Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Toil and Boil

I'm listening to Muse. Obligatory comparisons to Radiohead notwithstanding, they're all right: mournful tenor, punctuating (and punctual) cries, contrasting use of dynamics. They just don't employ a good amount of subtlety. Pilate is sort of in the same vein (although, to their credit, they sound more melodic). This latest trend seems to border on an Old World/New World compromise, where mid-90s inspirations collide through an OK Computer filter, churning out genres both starkly beautiful (Interpol) or strangely menacing, like a cleft-lip on a baby (any band post-Nirvana evoking the Pixies sans sucre). Why did I post this? J'oublie. Attendez! Parce que ... *sigh* j'oublie.

Woohoo! Modest Mouse! LL Cool J! Edit Piaf!

***

Who knew the real November surprise would come from an ex-satellite state? Forget Texas vs. Massachusettes. The showdown de l'annee is in Ukraine: Yushchenko vs. Yanukovych. It's got Lifetime Movie of the Week written all over it. (Move over Magnum P.I.) Foiled murder plot? Check! Rigged election? Check! Previously handsome leadership nominee now rated "heinous" on the Uglometer? Check! (It's all your fault foiled murder plot).

Ah, civil unrest. How I stopped worrying and love social turmoil. Misery means material. Misers meet their maker. Mais je fais juste mon travail de journaliste, non?

***

I'm trying to save up for a round-trip ticket to Paris for next July. Pierre says I can shack up with him. My mom hesitated. "A boy?"

I scoffed. "Ma, I'm 18."

Which isn't even a reason. It's like asking the defendent what his motivations were for killing his children and be given "I have a nose" for an answer.

Whatever. She was convinced. I agreed to take French during the university's summer semester as to not waste my uber-long holiday doing idle things (is that oxymoronic?). Besides, I have to stay in Montreal because I don't exactly want to sublet my apartment seeing how it's become quite fantastic (that throw pillow exceeded expectations).

Monday, November 29, 2004

I'm a freak, aren't I? Aren't I?!

I love Django Reinhardt's stuff without his fiddling sidekick, Stephane Grappelli. It's like receiving a gift of heroin dyed a festive green: I just don't see a point.

***

*UPDATE*

Aussie Matt informed me that thing M. Biologique said was just a rehashed version of the "dicks, pussies and assholes" speech at the end of Team America: World Police. I'm, yet again, forced to bump him down a notch. Who'd have thought hippies went to the movies? Or paid to get in?

Resemblance

I regret to have discovered Theo van Gogh posthumously. From the articles I've since read about him, he was one ballsy sonovabitch that I, for one, would like to emulate due to the sheer passion he invested in his convictions.

Great story about van Gogh published recently on Salon.com. Here's an excerpt:

"In a society [Holland] that tries to offer equality and fundamental rights to all its citizens, van Gogh always called himself 'a fundamentalist when it comes to free speech.' On a public radio show in May, he said: 'People always tells [sic] me I cross the line. But free debate is a war of ideas. It's a place where we should be able to hurt each other.'"

Right. Because, after all, losing face is not only an inexcusable reason to take a life, but a sign that even you have lost faith in your own lore.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Angry Asian

... continued

All dolled up and nowhere to go (because J.Lass and Maussie gave up waiting around for me), I hopped on the bus and called M. Biologique on me mobile. I told him I was going to see him in half an hour. He couldn't protest because I had woken him up and he didn't know dick from dart.

I killed time shopping. Bought a fluffy purple towel by Nautica (ON SALE!) and this gorgeous velvet-backed, multi-toned, multi-striped throw pillow (NOT ON SALE!)

I walked in the rain to M. Biologique's 30 minutes late, asked for 5 minutes of his time, he invited me out instead. So I gave him a piece of my mind (why? Because "not everyday you have a crazy Asian call you to yell at you") :

"Oh, you say you were joking... but it's so obvious you served it with spite."

He called me a drama queen and said he was nevertheless flattered that I therapy shopped over him. I told him he was humouring himself considering I always go shopping, foul-mood or not. We laughed off the pseudo-ordeal after walking a measly block. (Is it wrong to expect something more dramatic? I badly wanted to do a Bogie, Grant, or Gable). Ended up at Second Cup for 3 hours talking over carrot cake, biscotti, and coffee. The conversation was animated and argumentative. Lively and livid. Frustrating and flirtatious (which I did my best to put an end to, mother). But the most memorable thing he said was this:

"Lily. There are three types of people in this world. You can be a Pussy and do nothing, or you can be an Asshole and be hated. But sooner or later, they're both fucked by Dicks. So you must decide. Are you a Pussy, Asshole or Dick?"

"I'm a Dick. I want to fuck over everyone. You?"

"I'm," he pauses to contemplate. "A plant."

Because he just loves, man. He just loves.

Up your cork!

Pav, Pav, Pav. Shut the fuck up about him already. He's not Mozartonstein. Geneva D. has been feeling the pangs of lust and acting on them. J.Lass has been slapping his ass like a woman working at a Vietnamese sensual massage parlour. He's a nice guy, sure. But he's no saint. As girls flock to him for some cheek-to-cheek peck action, I stand just far away enough to seem impersonal, then give him a nod of acknowledgement as he mirrors the gesture, completing our usual routine.

