Submitted by megan on Thu, 03/20/2008 - 10:22
For those of you who read Jennifer's blog, I'll try to write this so it's not just a rehash. See, we've been spending a lot of time together, which she has documented, both amusingly and well.
Our time as neighbours is drawing to a close. Not any time soon, but it's out there. Eventually I'll get around to posting about one of the reasons. For now, you just have to trust me that it's no bad reason. But I'm sad about it.
Last night we hopped all around the town. First dinner, Adam and J. and me. After, on our walk over to the Aloha, Jennifer said she'd been trying to come up with a team name for us. "I love that you were trying to do that," Adam said. "Yeah," J. said, "but all I came up with was Team Air Freshener Orphanage." And Adam made the sound of the air freshener that has become the metonymic touchpoint for our whole Osheaga trip. It was hilarious to us, but why it was wouldn't make much sense to anyone else. It was that kind of dinner.
After the Aloha was the RocknRoll Pizza Party, with a great band that gave Jennifer hope for a pop/punk scene in Ottawa. Today I ran into Luke Nuclear, RRPP mastermind, and he said the band had so much fun that their other band, music in the same vein, Statues, might just make us a visit. You will likely find us at that show.
This gave me enough time and bars to consume the appropriate amount of beer for seeing one's fairly recent ex-boyfriend; that is to say, enough to take the edge off the nervous, but not enough to hit weepy. I ran into James while the imbibing was taking place. He looked surprised when I mentioned going to a party at Eric's. "Yeah," I said. "I'm not sure if that's crazy or stupid." "A bit of both, maybe," he responded. True dat, but it felt like the right thing to do.
When people split up, it's easy to lose the other person, and all the friends you made through them, permanently. Sometimes, that's the right thing. I have exes I will never talk to again, sometimes because they treated me so badly they don't deserve it, sometimes because the connection was tenuous to begin with. Eric falls into neither of those categories, and I hope that someday we can be actual friends. Maybe not close friends, but real friends.
There was never any way around the fact that our first actual conversation was going to be hard. I figured a party, with lots of distractions, with lots of people I hadn't seen in a while, with the ability to make that beer a quick one, well, it was probably a pretty good start. I figured right. Almost everyone seemed happy to see me, Mark was pleased as punch with his birthday cookies, and Eric liked the map I gave him as much as I thought he would.
When J. and I got home, I did some late-night wind-down tidying in the kitchen. I could hear her doing the same: the cupboard doors opening and closing, some rattling around. The way I can hear the radio on for Shy Dog, the ghost of the CBC playing on my radio too. Or the way the laughter signals that Lesley or Adam or Michael is over for dinner. From anyone else those noises would be wallpaper at best, an annoyance at worst. Coming from Jennifer, they're insanely comforting.
Wednesday night's reading at Octopus, the inaugural evening of the Female First Fiction reading series, was fucking great.
For one, Jennifer read from her new novel-in-progress, about a 10 year old girl. If the excerpt is anything to go by, I'm gonna like it even more than Grrrl, which is saying something.
For two, Jessica Westhead read from Pulpy & Midge, a novel about a cowed office worker and his bully boss. It was a good reading and sounds like a good book. Even last night Adam and I were pretending to be Dan the Bully, punching our thighs and saying "Boys night!", trying to get the same combination of triumph and ferocity with which Westhead managed to infuse those words.
Afterwards, there was an impromptu panel during which our JWs talked about the process of getting published. It was adorable. So much nerdy girl excitement! Though I must admit, I was a little jealous. Not in a bad way, an eats-away-at-you way, but in an "I want to be up there talking about that, and I am going to have to reorganize my life and get off my ass and make that happen." kind of way. An inspired by wicked awesome ladies sort of way.
Tonight we're off to Zaphod's to see Immaculate Machine and Ladyhawk. I love the keyboardy pop of IM, and Ladyhawk is the right kind of dark fuzzy rock and roll. I expect it to be loud, I expect it to be fun.
The Smoking Hot Girl may be joining us in our indie rock adventure. Who knows what will happen after the show, but I will keep a neighbourly thought in mind about the ease with which sound travels from one kitchen to another.