Running While Empty

imag1081_1Vain + Alone on Hog Island.

Called Paradise Island now (another awful name) by the Mafia because Hog Island is not sexy and they needed a new warm place to attract gambling Americans to after losing access to Cuba. Across the bay from the city of Nassau, so named after a colonial dude.

I’ve tried taking a running shot before in other locales but with no success.  With nothing to be perched on, the phone had to rest on the blanket on the sand, but I like how the book sneaks into the shot.  I tried it 4 times, and have a lovely pic of me falling on one of my attempts, and a lovely memory of residents of the beach watching me sprint and reset the phone repeatedly…a circuit of shame.


Waiting to go on

va_oct30Vain + Alone in Ottawa, On.

This is the face of someone looking for two things:  1) someone to fetch him to go on stage and 2) someone to catch him in the act of taking a photo of himself.  Being vain and alone before a show is a good way to kill time…it beats pacing about…and has the added adrenaline rush of someone walking in on what amounts to…ummm…private time.  Anyone walking into the room would have seen the elaborate set up for the phone, made up of a stool and several books for height, and a boot for the phone to lean on…like some weird structure a ghost would leave in the middle of a hallway to freak a family out.

A ladder, a chair, & Spider-Man skills

Vain + Alone + Daring,  Dead Starling Sound

These five words have greeted me every time I’ve walked into the Dead Starling studio, which was a martial arts place in a former life.  I got it into my head to do something acrobatic.  This is what I came up with while taking a break.

My pants are red, actually, but my belt is black.

Dead Starling

VA_stdioVain + Alone darkening the doorway of Dead Starling Studio.

There is something about doorways that fascinate me… maybe it’s the thing about doorways being thresholds from one place to another.  I never get the light right, so I end up ‘darkening’ almost every one I try to use.  And the inevitable bright white light from outside can make it look like you’ve just stepped out of another dimension, which, in the case of working at Dead Starling, would be the truth.

Insomnia in the lobby

V&A_MAR6_2016Vain + Alone in North Bay, ON.

The only strange looks you have to worry about in a hotel lobby in Northern Ontario in the wee hours of the morning are those of the lone desk clerk.  You can handle it.


With my Father hovering between worlds, I am firmly vain but not quite alone

dadVain + Alone in Peterborough, ON.  December 25, 2015.

These were days infused with a kind of poetry that crushed us,
days burdened by an unbearable beauty…
that broke the heart a thousand times and reassembled it a thousand and one.
These were days when I was not much of a father to my children,
not much of a lover to my wife, not much of a friend to the few friends I have.
Only a son in service to his father.
In return, he told me with scathing honesty what he saw in me,
and located that nurturing part of me I’d thought long dead.

Continue reading

The Action Shot!

2015-11-05 21.06.09Vain + Alone with 1000 cc’s beneath me.

This took waaay too long and it ruined a perfectly nice ride…the last one of the year.  Also, leaving the phone on the side of the road and making pass after pass, u-turn after u-turn, off and on the bike repeatedly…was less than safe.

Nice people stopped fairly frequently to see if I was OK.  I’d give them a thumbs up, reset the phone, and try to remember why, at 51, I was doing what I was doing.