Friday, December 28, 2007

He sits cross-legged on the futon, the crumbs from last night’s pizza crusts harassing his thighs. Stares out the window as the boy sleeps in the other room with noises emitted from his nose indicating that his pulmonary system is enduring some ancient torture. A car drives by. It’s 2:28am on a Friday morning. There is only one explanation for being on the road right now, he thinks: a night of debauchery has just ended. With each passing car, he tries to guess what form the debauchery took. He sees the sports bar Sunfire, the coked-out Chrysler, the booty call Buick. He wonders why we reserve these activities for night time, as though we still feel residual shame from before the revolution. Night shields and protects from admitting the dirty, pretty things we lust after; they don’t have a place in reality. Not yet. We haven’t evolved that far and even so, far less than we think we have. This is that awful refractory period between explosion and recovery, when we understand what we’ve done but are unable to move forward. The marijuana Mitsubishi. His mind wanders back to the boy, barely legal, sleeping in his bed. From this angle, all he can see is a corner of the white bed, an athletic foot leading up to a peach-fuzzed calve. He’s nice enough. Not bad to look at either. Certainly enough to get hard over. Still, despite that stiffness at the memory, it’s clear the boy won’t be treading deeply in his path of life. For each other, they are merely momentary distractions, hedonistic and appropriately shallow. When one is waiting for the intensity of a butane flame, these small Bic lighters are necessary along the way, otherwise one would go insane from the anticipation. The hook-up Honda. Despite his daylight convictions, at times like this he debates whether this freedom is actually weakness, the antithesis to the nobility of chastity. Vows to the latter have been made in the past. They never last long. It’s all too attainable these days. It’s not as though these adult recesses distract him from his goals. He’s ensured that they’re completely unobtrusive, like mistresses that go down back stairs to avoid wives, never to meet. He’s heard this makes for better husbands. He hopes it’s true, that this metaphor will hold true. The groping Grand Am. He thinks about the date he went on last week, how the guy wasn’t all that special and yet within the first five minutes of drinking their tea, he just wanted to crawl into bed and hold him. Fuck the foreplay; let’s cuddle. And the next day, the amount of energy it took to limit his painfully cute and impossibly endearing text message to less than 150 characters, the panic when there wasn’t an instant reply, the relief at awakening to one, and for what? Someone he wasn’t even really into. Time to reassess. This should be easier for him. And yet, despite the encouragement of friends that “you haven’t met someone good enough for you yet,” and that he feels his standards have been sufficiently lowered, there’s been nothing for years. He’s slipping, beginning the all-too-familiar descent into pity and doubt. The hummer Hummer; an internal smile at his joke. Nope. Not doing this. He shakes his head and squeezes his eyes shut, trying to make diamonds out of coal. He opens them, takes a deep breath as his vision readjusts and walks to the bedroom doorway. The boy, demonstrably awake, gives him a smile of unmistakable intent. He closes the door.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

I have seen my future and it is not pretty.

A gentleman on my floor has perhaps the slickest comb-over I have ever seen. I had always assumed that this youngish guy (29? 30?) had a slightly out-dated do in the form of the gelled 1999 cowlick. However, upon close inspection, one can see that, in fact, the hair actually begins at the very top-back of his hair (about where the ‘bald spot’ is) and works its way up to the front, probably totaling a good 7 inches in length. It would have been remarkably convincing if not for the fact that on this particular day, the hair on either side had crept up slightly, revealing the place where on a full head of hair there is a part between the “top hair” and the “side hair”. However, rather than a part, there was simply “no hair”.

Now I am not what some people would call modest when it comes to personal appearance. I try to have a sense of style, with diverse influences and flair that is original but not over-the-top. So two years ago, when my hairline started receding faster than the Beauty & the Beast villagers when getting their asses handed to them by the animate objects of the enchanted castle (it’s my metaphor; go with it), it was not a small deal. I fully went through the 5 stages of grief:

1. Denial – “No, really, I’ve always lost an average of 256 hairs with every comb stroke”

2. Anger – “WAAAAAAAAAAH! Not fair! This should be happening to some Tub o’ frosting-loving, Wal-Mart cart-riding, stained sweat-suit-enthusiast hambeast from Transcona, not me! This is my ‘Nam, man! Gah! I will fully devote myself to the servitude of the Dark Lord in exchange for a less prominent brow! I am Faust! I AM FAAAAUUUST!”

3. Bargaining – “Um, God? Hiya. I may have been a leeeeeeeeettle bit rash before with the whole rallying behind Satan thing. Here’s the thing though: I need this hair. It’s really the only gimmick I’ve got, cause the six-pack isn’t happening and, well, I’m kind of an asshole sometimes. Ok, frequently. So maybe, just let me have half of it back, and I will totally let those pawing Menno kids be my friends. Two-thirds and I’ll even throw in a couple of Jews.”

4. Depression – “I will die alone and unloved. Just like Frasier.”

5. Acceptance – “…” (Ok, so I haven’t technically reached this one yet)

While I haven’t fully accepted my follicley-challenged dome, I am proud to say that the recession (while not having corrected itself) has stopped and along with my stylist (who I can never, ever leave. Ever.), I have developed a largely-inconspicuous hair style, designed for my needs as well as those of the sick fuck I will eventually coerce into loving me. The word ‘comb-over’ is an ugly one, and really, I don’t have a comb-over. It’s simply a bohemian marvel of modern construction, held in place with a series of gels, waxes and sprays. However, it still isn’t a comb-over. Not yet anyway. (That is the deal, isn’t it, Red?)

