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Sunday, April 1st, 2007
7:53 am
this April will be the 32nd annual pickled quail egg eating contest in Grand, Prairie, Texas. Canadians are being especially encouraged to attend this year, as the organizers wish to network with their notoriously quail egg friendly northern neighbors. the quail egg has long tied together the vast expanse of land that is Canada, winning the hearts and stomachs of egg affectionados all over the nation.... the University of British Columbia's Faculty of Agricultural Sciences brings in 14, 000 dollars a year selling quail eggs at local farmers markets.

meanwhile, on the other side of the country, New Brunswick residents are permitted to keep up to 60 quail in their backyard. it was done in 1997 by a New Brunswick man with the restriction that he cannot sell the eggs or birds. that prohibition has since been lifted, you can now raise and sell quail and eggs to your heart's content. as long as your heart's content doesn't exceed 60 birds. Canadians' enthusiasm for quail, as well as eggs in general, is well illustrated in this quote by University of Waterloo student Peter Chladek's prizewinning letter about being multicultural and a student in Canada. "Canadians are like eggs: hen eggs, ostrich eggs, quail eggs, all the different shells and sizes. But inside you will always find the same fresh egg yolk. And together they form an amazing omelette of a distinct taste".

unfortunately, my lack of a passport and money concerns will keep me in my distinctly tasting Canadian omlette this April, but if you plan on testing your skills at competitive face stuffing in Texas and you have any room left be sure to check out the edible book festival which is also happening in April. happy chowing!

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Sunday, December 24th, 2006
6:24 pm - i wasn't going to post this, but for you, i will. from my new zine, "Fruits not Native to Parkdale".
it is almost Christmas.

early in the morning, walking East
in the window of a storefront church
the sunbleached figurines smile at the
daisies painted on the doorframe.

The red light greens and yellows
The chimneys choke back a cough
papered leaves buckle and split
under the shuffling feet of a trashdigger
it is unseasonably warm.

there is a new hope here

behind another murky plane of glass
amidst faded cardboard signs
a spread of fruit not native to Parkdale
ripens in a burst of alien sun.

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Wednesday, December 20th, 2006
10:08 am
is it possible to reconcile your desire to lead a nomadic and portable life with your desire to build a home and community?

i think so.

three ideas that tend to be linked to the idea of home are where your roof is, where your stuff is, and where your peoples are. it seems as though the prevailing belief in modern settler culture is that your roof, stuff, and people are *yours*. many don't like secondhand stuff because it was once tied to someone else's life, because it carries the dirt and wear of others. some have the same attitude about divorced people or non virgins. there is an idea of preserving a sort of purity and rootedness that is prominently featured in settler culture.

there is a long standing belief that nomadic people are impure, dirty, liars, theives, uncivilized, misguided, heathens, and set on corrupting innocent children. i think this belief at least partly comes from fear of impermanence. the nomadic lifestyle tends to acknowledge and embrace impermanence, and since this scares the shit out of some people, those people try to protect themselves by persecuting nomads.

also, the idea that nomads are establishing a new counterculture that is tearing people away from faith, home, and family really doesn't make sense. they are just going back to the natural flow of things, to the idea that everything is borrowed... places, things, connections with people, homes, food, water, etc. to me, purity and honesty is essential to successful nomadic living because it doesn't mean never doing anything wrong or having any demons, it's just being able to adapt, decide which baggage to keep and which to throw out, learning when to stay and when to go, making amends when you do wrong when possible. this is not to say that these same qualities can not be found in you if you stay in one place, of course they can.

the sort of meat of the matter is this, i think... nomadic life doesn't necessarily mean you always travel. it doesn't mean you shun comfort or material pleasure. it doesn't mean that you think that people who choose to stay in one place are inferior. it just means you choose to work towards acknowledging impermanence more, learning how to let go, being able to pick up and leave if you need to, a sort of mental portability.

it is exceedingly hard to explain what i'm trying to say here.

some professions lend themselves to the nomadic lifestyle more easily than others. those tend to be the same professions that a lot of people seem to take for granted. public artists not commissioned by the city, musicians, actors in small productions, and most importantly, people who go around teaching, giving and doing good deeds. there is this idea that if it's not funded by some large company or government, it's not a real job. this is so very false and it makes a lot of good people suffer unnecessarily, or worse, stop what they're doing and get a "real job" that ends up hurting them badly.

this does not mean corporations are evil or that everybody should follow Comrade Tofu around the bonfire where the oil-covered advertisements of corporate America burn. there is nothing wrong with making an honest buck. corporations have a tremendous power to do good, and some of them do. it just means that we should realize that people can contribute to society even if they don't work nine to five at an office. the people who go from city to city playing music on a pay what you can basis at coffeeshops are contributing. people who collect cans and bottles and take them to a recycling facility are contributing. people who paint murals, knit warm things for the homeless, blog or publish papers or zines are contributing. people who spend a few hours a day listening and conversing with the elderly or lonely are contributing. they are contributing hardcore, and they are called lazy, or moochers or tax dollar suckers if they want donations or government assistance so they can keep up with their valuable contributions and not have to do a job that burns them out and leaves them as creative as a chunk of chiseled spam.

this is what i think about when me or one of my friends who are in a nontraditional field of work start feeling like they aren't doing anything with their lives, are not established enough, etc.

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