Thursday, June 30, 2005

Polio

I am so out of touch with reality. And by reality, I mean, the Miss Universe pageant. A Canadian won the coveted crown and I didn't find out until a gossip columnist lamented that it should've went to the more provocative Miss Puerto Rico with the huge-o mangoes.

***

Math Judas and I went to play pool. I won the first battle; he, the second. The third game should've ended in a tie, but it was clear who really won the war (don't even start, MJ).

As he was driving me home, we got a-talking about Steven Levitt's Freakonomics which he got his hands on before me. (Actually, most of our post-pool evening was dominated by economic theory.) He mentioned the writer's (in)famous claim that the reason crime rates are steadily declining isn't because of increased funding to protection agencies, gun control or a myriad of other do-gooder-type government programs, but could, instead, be traced back to decades' worth of terminated pregnancies. Thus, crime isn't as much a pressing issue now (than it was before the legalization of abortion after Roe vs. Wade) because those who might've grown up to rob you were never given the opportunity to exist. I found this correlation fascinating (and unique, especially next to the usual chatter of redundant PR praise and reiterated popular stances presented in the mainstream media). On his website, Levitt states that, "[t]his theory is bound to provoke a variety of reactions, ranging from disbelief to revulsion, and a variety of objections, ranging from the quotidian to the moral." I completely agree with the last reason. Life isn't a morality play, an entity of contempt, nor a Greek tragedy with fatal components and linear delusions. There's something to be said about the simplicity of Levitt's link: Less people = less criminals. (There, understandably, are other factors that must be considered such as the burden of raising children (unwanted or otherwise), the consequences of parental neglect, the persistent cycle of bad behaviour stretched over generations in an isolated community, etc.) This reminds me of an idea I've been trying to defend since high school: the futility of laws. I tried to convince my detractors that a system of punishment and reward does not necessarily deter acts of violence from happening. (Undoubtably so in the event of death.) The usual arguments presented to me were either flippant or based on slippery slope logic (in essence, the domino effect without the consideration for unpredictability), delivered patiently, yet veiled in scorn. I must mention I came to my conclusion on a very utilitarian perspective. My thinking was that one's need to wield power and exercise force is dependent on one's desire to do so in relation to all the pros and cons of this action. Therefore, the absence of laws merely remove one pro or con from the equation: that is to say, one less factor in helping you determine your final decision. The seed for this idea was hatched when a high school teacher of mine made a passing remark on how during the Elizabethan period, there were more street brawls, but less death from injury as a result even though practically every man carried a weapon of some sort. I hypothesized that the possibility of death over petty offences might've staved off manslaughter when disease and hungar were also killing off loved ones. Of course, I realize this is just a theory (and a simplistic one at that), but I miss my youthful days of sudden inspiration, of "Ah ha!" moments that would jolt me with bursts of sudden neuronic activity.

Since realizing how mentally unproductive I am during times of unsought idleness, I've been asking myself one question to save the dying sparks of dissension (and for this, I must corrupt an imported concept from the annals of Immanuel Kant):

If it's so good, why isn't everyone else doing it?

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

My Eternity Is ...

... the lull between completing a book and waiting to purchase the next one. I'm in that lull right now. This is trivial, I know, but I went through One Hundred Years of Solitude -- consuming every page, every passion -- within a matter of 8 hours. I tapped the last 300 pages of History of Wife the morning of my departure from Montreal.

I hesitate to bring reading material with me on the plane because I'll be required to haul books around post-retention and -inattention.

What to do? WHAT TO DO!

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Jack Squat

Came back to the armpit. I spent the day with Daddy in Toronto. We walked around taste testing international cuisine (followed by an hour-plus of autoshop talk). The problem with hanging out with him is his epic window shopping habit (I'm more of an in-and-out kind of consumerist). He puts in the effort to interrogate the owner about something, knowing he'll leave empty-handed (I say "interrogate," but it's more like "talks too much and asks irrelevent questions"). He pokes his head into every store that intrigues him while I'm left staring at my hands and counting the polka-dots on my shirt:

Fishatorium
Daddy says: "Salt water fish are prettier, right? They're prettier."
Daddy implies: "Your fish sure are ugly."

Kitchenatorium
Daddy says: "Ooh, you have the latest electronic thermas with an easy-grip water pump. Too bad I just bought a similar model. I'll come back later."
Daddy implies: "Ooh, I don't actually have the money or the need for something I do over the stove. Let me wander over to the back and browse some more."

Bootleggatorium
Daddy says: "Charge it!"
Daddy implies: "Retail this, motherfuckers!"

We fixed and upgraded my laptop along the way. The technician made a desperate call to us just as we were about to sit down for Vietnamese noodles.

"There seems to be a problem! I think your daughter must've caused this machine to rust!"

