Weird, Wrinkled and Wordy

June 19, 2009

For the Love of Vampires

Filed under: Movies,Television,vampires,Vancouver,Writing — Valorie Hoye @ 9:26 am

I have a thing for vampires.

spikeIt started at a young age…I had a poster of “The Count” from Sesame Street on my bedroom wall.  When I learned my numbers, my first vampire love was forgotten.  In my early teens I saw the Frank Langella version of  Dracula and first understood why people found vampires sexy.  But it was reading Bram Stoker’s Dracula in university that truly captivated me.  I started reading the literary classic late one Friday afternoon, and stayed up all night and well into the next morning to finish it.  I was too afraid to put it down and too intrigued to stop reading.

I was a big fan of the “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” TV series, both identifying with the strong heroine, and of course, developing a giant crush on Spike, the blond punk vamp who initially tries to be bad but somehow ends up doing good despite himself, before finally resigning himself to fight on the right side.  Most recently, the series “True Blood” and the terrific novels by Charlaine Harris they are based, have captured my interest.

The Vampire tradition is so rich that continues to inspire the most creative people working in film, TV and literature.  It gets re-invented with each generation.

What’s all this rambling a precursor for?  My new venture.

Vancouver Vampire Aficionados now have a group to call their own.


January 15, 2008

My BSG club turns 1 year old

Filed under: 13th Colony,Battlestar Galactica,BSG,science fiction,Vancouver — Valorie Hoye @ 2:22 pm

One Year LaterIt was one year ago today that I screwed up my courage and started a sci-fi fan club. I’ve been a die-hard science fiction fan since I was very young. I watched Star Trek re-runs on our black & white TV every day they were on. I was enthralled by Star Wars right from that summer in 1977. I read every Asimov book I could find. In the early 90s, I was on the executive of a Star Trek club, holding the post of XO. I’m a Browncoat. But until this date one year ago, I didn’t consider myself truly hard core. But I knew there had to be other fans of Battlestar Galactica in Vancouver (this is where they make the show, for frak’s sake!) and if I was going to find them, I had to start my own club. The 13th Colony was born.

In the last year, the club has accumulated 95 members in 5 countries. We’ve had 14 events. We’ve shot and almost finished editing one “mini-movie.” Through the club and our blog, I’ve met lots of other fans, from all over the world. My little cylon mini-mates (and a couple of ringers) have travelled through Canada, the US, the UK, Europe and Mexico.

Kinda glad I was feeling brave that day one year ago. It’s been a blast. Can’t wait to see what new adventures lie ahead.

October 11, 2007

Getting Ready to Geek Out

Filed under: 13th Colony,BIFF,Firefly,science fiction,Vancouver — Valorie Hoye @ 2:11 pm

VCON 32I don’t go to science fiction conventions very often, perhaps one a year for a few years in a row, and then nothing for several years. I’ve been to fan-run ‘cons’ and huge, highly commercial ones. I definitely prefer the smaller ones. I think my favourite had to be a Norwescon in Seattle back in the early 1990s when I got to hear Robert Silverberg talk to two dozen eager fans about writing and where I first saw the artwork from James Gurney’s then upcoming book “Dinotopia.”

VCON, Vancouver’s annual sci-fi convention is just over a week away and for the second year in a row I’ll be there promoting one of my various clubs. Last year I ran a table in the Dealer’s Room on behalf of BIFF, the Burrard Inlet Fan Fellowship. Our stuff sold very well and I got to meet and chat with some very cool people, including authors Robert J. Sawyer and Kathy Tyers. But honestly, it was a lot of work and I never even managed to get to any of the panels. I plan to pace myself better this year, but so far it is looking even busier.

I’m hosting a Room Party on the Friday night on behalf of The 13th Colony, Vancouver’s Battlestar Galactica Fan Club. I’ll also be running a Fan Club table to promote that club, as well as the local Firefly/Serenity club and BIFF. I would love to check out the art show, some of the science programming and the filk concert.

It’s not like I don’t indulge my inner geek on a regular basis anyway, but this feels a bit like binge geeking.

October 2, 2007

Pedestrian Adventures on the Drip Line

Filed under: LIFE,Vancouver — Valorie Hoye @ 9:57 am

West Coasters know what the drip line is. Even during the dry season, the telltale signs remain, etched into the pavement. Look down and you will see a line in the pavement where the power of many raindrops has eaten away at the concrete below. Where the overhang of a roof or an awning ends and the rain pours off in anything from a slow trickle to a waterfall. The drip line is the worst place to walk on a sidewalk. The drops are bigger than anywhere else, usually dirtier, and they can fall for hours after the rain itself stops.

Of course, the drip line is almost always in the middle of the sidewalk. Only rarely is it a straight line, as each building has a different overhang. In the busy downtown core, people huddle under the shelter, out of the rain. If you’re moving, you have no choice but to walk in the danger zone. Whatever you do, don’t look up. You might make it a few feet without getting dripped on. Or when you get caught, it might be a small drip, barely distinguishable from a regular raindrop. But, if the wind catches the awning just right, you might get a dousing comparable to football’s traditional touchdown celebration.

Welcome to wet season.

September 12, 2007

A Century of Broken Glass

Filed under: Vancouver — Valorie Hoye @ 11:04 am

My week at work began by sweeping up broken glass. Our shop is located on the edge of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, and it is a turbulent place. We are used to cleaning up all sorts of messes each morning, and a broken window is par for the course. A hundred years ago, there was a lot more glass on the street.

Aftermath of the Riots of 1907

A century has passed since the Anti-Asian riots of 1907. Back when the city of Vancouver had only 24 police officers, a crowd of nine thousand took to the streets to protest the mere presence of Chinese and Japanese merchants in our city. The economy was in a recession and unemployment was high. It was a ripe atmosphere for mob violence and a group with “We Want a White Canada” signs was ready to stir the pot. They smashed windows and signs throughout this neighbourhood, then known as Chinatown, Japantown and Little Yokohama.

A federal government inquiry eventually compensated many of the businesses for their losses during the riots, but the animosity didn’t end there. The Chinese Exclusion Act was passed in 1923 and remained in effect until 1947. During that time, only 15 Chinese immigrants were allowed into Canada. During World War II, thousands of Japanese Canadians were stripped of their belongings and put into internment camps as “enemy aliens.” They were not given back their full rights as Canadian citizens until 1949.

1907 Plaque A plaque in one of the sidewalks now reminds us of what happened in September of 1907. Today, many of the Asian businesses in this area appear deserted, the store fronts barred up along the most notorious sections of East Hastings Street. Drug dealing and using are out in the open, violence is in the air itself and thanks to the now weeks-old civic workers’ strike the stench of garbage is overwhelming.

Finally, equal opportunity for misery, I suppose.

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