> thedubiousmonk blog

heading east for sunsets and seasons

2016-10-28 02:20:36 +0000

In followup to the last post, yes, I did enjoy Nanaimo more than Campbell River. But now it’s time to be moving again. My partner and I are headed to Edmonton to start new jobs on November 7th. It’s a return to the prairies for me and I think I’ll like it better than I did when last I lived in Winnipeg.

I’ve spent most of my 30s out on the west coast and I do like the mildness of the winters here. But maybe it’s okay to live somewhere a little harder to deal with. A little (lot) colder, but with better food (non-sushi division). The new job should be much better than working for my former employer.

Maybe I’ll write more. I hope to, but am not promising anything.

moving weather work


2014-08-31 05:36:49 +0000

Tomorrow I finish my month-long move down to Nanaimo for my new job. By this time next week though, I’ll be on vacation.

I hope I like Nanaimo better than Campbell River. I feel kind of bad for not liking it here. There are some very nice people in this town, but nothing ever really clicked for me. I will miss the folks from Coho Books.

In Nanaimo there are comic & game shops I’ll be able to bike to. The ferry to Vancouver is way closer and easier. I know a bunch of people there already (yes, most of them are librarians) so maybe I won’t have to live on the internet quite so much.

Back when I decided to get an MLIS it was basically so I wouldn’t be stuck in Winnipeg. And I’m still not stuck anywhere, so it seems my mission is being accomplished. Go me.

moving nanaimo vacation

live studio audience

2014-07-15 00:24:41 +0000

Last week I took advantage of being a mere 3 hour drive from Victoria (as opposed to the 5 or so hours it takes to get into Vancouver with all the ferry and transit I take from here) and went to see Welcome to Night Vale. I took most of the afternoon off work and then managed to miss Victoria’s traffic, saw a performance of a live version of a radio show and then drove home.

The show was about a librarian who had escaped from the steel and plexiglas cages in the newly renovated Night Vale library to terrorize the town (if you’re unfamiliar with WtNV, it’s a podcast done as a community radio show about a weird dark little desert city where a 5-Headed Dragon is running for mayor against the Faceless Old Woman Who Lives in Your Home). The show was fine, but I kind of hated listening to it with so many people.

For me radio is a very personal medium. You’re letting someone talk to you directly and you build up a kind of weird rapport with this voice you never get to talk back to. Or at least in my ideal world you don’t. I have learned that I hate call-in radio programs because it breaks the fourth wall so hard. This live show felt a little bit similar to that.

I mean, it was a good episode, but it also felt like it was constructed to do a big chunk of fan-service, and the constant needing to pause for applause removed me from the experience.

At its best I see radio as the most lonely medium, this voice just bouncing out into the world hoping it finds a listener somewhere. When a small concert hall is filled with people cheering and awwing (at things I totally cheered and awwed at in my head) it feels weird. And yeah, maybe this is just me pulling a “Nothing is any good if other people like it” kind of thing, so obviously I’m ignorable on this.

But it wasn’t just this show. The most recent episodes of the podcast were two parts of a live show, and it didn’t have the same rhythm of a regular show. It’s funny, because in music I tend to like live versions of songs and their differences from the studio versions, but with this, maybe it’s because it’s words, or maybe just because the words don’t overpower the audience reaction the way an amped up concert does it felt different. I guess I just wanted the audience to listen in rapt attention, without trying to insert our reactions into the show.

That said, the musical guest, Eliza Rickman, was great and we all listened so closely and carefully. She played a toy piano and an autoharp and sang a version of Moon River in which she used two violin bows to pay a glockenspiel, which is second only to Kid Koala’s version of Moon River in my covers pantheon.

I’m glad I went. It’s always good for me to get out of this town and do something I actually like. If you get the chance to listen to Welcome to Night Vale you should (there are 50 episodes so you can fill a good number of summer road trips with it).

autoharp drive eliza rickman glockenspiel librarians lonely moon river podcast radio victoria welcome to night vale

a morning stroll

2014-07-03 02:44:23 +0000

I’m trying to feel better about this place I live. So one of the nice things about it is that I can walk to a provincial park. And, while I’m no connoisseur, I think it’s a nice one.

This is kind of near the first entrance to the park. When I returned from this specific hike there were a bunch of little kids in the water wearing helmets and life jackets floating downstream learning how to avoid rocks or something, under the supervision of some sort of counsellor-type.

This is up at Elk Falls itself. I did not realize the falls were in such a canyon. This doesn’t show the drama of the setting, but that’s because I was out on my own and didn’t have anyone to tell my tale if I plummeted to my death. Which I might have. I don’t trust my body to keep me alive.

The walking took me through a bunch of this:

And this:

and this:

I startled a deer

and took a lot of pictures of flowers:

Then finally I found my way home past the generator station

So yeah. I should really do more walking out in this and appreciate it, right?

elk falls flowers nature outside park walking

wearing blue like a jerk

2014-07-01 22:45:46 +0000

Nationalistic sportball is playing on the computer. Not this computer, another one, the one I have for watching and listening and playing with things like a good consumer.

Although that good consumeriness plays out a bit weirdly here. I’ve long kept up with sports so I had things to talk about with strangers, so I’m not some elitist only interested in my esoteric nerdy occupations.

Here though it’s all backfiring. We’re off some other end of the scales of what makes a person interesting. The interest in the world cup (even though it’s “Sport! The universal language!”) here is peripheral as all get out so my watching of CBC’s helpfully streamed matches is as useful for making small talk as knowing what’s up with the political hierarchies of bees or the logistics of interstellar economics (or baseball).

It’s Canada Day out though, and sunny, so I guess fuck futbol being played in some other hemisphere. I have walked the town’s celebrations, which are kind of epitomized by the amount of totally non-ironic Bryan Adams being played. Woo patriotism.

bryan adams canada day consumerism conversation elitist globalization nationalism small talk summer world cup