dreaming of the edge of the world

Douglas Coupland wrote, in Shampoo Planet, that home is where you dream, that it’s part of your brain’s hard drive.  That we’re all hard wired for our dreams to be set at home.

I’m not terribly sure where I dream these days.  Many days my dreams do exactly what they should do, and parse through the mundane things that have happened to me each day.  Some days, they are pop culture references – TV, movies, books.  And then other days, I dream of my own home, of that corner of British Columbia I grew up in, took for granted and left.  I dream of Victoria.

With no close family left in BC, I’m unlikely to return, even for a vacation, because I know I’ll always prioritize the rest of the world over returning to that corner of it I know by heart.  And yet, every day, I think of random places and it catches my breath in sadness.  I’ll  be caught by a random memory of Oak Bay in summer, or I’ll look at a street in Manhattan and see the West End.  It is forever and ever part of my permanent memory, my own hard drive.

For the past year, since I said goodbye the last time, since I wept my way back across Canada on a red-eye flight back through Toronto last November, I have been trying to push back those memories and focus on my actual present in Brooklyn.  I love Brooklyn, after all – I love New York the way I loved Vancouver.  This is the most Vancouvery place I could have settled with my family, after all, with its hippie food co-ops, overpriced real estate, bike lanes and beaches.  New York City is ten times the size of Vancouver and yet I get it because I lived there.  And I chose to be here, and I work every day to stay here and I love it here.  And so, rather than focus on the past, I chose to push it away.  I thought that would be the smart thing to do.

The problem with the past is that it won’t be pushed away.  It’s been half a lifetime since I lived on the Island, a dozen years since I left Vancouver, and yet I still dream of home.  It’s taken me the last twenty years to realize that not everyone feels homesickness like I do, and not everyone has the emotional attachment that those of us born in the Pacific Northwest do to our homeland.  Maybe I should be celebrating that and shining that light into my own memories instead of drawing the curtain on them. Maybe I should choose to follow those memories for a few minutes each day – not enough to be lost in nostalgia, but enough to accept the sorrow and the joy that comes from spending the first twenty years of my life in a lost English colony on the edge of the world.

And so, I’ve chosen to spend a few minutes memorializing my own memories of Victoria.  The neighborhoods and streets are still there, and many are actually protected by heritage and building laws.  The Victoria in my memory is frozen in time between 1988 and 1998, in an era before the Internet had pictures, a time between when the natural resource industries crashed and the tech industry started, yet it doesn’t look much different than the city I said goodbye to in 2015.  There will never be skyscrapers in Victoria the way there are in Vancouver…but there will be condominium developments, and there will be growth, and there will be big changes yet to come.  When I remember places – a half-finished Songhees walkway, Vic West of abandoned industrial zones, an Oak Bay Marina with Sealand of the Pacific (yes, of Blackfish fame) – they are memories of places that no longer exist except in memory.

I have pushed back memory because I am afraid of homesickness, of the addiction of nostalgia and the past.  These are terrible temptations in stressful times.  I have questioned many times since I left the Island if my desire to go home was pure homesickness or just a longing to return to a time that was less complicated.  After all, wouldn’t everyone like to have the responsibilities of their nineteen year old self for a few days instead of the responsibilities of their thirty-eight year old adult self?  So it is with the fear of addiction that I risk reliving memories of British Columbia and choose to describe them.

So.  I remember Oak Bay, Victoria, the Island.  I remember Vancouver, the Lower Mainland.  I will allow myself to revisit the place I know by heart.  I will trust myself to accept the strange mix of loss and comfort that is growing up someplace that borders on the unreal in sheer beauty, and then having chosen to leave it, as every small-to-medium town kid does, to See the World.  After all, being able to call one single place home means that, as long as I live elsewhere, I am forever on a journey.

When I am self-pitying, that is when I tell myself I’m living in exile Off Island.

When I am hopeful, that is when I can see that journey as being a lifetime of adventure.

