Monday, May 30, 2005

I think we can all agree that people, as a race, are weird. Bus people, however, are the most bizarre of them all. It's as if when we step on to public transportation, we enter a completely different society with completely different social mannerisms. My friend J and I ride the bus frequently ensemble and we have spent countless hours analyzing the oddities that people come up with while on the bus. I'd love to give an entire thesis on my bus observations but sadly, I am lazy. Therefore, I will only entertain in this entry a single observation that I made today.

Sweeping generality. I'm just going to put it out there, and if it offends, so be it. The majority of people that ride the bus have less than the standard amount of social grace and tend to fall into the lower rungs of society's ladder. There are exceptions: students, environmentalists, 1 car household members, and a slew of other tiny differentiations. That said, a lot of adults that ride the bus have arrived there due to the vicious cycle of conduct. Conduct (manners, grace, etc.) is imperative for social advancement, along with education of course, but they tend to accompany one another. If one lacks proper conduct, education will be more difficult, decreasing the possibility of obtaining a high paying job and all the resulting amenities such as a nice home, disposable income, and a car. I think you can fill in the rest of the blanks.

And generally the lack of manners is on full display on the bus, from grafitti to body odour to public urination. But there is one custom on the bus in which we are downright Victorian: the choosing of our seat. People will do anything possible to move Heaven and Earth so that they - God forbid - do not have to sit next to another person. And if by chance there are no 'singles' left, the sigh omitted from your new bus buddy echoes across the plain in stupified frustration.

Now we arrive at today's observation. I was sitting in a very unique spot on the 18 Corydon-North Main this morning; in new-er-ish buses there are three seats that face the back door right before the steps onto the second level. The right-most seat is ideal as there is a divider between that seat and the first seat on the upper level, lending it to optimum slouching. In theory, these should be the easiest seats to negotiate, socially. One person on the right, one person on the left, and the middle seat is literally the last seat on the bus that would be utilized. So the bus is filling up rather nicely as we approach Confusion Corner and a young man enters, about 20-22, slightly robust, dress: toned down former sk8er. My left leg is aproximately three inches over my proper boundary onto the middle seat, which in bus speak means one of two things:

1. I will let you sit here if you truly insist, but be prepared to be coughed on.

or

2. I'm a man with a certain amount of 'baggage' if you will, and getting me to close my legs is about on par with a Kentucky whore with a yeast infection.

I assure you that my social graces will show that in my case, it was the latter. And this is just fine in a three-seat situation: we can BOTH overlap, praise the Good Lord! However, he, in his ├╝ber-machismo, chose to stand, gripping the pole two feet from the seat in question. He clearly needed a sign. A sign that would say, "Dude, brother, ombre, you may share this assembly of seats with me, your strong, non-advancing breeder brother." All I had to do was shift my weight ever so slightly, retracting my leg a quarter of an inch perhaps, and we were gold. He sat. We said nothing, although glances were shot a couple times in mere observation of surrounding, and there was peace. And it was was good.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Sometimes it seems that even though I think I know people and consider them close companions, my existential mentality comes back to bite me on the ass. It isn't that I think that everyone considers me their best friend; just every second person. Naturally, I feel that if there is personal information that has become standard knowledge, I already know about it. It comes as a rude shock on the occasions where I hear brand new information and am met by "Really? You didn't know that?" (This is possibly the most moronic coupling of phrases in the English vernacular. Like, no, of course I did know that, you big dummy; I just wanted to make sure that the duck brain we had implanted in you was still functional")

Inevitably, this second-hand 'old news' offends the ego, who feels that he should be amongst the first to hear about anything that happens in the world...ever. The rational thing would be to assume that your ignorance was due to a lack of relivant topic or appropriate time, instead of say "All my friends are merely secretly tolerating me and are meeting to find ways to legally ship my 11th-wheel-ass to Abu Dahbi."

Man, you know you've had way too much Indian food when you're emotionally channelling Odie.*



*of Garfield**



**by Jim Davis

Saturday, May 28, 2005

I ask this without pretense or irony and certainly in the least-fairy-esque way possible, but how great is ABBA? I mean, seriously. They defy genre or categorization and are defiantly timeless, and I believe I just realized why: they were positively certifiable.

