Thursday, March 30, 2006

Carre St. Louis

The vernal wicked is on! Carre St. Louis is so hot right now. A few of last summer's regulars roam the soggy veldt, bum's roar majestically from various corners of the enclosure, dog walkers and dope dealers, head bangers and nursing seniors all convene in some sort of Blur-y ParkLife. This is like a farmer's almanac for the urbs: if Guilhomme drops his pants and yells at you, you can know Spring is oooon! He dropped his pants. Be there for around 3.30, and I'm sure he'll reiterate his sentiments for you too.

Yesterday, we met a few people who'd convened to reach accord with their lives. A fed-up construction worker who was tired of the teamsters and local gangsterism asked us for some advice between pulls on his stogie. Steve and I said, Go West. I was pushing for the Island, as subcontractors are swamped, some as backlogged as 2 years, and the lifestyle is wondrous. In the end, it seemed like we talked him round into selling his truck and making the plunge. A dude pulled up opposite us while we were talking to the disgruntled wide-neck. Turned out he was just moving back from Newfoundland, but'd gone to school in Ottawa. When pressed, he said Lisger. I asked if he knew Carolyn Jack, and he'd said he'd dated her! Turns out he was Mark Gilespie, the guy who'd purportedly later ventured into erotic entertainment under the alias Luke Loader. Well, I was tickled by this coincidence, but then, that's why I go to that park: to meet people. Other notable CSL personalities: Rollerblading Leprechaun (does crazy stunts, other than wearing hot-pants almost exclusively. Catch him at Tam-Tams), Sideshow Bob, Trenchcoat Predator (he was doing laps, probably with a colouring book under his coat), a random air-guitar guy who was wearing earphones with severed wires, someone walking her rabbit... and that's just the superficial layer. This park gets involved!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

roll up the disRIMination to win

the echelon is swinging back round to drop the indignation: what the hell's going on with discrimination. as a concept of common usage, it's contradictory. look at this def'n ( =

dis·crim·i·na·tion ( P ) Pronunciation Key (d-skrm-nshn)n.
1. The act of discriminating.
2. The ability or power to see or make fine distinctions; discernment.
3. Treatment or consideration based on class or category rather than individual merit; partiality or prejudice: racial discrimination; discrimination against foreigners.

where, from our swampy tongue, did the 3rd usage emerge? wouldn't that indicate a LACK of discrimination? prejudice is INdiscrimination, no? what warped this concept so? upon thinking about the racial problems, historical and current, perhaps one thread of 'discrimination' stems from the POWER to do so. the authority to have created these divides in the first place. in which case, discrimination, in its radicalized (and i propose, fallacious) usage still fails to illustrate this. so stop criminalizing a word, a word that is more good than bad (basis of all thought and dictinction of virtue), and get to the damned root. poor usage is indiscrimination.

Thursday, March 23, 2006


License to Foos (what a Thumbcentric world we live in..)

Rrrolling up the Rrrim to Win shouldn't really be giving me mild depressions. It's not my fault, I place the blame solely on the Tim Whorton's employee that picked the cup out in the first place. She's the loser here. It's akin to having the dep guy choosing the scratch 'n' win card for you, it's just poor lotto form. Let me point out the cup I want. How too does the cheery 'please play again' encourage me to get another cup of doubledouble (or 'two two' as some Quebs call it)? How did I 'play' the first time? By simply finishing my coffee and then remembering to do it? Isn't playing supposed to be associated with fun? This contest appeals more to obsessives and people with thumbs than true gamers (though, I must admit, I don't roll the rim, I chew it). Bake the freaking Rav4 key into a donut. That'd be fun. Because then you could order the donut with the key sticking out of it. Or how about wrestling the BBQ from a bear? (Though I'd want to keep the bear. We'd be pals. We'd listen to trance music and Enya together. I'd take it to bars, teach it to smoke and play foosball. Bear wrangling wouldn't be too drastic a lifestyle change really. Owning a BBQ seems like the real hassle here.) But I digress. Rrroll Up The Rrrim To Win! Gimme a break.. Lamest game I've ever played. It's a more suitable name for a modern take on the Karmasutra. HAHAHA. 'Please play again, for hours at a time.'