And living in Brooklyn, that is exactly the adventure I dreamed of as a teenager in Victoria. I do not need to convince myself of the sheer awesomeness of my present, I just need to come to terms with the contrast it has with my past.


brunch date, brooklyn style

Paul and I spent today on a Brunch Date!  We dropped Ben off at his class at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, and then, realizing we still had two hours until we had to pick him up, kind of looked at each other

“What do you want to do?” my husband asked me.
“Well, it depends,” I said. “How much biking do you want to do?” I’m back in Physical Training mode, after all – trying to get myself back to the physical shape I was in when I first got sick in June. Therefore, I’m prioritizing more challenging physical activity this week to start rebuilding my endurance, so I can resume my personal training sessions without collapsing halfway through. But I also don’t want Paul to have to wear himself out just because I’m pushing myself more these days.

Fortunately that wasn’t a concern for Paul. “I’m fine,” he told me. “I’ll bike as far as you want to go.”

I smiled. “Then lets go to Smorgasburg! It’s only 4.3 miles away! I checked!”

“Isn’t Smorgasburg coming to Prospect Park on Sundays now though?” Paul asked.

“Yeah, it is,” I replied. “But I think we should go to the Williamsburg location. We will get there right when it opens at 11. It won’t get crowded that early because all the hipsters in Williamsburg wake up late from having been out last night. Whereas the Prospect Park one is going to be mobbed as soon as it opens at 11am tomorrow with families whose kids all woke up at the ass crack of dawn on a Sunday and announced they were bored.”

Paul nodded. “I see the logic here,” he said. “Let’s go. Lead the way.” So I jumped on my bike, and did so, leading the way up Classon to the Navy Yards, and then up the bike path to East River Park. We arrived at 10:52, with just enough time to use the reasonably clean port-a-potties and the conveniently placed hand washing stations before attacking the food vendors.

I had read up before heading out to Smorgasburg this year. The event has, after all, only become larger and even more of a Crazy Food-Off since we first visited it in 2012. I found a good recent Refinery29 article that covered it pretty well and helped me prioritize which stands to hit. (Hint: Not the Ramen Burger…and not just because it had a ridiculous line, ten minutes after it opened)

We wandered up and down to see this year’s lineup first. There were no lines at ANY of the stands because Smorgasburg had just opened, and people were still coming in, so we felt secure taking a few extra minutes to survey the offerings before jumping into brunch. At the recommendation of the R29 article, I suggested starting with the Imperial Egg: a Scotch Egg vendor. What is a Scotch Egg, you ask? It’s an egg, wrapped in meat, and deep fried, and it is AWESOME.

Scotch Egg from The Imperial Egg

This was a lamb merguez style meat coating. The egg was cut in half, covered in a yogurt sauce, and then we added sriracha at the recommendation of the chef. It was amazing at a half-portion each. The egg yolk and yogurt sauce and sriacha all mixed to drip onto the arugula, which was a great counterpoint to the rich layers of the scotch egg.

Then we moved on to Duck Season, again, based on recommendations from the Interwebs…but also because how could anyone resist a blatant Looney Tunes reference?

We opted for their specialty: the Duck Confit, a perfectly cooked duck leg with red onion marmalade. This isn’t the sort of thing that can be easily split, so Paul and I took turns taking bites of it. It was the first duck confit I’ve ever had that wasn’t too salty, but still managed to be crispy on the outside, while being tender and juicy on the inside. I was so interested in eating it, I forgot to take a photo until it looked like this:

post duck season

So here’s a photo I went back and took of the demo model:

duck duck duck

Eating the confit, sitting on a concrete wall, we both discussed how, if no one sets up a food stall called Rabbit Season for 2016, we will be SERIOUSLY disappointed.

We then followed the sound of “Welcome To The Jungle” next door, to Bon Chovie, a seafood and rock and roll themed stall, where I ordered the fried anchovies, “Jersey style” (which I totally didn’t think was a thing.) The menu also included a salmon burger, and a chef that I suspect, based on his Seahawks hat, probably brought that Seattle style. The anchovies were, as promised, head and tail on, deep fried, and served with smoked paprika sauce:

seal food

Yes, these kind of small fish are considered seal food where I come from, but the harbor seal is my spirit animal. I shared two with Paul, after which he declared them “too fishy”, even with lemon squeezed on them.

