January is a little slower than other months in Cumberland, so things have ground to a normal pace, rather than so much going on you just can’t keep track of it. It’s warmed up a little, and there were even snow drops blossoming, but I am not fooled. I know “second winter” is lurking around the corner.
We produced a very successful event called “Psych Lounge” but I have no pictures—I am always forgetting!—the event was inspired by the Psych Night we used to go to at the Anza with DJ Josh MagneticRing, until it got too popular and we couldn’t get there early enough to get a table. Step selected songs and we showed some visuals like La Planate Sauvage and Jodorowsky’s The Holy Mountain. Some people later remarked The Holy Mountain had too many bloody scenes for them, but if you’re doing creative stuff and no one complains you’re probably not pushing the envelope enough. We were kind of surprised by the attendance (oversold) since we didn’t promote it that vigorously and I only hung up 8 posters. The big draw seemed to be the playing of Zaireeka, the Flaming Lips album which must be played on 4 CD decks simultaneously. You just don’t get a chance to hear that often.
For the first time since moving to Cumberland, we went to Denman Island, to attend a Ukrainian Christmas dinner with what seemed to be about half the island’s population. I must say, the food was stupendous! This is a picture of someone else’s plates—I would never eat that much. Or maybe I would but I would do it in consecutive, smaller portions, so I could trick myself that I wasn’t eating that much. It was a great time and I enjoyed catching up with some people who never leave Denman Island, and who I have not seen since I went on a solo writing retreat there in 2014. The next morning I went to the Free Store but I couldn’t find anything I wanted to buy for free, and then we had to leave because we had some obligations in the Comox Valley.
Kevin Flesher, Comox Valley Poet Laureate, some years puts on an Improv Soap Opera which I auditioned for and got a part! Not to brag, though, I must admit everybody who auditioned got a part. At the point of this blog writing the soap, “Weird Times at Dodgewood High”, is 2 weeks into a 6 week run, and the story is really gaining depth. The school’s funding is getting cut and the only thing that might save them is meddling financial support from the Big Cheese Company! There are quite a few kids in it and some of them don’t understand blocking and wimping and stuff, so there is a lot of “Go to the principals office.” “NO!” And scene…It still works okay, though, because it’s more of a live playing RPG where Kevin as director is steering the show. It’s fun for me, because while I have never done improv or acting before, I have certainly seen a lot of it, probably more than 10 thousand hours due to working at TheatreSports in Vancouver (I didn’t work for them, but for a company they contracted services from). We never had anything to do while the show was on so we would watch the show. Some workers got tired of it but I never did, and I think I picked up some solid improv theory from that. It is, of course, harder than it looks, but what isn’t?
Cumberland Culture and Arts Society put on a benefit to fund another Gillian Brooks mural. Cumberland has quite a few murals, almost all done by Gillian. They are good murals! Despite that, I would be interested in a little mural diversity. That didn’t stop me from volunteering for the event, which was an Electroswing night at the Masonic Hall. I was tired of being behind the bar, though, so I helped decorate and organize the bar in advance, and just had a great time at the party. While there, I videoed this guy who dances like butter! We called him Crazy Legs and then I found out his real name but I can’t recall it right now, so Crazy Legs it is.