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07/20/2008 - 07/27/2008  

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Bring the break beat back, Box 

Since I arrived back in P'bra the Pride Prom that I had been planning has become chaotic. The DJ backed out last week but no one told me. So in the end we suffered from a serious lack of communication and co-ordination. I had to tell Owen, the coordinator of the Rainbow Youth Coalition, that the Pride Prom was cancelled and he called the schools to let the kids know. The whole affair was pretty disappointing especially when Owen told me that the kids had really been looking forward to the Pride Prom. We're trying to reschedule for June sometime.

The event was to have been at Sadleir House a very large century old home that is owned by the Trent student union. I went and hung out there for a while in case any kids showed up. I was nice to just relax outside by myself and enjoy the great weather. In the grass of the lawn I found an old button. At first glace I thought the button had a T-Rex with its mouth open, but after brushing some dirt off I realized it was a mushroom cloud and around the outside was written "ALL THE WAY WITH LBJ". It's pretty awesome. I'm soaking it in vinegar to get some of the rust off.

You know what is cute? Baby squirrel. Baby squirrel eating banana out of my hand. And petting baby squirrels. I home baby squirrel doesn't get kicked out of the nest by momma squirrel because baby squirrel smells like people. And banana.

Oh exams 

I'm really going to be very happy when my exams are all over. Which will hopefully be in the near future. I did however have the most awesomely broad exam question asking me to describe the important themes of "War, Peace and Culture" in the 20th century. Use extra paper if necessary.

Passover came and went and involved the usual family reunion/sniping and arguing about things. It's the fun kind of left-wing Jewish celebration where almost all mentions of God have been excised (and the references that survive alternate between "He" and "She") and there are various admonishments for peace and environmentalism and what have you. Fun times. I think I was actually doing a better job cooking during the week despite all the limitations placed on it. No, because of the limitations. That's the reason why I hate prose poetry: it's like "playing tennis without a net". Even though matzah pizzas and chilli and the such aren't really all that gourmat it's a big step up then the dreck I usually eat around this time of year.

I was at a bbq tonight and received some... interesting pictures of me from a party. Pictures I did not know existed. Anyway, I left the barbaque because I really need to study. But instead I ended up seeing Thank You For Smoking with my housemate. It's a really funny satire mainly because it's not preachy. Y'all should go see it. Also, Katie Holmes is so gosh-darn cute it's really disturbing to think that she continues to sink deeper into the scientology morass of silent births and placenta-eater (which, to be fair, was officially denied). Someone needs to deprogram her.

Oh and they're actually making that stupid Trek: The Academy Years movie. This is really a terrible idea on so many levels.

Friday, April 21, 2006


Being a massive anecdote in two parts with an segue. This was something I wrote while I was on the TTC to hand in some DVD's (editing projects) to my prof at his Eastside home. These are anectdotes, so they don't really have a point or a climax and I think it's juvenile to include myself writing in them. The tone is also very inconsistent. They have been edited very little. It's like a journal entry.

Easter Monday April 17, 2006,

As I get on the subway in St. Clair West, I notice a shirtless man. Wearing a Santa hat. And boxer shorts. As I enter the train, he stands up on the seats. He’s making poses. Muscle man poses facing out the back window. He’s got his own whole section at the back of the train. Everyone is averting their eyes. I notice two especially prim women. A mother and daughter. The mother has neat blonde hair tied back and little, silver spectacles. Her lips are very tightly pursed. At first I take them for WASPs but maybe their Eastern Europeans. This is when I start writing.

The lunatic in the Santa hat starts adding sound effects to his poses. Speaking in tongues. It sounds like digital distortion when he loudly grunts and snarls. He strikes a pose and indulges deeper into his babble. The word “father” emerges intelligibly several times from his digital garble.

A very ordinary-looking woman of about 35 steps up and walks towards the lunatic. She comes up right beside him, no more than four feet away. The whole train is watching her tensely. She leans to his right and props a piece of paper into the corner of a billboard. She does the same thing on the billboard on the other side. She then walks back and leaves a third pamphlet in the billboard right behind me. I’ve been assuming it’s a concert or a club thing. When she steps away, I glance at the paper. It is a little pamphlet that says, “So what if all is true?” and shows beaming light. I feel a strong desire to grab the pamphlet – religious proselytizing, I’m sure. It would make the perfect memento to this whole little adventure. But I don’t grab it. I always have a difficult time with those pamphlets, even when I’m making fun of them. No matter how ridiculous they seem, how corny, judgmental or stubborn, I know it’s someone’s spiritual beliefs I’m laughing at. Plus, this time I’ve seen the woman who left it. That never happens.

