Friday, April 29, 2005

Now for a bunch o' randoms:

I cannot escape school.

Despite the fact that I have now completed all my academic work, including what I think is an extremely creative history final, I still live at that schatazi university. We're doing this very modern children's opera based on the stories of the Brothers Grimm, and despite the fact that it's only 45 minutes and I don't even have the biggest part, it has infested my sense and sensibility. Still, it's a chance to hang with three of my zuddies (yeah, that's "z" not "b". Oh, I went there.)

Oh...mah...gahd...I...hayt...Chai. Well not really. K, a little. It's more our - and I use this word loosely - vocal director, and her inability to do anything properly. Like, in life. Ok, well just Chai then. She can't run a rehearsal by herself. Yesterday I called her to let her known that I had too much school work to do (aka going to Xtina's BBQ), and she cancelled the rehearsal. Granted, I was not to be the only one absent, but she still could have worked the music with the other three if it were not for the fact that, what? She can't read music? Bah? She can't play the piano? FUFENCATASHIBONINONANES? The artistic director has admited to me that she stabbed herself in the foot by letting this chick be a director? FUCKING MAYBE! . . .Whatever. The tides will turn. They always do. And I just have to keep being all PC about it (save for publishing my grievances online) and it'll right itself.

My birthday is next week for those of you that I haven't had "May 4th" tattooed on yet. I'm not sure why birthdays are such a big deal to me. At first I thought it was purely ego, that I love the attention, etc. But you know what? It's a big part of it. No, kidding. Honestly, I just don't think we celebrate each other enough, and that's a shame. So, say birthdays were a big deal; everyone would break even on praise and gifts, but aren't both of those things SO much better when they come from someone who isn't you?

I was thinking this morning about the people that I have befriended over the past several years, and I realized last night as I was sitting in Christina's basement with shelves full of bible stories for kids surrounded by these rural kids singing and dancing to "Fishing in the Dark" that this is so not where I ever expected to be, and yet for the life of me I cannot fathom any other group of people that I could connect to more. We just accept each other, move on, and have a hella-good time playing Twister under black light. Then I though about the people that I know that are, well, more similar to me in upbringing, humours, lifestyle (in the broad sense), and how I have very few in my life. Hell, I've even lost a few from my life. Perhaps, there are reasons that those with whom we "should" be close can't last, as much as I wish they could ; maybe sometimes it's just too much.

Lastly, I fully entend to elaborate on this diatribe when I'm all drunk at 2:00 in the morning and in that "No, I really love you, man" place, but after last night's BBQ, I feel I should reiterate how madly in love I am with all of my friends, even the ones that weren't there, because it got me thinking about the people in my life. Jenn whipped out these photos and in amongst them were a couple of my grad with all of my friends from high school, and I just looked at them and though "Wow, these are the people I now avoid." (Ok, before you get all up in my face: of the people that I know from high school that I think have ever viewed this blog, and there are all of three of you, I don't mean you bitches, so just settle right down) I just can't imagine being in a place where I would not want to be in the midst of my current peeps, and that's way groovy man.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Ok, I had two things that I wanted to bitch about but for the moment I can only remember one, so we'll start with that and see how things go.

So I identify very much as the definition of the GQ Man; socially adept, well dressed, witty, and educated. Well, at least I'm on my way. In any case, I was reading this month's issue and it was fairly fluffy, complete with Jessica Alba in her skankiest glory on the front (while a progressive magazine, they still have the odd habit of occasionally putting a scantily clad woman on the cover. I'm fairly convinced the Jessica Alba is to a certain Amanda C, associated by most of my friends from RWB dancer-invested terminal crabs). Then mid-issue I flip to find a still of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in one the famous scenes from Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolff where he's just tearing her to pieces, and the title is "The One Word That Can Destroy a Woman".

NOWWWWWWWWWWWW, in a magazine that has come to define the modern metrosexuality (as opposed to all those closeted Details 'mos), my expectation would be that the article would list the word (the 'c' word, for those out of the loop) and wax apologetic on the inappropriateness of its modern usage as a weapon of mass distruction for men and perhaps give historical background (apparently C was an ancient godess in some pagan religion according to my friend Emily).

What I GOT however was this paraphrased summary, "It is the one word that you can pull out of your arsenal when you both know it is over that will completely annihilate her. Crass words for male genitalia are almost empowering - you are what you have - fuck yeah! But for women, this word takes away any of her individuality, lowering her to a dirty, base, and most importantly non-unique status."

