Sunday, June 04, 2006

Wired in Vancouver: 24 hours without sleep

Author’s note: I think it best to warn a small minority of my readership (which is small in and of itself) which is ambiguous to my more wordy and shall we say “gonzo” style of writing that the following manuscript may go in that direction. Strange times require strange language and the previous few days out in Vancouver and the night which I’m currently experiencing certainly qualify as queer by any standard (pause). You have been warned, but I apologize for nothing.

12:27 AM…

Only, seven and a half more hours to go until I can get my ass on a Greyhound speeding towards Whitehorse and finally get some sleep. Thank god for the Asian infatuation with video gaming because without this 24 hour internet Café, I’d certainly be at a loss for how to spend the time. I have no intention of recapping the previous 72 hours of my life but some of the many events that took place during that time period include in a completely random order:

Seeing an extremely violent Australian western, purportedly going to a rave, bailing out of an agreement to sleep on a random woman’s floor after taking the piss out of her the entire night previous, failing to call a kiwi to party on Friday night, having my passport inspected and criticized by a liquor store cashier who sold me a bottle of Maudite, smoking in a park and unknowingly losing my cell phone, walking around town with a humorous Scotsman, having said Scotsman call my phone expecting to find it in my bag only to have what was described as a raccoon pick up in some undisclosed location, meeting said raccoon only to find out he’s an aged alcoholic who asked for a six pack in exchange for returning my lost property, a night with a Japanese girl, far too much Cannabis, hanging out in Posh apartments and swank beaches with Canadian rappers, a long period of research into the effects, risks, value and legal status of the Peruvian Torch Cactus, the second best natural source of mescaline in the world after Peyote, the completion of one collection of writings by a man who I’ll only refer to as The Good Doctor and the acquisition of vintage pornography.

I guess that wouldn’t impress too many people. Not enough sex to titillate the men and I’ve realized long ago that my interests rarely converge with that of the fairer sex. Nonetheless, I don’t think I can be blamed since Vancouver is a poor city for boozing in bars. St-Laurent alone probably contains more quality drinking establishments than this entire settlement. Sure, the dick-eating, coke snorting staff at Vice Magazine may try to convince its readers that opportunity abounds for those willing to brave the lawless streets of East Hastings, but that’s only because they’d be willing to suck semen for the kick of escaping their middle class suburban upbringing in a dirty bar populated by junkies coming down from their fix. No, Vancouver isn’t a city for nightlife: the place is too healthy, too hip for such a self-destructive act as imbibing a bottle of Vodka whole and fucking a random German or Aussie girl. Instead the locals lazily head to the beach at 3:00, eat at 7:00, catch a show and head home. Their insanely powerful marijuana, the best I’ve tasted, keeps them sedated and while their police have proven to be truly ineffective, they sure keep the whip cracked for public boozers.

Fuck. I just read that Shohei Imamura, one of my favorite directors of all time died a few days ago. I just wrote to Phil about it.


No man should have to hear about the death of one of his top 5 directors while homeless in Vancouver waiting for his bus to the Yukon on a 24 hour coffee binge.

R.I.P. Artists of his caliber are always truly missed, but this one hits me particularly hard. Hopefully more of his films will be distributed in the west now so people can appreciate his talent because as it stands he is severely underrated by people who gush over Mizoguci, Ozu, Kurosawa and even Naruse. What was misunderstood about a man who so passionately rejected the traditional view of Japan that these filmmakers strived for is that the far grittier, raw version of the country and its people he presented was as interesting a cinematic space ever created. Sad news indeed.

Some bastard spammed the hell out of my blog. I hope the f***** catches syphilis and dies. I’m mad, Imamura deserved far more fame than he received, although the two Cannes wins and the admiration of his own country far eclipse the lack of petty compliments of us western film critics.

