to desire the replica

posted by: Kim
posted on: September 29th, 2009

Do you ever have those days when your brain is so scattered and all that you can hear is the sound of pop-rocks going off in your scull but for whatever reason, you’re humming the theme to M*A*SH and watching your left thigh twitch? Oh, and the monkey. Don’t forget to mention the monkey. Wait. Naw, fuck it. Forget it.

I’m having one of those days. My neck is shaped like the base of a light bulb and my head is screwed on to it but it feels a little wobbly but you can’t tighten it too much because then the glass will shatter and then you’re fucked. So instead, I stop myself from tap tap tapping my pen on my desk because I know that when people do that around me I want to shoot them in the throat with a rocket launcher. There is an itty bitty ticking in my office and despite today’s propensity to assume the worst, I am not afraid that it’s a bomb.

Fuck would I ever love a fudgecicle right now. Do they still sell those?

posted by: Kim
posted on: September 27th, 2009

posted by: Kim
posted on: September 25th, 2009

I’m passing this on from Matt’s site. I know, you don’t live in Vancouver. Hell, I haven’t lived in Van for almost 5 years but I worked in the DTES and I know it well. If we all add the required dollar maybe we can help the people that are currently being bulldozed over for the fucking Olympics. Hiding the problem doesn’t make it go away. Making the city look “pretty” for a couple of weeks doesn’t make it go away either.

Holy damn I’d love to see them buy the old Pender.

Seriously. Just a buck. They even take Paypal.

ps- The link doesn’t appear until the end so if you’d like to jump straight there it’s gratitudeweek.org

posted by: Kim
posted on: September 23rd, 2009

Wait, I should clarify. I love Fall, the season. The one with the capital “F” as opposed to fall with the lower case “f”. The lower case one usually involves a flight of stairs and 10 or 11beers. Or that ridiculous post holding up the bed frame that seems to enjoy a litany of my most imaginative, Sunday best profanity which it is treated to each and every time it reaches out and fucking trips me.

So, the reason that I love Fall with a capitol F? Mmmmmm. let me count the ways (But without the actual counting.) I love sweaters and scarves and old man cardigans (which I have an astonishing number of. Perhaps not exactly as shown here, but all rather hideous nonetheless.) I love the sun on my face, but without the summertime super hero ability to melt your skin off like so many rivers of quivering flesh coloured candle wax. The crisp mornings, warm days and cool nights, and soft blankets that go over your knees when you sit on the couch. I love that the fat people have finally put away the low rise jeans paired with the too short tank tops and that my chances of seeing a 75 year old man in a speedo at the river are next to nil.

I also love the smell. Once the leaves start being heartlessly shucked from their branches, the air takes on that damp, earthy scent that makes me smile. Fall makes me want to cook simple meals with rich ingredients like thick sausage or a giant fist full of late season herbs. Fall is pumpkin and acorn squash and turnips. Gravy, fresh bread and deep bowls of soup.

That is why I love fall.

The End.

Uhm, ok. You’re still here? That was kinda it, hence the whole “The End” thing. Well, alright then. You asked for it……

Just so you don’t all start to (falsely) think that I’m all full of sunshine and roses and glittery pink unicorns jumping over rainbows, I will leave you with this thought……

I just went into the bathroom in my office and I swear to Dog that someone shit their pants in there. There are only 5 staff here today and now I’m eyeing them all suspiciously. Seriously people, light a fucking match or barricade the door or burn the place down. SOMETHING!!!! ANYTHING!!!!

posted by: Kim
posted on: September 22nd, 2009

December/January 2002/2003 Diary excerpt

“Walked across the boarder into Argentina and caught a bus to Salta within an hour. Not sure with what regularity contraband is smuggled into Argentina from Bolivia but my guess is a lot as on 5 separate occasions through out the night our bus pulled into a strange tiny military looking hut in the middle of no where. Everyone would vacate the bus, retrieve luggage and stand in a line to have it searched. As soon as my Canadian passport was produced I was waved through without having my pack shuffled through. At the first search while I was still in line, one of the officers pulled 2 tightly tapped up fist sized packages from a guys suitcase and calmly tossed them behind his shoulder to another officer in the hut, where they quickly disappeared. I assume it was drugs, though I have no way of knowing- what surprised me was how calm things were. The packages were taken and the man re-boarded the bus with us without any fuss. Very strange. These stops went on through the entire night.”

I love Salta- what a beautiful city. My hostel has a hammock in the sun and a communal table that is surrounded by vines and flowers. I have found a dog, or more appropriately, he found me. I have named him Nash. I have been here for 4 days and every morning, he is waiting at the hostel front door for me. He follows me all around town, including waiting 4 hours at a bus stop for me after I returned from a trip to a market at the edge of the city. He has patchy fur & fleas the size of quarters and I adore him. He has been eating well these last 4 days and asks nothing of me. Have splurged on a proper steak dinner as the Argentinian beef is supposedly fantastic. I can now officially agree. Delicious.

