Tuesday, July 21, 2009

More writings soon. In the meantime, check out this interview I did with Buckshot, for MVRemix. http://www.mvremix.com/urban/interviews/buckshot_interview_2009.shtml

Thursday, July 9, 2009


We spent Sunday tying up loose ends and packing up the shop. The crew had a good vibe going, we went for drinks then said goodbye to Darrell. The jeep was packed like never before, very cozy. I was reading a definitive legends book about Hip Hop. Lauren Hill's soft, rich voice came to me. 

The ride to the ferry was exhilarating. A warm breeze flew in the window and the dogs rested their heads on my shoulder. We ate some mild mushrooms along the way and were buzzing as we got in line.  The line up of cars was massive, going on for many blocks, hundreds of cars lay still. I strolled by on the sidewalk and sang tunes from the jungle book. Coming across a steel fence, I began an acrobatic dance. Swinging back and forth, standing on my hands, I was free as a bird as drivers gazed on from their cars. I chatted with a fellow from Ontario, his business was installing hot tubs. Unfortunately his boss abused substances and was unreliable.  

Eventually we were the last few to get into the ferry parking lot. We took the dogs for a walk and all eyes were on us. Kasha is a 5 year old husky/collie mix. Mostly white with brown patches. Chief is an eleven month old boxer/great dane mix. He's brown with black stripes, a huge body, long snout and long legs. Kasha is wise, cunning yet tender.  Chief is cuddly, affectionate and a beautiful specimen. Word travelled quickly that a "one of a kind" dog was around. Chief has lot's of fans. As for the handlers, we were shirtless, both 6", tanned with sculpted yogi bodies. Simon is also covered in Tattoos.

As we sat watching the sun set, I was breakdancing and Simon started doing hand stands. A local film maker asked to shoot us and we put on quite a show. Expect the link soon, it's going to be stellar. At the end of one song, Simon did a backflip from three feet up onto pavement. He had already hurt himself on Canada day and caused himself some semi-serious injuries. I had to carry him on my shoulders back to the jeep, dogs in tow.
Were were among the last 5 cars to make it onto the boat. We waved goodbye to the long lines behind us.  I found Simon some ice and went for a wander around the boat. I started reading "Zen in the Martial Arts" by Joe Hyams. This enlightening read talks about a route to inner tranquility through active meditation. Lot's of grand lessons that apply to any lifestyle. What stuck with me the most was to appreciate the marvelous beauty and chaos that exists in everyday life.  

I had a long talk with a cool cat named Julian and his beautiful girlfriend. He gave up playing football professionally to follow a path that enthralled his mind, as well as body. One of his companies helps NFL teams "go green" by making environmentalism cool and attainable. The other company furthers a process that his father patented. They run energy audits and make sure the many separate firms that come together in order to create a building, work together in the most efficient way.  

Julien's girlfriend (sorry I can't recall your name) told me about a friend of hers who went to Nepal and became engulfed into the culture. The friend wrote a book of sayings he picked up from the old lady who lived below him. When the old lady came to the America's and was introduced to an indigenous person, she recognized them immediately as family. We realized that the various parts that made up our own ethnic heritages spanned most of the world. We sang "we are the world" while holding hands. Good times.
Julian had a great anecdote explaining the rise of humans. . First there was gas. Then rocks. Then it started to rain. Then the rocks started to walk. I look forward to seeing those cats again. Wonderful new friends. I also met a chap named Tom, from New York. He and his wife had done everything they needed to do in NY and now lived on an acreage outside the city. "Nothing more FTW then growing your own veggies". He was friends with Toby from the NYHC band H20. H20 was the first punk band that I went to see.

Arriving in Van, we realized we had no real plan, hadn't contacted anyone and had nowhere to crash. Our cell phones were dead and neither of us had chargers. Thank goodness for the internet. I carried Simon on my back into an internet cafe and began browsing our online resources. To my utter joy, my old friend Brian Shaw had seen my first blog entry and had sent me a note. Brian and I worked as lifeguards together at camp Opemikon. Six years ago we ran the show and had a wicked summer together. He's been working as a filmmaker in Van for the last few years. He's career has been his central focus, so his social life has taken a bit of a hit. Our coming together was mutually beneficial. His note was manna from heaven on my first night in the big city. 