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

My First Short... (pre-edit)

The apartment was a sunlight soup. Chunks of static flash were held in the liquid suspense of a pastel broth of curtain and carpet. The toaster and kettle kicked horseshoes onto the ceiling. Cutlery spat gold teeth onto the table. The vacuum tube silvered off the TV’s slumbering face. All was agleam and Geoff tasted it with a startled yawn as he blinked awake. This wasn’t the prison cell he was used to.
He sat up and scrutinized the room, bewildered. Nothing was as it should be. He glanced along his arm to his torso and legs: he was wearing a zoot suit, by the looks of it. Complete with wingtips on his feet and cuffs at his wrists. A black fedora capped a coat rack in the corner.
‘What the fkuff?’ He stumbled to the window and winced through the light. The sun was bleach, saturating the street behind the window. Buildings made severe by the lancing sun cut a mock world out of shadow. Lengthened people passed over these dark angles under which they neared obscurity. It represented too much to Geoff to realize that something was amiss. That the sun had no heat occurred less to him than his freedom.
‘Fkuff me, I’m.. Huh? I can’t fkuffing swear? FKarrrrrrFF!’ Backing up from the window, his throat under his fingers, he reeled in search of a mirror. ‘I’m free and I can’t find the words to express it!’ He thought wildly. ‘Where’s the bathroom?’ His throat was smooth and without stubble, which, Geoff thought, was odd for a guy with a beard. After trying the only other doorknob in the room, which turned out to be the unlockable front door, he opened the one to the bathroom. Glancing around it, he saw it had no mirror. Nor a toilet.
He licked his lips and ran his hands over his face. No hair. He touched his head, a clipped and lacquered hairstyle touched him back. Maybe he could see his reflection off the TV. He tried, and though it gave a fisheye of everything else in the room, there was nothing of him. Even when he tried blocking all the light reaching it, it was if he simply was not there.
‘Holy sthit. What the fkuff? Am… am I finally a vampire?’ He hit the power on the TV, and sidled backwards to lean against the couch. A man’s head pushed onto the picture.
‘Hi Geoff!’ He greeted him genially.
‘Hi dude’s head.’ Geoff spluttered.
‘Geoff, you must be wondering what the heck is happening? We’ve been told that some of your predecessors had a rather uncomfortable time adjusting. So we started preparing live orientation vid-feeds. Any questions so far?’
‘Er. Other than, well, I’m sure you.. Never mind. Just keep going.’
‘Sure thing Geoff. My name is Garry. I do PR for InCORPSoration. Our company recently bought your rights from the Beaumont Correctional Institution. And we’re happy to say, you’re broadcasting live!’
‘Erm. Yeah. I’m.. still a bit murky on the details there Garry.’
‘Well, as I’m sure you’ve heard, even in your..’ Garry checked something just below the screen ‘.. seven year absence. Huh. The last one in solitary..’ and looking cheerfully back into the room, ‘Well, maybe you wouldn’t know then! We’ve developed a hit new KeyHole show wherein inmates and other legal non-entities are the stars! You’re going to serve the rest of your sentence under the public eye! The fans can either tap your feed direct, as in cerevision, or, and we’re particularly proud of this merchandizing adjunct, even read about your exploits in the Booked. A copy of yours is on the kitchen table over there. Not digital, like the consumers’ versions of course.’
Geoff looked over to where an officious black book stood upright on the table. Somehow, like mall music except in Geoff’s head, the fanfare from Also Sprach Zarathustra lit up for a few moments.
‘Garry, was that you guys in my head? That trumpet stiht?’
‘Yes Geoff. That was us. From time to time, we’ll integrate sound effects and whatnot, another feature we’re very pleased about. Perhaps one day even special effects, but that’s currently being pondered by the board members. Though, between us, they’re keener to promote the product placement right now. I must say Geoff, we like what we’re seeing here. You’re taking this all remarkably well.’
‘Thanks. Now, where is this place, if not Beaumont? And if this is at all related, where am I?’
‘HA. You know what? I’d almost forgotten. Yes, where are you Geoff? Well, according to the marketing demographic we’re trying to attract, we can’t allow certain, let’s just call them unsavory elements, to enter the shows. Needless to say ‘needless to say’, there were just some things we couldn’t control. So we created a virtual town for all you scallywags, and plugged you right on in. Your usual psychomotor interface was rerouted directly into our software. So the physics are piqued to our fancy: No need to defecate, swear or even have sexual relations. Fall four stories, and you’ll be fine.. You do know what that means Geoff?’
‘No toonpang?’
‘Well, Garry, then I gotta ask, how is it possible to live?’
‘I’ll take that as a literal question. Your real body, your “biody” as we all call it at the CORPS to avoid confusion, has been suspended. It is being cared for by highly qualified technicians in the same building I’m orienting you from right now! Like I mentioned, your sensations have all been rerouted to here! And our viewers, your viewers, Geoff, get to see this instead! Pretty wild, huh?’
‘Yeah. Wild.’
‘The no sex/drugs/swearing thing is on a sliding scale, based on your behaviour. This virtual world may seem heavenly to you, but you are still technically incarcerated. So, we gave you a few stipulations. As you progress in your life here, you’ll enter a new rating category, whereby you can start swearing again, drinking again and so on. The one thing everyone can do from day one is fight. And it’s strongly recommended. In fact, the better you are at that, the more likely you will be to enter a new viewing time, and thus, a new rating category. If I’ve confused you, the rules are in the appendix of your Booked. Now, anything you have to add before I go?’
‘Yeah Garry. I have a question. Why can’t I see myself, like, you know, reflected off anything.’
‘Reflected in anything. Simple Geoff. We entered litigations with a few of our more sensitive viewers. They found it easier not to associate with you, found it humanizing or something, so our legal department deemed it fit to squash that altogether. Gosh, I should go now. Nice to meet you Geoff. Now, go off and enjoy your liberty!’ And with a sucking motion, the TV winked off.
Geoff put his head back against the couch seat in exhausted disbelief.
‘Fkuff you Garry.’