***

Did French oral exam. Did great. Pav helped a bit. Alright, a lot. But he's practically Chopin (a French-speaking Pole), therefore, obligated to share his talents with the lot of us urchins.

***

My book review was enthusiastically accepted by the school newspaper. Booyah!

Friday, November 26, 2004

Men, men, piece of shit men

Let me pick two stories to summarize that occurred in the last two days:

1.
Plastic Frames forced himself on me until I screamed to get him off. He said I was false advertisement and a cock tease. I wanted to set him on fire with the vodka he was chugging. I tried to get him to admit he was bluffing, that my sexuality was not an aphrodisiac, that he was just playing. He turned out to be just as dick-happy as all his cohorts.

2.
I met PoliDam Thursday evening at the Political Science Wine & Cheese party. (I was the only one there devoid of the carbonated piss that was freely flowing through the crowd). He's a looker, no doubt. An odd mish-mash of celebrity appendages, but primarily that of Shane West. Anyway. I tried talking to him, but after about 5 minutes, I assumed he plain wasn't interested and moved on. The following evening, as the cafe was closing, hot-hot-looks-half-Asian-but-I-might-be-wrong Ollie offered customers free coffee so the batch wouldn't go to waste. He gave two mug fulls to some guy because no one had objected. I walked to the counter to buy a snack, and as I was returning to my seat, PoliDam called me.

"Hey Lily," he said.

I did a double-take, surprised to see him again. But more impressively, that he knew my name.

"Do you remember me?" he asked.

"You're the guy," I replied nonchalantly, "J.Lass was climbing all over."

He blushed and averted his eyes momentarily, looked up and asked whether I wanted one of his two coffees. I kindly declined, explaining that I don't drink coffee. I flashed a friendly smile and walked away, unaware that my actions would be interpreted as highly peculiar considering what came next. PoliDam slumped back against his seat as his friends let out a laugh. I didn't understand why until Readerdroid said it was because I rejected the poor boy. Well, awww ... I didn't mea ... wait. Rejected what? Coffee? For all I know, they were laughing at me and my rigid, hip-swivelling walk (which I have since, ahem, corrected. The rigidness, not the swivelling).

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Nouveau

Changed profile photo. It represents me age appropriately. Less New Orleans brothel, more Montreal child pornography ring. *Sigh* Why can't I ever win?

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Get my cuss on

I called M. Biologique yesterday and asked him whether he could help me with a certain French assignment. He said he was really busy preparing for finals then added: "But I'm not going to help you anyway because you fired me, Asian Ho! I'm joking!"

Ha ha ha ...? I said he was ripping me off anyway, so we were even. I hung up thinking nothing of it.

Today, J.Lass told me she caught up with him and Maussie, and M. Biologique was complaining about me.

"He said, 'What kind of a person fires a friend then calls the next day asking for help?' then explains to Maussi about what you did," said J.Lass.

"What kind of a person?" A poor student? "Calls the next day?" A week later? I told him I couldn't afford him anymore. But had I been honest, I would've said he was doing a crappy job. It's incredible! He's resenting me. I'm not so much angry as I am irritated by him. I feel betrayed and no longer want to continue being friends. Mature, my ass. He's just like every high school jerk-off from back home.

So tomorrow, I will show up at his apartment unannounced and confront him ... tactfully. By that, I mean, mention "disappointment" a whole lot.

To be continued ...

***

J.Lass is Samantha. Geneva D. is Carrie. And who am I? "Miranda. Ooh! But also Charlotte." So I'm ... ? "Charanda!" they both nodded approvingly.

"Great," I replied, sarcastically. "I've got a lazy ovary and a depressed vagina."

The two girls were at the cafe ogling Pav like hungry vultures at their prey for about 3 hours, stopping only to blink and pee. I've never seen girls acting so inappropriately to get noticed (groping each others' breasts, humping each others' laps, running around playing keep-a-way). And there I was, reading The Gazette, sipping my blueberry tea, quietly making prolonged eye contact with Pav as he worked the counter. (Pfft, real mature, Lily.)

J.Lass sat down next to me, flustered by her own behaviour: "Pav is Cuisiniere's best friend!" Yet, she's convinced this is a part of having an "open, trusting" relationship. Later, they scolded me for bringing up Geneva D's current flame around Cuisiniere. His perplexed expression said it all. "She has a ... boyfriend? And she wants Pav?"

"No no no no no. You misunderstood," they said in unison. "They're technically just 'seeing each other'," J.Lass clarified.

I was confused. "But I thought she said ..."

Geneva D. shot me a look. "J.Lass and I talked about it. Nick and I are just 'seeing each other.'" I kept my mouth shut. I guess all the crying about not knowing where she stood with him was all for naught.

***

J.Lass approached Pav as he started on his sandwich. "I want a bite," she demanded, like a tracksuit-wearing femme fatale holding up a food bank. He refused. I walked to the far end of the serving area, opposite to where they were conversing, and surveyed the paninis.

"Lily," J.Lass called from where she was standing, "buy me what he's having!"

I didn't know why I did it. But my wallet leapt out of my hand (alright, I flung it) directly into Pav's right rib cage. He gaped at me as an awkward smile slowly crept between his slightly parted lips. I was speechless. For a brief second, the shock paralyzed all reaction. Then J.Lass keeled over laughing. Pav was still holding my gaze as he rubbed his side, lamely mouthing Why. I tried apologizing, but all that came out was a silent hesitation accompanied by a shake of the head. It occurred to me our eyes were still fixed on each other even as both my girls came charging at me, quarterback-style.

