Monday, September 29, 2003

Hitting the ground running, tumbling, and skidding

After spending the last two days in good/bad shock, I'm come to terms with all the latest change in my life. Everyone's been very supportive and are keeping their eyes open for new places. I'm not going to deal with the moving thing this week though. Too much on my plate as it is.

My Dad has strongly suggested that I try to buy a place of my own instead of "pouring my money into a hole". That's all well and good, but when NDG is the place where I'd like to be hanging my hat, the price of purchasing soars to new heights. The prices around here are ridiculous really: 200K+ for a ground-floor apartment with a postage-stamp-sized yard and heavy feet pounding above you.

Anyhoo... I'm going to keep my eyes open to both possibilities. Maybe something will present itself, Gods willing. Then again, maybe a little residential magick wouldn't hurt to move things along...

But no no... must focus on the new contract and my other responsibilities. Everything in its place, everything in its time.

Friday, September 26, 2003

Talk about Balance

Really Good News: my company won the contract that I've been bidding on for the past few weeks. Go me!

Really Bad News: my landlords just came to my door and told me that they want to take possession of the entire duplex, which means that I have to move out this year. I really love my apartment and where I live. I really don't want to move. Fuck.

If I find a place to move into by the end of December, my landlord will pay for my moving expenses. If not, they won't pay for my moving expenses. I could theoretically stay here until July, but then I would definitely have to move.

Got the contract. Yay!

Lost the apartment. Fuck!

Mood swing anyone?

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Dreamy Editorials

One of the great regrets of my youth is that I didn't take more time to learn my father's skill at home renovation and just general fixer-up stuff. My Dad is a Jack of a Trades when it comes to building/fixing things around the house.

Over a period of 30 years, he's reworked the wiring and the plumbing in the house, as well as extended it several times (first building a patio, then a dining room, and then more recently a solarium). And in all this time, mostly in my youth, I've only helped him a bit here and there. I regret to say that I was mostly bored by it and only pitched in to help under great protest.

What a lazy little shit I was. Dammit. Now I can barely put in a shelf without setting my drapes on fire.

One night in my teen years, I had an Editorial Nightmare. In my dream, I was slouched on the couch watching Star Trek: TNG while my Dad was in the kitchen retiling the floor. There was a knock at the door, so I went to answer it, and to my surprise Marcus Greenwood was standing there with a toolbelt and a hammer in his hands.

Marcus was an acquaintence from school. I couldn't really call him a friend since we only ever saw each other in school, so this would've been the first time he was ever at my house. Shocked, I stammered "Marcus! What are you doing here?"

"I'm here to help your Dad with the retiling of the floor," he grinned and walked right past me into the kitchen.

Stunned, I followed him into the kitchen and watched him go to work. "But Dad," I spluttered. "Why didn't you ask me to help you?"

And the look my father gave me was a mixture of anger, frustration, and smugness. It's weird how dreams can stick so many images together in one place. "I didn't want to bother you son," he said. "I know that Star Trek was on and how you hate to miss it."

Feeling sick, I tried to offer my help, but my Dad waved me away and got to work with Marcus. I slumped back off to the living room feeling thoroughly wretched, listening to the two of them working and laughing.

Then I woke up.

Of course after that episode, I tried to help my Dad as much as I could, always offering. I wonder if my parents ever noticed the shift in my demeanor; I never told them about the dream since it shamed me so much.

I'm only thinking about this now because I had another one of these Editorial Nightmares last night. I'll be pondering the meaning of it over the next few days, but I hate it when my brain gets all Dr. Phil on my keister.

Monday, September 22, 2003

The New Rental Math

I rented a couple of games last Thursday (Vice City and Blue Shift -- No, these are not euphamisms for anything) and the sign said "3 Day Rental".

Now the sales girl might have told me that they were due on Saturday, but I don't quite remember if she did or not. When I showed up on Sunday to return the games, the kid behind the counter informed me that the games were a day late. Apparently, Thursday counted as one of the rental days, even though I picked up the game at 3 pm. I guess when it comes to a renter, a day need not have 24 hours in it for a company to charge you a fee.

When I tried to argue the point, the kid gave me attitude saying "Look, you can interpret it any way you like, but this is what we mean by 3 Day Rental. You were explained all of this when you got your membership." Yeah, like four years ago.

