January 02, 2009
what will we do now?

I had a pretty spectacular New Year's Eve, when it comes right down to it. Mason & I started out at Souzan's board game New Year's, a tradition they invented when they had their daughter 3 years ago. Potluck, card games, a little bit of knitting, a lot of cranky infant holding and a LOT of horsing around with K82 was our early evening. We headed out to Züb Haüs for a quick visit with the Birthday Girl Plus One Day (Stacy), as we'd missed her on Monday at the Dance Cave (yes, I still go there. It's fun. I don't get picked up anymore, which makes it more fun.)

And then we got into the car and went to the Phoenix Concert Theatre for "Broken Social Scene Presents: 2009 ('Cause It's a Dance Party)." DJ sets by K Drew, Brendan & Jimmy Shaw, plus a champagne toast. We were in the coat check line when I saw K Drew five feet away, wearing the horrid cardigan from the "Churches Under the Stairs" video and talking animatedly to George Stroumboulopoulos.

And yes, we did bother him. There was gushing. There was the Showing of the Bracelet. And there were fan photos, for which K Drew put on his 'photo face'.

jeff & k drewme & k drew
usually he was smiling, not looking so rock n' roll. also: this is a bad picture of me. see how much i care.

On the wall next to the coat check, someone had scrawled "WHAT WILL WE DO NOW?" After meeting K Drew before we properly entered the party, I had the same question. "Hope you're going to dance tonight," he said. Indeed. I believe we shall.

We bopped around the main floor for awhile, drinking domestic beer and nodding our heads to the truly excellent funk set put on by Brendan. I walked over to George and introduced myself, after which I had a Mayor Quimby moment.

"You once sat next to my brother [Nic] on a flight from Winnipeg to Hamilton."

"I've never been on that flight."

"Are you sure?"

"I've never been on that flight."

"Well, I won't argue; clearly you know your own life."

"Only parts of it."

'No, it says here Larry White.' 'I know my own name.' 'We'll see about that.'

He's an incredibly charismatic person. I can see why so many people deign to be interviewed on his show.

A surprising number of people were completely stymied by Mason's "i <3 bss" armband. Even when he explained, he was met with many blank stares. We quickly got the impression that most of the crowd was there to be at the Phoenix, not because it was hosted by BSS. Silly people.

Early in the evening, a kid walked up to Mason and offered to be his wingman. "Thanks, but I already have a girlfriend." Later I asked this kid his age. Nineteen – young enough to be one of my Grade 7 students in Wolfvegas. Gah. And that was the crowd right there.

We made a number of bids to talk to the various members of BSS floating around the club. Most successful was Sam Goldberg, who was a complete sport about wearing the bracelet for pictures and talking to me about fan culture in general and Trekkies in particular. Least successful was Brendan Canning, who greeted me in the dj booth with a surprised, "how did you get up here?" and brushed off my request as quickly as humanly possible. How did I get there? I showed the bouncer that I'd finished drinking my beer, and he took a split second out of his cell phone call to wave me upstairs. It's a dj booth, not the Sanctum Sanctorum. I'm more sad than frustrated; I'm two and oh on making meaningful conversation with Brendan.

But the jewel in our night was none of these things. It was the half hour when we were shaking our money makers with K Drew, James Shaw, Sam, photographer Norman Wong and their various lady friends. Dudes: we were having a dance party with Broken Social Scene. I was glad then that none of these kids knew who was in the house. There were no prettier girls jockeying for attention. There were no slicker boys to jostle Mason out of the way. There were just us, two drunken fans, dancing with Broken Social Scene. Later it was just me, trying to figure out if K Drew had water in the big bottle he clutched, and then the reproachful look he gave me as he hugged it protectively to his chest and didn't say anything. So I stole some unattended bottles instead.

Mason made one last try near the end of the night to get Brendan to wear the bracelet, but despite James' reassurances, the only thing he got was the chance to give K Drew a panic attack in the booth. Again, the "how did you get up here?" question. The bouncer thinks I'm going to request a song, that's how.

The rest of the night was some rather low drama involving the cracked out McDonald's at Bathurst & King, and the long drive to our warm bed. But when I closed my eyes for at least a day afterwards, I could see the faces of Broken Social Scene silhouetted against the gloom of a dance club, moving to the beat. All of us together. It was beautiful.

Still in store: the next day, with the story of my Grandmother's stroke. Not to mention the story of today, visiting with the Lawyer's tiny perfect baby before going to the hospital to help my mom with her mother's care. It's been a busy week – and I still have a pantload of marking to do.

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