obviously did not know the rules about the person in the middle seat getting the arm rests

Monday, October 11, 2010

falafel makes decent turkey substitute

We woke up on Columbus Day and transitioned into Thanksgiving. By the time we arrived back in Vancouver, the rare Seattle sunshine had morphed back into a steady northern rain.

It had been lovely to enjoy a few hours of sunshine on the birthday, the opportunity to stroll in search of cafe, coffee and cake putting to rest the alarming memory of wave patterns forming in the puddles on the roof of the building next door.

Although the vow to down copious quantities of wine and finally ride the Duck Bus never did materialise, the Monorail was finally conquered. Picture a handful of wide-eyed Canadians alternating between grinning like rubes and singing the Simpsons' monorail song under their breaths. I'll bet they've never heard that one in Seattle before.

The only problem with being kitchenless for Thanksgiving, of course, is the fact that you are kitchenless, and at the mercy of strangers for any sort of turkey feed. My kingdom for a drumstick. Alas, my cleverly-devised plans to gorge upon a Vera's turkey burger as a reasonable alternative to a turkey dinner were dashed when the overly humane restaurant owner closed the doors at 5:00 to allow his staff to enjoy their own dinners with family.

Fortunately, on Davie Street you are only left standing in the rain in front of a locked restaurant for a short time before the boundless other culinary options become apparent. So, pizza for the Spousal Unit and OFKAR, falafel for myself, it was.

That's quite a lot to be grateful for, when you think about it.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

this is where it gets good

Moore Theatre
Oct 9/10

At the end of a very soggy day stumbling up and down the streets of Seattle, we were ready to spend the evening warming our blood with a smoking hot concert at the historical Moore Theatre. Seeing Eels perform was, after all, the impetus to this whole west coast turkeyless mini-break in the first place. And the icing on the musical cake was the opportunity to meet up with BLIP friend Anjo and her friend Mary, putting what I believe are the 19th and 20th notches in my internet meetup belt.

We had amazing seats, centre stage, third row. As it turns out, we would not have wanted to be any closer, because the space between the seats and the stage immediately filled with a crush of jumping up and down bodies as Eels took to the stage, and, unless they also stood, the people in the first two rows could see fuck all.

The first opener was, inexplicably, a ventriloquist. And not just any ventriloquist, but one who was simply horrible. Thankfully his set was only 15 minutes long or I would have been forced to gouge out my own eyes with a spoon or, at the very least, stab the people who were actually laughing at his jokes.

But then Jesca Hoop saved me from performing unspeakable acts. Think Regina Spektor meets Cindy Lou Who, with a little Bjork thrown in for good measure, and you get the gist of the sound and the picture. Quite the spectacular figure she cut, with the question mark hairdo and the overly modest red plaid dress. With songs that were simultaneously ethereal and experimental, she was imminently fascinating.

A lapsed Mormon, who had to leave the church when her "hair would no longer fit through the church doors", Jesca told the most amazing between-song stories. My favourite was the one about the time that her staunch Mormon mother asked her and her brother to provide her with some pot to combat the pain of stomach cancer, and how, once her mom had received the peanut butter jar of dope that they had sent in the mail, Jesca then had to get high with her mom over the phone, to teach her how to do it.

Fun fact: Jesca Hoop was once a nanny for Tom Waits' kids.

And then came Eels.

I've been struggling to to understand just what it was about this concert, which was high-octane and note perfect, that left me feeling removed from the experience. The Eels who played the Moore Theatre on Saturday night were a very competent band who played a tight set, comprised of a great mix of hard rocking anthems interspersed with heartfelt romantic ballads. But, despite the fact that people were dancing in front of the stage, there was a distance between band and audience. That connection, which is the truly magical part of a live performance, never really happened, at least not for me.

As odd as this may sound, a lot of that may have been because of how Mark Oliver Everett presented himself. Sporting dark sunglasses and a head scarf pulled down so low over them so that only a sliver of those impenetrable glasses was visible between the scarf and the full beard which hid his features, Mr E was all but invisible behind the disguise. And he never really stepped out from behind that mask to address us as anything more than an anonymous wall of people, no different from the people he plays for every night.

There were some interesting covers - Summertime, the Loving Spoonful's Summer in the City - and there were popsicle hucked out to the crowd, which was a very nice touch. Especially since we can now brag that we each got a popsicle from M E. But somehow, something didn't really mesh.