Forget it. I promised Geneva D. I would help her get Pav. I'm not going to go back on my word now, especially since I've established my status as everyone's "cockless boyfriend."

"Everyone's hooked-up. Although I'm not the first person you call anymore, I still believe I'm perfect man-material. You ain't gon' find a better companion than me."

The girls agreed.

***

I lost my monthly bus pass. I think I might curl up in a ball and weep. Where hath thou gone? Wherefore art thou on the pricey side? Why hath thou forsaken me?

Monday, November 22, 2004

IKEA-ed, Pt. II

Good news: The electric piano mama bought me works great. I've been playing pieces by Chopin and Radiohead all morning, much to the chagrin of my neighbour. Sadly, my fingers have grown really rigid since I've stopped practicing 4 months ago. Getting them back into shape is going to be such a chore ...

Bad news: One of the drawers for that bedside table I was assembling is missing its back piece. And I can't pick it up unless I produce the receipt, which my mom has, but she's about, ooh, 600km away right about now?!

*Note to self: Stop having dreams about incorrect grammar. ("It's written with one P and an accented E, sir.")

I am such a nerd. Case in point: I've been catching myself singing Conjunction Junction ("...what's your function?") at all hours of the day. Please, make it stop!

Sunday, November 21, 2004

IKEA-ed

"Mothercrappers!" I yelled.

I punched myself in the nose while I was tightening a nut on the breakfast table I was putting together. (Very reminiscent of Jesus pre-crucifiction, post-manger.)

The thing's actually quite impressive as mutant furniture go. Solid wood, one-part trolley, one-part island, one-part depressing bar at closing time with its own hanging stools and hinged accessories.

My mom took me to IKEA and bought me a couch. A lime-green upholstered couch. Eat your heart out Ty Pennington Lopez, I'm the new carpenter on the block. (Well, one who clearly isn't capable of understanding the wooded arts without a guided literary tour by a wobbly, shirted gherkin printed by those humourous Swedes.)

Whoopee, my sore hands are off to manifest a bedside table. I love screws!

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Men, men, glorious men?

J.Lass has a man. Cuisiniere. Pav's friendly jailhouse bitch. I approve of this union for two reasons:

a) He has an extensive knowledge of classic and modern, cross-over jazz.
b) He used to work as a pastry chef and can make a mean carrot cake.

"When's the wedding?" I joked, half-seriously. Hot damn, who wouldn't want carrot cake morning, noon, and night from someone bound to you by courtship-in-law, and thus, obligated to satiate your childish demands? That's gold, Jerry! Gold!

Speaking of Pav. I feel pressured to make something materialize with him (the attraction seems to be one-sided -- his). "He's super smart." True. "He's exceedingly handsome." I can take it or leave it. "He has a great personality." Yeah, but hoo! have you checked out those abs? That's some good superficiality. Issue was further complicated when his royal highness showed up and joined us for lunch ...

***

M. Biologique told me he was in the audience at the Suzuki conference, sitting behind where I was standing when I had my brief interlude with the mike. He was surprised I didn't see him: "I was looking at you for the greater part of an hour."

"Listen. It's like the Chinese," I explained. "You white people think we all look alike. The same thing goes for you when I'm at a hippie summit: everyone has a beard and loves the hemp. I can't tell vegan from virgin."

***

"Hold up," I stopped M. Biologique in mid-argument. "Did you just call me ... baby?"

He blushed. "Oh. I ... man, I call everyone baby."

"No you don't," I retorted.

"It's Jimi Hendrix's fault. I've been listening to him a lot lately."

Unfazed, I repeated the faux-pas again to maximize discomfort: "Baby?! What the hell were you thinking, 'baby?' Unbelievable ..."

"Whatever, man." He nudged me playfully. "I love everyone."

"The hell you do!" I said as I shoved back, trying hard to look unamused.

He's faking his market status and I'm a penniless investor. Somebody come to my rescue because this can't go on.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Postmortem

Mom called me late afternoon as I was lying in bed, raspberry-toned dress bunched tightly around my waist, mascara caked across the back of my right hand. I had hastily peeled the straps off my shoulders the night prior, too tired to take it off entirely.

"One-thousand, ten-thousand, you might as well get accustomed to speaking in front of large crowds. You'll always be a troublemaker. So get used to [unwanted attention.]"

I feigned indignation. Troublemaker? Me? I'm disgusted at the thought. I'm about a minivan away from HomemakerLand, hurrying home from buying pre-packaged brownie mix for my child's Chriskwanzaakah party to catch primetime CSI before the hubby's impending arrival that sets my heart all aflutter. Who is this troublemaker she speaks of?

***

I'm listening to A Tribe Called Quest, looking at the computer clock, counting down the hours until my mom comes on down and the minutes I can still spare before I scramble to tidy up this (underused) bachelorette pad.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Humiliation!

Hippies are savages. They play by their own rules.

David Orchard and David Suzuki were the guest speakers, and I wanted proceed with high velocity transcortical lead therapy (Annie git ur gun.) I think cyanide-laced tranquilizers might soothe the beast in me, right now.

