Saturday, December 31, 2005

Bedouin Soundclash Concert

#26 on my list was to go to a concert at the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver. Some of the gang and I (is that grammatically correct?) went to see Bedouin Soundclash on the 28th of December. It was the final show of the their most recent tour.

The last time I was at the Commodore was when I was 16 for an Ice-T concert. DJ Evil E let me, a buddy and a few other kids who were hanging around back, in through the backdoor for $20 each. It was pretty damn cool and I remember talking about it for weeks, especially catching a peek of Darlene as she stepped out of the limo. Some of you might remember her from the covers of the Rhyme Pays or Power albums.

Anyway, the concert was a blast even though I pulled my (as José likes to call it) Ninja routine at the end of the night, because that is just the way I am. The Commodore is a great venue for musical acts. I would much prefer to go there over any other acoustically challenged sports arena anyday, not to mention the cool bouncy floor.

Even though this date is some what historically arbitrary, Happy New Year and all that jazz...see you in 2006. Hasta la victoria siempré!

Monday, December 26, 2005

spreading the word

Not THEE word, just the word. #90 on my list is to give away 10 books to friends and family. Thankfully with Christmas, Chanukuh and Festivus here, I have plenty of opportunity to fulfill this one. Here is a sample of the propaganda I was spreading this holiday season:

1. Kashus received Snowy Bear and Friends
2. José received Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life
3. Fish received Wasáse
4. Chips received A Million Little Pieces
5. 'Rica received 100 Years of Solitude
6. T-Bags received Wasáse
7. Či'a'Is received Soccer In Sun and Shadow
8. AW received The Mother Tongue
9. Lil Moy received Wasáse
10. Lyana received Soul Sword: The Way and Mind of a Zen Warrior
11. Old Man received The Autobiography of Malcolm X
12. Margo received The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Presents America: A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction
13. Roots received No One Writes To The Colonel
14. Em received Open Veins of Latin America
15. DP received Upside Down: A Primer for the Looking-Glass World
16. Lil M received Animal Farm
17. Succha received Wasáse
18. Muggins received On Literature

name this old school dance

Friday, December 23, 2005

while I was gone...

As I mentioned in a previous e-mail I abstained from internet access for a whole week! Some of you know of my slightly obsessive nature about certain things some of the time (haha) and well I needed a break. If any of you are contemplating unplugging from the Matrix, I highly recommend it. I spent most of the time in Vancouver and a couple days in Victoria. I did not have my wheels either so I walked and rode public transit. When combined with my iPod and some thoughtful and uplifting tunes I was doing alright :D

I travelled with my sister and Kashus over to Vancouver in the morning. We dropped my sister off at Park Royal and lil man and I cruised around the north shore. While I drove and listened to Kanye tunes, he napped. When he woke up we headed to the mall and Kashus and I did our best to beat the adoring women off with a rattle. Man, is he a babe-magnet or what? People just seem to like the look of a man holding a baby.

This morning the 3 of us went to visit Glenys, a homeopathic healer of sorts. I'm not sure exactly but she is incredibly nice and one of those people that automatically puts you at ease. My sister sees her regularly and my mom and sis convince me to see her once or twice a year. It turns out I have been eating too much artificial sweetners - from chewing gum and diet yogurt evidently. My mom, sis and lil K head back to the island and I am left to walk the earth. Did I mention the weather was gorgeous?

Thursday night I hang out with Lyana. She's a smart, beautiful Carrier woman who I was honoured to have my first Guinness with. She's in between exams and papers and I am well, off work for a couple weeks and in desperate need of some good company and intelligent conversation. Lyana is truly a revolutionary woman with a great heart and inspirational passion. Watch out world! (Oh, and we got our very own picture too!)

I dare to venture into the mall to do some holiday shopping. I don't even think I'm going to comment on the insanity. As far as I know everyone except my padawan is celebrating in some form this year and can relate. I meet Leela Gilday for some sushi and sake at Kishu on Main and Broadway. I met her for the first time earlier in the year at a concert she was a part of that Aztlan Underground was headlining. The Goin' Coastal crew also interviewed her last month. She does the Dene nation proud with with her soulful and angelic voice.

I managed to catch Leela during the brief calm before the storm it seems. She's in Alberta now and on her way to to record her latest album. She gave me some insight as to the content of the new cd but I will not spill the beans. Her current album is one of my favourites - especially during my lonely times. Leela's a beautiful person with a depth of experience and I look forward to our friendship and comraderie.