Friday, December 07, 2007

This is not a revelatory entry nor are these, I imagine, original thought in the least, but I am struck more and more as life goes on at the polarization of goodness in the world. On an hourly basis, I am reminded that akin to the alien theory of yore, I really don't understand how most people can function the way they do and not feel a deep sense of need to immediately terminate their lives. Perhaps, my assumption that they feel in the same way is simply incorrect. This is not to say that I think I'm intrinsically better for feeling more, cause trust me, it's a pain in the ass most of the time, but I simply don't understand it. People who have lost all sense of pride in the way they present themselves, who are unhealthy and slovenly, use wretch-worthy grammar and whose sense of culture is limited to new episodes of Gossip Girl. I do realize that the things which I uphold that separates us are not necessary for survival (style, aesthetic, bathing), but the goal of striving beyond the base is what contributes most to our humanity and it leads us to better social places. Of social aesthetic one could say, "Well, what good are you really doing the world by using words not found in the Winnipeg Sun or putting down a table cloth when you invite a friend over for pasta and salad?" and if they were examining these examples as individual events, they would be correct. However, I would argue that a sense of decorum and aesthetic, no matter how poncey it seems, contributes greatly to the way we treat one another. Language is an art that appears destined for Value Village and this is a tragedy because in ten, fifty, one hundred years, we won't have a word for, you know, that's, like, really bad, like so bad you couldn't forgive them, and...dammit! what is that word?! And they won't know because it's not important anymore.

Aesthetes don't start wars. They don't bicker in lines at Wal-mart. They don't urinate in public. They don't think of their children as chores but rather the greatest opportunity to create that there is. I think we fucked up, people. Think of the trillions of dollars going to fight wars and make dirty money, carry out knowingly evil deeds and appease a public by pandering to their ignorance. What if all that money went to people that needed it, to art, to good food, not this prepared crap we eat, to medical research, to educate, or just to give away. And it's never gonna happen.

Ultimately, I think the problem is America. I know that's such an easy out, to blame everything on them, but c'mon... they're the only distinct society that doesn't create it's own culture as a part of life rather than simply a pastime. I really dig the Europeans in this manner (of course I do), but it's true in Eastern cultures as well as South America. They just get that it's a good time. Kenneth Nelson, who was an American actor in the 60s and 70s has a great way of putting it:

"I moved to England to escape theatrical stereotypes. Personally, I've enjoyed the change. It's a cultural thing. Here, people don't think Rimbaud is a Sylvester Stallone character, or that matricide is when you kill yourself in bed ..."

All this having been said, there is a fraction of Americans that despite, or perhaps because of, this sin of avarice act in what could laughingly be called a radical manner, were it not so tragic that is was considered radicalism. As an example, I put forward this site onto which I stumbled, on which teachers can post donor requests for teaching materials that they can't afford due to lack of government funding. Since 2000, they've raised fourteen million dollars. I confess I got a little misty when I went to the site, for all the reasons listed in the preceding paragraphs.

Ok, what began as a rant against coworkers wearing socks and sandals in December quickly dissolved into a sanctimonious monologue about the state of the world. God, I love blogs.

Monday, December 03, 2007

I am fighting a losing battle with my kitchen. La cuisine and I have been at odds practically since day one. There was the great fruit fly invasion of August, wherein, drunk off two martinis and the influence of watching Casino Royale, I launched a full-scale stealth attack using GLAD Sea Breeze aerosol bathroom deoderizer (yes, I'm well aware that there weren't enough toxins to kill them, but it stuck and froze to their wings and that made me happy.), leaving the walls sticky and smelling like decaying fauna. Then there was the first time I opened the kitchen window only to have it slam down on my thumb, causing me to anthropomorphecize it as the reincarnation of Hitler. Things weren't always this way between us. When I first moved in, I remember lovingly scrubbing every surface, the stains in the fridge, rust around the stove elements, arranging the single large cupboard according to themes. Inviting my first guest over for dinner and breaking out the killer placemats, my first purchase after deciding to move out. (I should mention here that placemats are right up there with foreskin and inner monologue on the list of Things Jews Don't Have.) Those were the good times. And now...she smells if I don't do the dishes within seconds of using them, she inexplicably turns bananas brown less than 24 hours after bringing them home (don't cry for me, Price Choppers), and like the rack belonging to women of a certain age, my own spice rack has begun to droop and slant in ways clearly not designed for public viewing.

Kitchen, my proud, worthy adversary, to thee I say: suck it.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

For whatever reason, my previous post refuses to be changed to any colour but black and seeing as the background is black, this makes for confusing, nay impossible reading. However, just highlight over it and pray that this is a one time occurrence.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Each and every one of us have them in us, these devils and gods that have died in the near or distant future and, with frequency or sporadic movement, traverse across the highways, byways, causeway of the coils in our head. We don’t control them, at least not without chemicals, prescribed or otherwise. Like a play I’ve seen a million times, these stock figures visit me with varying degrees of frequency and trauma, never asking permission to ruin a day or lift up the corners of my mouth. Sometimes that lack of announcement or invitation pisses me off and I simmer over their presence, but for the big players, I’ve just come to accept their permanent tenancy. I have the most compassion for the ones I’ve cried over. Tears are generally a once-a-year ritual brought on by an incredibly compacted period of emotion, and frankly, I hate it, not in a shameful way, but rather the physical sensations of that release are so abhorrent to me. Unforgivable, in fact, if you’re the catalyst. Now, I can never forgive you, truly, incapable of it no matter how much I want to rebuild the pavement, but because of it, your devils and gods are much safer in bed for that fact. No unexpected weekend visit to my cerebellum could ever be worse than that feeling, like someone has taken a huge needle and thread with a knot in it and stuck it through my chest, with only the knot on the outside, and the needle forcing it to break on over to the other side. Sticks and stones got nothing on an internal needle trying to implode a rib cage. So the memorial day trippers don’t usually bother me that much. Sometimes they’re even enjoyable in a masochistic kind of way, our devils. Your devil is different than mine is different hers is different from theirs. Cause every man, even if he’s straight as an arrow, has a hard on for the devil.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Alright, here we go. Been a while, but just STFU and we'll get through this.

I've been trying to update at least weekly but once I reach the week and a half mark the guilt sets in, which is a known killer of creativity. But whatev, we're past that. Moving on...

I was in Ottawa last week. I was the playboy escort to an older woman (I took my baba to a bar mitzvah). It actually was kind of fun. In addition to getting to know some cousins that I really adore better, I spent a lot of time with my grandmother (the aforementioned "baba") and, if we're being realistic, there isn't an infinite amount of time left to do that. She's 87 years old and in very good physical condition, but 87 is 87. It wasn't like babysitting, but perhaps similar to traveling with a child of about eight - they know what's going on, but just need a bit of guidance sometimes. I heard a lot of stories about her life pre-me, some two or three times (but who's counting?) and while she makes no airs about being grand, there is something in that graciousness and humility for the life she's lead that makes her one classy dame.