Anyways, returning to the subject at hand, it’s 1:00 AM and I’m still in Vancouver, writing. The only sounds in the room are that of a first person shooter in the background: machine gun rounds going off and the disembodied voices of NPC’s speaking through walky-talkies. There’s also the occasional car racing through the streets of Yaletown. Hmm, I head street racing was a major problem around here; Harper was huffing and puffing about putting an end to it with his retarded crime bill. That moron just got 17 terror suspects in Toronto. Making a prediction as to how this’ll affect his poll ratings would be moot, it seems like the entire country is being lead down a road to hell by this pied piper and all of my bellyaching won’t stop it. It’s hard to blame them: as benign as the liberals were, they were still crooks and this country doesn’t take well to having their funds stolen, least of all when it involves French separatist politics. Speaking of my beloved ethnic group/culture/race/people, the idea that French women are hotter than the rest of the birds in Canada is as ludicrous as an Atlanta rapper. Nothing but a cruel hoax perpetuated by the whores and pimps of Montreal to lure unwitting Anglo tourists to town, rob them of their money and leave them with diseases. The fact is the very exoticism of the French language seems to turn descendants of the British Empire to mush, but as an objective observer, their faux-bohemian look has nothing on the sly Indy rock attitude of the women around here. It is extremely interesting to spy on them though; I caught a few commenting on me in the lunch room a few nights back and proceeded to make it known that their comments weren’t appreciated and that they were skanks of the lowest level who’d be lucky not to leave the province with a severe meth habit and bloody noses. Well, perhaps not in such words but the intent was there and the result was similarly shocking.

My high is wearing off, I don’t want to smoke anymore out of fear that it’ll knock me out. No, not until 3:00 AM at the earliest and preferably 5:00 AM. Even then, just a bowl at most, enough to give me some motivation in the final hours. Christ, it’s not even near then. I need to find something to entertain myself other than this article or you (the poor reader) will be subjected to every insane rambling thought that passes through my head early this Sunday morning. Yes, it’s Sunday now. It’s 4:20 in Montreal right now actually. An excellent reason to smoke but I’ll hold back. I need the current bowl to fade completely, hopefully along with that Sapporo I downed. Sobering up is no fun.

Here’s an interesting comment…

Beyoncé is too pretty to be doing all of this hard work. She should just be a model. Brittany, 19 Oklahoma City, OK

When I started this blog I wanted to dedicate a section to all the retarded bullshit spat out by lobotomized American kids at I really should have pursued that avenue and built the site into an internet brand like that guy who translates bad Asian tattoos. Lord knows there are enough stupid bitches (both male and female) in the tween to twenty category spewing out thoughts so frustratingly embarrassing that they’d rarely if ever be seen emanating out of the mind of even the basest of primates. The youth of America could never win in a war against the apes. For all of his insane right wing anger, Charlton Heston could at least be trusted in this situation unlike those kids. Hell, I just saw a fat 12 year old running around the mall today dressed (and acting) like Paris Hilton. It’ll be a brutal reality when she realizes that there’s no multimillion dollar trust fund in her name and no amount of surgery that’ll fix her up. Of course, she could get smart, exercise, study and find a good if low paying job but the odds are against it. And would it be really worth it anyways? Hilton is proof that hard work is shit compared with luck of the draw. The woman is talented at nothing but being an annoyance and somehow will make millions out of it because she was born with a publicist. A woman of similar character in any other situation would have probably ended up coked up and in the streets by now.

Whoa, Adult Swim just released a new Dangerdoom EP for free over the internet. This will definitely entertain me for 30 minutes or so. The intro is nice, would be better high but all I got next to me is a Starbucks drink. This whole cot damned city is addicted to cheap coffee in the worst way. The two most popular Starbucks’ in Canada are literally across from each other on the same street corner. You’d think they’d develop well…some taste and import stuff from France but no, the American chains somehow manage to attract otherwise left-leaning Vancouverites by the droves. I like this EP, it’s looser and funkier than the album which seemed lazy on Doom’s part and boring on Danger’s. It was still good, but this is better.

I’d rather write all night until the early show – MF Doom

1:49…I’ll earn myself another swig of coffee by 2:00. SHIT, there’s a giant picture of a corndog in this file. Never mind that…just concentrate on the music and the task at hand: staying awake for another 6 hours. Half a clock cycle. A quarter day. I am sofa king we todd ed. DJ Shadow’s album is apparently Hyphy and dancy which will either give the movement some credibility or sink DJ Shadow’s standing. I guess Pink Floyd did ok with Another brick in the wall but that doesn’t mean I think the people who did Darkside of the Moon would have succeeded at new-wave or hair metal and Shadow’s new direction is as ridiculous a shift in direction on paper. It’s sad that the man who was so vocal about the purity of art in 96 now finds himself going in the exact other direction. Honestly, I don’t doubt that he honestly likes what he’s doing now but it leaves cats like me with little hope that honest, un-dancy music will ever make a comeback. The alternative revolution of the early 90’s and the early promise of Hiphop’s first few decades show little influence over the funkless post-disco strut of what’s going on now. A few indy kids are doing some nice things but to be honest, good music is fleeing further and further underground.