Orchard talked about organic food and its vital role in our society. But to me, he was a raging entrepreneur who obviously wanted to publicize this lucrative market niche. During the final Q&A section, I finally got the chance to ask a question:

"Hi, my name is Lily." A hush rushed through the 1000+ member-filled auditorium. My cheeks flushed red. "This is a question for Mr. Orchard. How might you convince people - consumers - to pay 63% more for food, organic food, therefore, buying less per week, for slightly more nutritional value?"

He replied, "I don't understand what you mean by 'slightly more nutritional value.' Organic food does not contain pesticides ..." and made me repeat my question 3 goddamn times, which made me look like an idiot because my question lost all impact in the ensuing confusion, and my general inarticulacy. What I wanted to reply with, had I not possessed journalistic integrity (ie. getting rudely cut-off), was a clarification of what I meant by 'nutritional value.' That nutrition is not lost just because other elements are found. And that, when regulated, conventional means of production pose no real threat. But I didn't. I couldn't. I was caught off guard and walked away completely tongue-tied. Donc, here I am sulking, sitting on Readerdroid''s bed, admiring the gorgeous loot I bought myself today.

I'm terribly embarrassed (achingly so), like a 15-year-old who just walked into her parents' room while they were procreating as her 12 ... hundred closest friends looked on. I can safely assume I'm now that "idiot girl, Lily."

The conference was propaganda. Pure and simple. I recorded the whole thing from my computer (after struggling with this femme-Nazi security guard who wanted to kick me out even though I was part of "la presse"; hundreds of eyes looked on curiously until a nice stranger offered me a seat.) Notable quotes mentioned:

"To be fully human beings is with love."

"Whatever we do to air, we do to ourselves."

"We are water, and whatever we do to water, we do to ourselves."

"Water is like air, it is the glue that holds us together."

"We are the earth."

"Whatever we do to earth, we do to ourselves."

"We are fire, because every bit of energy in our body ... is [from] sunlight."

"We are walking sunshine, rays of the sun."

Afterwards, I asked some audience members for their reaction. This is what I got:

"It was so inspirational, man. A real eye-opener. I felt a spiritual connection."

... all 8 mind-numbing times.

Middle-class naivete. How I envy their fervour, but saddened by their ignorance insensitivity. And odd interest in hemp fashion.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Wuzzz up, Kiki?!?! Bitch, shut yo' mouth!

I flipped off some jerk who followed me to the McGill metro, banging against the single-paned window as he made lewd gestures to get my attention. Then I got scared and wished I hadn't done that ...

***

I'm covering the conference Dr. David Suzuki's giving at Concordia about - what else? - Canada and the environment in the 21st century for journalism class. He's proceeding after Stephane Dion, Canada's Minister of the Environment. The entire event ends at 21:00, officially cutting into my earmuff shopping showdown plans with Readerdroid. I guess you win some (Q&A with celebrity) and you lose some (ears.) But mostly, you regret promising to wake up at 6 a.m. to prepare breakfast for someone across town.

I was weak! I was washing the dishes! I was feeling maternal!

***

I told M. Biologique I couldn't afford him for French anymore. He's become my therapist instead. Free. And this time, when he mentioned his girlfriend out of context, I emphatically shot back, "So?"

He sat there, stunned. So we went back to laughing about my nutty neurosis as he curiously interjected with questions about my "suitors":

"J.Lass! Ahhhh! For instance, when GenderBender asked for me, she didn't even ..."

"GenderBender's interested in you?"

"That's not the point. Anyway. So she ..."

"Il est beau, oui?"

"Meh. I guess. I mean, he's basically a bisexual Tall. So J.Lass ..."

I'm interrupted again.

"I'm sure," I said reassuringly as I cut him off, "it's not as big as yours."

In the end, I told him I understood why he didn't want to "develop this friendship." He objected and said he's just busy with homework and that my complaints are unfounded since he's always inviting me to (his) parties. I said, after tonight, he'll be lucky to see me at all.

M. Biologique leaned back into his sofa and spread his legs apart, his new jeans straining between the chasm. "I'll see you," he said cheekily, "in a few days." He stood up and trailed me to the door, innuendo dripping from his lips.

I turned around as I stepped into the hallway.

"It's couchon, am I right?"

He grinned.

"Cochon."

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Cop Out

So this was the sort of thing I churned out back in the day. Boy, I sure devolved since then:

Humpty Dumpty.


Yes, dear friend. He sat on a wall.

The wall that is life. The bastille of our souls. The stones that house the weave of life. Like grapes in Tuscany, it is the sweet elixir that is mortality

Fall.

He had a great fall. Into the cesspool of natural expenditures. He must get up. Does he get up? Could he get up? But alas, hope is dead. Hope does not save him. Hope merely prolongs his suffering.

He lays flat. His degenerate body, previously rotund in gaeity, now lays shattered ... blowing into the wind. Death is everything. Everything is nothing. Nothing is empty. Empty is full. Full is strawberry jam ... and jam is good. I mean, god. And god is sticky ... just like that hell-for-the-thighs puddle of cholesterol.

All the king's horses. Galloping into salvation. Their bodies bridled by the king's men. Pawns. Lunatic lackeys. They believe it is in their power to put ... yes, put ... that dreary embryotic simmering mass, together again.

They fight their nature. They leave behind reason. They anticipate failure ... but their power, too green.