Also, the aforementioned cousins were pretty great. We didn't have a lot of time together, but solid memories were made discussing indie music over beers (this was actually with a significant other of a cousin, but he was equally delightful) and finding common childhood memories by wiki-ing Monkey Island.

Also, I've been made fun of recently for my alleged over-use of the word solid (def 2). That is all. Doesn't really deserve it's own paragraph. But I like the word, so suck it.

Other tidbits:

The movie Once. Delightful little film, but the music is truly outstanding music, in the singer-songwriter vein. Genius.

I've become kinda obsessed with Rosie O'Donnell's blog. I know! Possibly the most uncool thing ever. However, I'm not there all the time because I think she's a beacon of light in a world increasingly bathed in darkness. Rather, I find the community that does consider her that beacon (and also the one that vehemently opposes that notion) a very interesting study, specifically in the 'ask ro' section. America, while arguably the most fucked of all western nations, is morbidly fascinating.

I've discovered the link function on my blog and let me tell you... like a fat kid on a smartie.

Alright. That is all. I'll be back shortly to resume discussing things that are actually poignant/funny/interesting.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

It's shaping up to be arguably the gayest autumn of my life. In addition to meeting the little mermaid and making pretentious French salads, I just returned from Gio's. That's right. amosVeh went to a gay bar on Halloween weekend. (For those of you not in the know, Halloween is, traditionally, to the GLBT community what Christmas and your birthday rolled into one would be for all y'all.) And why did I venture out, at 12:30am no less to said gay bar on this night? To meet a boy. And not really even to meet and get to know, but rather to be within a foot of each other, give a semi-desired/semi-obligatory hug and to dance awkwardly while he and his hags laughed it up on the dance floor. Fortunately, the entire experience lasted a mere 45 minutes as his ride left soon after my arrival, though to be honest, I was glad for a reason to leave as I have been up since 5am and not out of choice.

Now, he was very pretty. Tall, somewhat burly if a bit effeminate. Hungarian (= 100 points). Seemed sweet, if a bit light. Essentially he is the antithesis of the subjects of my previous blog. As opposed to finding him mentally stimulating and not all that attractive, I pretty much just wanted to do bad things to/with/at him. This is not to say that I wouldn't find him intellectually interesting, but a bar setting isn't really the best in which to find that out. When describing the lad to my friend A earlier this week, I was lamenting is possible lack of wattage, to which my good friend responded simply, "So?" It was his view that often the sweet, light, cute ones may be the way to go as they provide the ying to our overly-cerebral yang. I've never really delved into this too deeply, as I've always assumed that a balance was necessary, but perhaps he his correct and you serve to balance each other out. Mmmmmi dunno. We'll see.

Also, I had a brief desire to stay after he left, just by myself, in a club, dancin', tryin' to look all fiiiiiiiiiiine. I didn't. But I could have and probably would have been happy for at least a while. And this is good cause tomorrow I'm doing it for real. I'm going to one of the biggest raves of the year...solo. I don't think I could have three months ago. The fact that I now spend about 80% of my time by myself and that it doesn't drive me insane is conditioning me to embrace this solo life. I feel it's very adult, and I say that not as a pat on the back but rather that it's simply a fact. If you're an adult without a significant other, you live you live largely in solitude. And it's really ok. Notice how I keep saying that...

Alright, I don't feel like coming to a neat conclusion. That's all, bitches. G'night.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

(For Mikey...

...about whom this entry certainly is not, but whose clear addiction as manifested in his comments I hope to assuage.)

I’ve discovered a new and not altogether awesome psychological trait in myself, which may possibly serve as an unfortunately good explanation for my lack of gay male friends. (I have a few, but they’re scattered and only one has been consistently present during my adult life)

This trait occurred to me after an evening of baking, Beauty & The Beast, and light physical contact last week. He is a perfectly nice fellow. Smart, witty, pleasant to be around – all the trappings of good friend material. In addition, he is also nicely-proportioned, red-haired, and kinda looks like a gay cross between Archie and Shaggy (the cartoon, not the egregiously lame ‘singer’). I didn’t feel that I necessarily wanted to partake in his Scooby-Snax, but I felt an urge of a different sort, something between lust and curiosity. We had hung out a couple times previously, with no strong indication on either side that there was desire for anything physical, but through more recent msn discussions, it became apparent that if something was going to happen, twould be this night.

The cookies were yummy; Belle didn’t disappoint. All of a sudden it was midnight and we were just staring at the DVD menu screen making awkward conversation, waiting for an ending or a beginning, whichever was going to happen. Eventually we went to my room. Nothing remotely pornographic happened. Clothes stayed on, for the most part. Hand stayed north of belt lines. I’m lying there and it’s not awful by any stretch, but I just don’t have my heart in it. I realize that this question will only apply to a particular demographic of readership, but you know when you’re making out and lips are doing their thing and hands are wandering, and your fingers graze their underwear elastic and you know that this is the moment where a decision needs to be made? I had no desire to venture forth. This wasn’t a commentary on him, not at all. I just didn’t feel like going down that road. Again. Instead, I was down a different, far too familiar one.

This was not the first time I’d been there. I’ve become aware of what it’s like to be making out with someone new, someone great, but someone who you just never want to see naked. I know this feeling because looking back at all the gay males with whom I’ve had 1-on-1 friendships (group friendship doesn’t count), I’ve done this with all of them! I need The Night. I need that one moment wherein my belief that I’m not into them romantically becomes hard, cold knowledge. After that (and usually a period of a couple weeks to readjust the friendship), I’m good to go. How sick is that? I’m so overly-concerned with not missing an opportunity, that I allow the possibilities for ones to exist where they have no business existing. If one were to compare this to those guys who sleep with someone and then drop completely off the radar, I suppose it would be like comparing murder to manslaughter. Although, to be fair, past participants have been perfectly willing themselves, so it’s not as though I’m conducting a completely selfish social experiment. At least I don’t think I am. Perhaps it’s only assisted-manslaughter.

