Friday, August 17, 2007

Whirlwind Update!

Alright, we've been neglecting the blog a bit, so I am going to do a whirlwind update about the western half of the country. Erica already covered Vancouver Island, so I'm just going to add a few random points of interest.

We went to Medicine Hat and went to Dinosaur Park, which you know already. We came back to our Super 8 Hotel room and the housekeeper had set up Batman like this on our bed:

Legs crossed! Adorable. He was all "I don't suppose it occurred to you guys that I might have liked to go to Dinosaur Park."

Then we played a show at the Ottoman Lounge in Medicine Hat, which had the most awesome stage ever:

Medicine Hat is also where we met up with fellow Haligonians, Brent Randall and his Pinecones:

Then we went to Lethbridge, where we played with Brent Randall again, along with Vancouver's Lotus Child. We all signed a t-shirt for one awesome fan:

Then we had that whole unfortunate tow truck incident later that evening, and went to Calgary to crash for the day before driving into the mountains to Canmore:

We played at the Canmore Hotel, which was fun, and slept in four separate rooms for the first time on the tour. Probably also the last time. The next day we packed it up and headed across the mountains to Vancouver.

It's a long, but excellent drive.

We played in Vancouver that night at a karaoke bar/sushi restaurant called Hoko's in the SCARIEST NEIGHBORHOOD I HAVE EVER SEEN. It was near East Hastings and Main. Actually, not so much scary as it was depressing.

But the venue was cool:

We hopped on the ferry the next day to Vancouver Island. The ferry costs a lot, but it is WORTH IT. It is also WINDY.

We played in Nanaimo that night, which is an excellent town. Surprisingly, I consumed zero nanaimo bars while there. But we did notice some pretty strange/awesome flags decorating the lampposts downtown:

At the Vancouver Aquarium I met my soulmate. This sea lion didn't really move from this position at all, except to occassionally yawn:

After shows in Victoria and Vancouver, we drove back across the mountains.

Ooooo...the majesty...

Then we played in Calgary and Edmonton. Here we are in Calgary:

Then we rolled back across the prairies, which was also scenic:

Now we're in London, Ont, only 4 shows away from home. I have lost, I would say, a significant amount of muscle mass in my legs due to sitting for a solid month. I am in terrible shape right now. Standing for five minutes is exhausting. I need a gym and a comfy bed and my kitchen very badly. But this trip has gone very well. It feels like we've been gone forever, and in a way, we really have been away for a very long time. Perhaps if we do this again I'll pack a thighmaster or something for the car.

In case you were wondering what the best place in the world to live is...

It's Foam Lake, Saskatchewan.

So put that in your pipe and smoke it, Hawaii.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

All the way west!

So this is going to be a wee bit out of order, cause we’re in Thunder Bay right now, but here is our tale of Vancouver Island. It involves ferries, blood-soaked ties, tattoos and giant goose turds. First off, the ferries were super fun, and super windy.

We took the first one over to Nanaimo, where we got a last-minute show with Amy Honey, The Bash Brothers, and Hot Panda. The show was at this great little collectively-run art space called the & Loan Gallery (they found half an old Savings & Loan sign, which is where they got the name.) Everyone was really nice & fun. It was kind of like a giant house party. Here's Hot Panda playing, and a little kid who made necklaces out of hardware. Of course, we all bought one.

The next day Steph, Rachelle and I wandered around Victoria, which was sort of like a maze of upscale shopping streets. Picture an entire peninsula filled with Spring Garden Road, over and over again. Although that’s kind of a lie, because Rachelle found a comic book shop and Stephie found a record shop, and then there was the Chinatown souvenir shops where I picked up a handy dandy Japanese ear cleaner.

We also found the Victoria weekly, which featured a little ‘sure thing’ style write-up on the show. We were stoked about it, though it does sort of seem we have an inverse ratio of press coverage to actual bodies showing up at shows. Logan’s was, perhaps, the fewest folks at a show we’ve had this tour… but it could be a tie with Thunder Bay.

Anyway, after wandering around all day, we still had a bunch of hours to kill before the show, so we decided to find a park to lay around in. This is where the blook soaked tie comes in (Rachelle found it…eek!), along with the giant goose turds. So many geese. Quite seriously, I hope I never, ever have to see that much goose shit again in my life. Those Canada Geese sure are pretty, though.

We had tried ealier, unsuccessfully, to find a place to get pedicures, so instead we decided to have our own little park spa-time. We carted wetnaps, blankets and cosmetics bags in to the park and set up spa camp. Something about painting your toenails and applying mascara on a blanket in the park… it was like if the Absolutely Fabulous ladies were homeless, that’s what they would look like.

The Logan’s show was severely under-attended, but we didn’t mind because there was free supper, chocolate beer, and really nice bartenders. Also, Fury and the Mouse were super nice folks and let us stay with them afterwards. We are going to have to spend a solid week writing thank yous to everyone that’s helped us out on this tour… it’s really quite amazing & wonderful.

Thursday, August 9, 2007


Otters Otters Otters Otters!

Courtesy of the Vancouver Aquarium.

Erica loves otters.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Somebody call a tow truck! Because this is a breakdown!

But not like one of those fun bass and drums breakdowns, I'm afraid. More like one that left us on the side of the road for three hours enjoying what Erica repeatedly called "a real prairie experience" (AKA peeing in a wheat field. I'm sure the farmer would have approved).

After our Lethbridge show, at around 2am, we were driving to Dave's parent's house in Calgary (our only bit of night driving this entire trip) to spend the night trading funny stories with Brent Randall and his Pinecones and enjoy a nice sleep on some beds fit for kings. But then the fan belt decided to shit the bed, so we pulled over and called CAA. The tow truck got there at 5 in the morning. I could whine about how tough it was trying to sleep in the van, but I won't, because it is a very comfortable van. If we have a problem with space, it might be because we brought too much stupid shit with us. Case in point: I still haven't used my BeDazzler.

This first setback of our tour ended really well, though. The tow truck driver was really nice and wasn't going to make two of us to take a cab to Calgary (especially awesome because Calgary was an hour and a half away). He bent the rules and let us all squeeze in. More bums than seatbelts. Tiina had to sit on Erica's lap, and seeing as I'm writing this post, I will let you know that I had the most uncomfortable seat. I was sitting on the belt buckles.

At 7:30am we dropped the van off at Canadian Tire, checked into a hotel (Thanks Edgar!!) and slept until 4pm. At which point we left for Canmore, pockets considerably lighter thanks to the repair. Like the coffee mug says: "Life's a bitch." Or maybe it says: "Instant Human. Just add coffee."

But Canmore ruled.