Since both of us were rapidly approaching Food Overload by then, we decided to hit one more stall. We looked somewhat longingly at the short ribs at Carnal. Paul remarked, “I know I can get fries anywhere, but those giant cones of fries look really good

“You are allowed to choose your own food, my love,” I pointed out. “You do not have to let your wife pick ALL the foods.”

“I know,” he told me, “but wasn’t there one more you wanted to try?”

Yes. Yes there was. The MofonGO, a dish of plantains with a chicken curry stew on top.


I love plantains. They’re super versatile, and work with both sweet and savory dishes. My current list of Things I Want To Cook includes this recipe from Nom Nom Paleo. And mofongo seemed like the sort of dish I could easily modify for our own meals at home.

We settled in to eat it while sitting on the edge of the East River, watching tourists take selfies, and talking about how we could NEVER TELL BEN about going to Smorgasburg, because he would be no end of annoyed with us. Telling our son that we left him to engage in child labor harvesting vegetables at the botanical gardens while we ran off to eat duck confit and deep fried fish would not sit well with him.

As it was, by the end of the mofongo, we were both definitely full, and it was time to bike back down to Prospect Heights. After all, as fun as it is riding our bikes around Williamsburg and pretending to be the sort of people who to go Smorgasburg, we are usually a little family who do everything together. So we reversed direction back down the bike path, and after some back and forth with Google Maps, managed to get to the Botanical Gardens just in time to retrieve Ben from his gardening class.

I collected Ben at the Children’s Farm, and promptly made the mistake of asking him, “how was your class?”

“Terrible. I only got five beans!”

I looked in his bag, and sure enough, there were five yellow wax beans. Ben continued, “I picked twenty of them, but I had to give them all away because other kids didn’t pick any!”

I sighed internally. “That’s OK, my love. I’m proud of you for sharing. I’m actually prouder of you for sharing that I would be of you for bringing all the beans out with you.”

“But I picked, like, twenty beans and I only got to keep a few!”

Thankfully, it was time after that to take Ben to his next stop: a Lego and Pokemon themed birthday party a half mile away. We loaded ourselves back onto our bikes and headed back up the hill, up to Eastern Parkway, past Grand Army Plaza, and onto the Bergen Street bike path to Brickz 4 Kidz. Ben was dropped off, happy with his people, and seemingly over the horrible indignity of having to pick beans only to have to give them away to other children. (Clearly, our son does not agree with communism.)

Paul and I then headed down into the Slope to engage on our last Brooklyn Food Stereotype activity: picking up our CSA from Fishkill Farms, along with our meat share from McEnroe Farms. Lately, the shares have been sizeable, and Paul has had to bike uphill with an extra twenty pounds of produce strapped to his back. It’s still less than the seventy pounds of Ben and trailer bike he used to haul though, so he has done it cheerfully. This week was no exception, as we collected our vegetables, fruit, and grass-fed cow. And to Paul’s credit, even after biking almost twelve miles at that point, he still steadily paced up the hill, back up from 5th Avenue to Prospect Park West, and finally, back around Grand Army plaza to home.

When I got home, I immediately plugged the routes into MapMyFitness, just so I could see how far we rode…and realized, I had totally burned off all the deep fried food we’d eaten at Smorgasburg. Here’s the map showing our route

Now, sitting on the couch, I realize I a extra tired from the effort. Like, really tired, exhausted tired, the sort of exhausted I used to have to bike a lot further to get to. Getting back to bike commuting before the season ends will be tough: today’s 13 miles was done in chunks, and I’m not sure I can do ten miles in less than an hour anytime soon. But if I don’t start now, I definitely won’t be able to return to that level of physical fitness, so I may as well go for it, and see what I can achieve before winter. And if, in the process, I get to go for bike rides and brunch outings with my husband, so much the better.Here’s the map:

dear lungs: I am sorry I took you for granted

Two weeks ago, I didn’t feel well.  I had night sweats and chills; I was tired and achy.  I wrote it off to sunburn and overexertion.

Then I realized I had an actual fever on Wednesday the 10th.  Did I stop moving?  Of course not.  My laptop was at the office, and it was a dear friend’s birthday Friday, so I kept going in, figuring it was a summer cold that would go away soon enough.