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

A wheel of starlings over Brighton's West Pier (in real life, James Warwick's URL isn't there)

bringing back 'toil' to the meaning of toilet

i remember Brighton's West Pier. only as a space i could explore from afar, from my place as a child, it seemed to be made of sea-wracked steel and ghosts. it'd been condemned before my birth, and seemed to me as far too delicate a thing to have sticking out of the ocean. like a glass wedding cake balanced atop chopsticks, it looked so untouchable. as if history could be preserved by the seething brine alone, and human fingers would only crunch it. it was a glorious sight, mottled with rust and scabby sea gunge, its crenellated turrets bit back against the monontony of the grey pebbled beach and brash skies. i often wondered about it, asking my grandmother, but i forgot what she'd said, so i left it in my mind as a photograph. a movie i just saw underlined how much has happened to it since, and i'd rather have not known. construction began in 1866, during the Golden Years of British industrialism by an engineer called Eugenius Birch, but wasn't completed, by means of a concert hall, until a few years before World War I. it was closed during the wars, getting heavily mined and boobytrapped to deter the enemy using it as a launching platform. it closed finally in 1975. it got wonky, and started to sag and collapse, and even though a substantial restoration budget had been put aside for it, it was gutted by fires in 2003. they believed it to be arson, and strangely, i would've liked to've been there to watch it burn. i heard that even more of it fell into the sea lately. the above is a picture of it, swept by starlings. more pictures found here. the place was beautiful.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

meanwhile... high-ranking dog-shit officers attempt to rally the poop-troops after yet another attempt to recrapture Montreal goes awry...

It was low-tide in the mall and I was watching a pair of gnarly old goat dudes watch a pair of boutique-girls eat a pair of over-stuffed burritos, when I re-cognized that life, although the ultimate spectator sport, can be pretty graceless sometimes. Amidst these mall-humans, crustaceans and mud-slurpers alike, shuffling from lottery kiosk to bench and back, were very few instances of grace. Me included (my pants-fly is broken, I have underarm hair growing on my neck etc.). But why's it so important, I wondered? And then I realized I'd been thinking of it for a while, that everyone thought of it, at some base level, and that us crabs had served that day by lowering the flashpoint.

In it's brief flares of existence, grace seems to die when pointed at. Seems to vie against the spectacle. Seems to fly only in the periphery of pedestrian focus. All efforts are either to attain or channel it. Grace is a 'realizer' of sorts.. In the imperceptibly narrow space between an idea and its accordant action, grace grows. It actually imbues an action with idea. Harmonizes the two. Very few other words conduct this sort of metaphysical fluidity. It almost appears as if we have a dearth of "good" words.

What is grace? A skill? Or a state of flow? Can it be commodified? Can it sustain happiness? Can it be quantified or given a measure? Is it somehow a signifying agent, flickering around material like semantic lightning? How do we recognize it, appreciate it, accelerate it? Are we all looking to live in a state of grace as imagined? I obviously have no answers, nor would I assert them if I did, but I'm sure it lies at the heart of the perennial question of questions: What makes for a half-decent Bollywood movie?