We drove to Brian's apartment and I carried Simon onto the couch. He went to sleep right away, cuddling the dogs. Brian and I went for a long walk and caught up on old times. The next day we made contact with Christian at the Bickram yoga studio on Commercial drive. I spent the day strolling up and down the avenue. It's a wonderful community, tucked away in east vancouver.  The strip is vibrant, filled with hip people and cool things to see. I was trying on a red Adidas jogging jacket and asked for feedback from a girl in the store. It turned out to be Nienke Rachel Moolenaar. It was the sort of meeting that reaffirms I'm always in the right spot at the right time.  

She grew up living in the Netherlands, Australia, England and Tennessee. Such life experience makes for fascinating perspective and an accent that is constantly shifting. Intonation and expressions that flow from one continent to the next in a single sentence. She'd been living in Montreal, flew and hitched around Canada and was going back to Montreal the next day. We made plans to meet that evening, but ended up meeting by accident twice more that afternoon. We talked about yoga, traveling, spirituality, drugs, dancing and swapped travel stories. Eventually I noted that we could spend a lot of time together and she agreed. She suggested we travel the world together. After an adventure in a chinese restaurant, we headed downtown. We munched on some magic mushrooms and were soon giggling profusely. 

A few blocks out of the sky train, things got pretty weird. An old homeless man was vigorously begging, ignored by the pedestrians. He was bent in the middle, clutching his back, waving an empty hat in the other hand. He was crying out desperately for aide, yet no one even acknowledged him. I asked him how his day was going and he said "pretty bad". Apparently he hadn't eaten of slept since the morning before and was still five bucks short of a shelter bed for the night. Nienke gave him all her spare change and some blueberries she had in her backpack. A sense of calm came over the man as we spoke. Utterly grateful for the gifts he assured Nienka he would never throw away such good food. 

His back was giving him a lot of pain and I offered to try energy healing. He accepted my offer and the three of us visualized energy coming up from the earth and down from the universe. We saw it going through the crown of his head and up through his heals. With long slow breaths, we loved the pain away from his sore back. He appreciated our attention but visit was cut short by another man attempting to intimidate me. 

His cold eyes stared me down, and without any interaction, we knew it was time to leave. The spooky, middle aged man was wearing a leather jacket and jeans. He started to follow us down Granville ave. After one block, he asked where I was from. Upon response he suggest I return there. I readily agreed and we kept walking away. And he kept following us. He made various references to a certain gang and repeated a boss' name.  It was clear the fellow was deranged and eventually I stopped to face him. I whispered my mantra "peacefulness" and stood with a calm face, open chest, arms slightly out. He asked "what's your tattoo say?" I said that I had none. "Well maybe I'll pretend I don't have one either", and walked off. We went the other way. 

We met some b-boys on the street then sat down. My heart was racing for a good while after that little episode. Eventually we went dancing at a blues club then I walked her back to her hostel. 

As I was walking back to East Van, I did some wonderful meditating and ran into some cool guys from Gatineau. They took four days to drive across the country and were off to find climbing walls. Then I walked back to Brians, going over the day in my head. 

Nienke and I were supposed to meet the next day, but it never happend. She didn't pick up her phone and we never ran into each other. I spend the day walking up and down Commercial Dr. It wasn't pouring rain that day, but it wasn't spitting either. I went in every business asking if they'd seen a quirky european girl with a funny haircut. I ran into some Christians offering free prayers.  It was a cool process. One of them said "please God, help Maxim find his friend before she goes back to the Neatherlands. He seems like a good guy and I think he should be rewarded for his loyalty to his friends." The were the types of christians that actually seemed "Christ-ian". Giving of the self for sake of the act. In the end, it didn't work. I sat on a bench, wrote poetry and expanded our moments together into infinity. 

I longboarded back to Brian's house and we had an awesome photoshoot. Some results can be viewed at http://www.modelmayhem.com/658643 .