We scurried back as my old man hoped to Mao his wallet wasn't going to lose another paper inhabitant. I assessed the damage and made a dramatic sigh.

"It's chocolate. I forgot about that. Sorry."

Steve knew my sin would come back to haunt me.

Then Daddy bought me a durian shake. It was delicious. He said he didn't want to stand near me because my smooth concoction stank. For those of you who don't know what a durian is, it's a fruit native to southeast Asia that takes about 3 months to mature. It features a hard outer husk which consists of sharp thorns that masks the creamy batter on the inside. Yes, it emits a strong, pungent aroma reminiscent of gym socks and used vaginas left out in a forgotten Indonesian porta-potty during an August heatwave. But the sweet custard is so good ... Like eating heaven out of a farm trowl.

***

Woohoo! Definitely going to Thailand (along with the other planned destinations)! Mom finished making all the reservations then discovered my credit card bill. She begrudgingly paid it off and reminded me to "be successful" when I grow up and to show her the same level of generosity that she has shown me.

My adult life will be inseparable with my youth: Blissfully in debt; carelessly frivolous; willfully on welfare ("Ain't no party like an imagine-the-pinata party!")

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Adjust

Ran out of books to read again, so I went out and bought Mind Wide Open by Steven Johnson and One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. The former is like a novel-length footnote out of Malcolm Gladwell's Blink. It's brain-tology for the layman. The latter has an annoying Oprah's Book Club sticker branded on its cover. Trying to tear it off is fast becoming the battle of the summer.

***

Film studies final exam today. Didn't study (much). Read a few chapters this morning when I dragged myself out of bed and ate chips for breakfast. Optimistic though. Wrote enough to tire my wrist out. I think that's sufficient: when your limb breaks, it's a good indication to stop. I'd earn a solid A in the class even if I ended up with a 50% (but that's not what my mom wants to hear for what she's paying to keep me spoiled and emaciated).

***

Techbiana is going to be my roommate come September. I haven't discussed it with my parents yet, but I'm looking forward to moving in with her. We're both journalism students and neither of us have a problem with bringing home strange men ("All I ask is that you turn up the music") and women.

Scanning the papers together, we saw a photo of three Pakistani prisoners sitting on a bench. I said it looked like Three's Company: Guatanamo Edition. Techbiana said the one in the middle with the yeast-risen hair could be mistaken for Suzanne Somers. I said the one sitting with his legs apart was the splitting image of John Ritter "except skinny and brown."

***

"What do you think? Your type?" Readerdroid whispered in my ear as I skipped between her and Paisley, eating a pistachio cone I milked from one of Readerdroid's flings who was working the cafe counter last night.

Her best friend from high school and his acquaintance are currently in Montreal, taking a break from their studies at U. of T. Dema is Russian, a math student, broad-shouldered and introverted. Dean is lean, has a prominant, aqualine nose and an unhealthy obsession with Bob Marley ("He had Jew in his blood. He was the son of the Queen of Sheba and the King of, ya know, Naga ... Neo ... Naza ... whatever. Anyway, that's why we're related"). Both: boring. Readerdroid told me days in advance to be prepared to meet some gorgeous men. Brushing off my protests of having a genetic disorder that prevented me from discerning a knockout from a leper due to my attraction to the unexplainable allure of emotional immaturity, financial dependence, and social ineptness (which would, thus, make me a bad judge of popular appeal), Readerdroid breathlessly drooled into the phone, "Oh my God, Dean is so hot. So tall and tan," as if nothing I said in the last 10 minutes had been mentally processed or would've made a difference in my evening's plans (bar hopping and sipping water).

Which brings me back to the question she asked me earlier as I was licking the shit out of my ice cream. I looked over my shoulder, knowing instinctively the pair-'o-hommes were eyeing my bum, and answered matter-of-factly:

"Not [my type.] Too clean. I like a man I'm forced to support."

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Next

Six Questions of Socrates was a huge disappointment. I'm returning it to the store after I type up this entry. Every single page was an exercise in uber-sentimental schlock. Read it if your brain's made of potpourri and pine nuts.

***

The incessant ringing is driving me up the wall. Two more weeks, and I'm disconnecting my phone line. It's getting to be ridiculous. I feel like a pigeon with its feet blown off, rolling on the floor like a breakdancer.

***

Banana Chic's birthday present for me finally arrived in the mail. I excitedly ripped open the package. What could it be? My brow was sweating from anticipation (and this goddamn, fucking heat). I removed the tissue paper and put it to the side. There it was, in all its visionary glory:

The Pop-Up Kama Sutra --
"The latest in paper engineering meets the greatest in the literature of sex."