It also occurs to me that I’m going to be hungry very soon. That pineapple chicken I had for supper wasn’t enough. Even if I leave here at 5:00ish I don’t think the McDonalds at the train station will be open and I hate eating that crap. It won’t be so bad if I smoke though.

Back to dance music and artistic compromise, the first DJ Premier produced Christina Aguilera track has hit the net and the results are…whoa, actually nice! Premo has NOT gone the Shadow root and instead stays very true to his gritty roots. In fact, he actually goes back…way back with this one, delivering a mix between a Stax stomper and a breakbeat record. As for Christina, well she’s always had a voice and thankfully the record forgoes the sluttiness of her last attempt. The whole thing comes off as a tribute to Motown with a little Marley Marl thrown in which is a good thing as far as I’m concerned. If Gnarls Barkley’s Crazy is this year’s Feel Good Inc this could easily act as a suitable follow up to Amerie’s One thing. I guess I shouldn’t complain about music too quickly, I may just hear something I like from unusual places. Then again, I should have trusted DJ Premier from the get go: he’s always delivered when paired with the right vocalist and he’s always handled left-of-center assignments with creativity and innovation.

Three hoes just walked in. I mean, they’re literally whores. They bought a pepsi and left. Nothing strange here apparently, I guess that not many places are actually open at this time of night. Now I’ve got some dusty Large Pro beats going on from his instrumental album, just catching up on some of the music I’ve missed in the past few months on Spine. I like these, perfect for the late night atmosphere. The other good news is that I’m officially at the half-way mark of my internet time.

Sadly, I’m not even remotely near 8:00 AM. Maybe I should stay here until 6 instead of 5. The extra hour would mean less waiting around at the station. I’ll decide later, what I really need to do is think of something else to type. I wonder what the hell my friends from MTL are doing. Hong apparently won something at Concordia and has proven that Chris Doyle is indeed the drunken lush that the rumors say he is. Phil is probably dealing with some god forsaken Chinese wedding assignment by now, I must remember to call that sumbitch once I get to Dawson City, preferably at some obscene time of night drunk with a dead man’s toe in my drink for good measure. As for Stephane, no blog updates since the Indonesia Earthquake. Considering he was going to Asia for charity work, it wouldn’t surprise me if the crazy mufucka actually flew to Jakarta to make his way to the disaster zone. Or maybe I’m giving him too much credit and he’s on a beach sipping drinks with some transsexual Thai prostitute. Either way he’ll have a strong case for a libel suit should he pursue it should I ever publish this (which I will, I don’t spend 5 hours typing on a god forsaken morning for naught). I’d keep shooting outlandish hypotheses on the actions of my acquaintances but it’s probably bad for my relationships so I’ll stick to the 3 least offendable ones.

J-Dilla’s beat on the new Busta Rhymes album is off the HOOK. Q-Tip and Busta over Dilla? I don’t care what anyone says, the results are going to be that hot fire. This sounds like it could have come out exactly 10 years ago and that’s nothing but goodness. Sadat X has a new J-Zone produced record but by now it’s just sound coming in my ear, too tired to really be critical, all of this is too random. Raekwon and Busta Rhymes collaboration from Busta’s album is nice too. Produced by Erick Sermon and Dr Dre…nicer than recent typical Dre. Kinda laid back but with that dark live piano that typifies his post George Clinton sound. Some nice synth flourishes on the hook too. This column is turning into a disjointed record review. Some spastic girl is at the next computer but I may have to remove this if she tries to talk to me and I have to explain my frantic typing. Why the hell won’t she stop moving? Insanity’s getting the best of me now. Getting reeeal genuinely late with no proper excuse to not have been asleep since 8:00 AM yesterday. 24 hours without sleep is not a fun prospect. Jack Bauer makes it look easy. Then again, Jack Bauer can kill terrorists with his bare hands so a little insomnia probably wouldn’t stop him. Now Busta Rhymes is rapping with Stevie Wonder and this song is good too…I think Dr Dre must have made a pact with the devil because there’s no other explanation for him pulling out this kind of album out of Busta or The Game.