Friday, October 12, 2007

This week marked the commencement of my attempt, nay my determination, to become a regular gym-goer. Thus begins my bunnitude. For those not in the know, a gym bunny is a LGBT term (and maybe a conventional one as well) for a man who lives at the gym. This shan't be me. Not really. However, it's actually been going fairly well and I now feel rather an expert on the matter having now gone twice. That's right, kids - Tuesday AND Thursday. Contrary to what I expected, the first session did not, in fact, end in exhaustion and/or vomiting. Apparently I don't suck at everything. Like, I'm pretty sure I killed at cardio. Like, full-on slayed, yo. And here's another revelation: out of shape, unattractive people go to the gym too! It's true! I was expecting it to be myself and a bunch of rejected Men's Health models, and while there were certainly some aesthetic confections, I was unhealthily relieved to find myself in good company, if the minority. It's odd how different I’ve felt in these few days; I don’t realistically think I look different or really feel all that different (perhaps slightly more hormonal – more on that in a moment), but looking in the mirror just feels different knowing that it’s heading somewhere. It’s kinda that whole glass-half-full/empty thing. The level of water is essentially holding steady at 50%, but now I see the good 50%. Does that make sense? Not really? Suck it, it’s my blog.

Now, my final observation on gym culture is not for the squeamish. In fact, it makes me feel a little bit pervy even bringing it up, but as it’s a somewhat humorous sign of the times, I’ll share. I was in the change room (aka the place wherein my manhood shrivels to the size of a Cheezie) when a moderately attraction (read: pretty g.d. hot) feller joins me in the locker bay. All is well and good and I’m thinking that I’ll get to see some ab action, maybe even some man lines, and the next thing I know the guy is totally naked and I’m incredibly uncomfortable. Nooooooooooow, here’s the thing. If I was a straight guy in a locker room, I’m not sure how comfortable I would feel being naked and ogled by another guy. Hell, as a non-straight guy I’m not ok with it in my bedroom. And I really didn’t ogle. In fact, when the towel dropped, I did my best to stay exactly above shoulder level with my eyes…but c’mon. It’s not that I need to see another naked guy (I might as well have a commitment ceremony with internet porn), but it’s just there. Like a big (not Jewish) pink elephant in the locker room. Like a (not Jewish) accident that you can’t help but glance at and not because it’s a turn on, but…oh god I’m so creepy! But do you see where I’m going with this? Not so much? Eat me, it’s my blog. *sigh* Ok, let’s approach this a different way. Straight boys, could you really be in a change room which contains many hot women and deal with one of them changing next to you and not feel a bit awkward? See? Who’s pervy now? Still me. Ok, that’s fair, but only because I’m the only one who realistically has to deal with it. Perhaps the time of gender-divided locker rooms should be over. Perhaps there should be four, according to gender and orientation. Mind you, then the gay change room would just be one big circuit party orgy and the lesbians would replace their hand-dryers with power tools.

Monday, October 08, 2007

First off, I have become an absolute hermit and have spent waaaaaaaaaaaaay too much time in my apartment in the last week, culminating in a near-break down on Saturday. On the plus side, I've spent a good amount of that time cooking really amazing food, like the adjacent salade niçoise with seared salmon. Possibly the most epicurean thing I've ever made. So cool.

Now onto heavier subject matter.

(from last Friday) When I was 9 and 10 I took the blue level in swimming five times. This was shortly after I had been diagnosed with a 46-letter neuromuscular condition, so times were slightly tense. I really do think that my parents could not have handled it any better (they really were amazing), but still, there were frustrations. Certainly one of mine was my inability to get a fucking blue badge (I did eventually, and actually went on to get my life guard qualification).

It was the last day of class, which means that no matter the outcome of pass or fail, we were allowed to go play on the diving boards. My father had actually borrowed a video camera for this occasion, my first jump off the three meter springboard. I remember years later watching the video as my little (ok, slightly doughy) 10-year old self climbed up to the top, my father zooming in as much as he could, but I was still only about an inch high on the screen. I remember the noises in the background of whistles and children shouting as on screen I shuffled around the edge of the board. Finally, after a couple of minutes, I descended back down the ladder. My Dad certainly isn't one of those fathers that considered this a personal failure and probably never really thought about it again.

A year or two later, I think grade 5, I was once again at the Pan Am pool, this time on a school trip and three friends, a couple girls and a boy, and I decided to try the diving boards. Naturally they all went off and when they reemerged at the top again, I was still standing there. Now these were really nice kids and they all tried to be encouraging and supportive but eventually it was all too much. All I could think of was my father and how I wished he was there and I started sobbing. The four of us walked down and went to fool around on the 1 m. boards and had a great time.

These anecdotes lead us to today's adventure. On Thursday, I did something that was challenging, personally. Sweating profusely, I bought a membership to the U of M gym. This was not a small amount of moisture but rather full-on flop sweat. I'm fairly certain that the blond too-short-to-be-an-Earl's girl at the front desk thought that I had been hitting the crack pipe with Whitney and Bobby. Even writing about it now, I'm getting dewy. But it needed to happen. Something needed to happen. This should be, as they say, my prime and I just really don't feel in it, not only aesthetically (cause God forbid this be purely about health) but more about every day activity. And holy fuck does it scare me, the notion of actually going through with this as a lifestyle. I have no clue why. I thought there was going to be a tie-in with the preceding childhood fuck-uperies, but now I can't really seem to marry the two other than I am still harbouring an ardent fear of not being able to jump off. Or something Sally Jesse stupid like that. Support will be needed. Oh yes. Friends, feel free to call me on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays to say, "Why isn't your soon-to-be-hot ass at the gym, beehatch! Love, Amy."

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Holy crap, you guys. I totally met Ariel. As in, the Little Mermaid. And not some cokehead in a mermaid costume in the Disney 'Holiday Fantasy' parade, no no. I met the actual, honest to God, voice of Ariel, Jodi Benson.