Wednesday I put the shots on the net and did another photo shoot. This time the roles were revered. The pics were great. I'll link up eventually. We watched old camp videos and pictures. In the evening we took a long walk.

This morning we woke at a decent hour and as the sun came out, we went to wreck beach.  http://www.wreckbeach.org/  . It was was like finally coming home. Pure peace and beauty. Maybe I'll write all about that tomorrow. 

Love you all,


If anyone has any comments, suggests, questions, please lay 'em on me.  

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Greetings yall, it's been a wild few days. 

But before I relate the last few days adventures, I'm going to muse in a calm, rational way about drugs. 

For as longs as humanity has attained consciousness, we attempted to alter that consciousness. The ritualistic consumption of mind/body altering substances remains a central tenant  of countless spiritual communities. From peyote to Manichewitz, people have always been testing the limits of intoxication in order to attain various states of mind. However, drugs stopped being disseminated in strictly meaningful ways a long time ago. Drugs like caffeine and alcohol, respectively a stimulant and depressant, seem to drive our society. The pharmaceutical  industry exploded over the last half century as various governments continue to state that "drugs are bad" and to "just say no".  The truth is that drugs, like any other inanimate object, possess no intrinsic value. It's the usage that results in beneficial or detrimental outcomes.  

The role of "shaman" was traditionally passed down through the generation. This was a person with an intimate knowledge of drugs that could advise on matters physical and spiritual. They would gather, cure, prepare, administer the drugs, then interpret the reaction. Adversely, the advice passed down to me on the subject of pot was "just don't do it".  Such words of wisdom from my parents are entirely understandable, yet wholly irrational. Everyone knew that I'd try it eventually but fears of the "gateway drug" caused my folks to express the issue as entirely black and white. The taboo reputation made it entirely more desirable. Instead of experimenting with the drug in a safe environment, I clandestinely tried to smoke as much as possible.  Luckily I've always been wise enough to stop smoking when my brain gets too mushy. For many the habit is difficult to break.

But for others it's important to consume various drugs everyday. For many people drugs help to reduce anxiety, tap into creativity and gain higher levels of consciousness. I've been off pot for weeks, but it gives me a lingering alternative perceptive remains. When I did smoke, I gained an astounding boost of physical energy. I can do many more pushups when I'm high. On the negative side, after a period of daily smoking, the drug fogs my mind. Like all things in life, a middle road is the way to go. A tiny drag would now get me high for hours. 

To conclude, I've decided I will chronicle my drug use. I do this to be honest about the balance of  pleasure, work and spirituality that I've attained. I want you all to know that I'm wise enough to stay safe and I encourage you to do the same. I also hope to break down some of misconceptions and fears about drug use. The lesson is to be inspired to do what you want. Triangulate your gut, your heart and your head and you'll always made the right decision.   

Love you all, 



Saturday, July 4, 2009

Good evening all, so glad you've perused my musings. Today I find myself in the small community of Bowser, BC. A sleepy little gaggle of houses and farms in the heart of Vancouver Island. About 5 months ago, I took off an an journey of epic proportions. My friend Miles Howe asked me to join him on a cross Canada trip. We played over forty shows in two months. Then the band came to an explosive end. Some highlights of the trip included the brilliant city of Winnipeg and sleeping on "old dump road". I kept a journal throughout the trip, so more details will come eventually.

For the last three months, I've been living in the small town of Parksville, BC. On my way to visit a friend on Gabriola Island, I came across a drunken hillbilly band called "Kin Fo", http://www.kinfo.20fr.com/. I performed with them that night and they asked me to join the band. After an incredible week on Gabriola, I moved to Parksville, Kin Fo's home base. The band has been in existence for over ten years, I became the 38th member of the 4 piece band. A highlight of thoes days is the concert at the frontiersmen pub in Coombs. The crowd was pumped and enthralled by our performance and by my special brand of naked break dance banjo playing. Eventually I veered away from kin fo, but I think I'll always be part of that hillbilly family. I understand they are booked to play Merit country music fest, I'll probably be joining them for that.