No, they were seriously crazy. And to truly highligh this, let us select a few of their choicest lyrics:

I was so afraid Fernando we were young and full of life and none of us prepared to die and I’m not ashamed to say the roar of guns and cannons almost made me cry

It was like shooting a sitting duck a little small talk a smile and baby I was stuck

And now you’re working in a bank the family man, a football fan and your name is Harry

It isn't so much the individual lines but rather these were young, verile Swedes traveling from luxury suite to luxury suite with their furs, and sequins, and battery-operated sex toys singing about fighting in the Spanish revolution and alien visits, with metaphors of the Napoleonic wars, tweety-birds, and their duty not to give in to statutory rape. And all with such drama. Its all so laughably over-the-top that you can't help but love it. Except if you're Eminem. Cause I bet he doesn't love ABBA.

It kind of reminds me of my own diva, La Brightman. If you wanna see crazy in a tiara, check this chick out. At the beginning of her last tour, she came down this persian-inspired catwalk waving to the crowd like she was the Queen of Englad complete with cupped-hand and a smile that absolutely grinned Perkiset. Throughout the show she swung on a two-story-high swing being showered with rose petals, was suspended via harness over the stage via harness while doing backwards sommersaults with the appropriate grace of a fourty-three year-old, and hovered over the audience while standing on what can be described only has a 20-foot long, flattened dildo (I think we have those crazy Swedes to thank for that one) while singing Nessun Dorma in a kimono composed of approximately a hundred yards of gold lamay.

God, I should have been born in Europe.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Well I suppose I should post as my blog has e-cob webs hanging off of it. I've been busy in delightful ways, mostly a three-night camping excursion with my nearest and dearest, headed by our fearless leader, A (Shout out to mah B-boy, J! Holla)

Good God, am I white.

Camping was extremely awesome as anticipated and any stress due to food costs and inbalance in contributions were quickly forgoten as I spent most of the weekend honing my Rummy and Asshole skills. During a game of the latter, one of us was induced into an uncharacteristic state of silliness. It wasn't really extreme silliness by any manner but rather this was not a person typically accustomed to any silliness and it was extremely refreshing to see a new side of someone you thought you knew fairly well.

This got me thinking about my little clique. There are about ten of us, plus myself, and we all first met twenty months ago. That is about two months of friendship per individual. This is bears mentioning as two months is also the point in any romantic relationship that I have - shockingly - yet to cross. I've never experienced the point after which you're obsessed with the other person and giddy and just want to constantly touch them and learn about them. I believe that is the thresh hold that I am currently crossing with my SofM friends. We've had a really long honeymoon (two academic years) and now is the point at which I am starting to feel different colours: familiarity, occasional annoyance/resentment, kinship, etc. Even in high school, there were very few buddies of the bosom variety that I was close with for more than two years. There's a certain comfort now. And perhaps this is why I am writing another fleekin blog about my friends. I kind don't believe it can last, quite guiltily I might add as the thought floors me like few others. I'll save the stop story about the first half of my life being spent in self-imposed isolation from my peers for another time.

God, I gotta stop this Oprah shit and get back on the chuckles bandwagon. No, seriously, it's true. / Of course it's true. / I never noticed them before...

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Today was baby's first baptism.

My friend C invite me to his baptism today, along with a group of our friends from school. It was the first time I had attended either a Mennonite service or a baptism and I must say that I was rather pleased with both. I am never quite sure how to anticipate religious events of another faith. They make me quite nervous actually; my self-centred nature leads me to believe that I will naturally make some sort of massive, inexcusably sacreligious gesture. I didn't of course and it was actually a lovely experience. I really appreciated the sense of community that everyone there had and how I felt embraced and welcomed into it.

Let me preface this next section: I have a really hard time talking about religion with most of my friends. We talk about it mostly in abstract terms, and never about the merits of our faith. It's just really wise not to, because no one will win; ultimately none of us know for certain. That's why it's called faith. I'm going to get into this just a little bit now, and while I sincerely hope it doesn't make anyone uncomfortable, I am writing for myself ultimately.