But they couldn't. They can't. It is not in them to do so.

Humpty Dumpty was fated to fall. Humpty Dumpty came in terms with the earth's murderous agenda.

They tried some more. But no enchilada. Not even the spicy kind.

He simply evaporated into the essence of Descartes. Thinking, therefore, being. He just is, not what his senses tell him.

Desperately, they cried. Onwards! More tape! More glue! More piss on his shoe!

But they couldn't.

The salty sting of flowing tears migrated into the sky.

The funeral knell cracked a knowing sigh. This is what is. It cannot be otherwise


***

This, of course, means I am not obligated to provide readers with an actual freshly baked post for another 24 hours (<--tying in the food theme.) I'm killing time until I find something of real interest to write about.

So. How 'bout that police bust in Peru? 700 kilos sure is a lot of cocaine ...

Monday, November 15, 2004

Premium Plus

Sometimes I feel like a prick. Like today. Geneva D. introduced me to Sherlock Shearling (I shit you not, a quarter-Hispanic Gael Garcia Bernal.)

Later, Geneva D. said to me, teasingly: "I understand why J.Lass doesn't like you talking when guys are around."

It seems that I have a tendency to go off on passionate speeches (*cough* tangents) and not let people around me get a word in.

"Did you notice," she elaborated, "how I said maybe three things in the last half hour?"

I apologized. She said she wasn't complaining and that she'd finally witnessed how I can be when conversation hits a hot spot. That it's difficult to get a word in because I've covered all the bases.

But I still feel like a prick.

Geneva D. also mentioned Sherlock Shearling's "silence." Well, pardon my French, I do believe that's the sound of shit hitting the fan.

"No, no. He was listening to you. You didn't do anything wrong."

Right ...

What's a word worse than prick without unpleasant phallic connotations? Yeah, I'm that too. I think maybe I was nervous. I get like that when I am (in addition to speaking at sonic speeds), though I have yet to find a plausible explanation. But knowing me, I'll probably analyse it more than the infamous Zapruder film.

Is this on?

I saw The Incredibles with Readerdroid tonight. Sooo funny. Blah blah blah, social commentary on modern education (Nov. 12 post). Whatever! It's so freakin' funny. Especially the Brad Bird voiced character, Edna Mode (inspired by Edith Head, the legendary Hollywood costume designer*). He has perfect comedic timing. The speed combined with strategic pauses created a profusion of ... of ... hilarity!

Oh man, I must be sleepy because I'm abusing exclamation marks like Zantac poppin' preschoolers.

*I know because I'm a clotheshorse, a self-proclaimed fashion historian. See: profile.

***

Bought a French book with 12,000 verbs and its conjugations, a French/English dictionary, and The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (it was a splurge; books are becoming a luxury item).

I'm firing M. Biologique. Readerdroid's going to be my new French tutor. It's going to be a language exchange (read: free) since she wants to learn to speak Cantonese. M. Biologique's been placing an increasing amount of restrictions on himself that didn't exist before (which negatively affect my learning experience). It was later explained to me (by way of J.Lass) that they were his girlfriend's idea. If that's the case, then I refuse to literally pay for her insecurities. Besides, I don't even look forward to seeing him anymore. I've changed and cancelled our last lesson, forcing him to wait by the phone and be at my beck and call because I can be an inconsiderate bitch when I'm bothered by needless drama. And don't think I don't hold him accountable for being yet another confused dick.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

BBQ ranch

I just finished speaking to my brother. He's turning 9 in January. I left encouraging him to read more. Since then, he's learned to type properly and is currently reading The Magic Finger by Roald Dahl. I'm so proud of him because he's becoming more well-rounded.

I was the one who taught his three-year-old self two-digit arithmatic on our driveway, playing ball. I was there when he progressed to multiplication as we doodled and ate peas. But it all went to shit after my mom started rewarding him game systems and junk food before his sixth birthday. The kid just lost all motivation to learn. His speedy sausage fingers did most of the talking as his perpetual glazed over expression was limited to bouts of laughter and crying.

And he turned out to be a lazy Nancy boy, who was coddled insufferably by doting parents.

But since my pep-talk (alright, lecture) to him about the importance of telling the truth and the importance of education and the importance of, well, being earnest (that left him in tears, confessing "that one time" about some bookmark), he's become a good boy. He told me he passed all his piano songs this week and I respect him for taking the initial plunge into music because I know he has a good ear for it. It took him something like 3 tries to pass one swimming level, and another 4 for the following. I couldn't even shame him because it was something out of Mr. Bean, the incessant go-lucky 'tude and the pragmatism of trying, again and again. Actually, my mom had to tell me in a car conversation. She found it hilarious, watching him huffing away in the water, those meaty arms aiding him towards the safe haven of poolside, then seeing that all-too-familiar grade once more for not "putting head under water."

She even hired a private tutor who, she surmised, let him pass out of sheer pity.

"I say, he so fat," my mom would say, chuckling. "Just bounce in wahtah, like big ball!"

Anyway. The point, if it isn't already evident, is that I miss him loads. I'm not homesick, so much as brothersick (not to be confused with sick of brother). He's the only one I haven't had a decent conversation with in nearly 3 months and from the looks of things, I'll be missing more milestones than I had originally anticipated.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Forgive me for the ensuing bitterness ...