The lunatic keeps ranting. The woman to my left mutters to herself, “Just two more stops.”
Everyone stands up early to get off at St. George and piles to the opposite end of the train as the lunatic. But he leaves his self-imposed zone and marches down to their end of the train. When he passe me, I see for the that he's actually young - less than thirty and in excellent physical shape. With his shaved head and goatee, he could be your typical athlete if he wasn't a lunatic. The tension is definite before the doors open up and we all get out.

I consider following the lunatic just so I can keep observing him and prolonging this little adventure, but this seems a little crazy and if he wised up to me following him, I’d be in over my head. He goes left and I go right. As I walk downstairs to the Bloor line, I see that he’s doubled back and is running alongside the train, swinging his arms like a windmill.

I sit down on the red block bench on the bottom level. The lunatic comes downstairs within 15 seconds. He strides quickly in front of a group of young women waiting for the train. He utters several intelligible “princess”s. A stab at the young women or simply some buried impulse or a Tourette’s verbal spurt. Maybe some hybrid.

He walks to the far end of the platform, out of sight. It sounds like he’s having a conversation with someone, but I don’t get up to have a look.

I get on the train going East and record this all as quickly and clearly as I can. I miss my stop. I get off at Coxwell and see a balding man reading from a book of psalms. I go upstairs, switch tracks, watch him still there and keep writing.

I get on the train back to Greenwood and get out. I ascend from the tiny, ordinary station and try to orient myself. I know that I should be on Greenwood street so I should have to hit Danforth and walk a block East to get to Linnsmore. The street I’m on is crawling with senior citizens, moving like turtles in the warm sun. Am I north or south of this “Danforth”? I walk to the corner of Danforth and see that I’m already on Linnsmore North of Danforth. I backtrack half a block North and keep going. I start to the see the nice, big, brown homes of the neighbourhood. I identify my professor’s house. I step up to the front door and contemplate leaving the DVD’s in the mailbox and going. No. I’d feel more secure if I left them in his hands. There’s no bell, so I open the front door and enter the interior front porch. It is huge, tiled, clean and perfectly empty except for a new 21-speed bike. I knock of the door and almost instantly it comes open. I expect my tall, imposing, very German professor. But it is a fourteen year-old skater who opens the door. I ask him if my professor is in. He tells me no and asks if I’d like to leave a message. Stupidly, I confirm that the boy knows who my professor is, then I hand him the DVD’s and mention that I’m a student at York.

I leave and walk down the street. The turtle seniors are gone. There are younger people. Grimier people. Men. 30-35, facial hair, poor and hard-looking.

I am overclothed in hoodie and windbreaker. Uncomfortably warm. Two boys who are 9 to 11 years old. They’re going to cross the street. They actually look tough. Buzzcut hair, new Converse sneakers and cheap puffy winter jackets. One of them drags an aluminum bat across the sidewalk that rattles loudly. They are at a crosswalk and it would be easy to press the button, but they choose to jay-walk. From corners of the T-shaped intersection. They get halfway across the road and then have to stop to let a van go by. Then a car, then another van. They miss 3 opportunities at least to scuttle across the last half of the street. They are the worst jay-walkers I’ve ever seen. I just stand there and stare at them for the 45 seconds it takes them to cross. I half expect one of them to get run over and this is part of the reason I can’t look away. Finally, they both make it over and I have a look around the neighbourhood.

Beautiful, ugly Hogtown. Everything is Aryam Grocery or Trung Convenience. You know, like Thomas Running-Bull. A whole city based around awkward integration and unwashed windows. I was looking at going to this awful donut shop to write this down, but I can’t justify it financially or time-wise to myself, plus I’d be a little scared to go in alone, even during the day. I don’t know this neighbourhood at all. And there’s two sketchy unshavens on the bench outside.