I don't know anything other than what is placed in front of me. I have a lot of opinions and views for a whole schwack of people, but I am aware enough of my own humanity, as well as mortality, that while I am living, I will never really know anything. The most I can offer is this: since I cannot find scientific not spiritual evidence to support or deny the existence of a Higher Power, I believe in human decency. I think about - for lack of a better term - God on a very regular basis, shifting my views by the minute. However, in a situation of formal worship, I struggle to really validate the words written by humans that I am to read. Therefore I spend much of my focus mentally transfiguring any mention of deity into the notion of humanity, that are humanity grants us the wisdom to do what is right onto others and that we bless each other with that respect. The reason I am able to do this is that there is absolutely no qualifying definitions for God. Christ presents more of a challenge, shall we say. At most, my faith prescribes that he was a prophet, of divinely inspiration, but not divine lineage. I - the ever-steadfast fence sitter - will not put forward judgement as I was not there and know not what passed. This is where the majority of my friends and I part ways, as they have a firm belief in this regard, due realistically in part to the fact that this is how they were raised. This has never caused quarell amongst us, and for that I have always been greatful. I think many people (and I must stress that refers to no person specifically) raised under the roof of organized religion tend to stay firmly under that roof without venturing forth, and this is the component which has always troubled me. Take my dear friend S. They were brought up in a clearly Christian house, and have spent the past several years truly exploring what this means for them as an individual. They traveled, they explored, they learned, and in the end they returned to Christianity on their own terms with their own convictions. I believe that this is an example of beautiful faith, on that has been challenged and than reclaimed.

When one wants to convert to Judaism, one is immediately refused. If one truly believes that this is their path they return, and are again refused. If one returns for a third time they are embraced but warned that this is not an easy life, that they will work and they may suffer because of their choice. But at least they choose. This is not to exhalt Judaism above other religion, because I truly do not consider it more or less valid, but it points out how much more meaningful something is if it is worked for and acheived rather than being handed down like a silver spoon of salvation. I'm not saying that everyone should renounce their faith, but rather truly consider what is important to you and why you chose to live your life as you do.

My man C did, and I thank him for sharing it with me.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

I recently went to a movie with an old friend. They are not old in the sense that they are aged nor that we have known each other for many years - three and a half to my knowledge. We are old friends because we are no longer truly friends. We were, and then some: friends, lovers, everything in between. In fact, most of what we were was in between. We parted for quite a while before reconciling on the eve of the new year, and since then something has become apparent to me and, I suspect, to him as well: we are no longer current. We are comforts in times of loneliness or of boredom when the friends we currently love in our lives have other plans. And yet we continue the "talk to you soons" although we have nothing more to say.

What is it about the past that disables us like nothing else and makes us long for it with every fibre of our being? Why do people feel the need to cling to it as though we will never see better days than we have aleady lived? It is certainly more than nostalgia; it is comfort. It is a big blanket that we can hide underneath when we don't want to think about our present lives. It is so safe because we already know the outcome - us - and have survived it.

I also think that a lot of what keeps us tied to the past stems from basic social ritual. If I see someone on a bus with whom I was friends several years ago, I must sit by them and we must both suffer the agonies of catching up and the inevitable silence afterwards for the remainder of the ride. Neither of us can read our books, nor can we put on our earphones. We are condemned. And why? Chances are neither of us (or at the very least, I) really gives two cents about our former chums current events. Yes, we wish them all the best, but will they really tell us anything in two minutes of stilted conversation anything that we really desire to know? In these situations, we get very lazy because really, who has the energy to tell someone details of ones life when one knows that the listener is really just observing social protocol. So we are reduced to sweeping generalities that we present in a very bored tone as to discourage any follow up questions that might, God forbid, spark real conversation.

Perhaps I am just selfish with my time on public transportation, but I honestly believe that most people find these situationhs awkward and uncomfortable. Ane yet we adhere to them, because if we don't, we're bastards. And at the risk of sounding like a self-declared disillusioned 16 year old who just found out how they made Mary Poppins fly and as had her hippie boyfriend dump her unceremoniously for a chick who is hippier than you, we're all so fake!

I know I'm part of the problem. Perhaps more than anyone, I can't let go of the past despite the fact that I really do want to, perhaps more than anyone. This is why I keep e-mails that I wrote to my first love when I was 16. It is why I label all my photos, to remind myself if I ever forget how great things were that I never wanted them to be forgoten. It is why I haven't been to a gay bar in nearly a year. You see, gay bars are the weirdest places in the world. There's probably three degrees of sexual separation between everyone in the place and yet these people go there week after week pretending like nothing happened. Apparently, the vapid, souless masses can let go of the past, whereas I who have had probably one third of the experiences of most guys my age in the bar will see one former lover and head straight outside. I can't live life in the present if my past is dancing with its new boyfriend ten feet away.

