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?

You Could Use Me