This isn't untrue, he has so far simply stated a fact- (and experience-)based opinion. What was appaling was that the author was using this not in a "shame on us" tone, but rather "Guys, when she's one foot out the door and you both know it's over, here's one thing that you can, nay should, do to WIN," because in this post-feminist age the author feels that is the only way of reclaiming his masculinity. It's mean, he admits, but you still get to win.

I don't know what kind of motherfucking, scum-sucking, shit-eating, bottom-dwelling, small penis-owning, daddy-never-loved-me issues-spewing, mysogonistic sack of worm turds they are now in habit of hiring over at GQ, but I would simply like to go on the record as saying that I, as a motherfucking man, bear absolutely no kinship with that creature, and that if anyone protesting to be a part of human kind ever uses that disgusting word as a weapon against you, you have my permission as a man, to slice of his balls with a dull shaving razor and shove them up his ass.

Just be sure to take pictures.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Well I really don't have anything overly ranty to discuss, but I wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone who lent me their support during the Great Jury Meltdown of 2005. It was lovely to hear from friends, both past and present, and it really helped talk me down, which is fortunate because by all accounts it went fairly well. My teacher has given me the hush-hush, under-the-table, unofficial thumbs up, so hopefully that will be confirmed next week.

For the past several months, I've been exposed for the first time to Indie Rock and have taken quite a shine to it. The Killers, Interpol, Elliott Smith, The Bravery, etc...they all get me tingley in good places and it finally occured to me why; after nearly 20 years of essentially listening to 'feminized' music (Broadway, classical-crossover) sung mostly by female vocalists, I've finally found a male-dominated (hetero) genre of music that I can identify with. Essentially all these men have attitudes through their music that glorify heterosexuality for me. They aren't immature infants (punk), or whiney trailer trash (metal), or misogynistic, violent miscreants (hip-hop). These guys are emotive, intelligent people that can confront both masculine and feminine forces, and fuse them together as much of them do with their music (electric guitars + New Wave synths). Above all they're respectful and they create beautiful, soulful sound. Let's hear it for the boys.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

I am really frightened.

Tomorrow is my performance jury that will determine whether I will be allowed into the performance stream at school. I have had two years to think about tomorrow and yet it didn't occur to shit my pants until

In reality (which hardly seems relevant at the moment), I have no real reason to be frightened. I've done a crap load of performing this year: competitions, presentations, recitals, Manitoba Opera. This, however, seems so much greater than all of those. One half hour tomorrow could alter my path for the rest of my life, and I realize that that may sound a tad melodramatic, but in fact, it's really rather for-better-or-worse true. If I succeed, I will continue down the path that I've always seen for myself since starting two years ago, but if I fail, I honestly don't know how I'll react or (in the bigger picture) what I will even do for the next year of my life. Maybe I'll go to Paris.

This is about more than just an audition though. I see that. This is about the fact that I have never failed at anything that is truly important to me in my life. While it's true that I had a moderately privledged upbringing that may have started the wheels into motion, I know that there are a lot of things that I have worked at, whether that means long term or last minute, that have helped me get here. And I really would rather not have that come to a crashing halt tomorrow.

Last night was the opening of L'elisir d'amore, the Manitoba Opera's latest production, in which I am in the chorus. In the very first scene, we peasants are intently watching the female lead as she recounts the tale of Tristan and Isolda. The singer is Nikki Einfeld and she is young and talented and everything I'd like to be in 6 years. I was standing there and suddenly I was overcome with emotion that Oh my god! I get to do...this! I get to stand here and be paid (albeit menially at this level) to do what I want the most in the world to do. I am so lucky to be in this moment. And then the W: Women's Television cameras stopped rolling. Just kidding. But in all honesty, it was quite moving.

So here I am, a brief 15 hours away, being 99% prepared and this 1 mother*$^ing % is driving me absolutely mad. It's a word or two in my Papageno aria. It's an entrance in my Elijah piece. It's things that only myself and my fellow singers could - and should - possibly care about. But boy do we care about it.

My stomach is fluttering. To put that into perspective, consider this: my stomach didn't flutter as I was getting ready for my name to be called at Tudor Bowl. My stomach didn't flutter when I found out my grandmother had a stroke two years ago. And my stomach certainly didn't flutter last year when I was about to do this exact same thing but without the pressure of a beheld future on the line. My stomach only flutters like this at one time, and for those that know me well, this says something: my stomach only flutters when I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am about to be in love. The love could last for a day or it can last until I die, but I always know when I get "the shakes". Maybe I haven't been able to admit before that this is who I've become; in this moment, I can define myself beyond anything else as a performer and the idea of not being allowed to pursue it kills me.

