All posts by Andrea Gibbons

Last World Cup Game in Vancouver

my mourning period for Mexico is still not quite over, but I am feeling much better certainly!  We went to an English spot this morning to catch the game as did over a hundred other fans and therefore I did not care a bit that England is still playing like shit, though Ecuador played much worse…that shot by Beckham was incredible, and besides, I was regaling myself with bacon and eggs while singing God Save the Queen and something else quite catchy but seeming to have lots of syllables and no words and crashing my coffee cup down on the counter while chanting and clapping and jumping up and down the whole time.  And the match this afternoon, for pure drama it was brilliant!  I do love a good fight or two, means the teams have heart que no?  I was hoping for ot, but the damned dutch just couldn’t seem to find the net…still, England should be moving ahead nicely given all the red cards…and Figo’s probably out as well.  It was a noble head butt though, what possessed the man?

One observation…when Italy won earlier this week the Italians poured out of Cafe Roma en masse to celebrate in the streets.  And today when portugal won the Portuguese poured out of the Portuguese Club of Vancouver (of which i became an honorary associate member today) and shut down the street – even more of them present, it looked like a parade!  When the English won, they sang, jumped up and down, waved their arms around, but did they leave the bar?  No…they ordered another round.  I imagine many of them were planning a day of it.  I shall leave the deductions to you!

Thinking on Thursdays

I like to think on Thursdays.  Today, for no particular reason, I once again asked myself the question, who am I?  I’m not sure I’m any clearer than the last time I asked, though i am currently quite sure that I do not like uncooked vegies, I need a shower, my eyes are green, and they do not function as windows to my soul – why couldn’t it be that easy?  I do not think I am who I love, or what I do, or what I write, or where I live or where I was born or the language I speak or what I believe or how I conduct myself or how I dress or what I fear or the music I like or who I know and what I own…am I really none of these things, or a piece of all of these things?  There has to be a bit more.  I know different people who seem to pick one of these categories and define themselves by that…actually, they don’t seem to ask the question at all and so fall into one by default.  It seems much easier, every now and then i feel like giving up on the inner discussion and picking one of them too yet can’t quite manage it…perhaps I should just read more of my junk mail from astrology.com and do some myspace surveys.  In short, I could talk about myself all day but that doesn’t seem to help answer the principal question, and I want to know!  I also asked myself what I really want and damned if I know that either, apart from Mexico to beat Argentina, general justice for all, my parent’s mortgage paid off, enlightenment and a mini cooper (not much to ask for really…). The only good news is that after all this thinking I am reasonably certain that I do in fact exist, though I now have a headache and a sudden desire for a cigarette.

Well well, this is getting a bit too serious for me…I’m currently kicking it with Ozzy, a large german shepard who seems to exist solely for lots of attention, food, and two walks a day, perhaps I should try that out.  This morning I went down to Commercial St in the heart of the Italian neighborhood to catch the game…superb!  Even if it was standing room only at Cafe Roma and my feet were hurting!  The aftermath was mad celebration and a partial blockage of the street

The sessions at the conference we wanted to go to were full so we ended up wandering again…but here’s a shot across the bay

And a view from the top of a very high building…

Some cool public discussions…I’m thinking of trying this in LA, but wheatpasting is quite frowned upon by LAPD unless you work for Nike.  I have never been arrested, though, it might tell me something more about myself, so perhaps it’s time.

And finally a woman who actually knows what she wants…still don’t think I want to be married myself but I do find it much easier to live with myself than with other people, so perhaps it makes sense…

I’m off to take that shower now, I might think better when I’m clean. I imagine the general dirtiness of philosphers to date is the reason that none of my above questions ahve yet been answered…

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Tuesday in vancouver

Ahh…i feel like I’m on vacation though I’m really not.  I’m working, really, I swear!  And the alcohol is really helping my schmoozing skills.  I was just sitting on the back porch and the night is close to balmy, and I saw my first specimen of Canadian wildlife.  Alas, it was not the majestic bullwinkian moose.  Still, a live skunk is not to be sneezed at, given that to date I have only seen dead ones!

The conference is going well, today was a pretty good day and just to prove that I was here, I took this:

Lovely sunny day, no?  There is a view out over the water which is beautiful, but a little too cold for the likes of me.  Still, I saw my first Chevron on a lake.