And then to drive the point home, he invoked Coporation Logic. "And anyways, Blockbuster charges this way, so you can't tell me it's not done in other places." Wow Bunky... you sure put me in my place.

To my mind, if I rent a game on Thursday for three days, then Friday counts as the first day, Saturday counts as the second day, and Sunday is the third day (and I have to return it). By their logic, if I rented a game for one day and I got it 30 minutes before the end of the business day, then I'd have 30 minutes to play it before I had to return it.

Where's the logic in that?
Formula One Blading

I'm still working on my New York post. I'm trying not to turn it into an epic tale of biblical proportions. I was only there for one day, fer God's sake.

I went rollerblading yesterday at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve with the boys (Sr. Basura, Kirin, Fabio, and Dagda). Surprisingly, I didn't suck. It had been three years since I last bladed and even back then, the fluidity of my form was interupted by much windmilling of arms.

Of course, my entourage of blading buddies were much more comfortable on their blades (it has to do with the invincibility of their youth), so they were blading unnervingly close to me. Kirin kept tossing his sneakers like a bolo around my ankles. The wanker thinks he's friggin' Catwoman.

But despite all that, I didn't fall and leave five pounds of my flesh on the ashphalt. After a few minutes of wobbling uncertainty, I started finding my blade-legs again. It was great fun! The only thing that makes it difficult is that my feet get so sore after about an hour of it. Apparently, this discomfort is quite normal.

I wish I could blade around the city, but you don't really notice how cracked and broken the streets are until you realize that even the smallest twig can send you careening into traffic or the slightest tumble can mean leaving flesh and bone behind on the street.

I'll just walk or cycle, thanks.

Tuesday, September 16, 2003


I'm writing my post about my one-day road trip to New York City as we speak, but this week is piling up, so y'all just need to be patient.

You! Be patient! Good dog... Here's a picture of a new NY City sight that I was encouraged to go take a peek at.

Last weekend, I went out with Drew for a movie (Once Upon a Time in Mexico) and pints at Hurley's. While we were at Hurley's, we ran into Theopilia and Kotomi and shared some conversation. Theopilia looked a bit down (she's usually quite perky and happy-go-lucky), so I was trying to cheer her up by complimenting her, flirting a bit (we always flirt a bit), and just being supportive.

Then the next day, I find out through a friend that Theopilia is "all worried that I want some kind of relationship with her". Geez! You give a girl some positive input and she spends the next few days/weeks/months/years wigging out about it instead of just leaving it as what it is! Or Gods forbid, she'd actually be upfront with you and ask you what's going on...

This is the beauty of being a guy. If we get some extra attention or flirting from a friend, we generally don't freak out about it. The whole event gets dealt with like this:

"Hey... she's been extra flirtacious tonight. This is great! I wonder if she's just being fun or does this mean she really digs me? Oh well... only time will tell, and in the meantime, this is fun! And look over there... something shiney! I wonder if it's edible/drinkable... etc."

I think it's an interesting statement on society on how we react differently to abuse or praise. We always seem ready to rebuff people if they're being rude to us, but we don't know how to handle people being positive or complimentary. We almost seem to fall into rebuff mode by default, not matter what the situation is, becoming instantly suspicious or dreading the worst.

Is it really that difficult to just accept the compliment, say Thank You, and trust in your friend's sincerity? Is it really so difficult to believe that other people think you're a good person?

Friday, September 12, 2003

Out with the Old, In with the New (York)

John Ritter and Johnny Cash both died today. My first thought was that maybe they both got into a deadly fist fight over drinks in some seedy Hollywood bar, but alas, the two deaths were unrelated.

I'm going to have to pick up a Johnny Cash Greatest Hits CD. As for John Ritter, I always thought he was a fine actor. Maybe his choice of scripts weren't always that great, but his acting skill was something I always admired. He should have done more dramas. I think I'll rent Noises Off again.

This has been the week from hell in my professional life. It's not right that I go from two months of vacation to one week of crazy hecticness. On the upside, I'll be sharing a movie and a pint with a friend tonight and on Sunday, I'll probably be going on a road trip to New York city. Even though I'll only be there for a day, I'm excited 'cause I've never been to New York.


Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Things are a-cookin!

Sorry for the silence, but a whole bunch of things have been put into motion and I'm running to keep up. I'll keep you posted!