Wish me luck.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Since about the time that I was 16, I play these little games of mental 'Chicken or Go' with my friends. For those of you who don't actually know what the original Chicken or Go is (shout out to my menno peeps!), essentially it is a very juvenile game in which Party A places their hand on the theigh of Party B, who then say either "chicken" ("stop, you're invading my personal bubble) or "go" in which case Party A moves their hand up a certain incrament. The game ends when Party B says "chicken" or you've just given them a hand job and they're asking you for a moist toilette...or something. Anyway, the mental version is essentially just reparté where we try to top each other with witty and/or weird comments. Also, the more opressed minorities you belong to, the easier a time you'll have. For an example, I - being Jewish - can always whip out Hitler, and granted that's a little unfair, cause honestly, who can beat Hitler? but still, it's a device at my disposal.

My problem is that as I'm get older and my peers are catching up to my initially superior intellect, it's not getting harder to top them exactly, but it's becoming increasingly difficult to tell when they are bluffing. For myself, I usually have a grain of truth in whatever I'm saying, but I dress it up to seem like I'm probably joking i.e. my rampant heroine addiction which comes up rather frequently. Thing is though, I don't know if they're doing that same thing or just making shit up, so when say something like (and this has never been said), "Hey, well at least you developped pubic hair before you were seventeen," I don't actually know if they're joking or not and for some reason this is incredibly uncomfortable for me, and that's a big thing - to make me uncomfortable. I mean, I am really not a FMI kinda guy. Perhaps it's because sometimes the things that are said seemingly in jest (sometimes in drunken jest) could make the relationship weird if it were true, so I just gotta be like, "Um, sweetie, but my nipple doesn't really want to be nibbled." Which is a lie, cause it does, but weirdness.

And essentially, what this all comes down to, is that this is why Jerry Springer is around. The hicks/ghetto hos have finally done something right! Go in front of the crudest audience since the Colliseum and just air your dirty laundry. Yes, it's dirty, and yes a lot of it has been staged, but at least they're talking honestly!...well, and hitting each other. And Steve. That guys must get killer medical coverage. I mean, they have a fucking stripper's pole in the middle of the stage for Christ's sake! And yet that she-male and her Kentucky girlfriend/cousin still think I'M gonna burn.

Conclusion: Chicken or Go just got a whole lot freakier, but I think I'd better rally Eva Braun and Go.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Ok, this is why they hate us.

Well, maybe it isn't why they hate us exactly, but it sure as hell isn't helping.

I just read an article on about a gay pornography company that went around various Michigan universities recruiting and filming students on campus. ( Essentially, this company, MidwestXBois, would arrive on a campus, and post flyers everywhere asking for models that would be paid between fifty and three hundred dollars, depending on (I'm guessing) the degree of the acts they perform. That is so...wrong! Like, I'm not anti-pornography; in fact, I think sometimes it can be a very benificial alternative to promescuity. That said, there are ways of to do things, and things to be considered while doing them, and it appears that no attention was paid to either of these points.

Now, the (religious) right already hate us, right? Really though, they hate anything to do with sex, even hetero sex, so they'd be appalled either way and that is essentially why the two sides are going to take a hella-long time to see eye to eye; what sets GLBT people apart is their sexuality. That's a given. But when the only thing that sets you apart is something that is already feared and oppressed, you will 'naturally' be oppressed as well. We have to work that much harder because they hate sexuality and we, by way of requesting equal treatment, are somehow glorifying it.

However, I am personally appalled because what these people don't get is that they are essentially taking fourty years of civil rights and trying to shove it up the collective conservative ass, and they fail to see how amazingly counterproductive - not to mention offensive - that is. Because going into a place of higher learning and trying to drag the institution down to the basest level of humanity is exactly what the right needs. I accept the fact that within any civil rights movement there has to be a certain amount of "Fuck you!" to really get anywhere, but this is completely pandering to their image of gays as sex-obsessed animals with every intent to distroy their society, and if they were to solely cite this incident, they wouldn't appear to be wrong.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

(Now as my good friends will attest, I am not one to try to push my views and opinions on other people...oh shut the hell up! Fine, fine, I may occasionally try to lend my guidance to try to lessen the pain of going through this human life with wisdoms that I have learned in my twenty years. I can assure you they are purely for your benifit. You see, everyone feels that they are the most right person in the world. That is essentially the definition of an opinion; a view that confirms that you are correct and omniscient. So trust me when I tell you that the following opinion is honest-to-God right, and in case you still don't believe me after I've pleaded my case, I have two witnesses who have given me permission to give out their contact info to confirm what I will have stated.)