Am drinking a lot of beer and got pleasantly stoned chewing coca leaves. Took a bus 5o klms out to Quebrada de Cafayate- amazing red sandstone- hiked all day and stupidly ran out of water about 45 min before the return bus was due to drive by.  The hostel that I stayed at in Salta adopted Nash when I had to continue on to Cafayate. When I left he was getting a flea bath and looked quite pleased that he now had a home inside.

Spending a week camping in Cafayate. A quiet little village in the middle of wine country. The camp ground is fantastic and I am bbqing thick steaks and cloves of elephant garlic as big as my hand every night. It’s nice to stay rooted for a few days after so much bouncing around and this really is a beautiful little place. I rented a bike to peddle out to the sand dunes but ended up getting 2 flats from the vicious thorns so I had to walk the fucking bike back 10 klms in the blazing sun. Saw an old man die a few days ago- his funeral was today in the main square church. He was being doubled on a bicycle by a younger man (his son?) but rather than sitting on the handle bars facing forward, he was turned facing the man peddling. They were chatting as they zoomed along until the bike had to stop quickly at a corner. The man had no time to grab on and no leverage even if he did. He shot off the bike landing in the road on his tailbone and then slamming his head. It didn’t bounce, it just flatted against the street with a thud. It took the ambulance about 20 min to arrive while people flailed around in the street. It was very obvious by the shape of his head that if he wasn’t already dead, he would be soon. The sound of his crushing skull stayed with me for quite a while. (more…)

posted by: Kim
posted on: September 20th, 2009

Mmmmmmmm…….

As you may or may not know- I am obsessed with food and cooking. A couple of great cooking blogs are Restaurant Refugee & Cooking for Assholes in case you’re interested……..

So, seeing as I have 8 little freelance writing projects due next week, today should be a writing day. Somehow, it’s turned into a cooking day. Not that I mind.

And that my friends is how you build an ass kicking chowder.

For more goodness check out my food blog Fig & Pepper

posted by: Kim
posted on: September 19th, 2009

November, 2002 Diary excerpt

“After an assortment of buses, cabs, planes and airport floors, I am finally in Lima. I sit relaxing on a terrace that is indoors, but has no roof. I am surrounded by vines and flowers, chattering birds, painted cement floors and impossibly tall wooden doors. After a walk around the corner in the center of this city, my belly is full of mysterious things from a menu that I could not understand. Lima is both beautiful & terrible. The ceaseless honking of horns, the near impenetrable smog & grime and the poverty that is everywhere. The buildings and the distant hills, and the faces of those around me however, are stunning. Walking around, it seems that some of the buildings are standing on sheer willpower alone. Crumbling brick & stone strung with drying laundry like bright splashes of colour amid the decay.”

Flipping through my travel journal it has become apparent to me that this post will have multiple parts- no matter how much I edit my 3 months in South America. This means that you have a graceful exit should you tire of my endless going on…….. I like to supply people with an easy out. Whether Mr.C’s request for stories from my trip was serious or not appears to have no relevance to me. Any excuse to reminisce about travel……..

22 hour bus through the Andes to Cuzco. 4 stops of 5 minutes, 1 stop of 20 minutes and no bathroom on the bus. When picking up new passengers in the middle of the night in the sleepy villages of the Andean highlands I often had to run out of the bus to pee, squatting right in the headlights to ensure the driver didn’t leave. He wasn’t pleased. Old converted school bus- no shocks & a couple broken windows. Long cold ride through the dark, sheer cliffs on one side, rock face on the other. Terrifying to pass another speeding bus on the narrow track through the mountains. When daylight finally broke with astonishing speed, there were cactus trees as wide as a man is tall, sparse grasslands and with the altitude, it appeared as though you could reach out and grab the clouds.

Hidden in the lush mountains of the rain forest lays the great Inca city of Cuzco. Am taking a week to acclimatize to the altitude until moving forward through the jungle to Macchu Piccu. Traditionally dressed villagers, wonderful markets in the narrow streets and fresh made empanadas stuffed with rich meat from the street stalls. A short day trip to Pisac, a mecca of Inca ruins and a market that stretches further than you could possibly navigate in one day. Coffee in the sun beneath a mossy green mountain peppered with the crumbling remains of Inca farming terraces. I am seeing almost no other tourists thus far which suits me- traveling in the rainy season has it’s advantages.

Manchu Picchu is utterly indescribable. Anything that I say will not begin to do it justice. The stone work is breathtaking and baffling. The intermittent drizzle makes the surrounding mountains seem unreal- it’s like walking through someone’s dream. I get dizzy when I touch the stones, painstakingly shaped so long ago. I spent the first day lost amid it all. Rather than board the bus that heads down the crazy winding 1000meters from the site, I hiked the path, comprised entirely of stairs. Sore knees, but saw flowers and vegetation that I couldn’t even begin to name. Camped the first night at the base of the mountain along the Urubanba River. A white face among the sherpas that haul gear for tour groups making the Macchu Picchu hike. Dinner in the dark with lightning bugs throwing flashes of light from across the river. Day two at Macchu Picchu included a terrifying hike along the mountain side to an Inca drawbridge. Only saw 3 other people and I can understand why- the path in some spots was no wider than 2 feet with a sheer drop forever on the other side. I spent a great deal of time hugging the rock face to the left of me for fear of never being heard from again.

