Sunday, March 11, 2007

Genet finally does something he has wanted to do for eons... even pre-dating Stonehenge... and in his excitement, cannot shut up. Indulge him

Yes. Watershed moment in my life. I bought a loft in Leslieville (Queen + Carlaw, to be exact). Construction has yet to begin which will allow me introduce the idea to Yoda (my mother), sell our current home and find her a cozy condo while I comfortably create my soon-to-be space. Part of me feels like the stereotypical gentrifying guppie, but that concept nauseates me. Instead, I'd like to think that I have decided on a neigbourhood that is multi-faceted, evolving, generally left-leaning and which combines the vitality of downtown while avoiding (a) the neuroses that the S&M (Scarborough and Mississauga) crowd transform parts of the west-end into a hetero-testosterone fuelled obnoxious disaster and (b) dilutes the pretentious posturing of Queen W über-hipsters. Mind you, I love the west-end, but I really am too lazy to contemplate my entire identity in order to buy a pint of milk.

Leslieville seems to be on the cusp of ge
ntrification and is going its own way with that, maintaining a boho air and a definite gay-positive vibe (they even had their own Gay Pride fest last year) within a primarily gritty working-class 'hood. The Beach is nearby, they are building parks all around, I can walk to work and it has a great dynamic quality while managing to maintain a certain laid-backness. Plus there are some great shops, restaurants and bars popping up all over. So, for me it fit perfectly.

The main building itself (
The Printing Factory) dates from 1913 and will be restored. My loft is in the new tower being built in the courtyard of the old factory. My suite will be on the 5th floor, facing south. I absolutely loved the layout of the model suite and it suited my needs perfectly. Furthermore, it was incredibly well designed in order to give prospective buyers an idea of how to maximize the use of the space. So, the floorplan that I went with is exactly that of the model suite.

Obviously, I am too unique an individual to imitate the model outright, but it has definitely given me some great ideas to build on, like the indented built-in dinning room- elegant, simple, practical, cozy and a clever use of space. Note the polished concrete floors and sliding doors instead of walls... Love that! I'm a homo-owner! That concept would have seemed daunting two weeks ago, but I bit the bullet and did it. I'm so excited it's ridiculous... You're all invited to the house warning, I don't care who you are. But please, have some sense of propriety and bring a housewarming gift... which I will have to somehow approve beforehand (ie: registry). Otherwise, bring your well wishes. But wishes are so abstract and easily faked. Bring wine instead. Or a night of sex for the guys out there.

I know that people do this every day and it is not earth-shattering. But given my current situation, my tendency to live exclusively in the present, my fear of acting selfishly and a tempered fear of change, this move is perhaps more personally resonant for me,

Mostly this is all very thrilling and novel, so indulge me if you could. I've (primarily happily) lived with my family for 95% of my life and since Dad's death, I've been looking after a pretty big suburban home with a yard and pool that I have little desire for as well as caring for my mom- not things I expected to be doing at this point when I imagined I would be genuinely establishing my own path... cannot do forever unless I essentially cede my life and end up as a 55 year old nellie queen, knitting beside my mother in a sub-standard rocking chair. I NEED this change on a myriad of levels. So, in my typically Greek dramatic way, this move is profoundly important to almost every aspect of my life.

More frivolously the space has to look great or I will be suicidal. I'm totally open to input about the loft from anyone... Below are pictures of the unit I have bought and one possible incarnation of it. I know it's not much to go on, but let me know what y'all think! And thanks for enduring another unnecessarily long post... I'm just a bit manic at the 'mo.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

What does this say about me?

Got this little gem from both Niko and MattinTo. Me likes in theory, but might not in practise. Here goes:

1. Open your library (iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, iPod, etc)
2. Put it on shuffle
3. Press play
4. For every question, type the song that's playing
5. When you go to a new question, press the next button
6. Don't lie and try to pretend you’re cool

Opening Credits: "Friend of Time" - Brightblack Morning Light
First Day At School: "Will He Be Waiting for Me" - Sarah Harmer
Falling In Love: "Want to Know You" - The Memory Band
Fight Song: "Cheap Like Sebastian" - Apostle of Hustle
Prom: "Dum-Dum" - The Vaselines
Life's OK: "Drumheller" - Caribou
Mental Breakdown: "I'm Going Out of My Way" - Stereolab
Driving: "Lick A Battery" - Add N to X
Flashback: "Surfing on a Rocket" - Air
Getting Back Together: "Ease Your Feet in the Sea" - Belle and Sebastian
Wedding: "The Only Way" - Jim Noir
Birth of Child: "Pilot" - The Notwist
Final Battle: "Tears Coming Home" - Sebastien Schuller
Death Scene: "Sleeping In" - The Postal Service
Funeral Song: "Energy is Beautiful" - Imitation Electric Piano
End Credits: "Postlude" - The Cinematic Orchestra

I made none of this up. Some seem creepily apt, others I don't recognize. Three occurrences of the name Sebastian in its various forms... Strange, non?