The first forum had the irrepresible Vice-president of the Phillipines who spoke on the voluntary relocation of thousands of people, and that those same people were happily and voluntarily dismantling their own homes with the goodwill and support of the police…I believed every word of course, and when the world bank representative spoke of the “captive” bank, severely and sadly restricted in their disbursement of funds for good causes I believed him too, it might even be true in the alternate dimension both of them are clearly living in.  Luckily one of the other speakers was an inspiring speaker and tiny man from India, head of the Interational slum dwellers alliance, he reminded me strongly of Don Toñito an old FMLN guerrillero I used to work with and miss a great deal…that and the fact that the speaker’s comments were called interventions for some unknown yet very humorous reason helped me get through the morning.  I also discovered that Spain has a minister of something or other who looks just like Tim Robbins.  Shawshank Redemption – genious!  Lastly there was an exhibition before the last panel and the Swedes were living it up with wine, cheese, and crackers, and we indulged heavily before someone noticed we had no invitation…damn sweden tying it up with England!  They definitely owed me!

Wandering the city streets before eating we found very cool things and thought-provoking things, i was trying to decide which to start with, and cool seems to be in order.  We found a game shop which contained within its walls every game known to man, and a number of old arcade games known only to the sovereign few…can you feel the magic?

They had all the games i remember and more…for example, I don’t believe I ever played any of the following (but would be willing to now!)

Snifty snakes – looks like some fun times!  And these?

Smokers wild looks particularly fun, though Mid-Est Peace (from 1992) comes a close second! They also had vintage star wars action figure games, an old miss Pac-Man arcade game and one of those funky love metres that used to be down at the Peter Piper’s Pizza, I’m trying to decide what I actually want to buy, or could afford…an almost impossible decision!

Thought provoking was the street art – this is all to be found on the east side, the skid row of Vancouver…I am amazed to find that Canadians are amazed to find that Los Angeles has it much worse.  I don’t think they believe us though it’s true.

I liked this poster as well

There’s more to come knowing me, but here’s a pretty shot of the city for balance:

It’s good to be here, though strangely enough I am going through i-pod withdrawal complete with shakes since I have not worn headphones for three days together, I’m about to remedy that so no fear.  We also just found out there’s a party on Saturday night at the clothing optional beach and we’re going…though it’s not quite so balmy that clothing really is optional and I’m not too sad since in my experience those not wearing clothing at such places are generally the people you really wish were wearing clothing.  Life is unfair.

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Vancouver’s Prettier Side

First day in Vancouver and I love this city!!  Had a great day today…after the games (accompanied by mad brazilians with drums and cowbells and tambourines and shakers), my coworker Davin and I wandered the Vancouverian streets and found these…

untempted we moved on…what were tempting were the lizards on a stick.  Don’t belive me?

In fact, there were some other yummy unknown things all dried up and for sale, squids I think, and eels maybe?

There was also this guy…very tempting if you ask me!

And the bars!!

and this one…

and this one…

and for all of your meat needs (apart from lizards, squids, and eels)

And finally a store closely akin to my own heart with everything ridiculous in it, hanging in the window…can you see them?  out of focus I know, i apologize, but look closely!

You got it, Nietzsche and Ghandi finger puppets…guess who’s coming home with me to LA?  If I can only smuggle him past immigration…

I might post some nice pictures of Vancouver tomorrow!  Most of the city is beautiful, i forgot how much i like flowers and the color green!

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Fuck it dude, let’s go bowling

Ah fuck it, Dude, let’s go bowling

That’s what I felt like doing at nine this evening when I was still in a meeting at work, if the Dude had been there he would have agreed.  People are talkers man, I’m not.  In discussions I make short comments right to the point when needed, and humorous comments wherever possible, and if there’s too much of nothing being said it makes me crazy.  I do write a lot, I admit, but you can just stop reading and not insult me, rather than having to wait for that deep breath long enough to edge a word in.  Some people never seem to breathe, it’s astonishing how long they can go for without coming up for air and giving you a shot at escape.

But back to bowling, I did go bowling this saturday. It is a thing I do once a year to raise money for my amazing non-profit organization SAJE (Strategic Actions for a Just Economy), and I love it when I go, though I am truly terrible.  I was even playing in the bumper lane having a six year old on my team…she beat me needless to say, though she could hardly pick up the ball, and sent it spinning down the lane with the force of a whisper.  Still, I looked in perfect form!

Jose Esquivel took this picture and it’s awesome.  I’m keeping it for later when I’m telling lies in my old age…Look at the ball!  And the classic kitchy bowling alley!  And i’m just about to do that little kick to finish it off with flare, you can tell.

Favorite commentator quote of the day – “Ah, the Polish beauty!  Smile my love, the match is starting…Thank you!