I don't know what I'd do without my favourite chink.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Frog

I bought a bossa nova album by ... this woman ... I can't ... recall right now. And a new book: Six Questions of Socrates by Christopher Phillips. Inscribed within, he wrote: "For Cecilia, luz de mi vida" which got me thinking when I polished off Cannabis: A History (I had devoured three books over the weekend): If being "bright" means losing "at least 95 percent of [romantic] candidates" (Salon.com) then where does that leave me? Selling sunflower seeds out of a greasy sack over on Interstate Zappa-knick-knack?

This doesn't seem very fair considering I'm not even looking for those with marriage on their minds (who often come in -- or end up as -- one of two dismal flavours: bland and blander). Readerdroid's bedding a not-hot, ex-coworker right now. (Sometimes I wonder if I created a monster.) He's much older and a FOB and whom she will discard after she's done experimenting. (My karmic thermostat's turned up high to compensate.) But I can't help feeling inadequate in comparison, being used goods and all. My sexual misadventures with those misfits could hardly be classified as "flings": my carnal impulses were stuck in the OFF position with both of them. I'm delusional if I think I can carry on this Average Jane charade. Men no longer turn me on (unless they're of the exceptionally irresistable variety -- that is to say, unmonitorable and uncontrived). Readerdroid accused me of replacing phallus with Phelps. I reacted agreably: I wasn't ashamed to admit I was being readily satiated by something consistently reliable. My dad now knows I've been sexually active after moving to Montreal. Too bad I couldn't further disappoint him: I'm not exactly "active" in the literal sense of the word. He told me my friends and I are "too liberal" and asked me why we couldn't find ourselves one person to spend the rest of our lives with (like he did). I responded with a prototypical canned laugh: it's harder to admit defeat at the hands of your own lie.

Last week's film studies weirdo called me four times yesterday and wanted to know if we could get together to "study." Our second conversation began with him saying:

"Hi, it's me again. Just wanted to make sure you remembered to store my number."

Okay, you can probably guess what transpired after that. I can think of no other way to convey the insistence in this man's voice; I don't think I've ever had to muffle my increasing irritation at a bookstore.

"Yes. I have your number," I reassured him without bothering to veil my resentment. "And the one you left from before. And the one before that."

"So which one do you have right now?"

Icepick up my tuchus, leave me the hell alone!

***

I asked Lisroom what I should say if I should encounter another batch of unsightly toads keen on poaching me at my most vulnerable: shoeless and reading. She gave me a list of possible answers, but each one could be circumvented if the man was shameless enough. The begging is so sad, it hurts. What am I supposed to say when they plain don't get it?:

That, No, we can't be friends. We'll never be friends. I don't ever want to get to know you. Your face reminds me of aborted fetuses ...?

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Sparkler

Tal Fisher gave me a Patty Smith-ish, Karen O. cut when I went to his salon yesterday. He won the Wella Trend Vision Award in Paris for one of his creations recently and was quick to point out he's been profiled by every major local and national magazine in Canada. The price wasn't too shabby either (35$/tax for a cut and blow, but I got stuck with the "owner" so guess what that meant?). Although I, regretably, over-tipped. Double tipped. Which meant I had no money left to buy lunch.

Ooh! And talk about finger lickin' good. Fisher's shampoo boy was flirting with me while I was in Merlin's chair. Now he! he was a toothy tart and my type of fashion whore.

I hope to God he's not also gay.

***

Heading to the cineplex to watch "Mysterious Skin" starring Third Rock From the Sun alumnus Joseph Gorden-Levitt. Puberty really came late for this guy, eh?

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Cleaner

I received my midterm examination essay worth 60% of the film course today. Three comments, no quality feedback. Still gushed to my mother about it.

"An A-plus," I giggled into the phone. A few students asked me for my number; they wanted to study for the final. One was an "aspiring filmmaker" whose previous work comically dealt with George Orwell's Animal Farm. He slyly slipped in that he was looking for actresses. I told him, frankly, I was not interested (in addition to spending the rest of my summer overseas).

"I'm simply not photogenic," I tried explaining. "I may look normal now, but in front of a camera, I look worse than a cross between a mule and a man."

He persisted. I was indifferent and vaguely humoured him with a general show of interest.

***

I'm almost done Stossel's book, just a few more chapters to go. It's a great read for any journalist (and non-journalist). You know, I agree with him when he says schemers and liars get away with things because we're too polite to call them on it. First semester of journalism class required that we attend a presentation by a guest speaker every week. I thought the goal of the faculty was to train my budding classmates in the art of confrontation and analysis. It ended up being a forum for public figures to vent their frustrations to an adoring, mostly sympathetic, crowd of students (who, by the way, were required to cover the event like it meant something). Free publicity! Needless to say, I was a casuality of my own impulses everytime I opened my mouth because I, somehow, take pleasure in watching people deflect accusations while painfully maintaining courtesies. (What is it about anger that is so difficult to emote when others are watching? What makes it so tough to stray away from the script?)