Today I vegetated and then hung out with the fancy Indians...haha, just kidding but we did hang out at a fancy place. My friend, Patricia and her friends, Glenda and Shirlana organized a lil x-mas soiree at Section (3) in Yaletown. I won't even tell you what my portion of the bill was. It would make you ill, but I had fun. Patricia is a good friend of the family and like sister to me. Here are some pictures:

...and on sunday I rested...sorta.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

my first tattoo

Pictures do not lie. For some reason I look younger in this picture; maybe cause I've been dropping pounds, or maybe it's because that guy is stabbing me with a needle...haha. Yes, friends and foes: Dubya got ink today. I've always thought about it and like a lot of other things I have thought about in the last couple years (go back to school, leave my old job, learn to ride a motorcycle) I am getting better at just doing it.

I walked in to Primal Urge Tattoos (250-720-3883) in Port Alberni today, warmly greeted by Kim (the assistant who makes good cookies) and later Richard (the tattoo artist). I had my gisbutwada/kaa'kaa'win (killer whale/orca) design done by my sister's husband, Gordon Dick and a couple hundred bucks burning a hole in my pocket. It was my first tattoo and yes it does hurt, but I kept a brave face, only wincing a couple of times. I say my first because I am strongly thinking about getting a Ganhada (raven) design as well. I decided to go with the gisbutwada first because that is my mom's clan and therefore my clan from the Tsimshian people. I will always be gisbutwada.

I can now scratch another item (# 19) off my list. Voila:

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

H2 Salute!

Check this site out: then read my recent anti-oil and gas rant here.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Another one bites the dust

Ha ha, that title sounds worse than it is. I mean I have crossed another item, specifically, #98 (Mentor a bona fide protégé) off my list. Old Man Rivers (Dustin) and I talked about it and not one for formalities but basically we agreed to maintain the relationship we have now - plotting the revolution, and me providing sage, timely advice from time to time. I have to say it is an honour to know Dustin as a friend and companero. He is wise beyond his years and I know that I will learn much from him as well.

I have assured Dustin that I take the role of mentor seriously and intend to continue our friendship with trust and respect. Next, I will try and secure an arrangement with Risky Business before Shrubbery woos him to the dark side...haha. I've already started with some recommended readings: Peace, Power and Righteousness, The Autobiography of Malcolm X as told to Alex Haley, The Wretched of the Earth and Wasase: Indigenous Pathways of Action and Freedom.

Six down, ninety-five to go, and 969 days to do it all. :D As I mentioned previously, I have made an appointment to get some ink on the 20th of December and I also bought some tickets for the Bedouin Soundclash concert on the 28th of December in Vancouver.

And now, work beckons.

The Force Was Not With Me

Not last night. The force guffawed at my cool shades. My fortunes ebbed and flowed till about 2:30am but alas, another padwan learner was victorious. Lil Moy took me for $30. Nope, no W-mojo last night. These truly are mundane days. I promise to be get political again soon though.

Actually, I do have a bit of a funny story to tell. I'm not gonna name names, but lets just say I work for this community that happens to be negotiating with the governments. I am not a negotiator, but I observe these negotiations and offer advice from time to time in the background. I guess I have developed a bit of a reputation as a radical or even dare I say it, a militant. Funny eh? CSIS calls me one of the more "level-headed ones" and my own people think I'm nuts.

So all seriousness aside, one of the other observers comes in a couple of days ago and asks me, not too discreetly, "Did you get the grenade launchers?" I'm assuming he means in negotiations, as I have been known to joke about negotiating a Defence chapter that includes a couple of those trusty Sea Kings or maybe even an ex-British submarine. I laugh and reply with a straight-face, "Actually, you really only need a .50 calibre rifle..." and I'm thinking: a. I know way too much about ordnance (even using such a word, geez) and; b. Some people, especially spooky types, really don't get this kind of humour.

Let's just hope they remember that; a. I AM one of the level-headed ones; b. Contrary to popular opinion, I DO appreciate sarcastic humour from time to time and c. We're all peaceniks now.

It's getting I go for my sunday morning hike. I'm not scared of Sasquatches anymore. w

Saturday, December 10, 2005

0 for 2 today but...

I have not yet been defeated. I have only begun to fight...haha. I attempted to cross off two items on my list but failed...for now. First, I tried to complete #22 (ride my moto over 200km/hour) but could only get it up to 189 today. The problem was not being able to find a stretch of road long and straight enough. I have another place in mind, but for today I had to be satisfied with doing 130km/hour in the corners. Did I mention it was a little chilly today? It was alright. It was nice to get out. Never underestimate the liberating feeling of riding a twisty road at high speeds, no matter the temperature.

