I forgot it was Halloween tonight. This would explain why there are roman candles blowing off throughout downtown. Kids in East Van don’t trick or treat in our neighborhood. I was joking to Sharon that we’d have to hand out beers if any came to the door.

My schedule is crammed full again. I’ve begun a swimming program through Seahiker, a local company who teaches swimming. What I like about the program so far is they break everything down into simple steps which makes it really easy to learn. So my Tuesday and Thursday nights are swim nights now.

My Mom’s in town next week and I’ve got a whole bunch of shows happening in November.

In music news I’ve been listening to the new Stephen Malkmus album. It was a bit slow to get into it but now that I’ve spun it a few times I’m becoming my usual obsessive self with his music. Pitchfork filmed them performing a few new songs on a rooftop if you want to see the band in action.

New Blitzen Trapper album is fantastic as is Justice’s second album which seems as though it’s been a long time coming. Wild Flag’s been in rotation too, naturally. Show is only a couple weeks away!

Ocean Shores

I’ve been on blogging hiatus. I’m starting to write again. Think I just needed a break. Anyhow, I wanted to share some adventures from June when Sharon and I camped out in Ocean Shores for her birthday. We try and make a birthday trip every year. First year was Saltspring Island and this past year was Ocean Shores. Not sure what we’ll do for 2012 but there’s lots of time to figure that out.

Ocean Shores is a little place on a peninsula in Washington, just west of Olympia and Aberdeen. I’ve always wanted to check that area out since Aberdeen is where Kurt Cobain grew up and Olympia was a hotbed of indie music in the 1990’s. We swung into Evergreen State College on the way home and wandered around. Sleater-Kinney, one of my favorite bands, was founded while Carrie and Corin went there.

Aberdeen is a ragged little industry town. I can imagine someone like Kurt Cobain building up some angst in a town like that. Sharon and I hit up a movie theater and did a little clothes shopping in a mall. We also hit a grocery store where I discovered 3 liter cans of chocolate syrup! Ugh. Makes me queasy thinking about it.

Welcome to Aberdeen

It took all day to drive down. We stopped at Trader Joe’s in Olympia to stock up (especially for their incredibly delicious Hefeweisen beer) and made the campsite at around 10pm, just in time to grab a spot before they closed the gates. I set up the tent using the car’s headlights and we settled in for the night.

The next day we wheeled down to the town of Ocean Shores and a scan of the radio dial unearthed a public access radio station with some old hippie doing jazz music. We were in stitches listening to this guy! He would ramble on, lose his train of thought, and then jump into a rant about something entirely unrelated. I managed to grab a recording of him talking about spiking his coffee. After some of his jazz music we heard him ranting about something, but it really didn’t make any sense until we realized that he had the booth mic on while he was talking on the phone, unaware that his end of the conversation was being broadcast!

The beaches around there are so much fun. Everybody rips around on them in their vehicles and when we went to Ocean Shores we got to see the main area where people would fly kites and hang out. As Sharon pointed out, the roar of the open ocean is much different than the sheltered beaches we have in Vancouver.

Tire Tracks on the Beach

Later that day we checked out the Flag Day parade in Ocean Shores then packed up and wheeled down to Grayland Beach. That’s another beautiful area with a huge beach. Really nice campground too.

Darren and beer while camping in June

Finally it was time to come home. It’s nearly a full day’s drive to get back from Grayland and we took time to stop in Olympia for another Trader Joe’s visit as well as REI in Seattle. I find MEC lacking now that I’ve been to REI. So much more stuff! Especially for bikes. It really doesn’t compare.

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Sugar Foot

For someone who swore off shows I’ve got a whole pile lined up:

Thursday, Nov 10 – Yukon Blonde at the Biltmore
Saturday, Nov 12 – Wild Flag at the Biltmore
Thursday, Nov 17 – Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears with The Sheepdogs at the Rickshaw
Friday, Nov 18 – Wu Lyf at the Electric Owl
Wednesday, Nov 23 – Kyuss Lives! at the Commodore
Saturday, Nov 26 – The Deep Dark Woods at the Biltmore
Saturday, Dec 18 – Dinosaur Jr. with Henry Rollins (he’s interviewing the band before they play onstage — should be interesting) at the Commodore

I’m most excited about the Black Joe Lewis show. Dude’s like the second coming of James Brown and with The Sheepdogs opening it’s going to be a wild night of music.

If you haven’t listened to Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears then do your earholes a favor and go check out their video for Sugarfoot. Then ask yourself why you can’t get it together to come see this rocking ass show!

Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears – Sugarfoot

Now hit up the Sheepdogs, an awesome band from Saskatoon who won the contest to appear on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine.

The Sheepdogs – I Don’t Know

Also, tickets are on sale tomorrow (Wed, Oct 26) at 10am for the Nov 14 screening of Tegan and Sara’s film.






So I fell out of the bed last night…

Some nights when I’m sleeping I have vivid dreams and I’ll wake with a start, shouting and sometimes flailing at an imaginary snake or other menace. When Sharon moved in she brought her recently-purchased bed to replace the aging one that I had inherited from friends of mine. I’ve taken to sleeping right at the edge as though my body was trying to reject the comfortable middle. Maybe it’s because the new bed doesn’t sag and it feels strange for my body to be horizontal when I move closer to the center.

Last night I had another intense dream. This time I was in my Mom’s house, in the spare room, and the side door was open where I was sure there was some sort of creature or dangerous criminal at the threshold. I jumped up and lunged towards the door only to wake up yelling “ahhhhhh” as I fell right off the bed onto my floor.

After making sure I was ok, Sharon demanded that I try and sleep closer to the middle. It felt awkward and unnatural and I wasn’t really able to get back to sleep. It was 5am and nearly time to get up anyway.

There’s been much change in my life over the past few months. Sharon moving in is the most recent event and it’s going to take some time for me to adjust to things like sleeping in the middle of a new bed. It’s likely going to take her some time to discover all my quirks and strange ways that come from being a bachelor who’s never understood the point of spending money on comfort.