I don't think there is anything wrong with humiliating someone who embezzles money and takes advantage of a system that never confronts the perpetrators due to "impoliteness." When Ste-Laurent borough councillor Alan DeSousa came to talk to us, he mentioned how two-thirds of the city's water pipelines are in either disrepair or unuseable. He accused the city of not being reasonable enough to invest in the project. The city? When has the government been quick to (re)act? Ha! I think bureaucratic bullshit can easily be sidestepped if private companies were conveniently allowed to bid for the contract. At least, that way, the threat of termination will guarantee employees will not be paid for just standing around. While unions were created to protect the rights of its workers, their modern incarnation has merely trampled on competition and grown to monopolistic proportions. What's the harm in bruising egos? What's at stake when people take offence? Our society takes pleasure in victimizing itself anyway.

When Tyrone told me he felt sorry for me because the white man is always coming down hard on "my people", I realized what minorities (as in, anti-WASPs) have created: a new social perception that preyed on the pity of others. I am not a victim to petty politics. I am living in the confines of a limited environment that focuses too much on itself, too much on discrimination and discontent that examples of minority satisfaction is systematically swept under the Persian rug. It's a potemkin village, this politically correct proactivism. Why do I want to portray myself in a poorer condition than I am? Yes, I've been hurt by racists and bigots throughout my life, but does that mean I should drown in audience-approved sorrow? I don't need anyone fending for me. I will take offence when I am offended for myself!

It makes me angry when self-righteous, self-appointed "civil servants" take advantage of everyone's plight (both major and minor) and make it into a human tragedy fit for the bank and fresh for funding (though such simplifications are routinely denied).

Sometimes, one confuses the right thing to say with the right to say it. Sooner or later, there will be no alternative left.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Forever Red

CatCouver was adamant that I accompany her to a gay review featuring the "best transvestites in town!" I, of course, was all for it because back home, playing a game of "Is he or isn't he?" with my dad always led to a discussion initiated by his cumbersome reactions which were restricted to skepticism and (embarrassing) passing fancy.

Women flock to these places like bohos to crochet. The lack of single -- desperate -- men means less pressure for us to maintain a facade of coquettish decency (even crotch grinders have their limits). So it genuinely surprised me that my four dollar cover charge thankfully didn't include spandex wrapped breasts flounced freely on the dance floor (prescriptively disregarded pairs, that is). The night was without incident except for a few men with questionable orientations trying to move rather rapidly (and excitedly) between my denim-clad legs.

Straight men had infiltrated our wholesome hovel. CatCouver and I were not pleased.

We later walked down Ste-Denis after a good 2 hours of whiplash-worthy whirling and met two guys from Toronto. After a conversation that lasted about 2 hours that consisted of verbal licks of this sort and that (which I was merciless in doling out), one guy left to return to his hotel room. The remaining one, a white guy named Tyrone ("But it says Michael on your license"), ended up walking us back to CatCouver's temporary shindig and yelled out to me, before disappearing around the corner:

"Too bad I fell in love with a girl who whips my ass intellectually."

Intellectually? CatCouver and I laughed when he was out of earshot, reminding each other of the way he omitted syllables when he tried to sound smart: "Adaption? Connotion? Beer insinct?" The guy couldn't convince a near-sighted person dirt was brown.

***

Breakfast waitress totally shamed us for not tipping "enough." Scheming bitch, we emptied our wallets and gave her more than 15%! And yet, still she asked for more, more, MORE!

In response, I indulged in the purchase of two books by two Johns: Stossel's Give Me a Break and Perkins's Confessions of an Economic Hit Man. I couldn't resist: I go through tomes like a toddler on a Veggie Booty bender.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Hola

I bought Cannabis: A History by Martin Booth. Fascinating, fascinating stuff. Really helped to clarify where I stood on the issue.

Went to watch It's All Gone Pete Tong. I loved it! It was handled tenderly, hilariously, and had a new wave, Scottish sensibility to the whole thing. Which reminds me: Nanni Moretti's movies also make me laugh. His films are different in terms of how humour is presented, but ... okay, read this description of an early scene in Caro diario (Dear Diary, 1994):

"Jennifer Beals! Jennifer Beals!" he cries, overcome with emotion at seeing the star of the film that "changed his life."

As they talk, Beals struggles to find the word to describe this pleasant, but rather annoying middle-aged Italian man who prattles on about dancing and life in his white moped helmet.

"Off center?" No, not quite right, she says to her companion. "Whimsical." Maybe. But no, there's a better word.

"Almost dumb," Beals finally declares.
(Palo Alto Online, 1994).

Other movies seen this week:

-Mad Hot Ballroom. If it's wrong to want to have children just to see them dance like Dominicans, then I don't want to be right. Poverty sure motivates those hips!