She was doing a show this weekend with the symphony entitled Bravo To Hollywood, along with two other semi-known Broadway actors. All in all, the show was a very typical pops concert, with lots of cheese and cotton-ball hair in the audience. There were some really great moments (Little Shop of Horrors medley) and some really not so hot ones (My Heart Will Go On goes to the Branson county fair). Now, the thing with voice actors is that what they do on screen is not the same thing as when they appear on a stage. So when she didn't sound like Ariel (read: the titanc travesty), I started to get very frightened. Every one has their Disney movie, and mine is The Little Mermaid. It was almost a weekly ritual in my youth and even though I haven't seen it in years, I am still very capable of knowing what is and what isn't the motherfuckin' little mermaid. So come intermission I was in quite a state. I pounded back my caramel latte (tepid) in the hopes of refocusing for what I knew was essentially the finale of the evening: Part Of Your World.

The second half is a lot of fun and yadda yadda yadda, but everyone knows what's coming so it was kind of like, "Um, yeah, that was really great, now GET THE FUCK ON WITH IT!" followed by heavy panting. One of the men finishes the second last number (couldn't even tell you) and she reemerges in a sea foam green dress. Holy Hanna, this was it. But before she was it, she decided to talk to us about what this twenty year journey had meant for her, which you would think would drive us crazy, but actually, hearing the little mermaid talking about being the little mermaid, um, pretty effing cool. And then it began. A huge swell in orchestra that lead to a ten second prelude which lead to those immortal ascending triads that everyone knows so well. And suddenly..."Look at this stuff, isn't it neat?...." And it was her. It really was that little mermaid. The scene in the cavern playing in my head, I listened to those colours that I'd heard so many times as a child and it was just unreal. I swooned.

Seriously though, kids, I was gayer that night then I have been in the last two years combined. Like, when the orchestra started with the opening strains of Part of Your World, I nearly leaned over and gave the guy beside me a hummer. Cut to the show being finished and me quite literally vibrating and we're walking out through the foyer when we see the former dean of the school of music and current executive director of the WSO, with whom we chatted briefly before the show. After some debate between my companion and I, we went up to him and said, "So, like, can we meet the little mermaid?" and he laughed and took us backstage. And...CHECK IT OUT!

Ok, not my best photo, but check her out! Gorgeous, no? The woman is 46! Dayimn. Anyhow, she was lovely. Clearly on Perkisets and crazier than all get up, but whatever! So nice and gracious and...oh who the fuck cares? I MET THE LITTLE MERMAID!!!!!!!!!!

*gets paper bag?*

Saturday, September 29, 2007

To Demetreus

I walked through our park tonight. Just now, in fact. I was walking home from seeing a rock show with my friends in the village. I have no clue if you liked rocked music or if you even do now. All I know of your musical taste is that you loved Mozart and found Bach dull. I thought you were crazy. Turns out not so much; I now find that Mozart is beyond fascinating and that Bach, well, he can drag on a bit, can't he? Regardless, neither of them are rock 'n roll so that doesn't help me.

I imagine that if you were ever to read this, which you most assuredly won't, you would hasitate at the opening statement. What park? We had a park? Show me park. No, never in our fewer-than-a-handful of times seeing one another did we venture into a park. Not on that first night which plunged me so deep I was a zombie the following day. Not on our second night, which was little more than a requiem for my heart. (You know, I still can't watch that movie to this day? I tried, for the first time, last week, hoping that my chemically-enhanced state would aid in the matter. I told the best friend that my companion was tired and that was why we only watched the first twenty minutes or so. This wasn't a lie, but even still, I couldn't have managed much longer.) And we certainly never went to a park when I saw you with Him at a club that summer and the only thing you could offer was an anemic smile.

So yes, dear boy, you are correct, there was no park for you. Oh, but how there was for me.

This was in the days of the early sonnets, when my Shakespearean acrostics were little more than immature odes to your supposed beauty. I only had you pictured based on the spikey orange hair and bright blue shirt so vivid in your msn display pic, like Sonic the Hedgehog gone auburn for the season. Hardly the medium for high inspiration, but those are the times we live in, no? There is a park, The Park, on River avenue right by Scott street. I'd never been in there, and yet that was where my mind decided that we would meet. It would be slightly misty, not quite drizzling, in the way that May evenings can be in Winnipeg. There would be umbrellas involved. I wasn't entirely clear on whose it or they were, but no umbrella would actually have been opened, as even in my still-developing romantic 19 year old mind, lovers in the rain didn't use umbrellas, even if they were close at hand. I was foggy on how we would have progressed from the first glance to the inevitable Kiss (by which point, naturally, it would have been a torential lovers' downpour), but I wasn't worried; it would happen in whatever way necessary.

Only it didn't. The Kiss happened, of course. Oh dear god, how it happened, the seat dropping away, leaving me suspended in mid-air. I don't remember your lips so much as that floating, that weightless haze that stayed with me for a year afterwards. I almost wish it hadn't had happened. I say "almost" as I could never really change anything, knowing who I became. I suppose I should be happy that I'm so content with my current self that I wouldn't erase the most painful thing I've ever known, but it's little comfort at 2:17 in the morning. I don't need to regret in order to still love you to this day for that Moment and to likewise dispise you for what you stole in it, as you truly did steal. Yes, it may have been unwitting, a biblical Benjamining, if you will. But Sweet Thief, you stole me but good. It took months to undo what you did in that one night, and even after that, to this day, I'm not really healed. That's fine. I don't need to be. Perhaps I make wiser decisions for it, or at least safer ones, although they're hardly the same thing. I've come to accept that there was absolutely nothing rational in My Fall nor in the theoretical recovery. Thinking about you weekly, usually more, is irrational given that you really only provided me with four hours of happiness. However, time was never really a factor in anything we did and those four hours encapsulated an entire lifetime of Disney and Grimm before it. They were everything I had ever thought I could conceive and receive. Everything. Except that they did not occur whilest in a park, let alone that park. And yet everytime I drive by there, I've thought of you, usually just in passing, but sometimes more and tonight perhaps more than I have in years.

So I walked through it and it was lovely. Truly the modern Rembrant I had always pictured. The swings I imagined you sitting on when I would have arrived were angled slightly differently and yes, I admit they were actually baby swings, not that it matters. I walked to that spot, four years after I was supposed to, and turned slowly, getting a perfect 360 view, so I could say that now in my mind, I would forever know what it would really have looked like on that night in the rain.