So I sit down on a concrete box for a planted tree and keep writing. The sun is blinding off the page. I’m getting really hot. I finish my thought and head home.

P.S. My sisther and Sam tell me they've seen the Santa man, too.

P.P.S. Also, a young man in great physical shape with no clothes on acting crazy in a Santa hat - has anyone seen Jarhead?

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


-what Salmon Eye were doing, drunk, waiting for the Ossington bus last night at 1:30 a.m. Sam starts talking to this guy there who's our age and happens to be drunk also and friendly. As we get on the bus the young man starts sketching. I quickly notice that he's sketching Salmon Eye. Right as he gets up to leave, I get him as he's going out the door and say, "You were drawing us!"
It seems more accusatory than I'd intended, but he quickly rips the page out of his book and hands it to me. I scanned it this morning. Have a look. I think he did a very good job of getting our postures and facial expressions. Shapes of heads less so, but maybe that's because I'm used to cartoonishly exaggerating that. Plus Sam looks different since he ditched the old Marge Simpson look.

Monday, April 17, 2006

So close... 

I have two exams and one term project left, and then I will be able to wash my hands of undergrad forever. It's funny, I have in my mind this idea that I'm the kind of person that prefers to be settled in one place and have a cozy, familiar life built up around them, but in actuality it is quite the opposite. After four years at Queen's I'm exceedingly eager to depart, and it is taking every exertion of my willpower to make myself do the little work that I have left to do there.

I spent a good chunk of time the other day thinking about all of the courses I've taken, and compiling a summary of all the work I've done throughout undergrad. Apparently I've written 186 assignments, but only 8 essays and 2 presentations. Another fallacious notion I have about myself is that I always think I like to focus really intently on a single thing and become really wrapped up in it. But there have been about four different subjects throughout the past four years that I have resolved to do a minor in, and now at the end I lack a minor completely, and my elective courses have been selected mostly haphazardly. Other than math, there has been no subject I've taken more than a single credit of:

math: 10.5 credits ; 1 credit each of physics, chemistry, biology, economics, english, philosophy, geology; 0.5 each of computer science, religion, spanish, health, anatomy

In other news, I'm in Toronto until Friday, if anyone wants to do anything fun.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

All done. ? 

Where are yall? Apes? Hiding in the dense jungle?

I had the most incredible, vivid dream last night. Me and my sis and dad and maybe some friend of my sister's were going through this deep, dark Brazilian jungle. We were looking for Kurtz, but I had a feeling he was already dead. But there was a path wide enough we could see the sky. We were following the riverside, but usually the river was just out of sight behind trees. We came to this steep, steep hill covered in gravel. The only way to get down was by sliding. And you couldn't grab onto any side plants because they all were cactuses. The steep hill plants had evolved to be spiky so they wouldn't be grabbed by people and bent out of shape. Sliding down the gravel hill was very fun. Then we came to a clearing and saw some ruins. It was obvious that Kurtz was dead. Then the ruins became something else. Like a castle. Then the Purple invaders came and they reminded me the humans in Warcraft II and they showed me the Map Mode and I could see they'd come here to invade the Green city. So then the green guys sent a diplomat down who convinced the Purple innaders that they were better leaders and should keep control of their own kingdom plus gain control of the Purple kingdom. The Purples were not entirely convinced so the Greens went to go get their leader, Cerebus. The Purples awaited him eagerly. But I knew from reading the comics that Cerebus had been transformed into a human being so when he came downstairs the Purples wouldn't recognize him. When he did come down the stairs, he was a short, blond, man-child in a tuxedo. The Purples demanded to know why they hadn't been given an audience with the great Cerebus. (Human) Cerebus held his hand half a foot from his face as if clutching a snout and insisted it was him. Miming the snout seemed to fool the Purples enough. That is when I woke up.

What a dream! That makes two with danger and a riverside involved in them in the last little while. Either highly Jungian (water is alwasy deep in dream language) or I am still set on a great riverside hike I did last weekend.

And to explain the title of the post, I am now all done school. But I still have to prepare my proposals for next year's classes. And I have to go to the dreaded East side to deliver my work to my Prof's house tomorrow. Then tutor. LOTS of tutoring lately. Even went to a "Toronto Marlies" "Hocky" "Match" with the b'y.

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a gorilla with no superego.