-Los Amantes del Circulo Polar (Lovers of the Arctic Circle). It's Spanish, it's good, it's by Lucia y el Sexo director Julio Medem (whose name, like his protagonists Otto and Ana, is also a palindrome. ... I'm such a nerd).

***

I was hanging out at a park in the Plateau area and a "Tony K." chatted me up and even invited me back to his place (which I politely declined). He's apparently a musician and encouraged me to give him a ring. Uh ... huh. Less likely than a turnip shower.

***

These past few days have been a hodge podge of random excursions and questionable endeavors.

Montreal has been experiencing a heat wave of unprecedented discomfort. Seeing how it was Formula 1 weekend, I (having no reason to stay cooped up in my unventilated cage) decided it would be a healthy change to traverse about town past midnight to take advantage of cooler temperatures. On day one, after battling street urchins and maneuvering around silicone valleys, I was inspired to climb Mont Royal. It was half past four; the silence, deafening. I had just returned, the previous evening, from condo hunting and DKNY shopping (which ended in the purchase of a gorgeous handbag with leather, lavendar trim). Thinking the sun would be out in a matter of hours, I gathered my figurative cojones and headed for the hills (by-passing all logic, reason and drunken solicitations). I reminded myself to "follow the main path" to avoid getting lost. The humour was not lost on me as I hiked along the beaten road. Here I was, shouldering a designer bag I was careful not to sully and clenching a bottle of over-priced water and a book on cannabis in the other. Not to mention my extroardinarily inappropriate attire: a denim miniskirt worn under a velvet, babydoll camisole. It was a sad scene. But I was determined, I reminded myself. What was the big deal? This mountain? This cross? This chalet M. Biologique busied himself with? I'm a city girl, I acknowledged, what can't I accomplish? Looking over the ridge, I cursed myself for maiming my integrity (that is to say, non-hippie tendencies) with something as ridiculous as this. But I kept going. Oh, I kept going alright, slapping mosquitos all too thirsty for my alien gams. By the time I reached the cross -- an indescript skeletal frame that inspires about as much religious fervour as a donkey humping a horse -- I had climbed over fallen rocks and rotting trees (on an 80 degree incline, no less), careful to protect my bag from nature, from the underbelly of the earth, even as I scraped my way to the top, bloodied and bruised ... and fenced in.

Yes, the path I took was not a path at all, but a freakin' creek that just so happened to meet a Sprite bottle which led me to think the contrary.

Further along, I intercepted a drug deal going on between two, rusty vans and quickly ran the opposite direction whilst visualizing a sniper with a Tommy DeVito temper hot on my trail.

I ultimately reached the chalet.

The view was jaw-dropping.

So this was why M. Biologique always wanted me to accompany him. I couldn't, until then, fathom why anyone would waste their efforts there, some place so time-consuming. I felt a wave of satisfaction come over me as the sun lifted the veil of night and threw it into the distant trees.

I was bull-headed too; our relationship was shite not merely on the basis of his problematic personality alone. Thus, with that tai chi-ing, flabby white guy as my witness, I accepted responsibility for my own misery and decried victimhood.

And so, the future was no longer tainted with the assumptions of today.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Good News For People Who Love Semi-relevant Bad News

Bad news: My computer shat all over itself and rendered it more useless than a power cord on a two-week old corpse. I knew it would happen when random keys started acting up and -- oh, I don't know -- the hard drive was no longer recognized by the system (what system?). The situation provoked a simmering rage in me that failed to reach the surface and deform my face, but nevertheless, prodded me to do the unthinkable:

Switch to Macs.

Good news: My parents are supportive of the idea that really comes down to exchanging one hipster lifestyle for another. (It's not like they know which one I adopted to begin with; I'm pretentious like that.)

Bad news: I still have recurring dreams about M. Biologique.

Good news: They all involve killing him in the heat of passion. I'm ready to let go. Really. This time, it's happening. I mean it. Ship to Denial, l'Afrique ends ... today. (Or yesterday because I'm serious like that.)

Bastard fucker.

Bad news: I'm spending the rest of my summer meeting relatives back in the old country, which means stop-overs in Beijing, Canton and Hong Kong.

Good news: I'm also traveling to Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.

Bad news: I have yet to find someone willing to take on the rest of my lease.

Good news: None. (Bastard fuckers.)

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Triad

He's calling me. I'm not picking up. He's not getting the hint.