My last post came out so pretentious sounding. Who the fuck am I kidding? Of course I care about my marks. I just don't care about anyone else's.

***

J.Lass saw Tall walking towards the metro right behind where I was sitting in the cafe. She waited until he rounded the corner to tell me. I must have cataracts or something. Fuck that bastard. Fuck the biological kink that prevents me from being promiscuous. Fuck guys telling me they respect me like it was a recommended pick-up line from Maxim.

I'm admitting defeat. I surrender. I'm just not cut out for the adult world.

***

That's right Lindsay Lohan. You don't have it so good now that Wilmer dumped your ass. Hear it from me, my faux-mammaried friend: 24-year-olds spell nothing but trouble. They're hillbilly heroin for the teenage set *insert Glenn Close scary face*.

I hate you too, Michael Douglas.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Plasma

I haven't seen The Incredibles, but from the letters sent by parents and educators to Slate's David Edelstein, I'm now anxious for the chance. The issue in question is whether American schools (both public and private) have a tendency to not so much "encourage mediocrity, but deny the existence of a natural aristocracy."

"Everyone is special." Which is to say, "No one really is."

There are so many facets to this issue. For example, should teachers refuse children deemed "gifted" honorary awards as to not make those of lesser intelligence feel bad? Or are people in our society "too sensitive of their own shortcomings" to "recognize others' excellence?" Does looking up to one's peer motivate ambition or nihilism?

I must confess I dropped out of the grades-fueled arms race only recently (although I stopped curbing this long-repressed urge back in grade 9 after crying over less-than-stellar marks for the latter half of junior high.) Back then, my overachieving friends and I would go as far as to divide A into four additional groups: 80-84% was the equivalent of a D; 85-89%, C; 90-94%, B; 95-100%, A. Looking back, competition was all in the mind. No one was really quivering in the shadow of my top 2 percentile ranking. I was overcompensating for the skills I lacked in other areas of academia (most notably in - surprise! - English. I was a big math/science nerd until I made a conscious choice not to be). Student comparisons are inevitable especially when glittery stickers are involved. Or more importantly, they are inevitable because, predictably, knowledge of one's own superiority is preferred over knowledge of one's disposability. At risk of sounding like a hypocrite, marks just don't mean shit to me anymore. The feel good high one gets upon exceeding "average" expections is admittedly addictive, but by no means is it an accurate portrayal of intellect (mine especially). By this, I mean, how can a person be deemed "smart" if the driving force behind her actions is the promise of blind praise? I believe being "smart" comes with trancending the status quo through a combination of humility and self-awareness, and not actively participating in the numbers game on the proverbial hamster wheel. Basically, there's no bigger asshole than an asshole who buys his own myth. Demonstrating my point is a letter written by William Rolston to Edelstein:

My niece was uncritically praised for all things. We never thought that she was any more exceptional than any other child nor any less. This has had two effects.

Positive: She is very self-possessed and insouciant and is very accomplished and there are very few things outside her grasp.

Negative: She is insufferable and rarely listens to anyone. She thinks that everything that she does is without fault and she back talks to her elders armed only with an idiotic adolescent philosophy.


One word: Asshole. There isn't much to it than that.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

J school is old school

I think my JOUR 200 teacher actually felt guilty for losing his temper in class after I made the stupid misktake of picking up my cell phone (it was ringing Ah-Ha's "Take On Me") because the following week, he made a crack (which I interpreted as a crack) and ... well, read for yourself:

Lily, I was thinking that you might have thought I was being sarcastic or flip the other day in class when I remarked something about you being a famous reporter someday.

I want you to know that I was not being sarcastic as I believe firmly that you will be successful in your career.

B. G******


And I replied:

Hi Professor G******,

Thank you for that note of encouragement. However, I can't say for certain how that prophesy will pan out seeing how I'm more likely to be
on the front page (in handcuffs, no less) than writing it.

Sincerely,

Lily


***

I got my first JOUR 201 mark back today. It was a theatre panel discussion assignment written last week under a tight deadline (an hour and a half to be exact). I got an A! Yippee! I hope the novelty doesn't wear off, which was what the recipient of last year's Lindsay Crysler Award told me practically prophetically.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

That's No Good

My Mastercard just arrived in the mail. Let us not weep ...

***

"Don't Lily me," I said to Pav. "Don't pretend that you haven't been ignoring me."

Pav tried to protest.

"Whatever," I continued. "Alls I know is, I've been neglected. By you."

He came out from behind the deli counter and gave me a great long hug. Some customers walk in and ask for one too. "They're free for a limited time only," he replied. I've been trying to redeem myself for the last three weeks ever since I asked "who the fuck" he was when he knew my name before I formally introduced myself. After that embarrassing encounter, I felt a noticeably chilly response from him whenever we saw each other. And by embarrassing, I mean he's served me food for the past two and a half months and is the first person to inform J.Lass of my late arrival to our coffee dates.

But my barista/patron relationship with Pav seems to be back to normal. He says my name after each sentence ("Hi Lily. So what would you like, Lily? Thank you, Lily.") And I giggle like a Japanese school girl with no panties on ("Hehe. Youle welcome.")

***

Shit! I totally stood up my Chinese writing tutor! I realize this ... 6 hours later?!

