And last Sunday, the Poetry Slam in Lakeside Park, my third.
Filled with the usual suspects, everyone arriving fashionably late. It's a cool evening. Despite the crowd, perhaps 30 people, only a few are presenting.
There's *****, shirtless, wrapped in Persian Carpet that's been converted into a vest, living out of a van with his dog, a destructive little husky pup that's in the process of mauling a little stuffed toy.
He introduces himself, followed with "I earned this name", as if it were hard won in battle, clearly this is not his given name and he's adapted to the local tradition of both pen and chosen names. I'm unfamiliar with it, make a phonetic note of the spelling, can do some research later. Followed with by his stoner-styled poetry which is some sort of passionately delivered ode to life.
The judging isn't kind, he's a newcomer, only been to a couple of the slams, his overall rating (Originality, Presentation, Writing?) only comes to a high 8.7 or 8.9.
There are 5 judges, to get an 8 in this is a complete and utter fail. It's on a scale of 1-10, so while you might think an 8.7 is good having seen a few of them you realize that an imbecile barking and growling would score an 8.5, this is the overall threshold of kindness in the community, if he wants a better score he'll have to recruit a few friends to be judges...
Followed by a few others. One of the themes of tonight's reading is "Uncertainty", given the world at the moment it's pretty topical. One of the organizers does her finger-snapping, her "support" when she likes the groove a particular poet is laying down. Then there's the free-form, unjudged presentations. Another organizer has a little rant about how she doesn't need a man, then wanders the park outside the reach of the microphone and lights.
These events, there a who's who of literary nepotism, while most are good some are clearly better than others, the judging favors the familiar.
And as the weather cools down and the jeep is laid up it's time again to resume long-stalled projects...this is the motivation.
- Category: Other
As the police described her, last weeks dine & dasher.
Even as I write this she's parked out on the Ferry landing, she's newspapers and blankets hung up over her windows, in the afternoon she takes them down.
She doesn't get out of her car, instead opting to sit inside for 14, 16 hours a day, on her cell-phone, playing Candy Crush.
It's insane and I'm curious - she's not so visibly marginal as many of our more established residents, so - what's up? Who do you call? Clearly there's been some sort of mental schism or break, but what, and how to remedy? Because this is madness, and if she was low on resources last week where precisely is she now? And all this whittling of time with Candy Crush...she's postponing some hard choices and who can you direct her to for assistance, guidance, because clearly the girl's in over her head.
- Category: Blog
Building Infrastructure for a tomorrow that will never come...
(Or: Pave Paradise and Put Up A Parking Lot)
Now that the $5 Million worth of improvements are done I'll offer a quick recap.
The "upgrades" removed the narrow strip of park - a variety of trees including 60 & 80 year old black maples, picnic tables, a break area, and the only vestiges of shade for a 150 Meters, all completely eradicated in favour of the stark sidewalk and parking for the Ferry. A wire fence now captures the litter.
The wheel well, a fenced curiosity salvaged from an old Ferry, is gone. Other than the signage promoting the hot-springs route and wildlife there's nothing here of interest.
A new washroom, months in construction, 2 gender neutral stalls that double lock - the first door and the second - while the old washrooms had capacity to serve 4 people at a time (at least 2 stalls in each - lady's & men's) they now can only serve 2 people at a time.
They didn't think this through.
That and the fact that they have now have a wheelchair accessible "Porta-Potty" outside suggests they didn't make the new 2 stalls wheelchair accessible, underlining the clusterfuck of government spending.
One would think that an increase in capacity for ferry traffic would naturally imply an increase in services, not a decrease. A piss-wall would have been an improvement, allowing the majority of bathroom breakers quick relief, now, wait outside the one of 2 stalls, the first door locks, enter the bathroom - large, spacious, with a single stall that has - that's right - another lock, so you can double lock yourself into the bathroom for added privacy.
This Ferry Landing, always an eyesore with it's rundown shops and housing, has been made substantially worse by the "improvements", resembling now nothing so much as a Wal Mart Parking Lot, without the convenience of the Wal Mart. $5 Million dollars would have been better spent leaving it alone, not "improving" it, but such is progress.
- Category: Other
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