Saturday the 13th though, I could barely move.  My throat was too sore and swollen to swallow, so I took myself down to the nearest CityMD to check for strep.  (It wasn’t).  The doctor suggested bed rest, so I went home, and did just that, skipping the Pride Parade and then staying home and out of the office Monday and Wednesday that week.

Then, Wednesday night, I couldn’t breathe properly.  And back to CityMD we went, Paul driving me this time.  I wheezed and gasped a bit, and was eventually prescribed an inhaler and more bed rest.  Which I took.  Well, mostly – I went to the final Scout meeting on Thursday night, and threw my son’s birthday on Saturday morning.

But now, every time I do something, I’m exhausted and wheezing again the next day.  It’s horrible.  I’m trapped at home, too weak to cook or clean (although I did manage to sift through all the 5th Brooklyn finances today).  I can’t go outside, and today was BEAUTIFUL outside.  I’ve been missing work, missing friends’ birthdays, missing EVERYTHING.  Moving around at all – even to pick up the living room – gets me out of breath.  It’s horrible, and it doesn’t seem to be getting better.

I realize, I’m lucky to only be sick short term.  But right now, I just want my life back.  I want to be able to move again, to leave the house, to go to work, to be able to pick back up everything I usually do.  I can’t even go to the park with my son, much less get on with my career, with my exercise routine, with my entire life.  I’m so frustrated and out of hope that this will ever stop, that I’ll ever be able to pick my life back up again.

I’m sorry I took my own mobility and fitness for granted; sorry I assumed I would always be healthy and able to move around as much as I wanted.  Now, I can’t breathe well enough to manage anything, and I’m permanently exhausted as a result.   I just want to be able to move around the city again, to enjoy the summer, to be able to live the life I built…that I’m worried will crumble from neglect now that I can’t tend to it.

This is a mess of self-pity; I realize that.  I’ll see a pulminologist on Tuesday, and hopefully get something stronger to fix the problem, whether it’s walking pneumonia or bronchitis or something else.  I’m supposed to fly to Canada in five days though, and if I can’t breathe now, how will I survive that trip?

I feel like I’m physically broken – I know I pushed myself too far, that I took my health for granted.  I won’t make the mistake again, I’ll listen next time I have to slow down because I don’t feel well.  Because right now, this physical slowdown is starting to spread to my brain, and it’s turning to despair that I’ll ever get my life back enough to be at a point where I have a speed to slow down from.

Morning raves are the best thing ever

Yesterday, we took Ben to his first rave party. Because we are Responsible Parents, this was a sober rave, part of the new “early morning rave party” trend. These are dance parties that play house and deep house, that bring in local DJs known for playing parties to do it, and are full of flower necklaces and glowsticks…at 7 in the morning. There’s no alcohol, no X, no Molly, just coffee, cold pressed juice and raw vegan breakfast foods. To those of us too old to stay up all night, but too young to give up on dance parties, they are fantastic.  More importantly,  they are profitable: yesterday’s event was the 11th party hosted to date in NYC by Morning Gloryville,  a London based hosting company, and their schedule seems to be monthly at this point.   There is a clear market for these early morning sober raves,  and me and my contemporaries are probably it.

I haven’t been to anything like a rave in years.  I used to go out a lot in Vancouver,  because I had friends who were either DJs or promoters.   I’d go see my friend Farshad spin at the old Stone Temple  club in Vancouver, or go to the events his promotion company threw.   Even after I left BC for California, I went to the Lotus/Honey for those events every time I was home.   And in LA, I went to the Circus, or to the Burning Man parties in DTLA, in the artists district near the Brewery colony.   But all that stopped years ago when I became a Responsible Adult.  With minimal time to spend on going out and music culture,  I have focused much more on goth than Electronica.   I like EDM, but I love EBM.

