Friday, October 28, 2005

We're back in Vancouver after a very eventful couple of weeks. I can't say enough good things about London. Wonderful sights, amazing shopping great food. Ian was so inspired that he's trying to convince his improv colleagues to put together a show there sometime in the future and if that goes ahead I am so tagging along.

On Friday we cut our trip short to hightail it back to Canada, ironically to London, Ontario to attend the Canadian Comedy Awards where Ian was nominated for a few Beavers. With the eastern bias of these awards it was a dead certainty that he, and the rest of his western compatriots, would walk away empty handed (which they did) but it was good networking nonetheless. From London to London we flew, the latter city being so un-London as to be laughable were it not so sad. So much about this town seemed faltering, from the Galleria largely populated by empty storefronts and bargain outlets to the main drags showing signs of decline in the mostly unoccupied condo towers and large groups of homeless.

It was clear that a comedy festival was a desperate attempt to turn things around, or at the very least, lighten the mood of despair. Naturally the Comedy Network would help out by televising the awards show right? Nope. And the Trailer Park Boys cancelled their Yuks Yuks show, the one flaunted on the front pages of all the local papers. The guy who was supposed to take their place with his stand up act looked pretty good for someone nobody at this festival wanted to be just then what with 600 pre sold ticket holders coming in from all around to see Bubbles and crew do that inexplicably, apparently funny, thing they do. I don't know, maybe it was a brave face brought up to cover inevitable doom, or maybe it was the pretty girls in the elevator looking awestruck at him, saying "Wow, you must be soooo nervous!"

I would have paid good money to watch that show go down in flames, but instead I was stuck at the untelevised awards show watching a talking dog from Puppets Who Kill trade off "ascerbic" banter with people I didn't particularly care about. The seats were too small and my butt fell asleep pretty quickly. Ian and Drew did a nice job presenting onstage with a subtle jab at the eastern bias thrown in for good measure, it woke me up after the previous, interminable presentation of a lifetime achievement award.

Some sketch troupes came on here and there, two insisting on lots of nudity. Oh look, a bouncing penis! That made the haus fraus giggle. Snore.

Canadian comedy folks, it's come a long way hasn't it? But then, maybe this stuff is best viewed without the grinding jet lag.

Sunday arrived and another ten or so hours of travelling before we saw the welcoming pillows of our own bed complete with cats bearing stunned looks very similar those of children learning their father did not in fact die in the war but is here on Christmas mornining bearing a big fat goose for the dinner feast. After some disbelieving sniffs Charlie settled in my lap fully prepared to spend the next month there.

Home is good.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

London wow. Harrods... mind blown. London Eye... high. Tower of London... maybe next time, Harrods too much fun.

London Ontario... okay. Canadian Comedy Awards... make bum fall asleep. Too many naked people. Picked up sniffles.

Home now.

Sleeping lots.

More later.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

So much food! Lovely!
A really nice and cozy comic shop with great staff.
The British Museum
Finally got to see the Lions. Wow!
Guys and Dolls
For a crap script these guys certainly put together an entertaining evening at the theater. Great dance numbers, good music. This was a blast.

Today: more comic shops, Harrods, the London Eye and maybe a gander at the crown jewels over at the Tower of London.

I think my poor shoes have died of consumption.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

How cool is this city? London is perfect for walking about and just finding things. Round a corner and oh, it's a nearly two hundred year old umbrella and sticks (walking canes) shop, another and it's PicadillyCircus, round another and it's a perfectly lovely duck park for a sit down with exotic looking birds. Round another and it's Big Ben.

My feet are killing me but I can't stop myself from taking another step.

Today it's Fifteen for lunch, Gosh!, The British Museum and Guys and Dolls in the West End.

I am loving it here.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


I've only seen a bit of the neighbourhood surrounding the hotel but so far this place kicks ass! We're checking out Forbidden Planet this afternoon followed by some wandering about. Feeling a lot better than yesterday. Man, Paris was weird. Like walking into a giant round of PMS.

Tomorrow, the British Museum (can't believe it's only a few blocks from here!) and then Gosh! for a tasty manga fix!

Happiness is a round of portable Scrabble at the local laundrette.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Paris is making me sea sick.

There's something about the ground here, in the way that it's not entirely solid that creates this slight swaying sensation that makes you feel like you're on a ferry. I've been dizzy and off balance all day and it's driving me nuts.

The Eiffel Tower was very cool. Much bigger than I expected. The sculptures on the Arc D'Triomphe were wild. The streets are intimidatingly huge. The people seem by and large very serious about everything. This town could use a siesta every now and then. Spain seemed a lot more festive and familial. Even the leashed dogs were in a happier mood.

I'm pooped. Looking forward to London.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Spain rocks!

I haven´t been here in 21 years and it´s such a wonderful and powerful experience. Right now we´re in an internet cafe on Ramblas after several days of non stop running around in Gijon for the annual Salon/convention there. I can´t go into everything now but the trip has been pretty damn sweet so far. Tonight we´re on a train to Paris. Monday we´re in London to tangle with a bunch of museums. More soon!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Yes, I'm a drama queen. One who gets very huffy and annoying when pain is involved. I'm sure my gender is really good at dealing with childbirth, which ask any nurse seems to be the ultimate guage of pain there is ("Next to childbirth a scratched cornea is about the worst pain you can go through" actual quote), but give me an aching jaw and/or back pain and forget it, I'm a big ol' baby. Over the last two weeks I've been hard to be around. Thoroughly traumatized by my experience at the dentist, I really can't say what was worse, the inescapable memory of two doctors wrestling with my face through a haze of flying teeth dust or the hideous 80's deco interior decorating (think Miami Vice viewed on a black and white tv, brrr!), what was a very uncomfortable, grumpy time was made worse by a flu bug that hit us both like a tonne of bricks. Just as I was getting over the sniffles, and getting ready for this week's trip to Spain for the Gijon convention, what does fate throw at me but the mother of all strained necks.

What's really laughable was the cause of this injury: the Vancouver International Film Festival.

Vic invited me to a screening of a Finnish film called The Dog Nail Clipper. No hidden meaning there, the movie is about a guy who goes to clip a dog's nails. Really. It's not for everyone, it's more a slice of culture than a riveting drama, poetry of the far north and more a nostalgic sigh for anyone who's lived in the country and wants to prove to outsiders that yes, the people of this land are really that weird.

It was a packed house and the only seats available were near the front on the far left. There was a woman's head in the way of the subtitles so I kept having to crane my neck to see all the text and sure enough, the next morning I woke up with my head stuck that way, slightly tilted, turned to the right. And crazy amounts of pain.


It's stil a bit stuck but it doesn't hurt as much. Tomorrow we're on a plane and I'm really tense about it. I'm not the best flyer in the world and I'm not looking forward to entire day of travelling. But the con should be fun. Afterwards, we're racing through several cities for some quick sightseeing: Barcelona (my old stomping grounds!), Paris (the Eiffel Tower under a full moon? You bet!), London (Museums! Comic shops!) and then London, Ontario for the Canadian Comedy Awards where Ian has been nominated for Best Improviser. A crazy two weeks.

Now if only I could sleep.