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Rat: I say! Badger!

Skeletor, Please Don't Look At My Greasy Ace Ventura Hair Like That

It feels like ages since I've been lucid enough to 'make-contact'. But boy oh boy, do I ever have the need to babble fecklessly today! The Wiz and I went to the Of Montreal show yesterday, where Grae, Greg, Mark, and the Brian/na met us. It was a bender! With spine-grinding bass, the Lesbians on Ecstasy broke us open, allowing the Of's catchy licks and showmanship to take hold. It was during the LonX show I realized that I've been dressing much like a lesbian for all these years. "Wicked" I thought to myself, and begged Isabel to buy me an LonX pin that said as much.

The Of Montreal needs a little section to itself: much of their antics were fresh and silly. At one point Kevin Barnes (?), the singer, lit up a moment where he'd 'spontaneously' write a song shittier than anything Billy Joel had ever released. The only lyrics I really caught were: "Her movements, while dancing, were louder than God. And God's voice is pretty loud." He had a bit of an ostentatious flare to him, delivering the music with a 'please humour my effete genius' type of swagger. It was good. In fact, I loved it. Turns out, a few of these guys are from Athens, Georgia.

Yesterday, while rushing out of Isabel's apartment to buy the tickets before the box-office closed, I almost got run over by some OAP hooligan in a motor-buggy. With those electric motors, you just don't hear them coming. So, as I was indignantly waving a fist after her, a second buggy crashed into my leg and ran over a bit of my foot. I caught a glimpse of the old bag's determined grimace before she scooted on into the distance. She didn't even bother to stop to see if I was ok. It was basically a Hit and Run. And now I only have to wonder... Were they a small contingent of some underground street racing OAP gang? Or was this a targeted maiming with intent to gather scooter-recruits? I found it kind of funny at the time, but now I'm mightily pissed off. Next time she tries that, I'm going to clothesline her, jump into her still-warm seat, circle round to run over HER leg and zip off to the park to feed the ducks and become The Laziest Man Alive.

I also found a use for those dates: here's the recipe...
-1/2 block of tofu... slice into thin strips, fry in olive oil for 5-7 minutes, turning every 1-2 min.
-2 cloves fine-diced garlic mixed with 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard and 1 teaspoon Apple Vinegar. mix it up. Now slice and dice 2 Algerian dates, removing the pits. They'll be sticky, until you put them into the garlic mustard mix, at which point the vinegar'll break them into smaller pieces (with rigorous stirring). Add mixture over the now-browned frying tofu.
-Once the tofu sizzles the mix, reduce heat and sprinkle a teaspoon of parmesan cheese. Roll tofu around in pan and add a 2nd teaspoon of parmesan. Roll around some more.
-Put on plate and salt to taste. (Disclaimer: Don't give to date-hating girlfriend. She won't eat it.)

So the screams are getting louder at PI now, which means it's 4 o'clock.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


The above title is one of the options we sometimes have at work when a call gets rejected. It was the funniest thing I could think off while working.. and other than the fact that I heard the name Garth on three different answering machines, I didn't really think of much else. However, the rest of the work scene, while aromatic, is surprisingly cool. Though I did have one experience today in the bathroom that only became odd because I thought of it too much: I went to the bathroom twice during my shift, and each time there was this shifty chinese dude just milling around. Now, i thought it may've been possible that we were on the same bladdercycle (a brief aside: i just put some pizza pops in the preheated-to-450-degrees oven on waxed paper. how do i know this is safe? because i was forced to read Fahrenheit 451 when I was 12. thank you liberal education) but how could i be sure? maybe he was on a more frequent cycle than mine, and other people had run into him there, and were thinking the same thing? or maybe he'd never even left the first time? but then I thought, it was most likely that it was just coincidence that we were both there both times and that he looked shifty.. and maybe it could be that he was thinking the same about me. which led me to worry about him telling coworkers about this dodgy white guy lurking in the bathrooms. i don't need that rep 2 days into my new job. give me a week.

i have to take these algerian dates out of my coat pocket soon.

(updated aside: using paper in the oven ISN'T a viable cooking method)

ps. i know it's starting to sound like i hang out in bathrooms here, but i dropped my phone in another toilet, so i'm basically unavailable. last time i did that my mum made a funny about me talking out my ass.