Sushi Ya on Corydon (where Meiji used to be) is as of last night the worst restaurant ever.

Having struggled through a relatively arduoud opera rehearsal, I decided that I needed to kick up my heels and enjoy a little levity with my dear friends Unity and Stephen. We decided, what lovelier way to spend an evening than at a lovely Corydon eatery ogling the lovelies. As we arrived at the restaurant, the scent of promise was on the midnight breeze; the patio was open (albeit we were the only people on it. The other 4 people dining there chose the sauna-like atmosphere inside.), the waiter was quick with complimentary unsolicited waters, and there was also a small dish of edamame provided. How lovely, we though, salted soybeans to thank us for our patronage. The first hint of trouble came as we all finished a first pod and looked to find the second bowl customarily brought with the first in which one can place their empty shells. There was none such bowl to be found. After calming my fellow gourmands and securily fastening my own saftey mask before assisting them with their's, I asked the waiter (who was a very young 42) for an additional bowl, and proceeded to order. The menu was extensive but obviously researched, having stolen certain novelties from other popular Winnipeg establishments (i.e. the sacred sushi pizza). The drink menu - which we had to ask for - was mildly confusing due to the fact that there were no martinis. Now, I'm sure I am simply being redundant in stating this, but as everyone knows, martinis and sushi have a very symbiotic relationship in our Americanized version of the Japanese bistro. They are like the chicken and the egg; which came first? We just don't know! And further, their cocktails were all followed by colours in paranthases e.i. Monkey's Lunch (yellow), which Stephen ordered and tasted somewhat like what a monkey's lunch would taste like had he subsequently lost it. Also, the waiter (who was aging at a frighteningly rapid pace, possibly from the exposure to radiation inside) failed to bring us a dish for are edamame shells, and we decided that it therefore be appropriate to through them at passing cars in the passive-aggresive hope of being asked to leave and not having to sit through - and pay for - what we predicted would an unmitigated disaster. After my miso soup was brought forth (still no empty bowl) I went at it like Star Jones at a male strip joint (...yeah, I don't really get that one either) and fashioned a crude bowl in which we could deposit our weary pods (read: I put the bowl next to the edamame). The food arrived, and it was as we feared - unmitigateday istasterday. Stephen's gimchi, which according to Margaret Cho's mother are like the Korean equivalent of potato chips on the addiction scale, tasted roughly like the feces of a Cabbage Patch Kid. That is to say, like cabbage and ass. My 'Winnipeg Dream' roll just tasted like feet. Well, properly, post-gym sock feet. The saving grace was my seafood tempura, but really, smack that shit on anything and deep fry it and it's gonna be a good time; I deep fried Rosie O'Donnell. Luckily the company was outstanding, and the only awkward social moment came when a passer by coughed under her breathe wasabi. Like...what? Is that supposed to be racist or something? Cause really, that's a poor show. Either appear in your Klan outfits on Jerry Springer, foaming at the mouth, or go home. For realz.

So we wound up tipping five percent and as I'm paying the owner, a small Korean woman in a kimono (wtf?) hands me back my debit card and bows. I so wish I was joking, and it was so painful, because I'm looking at her and she goes down everything kind of goes in slow motion, and when she comes up I'm trying to stifle the unstiflable grin and you wanna know why? Not because I'm a big ol' racist who shops at the KKK Mart, but because I know...that such an act. I honestly think he was born in Charleswoord (shout out to Tote Bag!).

Short story long: c'est l'ass. N'eat pas there.

PS-Wasabi rules all.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Do you ever have a close friend that you've known for a while, with whom you do a lot of things together and speak almost everyday and share your dreams and fears with and suddenly you look at them one day and think, "I FUCKING HATE YOU!"

So, I have this friend (shockingly), and while I don't hate them, I kinda want occasionally take a plastic bag and tie it around their head, just until they pass out, and them send them for a month long visit to Yemen. I think this is because we are not natural allies. We are not people with similar backgrounds or philosophies on life and yet by way of circumstance, we spend a fair amount of time together. We are like the tiger and the zebra in Life of Pi who somehow coexist even though the tiger wants to rip off the zebra's limbs. It's just not natural. And yet there's no way to actually say, "You know how you act? Could you, um, not?"

