Museum of the Western World & Trev’s Books with BIBLIOCACHE

As a certain big-eyed ingenue once said, life moves pretty fast sometimes.

We’ve barely got Museum of the Western World printed and it’s already out in the world! So is Trev’s Books! (I’ve also sent them my old classic What I Did on a Saturday Afternoon!)

I was invited by Aaron Moran to contribute new zines to Poor Quality’s BIBLIOCACHE exhibit at the Vancouver Book Art Fair at Emily Carr University. The exhibit runs this weekend from October 18-20, 2019!

Be sure to check it out!

Hark! A Prophecy!

1979738_10152198477557550_1451357022_nIn the hallowed halls of Main Street, in the aptly named Cottage Bistro, there shall be a gathering, and this gathering shall be called “The Launch! with PRISM, Event, poetry is dead, and Room Magazine.”

The date of this party shall be the seventeenth of April (a Thursday, methinks), in the year of 2014.

And the time of this event shall be seven in the evening.

And there one Ashleigh of House Rajala shall go forth and read aloud the words issued by her own hand.

Or, in the words of the event organizers:

Please join us as we celebrate our latest issues and the spirit of literary magazines in BC!! With special musical guests ‘Vocal Jazz Jam with Woolysock Band.’ Readers include: Billeh Nickerson, Dina Del Bucchia, Ashleigh Rajala, and Karen Lee. Our MC is Elizabeth Bachinsky!

In other news, I’m running out of creative ways to make simple announcements.

On the Embarrassing Act of Coming Home

Today we fly back to Vancouver. The great experiment – one might say – has failed.

I know that over the next week, the explanation will boil itself down to an easy deflection: one or two lines doing their best to contain both logic and pride.

It took us several days and a good dose of demoralization to finally come to the conclusion to come home. We weighed pros and cons, painted competing visions of the future, and tried to think it through in the most logical way possible. We gave ourselves time, and gave ourselves perspective. This was a decision we did not want clouded by such temporary factors as culture shock or bureaucratic annoyances, or faulty expectations.

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Panic on the Streets of London

I wanted to write about the London riots  but I’ll still trying to organize my thoughts. This is all I have to say right now.

I feel like London is a wizened old man: the kind who sits on a park bench, smoking a withered cigarette, old tattoos fading into oblivion along the forearms, sleeves pushed up on a cardigan, and a hairline that’s receding; you can see the liver spots beneath the wispy, grey strands.

London longs to tell you stories of the good old days. London has lived through so many generations. London has seen wars, but “good old wars,” you know, the kind that meant something.

London, the old man, is a fully realized character: he’s full of contradictions, fallacies, and hidden truths. He is not sure what defines his present; at times he feels that he is nothing but his memories. But these memories are perpetually rewritten as each day another layer of myth-making takes hold: another memory is gone, another memory is made, then remade, and remade again.

London doesn’t know his own history better than any of us do. He clings to memories that he thinks mean something, but in the end, none of them do. There’s nothing but Now.

London has gone from rags to riches and back again so many times that he no longer knows what he is any more. It is all locked somewhere inside of him. He’s lived through civil war as well. It might seem like so long ago, but it’s not. Not really. Memory works in funny ways; time has no bearing on whether we remember certain things more clearly than others.

London sits, smoking his cigarette, saying something glib like “hot fecking summer, eh?”  The casual bitterness in his tone, and that brief way in which his eyes take to the sky as if to say I’m too old for this shit, betray the fact that perhaps his wars are not over after all.

As London sits on his park bench, I can’t help but think of Vancouver as an arrogant young kid. Vancouver: lacking history but full of self-importance.

Vancouver: if the world’s a condominium complex, you’re the show home, beautiful but emotionless. Your possessions lack context.

London, the bitter old man, eyes this cocky young kid with condescension. Vancouver, he says, You think you’re the first to think of this? You think you’re the first to get angry? The first to burn things, the first to loot? You think you have a reason for this?

Well, son, let me show you how it’s done.  

This March’s Latest Fashion Trends

If you’re in Vancouver right now, you know how ass-bitingly cold it is at the moment. And I don’t mean the normal Canadian cold, I mean “-8 and we start panicking and lining the walls of bedrooms with extra blankets because this is Vancouver and we are wusses” cold.

But still myself and Dr. Roommate & Friends persist in our nightly jogs through the graveyard.

Continue reading “This March’s Latest Fashion Trends”

The Olympics are an extravagant wedding you think will end in divorce

I’ve been experiencing a severe amount of cognitive dissonance regarding the Olympics. As a Vancouverite, for the last seven years I’ve dealt with the 2010 Winter Olympics by simply ignoring the situation, but then last Friday, it arrived on my doorstep like a an e-Bay purchase you forgot you made. Since then, I’ve just let it wash over me, while struggling to comprehend what is actually going on. It reminds me of a similar predicament I’ve borne witness to over the last year or so. A family friend is getting married in Disneyland in May, and while I care about her in the way you sorta care about people who are nearly relatives, I am sick to death with the drama and expense of her impending wedding. A crisis occurs, money is thrown at the crisis, words are said, protests are made, protesters are forced into silence. Repeat. Repeat again. Over and over again, until you just can’t take it anymore.

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Q: What has two thumbs and is the leading candidate for first victim of the zombie apocalypse? A: This chick.

Shannon and I have decided that we’re sick of being fat bastards and have implemented a fitness regime into our already pretty groggy lives. Shannon’s going to be a doctor one day, so I understand her desire for general health. Me, however, sometimes I feel like I’m a write-off, but sometimes I fantasize about being able to run for a minute straight without keeling over. (This fantasy is of similar only-in-a-parallel-universe status as my fantasy about singing with my imaginary band in some seedy club and doing it well enough to impress John Cusack – who just happens to be in the audience – so much that he invites me over for a drink and a marriage proposal. Yup. File it under “Not Only Never Going to Happen, But Also Probably a Sign of Mental Health Issues.” [Further subnote: Peter Gabriel’s ‘In Your Eyes’ just starting playing on the radio as I write this. Oooh, chills.])

So, Shannon and I started running a couple of weeks ago. We’re doing the Vancouver Sun Run training schedule, where you start running for thirty seconds, walking for four and a half minutes, then slowly work it up, so that in thirteen weeks, you’re running straight for almost an hour. We are currently on running for a minute, walking four minutes. Personal best. Go us. Roommate powers activate.

Continue reading “Q: What has two thumbs and is the leading candidate for first victim of the zombie apocalypse? A: This chick.”

TV on the Radio in the Park

Originally Published at A’n’E Vibe


With their latest album, Dear Science, having been hailed as the best album of 2008 by a plethora of music giants (Rolling Stone, Spin, and MTV among them), the Brooklyn-based TV on the Radio brought their genre-defying act to Vancouver on Monday night. The eclectic, high-energy performance proved perfectly set within the Malkin Bowl at Stanley Park, complete with sea planes flying overhead, eagles circling, hippies, hipsters, and even small toddlers on their parents’ shoulders.

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