Let 'er rip(en)

Boycott's over. I caught the attention of no less than five guys at the student union bar last night (three of whom divulged that their feelings for me were developed from afar in classes we shared - it must've been the booze talkin'). It seems that my newly minted reputation for being a rebel rouser - and all-round character - had preceded me. I ricocheted from one booth to another, being plied with compliments and sweet talk (about Hume and Nietzsche), massages, and drink offers (that were declined). Two traded witty banter on the subject of me not inviting them back to my apartment ("File your complaints to the Department of Dissatisfaction," quipped Phil. "Not only am I a member - I'm also the President.") I guess men really do switch into Alpha Male mode when they're suckered into competition.

I don't think I've been this flattered since Tall asked me out on our first date. And bonus: They're all over 23. Which means I better be extra careful. I'm sure they're all very nice boys, but there's a reason I'm not known as Ms. Easy Breezy.

***

Hooray for girlfriends who share my sense of humour! Hooray for half-Trini, half-white, but came out looking Persian girls who call butts "boompsies" and row with homies during dragon boat fests!

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Cactus

So the Americans are trying to secure Fallujah. Maybe "secure" isn't the right word, seeing how easily insurgents could sneak back in after normal traffic flow commences. The Sunni Triangle is beginning to resemble an unwritten chapter of Dante's Inferno. But I'm going to be optimistic. Street warfare is messy (see: Somalia, 1993.) But if Fallujah falls into US hands, troops can rest from fighting the war on two fronts (the other being, apparently, Sadr City). Not having enough ground troops is a constant problem. With resources spread too thinly across Iraq, it's unlikely we'll see any dramatic one-two punches (nevermind KOs) in the coming months. However, one can only hope soldiers will be able to differentiate guerillas from the less than 150,000 civilians still remaining in Fallujah. But now I'm bringing in sentimentality, and war has no room for that.

***

See? Boycotting dating has been amongst the best advice I've given myself. I have more time faking frippery now. Hehe! Vogue! Jennifer Connelly's a doll!

Monday, November 08, 2004

Socks

Oh man, I just caught Cornerstone's Brimful of Asha on Internet radio. I remember back in middle school, my lunchroom would catch the music video on MuchMusic and sing along to "Everybody needs a bosom for a pillow, everybody needs a bosom" without ever knowing what a "bosom" was. The girls would gleefully join in and from then on, the song plays in my head whenever I near a convenience store (don't ask me why). Now it's come back to haunt me with its enchanting melody made up of painfully positive retro beats.

No, bitch. Mine's on the 45.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Somebody's Heine is crowdin' my icebox


In light of recent American division, I reckon this is the only way out. And doesn't it sort of remind you of early-years Elvis when seen through eyes with no visual-spatial acuity?

*Hint: California = left sideburn.

No Signal

Met with 15 or so McGill students fresh from their model UN-type thingy last night. Couldn't fit everyone in the first Irish pub, so all scooted to another that was located ... right underneath where Tall was playing.

I had congratulated him two hours earlier and left as soon as I did.

But I had to go and commit social suicide minutes later, going upstairs sans coat and bag, holding a cell phone to my ear as I sped through the place like I was looking for someone, giving him a quick wave as I approached the front door, and realizing he must've seen my whole charade from the stage. But he still kindly noted my presence with a smile and a hey (as he pa rum pum pum pummed while obviously thinking me weird.)

Readerdroid had tried to prevent me from going again (with good reason - I ended up sneaking off), but I just couldn't stand the thought of hearing him play above me and not even making it known that I was around (enjoying the company of Trevor). It just didn't seem ... right.

***

"Have you given any guy a chance since Tall?" I was asked the other day. "You complain about no one liking you, but every guy who's approached you, you've just nitpicked their faults to death. But Tall. Oh no, he's perfect. Always. He's never in the wrong."

That seems to sum it up quite nicely.

It's not that I have high standards. I just don't know what I want. Just last night, some dude tried to pick me up at the bus stop. I politely answered his interrogative questions, but he was just so lame, like he was hustling sex rather than sedatives. When some tipsy Irish lady sat between us and struck up a conversation with me about bus routes 15 minutes later, he shook my hand good-bye and took off. "Did I get in the way of something between yous?" she asked when he was still in earshot. "No," I whispered sternly. "Believe me, you didn't."

So here comes the pseudo-psychology. Friends say I do the chasing because I don't believe anyone can successfully do the chasing and, essentially, tame me (which is a word used more often than wardrobe malfunction). But piquing someone's interest isn't difficult. I just don't have time for chivalric bullshit. You either like me or you don't. Why waste energy on games? So I've decided to boycott dating, giving up on the hunt. No more Me Tarzan, You Janes. Just going to nestle into early spinsterhood with a pint of Ben & Jerry's and the History Channel.

Amen sister.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Shootenanny!

Damn, Angelina Jolie is seriously smokin' ... as Colin Farrell's mother. She's lucky her birthday falls a day short of mine or I'd be talking about her non-stop ("... and we're both Geminis! Hehehe!")

In light of that, I'm still not going to give Kenny G. the satisfaction of being mentioned.

Shiiiiiiiit.