A couple of these in-motion things are new storytelling gigs! Here's what's coming up:
  • On September 16th, sometime between 7:30 pm and 10:30 pm, I'll be telling The Blue Hippopotamus story in French for the first time during the Mardi-Gras evening of storytelling. This is the third time I've told a story in French, but it falls in line with my new committment with translating my stories and telling them in French more often. Check out the Mardi-Gras link for more info about the night, but I hope you can be there!

  • On September 19th, at Cafe Perk (8 pm), I'm hosting a show of my own design: Je me Souviens/I remember the days -- An evening of French and English tales. I've got three French tellers, three English tellers, and Irish Storyteller Mike Burns who said he would tell a story that "blurs the line between English and French". I'm not sure what that means, but it should be interesting!

  • On September 23rd, the Montreal chapter of the STC has asked me to tell stories at their annual Wine and Cheese party. Oddly enough, I'm the most worried about this show 'cause I'm not sure how open the audience will be to the stories. But as my storytelling friend Jackson once commented "If you get offered a gig, just do your job as best you can." I'll be going with that advice.

More to come as other things get finalized... Stay tuned!

Thursday, September 04, 2003

Just Doing My Part

Last Saturday, the gang and I went out to Brutopia. Actually, we first went to Café L'Etranger for some live jazz that turned out to be non-existant, then we went to Upstairs, but it was packed. I really tried to go somewhere other than a pub, but it just keeps calling me back. Can't fight City Hall, I guess.

So we settled into a booth on the far side of the pub, not with the band but close enough to hear. After I orderd my pint of raspberry ale (the house brew), I noticed the six girls sitting next to us, especially the one with the veil. It had to be the quietest, most unassuming Bachlorette party I've ever seen. They're all sipping half-pints, talking quietly.

In the words of Chris Rock, that ain't right.

So the gang conferred on the problem, Mysty came up with the brilliant idea, to which we all agreed. I then turned to the girl in the veil and started up a conversation. You must take note that this conversation was punctuated by cries of "Hey!" and "What are you saying?" from Kirin at the other end of the booth. His protestations didn't hinder the situation, thankfully.

"So," I leaned into the girl with the veil. "Are you gal-pals at the beginning of your night or at the end? 'Cause I have to say, this has to be the quietest Bachlorette party I've ever seen."

"No no," she giggled. "We're just getting started." Half-pints at 10 pm is just getting started? Sheesh...

"Well, I wondering if you'd be interested in this proposition," I pointed to Kirin, who began to protest. "You see that guy over there? He just happens to be a stripper on his night off. Now normally he wouldn't be into this on his down-time, but he's got this thing about girls in veils. ("Hey!") I'm surprised he hasn't been struck by lightning, the groove thing he's shook in a variety of churches. ("What are you saying?")"

Now Kirin has gotten up and moved closer to my side. Perfect.

"Kirin would love to have a chance to strip for you. Would that be okay?" Veil Girl turned a bright red and her friends began to hoot and cheer, pointing to a confused Kirin.

I got up to talk to him semi-privately, "Get up on the boothl and shake your groove thing, you sexy beast." At first, he said no way, but with these three magical words, I secured the deal: "I dare you."

Kirin grinned and asked, "Which girl?"

Which girl?!?! "The one with the veil, you moron!" So Kirin jumped up on the booth behind Veiled Girl and shook his booty, stripping off his shirt. The room cheered and hooted, while Veil Girl turned an even brighter shade of red.

A bit later, the bouncer came in and picked her up, carrying her around the pub. All the guys at our table then took their shirts off and followed her around the pub. All good clean fun.

This girl was extremely shy and I suspect she's never been to a bachlorette before. When a girl is dressed in a veil, she can virtually get away with anything. She could almost make-out with a stranger while his girlfriend looks on. But this poor lassie was too embarrassed to even go up and hug a couple of guys at the behest of her gal-pals. Geez.

Hopefully, we made her evening memorable, but I hope that the action picked up a bit after we left. I wonder when/if she'll tell her husband?

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Big Bug... Kill it! Kill it!

As I was working away on my 'puter yesterday, I heard an odd fluttering from the kitchen. I wheeled away from the desk and noticed, to my dismay, that Newton had hopped up on the sink and was nosing around the window sill.

