Thursday, August 21, 2008

Twilite On Green-Robotland

Since the Vancouver meat, the Minobot forged in BC hailstorm, Green Robot and I have been counting down to the second launch of the Pineapple Express to the further recesses of Fraser Valley, British Colombia. We saw the mystical misty Lothlorien forests of Abbotsford (smoke machine consists of emissions of Vancouver's coastal industry, funneled by the Westerlies into the narrowing 'V' of the valley). The Trans-Canada Highway, where Magneto turned an eighteen-wheeler into scrap metal in (formerly?) cost-effective glory. On toward Hope, just on the US-Canadian border and the final "hope" before the equally barren hellhole of the Fraser Canyon to the east. It's a charming little secluded mountain glen of scenic Rambo "First Blood" sets and refuge for actual military survivors of assorted failed attempts of American imperialism. Every cliff leaped from, every log grenaded, every helicopter crash is documented in loving locative detail. Then there was Sasquatch Provincial Park, where I could say hi to my fellow mythical beast, trade tips on making "sighting" and "faking your caracass" Youtube videos for maximum hits.

But seriously, these Canadians are really sweet. They do their maple syrup proud. I was having meet-the-parents willies before hand. GR's dad is, after all, a Ukranian ex-KGB who once tore out a CIA operative's pancreas with his pinky in Guantanamo, so I think my anxieties were reasonable. Also if you've ever seen a certain picture of GR's dad, he do a pretty good "I eat dashing exotic Hawaiian boyfriends for breakfast" mad dog face. But after meeting him he was super nice, even by Canadian standards, and we hit it off trading espionage and hit man stories- mine of course were recollections of Deus Ex and Hitman gaming campaigns. (Sorry GR, I couldn't resist XD )

Actually the first thing GR's dad had me do after he gave me a big sweaty hug was go downstairs and help him lift the new bathtub in and out of the bathroom for pipe fitting and such. Later, I became the expatriate IT guy, fixing their wi-fi and helping GR's dad get his new mp3 players, laptops, digital cameras and other such technophilia set up. In retrospect it's obvious they raided the Future Shop for all those gizmos right when I showed up to make use of the ICS graduate. Anyway, I did teach him how to get his mp3s, pretty much the best rock of the latter half of the 20th century, onto the player. For his 18,000 kilometer motorbike trip across Canada. Beneath the mad dog, it's all wild hogs.

GR's mom was also great, although a bit on the shy side. (At first) She does make a surprisingly good Thai curry. I gave them a little scare when I dumped a handful of the pepper into the mix, but I've got lots of Balinese friends from the UH gamelan ensemble who make the real deal, make you snort your nasal membranes out your tear ducts, so the Canadian inflection was actually pretty tame. She'd visited Hawaii once when she was twelve, so she would sit me down on the couch and ask me about this beach and that shave-ice stand and that other lava tube blow hole place she remembered. It was very cute.

GR herself was a fantastic hostess. I stayed next door in "The Scottish House". GR's Scottish neighbors had gone on a two month trip up to the great white north and so I got the whole place to myself for the week. Every day she'd drive us all over the valley and much blissful time was had.

Green Robot giving me a look driving me out of Vancouver airport.

In good anthropological practice and generally good visitorship, I did my best to immerse myself in Canadian culture. Starting with this pint of ceremonial poutine (French fries bathed in cheese curds and gravy).

It's kinda not as bad as it sounds.

If they removed one thing, like just French fries with cheese, or cheese and gravy on a non-fried potato, it would be more palatable. The fries get all soggy in the gravy so it's like, "Wtf, eh?"

I remember we used to have A&W root beer in vending machines when I was in grade school but apparently it's a whole slice of Canadian past time. Like they have an annual "A&W drive-in event" where they have kids in 50's cars and greased hair drive up to be served by cotton candy-pink waitresses on roller skates. I love the damn root beer. The frozen mug to preserve the taste is fucking brilliant!

GR watching me eat that shit.

Chilliwack Paramount Theater. A jewel of art moderne.

Funnily enough, the ticket boy recognized me from one of my guitar videos on the net. Actually, two out of the three people we ran into on the street while waiting for the movie recognized me from my online videos, thanks to GR's promoting help through her local social networking site, Nexopia. I for a moment wanted to walk into the theater with a boa and a long cigarette.


Ducks in Chilliwack park.

Canada is the second largest country in the world by geography after Russia, but has only 1/10 the population of the U.S. at 33 million. There are more people in California alone than all of Canada. And half of those are American hippies, science fiction writers, and courting Hawaiians. So it's really like a big spread-out Oregon, but cooler.

Rambo river. I think this is where Stallone takes out a bunch of guys.

Me and mah baby up in the mountains.

I didn't get lost, Trog!



The Rambo tunnels.

The infamous Rowdy Burger of Wildcat Grill, Rosedale. Half a loaf of French bread packed with three burgers, cheese, bacon, barbecue sauce, et. al. What diabolical fucking chef cooked this up eh? I guess I'm also the crazy fucker who couldn't resist the challenge. About half-way through I was almost down for the count, gasping for air and gastro-intestinal fortitude. But then I thought of GR, and of her dad who would send me with concrete shoes to the bottom of Harrison lake to talk to the sturgeons if I failed, and somehow, I finished it. Then went into a coma.

I love this pic.

The milking parlor where GR's bro works. It's pretty shitty in there.

This calf was born while we were there.

Daddy GR's shank collection. Absolute goldmine of stories in this little case. All personally rooted out by GR's dad himself during his corrections officer work.

The toothbrush stabby and the tattoo gun made from a pen tube are probably the most notable, but I'm partial to the tongs one too. The reflecto pr0n is in a shard of glass. My favorite was this guy who was making ricin from plants in the green house.

GR's birthday at her grandparents. That's GR's dad and her brothers, who were trying to blow out her cake for her.

Minobot getting romantic on the Scottish mattress. Ah, the times we had on that thing... Memories!


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