"You see what you did?!" I wanted to scream, and yet I already knew the answer. I always have.

Monday, September 24, 2007

This entry is the opposite of my penis: long and funny.

I have met a lot of people off the internet.

What an icky sentence.

But it's true.

Now, without going into the whole defense of 'it's better than the bar scene" and all my self-appeasing justifications, let me just say that it is not something I have ever regretted. Well, actually, that one time I got slipped a rufie wasn't so hot, but you know, that happens far more frequently at bars, thereby illustrating my point and forcing me to recrown myself as King of Logic World.

When describing these interactions to others, I will frequently break down my net meetings in the following manner. Of the people you talk to:

70% - not worth anything other than 5 lines of polite, terse response before blocking them
20% - appear to have potential until about the 5 minute mark when it becomes obvious that they have already blown their conversational load.
5% - are worth meeting, but you soon find out that a) it's no longer 1998 and they fudged their picture, b) they're nice but dull or c) they work with your mom
3% - are funny, kinda hot, perhaps even seem like they might be into you, but neither of you are that into each other to hang out more than once or twice, which inevitably leads to between a week and 6 months of very short, awkward, obligation conversations over msn.
2% - are amazing. Of those 0.00000000000000001% will phone you back.

No wonder I'm single. And thank fucking god.

All of the above has really just been a prologue to this:

Yesterday I was talking with a fellow who falls into the 3% category. Funny, really good looking, all that lovely stuff. We hung out once in February. I wasn't on my A game, partially do to the fact that when I find myself in the presence of someone that falls in that top five percent, it's just such a shock that I generally need a couple dates to really come to terms with the hot, funny guy smiling at me. Since February, we've chatted occasionally over msn, sometimes talking about getting together, but with no real intention (at least on my part) to really try and make it happen. Then, this week saw a huge tear in the social fabric of my net meeting dogma as the little bugger appeared to want a mulligan, which is absolutely unprecedented. The last time there was a second coming of this magnitude, a religion was born. We began to discuss in earnest a wine-drinking evening at my place. Then this dialogue (bear in mind, much of it is affectionate sarcasm):

Him: When I come over, could I use your computer? My ­­­­­­________ (some gadgetty-thingy-thing) isn't being read by computer and it's being a bitch.

Me: Perhaps your computer doesn't recognize gadgetty-thing-things belonging to people with fewer than three sexual partners.

Him: Haha. David, you're [hilarious. I love you.]

Me: I had the same problem, so one night I went out and banged 17 guys in one shot.

Him: Wow, you just went from a 9 to a 6.

Me: ...

Him: ...

Me: I was a 9?

It was all very funny and cutesy and incredibly flustering and I start to panic a little bit. Like, "Uh, haha, you're really great and all, but clearly you have me confused, because if you keep being all adorable, I really won't know what to do with you." Cause I really won't. I am so used to the idea of everyone having something terminally wrong with them, that my flight instinct has totally kicked in. I really, really don't want to hang out with this guy. I mean, I do. Oh god, I do. But no. It's like how before an audition you think, "Qu'est-ce que fuck am I doing here? Christ on a bike, I wish I were in the Caymans." Or something like that.

At first I thought this was just me being all emo-faggy about relationships (see: last six months of the previous incarnation of this blog), but recently it has evolved into something different. Essentially, all of my female (and a good many of my male) friends are in relationships and let me tell you on thing, kids: they suck. Not the relationships; the people. (Especially people that are engaged. "This is my fiancée!" "This is my barf bag.") And not just them, but people in relationships in general are just shitty and pretty questionable human beings a lot of the time too (Pretend that isn't a gross exaggeration). They stop calling or returning messages, they incorrectly assume they're other half is welcome anywhere, and to top it off, all other interests in their life are promptly dropped and replaced by their one and only.

Example: A conversation - the first in a month - I was having with one of my 'closest' friends two nights ago:

'C'F: I'm sorry I've been such a shitty friend, I've just been so busy with and I haven't had time for, like, anyone.
Me: That's cool, I know you're busy (and I'm totally willing to just wait around for your calls).

5 minutes into the same conversation:

'C'F: You should be SO proud of me: I'm seeing ­ for the first time in so long.
Me: Aw, really?
'C'F: Yeah, I haven't seen [them] since, like, yesterday afternoon.
Me: ...

Do we see the problem, people? Does this not seem a might inamicable, or is this simply the skewed view point of a citizen of Singletown who couldn't possibly imagine what y'all are feeling? These are genuine questions. My relationship-minded readers, I implore you to tell me, am I asking too much by asking the same of you that I did before, or is it that y'all are just too busy with that good thing you've found to care?

So this is why I am so icked out (that's right. I know big boy words) by the mere notion of being in a couple. It just makes people so stupid and I'd really rather not be. Or maybe I would and I just don't know it. However, I will say this: when the day comes - providence willing - that I do actually find myself playing double dutch and I start to ignore my friends, make poor life choices and just generally induce nausea, you have my total and utter permission to make the necessary arrangements to have me taken out back and severely beaten. That is, if I return your call.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Paintergate has been resolved. Thanks to all for their support (read: Michael) in my time of need. The apartment is once again back to it's former glory, but a little bit wiser for its new coat of paint. Almost like an off-white sheath of knowledge. It now knows that an apartment, as much as one may preen over that is still just a habitat and should not be used as a distraction from actually going out and getting a life.

In addition to that saga drawing to a close, yesterday also marked the end of my seasonal employ with the High Holiday Quartet. This is a good thing; I was not enjoying who I became in those last two weeks. Nothing short of a harpy, necessarily so, but a harpy all the same. I would regularly wake up to fantasies wherein I verbally berate someone to the point of mortified speechlessness. That is so not zen, yo.