Friday, November 05, 2004

That Explains It

I'm not an only child, though I act like one. I just finished reading a New York magazine article on "onlies," describing the odd dynamic between members of single-child families. My friends have always found my excess freedom a bit bizarre. And have traditionally thought me nervy to recount my social life to my parents. I accredit this to my family's less rigid idea of typical sex and age roles. We're also a bit on the utilitarian side in that we are a pragmatic lot, subjecting each other to jobs that will yield the greatest results for the whole. Like the children in the article, I remember telling my mother I was "loooonely," which led to the birth of my younger sister. My brother came four years later. I was a self-proclaimed demi-god in our growing household; a cheeky child with a venomous tongue. I was problematic and bore the brunt of my parents' frustrations. And yet, in hindsight, I am only too grateful. There is no reserve in my voice when I describe recent romantic follies to an amused mother who trusts my every instinct. They are satisfied that I am not in their image because they raised me to be better. I am spoiled because I have no reason to give them worry. And there lies the reason for this post. My current lifestyle, J.Lass recently complained, is too spoiled. That she's sure I have great parents, but they're raising me not quite right (she was careful not to use "wrong.") I don't think she likes the idea of me not having to struggle since I've moved here. J.Lass, although living with her "well-off" parents, is hardly pampered (or so she says.) I don't see why I have to apologize for maintaining the lifestyle I'm accustomed to. And my mother buys me things because she wants to, not because I ask her. So J.Lass thinks I'm dependent on their money. I think I'm just dependent on money. But who isn't? I don't ask permission to attend social activities not because I am inconsiderate, but because I am compliant to the norms of my family, not hers. This complaint on whether I'm living an "authentic" student experience is condescending. What does being a student have to do with being a bohemian? Must I also die of tuberculosis as I read Goethe under the moonlight to be considered "real"? It's pretentious to think I am not on the road to self-reliance (who's the one living alone here?) and self-discovery because I'm not donning a self-pitying mask and developing involuntary anorexia nervosa.

It's this judgmental verve (along with her extreme conservatism) that is testing my patience (and this friendship, although the feeling is not mutual.) Her lectures scream of hypocrisy and all I can do is sit back and think back to her generosity to help me cope with her faults.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

... and hell froze over

Bush won. He is anathema to America's already crippling society. For the first time in its post-War history, it will feel the might of unchecked conservatism, teetering on fanatical. The irreversable long-term damages the current administration is fostering are a harrowing thought. Fear has festered and that's a damn shame.

***

My French lesson with M. Biologique went 40 minutes overtime. Blame it on the deeply provocative conversation we were having. But he just had to go and contaminate our exchange with remarks that blatantly sexualized me.

"Stop sexualizing me," I told him jokingly as to not provoke potential embarrassment. He said he couldn't help it, citing our first encounter.

"Nah, I just like fucking around with you," he later explained. "I just like fucking with you." But quickly added with a laugh: "But don't tell my girlfriend that, of course."

We both knew it was a joke. We both knew he shouldn't have said it at all. We both knew to change the subject.

***

Maybe I should bring M. Biologique to Ted's gig Saturday (If, of course, I decide to go. Fuck it. Who am I kidding? My foot's practically in the door.)

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Sandpaper Shredder

What's he trying to pull? I don't hear a word from him in two months, and now - poof! - he's showing up in my life again.

I can't say it was the most graceful exit, but it was mature under the circumstances (ie. me being 18, him being 24.) And yes, I do realize I wrote, "... won't be interpreted as anything but platonic," except I meant it as "I know you'll never contact me again, but there's face to be saved through tact and courtesy."

Basically what happened was, I saw a Tall look-a-like walk into the university cafe (the one I patronize on a consistent basis). He turned out to be Tall. I, however, had recently lost my Calvin Klein violet rimmed prescription glasses (I'm still in mourning), so my sight was unreliable. I waited for J.Lass to show up, sitting on a barstool, joking around with the manager and Barista Matt (who, God forbid, might one day actually adopt a stonerless personality.) Then nature called.

Then Tall called.

"There she is!" he said, loudly.

"Oh, hey! I didn't see you there," I lied, smiling as confidently as I could; not knowing what to say, think, or expect.

His friend was there too. I introduced myself to him (because I am decent, because I have class, because I must make a good impression, because I care too much.)

Granted, when Tall asked me to watch his band play this Saturday, it must've been in good faith. Granted, he probably just wanted to fill the bar with people. Granted ... what does he think he's doing, expecting me to attend his gig just because I "let slip" that I'm mature enough to handle the fact that we're on platonic terms. But I believe he lost his VIP membership a long while back when he decided to take a break and not even make an effort to stay on friendly terms. He cannot jerk me around like this. He cannot be the aggressor.

In any case, I'm annoyed. Especially now, when my own TV director is jumping on the gravy train, telling me how he should've "taken advantage" of me sooner. And asked whether I was trying to "seduce" him. Arrogant bastard! And M. Biologique ... what he did yesterday. Ugh! Don't get me started ...

You know. I admire men. I admire how they act with no inhibitions, living everyday like it's their last. Throwing themselves into the wind; thinking they have nothing to lose. But that doesn't mean they should ever expect a positive response for this kind of behaviour. If I'm approached one more time with some half-assed game plan that comes off sounding anything but sincere, he'll be lucky to keep half his ass. Mother Hubbard!

Monday, November 01, 2004

Exit

U.S. elections are occuring tomorrow. The state of the great union is at stake, and the hysteria is similar to that of a Walmart cheeseburger give-a-way.