So I have fond memories of dancing until 4am to house music in clubs, or even until sunrise occasionally.  My old friend Graham threw an awesome party in an abandoned power plant just before I left Vancouver in 2004 called, of course, “The Gong Show” that is still my defining memory of a rave.  But at all of these events, the focus was always on the music. I have never done any raver drugs: I am too afraid of unbalancing my already precariously balanced brain. If I’m at anything like a rave, the worst thing I’m going to be on is a whole lot of caffeine, which, in my younger days, took the form of vodka Red Bulls. 

Now, in my older, sedate days, that’s two cups of Bulletproof coffee (coffee blended with ghee and coconut oil).  We all hopped out of bed early Wednesday morning – even Ben, who was promised that he could dance however he wanted for an hour before school. He was very enthusiastic about this, and dressed himself to be ready to go with no prodding. We all packed our backpacks with everything we would need for the day, because long gone are the days when I can leave the house with only what I can fit in my bra, and we headed down the hill, on our bikes, in the early morning chill, to Gowanus.

Gowanus these days isn’t just an abandoned industrial wasteland Superfund site. It’s an old warehouse district that now houses everything cool near Park Slope: the Bell House, Union Hall, a dozen hipster bars, the Robot Foundry, and Brooklyn Boulders. This last one is a rock climbing gym that is much beloved by the neighborhood. And that’s the space that the promoters found for their party. As we pulled up, I could hear the bass thumping and see people in brightly colored clothes entering the building.   “I think this is it,” I said to Paul.  And so, we locked our bikes, and went in.

Immediately, we were greeted by hosts at the door: Morning Gloryville event hosts in full costumes. One man in a sarong directed us to check in.  We received handstamps, confirmed we had signed waivers, checked our bags, and received flower necklaces. “For hippies,” I remarmed, “they are remarkably organized.”  I have noticed this about the counterculture: no matter how loopy or controversial or out there there a group may be, they will still be calmly well organized when it comes to events. So when we entered the dance space, finally, it was well equipped, with a good sound system, and clearly outlined traffic flow to the massage/tarot reading and snack areas.

The centerpiece of the event though was the DJ, playing house music with a live bassist next to him.  Paul and I immediately began dancing.  Ben looked confused. “Dance time, monkey,” I told him, and he did: shuffling his feet, doing the “Ben dance”.  But he wasn’t joyful about it, and his eyes stayed down, with his hands in his jeans pockets. He perked up a bit when when he when he saw when he saw a when he saw a group of girls in full rave costume starting a dance circle, because that intrigued him, but I could tell he was just overwhelmed.

Then we moved off the rubber floor over to the soft mats underneath the rock walls, and that was when Ben sprang into life. Suddenly, he was in his element. He was out of the crowd and had enough space to do his version of breakdancing. He had space to run in circles. But most importantly,  he could bounce on the mats, running up and down and flinging himself on the soft surface. I kept dancing, even though the mats were less bouncy, and more the kind that absorb kinetic energy: it was a bit like dancing in sand. But Ben was so happy, and we were all dancing together, as a family. Ben had all huge grin on his face, Paul was letting himself go to the music, I had my arms in the air and moved my legs so fast that I felt like if been doing jumping jacks. It was awesome.

Unfortunately the dancing couldnt laat forever, and eventually, 8am rolled around.  I was sad to go.  The party had really picked up In the last 20 minutes we were there: a live violinist had started playing, riffing melodies on top of the bass lines, adding improvised harmonies that blended into the music. The room had filled up and the energy was palpable. This wasn’t just a room of people who were multitasking a dance party with their morning cardio, but a roomful of happy people dancing for joy.  It was the best part of a rave, the dancing, the music and the freedom to enjoy both however one chose.

But still, we had to go. The morning called. Paul had to take Ben to school.  I had to head to work.  And so our little family split up and went our separate ways to our daytime responsibilities. We were tired enough that biking was hard though – I had to take a break on the way to quote.  I had, apparently, danced enough to wear out my legs.

And so that was Morning Rave Adventure. It was so much fun!  I was happy for hours after “raving my way into the day”.  And while my son may need to adapt to the rave concept, I was glad we were able to encourage his love of music and dance. (And rock climbing. Next time, we go to that venue to climb).