Maybe it was simply a matter of this concert coming only two days after one of the finest and most feel-good concerts (James in Vancouver) that I have ever experienced, which set unfair standards of concert expectations upon this Eels show. Maybe it was, as Mary pointed out, that it felt like Mark Oliver Everett and the band of musicians who accompany him, as opposed to the solid entity of James a couple of nights previous. A musical entity which felt, as the Offspring put it, like a twenty year marriage.

I still love the music of Eels, but Saturday's show lacked that enigmatic magic.

Having drinks with our new Seattle friends afterwards, though, was a joy and a true highlight of the evening. It's always life-affirming to make new connections, and Anjo and Mary made us feel welcome and so glad that we ventured out on a rainy Seattle night.

And it's never a bad thing to discover a new Whoville character who can sing.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

and a small handful of days that I do

walking Seattle
never sure if you're sweaty
or if it's just rain

The room service napkin and salt shaker that were sitting outside our door when we checked in 24 hours ago are still there. I think this hotel has slipped a notch in the Michelin handbook since we stayed here a couple of years ago.

It's still in a great location, though, as is evidenced by our ability to walk home from the Brazilian Rodizio last night, bellies groaning with a sinful amount and variety of grilled meats, and still going for a stroll throughout the grounds of Seattle Center before retiring for the evening. The three raccoons with whom we locked eyeballs, until they lost interest in us and climbed into the upper reaches of the leaves, were a very nice touch. Thank you for arranging that, Seattle.

Mary Ann, my new best friend at Macy's who alerted me to the fact that, as an Albertan, I don't have to pay the 9% state tax, sold me some seriously underpriced jeans today to replace my favourite pair which are about to blow a hole in the crotchal area. Good luck with the cataract surgery on Monday, Mary Ann!

Honestly, Americans know how to do customer service right.

Tonight we are heading back out into the rain to see Eels at the Moore Theatre. I am very excited to meet up with my BLIP/facebook friend Anjo and her concert date at the show. According to the event notice I received last night, there will be two openers, the first of which is a ventriloquist.

I have no idea what to make of this piece of information.

But I do know that I am uber-excited to see Eels. I care not one hoot whether it's the aching romantic Mr E or the garage rocker Mr E who shows up to play tonight. I'm just happy to be there.

Friday, October 08, 2010

getting away with it

Commodore Ballroom, Oct 7/10

Now I wish I had bought this tee shirt, except that I am a little past the vintage where one can safely wear a band shirt without raising judgmental eyebrows. But what I wish even more was that they had their new album for sale last night. They played quite a few new songs and they proved to be a perfect blend of that characteristic James sound and something fresh.

I can say unequivocally that last night's James concert was the best concert experience I have had since humans became bipedal. Part of that was due to the venue, of course. The Commodore Ballroom is one classy and spectacular venue, and we managed to snag a perfect table, on the raised level, very close to the front, with an absolutely unimpeded view of the stage. This has never before happened in the history of humanity.

Opener Ed Harcourt did a lovely set. A very striking figure he was, in a stylish black evening coat, performing primarily on the keyboards, with bass and drum backing him. It was a rather intimate set that he performed - nice, but a considerable departure from sweepingly dramatic performance of the headliner to come.

I rather expected to see James perform an unplugged Muzak version of their catalogue, but nothing could have been further from the truth. They were absolutely perfect. A big sweeping sound, complete with trumpet and drama and yes, even the famous Tim Booth dance.

Tim Booth, by the way, is aging incredibly well. With his shaved head and mustache, he is rather reminiscent of Edward Norton circa American History X. Or, as the Offspring so astutely observed, the outfit says yoga instructor, but the mustache says leather bar. Booth has such charisma that when he began to walk among the crowd, leading us in song, the messianic comparisons were undeniable. In a good way, of course.

The Offspring, who was down on the dance floor, shook his hand when he was doing his walkabout amongst the people (thereby missing out on a photo op), and I was too busy standing there with a big shit-eating grin on my face when he came singing by our table to even think about the camera that I left behind in the hotel room.

It was an amazingly high-octane, lots of love, feel-good evening, and even if you had never heard James before, you would have been completely swept up in the solid musicianship and the vibe of communion. We danced, we sang, we clapped till our hands were raw.

The gentlemen of James proved unequivocally that they still have it in spades, and they aren't afraid to let the world know.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

but each day when she walks to the sea

The Slightly Retarded Kitty is in charge, and I am counting on her not to mess up the house that I just spent the past three weeks whipping into shape.