Really it's an issue of the fact that I hate when people feel the need to superficially augment themselves. Like personality implants. You don't have to think that everything is cool and make everyone believe that you are 'funky'. Some people are just nerdy (in an adorable way) and normal. Myself, I appreciate that other people do neat things, like go to Kenya or take up paragliding; I just don't need to say, "Wow! I am totally going do that one day!" Cause I'm not going to. And neither is my friend. And that is SO ok. We'll do other things. When I tell people, "hey, I'm in an opera," they say, "Wow, cool!" but they don't pretend like they're going to go and audition for the Met.

So for all of y'all out there who feel the need to convince people that you're more than you are, just stop. Cause you're not. You're just you. And we love you for it.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

I had an insane day. Not insane like wearing orange and purple together, oh no! This is was like putting your cheek to the wall and humming crazazy. It began with driving my poor sickly mother to work, which led me that I road rage more before nine am then post people do all day. Sadly, the day - and the driving - had just begun. Then it was on to a fitting. A fitting, you say? Aren't fittings fun? Yes, yes they are...EXCEPT when they are for Armani suits...I'm sorry, did I say Armani suits? I meant to say fiber glass orthopedic leg braces. I sat there for two hours while this creepy little (though relatively young: 34?) man dashed back and forth trying to make my feet feel less hell-ish. At the two hour mark, I just told him it was fine and that I would call him next week if they weren't working out, as I quite literally limped out of the office. The worst part is that he responded with, "Please do. This is my life! No seriously, it's my life." That is so...HellomynameisGwenandI'mheretowashyourvagina. Then I road raged my ass to University, went inside, ran around like a chicken that not only has had is head chopped off but has subsequentally, inadvertenly grabbed the axe and chopped off his friends head as well, leaving them both running into each other, all in the pursuit of finding second copies for this $%&^ing competition I had to do. I finally managed to find a second copy from possibly the creepiest student in the entire school, a 43 year old social "special person" ("retard is too un-PC) who for some reason thinks that opening his mouth to omit sound is a good idea. But he lent it to me, so whatever; best friend for the day. This left me exactly enough time to drive home, take 11 (ELEVEN!) minutes to go from street schlub to dashing competitor, and arrive at the audition 3 minutes before I was to go on. (More on this later). After it was over, I got back in the car and drove to this recording session at school where I spent 2.5 hours standing and wishing infinite hell to reign on all tenors. THEN I got to go to a three hour rehearsal for the opera, which blew large chunks of whale blubber, naturally, but on way home (get out the hankies), I saw my first hooker! Seriously, you guys - the first one ever. And she was pretty., but it still made me kinda said, what with the poor self esteem and syphillis and all.

So that aforementioned competition? I sure won the fuck out of it. Well, I was among the four people that won the fuck out of it. We all win a place in a professional recital to be held at Westminster United Church on May 11, AND free head shots. I think I'm more excited about the latter. I'm a camera whore.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

What the fuck is a blog?


So today I'm sitting on my much beloved 78 bus having random musings about the world around me when someone from my past walks on. Oh, kids - it's not that ominous. It's just some kid I went to daycare with. About a month ago, I was on the bus and staring at this guy, about 18, not unpretty but mostly just nervous looking. A love m'self the nervous ones. I was studying his face in what I can assure you was a purely scientific, non-ogling way, when suddenly it his me that I had gone to day care with this kid ten years ago, when he still wore sweat outfits from superstore (I'm happy to report that he's now moved on to plain-front khakis from Mark's Work Wearhouse...God bless). I turn to my friends and debated for a good quarter of an hour whether or not to accost this seemingly meek young man. Naturally, I do. He is baffled as to how I know his name before realizing in equals parts confusion and dismay that I recognized him, unlike the reaction one might have to discovering a purple hair in your soup. "Oh weird, it's purple...but gah, that's troubling." I think it was partially that he is socially akward and partly because my stunning good looks both baffled and emasculated him. In any case, it was a good time for me, and Alex - his name is Alex - where ever you are, I love you man.

Ok, so that was about a month ago, and saw him again today, still wearing those khakis and I burst into a grin as he came on the bus. Upon noticing me, he chose the closest spot in which to seat and avoided making eye contact by "reading" his "sociology text book", although occasional paripheral glances suggested that he was undressing me with his mind, if not his khakis.

I thought to myself, "You know, I really need to tell this shit to, cause my friends, while very good at the nod-and-smile, are clearly tired of these pointless anecdotes. I simply must find another outlet," and since therapists are way too expensive and I'm already very introspective, I thought I would allow you, Soon To Be Loyal Readers, to be my not-so-deaf ears.

God speed