North American for life

Speaking at WRCUP, the Canadian University Press' western regional conference, on Saturday I felt old. Also ill-prepared, but mainly old. Other then a few old-timers like Nic Hume from The Martlet who is now working photography at the Times Colonist in Victoria, and Trevor Hargreaves from Chart and The Other Press everyone was young, young.

Since I'd only got confirmation that I was speaking Friday my talk was somewhat by the seat of my pants. Focusing on how to be a freelance tech writer it was similar to a talk I've given before for CUP when I organized a conference for them last year.

It went well, though about two minutes after finishing I remembered about three things I'd meant to say.

Hopefully someone found it useful.

The conference was at 10 am in Abbotsford so following my part I sped back into Vancouver to pick Lydia up and head to Seattle for the Belle & Sebastian / The New Pornographers show.

There was a bit of controversy at Lydia's place when she discovered that I intended us to sleep on Jeff's floor that night as opposed to say a non-existant spare bedroom that she must have imagined he had. In the end I had the option of faking blindness or agreeing to get a hotel room for the pair of us.

We met Jeff at his place and walked to the Paramount where the concert was at.

Aside from a few festivals, such as Sloan and Matthew Good at Whistler, I've never really been to a show where I was as stoked about the opening band as the main act. We walked in just as The New Pornographers took the stage.

They were good, but not great. First off AC Newman was the only main member of the band there. I knew Neko Case wasn't touring with them, but when you see a super group in concert it's nice to see the whole group, not just one out of four. That's like going to a U2 concert and only having the Edge and three session musicians show up. Also a lot of the subtle musical dynamo-ness from the studio albums was lost in the translation to stage.

Belle & Sebastian were just great. Cute, awesome, funny and everything you expect the Scottish to be when they're carrying brass instruments. The songs all worked great, and my only regret is that I'm not all together familiar with their newest album.

The next day, Sunday, we stopped at an outlet mall and then headed home. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.