Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Start the Week

Dear Friends, I want to post but at the same time am not really feeling up to it. Compulsion fights exhaustion. Desire for expression wrestles with sniffings of dejection. So let's see what wins out...

The weekend, I must say, was a good one. Nay, it was a happy one. Even the mundane was enjoyable; on Saturday, Little Man and Daddy set off in search of bagels and somehow, inexplicably, ended up at Granville Island. Eating pizza. By the water. Listening to a pleasantly noodling jazz band. And I don't, as a rule, care much for noodling jazz bands.

A sunny Sunday saw an afternoon visit to the beach, which turned out to be a concentrated burst of Vancouver essence. Sailboats scudding across English Bay against a backdrop of mountains, some still capped with snow. A seaplane making its ungainly way across the sky like a fat duck. A family grilling sausages behind us, chatting in Russian about computer game development. Strident crows chasing a bald eagle away from delectable shoreline pickings. A Chinese teenager in bikini top and micro-skirt teetering across the sand on high-heeled cowboy boots. Occasional bursts of dub rythm blowing down the beach from far away. Teen boys in baggy shorts sluicing across the moist sand flats on wakeboards to impress teen girls. Darling Daughter and Daddy laughing at their own sandy funhouse shadows.

A good, happy weekend.

Unfortunately, the edges started to come unstuck on Sunday evening. Darling Daughter was struck rather suddenly and most unpleasantly by the local stomach bug that's doing the rounds. Cue hours of cleanup and comforting. Monday dawns, and I'm feeling squiffy myself. Cue fervent hopes that it's the mildish cold that Dearest Wife is just shaking off, rather than gastro-germ. Later in the morning, news that the in-laws are returning to town today. They had
intended to spend a week on Mayne Island, but Beloved Mother-in-Law is simply too frail and so after two days they came back to Vancouver. That hits me hard, another reminder that her end is near. Musings on the nature of impermanence don't help - I'm too attached. Then, a call from my own Aged Mother, seeking solace from the solitude of her recent bereavement.

Dearest Friends, I'm feeling drained, so drained, nothing left to give. And it's only Monday...

Depeche Mode - Shake The Disease (buy here)

I did actually drag myself out to Zulu at lunchtime on the pretext of picking up another Camera Obscura ticket (Yay! Dearest Wife is converted and will accompany me to the their show on 24 July), but of course I ended up buying discs. Only two, though. Included in that duo was the latest album from Montreal's Pony Up!, the coyly titled 'Make Love To The Judges With Your Eyes.' I had been quite taken by last year's twinkly, downbeat poplet of a track 'Shut Up And Kiss Me' and what I heard from the listening post this afternoon seemed to reflect the betwixt and between I found myself in. Bright, bubblegummy vocals declaiming not-so-bright, bittersweetish lyrics over ambivalent pop tunes with a wash of grey, if not black. On top of that, in my current frame of mind I could not resist a track entitled 'The Truth About Cats And Dogs (Is That They Die).'

Pony Up! - The Truth About Cats And Dogs (Is That They Die)
Pony Up! - What's Free Is Yours

(Buy here, direct from the label)

I hope you will enjoy.

(UPDATE 28 June, 11:00 AM: Hooray! EZarchive has awakened from its 12-hour coma. You should now be able to sample my delectable wares as normal. Yum, slurp...)