Thursday, March 01, 2007

It would be funny if I were awake

Went to a work related "workshop" today. I had hoped that it would be informative or interesting or thought-provoking in some way and it was. For half an hour. The first speaker was impressive and engaging, which set a promising tone for the event. At the Q&A after, my co-worker Kaseri was tempted to ask "Boxers or Briefs?" which would have been ace.

The next 4 hours were so boring, uninteresting and useless that it seemed almost surreal, as though I fell through a portal into an alternate universe where saying nothing in the most annoying way is a sign of genius. At points, I would drift in and out of a light sleep and then awake to a pretentious twit stating something so basic and obvious in a guru-like tone that I thought I had gone back in time to an era when his insights were relevant. Circa 1956.

Other times, I would tune back in to witness a far too eager and career-defined personification of boredom fail at his cheesy attempts at humour, all the while thinking that he was a total superstar... even though nobody even smiled or looked at him. His "wacky" gesticulations and interaction with the audience made him seem ridiculous and made me dizzy.

There was at least one other entertaining presentation, albeit it had little content but lent some partially unintended humour. Two guys made a presentation on a vaguely intriguing project they had worked on, but they seemed like total stoners and their quasi-Valley Girl phrasing and compulsive use of "like, you know" and random giggles was totally diverting in a good way.

Also, the organizers fed us crap snacks. After this little gem of a workshop, we had to face the blizzard raging outside and a two hour commute home (thanks for the lift, Kaseri and Yiaourti!). Even as I write this, my brain is filing a huge majority of today's memories in a dusty drawer labelled: Of no foreseeable use, recall only when unable to sleep or during bouts of self-doubt. Thankfully, this drawer is rarely used.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Stop Laughing

For some reason, those that know me seem to find this fact hilarious: I have a personal trainer. Have had one since December, in fact. What's more, I'm fairly dedicated and have enjoyed it so far. Still, my peeps giggle when I say that I'm going to the gym, or that I did chin lifts.

In fairness to my detractors, I can understand. I am usually comfortably seated, smoking and dishing out ingenious witticisms and never run unless my life is in danger. I also have developed an aura of calm verging on aloofness or paralysis. A famous example is when a bar fight broke out in a local pub and, in the chaos, a chair was hurled in my general direction. Extrapolating its trajectory, I knew it would miss me so I just kept drinking and conversing while panic gripped the room. When one factors in my disdain for physical discomfort and my refusal to wear white socks outside of a gym/yardwork context, I can see where they're coming from.

So fine. I am not known for vigorous physical activity. But that is not entirely true, for these people have also seen me bounce insanely (both vertically and horizontally) while screaming "fun faggot!"- one of many similar examples. And, I will also add that I give myself a chubby when I see myself in the gym mirror, white socks and all. So I don't get why they are so amused. We'll see who's laughing when my "training" is done and I throw them out a window.

Friday, February 23, 2007

The floor is our canvas

My co-worker Yiaourti and I have been slowly turning our (shared) office door into a collage of seemingly random found images. Although each item has a meaning to us, it would make very little sense to the casual observer. Each new addition provides us with much joy and self-satisfaction. We are continually surprised, however, at the lack of reaction our slowly evolving work has received.

One group of work-related people, however, have been reacting quite a bit lately- the cleaners. They have become quite vocal about their frustration with us. The cause of their distress is popcorn. Yiaourti and I recently kidnapped a microwave and put it in our office and have become deeply addicted to popcorn. As anyone who has gone to a movie theatre knows, popcorn is a delicious, but messy, pleasure. The cleaners are having nervous breakdowns at the popcorn shrapnel we leave on the floor every day, to the point where one saw the kernels on the carpet and yelped "I can't take this anymore". One of them has taken to calling us "the Popcorns". They'd have to vacuum anyway, so I don't get the meltdown.

Today, in an extension of our door-collage, we thought that we would up the ante in our private war with the cleaners and took images of popcorn and taped them to the floor to confuse/frustrate our enemies. We eventually found this too cruel and risky and abandoned the idea. This reminded us of the time when Yiaourti was harassing me with images of the Hamburglar. One of her attacks involved her taping the Hamburglar's face onto the floor at the entrance to our office. Recalling this, she accidentally called him "the Hamburger Helper", which I found ridiculously funny, as if he was a counsellor or consumer rights crusader for the hamburger community.

I wish we had left the popcorn pictures on the floor now.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Absence makes the heart grow fonder. And winter makes Genet long-winded and overly pensive.

I had an urge to reconnect with the interweb world today, so here I am. Not sure why I've shunned the blog recently, although I suspect that it has something to do with the fact that my life is currently hyper-boring and therefore pointless to chronicle. That and my recent flirtation with superficial depression- a state that alarmingly reminds me of my pretentious, navel-gazing teendom but is strangely alluring in that it is vaguely interesting and fits my self-impoed isolation. In all fairness to myself, it must be said that the weather has been painful lately and I cannot fight the influence of Mama Nature when she turns the lights off early, locks me in a freezer and throws the freezer into the middle of a soul-sapping suburban strip mall.

