06 October 2005

Prospecting for default

In my room in the billet house, there is an elusive wireless signal called "default." There are several others: linksys, Ralph, and Dennis. But I can only connect with default. I spend as much time looking for the 3-square-centimetre space of air that offers me default as I spend actually on the internet. It's a bit, perhaps, like prospecting for gold. You have to have a huge amount of patience to get into that wireless signal.

The reading last night went extremely well. Small crowd of about 30, but they were really warm, and the local bookseller sold about 10 of my books, which they said was pretty good. About half a dozen local writers each read first, for a minutes each, and that was neat. Then I read for some boomin' 40 minutes or so: fiction, poetry, and a rant from Confessions of a Small Press Racketeer. Signed a lot of books afterwards. I was surprised by how many really young people showed up and liked the reading, including a couple of kids from the school workshops and readings I did. The event was wonderfully hosted by Deborah Bruser, the librarian who put this journey together for me.

Then it was, inevitably, back to the Monkey Tree. They served me a plate of onions the size of a Rocky Mountain. I just had a few. And then there was a fight. Some guy hittin' on some guy's girl. Three guys shoving at each other. A bunch of other big big big guys jumping in to break it up, and a bunch of scrawny asshole college kids, yelling, "Fight! Fight!" and getting all excited. The fight was taken outside, and I don't know what happened. But various members of the fight kept coming back in for a quick drink, then going back out. Ahhh, the Monkey Tree. I shall miss you.

Shortly, I'm off to Rae for four workshops that will keep me there all day. When I return, I move to a billet downtown -- the home of the person who's driving me to the airport tomorrow.

Yesterday, a fantastic walk through Old Town... and a visit to the shore so I could gaze out at the houseboat I ate in on Monday night. The water was choppy, and my houseboat host, Cynthia, was just coming across to shore in a canoe. We had a nice chat, and I gave her a book. I wandered along the ragged roads, and some pretty fancy ones, in Old Town, and I think I got a much greater sense of this place as a result. Dinner last night was with Deborah Bruser, who brought me here to Yellowknife. Really awesome person. Nice meal. (Did I mention? Her husband, Brian Bruser, is a nephew or cousin or somethin' of Fredelle Bruser Maynard, who's the author of a Jewish memoir called Raisins And Almonds, which was popular back when I was a teen working in the North York Public Library system. Thing is, Fredelle is the mother of Joyce Maynard, the teenybopper writer who became involved with geezerly J.D. Salinger and wrote the memoir At Home In The World about that particular disaster.)

I'll resume my wanderings this evening, and tomorrow, before I leave.

Over and out.


At October 06, 2005 11:24 am , Anonymous rox. said...

perfekt. a fight to herald the start of the NHL season. rage on yellowknife! xcellent poets n generous billets n scrawny college kids n tempting girlfriends all.

At October 06, 2005 8:27 pm , Anonymous lynn said...

the far north seems fantastic, perhaps because I've never been there. does great slave lake have eagle soaring over it? what's the Old Town like compared to the new one, stu? i doubt there are gold rush era remnants except maybe in the museum?

At October 06, 2005 10:04 pm , Blogger dana_plato said...

you should always try typing the name of the network as the password, some people aren't very creative. Also try 'admin', 'public', 'password' or '1234'.


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