***

My take home midterm essay was postponed twice, a week apart. You'd think with all that prior warning, I wouldn't have left it until 10 hours before class started. But there you have it. Instead of tip-tapping away on my crummy machine (which freezes more often than Michael Douglas's jowl line), I took a shower, gave myself a facial, watched La Femme Nikita, cooked up a gourmet meal for one, cleaned up my apartment, read a few chapters from my new book, then finally got down to business at 4 a.m. ... in between chatting on instant messenger and reading the news. I told myself I'd make it and I did after missing 98% of my class and catching the last 5 minutes of Pedro Almodovar's Matador:

"Now, is that unbelievably ugly lady supposed to be a man or is she just ugly?"

Apparently, she's just ugly; that face is real. Think a Jenny Craigafied swamp troll with football shoulders. Now picture that and a whole lot of talk about orgasms and losing one's virginity while zonked out from sleeping pills.

It's the principle of it all!

***

Anne Bancroft died. I remember religiously watching Alfonso Cuaron's adaptation of Great Expectations. I remember the way she drew on her beauty mark, her face magnified to frightening proportions in the mirror. And the way her makeup sank deep into her facial creases, ghostly pale and hungry for life. And the beautiful way she lost her mind on the staircase as she apologized in vain to Finn. I remember humming the tune to Besame Mucho as if to reassure my romantic affections while placating the growing animosity that comes with pubescent disappointment. I remember being a child of 12 and lying in bed, eyes closed, fingers crossed, hoping that one day, I'd be part of the literati, that I'd have an ambitious (and slightly scruffy) young man after my own heart and he'd have an unspeakable need to whisk me away from my frisky fiance and I'd say yes to his offer to dance right there in the Chinese restaurant and he'd put his hand on the small of my back and guide me out the door and into the rain and aggressively press his lips against mine as if not doing so would result in the destruction of our bodies and he'd take me by the hand and trace the outline of my breast through my wickedly-drenched Donna Karan emerald green sheath before ... the obligatory mechanics set in.

I was 12! Nothing looked better than a good subtle seduction unless it involved William Hurt hurling a chair through Kathleen Turner's double French doors in Body Heat. That scene trumps everything made since. Nobody pulls off sexual ambivalence like old husky voice.

Now, as a newly minted 19-year-old, fantasies like that just get me down: who'd have thought holding hands would be so ... blech? What is the attraction of this gesture? (I might even write a post on the perils of handholding; it's just that unappealing.)

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Go Go Ghostbusters

Yes, yes, y'all. It's that time of the year again: my birthday. One diapered-ass day closer to carrying an iron lung with a mouthful of meds. I received many emails from well-wishers I haven't spoken to since graduation. That came as a bit of a shock. Readerdroid bought me Kundera's "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" yesterday and I'm already on page 95. She was disappointed that I had seen the movie starring Daniel Day Lewis, but I assured her character-driven books are always better than their celluloid counterparts. It's the trip, not the destination.

On MSN messenger, Guitar Guy sent his female goonies to ridicule me. He goes on to inform me it was all a big joke, that these were his friends' girlfriends just having some drunken fun and told me not to get offended by it (I re-assured him it was okay because "young mothers don't know any better"). I despise people who do this because not only do they hide behind a computer, but they know more about you than you know about them so it isn't even a level playing field. Every freakin' year he does this to me. I don't hear a peep from him for vast stretches of time and then he'll make a note of reminding me that I'm still part of his consciousness. I've known him since middle school and he knows I am the last person who would take his bullshit. So when he told me to "lighten up" and stop trying to "prove" myself, I replied that I wasn't obligated to do shit considering I barely remember what he looks like; we havn't had a proper conversation since he left Westmount to work as a who-knows-what ("... hope you polish that hard hat for eternity"). He never has the balls to talk to me without some pre-planned, childish ice-breaker. I concluded with:

"Don't go pulling this passive-aggressive crap."

He didn't say anything after that.

***

I was a bad girl this past Friday. Swiss Alps coaxed me into staying at a bar far longer than I had expected (in other words, I grew more impatient to haul ass as my virgin daiquiri was sucked into oblivion). Met the usual shady suspects who didn't know how to keep their hands to themselves, one of whom was the most ignorant skeez this side of the Barbecuin' Bible Belt. I was insanely bored after most of my friends had left and Swiss Alps took off with AmmoBlow (someone, he decided as they munched on each other's necks, he would be muey interested in pursuing). That is, until Lisroom introduced me to ScreamoStuds, a 24-year-old emo kid with the hyperactivity of a headless turkey and the maturity of a 6-week-old fetus. He and I sparred from the very moment we met -- sometimes bordering on blatant cruelty -- until he admitted defeat after he smeared French fries on my collarbone and I dumped an ashtray on his lap and remarked it would be the only time he'd have "a butt on his cock."

"I love this girl!" he announced. "Truce, truce."

(I politely talked to another one of Lisroom's friends who kept trying to monopolize my time and ended up with my number -- I hate giving it out, but I never have the guts to say no -- and has already sent an indecent amount of text messages to my phone.)