On the shore of lake Titicaca in Puno.  Am dining almost exclusively from the local street vendors and eating on the curb with the locals which is always an adventure. Have only been burned by this habit once… was served what I presume to be some time of fried organ, encased in its own layer of fat. I did the best I could then covertly wrapped the rest to feed to the feral dogs later.  Spent the day at Uros, an island in the lake made entirely of reeds. It’s almost spongy when you walk. Met some local children who seemed fascinated by the snake tattoo on the top of my foot. I drew one on all of their feet and left them with every pen that I owned. When I boarded the little wooden boat to go back to Puno, they were all busy writing on each other and I’m quite sure their parents now hate me. It seems so weird that I still have more than 2 months in South America as it feels like I have already seen so much. On my way to Bolivia.

Crossed the boarder with little issue- a small border strike which is apparently common. Men blocking a bridge that was the only option for the bus. I have heard that they can last days, but this one was over in 4 hours. There is a bathroom on the bus which despite its smell, seems like the ultimate luxury. The bus had to cross the enormous, never ending Lake Titicaca and did so on a raft pushed by men with large wooden poles. Was dropped in downtown La Paz, a short walk from the hostel in the witches market that I intended to stay in though it was unfortunately full. On the street in this city with a giant backpack is like having a bulls eye on your back. I was “sprayed.” Liquid thrown on me (which later turned out to me mashed up cookies and water) The ruse being that an English speaking person rushes to your aid after witnessing “such an offense.” “Take off your pack, I will help you clean it off.” Of course, as soon as you do, your pack is gone. Luckily, this scam is universal and I disappointed the guy offering to help (repeatedly, with growing frustration) by telling him to fuck off. Ended up having to splurge on an actual hotel in the downtown core just to get off of the street with my pack. Though dirt cheap by our standards, it still breaks my budget and means only bread and the fresh salty cheese from the market for tomorrow.

Have learned to expect one violent downpour everyday, usually around noon. It doesn’t cool things down, just bumps up the humility. Am now, after several days in several random villages, in Uyuni. It’s a weird place, a perfect square of a town in the middle of nothing, with an impossibly blue sky. Went to the salt flats “The Salar del Unyuni, which is an amazing site. Drove for hours across the blinding white ground, comprised entirely of salt. It was like you should feel cold, like it was snow. Ended up on a tiny island (Isla Pescado) in the middle of the salt that was covered in 10 to 20 foot tall cactus, which happened to all be in bloom. It was an amazing site and I was thankful that the only building on the tiny island was a beer stall. Thank fuck for small favors. No bank machine in Uyuni. Haven’t hit one since Potisi. Pushing on to Argentina in a few more days.

Part 2 to follow…….

posted by: Kim
posted on: September 17th, 2009

Before I commence screaming at someone who will undoubtedly not read this, let me set the stage for you. I am at the dog park with my two ruffians on a beautiful bright sunny afternoon. There are about 8 or 9 dogs of every shape & size running about madly and having a grand old time. I am chatting with a woman who has 3 med sized kids with her and their fluffy excited pooch “Buddy”. The kids are hanging out in the shade of a tree watching the dogs play. They are not running around, just smiling and watching. When a dog comes near them, they ask if they can pet it and then do so gently. There is a woman holding a poodle and scowling at the kids while she mutters under her breath.

ok…. got it? Good. Let the screaming commence!

Dear Asshole,

Firstly, I cannot believe that you actually said “This is a DOG park, not a KID park. We’re here to exercise our dogs, and they (nodding her head in the direction of the kids) have no business being here!” to the mother of those children. I’m actually glad that she was rendered speechless with shock as that meant that I didn’t have to yell over her to give you shit for being so incredibly and unnecessarily rude. It’s a public fucking place lady, and the kids were being more well behaved than half of the dogs there! I would see your point if they were all over the place, jumping on the dogs or scaring the shit out of them but this clearly wasn’t the case you bitter middle aged bitch. Are you under the impression that dogs are only to be “exercised” by adults? Seriously, where the fuck do you get off making that woman feel like shit for bringing her kids?

Here’s a perfect example of how much of a rancid douche bag you are- My dog is deathly terrified of children- their random movements scare the crap out of her and she will hide behind my legs as though they are about to come over, skin her alive, & make a beautiful pair of gloves. Maggi didn’t even fucking notice that they were there because they were so calm and quiet! If your dog is that sketched out in social situations then perhaps you should be accessing a less stressful activity than a PUBLIC FUCKING DOG PARK.

I was extremely pleased with the horrified look on your face after I let loose and called you out on your general jackassness. It made me warm inside. I also enjoyed watching you storm off like a 5 year old while I laughed out loud.

I feel sorry for your dog & hope that it shits in your left shoe just as your rushing out to a very important (and totally child free) meeting.

-Kim