Aside from putting a stop to my conductors' rage, the end of my sacred tenure also means a new overabundance of time, hence this post. That's right, kids. It's that most nefarious of all ramblings, the Bored Blog. It's like a Drunk Dial but with less illicit substances and more typos.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Paintergate 2007 - Day 17: For those out of the loop, there has been a certain amount of drama surrounding the painting of my apartment. I was originally given the thumbs up that it would be painted before I moved in (42 days ago). It took them three weeks to send me the notice that the painters were coming (21 days ago). So I moved all of my earthly effects into the centre of their respected rooms. The painters were supposed to come that Friday (17 days ago). They didn't. I called my super and he said they would be there the following Tuesday (14 days ago. They didn't. They finally arrived that Thursday (12 days ago) to patch up holes. One would think that they would return the following day to then actually paint and that no one in there right mind would leave and think it appropriate to have an apartment patchy for any period of time. They did. I called the agency a week later (5 days ago) to say "wtf?" and the 3rd-runner-up-for-the-lead-in-Hairspray-lookalike at reception, upon hearing that I had been living like a small burrowing woodland creature (props to Gloria) for the past two weeks, giggled nervously and said that there had been a (and this is a direct quote) "painting emergency" at one of their other buildings. After verbally anally raping her over the phone (that's a lie. My form of vigilanteism is nothing more than a passive-aggresive annoyed tone of voice) she informed me that the painters would be there the next day (4 days ago) or Monday (today). I'm at work and have yet to see for myself, but I'm not optimistic. I really need to call upon Lisa Nichols and the The Secret team to help me call the painting of my apartment into existence.

Update: I just got home. They didn't.

According to Karl

This summer, I participated in the University of Manitoba's Contemporary Opera Lab, which for me was roughly like Maury sending a crack-addicted 14 year old teenager to boot camp. I spent most of my time fighting real, real hard. However, in the end I realized what an enriching, worthwhile, blah blah blah experience it was.

A good portion of this was due to our conductor Karl WhoselastnameIforget, who had a very interesting view on being a musician in this world.

It goes something like this:

It's like you're an alien and you come down to Earth and you see all these other aliens walking around. Say, ten thousand of them, and they're all trying to blend in with the earthlings. Except they don't blend in and they can't for the life of them understand why. The earthlings, while not really sure why, certainly know that the aliens don't fit in and simply accept this as fact. So you have all these aliens who don't know that they are aliens running around being very confused. Enter you. You go up to all these aliens and say, "Um, hey, so the reason that you feel out of place on Earth is because - guess what, kids - you're aliens."

The ten thousand aliens then look at you and in one smooth, cohesive motion their mouths open:


It was a brilliant analogy. We don't fit in; we weren't designed to. It is a necessary function for art that it be somewhat removed from that on which it is acting. If one is too immersed, then it is impossible to interpret and art cannot be literal. Otherwise, it would simply be life and the phrase "art immitating life" would become "life immitating life" and that makes no sense.

Next, I had a very funny time on Friday night. I'm not a huge drinker, but when libation is the cue of the night, I'm usually on top of it like a fat kid on a Smartie. However, I was not feeling especially inclined towards inebriation and therefore spent a hilarious, sober time interacting with drunken folk. My friends are not the sloberring, obnoxious sort of drunk you see at the bar but rather people attempting to carry on social interaction while in an extremely altered state. It makes a good time for Jane Goodall-ing. Most importantly, they tell you how amazing you are and for a compliment whore such as myself, c'mon, there's nothing better. Special thanks go out to my three drunken soprano friends for giving me love for the opera scenes I've done with them. It tickled me. Oh no, wait. That was Brendan.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

To start us off right, big shout out to Mikey J and Mummy-Cat for their always-insightful and appreciated feedback. Waaaaaaaaay nicer than the anonymous reader who used to leave comments on U's blog calling her various not so nice things behind the veil of anonymity. He was kind of a dick.

I just woke up from a four hour nap. I think anything more should just really be called 'sleeping'. And the reason for said nap? A six-thirty wake-up call followed by a five-hour High Holiday service. Imagine, if you will, a newborn baby dear. He is new to this world, just having learned how to walk properly. So, feeling rather good about his newfound mobility, he goes out for a stroll with his little bunny companions. Of these little bunny companions, some have been around for a while and are wisen and aged in respect to this world of daisies and babbling brooks, while others are even newer than the fawn and you just kinda want to kick them. Like, hard. Sometimes you even think, "Lord, God (you're a very religious fawn) why in Heaven did I choose this fucking lagomorph as a strolling companion?! WHY?!" But I digress...So you're strolling around with your little bunny friends and suddenly the grass ends and the ground becomes hard and black and you think, "Oh this must be a road. I've heard about these things, but I've never actually been on one" So you step on up and oh, it's not so bad...


That look is what I felt like up on the bima (altar-equivalent) today

(NB - The above was composed two days ago. I have since experienced my second day and it was much less oh-crap-I-don't-know-what-I'm-doing-why-did-they-hire-me?!)

Coming off of this sense of accomplishment, I definitely feel the urge to let loose and have an adventure tonight, one that takes me from a party to a park to my bathtub to my bed. Anyone interested in partaking may call me or leave a comment.

Ooh, also, I've taken down the "My Future Husband" link. For those who never visited, it was linked to a blog called vividblurry, which used to be very funny and slightly touching at times as well. I just visited it for the first time in a year only to find out that the lad's body dysmorphia has become so rampant that it is little more than an ode to a gym bunny. Guys actually send in their Before and After photos and in return receive congratulations. It's gross.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

One day I will get up and sing in front of my peers and not suck.

One day I will open my mouth and out will come exactly what I expected all along, exactly what happened in the practice room mere moments before. My throat will not feel like it has little throat-gnomes creeping out of its walls, constricting my air flow adding little scratchy noises, which, I swear, were not there before. One day, my knees will not shake nor my balance test me. F#s will flow out of me like semen. Wait, that's gross. Like blood. Actually, not a ton better. Is there any single substance that emanates from our bodies that is not disgusting in some matter? I'm gonna go with no. Where was I? Oh yes, the awful, baby-crying F#s. Yeah, those will be awesome. One day I will not have to float above myself in real time thinking "Oh Christ on a bike, not again!" and I'll actually be able to do a character rather than some shallowly emoting caricatured. One day I will not finish a performance and want to go up to every single person in the room and say "I'm sorry! I over-sung in the practice room and I can do it better, really I can! I swear, I have made progress in the last four years!"

One day all this will happen.