I feel as though I'm souless on the bus when I should be souless in a club and that everyone else seems to get it right and perhaps that's why I'm alone (FYI, I'm not lonely at the moment, I'm really rather content with being by myself at the moment, but alone is alone), not because I'm too good and just haven't found the right person as U keeps saying but rather that the reason nothing has ever lasted more than two months is because a very deep-seeded part of me is backwards. Whatever. This is just getting me worked up. I am, so to speak, Past Tense.


(PS- That's a double pun. Suck it, Shaw!)

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

OMAGAD KIDS I PASSED THEORY!

It's so exciting. It's the lowest academic mark I've ever received (woot for a C) but somehow all my other professors were smoking crack and gave me A's so my GPA is still higher than last year, and best of all I never have to see Horton's Polar-bear-and-snowflake-sweater-wearing. crusty-eyed, bad-in-the-sack self again! Oh, except in the hall when I get on my knees as thanks for passing me. Cause you know how some people joke that they did dick-all in any class? Well, I didn't do ALL the dicks, cause that'd be slutty and all, but I really did nothing that entire term.

Today is the Orville J. Derraugh recital, which I've spoken about ad nauseum (if anyone ever spells it "at nauseum" I will poison their cat) and I'm feeling pretty good. The pieces are crowd pleasers, I slept in until 7:20 today, and I'm just going to go into work, do nothing but listen to music and take 25 minute breaks, visit the flower store, have a nice supper, and then make a little debut as a Winnipeg soloist, followed by a little dance, a little love, and any one who wants to get down to night in either of the "dance" or "love" categories should feel free to leave a comment. I know it's not a HUGE deal - it's no recital at the Asper Campus - but as those of you that witnessed by birthday may attest, I have taken to feeling no shame when it comes to being excited over anything in particular.

I have a coupon for 30% of Value Village if anyone wants to get in on the action on Saturday. Going shopping for Ste(phen)'s discorama! SO picking out the 'fro!

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Ayit, so it's been 4evah and a day since I last wrote, but for those of you who know (and yo uall do, because the only peeps that read this are my peeps), I had a rather franetic birthday this past week.

In total I was bestowed with a suprise party, a plane ticket anywhere in Canada/USA I wish, and an over-abundance of love for all of my friends that celebrated with me. I must say it was among - if not the - best birthdays I've ever had. I really do appreciate it, kids.

But alas I must return to the real world, complete with a forty-school opera tour that begins tomorrow at 8:00 am. On the plus side, I'll get to wear eyeliner for abot thirty hours a week for a month; that's a good time.

Ok, way too many people are bothering me on msn to write right now. I'll write a mother tomorrow hopefully.

Chris: 3

Sunday, May 01, 2005

I have decided that the only way to live my life is to live it through art.

As the dust settles on yet another year of academia, I find myself immersing myself as completely as possible in the pursuit and observation of art. This takes on many forms; the thirty bloody hours of rehearsal that I will endure this week; the media that I observe, whether it be a trite Broadway musical based on an ancient legend or a modern masterpiece of human drama (Angels In America) unfolding on a screen in front of me; and most importantly the art that one creates oneself.

I really do enjoy school for the most part - the other part being theory. However, it is so wrapped up in rules by which I only mostly care to abide. They get in the way of true creativity and render something that could be great into mediocrety by assigning a stipulation as heinous as time to the task. *le sigh* Only Burly understands me.

I have recently exhaulted friends as a lifeblood, which indeed they are, but one cannot live for a group of others no matter how much affection they share. So I suppose one can't live for them but rather appreciate them graciously if you are in the good fortune to find true kindred spirits. However, we argue with friends, sometimes even to the point where the relationship cannot be salvaged. This can not be said for art, because there is no negativity in art itself. You can't disagree with your art as you do your companions and while you choose them both, you mold your art whereas you don't mold your friends, or at least shouldn't.

And what of love? What of that rabid, Bohemian passion for which I have often claimed to strive and have fleetingly even touched? It is not contant. At least not for me. Art will never leave you. It doesn't betray unless you yourself do. We cannot control our desires, but we choose the art and will choose us, and I know from far too much twenty year old experience that the same cannot be said for a lover. I believe in the purity of love, but for now it is not for me.

Art is for me. Art is for everyone. Except Transcona.