I'm here with PU and Monster in Vermont, visiting with some friends from a development project they worked on in Angola 5 or 6 years ago. It's like heaven, even though it's miserable outside. Right now the team is watching our movie on a nice projector in the fire-lit room that serves as our pretty little shelter from the rain. We're sitting in the library where Toby's (one of the guys from the project) mom is the librarian, in a quaint town called Craftsbury. Since I've seen the movie, now seems like a good time to catch y'all up on the latest happenings from the tour.
Here goes. Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh was great. (Everything is great. Great is a great word to describe the greatness of this great time. We use it a lot.) We arrived in town from Baltimore without any mishaps, although once we got there, we couldn't really figure out how to leave the bus station. Eventually we found the exit, which I guess is obvious since we're now in Vermont. Anyway, we caught a cab with a stand-up comic cab-driver, who left the ride convinced that we were bank-robbing porn-star IRA agents attending a conference on boringness called blandfest. (Sucker - little does he know, we're fraudulent pornographers posing as DIY superstars. HAHAHAHAHA.)
The venue, called the Mr. Roboto Project
, is a really cool DIY punk-rock space in Wilkinsburg. It was packed to the gills with about 80 (?) Pittsburghers of various description. After the movie, there was a heated discussion which revolved around one man's contention that our movie didn't have much social/political value since we weren't actually releasing an alternative to conventional porn into the world. Many people were convinced otherwise; for them, the political value lay elsewhere, they said.
After the screening, we went back with a bunch of people to the lovely lovely home of Q & Emma, two very nice folks who were our hosts. Q & E made us excellent vegan soup and biscuits, and we had interesting discussions with some folks there who were looking for tips on making their own pornographic films that had integrity and catered to their tastes. We also talked about ghosts and the fact that Pittsburgh is a completely impossible city to navigate.
Speaking of which, in the morning we called a cab to get to our toronto-bound bus (a 12-hour ride), and it didn't come for AN HOUR AND A HALF! We fully missed our bus, and had to catch the later bus that got us in to Toronto at midnight. The bus ride was bad, too. Much baby-crying and poop-smelling. The only solace I found was in these neat old-time radio shows I had on my mp3 player. I don't know how the others got through at all... it was awful. Also, in Buffalo, Sarah saw someone stealing a bus-drivers baggage in the bathroom. She got caught and dragged 'to jail'.Toronto
We got in to Toronto at around midnight, thanks to some quick connection work from PU, and cabbed it to my friend Kate's, where we were warmly received by a troupe of drunken modern dancers and the like. Duff and Kate have a nice new place together in the east end, with a finished attic that they set aside for us. It was pretty sweet.
We woke up and did some work, then went out to get breakfast. At breakfast, we had an impromptu meeting about a press crisis that arose over a CBC television piece we were thinking about doing, which lasted a lot longer than we hoped and ultimately ended up stealing our whole day. It was very dramatic, but we all survived. After the ordeal was finished, we all felt that the whole ordeal was worthwhile, even if it was frustrating at the time. Press can be stressful.
Monster and I went for dinner with my mom, her husband, my sister, her boyfriend, and their roommate. We spent the whole time feeling desperately nervous about my mom seeing the movie for the first time. Her and Ron (husband) and I had a big talk as we all walked to the venue, after which I felt a lot less nervous. When I talked to her afterward, it was hard to get a sense of whether she liked it or not, but at least she got to see it, and she was still talking to me after which I think is a good sign.
The screening went really well - the sex store that sponsored us, Come As You Are
, did an awesome job of packing the place (about 150), and the energy in the room was amazing. Torontonians are total pervs. After the movie, about half a dozen people said they wanted to start porn collectives of their own, and some started taking names. Total Pervs
Our friend Shaughnessy set up a reception for us across the street at the trés fancy Massey College. Lots of folks came and chatted, and a bunch followed us from there to a local bar for debauchery and debriefing. Nice. Ottawa
Alright, so then we slept and woke up and went to Ottawa. Fun. (What do you call people from Ottawa? I said 'Ottawarriors'. I dunno, but I like it.) Shelley from Venus Envy
met us and put us up, and also found a place for Sarah and I that was pet free - CHAMP. She made us dinner, too. Yay.
We stopped in at Venus Envy, which is a beautiful sex store in Ottawa. It's really big, and very friendly. Check it out if you are out that way.
The screening sold out - about 170 seats, plus standing room - and we ended up actually making quite a bit of cash. Ottawarriors are a fun bunch, with some cool questions. PU, Monster and I had a low-key night after the q&a, caught some sleep, and woke up early to meet Monster's friend Rosa, who drove us here to Vermont. JD stayed up in Ottawa to hang with Shelley and Steve and Michelle, which I hope has been rad, too. Vermont
We drove from Ottawa to Vermont, and got stopped at the border for a long and uncomfortable inspection. Ow. They have spikey tools. Ow. Stop. I hate the border. Ow. Just kidding. We did get stopped, but their tools are perfectly fine.
So, that's the last few days. Now we're here in Vermont, and we've all safely ascended up to the clouds, where we'll sit forevermore, eating Montreal bagels and talking about Africa. Amen. At least, until tomorrow when I think we're heading out for NYC.
Thanx to all the folks who've helped us out lately - you are SUPER-RADICAL!