Next, I attempted to complete #19 (get a tattoo). With my Gisbutwada design in hand (courtesy of renowned west coast artist, Gordon Dick) I headed into Primal Urge Tattoos in Port Alberni only to discover I needed to make an appointment :I Sigh....ah well. I made an appointment for the 20th. It should take about an hour and a half the guy said. As you can probably tell, I was feeling a little WTF today, perfect attitude to have trying to accomplish some of the things on my list. I have 970 days to go. I have completed 5 goals. I soldier on.

Tonight: Poker. I bought some cool new sunglasses. Wish me luck.

A Foggy Saturday Morning

9:24am. I haven't even looked outside but I am guessing it is foggy. Given that it is Port Alberni in December there is a good chance. As I dozed in and out of consciousness this morning, I don't recall what I was dreaming so I can't tell you whether I was having good dreams, bad dreams, sweet dreams, or weird dreams. I do however, remember the moment of realization that I was back in the conscious world and the weight and ache set in. You know that feeling? You wish you could drift back to sleep but it doesn't come. You open your eyes, heave your legs over the side of the bed and sigh.

In case you have not already guessed, your pal Dubya is sad, heart broken. :( I will spare you the details, but alas I am bummed and the world does not make sense and I give a half-hearted smile at people I don't know but have a pretty hard time hiding it from those I do know. I have not cried yet, but that will come. Right now, my tide flows between pain and numbness. I will spare you the details of my woes as well, lest I bum you out too. I had to say something though. A couple years ago I made some sort of commitment to the truth and it has brought me here.

A million clichés run through my head. I bet you are thinking of a few of them right now.

Often, time seems like an enemy. Right now it seems like a friend who is running late.

It is what it is. All kinds of days are bound to make their way here. Fear not, fellow rebels, brighter days for W are out there somewhere.


Friday, December 09, 2005

Mood Music

Tunes I was signing to this morning:
1. "Loser" - Beck
2. "Ave Maria"- Franz Shubert
3. "Ashes" - Ben Harper
4. "Moonlight Sonata" - Beethoven (more like hummed to this one)
5. "Rage" - Leela Gilday
6. "#1 Crush" - Garbage
7. "Hit Em Up" - 2Pac
8. "Don't Speak" - No Doubt
9. "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" - Hank Williams, Sr.
10. "Another Lonely Day" - Ben Harper
11. "Killing Me Softly" - Fugees
12. "It Makes No Difference Now" - Ray Charles
13. "Save The Last Dance For Me" - Harry Connick, Jr.
14. "Time Of Your Life" - Greenday

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Spiffy W

No, I haven't made it on the infamous "spiffy ndn" list yet, but I still have a couple of years to prove my worthiness. This picture was taken earlier today just after I returned from a job interview. I clean up pretty good eh? I think I did well in the interview but as the day progressed, I thought more and more about the brilliant and witty things I could have said. Not a good habit I know, but alas I was pensive this afternoon. I'm pretty cool with it now. I did the best I could at the time. I'll let you know if I was victorious.

Speaking of spiffy ndns, check this out (3rd down from the top). It is none other than the Big T himself, recipient of the 2006 National Aboriginal Achievement Award for education. If you've heard the interview I did with him for Goin' Coastal you'll also know that he has referred to these love-ins as the National (or Natural) Aboriginal Assimilation Awards.

I can only think the selection panel is giggling about this one. I have not heard from T what he will do. Some of you also know that one of my 101 goals in 1001 days is to be nominated and turn one down...I'm not sure if I will have impressed the Aboriginals enough by then, certainly not in education yet (that'll take another 15 years or so), and I don't think I qualify as a youth anymore. I think they need a "Warrior of the Year Award" (not that I am implying that I would win, I just think it would be cool).

Well my fine feathered friends...until next time. W

Monday, December 05, 2005

What a Week

I am tired again just thinking about it. I went over to Vancouver last Tuesday, attended the First Nations Summit Meeting, co-facilitated the BOLT youth planning session, dined with many a friend and family member, had coffee at Lugz on Main, toasted a 30th birthday, attended Taiaiake's Wasase talk at UBC (see picture), danced with a stranger, bought a digital camera, played poker (and lost), listened to some blues with some VIPs, read most of Galeano's Upside Down, passed a breathalizer test (as a designated driver), interviewed Gloria Larocque, and slept on the ferry-ride home. A lot happened. I'm still processing some of it. I'll be writing more about my adventures and thoughts soon.