Although I am still slightly overwhelmed by the breadth of this mini-trip, I fully intend to enjoy every moment. We'll be celebrating our 300th wedding anniversary tomorrow with a concert and a sleepover with the Offspring, but the real thrust of the weekend will be the Seattle leg.

It's supposed to rain the entire time, but that is not going to dampen my enthusiasm for a trip to the Ipanema Restaurant - an authentic Brazilian rodizio in the heart of Seattle. And with bacon-wrapped turkey being one of the options available on the massive skewers of meat that are paraded around from table to table, I think this may just be my best bet for a Thanksgiving-like meal.

I will keep you posted as events unfold!

What are you doing for the Thanksgiving weekend?
Or for regular old weekend, for those not of the Canadian persuasion?

Monday, October 04, 2010

me, I've seen the wind

I'm well familiar with the wind, being a child of the prairies. That doesn't mean I have to like it.

You are never far from the wind in WInnipeg, where I spent most of my childhood, but you never really get used to it. You know that it is coming and you brace yourself, but even with years of training, it only takes three days of incessant wind before you start to develop that twitch in your eye. The twitch takes over your psyche and before long you are plotting your escape from the constant airstream that's flattening the grasses in the ditch banks. In your head, you run screaming down the highway, throwing yourself into the first car that slows down.

These days, I am surrounded on three sides by a bank of evergreens. It takes a concentrated effort for that prairie wind to make its way into the city, to hunt me down, and to penetrate my spruce barricade. These days it's only the most determined of winds that rattle the window panes. The autumn winds that lift the branches of those long-lived deciduous trees, the ones that hang on to the last of the yellow foliage, are only toying with me.

Unless I invite them in, they can only peer through the frosted glass, and wait for me to step outside.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

tape hiss and the modern man

The Spousal Unit returned from a three-day fishing trip yesterday to be met with absolute bewilderment on the part of the Slightly Retarded Kitty. Stranger Danger! As far as she could remember she had never seen this man before in her life.

I don't know what to expect when we come home from our upcoming six-day jaunt to Vancouver and Seattle. One very confused Ramona, I assume. Although she may remember me. They always seem to remember the one who feeds them and cleans their litter box, don't they? Even the intellectually-challenged ones.

It's going to be quite the epic adventure, this jaunt to the coast, and one that will have to serve as birthday, anniversary, and Christmas gift for the foreseeable future. What started innocently enough with a sigh of oh look, Eels is playing in Seattle on the Thanksgiving weekend snowballed into five nights, two countries, and not one, but two, concerts.

I'm very excited to see the reincarnation of James at the fabulous Commodore Ballroom on Thursday night. Hopefully frontman Tim Booth is still rocking his legendary whirling durvish stage moves, although being a little more prone to movement-induced vertigo myself these days, I will certainly forgive him if he prefers to remain motionless. My record tent buddy and I are going to try to find one another in the crush of James-loving fans. Record tent secret handshakes will prevail.

Then it's a land-crossing to Seattle in the morning. I've not made that drive before and am really looking forward to what I expect will be a stunningly beautiful drive. But if it turns out to be 2 1/2 hours of strip malls and MacDonalds signs, I may just be driven to cut a bitch.

Even though I don't expect to find any turkey dinners available in Seattle on Canadian Thanksgiving weekend, I am surprisingly fine with missing out on the noble bird. An evening with Eels (complete with a BLIP and FB buddy meetup) and the possibility of hanging out with our favourite Seattle family will drive all thoughts of crispy golden fragrant poultry right out of my head. Mr E just better not have any new songs about roast turkey though, or all bets are off.

There will be a whole new adventure awaiting us a couple of days after we return home, putting proof to the adage that it does not in fact merely rain, when pouring is a distinct possibility. I will fill you in on the details later, but for now I will tell you that I will be experimenting on an unsuspecting group of local bloggers and a few hearty souls who were willing to travel in order to test out the beta version of what I hope will be an annual celebration of us blogging types.

BlogCon (beta) will be hosted at my humble abode, but in future incarnations I hope to hold it in various cities around the continent, and to open it up to anyone who wishes to attend. The focus of this inaugural BlogCon will be Wordfest, which is conveniently taking place in Calgary at the same time, but we will also try to jam in as much music, conversation, food, exploration and collaborative creativity as time and energy allows. My hopes are that BlogCon will become an annual meeting of adventuresome bloggers, a chance to enjoy each other's company, to explore new cities, to share ideas and new experiences, and to open up space for creative synergy.

And you are invited.