I've made many great friends in Parksville. There's an apartment called "the Wizemen's" or "the three wise men". It was named after the three tenants, two of which still live there. It's a hub for folks around 20. Lot's of couches, filled every night. Dumpster diving is a hobby I've aquired there. Behind ever supermarket lies a trove of fresh produce (though perhaps not pretty), packaged goods (with an exipred date) and morning fresh bread. We hop in, fill about four grocery bags at a time, then cook massive veagan meals. It's rewarding on many levels. 

There was a lot of down time from kin fo, and I picked up longboarding. A derivative of skateboarding, with a focus on crusing. The oversized boards allow for smoother travel at greater speeds. The downhill aspect is intense. With the help of GPS, my pals have been clocked at speeds of over 100km/h. A helmet is imperative and so are special sliding gloves. The gloves allow for two more points of balance, like a catamaran. I made my own pair by sawing apart old cutting boards, melting one side with a blow torch, then sticking them to a pair of work gloves. As the weight is shifted onto the hands, the spinning whells drift and slide in a controlled manner. Some good sliding clips, about 20 seconds in at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWEYA46sL_k

I hitchhiked to Dangerbay 8, the largest gathering of longboarders in the world. Four days of marvel. I played a lot of banjo, skated down hills while high on mushrooms, was beat into the longboard family and dropped acid. An incredible time over all. There a shot of me drinking beer our of my friend Darrell's 40 ounce bottle at 5:57 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KV7wl6KrYBU

The community of longboarders is full of passion and love. It all started in this corner of the universe and has grown exponentially. The world wild family is tight nit group and it's a pleasure to spend time with them. Each month companies and riders expand their skills and products. I predict big things for this sport. One highlight of the weekend was bombing down hills while holding hands with a lovely girls. I became palls with the Peurto Rican team. They had been fund raising for months in order to pay for their flights. I asked a for a cool cuss word and they said "Cabron", it means quite a few things. I'd shout it out each time I saw them and the group would always holler it back with great big smiles.

The acid was pretty wild. The best part was when I climbed a pine tree and controlled it's various limbs with my own. I made it dance like a giant puppet to the cool bands that were playing.

The word "rabble" came up a lot that weekend. It's a way getting crowed riled up.

One month ago, my friend Anita invited me to hot yoga at the Hot and Cool yoga club. The experience was life altering. Through infrared lights and regular heat lamps, the mirrored studio becomes a den cleansing and growing. I sweated buckets was able to bend in new and different ways. Immediately after the class, I told the owner, Simon Daniels, that I intended to come every day and apprentice with him. Since then I've been averaging about 2.5 hours of yoga a day. I'm in a new state of mental and physical focus. Being able to touch my toes without bending my knees is a new bliss. My back pain has alleviated and my muscles are sculpted like never before. 

Simon and I have been playing music together and it's grown in to something big. Along with our friend Darrell, we've formed the Pirate Yogi Crew. Our style blends folk and rap, while spanning everything in between. We went to the Song City studio in Vancouver last week to begin recording, and  things are progressing nicely. While there, we recorded three songs and are in the process of editing them. Expect an EP release shortly. The studio is an expansive renovated warehouse. The two main studios are flanked by a maze of smaller, privatly rented rooms. The result is a brilliant community of musicians.  I was helping some fellows carry an apartment size piano up a flight of stairs, when lo and behold, next to me was Steve Bays, the singer from Hot Hot Heat. I also got to hang out with Red1 from the Rascalz and Kiprios from Sweatshop Union. All charming and warm dudes. I'm looking forward to running into them again. We stayed the night in a refurbished tour bus from the thirties and fantaizsed about our future music careers.

Two days ago Simon sold the studio and we're moving to Vancover tommorow. We'll be perfroming and recording as much as possible, making money and waves. After a month, we'll be heading down the west coast to California.

Canada day was a few days ago. As Chilluack was playing, we were dacing and bending and flipping and dipping behind the sound booth. The sightlines wern't great, so many people focused their attention on us. Applause roared around as we fed off the crowd's energy. So look out...

If anyone has any suggestion for spots of people to check out in Vancover, lemme know.

I guess that's all for now, more will come. Love you all,