Thanks to all who made it out to the Vancouver launch of Gay Dwarves of America. As promised, there were ukuleles and word games, but as it turned out, the word games stayed in the bag. Everybody was too busy to play games. Maybe some other night. I worked up a special bonus verse to that good ol’ Canadian novelty classic, “My Baby Loves a Bunch of Authors” (‘who’s on the ladder? it’s Caroline Adderson!’ etc.) and recruited friends to be up on stage with me to lead everyone in singing it, another friend to hand out song sheets at the door. Wonder of wonders, everyone sang! It was excellent. I had toyed with the idea of also recruiting audience members to read “Thirty-One One Word Stories,” the last piece in the book, and had gone so far as to print out and cut up the stories/words to hand out. In the moment, I thought, Nah, keep it short, so I just read a section from “Thorn-blossoms,” a story about a hockey mom who likes to adopt different personas at hockey arenas dealing with her mother’s dementia. But then, in the Q and A afterwards, Zsuzsi Gartner asked about the one word stories, so I went ahead and handed out the snippets of paper. The result was fantastic. It’s way better hearing the stories in many people’s voices than in one.
Hudsonian Spruce Partridge
There is no such bird as the Spruce Partridge. It is the Spruce Grouse; but it is called Spruce Partridge in common parlance to distinguish it from the Birch Partridge (Ruffed Grouse) and ornithologists have adopted the popular misnomer, well knowing it to be incorrect.
In its native wilds this bird exhibits the most charming confidence in mankind. The hunters know it as the champion fool among birds. The Indian boy shoots it with a blunt-headed arrow or even knocks it down with a stick as it walks by unconcernedly or sits on a limb regarding the intruder with happy curiosity. Full-grown birds have been caught in the hand or beheaded with a switch. The hunter meets a brood in the trail and they merely step aside and watch the passer with a sort of affectionate regard.
T. Gilbert Pearson, ed., Birds of America, 1936
Mark your calendars. April 25, 7 pm, at Our Town Cafe at Broadway and Kingsway and Main. Word games! Ukuleles! Readings!