#tbt: march 26th, 2005 post-party postmortem

Oh, the days at Casa Mar Vista…

So, 2005: I was twenty-six.  I lived in a West LA house with two housemates, with a dozen friends in the immediate area of the Westside.  I had mostly settled into Los Angeles, and had cut back on drinking and related silliness.  I say cut back, not cut out entirely, because I apparently still managed to wear bunny ears at our A-B-C-D Birthday / Easter Party.

So the next day wasn’t pretty, but it could have been uglier, as described in this recap

so this whole “blog” thing…

I used to be very comfortable sharing my story with the world, in a form of a blog.  After all, my life ten years ago was the same story as everyone around me: a constant stream of Age-Appropriate Adventures that made for outstanding blogging material.  I surfed through a couple dozen old entries earlier this week, for very little reason at all, and realized that I had a lot to work with, all of it age-appropriate enough to be almost anonymous.

Then I became a wife, mother, career person.  Now I can add “community leader” to that through my Scout involvement.  And my blog started to wither from neglect.  I have written less in the last two years than I used to in a month.

I realize, re-reading all those entries, that I have let Facebook updates and Twitter quips replace my blog entries.  As a result, I really miss writing about my experience in the world.  I haven’t decided whether I am comfortable sharing everything, but I do miss chronicling it.  Part of the appeal of short form social media is that it is subtle and superficial, but I miss long form writing.  And I miss having pages of memories to read through when I feel like visiting my past.

So maybe there is something here, something I should be bringing back from the past.  There is something about the challenge of describing an experience, of selecting the right words, the right language, that I really liked.  And now I wonder if I let it go because I wasn’t quite sure about what to say or what context to say it in: for some time, I have been uncertain about my identity and about what words to describe myself with.  I think I was unable to properly contextualize experience without understanding the perspective I was writing about it from.

Now, I’m feeling more secure about who I am, and about how everything I’ve experienced and everything I’ve done, all adds up to, well, me.  I am just sometimes very uncertain about describing all those things because I don’t want to show every angle of me to anyone who can access the Interwebs.  It is the threat of saying too much, of saying something wrong, of saying something inappropriate.  The Internet is a different place than it was in 2000 when I started writing consistently on Livejournal, and yet, I have left all those entries up because they are my past.

It is the line in “Losing My Religion”: oh no I said too much, I haven’t said enough.

It is seeing the gap in entries for the past five years, the occasional superficial post, concentrated at a level so generic as to be innocuous, and comparing that against the rich tapestry of memories (some happy, some sad, some joyful, some shameful) that I have for the decade before.

Perhaps this habit of writing and chronicling should come back.  Perhaps I just need more confidence that I will not be judged or consequenced for it.

seven year anniversary :: copper

This weekend, Paul and I celebrated our wedding anniversary.  We have been married now for seven years, together in total for nine. This year, we chose to celebrate on two successive nights and include Ben on the first evening, at dinner.  We went to Saul at the Brooklyn Museum, which is right by our new home, for the last night of Restaurant Week.  And then Saturday, we went out dancing until far too late, and left Ben sleeping at home under the care of Aunt Z.

Dinner at Saul was good – not extraordinary, but certainly enjoyable.  The dishes were good, but all had that slightly refrigerated taste that comes from a lot of advance mass prep.  I’m not sure how to describe it: it’s sort of the taste you get when you know a lot of your dish was prepped in advance and more assembled than cooked to order.  But it was still a very nice restaurant, in a beautiful museum, with good food.  And Ben LOVED it.


I was especially proud when he ordered flawlessly off the prix fixe menu: “For my appetizer, I would like the crudo of big eye tuna.  For my entree, I would like the seared branzino over winter vegetables.   For my dessert, I would like the poached pear”  (We asked if he just wanted to try the octopus appetizer he had been looking forward to, but he was more interested in the prix fixe menu so he could eat more fish).  And he certainly enjoyed his dinner: he ate every scrap of the tuna crudo, all the fish and most of the vegetables from the branzino (the vegetables were cooked in fish stock so he liked them too)…but then turned down the poached pear because it had “too much cinnamon”.  Chef Saul, the tiny restaurant critic has spoken, and he thinks you overspiced the poaching mix.