I had, at one time, been growing a new garlic plant that was showing promise, until my cat decided he needed to add more exotic herbs to his diet. Chomp, chomp, chomp... Garlic plant gone. I was afraid that Newton was now after the marigolds I had growing in the sill, although up until now he had left them alone.

Newton knows where he's not supposed to be, so when I clap my hands and call out his name, he usually backs down instantly. But when I moved closer to him as he peered over my teapots on the sill, he didn't move. Odd, I thought.

Then I moved one of the pots to see what he was looking at and spotted this ENORMOUS bug. It was a bit bigger than my thumb and it was fluttering its giant wings in the sill. Newton was keeping him down with his paw.

I'd never seen this type of flying bug before, so I grabbed my digicam and snapped this off. Click the image to get a bigger view. Does anyone know that kind of bug this is?

After I took the pic, Newton batted him off the sill and the bug took flight. The kitty was on the hunt, following the winged intruder around my pad, hopping up occasionally to catch him in his paws. Eventually, the prey and predator moved out onto the balcony and I closed the door. "Do what you want to do with your prey Newton," I said through the screen door. "But that thing ain't coming back in here."

Eventually, Newton clawed at the door to be let back in and the bug was no where to be seen. Either he became snack food or managed to get away. I hope Newton gets into this habit of chasing the odd bug that gets into my pad. Not only is it cute, but it gives him some extra variety to his diet.

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

Waiting for that Big Break

Thanks to her runaway hit Gigli (Run! Run away!), singing-acting sensation JayLo has been able to realize a long-time dream and has decided to set up shop right here in NDG (Montreal)! As I wandered around my neighborhood on the long weekend, I found her hanging up the Closed sign, a contented little sigh erupting from her lips.

"Finally, it's what I've always wanted." she said to me, picking up her bag of fresh bagels. "Who knew that Gigli would get me a man and liberate me from my Hollywood duties enough to open my own shop."

"A dry-cleaning shop was your dream this whole time?!?" I replied flabbergasted, chewing on a bagel.

"Oh sure... but do you know what the rent is like in New York? You have to have a superstar's salary to open a, whatchamacallits... a depanneur. Now pardon me... Ben gets so cranky when he doesn't get his salmon cream cheese bagels on time."

She rolled her eyes, softly swearing a "tabarnacle" and scurried off up Monkland. It's enough to almost make me want to see Gigli. Almost.

Here's what some others have said about the movie (thanks be to and to Le Cousin Andy for sending me the links).

"It's a sorry statement, when the actor that has the most subtle performance is the kid with Tourette's."

"Gigli rhymes with "really." As in "really bad," or "really offensive," or "really wish I’d remembered my gun so I could just shoot myself now and end the misery.""

"Jennifer Lopez plays a lesbian in Gigli, and Ben Affleck plays a heterosexual man, which means they have one thing in common: Both of them are in a crummy movie."

Gigli is so unrelentingly bad that people may want to see it just as a bonding experience; viewers (read: victims) will want to talk and comfort each other afterwards."

It's the stuff Mystery Science Theater 3000s are made of."

Ach. Oy. Woe and poo, bleccch and uck! ZZZZZ-zzz."

"Such an utter wreck of a movie you expect to see it lying on its side somewhere in rural Pennsylvania, with a small gang of engineers circling and a wisp of smoke rising from the caboose."

"It is an exquisitely bad movie: One to be savoured, marvelled over, shared with friends and generally appreciated in a state of awestruck wonder. Gourmet fromage."

There's virtually no story, no conflict, no tension and no suspense, just the endless droning of the worst dialogue written in recent memory."

There’s no rhythm to (the) putrid dialogue, no flow to (the) preposterous scenes."

It's worth knowing how to pronounce Gigli because it will enter the vocabulary as a word meaning 'massive box-office flop; an embarrassment caused by Hollywood's inability to say no to powerful creative types. See also: Ishtar.'"

"I fought the urge to punch someone once it finally ended."

"A rigli, rigli bad movie."

In a brief cameo, Christopher Walken sums up Affleck's screen presence when he tells Gigli: 'I know -- you don't know nothin'. I can tell just by lookin' at you.'"

"I am giving Gigli one star and that is only because of Walken: if Brest were smart, when the film hits DVD, he should only release that scene and stick the rest in the deleted scenes section."

(In an unrelated vein, I have a picture and story coming that involves some nekkidness from over the weekend, but I'm waiting for permissions. Patience!)