Apple Valley

Just got back from a little staff retreat at Highland Springs in Apple Valley…how much do I love the people I work with??  Thursday late morning we drove up and did a lot of work, then we swam, lay by the pool, relaxed in the sauna, ate a dinner we didn’t have to cook, played a little soccer, drank beers and margaritas and told a lot of very funny and very innapropriate stories (which I cannot relate here in mixed company) until really late.

I got up early in spite of the late night, the fact that I was still a little drunk probably helped with that, and went for a hike, it is such a beautiful place!  The path initially went straight up…here is one of the views:

And I believe this is what I would look like if I could ever find the courage to get up onto a pair of stilts…

Walked and ran back down, had breakfast, did some more work, swam, laid by the pool, relaxed in the sauna…mmm….lovely.

We had seen the signs for a cherry festival in Beaumont, so we decided to stop on the way back home and pick up some cherries, and some pies, and some funnel cake and who knew what else?  There was a little carnival but the first thing that met our eyes was this shining example of carnie culture…

And guess who else was there?

Yep…God.  We were pretty excited until we found out that not only was it $5 to get in, but that with all of our crazy weather, and possibly global warming, there were in fact no cherries.  Although tempted to pay $5 just to ask God how he could allow a tragedy like this to happen and possibly hit him in the eye, I sadly piled back into the car and Bev drove off.  At the edge of Beaumont we passed El Rancho restaurant and cocktails,

But  no one else was feeling the same uncontrollable urge to stop there and fill up on MGD so we continued on, back to home sweet home…

Disgusting que no?  Just imagine what the inside of my lungs looks like breathing in all of this crap!  Everytime I come back to LA I ask myself, why oh why do I live here?  Soon, soon I’ll be gone.  That little white flash of light middle left is Gehry’s Disney Hall by the way, isn’t it shiny?  I live about 10 blocks from there, in the heart of the smoggy darkness…

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Unacceptable Employee Behaviour

Today in my alter-ego role as mild mannered and caring supervisor, I received an important invite to a one day seminar, entitled

How to Deal with Unacceptable Employee Behaviour

Curious to find out what Unacceptable Employee Behaviour was (in my experience this is actually a much more common failure among supervisors and I know lots about that), I read on.

Apparently Unacceptable Employee Behaviour falls into categories of clearly recognizable types. You have to love that, it’s always great to find new stereotypes and label people by them, it makes this crazy world so much easier to understand and deal with unaided by medication. I offer these labels to you as a gift of hope, to classify your Unacceptable Employees or perhaps even yourself as the first step in overcoming denial and finding help before you get fired. They are:

1. The Excuse Artist
2. The Short-Changer
3. The Intimidator
4. The Gossip
5. The Clod
6. The Downer
7. The Minimalist (a nice artsy ring to that one!)
8. The Soap Star
9. The Itch
10. The Smarty-Pants

Am I definitely a Short-Changer? I suppose Soap Star is not quite the same as porn star so that’s not right, I am an artist but without excuses, I prefer speed to Downers, and love getting my back scratched but haven’t much in common with the Itch. I have been known to kick both Clods and Gossips, with cleats on. While wishing for my ego’s sake I were the Intimidator or the Minimalist, alas, I have found myself to be the proverbial Smarty-Pants – though i’ve been desperately trying to avoid that title since grade school where it generally meant getting pounded. Of course, even though I have frighteningly become what might be termed management, I still believe in “challenging management authority openly and forcefully” which has led to some interesting conversations with myself. I don’t believe an “undercurrent of anti-management chatter” to be too harmful, so maybe as a bonafide grown-up being a Smarty-Pants is not so bad, though I might not fit in so well at the local dive bar if it should become public. Luckily no one there can read as far as I can tell. If you tell, that makes you a Gossip, and you know what happens to them…

Rent your own Hermit

This book is brilliant! I am learning that back in the day wealthy Englishmen actually hired hermits to come live on their lands in specially created faux ruinous grottoes, adding a picturesqueity (I made that word up, but super muppets are allowed to do that), and a certain special something which must have been above and beyond the smell…just imagine…a steady income AND no more wondering what to wear today, no more cooking, no more shoes, no more dental floss? Paradise I say, I might even have time between prayers and the 5 hours of required crazy talk about the coming apocalypse to live my dream of teaching a crew of black squirrels to sing Beethoven’s fifth while dancing the cancan. To be honest, I don’t like bathing in cold water which could be something of a challenge, but a hermit’s idiom requires dirt so I think I’ll be fine.

I can submit a resume and references to anyone who is hiring, and I’ll even buy my own plane tickets…my motto is, *have bible, will travel*, so text me!

Alcaniz, Spain

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