Saturday, Paul and I cleaned ourselves up and headed out to Manhattan.  We started with the Depeche Mode Fan Club night at Slake in Midtown, which was pretty much exactly as described: fifty extreme Depeche Mode fans in one room, and another larger space that, when we arrived, was hosting a live performance by local gloom wave artist Jennie Vee .  We had checked out Jennie Vee’s music before leaving, so we could decide whether or not to actually show up for her whole set.  Then we got distracted debating the sub-genres of shoegaze, which resulted in a highly music geeky back and forth:

ME: How is it she lists every goth band except the Cocteau Twins as influences?
PAUL: Well, what genre is she supposed to be?
ME: Her stuff is hashtagged as #nugaze
ME: Yes, it is!  Ulrich Schnauss is nugaze!  It’s like shoegaze but with more synths!

We agreed that we weren’t going leave early enough for Ms. Vee’s set – but she and her band were still on stage when we arrived.  So we went back and forth between the band and the Depeche Mode room while the Depeche Mode playing DJ got “Songs of Faith And Devotion” out of her system.  I LOVE that album, and it’s actually my favorite Depeche Mode album, but when I’m already dragging, I do prefer to be bouncing around to faster paced songs than “In Your Room”.  And I was interested when Jennie Vee started cover of “Lips Like Sugar” (very appropriate for an 80s inspired room), but as Classic Dark Tracks Re-Done By Female Singers go, it was interesting, but not a complete revamp like when Snake River Conspiracy did “Lovesong”.  Hence the wandering back and forth.

But shortly afterwards, the tempo of the evening picked up.  The 80s room went into Full Top 40 Mode (“Video Killed The Radio Star”) and the Depeche Mode room moved off into a mix of tracks from other eras (“Dream On”, “Precious”, “Everything Counts”) that moved a little faster.  So the tempo picked up, and I started moving more and waking back up.  I do love Depeche Mode, and being in a roomful of people who knew that you always wave your hands to the instrumental bridge of “Never Let Me Down Again” was a lot of fun.

Still, eventually, being at a Depeche Mode only dance party was losing its novelty for me.   I was tempted to drag Paul over to the 80s room and pretend we were at the high school reunion dance in Grosse Point Blank, but the DJ there was stuck on “Take On Me” and “Don’t You Want Me”, not Tones On Tail’s “Go”, or Siouxsie and the Banshees’ “Cities In Dust”.  So we migrated a half mile over to the Windfall Lounge, which is apparently the only venue in town willing to host goth nights since the Bowery Poetry Club was gentrified out of existence.  I wanted to keep dancing at Necropolis.

The problem was that as much as I wanted to keep dancing once we arrived and checked our coats, I started threatening to fall asleep while actually still dancing to a Nitzer Ebb track.  This made me sad, because I love going out to goth club nights with Paul.  Where else are they going to play all the songs we have danced to together for the past nine years?  Even if the DJ’s on the stage aren’t playing exactly the songs we know, they are playing songs from those genres and sub-genres that make up our shared music base.  One of us will catch a song from hearing it in a club, on a mix, on Dark Wave.  It gives us a chance to keep growing the list of songs on the soundtrack of our nights out together.

But still, I had had a long day, and was tired, so we had to leave.  We came home on the Q, which was miraculously on time.  I kept myself awake by forcing Paul to listen to my recanting of the plot of “The Last American Vampire”, to which he interrupted every plot point by just saying, “No.  Stop.  That DID NOT HAPPEN.  No one wrote that.  Please tell me that wasn’t in an actual published book,” which then led to us discussing why every piece of historical fiction always has protagonists becoming best friends with historically pivotal characters until we got back to our stop…and then complaining about the cold was the only topic of conversation I was interested in.

We sent Auntie Z back home to Harlem, and passed out exhausted at 5am Daylight Savings time: the 2am hour had vanished and we were up far, far later than we should have been.  And today has been rough, just because we have learned that we can EITHER stay out late OR drink, but not BOTH. So for next year’s Pottery anniversary, now we know: load up on caffeine and make the night happen that way.

on this date in the past:

2007: faith & devotion: the marriage proposal
008: post-wedding recovery
014: six year symbol: iron