Blog No. 287
Driving to Toronto is old hat for most Windsorites. I think. It’s certainly not a big deal for a lot of folks I know. Sometimes I take the train, when prices are reasonable and it’s just me. It’s gotten to the point where the cost of gas and parking is about the same as a train ticket anyway, so it’s all dependent on scheduling and specifics. Since I was going to the ChiSeries reading with Christian, and we could split the gas, driving was the way to go. And let me tell you, it’s not always as smooth a drive as it was last Wednesday. Construction was minimal, traffic was reasonable, and the inevitable movie and book conversations makes the time go by. The only part that could be considered a challenge was getting to the hotel and figuring out where to park.
The hotel was really close to the venue. We stayed at the Super 8 in Chinatown and The Round in Kensington was a ten minute walk at most. Not bad. Trying to get to the right side of the street and looking for the parking garage entrance was not too difficult, but seeing as the rest of the trip was so easy the line of cars and dead end streets was interesting? Really, in the end it was an easy trip. Once we got to the hotel, then things got interesting. The hotel was in a mall and the room we were staying in was all by itself, facing the balcony to the mall. There were a couple elevators that stopped there, but otherwise, we were secluded. It was interesting, but not unwelcome. After the stay at Shock Stock with partiers passing by the door all night, the space was welcome. With such a close walk to the venue, we spend the afternoon having lunch and checking out a couple local stores, including a little comic shop that had a huge variety of stuff. I grabbed a two local comics, but Christian was deep into the international stuff.
The reading itself was a joy. The only complaint I have is that when we got there, the room was close to a billion degrees. I’m not so good in the heat, so I was a mess until the AC kicked on. Arvin showed up. He didn’t have to come from Germany this time, but it was still nice of him. A few of the ChiZine authors came too, and they were as gracious as always. I stumbled a couple times with my reading, but the stage is dark and it was my first time reading from Thinking Machine. It didn’t help that my voice was shot by that point. I was still fighting the cold. Pushing myself for those two days gave it a window to hang on for a while. I’m just now kicking it. After the readings, though, we had some nice conversations and since the room cleared out quickly, we got back to the hotel fairly early. It was nice to get to bed since we wanted to get a good start in the morning. Thankfully, the drive home wasn’t too bad either. A couple construction stops, but not a big deal. The whole event was really easy considering how it was packed into a short time.
I’m really thankful to Sandra and Brett at ChiZine for not only keeping the series alive, but making us a part of it. They even invited us to to Peterborough for a reading up there. The first ChiSeries Windsor is coming up next Wednesday May 30th at Phog Lounge. We will have readers Brittni Brinn, Justine Alley Dowsett, and Michael Drakich, with musical guests Salesman of the Year. In between now and then, I’ll be at the Downtown Windsor Farmers’ Market this Saturday, May 26 on Pelissier between Wyandotte and Maiden Lane, from 8am to 1pm. I’ll have copies of No Light, All These Crooked Streets, and Thinking Machine. Christian will be there too. I guess. You should go because the market is great, and while you’re there, come get some books! Then get amped for the ChiSeries because it’s a great time, and having a full band playing between readings is off the charts awesome. Plus, what a way to support local writers! See you at both things!