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Our friends up North...


I've had a lot of time to think about this Iraq thing. I spent most of my days in a newsroom, barraged by information about this U.N. resolution and that European country and this Powell speech. And recently, I got to visit faire Canada (they like it when you put the "e" on "faire." At least that's what my Americanized view of Canada has led me to believe.) and also see what people up there think of our little Saddam hunt.

The conclusion I came to?

Hey, why not?

In fact, I spent a good chunk of my recent traveling working to compile a list of how this Iraq war could actually be a good thing for us and for the world.

So, without further to-do (or ado, or "adieu," which is French-Canadian for "atchoo!"), I present to you, Reasons Why We Should Invade Iraq and Why It's a Good Thing. Enjoy.



As I just mentioned, I did get to travel North to faire Canada with the LCP for a sketch festival.

Last year, when we were planning all these trips in touring, it all seemed so faraway and surreal, we didn't really think it through in terms of what it would actually be like. Things like who would be compatible to sleep in what room with which roomie, who would want to order pizza at 4 a.m. and who'd want to sleep each night, who has a husband in the troupe that could help us out with transportation (it's not me, I can safely say), that sort of thing. The kinds of things where you don't know how things are gonna pan out until you're actually there.

In the summer, we were just excited to go anywhere. Seattle? Hell, yeah! San Fran? Even better! Vancouver? Why the fuck not? A bunch of Latinos in Canada? Bring it on! In fact, Canada became a kind of rallying cry, and somehow we got Vancouver and Amsterdam mixed up, because there was a perception that when we got off the plane, the landscape would be litterered with "Hash 'n ho's," as if British Columbia was some kind of Canadian red-light district.

As it turns out, Canada has all that, but also really polite people, good newspapers, a fairly bustling sketch comedy scene and great indoor food markets. We all agreed that we would definitely live in Canada given the opportunity and the fact that, you know, our own country is rapidily becoming a scary place to live.

I don't want to rehash the entire trip because I feel like that's all I've been doing here lately, but I'll just say briefly that this whole traveling as a group thing has started to become the norm for us and that collectively, we're getting past the things that will come up any time you have 11 people traveling together. (We were, incidentally, the largest group at the sketchfest traveling the furthest. We should have gotten a medal or something. Or at least bonus miles.)

We saw a few new troupes from places like Toronto and Alberta. Glyph, in particular, was completely high energy and brilliant. We also saw our pals from Bald Faced Lie, whom we've seen perform three times and which never, ever gets old. They're totally amazing and it's one of many little dreams of mine to somehow get them here in Austin, performing.

This is when we put a trail of Creme Brule from the market on Patty's arm leading to a chunk on her head. We were trying to get the huge birds to peck at her head. It didn't work. See? You should always bring a Patty with you when you travel.

We went out drinking a bit and went through the usual routine of forsaking sleep for fun and using the flight back for recuperation. We got a touch of the international on the way there when our main flight attendant was a 50-ish German woman who spoke in the most amazing accent. Her sexy take-off speech sounded like, "And you vill lock ze zeatbelt on ze vaist zo that you are not flying ven ze plane hits ze aih pooket." We were playing marathon games of Hangman and "Marry, Fuck, Kill" when she saw a big, silly drawing Nick had made of someone. She stared at it for like five minutes. Then she said, slowly, "Voooowwwwww." Then she walked off. Oh, excuse me. She valked off.

Our other flight attendant (we lucked out and got the cast of some crazy sitcom) was Mr. Passive Aggressive Gay Dude. He was totally up and jokey, but then you'd go to the back of the plane and ask if they were selling liquor and he'd say, "Sir, we can't do that." And then he'd smile and go, "Oh, I'm just fooling!" and he'd get you a little bottle of Tanqueray. I asked him if I could have a tonic water or something to mix it with and he said, "We'll have to charge you extra for that... JUST KIDDING!" It got to where I just wanted off the plane. "And I suppose you'll want a lime then, huh?" he asked, all pissy. Then he smiles again and cried, "I'm just joshin' ya!"

Fucking pscyho!

The Canadians were much nicer to us, considering we come from a state where in the view of much of the world, the Antichrist Who Will Lead Us All to Oblivion hails from.

Vancouver was wonderful and gorgeous. I'm a big fan of coastlines. We stayed on Granville Island which looks late at night exactly like an abandoned amusement park. We were close to shops, coffee places, the aforementioned indoor market (pastries, burgers, fresh fish, pasta, fruit, yum!) and lots of boats. I didn't get to visit the Smallville set like I wanted to, but we found much more interesting ways to spend our time.

In fact, here was the biggest adventure of the weekend: A group of about seven of us was walking downtown looking to go out for drinks or (at Patty's request, not any of the guys, I swear!) a strip club.

We walked along trying to find a cab. No luck.

Walking. More walking.

A limo drives by. Patty decides she's going to flag the limo down. Nevermind if somebody is in there (I was secretly hoping it was Michael Rosenbaum, but enough about my inner fantasy life), Patty just waved her arms. The limo slowed at a stop sign. We all moaned at Patty's ridiculousness. Mical actually yelled, "Patty, you fucking idiot!"

And then, the fucking idiot got the limo to pull over and the driver to walk out. His name was Girma. He was from Eithiopia. And he liked us.

Five minutes later, we were in a limo, driving toward downtown, each only paying $4 Canadian to cruise in style for the night.

Mical apologized profusely to Patty.

We walked around the party scene area and did eventually make it to a strip club which was the smallest, least sleazy club ever. There was only one dancer anywhere at any given time. Nick fell in love with the only one we saw on stage in an hour of being there. "You're beautiful!" he yelled at one drunken point, and he won't live that down if he lives to be 120.

Girma had given us his card and told us to call him when we were done partying. We'd walked around 10 blocks to get to this club and had no idea where he might be. Patty used a pay phone.

"Girma, where are you?" (We remembered Girma's name because it sounded like, "Dharma.")

He was parked right outside the strip club. Total coincidence. We ran out with our arms raised. "GIRMA!" we shouted. And in true pimpin' style, we got into the limo while all the patrons emptying out of the club watched in astonishment.

Girma drove us around the huge and beautiful Stanley Park. It was Valentine's Night, so there were hundreds of cars parked and steaming on the inside as we drove past. We cranked up the radio and danced inside the limo. It was nuts.

Girma and the hailed limo rank as perhaps one of the greatest single "How the fuck did that happen" moments in my life. Always bring a Patty with you when visiting a new city.



Big pimpin'

New Smallville recap this week. I'm told it's a little random, and that may be because I was trying to get it done quickly before leaving for Vancouver. My mind was in about 12 different places.

Here's the link for the Six Feet Under DVD set review. I've got a review of the new Spy Kids 2 DVD which you should watch if only for the brilliant "10 Minute Film School" special feature. Robert Rodriguez is a damn coupon-clipping genius.

Here's a short story from about the fest that mentions us briefly.

Holy crap!

Oh, I've been catching up on TV I've missed while traveling. Somehow, Gilmore Girls made me tear up (crappy flashback episodes will do that to me) and 24 made me jump right the fuck out of my chair screaming when they (sorta) killed that guy's son! I'm getting way too attached to these shows, huh?


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