I also recently turned 30. I never thought I was someone that would be affected by a birthday, but I guess I have been... Saying that I'm 30 sounds really wrong to me. I've never really felt any age (because I'm timeless), but our culture attaches so much relevance to turning 30 that I feel that I am either stupid, in denial or am having a pre-mid-life crisis. Then, I forget about the whole thing 10 minutes later. Très ambivalent.

At times like these, I need random and unexpected things to inspire me... Usually that involves an unlikely confluence of events that occur when I am still awake and not numbed by my increasingly banal daily routine. For reasons I can't remember, I was thinking about feudalism today and how a serf's life was really about surviving until the next day in order to continue fulfilling his/her pre-ordained role. They were really no more than an ox, but an ox that had the mental capacity and opposing thumb to plant stupid grains to make flavourless bread. I sometimes feel like that, like I'm going through the motions of living and therefore rebel against eating or sleeping to assert some kind of control. However, I realized that the ox-like serf in my mind did not have the vocabulary or luxury to have a metaphysical debate about their life and was likely too tired to intentionally not sleep. And if s/he had the opportunity to express themselves, their only outlet would be to light a candle in a creepy church. I then felt very happy and lucky that the thing which most disarms me is, in truth, something that I have complete control over. Essentially, I can be mentally and physically lazy, but there are very few external obstacles in my way. In other words, I can be a pompous and self-pitying infant.

And then, as if by magic, everything came together... I was listening to an album I recently bought called 'Burial' which is sort of best described as "nocturnal", "urban" and slightly menacing, but with an emotional complexity. Even though it is mostly electronic instrumentals with dubby vocals thrown in, it created a very appropriate mood. I'd heard the album but hadn't paid attention to the music before and it was a totally novel sound to my ears. My mother likes to blast the heat, so the basement was on fire and I had the window open. I was having a smoke, comforted by the music and fully absorbed by the novelty of its sound when a wisp of wind came through the window and drizzled some snow on my neck and back, physically giving me the shivers I was having in my mind. Then and there, Mama Nature and I reconciled. Serendipity, I tell you.

Yes, it's a small thing and it took me far too long to get to the point, but it was just what I needed- unintentional, both physical and cerebral and impeccably timed.
Whether this flash of good vibrations will last, I don't know... but it has at least brought me out of exile for a moment and reminded me that I can create my life and direct my experiences. Moral of the story: I need to shut up and stop the navel-gazing self-pity. And Mama Nature, like most mothers, isn't the bitch I once thought she was... she just witholds her love until it is absolutely crucial and makes her feel needed.

Welcome back, peeps (if there are any of you left)... Bet you're glad you rejoined the party in my head, eh?

Sunday, November 05, 2006

I'm back! ... Or am I... ?

Having been much in the mood to blog lately, peep(s), which is probably obvious. I'm still not, but I thought I should write something.

I saw Borat the other night and almost threw up from laughing so hard. During the credits at the end, a nerd from the audience that was dressed as Borat hopped onto the stage which I found simultaneously retarded and cool. This was the first time that an entire audience laughed at the things that I found funny- although I found the suitcase-slamming-chicken-scream part far funnier than anyone else.

Of course, our American friends mostly come across as child-like aliens, but in truth, apart from some blatantly ignorant poo-poo brains, they were also endearing. Bobby-Jo from Missouri is not an intellectual or even sentient, but at least she is sweet and in all fairness gets an A for effort. As for the aforementioned poo-poo brains, they are truly creepy and would probably be institutionalized in any other industrialized nation. The Jesus brigade is particularly eerie.

Anyhow, the film is pure hysterics. Go see it.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Little Superstar

Sorry for the absence lately... I'll be back on form soon.

In the meantime, watch this. It's too good on so many levels.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Toronto's Most Fantastic Convenience Store

In order to get to the Boyf's place, I have to go south on Donlands- a street that is fairly banal. However, I discovered a convenience store on Donlands that is not only fantastic, but almost inspirational. And it's all thanks to the coolest Korean convenience store owner in the universe.

First of all, the woman laughs at everything. You say hello and she's already giggling. This is usually followed by a really random question, like: "Which muffin you favourite?". I also love the generosity and randomness of her coupons.

However, what really endeared her to me was her balanced and astute critique of gay porno mags. I bought one and once I brought it to the counter she asked if I was sure that was the one I wanted. She went on to say that she thinks "the boy look too pretty, like stupid girl" and brought me another mag. She was entirely right. We flipped through it together, passing judgements for a good five minutes. Her comments were hysterical. After I paid, she mentioned that at the end of every month she would like to give me a porno of her choosing for free. How can you not love her?

Monday, October 02, 2006

I love the night life

Nuit Blanche was, by all accounts, a tremendous success. 450,000 people took part. The city was totally transformed and the vibe was both surreal and (cheese alert) magical. The city really pulled it off and I'm impressed. Impressed by the sheer numbers of people and the quality of most of the work. I had feared that it would wind up being a tacky craft fair with four people wandering around but I was very wrong.

Being a creature of the night myself, this was perfectly suited to my tastes- and it seems that I'm not the only one. I hope they do this every year.

Here's a good little write-up.

You Could Use Me