I’ve worn glasses now longer than I haven’t. And it’s time for a new pair. Unlike a pair of shoes or a t-shirt that can live in your closet until you work up the courage to wear them outside. I have to wear my glasses all day. I need them for everything — a fact I quickly learned this week, trying to make it through a day with glasses with one arm. They’re not quite opera glasses, and definitely not as cool as a monocle. I’m almost at the point where I’d rather be blind than have my glasses falling to the ground every time I bend over to tie my shoe.

As long as my parents have had a phone number, it has been the same one. It has a pattern to it, too, and when we were kids, it was always easy to remember. But the most fun we had on the phone as kids was because of a one-digit difference with a golf course. Most of the time, we corrected the customer’s mistake, but sometimes we took their tee times. We would laugh in the moment, but we were kids, and never gave much thought to what happened when those callers showed up at the course with no space to golf. We found new ways to entertain ourselves, and the phone calls tapered off anyway. I always figured the golf course changed their number. Except I got a call today.

I took his tee time, for nostalgia’s sake.

on the chopping block: John Mayer “No such thing”

Before John Mayer was an It Boy, I heard him promoted as “Dave Matthews for Generation Y.” I fall somewhere between X and Y, but I’ve always been a sucker for a boy and his guitar. This song, though, is a little too Y for me. Maybe it has something to do with that line about ‘high school’. John’s got better songs — most of them on the albums he wrote after becoming the It Boy. Now that he’s no longer It, imagine what the songs will sound like.

Conclusion: off the iPod.

“Hounds of Love” by The Futureheads

One more song in the great tradition of indie bands claiming old songs for a new generation. I don’t have to love the original to love a cover, but when it’s two artists I like, it makes the song that much better.

The version to look for, though, is one live and acoustic. There’s a little talking at the beginning when the Futureheads admit they heard Snoop Dogg cover this song first, and they just had to do it. Then you have to find the Snoop Dogg “Hounds of Love”.

Because great songs lead to others.

I thought about rewatching some SG:A in anticipation of the premiere, but, even though I own the S1 DVDs, the following are the only episodes I watched:

> 38 Minutes
> The Storm/The Eye
> The Defiant One
> Grace Under Pressure

Grace being the only episode from S2, apart from the finale, that I saved after downloading. I am a sucker for a bottle show. My goal in life is to finally work out the logistics of a show that is, each week, a one/two man play in an enclosed space.

Until I do, here’s a song I can’t stop listening to:

The Futureheads – Hounds of Love [live Kate Bush cover]

In celebration of the World Urban Forum, coming to a close this week in Vancouver, the CBC ran a contest to describe your favourite cityspace. I didn’t win, but here is my entry:

I was a kid when the Skytrain was built for Expo 86. It was supposed to be the future, and it looked it. It impressed the tourists; the rest of us were out in the suburbs and off the map. When the track grew and reached across the river, I was older, but Vancouver still seemed to me like the whole world.

It costs me a couple bucks for a space on the train that takes me as far as the city will go. And when I’m lucky enough to get a window seat, it’s the best view of my small city, Surrey; the big city, Vancouver; and all the sights in between. Thirty-nine minutes from King George to Waterfront still feels like freedom for a kid from the suburbs.

I know the stations by heart and I know what to expect at each one. No matter the hour, the people getting off and on at Metrotown have shopping bags. It’s standing room only if you want to get on at Granville. You can ride the Skytrain from the water to the suburbs, but few people make it to King George and the end of the line. Late nights, after a downtown concert, I’m often the last passenger at the last station.

The world looks different from the sky, over the water, on the street, and underground. It’s only a couple of bucks, and, sometimes, I ride all day, just for the view. That’s always free.

“When the man comes around” by Johnny Cash

This song keeps coming up on my playlist, and, yes, sometimes I keep putting it on. It’s great old school country, with the scratchiness of the track and of John’s voice. It’s great gospel, too, at once a celebration and lamentation of life. It’s sadder still because I think, when he recorded it, John finally knew exactly what this song is about.

Slowly, and from the inside out, a house on my street is being demolished. We’ve watched, with a casual interest, the trucks come empty and leave full of debris. Today, they brought in the machines and did the job right. I watched from my balcony while the neighbourhood gathered in the street. It was a house this morning. Tonight, it’s a pile of sticks and dust and a still-standing chimney. My neighbourhood is known for too big houses, and we’re all dreading what will fill the empty space.