the house down the road

Some of the phases I went through growing up: paranormal phenomenon, Greek/Roman mythology, the Beats, Shakespeare, foreign language film. I thought this was normal, that every kid would latch onto some topic and read every relevant book and watch every relevant movie in the library. This isn’t normal, I’ve been told.

I still do this. It didn’t stop with high school, and I’ve realised that this is the way I interact with the world. I make projects for myself. I decided one summer to read everything William Carlos Williams wrote.

I’ve been watching the new BBC adaptation of Merlin, wondering why I’ve never had a King Arthur phase. There are certainly enough movies, books, enough history out there to occupy a summer, a year. Disney’s The Sword in the Stone might be the answer. It was most likely my introduction to the myth and does absolutely nothing to draw you into Arthur and Merlin. It’s more about how many animals Disney can draw that look like Arthur and Merlin.

It left me with one concrete notion, however: Sir Kay is a dick.

Please understand that when I say I want to write a half hour television show about Benjamin Franklin’s printshop, his apprentices underfoot, his book club, his friends in power and enemies, too, his occasional political service, and his more frequent scathing editorials written under pseudonyms, it’s not about dragging Franklin down to the level of a sitcom.

It is about raising the level of a sitcom to Franklin.

so you better look alive

I’ve written so much about the Skytrain, I feel like there’s a book hiding in there. It would have to be a little about history, about Expo 86, and the mess of Vancouver’s public transit today. It would have to be a little coming-of-age story, too, how the tall and shining city across the river is always New York to a 15-year-old kid, no matter where you are in the world. I would use my stories about riding all day Sundays when it’s cheap, just to watch and write, about coming home late after concerts, about getting off at a station just because I never do, just to explore the neighbourhood.

Me and the train; me on the train. It’s a memoir, I suppose, of my life since I figured out how to cross that river by myself.

1. Like I mentioned, I watched all of the BBC Robin Hood the other week. I thought I’d see what they’d done with it after watching Merlin. While it’s subtexty to the point of text, I’m not compelled to read fic. The characters weren’t quite right for me, granted my formative Robin Hood is Disney’s. I loved the Robin, but everyone else just felt like they were there.

2. But it did send me on a nostalgic Disney segue, watching my favourites, all from the 60s and 70s era: Robin Hood, 101 Dalmatians, The Aristocats. Then Oliver & Company, because I’ve been on this Billy Joel kick lately.

3. I could maybe read some High School Musical fic. I don’t even know.

4. I said, upon watching the trailer for Milk, that I would be wanting to read some Harvey/Scott. But I came out of that movie finally, actually getting Sean Penn’s crush on Emile Hirsch. He enthralled me in this movie. Bonus: he comes with a built-in pairing! Sadly, I found no Cleve Jones/Dick Pabich on delicious. In fact, I found only one Milk story.

5. I have 1000 of my 1000 words! This might just be the first story of the fandom, if my cursory search of delicious is correct. Prove me wrong?

Title: As great a name as this proud city
Fandom: Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist
Pairing: Devon/Lethario, Nick/Norah
Rating: PG13
Words: 1000
Disclaimer: These characters do not belong to me.
Notes: for picfor1000

Because I live in New York.

Man, I like this meme a lot. Here are five things each from pearl_o and callmesandy, except they both picked The West Wing, so it’s really only nine.

1. Vancouver

The truth is that I don’t and have never lived in Vancouver. I live across the river. Because no one can afford to live in Vancouver. Things I love about Vancouver are the water, the trees, the neighbourhoods that bleed into one another, the places to see great music, the Skytrain, and that mostly people just leave you alone and let you have your space. We have an unfriendly reputation, I understand, but we’re still a city where you bump into me crossing the street and we both say, Sorry. Vancouver does look like Vancouver, and Danny Tripp doesn’t know what he’s talking about. I can spot my city from a hundred paces, but I’ve never seen a celebrity on Robson Street. My very favourite weather is biting cold, so I have to wear three layers and my scarf, but the sky is blue and the sun is shining. We get a lot of days like that here.

2. Indie rock boys

Oh, that’s the dream. I love music a lot, probably more than TV, movies, maybe even books. But I can’t play, and I don’t really want to be a critic. As fraught as it may be, I’d like the be the one the indie rock boy comes home, too. You know, so we could be together, but we wouldn’t have to be together all the time. While I’m dreaming, he could look a little like this boy. So, if you know any skinny boys with shaggy haircuts, glasses, cameras, sneakers, ink-stained fingers, who maybe know how to play guitar or piano. He doesn’t have to be the lead singer.

3. The West Wing

I watched The West Wing from the very beginning to the very end. There aren’t a lot of shows I can say that about, not ones that weren’t prematurely cancelled, at least. About year five, I was wishing it would end, then, by the actual end, I wanted one more season. I’d put it in my top three of all-time, though, keep in mind, I still haven’t seen all of The Wire. Sam Seaborn, firmly in my top three of all-time fictional characters. Everything I ever write ever will be a little bit trying to impress Sam.

4. glasses

Sixth grade, I got glasses. Classic story of back of the room, couldn’t see the board. I don’t remember if I liked them right away, but I never hated them. No one else in my family wears glasses, so it kind of felt like the thing that made me unique. I think I loved boys in glasses before I had glasses. Simon was my favourite Chipmunk. I don’t have contacts. I’m very used to my face with glasses.

5. concert ticket stubs

I don’t keep all my ticket stubs anymore only because I scan them, then recycle. So I still have them all, they’re just on flickr now. I get very annoyed when the club takes my ticket outright, but with the new barcode scanners, that doesn’t happen as often as it used to. I would rather have my ticket stub than a t-shirt or any other merch, really. I just love ephemera in general, the pieces of paper that come in and out of our lives, proof that we were there.

6. brilliant canadian musicians

Canadian musicians ARE brilliant! Right now, Canada’s pretty much the only indie scene I’m keeping up with. We may not have much of a TV/film industry to call our own, but I’d line up any one of our bands against yours. That’s where we’re vikings. Current loves are Malajube, Luke Doucet, Wolf Parade, that Feist song she sings with the guy from Kings of Convenience, and rediscovering my 15yo crush on Matt Good. Contrary to what the first three years of the Polaris Prize may have told you, we have more than dreamy atmospheric boys with violins and falsetto. I mean, I love them, but Canadians also know how to rock.

7. clark kent

The thing is that I always loved Clark more than Superman. I’ve always liked the secret identities more than the superheroes (does this have anything to do with how much I loved My Secret Identity when I was a kid?). My Clark is Tom Welling, which is an added bonus because he’s exactly my type. It was when Smallville started to become too much Superman that I had to quit it. But he’s got glasses and suits and sometimes hats, then, occasionally, he’s a rock star.

8. icons

I’ve never paid for LJ. It does exactly what I want it to do for free. With the basic account (and I don’t know if people realise this, but you can still get a basic account. Just sign up for plus, then downgrade it in the account menu. Comms, too), I get six icons. Right now that’s five Panic, one Redford. I miss my Redfords sometimes. He was such a good all-purpose icon, in life and on LJ. I use the plug-in that randomises your icon and I’m always forgetting what keywords go with what icon (lyrics from a Sufjan Stevens’s song, I think, except for one Dylan), so every comment and entry is a surprise.

9. quiet

I really really love the quiet. When I go out, I’m not without my iPod, but when I’m home alone, I often forget to turn music on. Also, I’ve discovered recently, I can’t write to music anymore. It has to be quiet. I think a lot about what I want to say before I say it. It’s not about being sure, I think, but about wanting the quiet to last as long as possible.

If you want five, I can give you five.