Today, however, was not that day.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Moving on

The notion of resurrecting this blog has been dancing around in my head for a couple weeks now. The reason for the gap between inception of realization has been due to the pressure of The First Post. I have observed many things in the past couple weeks about which I've thought, "I that would make a dandy post," but none of them seemed to be efficient as an initial reentry into this medium. And then this thought of moving on popped into my head. How do we do it? Why do we do it or, perhaps more importantly, why don't we do it?

This evolved from my thinking of the ubiquitous U, whom I am hoping to see tonight. We have had a tradition of seeing each other for beverages every Sunday for two years now (two years on the 24th; happy anniversary, love.). Up until several months ago, this ritual took place religiously at one of two coffee establishments who kitty-corner River & Osborne. Then she moved and we have found temporary, sometimes only weekly, homes elsewhere, primarily in the cultural beacon of Transcona (I will be earning points for my weekly treks out there for years to come). However, due to my recent move and her recent acquisition of a driver's license, we have started to once again entertain the notion of putting down roots and I have felt her pull towards our old haunts, those staunch Village rivals. I feel her nostalgia and, correct me if I am wrong, darling, perhaps her longing to hold on to something from our recent past. I understand it and I would be remiss to say that I didn't feel it myself. However, that being said, it also fills me with dread.

I have recently made enormous leaps towards the future, moving out being the most often noted (most often by myself, no less; I apologize if this has become annoying to anyone), but smaller things as well, such as signing up for Hydro, online banking, getting a credit card, taking my Price Chopper's (adieu, Superstore!) groceries on the bus and feeling the immense satisfaction that comes with the above. The thought of reliving that time feels not only dishonest to my goals but it is also a cruel reminder of a period of time wherein I had my biggest awakening. It reminds me how I felt like a 6 year old again, of her eyes on that first evening, hazy, in delicious recovery, and mostly how, despite giving her my everlasting love and support, I'm not sure I'll ever truly be able to forgive the fact that she let go. Was it for the best? Probably. Would I change anything? Of course not. And yet it's there, in the taunting form of a Second Cup no less.

For someone for who nostalgia has always been manna, this is an odd turn of mind. Perhaps, it's all these changes I've made. Perhaps it was sitting last night immersed in friends, but upon closer inspection, realizing that they were now comprised of seemingly happy couples and (slightly) metrosexual frat boys and feeling a momentary isolation I haven't encountered in four years. Perhaps it was the epiphany that came to me not 30 seconds ago as I was typing that last sentence that I've been desperately trying to cling to a group that has not existed in years. It has expanded, which has been largely positive, but my failure to fully embrace this new incarnation has led to much frustration recently without knowing why.

So I have decided to move on. Not from anyone, any place, any thing, and apparently not from the name of my blog. Rather, simply to let the past and its idolized memories remain where they belong.

And so here we go...

Monday, May 14, 2007


By Rhonda J. Prepes, P. Eng.

The Sarah Sommer Chai Folk Ensemble's Vocal Director Arthur Liffmann said to me, "If you have not heard Chai perform in a number of years, you will truly be blown away by this CD." And he was right.

There are so many positive adjectives to describe the music and dance that Chai debuted at their CD release party on Sunday, May 9th at the Gates on Roblin.

The new CD is entitled "Wanderings", signifying the wanderings of the Jewish people over time around the globe and the travels of the Chai Folk Ensemble around the world. The CD represents what Chai has been able to learn from all the places where they have travelled and performed and shows how they have used this knowledge to grow and mature musically.

Hillel Sommer, President of Chai, described the event as an intimate, up close and personal affair. The more than 200 people in attendance enjoyed a variety of desserts before listening to thirteen brand new songs performed by the seven member orchestra, 10 singers and numerous dancers.

The program began with "Heyaw" and continued with a new upbeat rendition of "Hava Nagila Gila" and then a Yiddish swing number called "Alle Brider". The highlight of the evening was a beautiful slower paced duet sung by Tracy Kasner Greaves and [The Illustrious D]. Their stunning voices complimented each other in "Avinu Malkeinu". The audience reciprocated with great applause after every song and dance number.

Chai performed a darbuka style tune with a middle eastern beat "Shirei Ro'im Ve'Ohavim" meaning songs of shepherds and lovers, "Ahava" a song about finding love, and "Nanua" a melodic tune originally by David D'Or and Achinoam Nini about love and music bringing people together. The dancers executed a flawless professional show in attractive brightly colored outfits.

Ruth Charach told the Winnipeg Jewish Review “I think they were great and I’ve seen them for years. The talent they’ve got is amazing, especially the new talent. The newcomers are first class performers.”

The audience was also treated to “Bab El Wad” with guest pianist Tatyana Smolyaninov. Sung by soloist Arthur Liffmann and interpreted by solo dancer Jeff Schacter, it is a tribute to the fallen soldiers of the War of Independence. Lastly, the Ensemble gave a grand performance of a medley of three Israeli folk songs.

Evita Smordin was also enthralled with the show. “Chai has been great for 46 years. Now you see children of past Chai members participating, you see two generations of the same family performing together, and you see brothers and sisters performing together. Chai is a close knit, Jewish community family affair”, she said.

Chai paid tribute to Mrs. Rachel Fink, the first accordion player of Chai in 1968. Fink is a former music teacher and mother and grandmother of a number of Chai performers over the years. She is also the grandmother of Chai’s Musical Director and Lead Producer on the CD, Ariel Posen. She was noted as “One of the Matriarchs of the Music of Chai.” Chai also paid tribute to the memory of Elana Palay, a valued Chai volunteer, who tragically passed away recently.

Chai DancersThe CD is available from the Chai office, McNally Robinson Bookstore in Grant Park and will soon be available on the Chai website.

Cheryl Barish summed up the evening by saying, “It was extraordinary. The orchestra never sounded so good. I enjoyed the new strings and jazz components that have been added. The dancers were wonderful and the singers were out of this world. I loved it.”

There will be a second CD release open to the public. The live performance with singers and musicians will take place Thursday, May 27, 2010, at the Park Theatre, 698 Osborne Street at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are $10 - $15.To purchase a ticket, call the Chai office at 477-7497.