Needless to say, I slapped him across his face and he, of the novelty boxers, pulled me to him, licked the salt from the smeared fries and ... I'll leave the rest to your imagination.

I phoned Readerdroid earlier when she got home from clubbing and she offered to come meet me at the bar. As we were walking back to her place, the drunken 3 a.m. crowd were doing their bit for misogyny. My successful attempt at channeling Zsa Zsa Gabor went over better than well which, unfortunately, unleashed a never-before-seen cockiness that could've got me killed if it weren't for society's double-edged sword. Anyway, my behaviour was encouraged by the mere assumption that horny manfolk, no matter how much dope they're dealing, can generally restrain themselves even in the presence of a bitchy, twin-X chromosome so I didn't hesitate to be (dangerously) confrontational with these -- looking back -- petty felons and heat-packing mofos who were whistling at me like I was one of their disability-claiming hos. I told a few to fuck-off and nearly got chased down the street by one who wanted to knock my head in. At another intersection, I yelled, "If you had a dick, you wouldn't need a car like that!"

How I managed to stay alive is still a mystery.

***

Last night I went to go see The Holy Girl (La Nina Santa). What the hell was that? The movie chugged along towards a climax that never appeared.

I knew I should've gone to see Mad Hot Ballroom.

Friday, June 03, 2005

The Last Purge

Reading about the passive-aggressive male. (Click here and here.) M. Biologique is the prototypical example: he possesses every single trait.

Why would he go through the hassle of trusting people when there are so many women who want to "heal" him? offered Japostralia Matt when I asked him why some men choose to act through life this way.

I know his parents' divorce affected him more than he's willing to admit and his childhood weight problem was detrimental to his self-esteem. He just had a funny way of showing it: by keeping mum or being over-compensatory. I don't know, dear readers. This one screams "challenge." I feel a burning desire to provoke his deeply repressed rage. His resentful submissiveness, his bitching, his inability to say no. His chronic indecisiveness, his wounded puppy schtick, at once a criminal and accomplice out to refute all fault. His low tolerance for stress, his superficial charm, his talent for manipulation. His hate for authority, contempt for expectations, judgmental quips thrown faster than a whip. Fear of rejection, fear of abandonment, fear of being alone. I would despise him if he weren't so pitiful. How could someone barely 20 have the capacity for this much anger already? My repulsion is overwhelming, but curiosity captivates me more. I told him I liked him just the way he was and he, stunned, reacted remarkably touched. (Whether or not he meant it when he said it to me is up for debate.) It's not like I want to be anybody to him -- not a lover, mother, partner, cohort. Even knowing that he's a case study doesn't stop me from developing a strange fondness for his infantile behaviour, equally subversive and self-sabotaging. I have no urge to change him; I just want to be there when he loosens control. Sympathy is a strange thing for there is no greater train wreck than an anticipatory one; no better woman, but doomed.

Which reminds me. I shared a flirtatious phone conversation with the Guy yesterday. He could be a fresh start for me if it weren't for his unresolved ex issues. Wishy washy individuals are bound to be trouble and excess baggage is sexy only in theory.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

The truest things are said in jest

The professor paused her lecture about Irish cinema (today's special: The Crying Game) to inform the class "somebody [was] snoring." I think it might've been me, in the back, slumped low in my seat.

I had been in limbo, listening to another hour-long snoozefest by this Italian shiksa. I didn't even think I snored since I've never been accused of it without being sick. So here I was, completely paranoid, asking those around me if the professor was indeed referring to me. The guy who sat two rows behind me said he heard someone, but didn't see anyone sleeping. The guy who sat two seats to my left said he didn't hear me and that it might've just been someone blowing their nose (consecutively? Hard to believe). So my fears were laid to rest, yet I couldn't help thinking it was me and the chick sitting to my right couldn't have been bothered to give me a courtesy poke.

Bitch.

***

I was sitting on the metro when in walked this 5'10 blonde dolled up like a famished porn star in Lucite heels. I bit my lip to contain myself upon observing the way men in the car were staring at her like an anatomical ideal (or oddity, as the case may be). By the time she got off at the next station, they had reconfigured their previous seating arrangements to get a better view of her out the window, systematically following her every stride with a bounce of their heads and turn of their necks, craning to sustain the moment. Then, when the train started moving again, everyone went back to whatever they were doing before she entered (reading the newspaper, sleeping, praying for a rise without going blind). I had to look at an adjacent orange wall to subdue myself during this farcical scene. It was like something out of a Spike Jonze-directed episode of the Twilight Zone where I somehow gained entry to the backdoor of the alpha gaze.

***

Readerdroid commented how she's never seen me laugh before. (Not that I don't because I do and often, thankyouverymuch). It's just that, she says, I only laugh when I'm with people already laughing to what I said.