FUCK. Money is much worse than I thought…what did I spend my cash on today that would warrant such a ridiculous expenses…40$ minus five bucks at dinner, ten bucks at the movies, nine bucks internet and a coffee…another 4 dollars for extending the internet…there should be more left. Something’s not adding up, probably with the small change. Ah yeah…the red bull(shit). I saved 32$ by not getting a hostel bed though so I guess I’m technically still on budget…and technically we’re not even Saturday anymore. The bathroom in the place stinks, ah well…it’s better than being out in the streets of Amsterdam lemme tell ya, THAT place sucked. E-concordia refuses to recognize me as a student, I need to go to the real site to try and figure out my grades…straight A’s, Peter actually gave me my lowest grade of the year in action cinema (I think) which kind of hurts because I genuinely liked the paper I gave him. Ironically, I’m in the top 6 people in Chinese History but at LEAST a few people beat me in every other subject including FFAR which is total bullshit considering how much I sucked up to that teacher (wouldasuckedondemtittaysifIhadthechance). Anyways, everyone knows I’m going to leave that University with a worthless diploma anyways so this is meaningless. AND WHY IS THAT GIRL MOVING SO DAMN MUCH. This ain’t no disco. Almost 3:30…I don’t get her presence, there’s no excuse for a grinning girl in club wear to be constantly jittering at a computer at this time of night. 3000 words done too…quite an accomplishment. I may even stave off fatigue by staying around here…once I leave out into the real world though…

Oh god, fatigue just hit…it’s 3:28 NOW and I got 4:30 hours to go before I can sleep, 4 if they let me on early and I crash instantly. Shit, what the hell man, I really can’t afford this now. I need to heightened boost of adrenaline or something. Anything less could spell absolute doom. Just focus, keep your eyes awake and your mind on something. Turn on some music again, wasn’t there a new Rae song that leaked? I haven’t heard that yet. Aaaaaaaah…yeah. Raekwon is god again and there’s no one happier than I am. My favorite album is getting a sequel and even if this is a little more laidback than the intense cocaine paranoia last time around, it’s still flyer than anything else I’ve heard recently except OTHER songs that feature Rae. Damn, it’s only a snippet. I’m reading Shadow’s blog now… it’s really weird…a lot of people are going to be pissed and I don’t want to sound like a sour bastard but I’m going to include myself in that category. Then again, I’ll probably start off by hating it and move on to liking it eventually. Hell, maybe Shadow will even become the next Lil Jon. What a strange affair that would be. Weird, the guy must be in his thirties but he sounds like the nerd who got a new haircut and suddenly fits in with the cool kids in highschool. Then again considering the amount of depression dude was apparently going through, maybe he deserves his fun. The following quote is still hilarious though.

Long live the backlash bitches! – DJ Shadow (?!?!!?)

5 to 4:00…eyes starting to hurt. I may take some aspirin. I’ll stay till 5:15 or 5:30…whenever this internet croaks out on me. I’m not paying the guy in front another cent though.

The Roots have a new single out. It sounds better than anything I’ve heard from them recently. It’s not Clones but it’s probably as close as they’re going to come to it this millennium.

I think I should publish this as is and just update it. Just in case something goes haywire…damn I forgot to do it though, after this article.

HOLY SHIZZLE. This FULL new Rae song has got me bugging. This Rza shit reminds me of that RAGU song that Pete Rock did on Ghost's album except that Rae's flow is even iller. None of that sleepy shit, full on energetic crazy chorus spittin Rae.

Ok, I just published this mutherfucker. I’ll just keep on updating it from now on and add it to my MSN space at the end. It’s not like anyone’s going to read this far anyways. Impossible. If they did they might call the police or something. Officer help! This crazy man is headed towards the Yukon, I think he may be CRAZY. 4:30 now, only one hour until I gotta leave.

Sun ain’t up but its ever so slightly less dark…

I’m really really hungry. There better be some food at that station. And no junkies on the way. Vancouver is full of junkies. I meant to talk about them but I’m too tired to do it now. Some random guy on a bike tried to GIVE me weed today. That’s how saturated this place is. 10 minutes till 5:00…

Alright, it’s 5:00, I’m going to quick writing. Such a let down conclusion. I wonder if people expected some grand revelation at the end of a tired man’s exercise in sanity. Probably not. Either way, I’m catching a bus to the Yukon in 3 hours and I’ll finally get some sleep. And you can bet I’ll be having breakfast and probably some weed before then. Getting light out there now…Time to finish up on the internet, insanity must really be kicking in since I just started randomly googling the names of girls I’ve been associated with to see what comes up. That’s a bad sign.


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