Everyone's always on my case about that; she's just the latest one. I can't help that I'd rather make a good crack than listen to a bad one (that, unenviably, leads to a period of awkward silence). Actively laughing out of courtesy (to save the poor boy's ego) isn't something I'd brag about, but it's true that people rarely genuinely amuse me (professional shit stirrers notwithstanding). I don't glean pleasure from making digs at easy targets, I suppose. Reactionaries are a dime a dozen.

I generally find people too wound up and self-conscious to be funny; it takes less work to be predictable. Ironically, a trained mind is a spontaneous mind exactly because it takes work to transform life's shortcomings into party performance material.

But I digress. I simply don't find all that many people entertaining. Everyone says they have a sense of humour, but where's their comic timing?

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Stripes

Hung out at Swiss Alps's new place near Ste-Laurent. Met his roommates. The Girl, he has a crush on; the Guy, not so much. The Girl used to go out with the Guy and they still sleep in the same bed, but neither one describes their relationship quite the same way. Swiss Alps asked them both on separate occasions if they were still dating and their answers were diametrically opposed. Hmmm, he wondered. Very, very weird. I was also introduced to two of the Girl's visiting hometown friends. They were good-looking boys who were also undeniably Bostonian and irrefutably gay: Where else would you see fervent Red Sox fans holding each other affectionately during commercial breaks? (*sidenote: I told J.Lass one of them was a hairdresser -- because that's what he was! -- and she got all self-righteous and told me to stop stereotyping: "I know tons of hairdressers who aren't gay. You just can't say that!" Last time I provoke a moralist: it's like they don't allow themselves to laugh when it doesn't concern a skimpy skirt.) Anyway. Got along with everyone marvelously. Especially with the Guy who, by the way, is Gorgeous -- must remember to keep that in mind.

***

Revisited Trainspotting. I should start using "wanker" more.

***

Last night's film class offering was Morvern Callar, a Scottish feature starring Samantha Morton. The professor asked how women and Scotland were represented (technically, symbolically, etc.) A hand rose. It was the "jock." No offence to athletes, but the irrelevency of what this boy has to say is becoming a running joke. (I'm not proud of my judgmental snobbish tendencies, but aye, here we are and it won't do much good to wallow in it.)

"Is that ... um, I mean, like ... Was that even in Scotland? It looks more like Northern England to me. And that Morvern girl is, like, really passive."

Other students must've also picked up on his inability to recognize subtlety and explain himself because one after the other, he was more or less attacked with a slew of passive aggression, ending in:

"I don't think you can interpret chopping up your dead boyfriend's body and burying it as being 'passive.'"

So I'm stuck looking at the back of this mate's shaggy head and trying desperately to keep my groans inaudible. Times a-wastin', I heard myself thinking. Why is he even here? It's not like he ever brings up proof that might be of help backing up his observations. Give your peers something tangible that isn't composed of your "feelings," I felt like saying. Give your peers something to gnaw on besides your fictional head. It irritates me that people like him never let questions sink in before opening their traps. Smart-alecky behaviour might be tempting for when you're, say, vying for favours, but it doesn't belong when time is of essence; opinions, productive. If the obvious is going to be repeated, why bother replying? I know I take my time forming a coherent idea, pondering over it thoughtfully, and re-enforcing it with examples so I may deliver a viewpoint equally creative, quick and concise. By the way, when it was my turn to speak, I said I noticed the music coming from Movern's ubiquitous Walkman took the audience "from the microcosm of her mind to the macrocosm of her surroundings" as if to keep death nearby in a bid to jolt the character from her meaningless existence. ... It sounded original at the time.)

I went to the washroom afterwards. To my right stood the professor. To my left stood a classmate (with a red bob reminiscent of my beatnik, high school art teacher). To my right, I was asked whether I was majoring in film studies. To my left, I was given fawning praise. I gave my thanks, but was temporarily left uneasy. It's difficult to swallow compliments when my ethnic background sermonizes being skeptical of flattery; I was never to believe what was being said about me as if "deny, deny, deny" was a national motto. When I'm being told over an open basin that I have "a great perspective" and that a noticeably substantial group of people "look forward" to me speaking, it's a bit hard to take. My conditioned reaction is to respond defensively in situations like this and yet, I've learned to cope (as idiotic as this may sound) with a series of seamless conscious gestures to play out the public stages of gratefulness:

1. Look the person in the eye.
2. Smile (it comes out looking natural due to the initial shock and embarrassment)
3. Say, "Thank you. Very much," without appearing automatous.

I rationalize that I'm not being fake when I actually am appreciative. It's just that, without these cues, my hesitant body language might trumpet "self-absorbed bitch," eliciting puzzlement that could lead to a serious head-cracking against a urine-stained toilet.