Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Mane Man



To hell with people who don't think kids nowadays are in dire need of a hair piece. Check out all them newborns looking like masticating Larry Davids. Do you need any more proof? Don't tell me my dainty hands will not save them from social rejection. It's your funeral ... when they grow up to shoot up their co-workers because you people refused them a Mane Man: Asian forked edition.

Day-O!

Boys & Girls: No Difference



I had to put all my HTML schooling to work to get this video to appear. And by that, I mean, copy + pasted the source code. Enjoy, my fact-checker fiends.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Peddler


***

Goddamnit! She scrapped it! My professor scrapped my story. I've been researching all morning for a new topic. Found it, really absorbing, just requires more field work. A profile on the children of Bobos and how their self-gratifying pursuits do not translate to the public sector and consequently, will have social and economic implications when they come of age.

***

I've cut eBay out of my system. What a waste of time. Everyone outbids me. Bulky mother-in-laws outbid me. Kids still strapped to their strollers outbid me. I can do nothing, but watch in horror as they surpass my maximum offer. I hate paying retail, but paying retail saves me the grief. It's called "therapy", not "abuse".

***

Saw Train Boy when I went to watch Solntse (The Sun, 2005). He scolded me for being late, albeit flirtatiously.

"I know, I know," shaking my head. "I have a problem with being tardy."

We chatted a little before I charged into the theatre. The movie is very similar to Downfall, the story of Hitler during the last days of the war in his bunker. Solntse follows Emperor Hirohito before signing the unconditional surrender to the Allies. The man lives in a tight cocoon: a living god who's never had to open a door and has trouble knowing what to do when forced to encounter a closed one. Completely out of touch with reality, he writes poetry and studies marine biology as planes ominously rumble above. He is completely removed from the state of his country until his first trip outside the palace walls to meet with General MacArthur. It's illuminating to see him in this condition; Sokurov has revealed the man behind the beast. His character is diametrically opposed to that of Hitler's. While the latter's health deteriorated as his utopian vision crumbled, Hirohito seems to want it all to end so he could get back to his hobbies; it's the only world he knows. He looks genuinely puzzled that MacArthur does not employ servants. And accepts a Cuban cigar like it was the first time he got to choose for himself.

Solntse is slow-paced, damn slow, a lot more contemplative than Downfall. However, what it lacks in plot, it makes up for in detail. I don't think I've seen an uglier pair of pursed lips.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Benchmark

I've been really busy doing research for my two feature-length articles lately. One of them requires recruitment from friends and acquaintances on 4 continents. It's on speed-dating and I convinced people from Montreal (CA), Hamilton (CA), Paris (FR), London (UK), and Tokyo (JP) to attend a local event and report back to me. Melbourne (AU) and Hong Kong (CN) are still up in the air. Yah for foreigners!

*UPDATE* NorIda convinced me to attend an event because getting a first-hand account is an integral part of this (increasingly expensive) job. That didn't stop me from imploring DaDutch to be my date within a date though.

The second article is on Burger King's new subversive ad featuring Brooke Burke cavorting candidly on the beach with the giant plastic-headed guy in tow. The manager of their ad agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky (CP+B) has agreed to be interviewed by me.

Besides that, I'm hungry and could go for a burger right about now, but remembered that though I see myself as a carnivore in relapse (or perhaps a vegetarian with no moral compass), I'm still not capable of sticking a patty in my mouth made from the 'hinds of separate cow parts without slitting my wrists and calling out in penance to the Archangel Gabriel ("You make tofurkey up there?").

***

I know the comments I make in class get me noticed. It's not intentional, but the effects are -- shall we say? -- perceptible. JaiHimbo is painfully handsome and well-liked by the ladies which, of course, means he's a freak. Max recently told me her film production partner is also breathtakingly "brilliant! Just brilliant!" I doubt that. No freak is brilliant unless he's wearing diamond grills on his teeth. Bling. It. On.

Anyway, I never paid any attention to him (considering my aversion to gifted genetics) until last week when we were watching Hitchcock's The Lady Vanishes (1938) and he lowered his head over me and took a whiff. Several, actually. I mean, you would have to get pretty damn close to someone for them to feel your breath on their scalp. I initially thought it was a fluke, but when I constantly felt him on the back of my neck, shoulder, for a good 2-hours, I started to suspect something really sinister: I have sinfully good-smelling hair. Say what you will, lemon puss. Sure, mes cheveux might technically be more reminiscent of an Italian restaurant during cutbacks, but what can I say? Somebody obviously doesn't mind. Thank you Fructis. Goodbye unhealthy pursuits.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Towel

The Conservatives have won the federal election. I can't say I'm surprised. Voters were deeply divided since none of the parties had much of a clear vision and hardly rallied supporters with their wishy-washy platforms. Though I must say, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little satisfied with the results. A minority government doesn't have the power to transform Canada into some sort of backwards, authoritarian state with a penchant for civilian wiretaps (*cough*). And they've fought harder to gain power, I think they deserve a bit more confidence from naysayers. Lazy Liberals: they got what was coming to them.

I'm just glad I live in a country where, left or right, people are still relatively centralist. (Unlike our southern neighbours who have been leaning more and more to the right since Reagan -- even the Democrats have become an unrecognizable shadow of their former selves.) My mom must've been jumpin' for rice cakes after the results were announced because she really likes the blue team. Although she isn't a keen follower of politics and probably couldn't point to Stephen Harper if he resembled a dim sum platter, she's also not a fan of excessive funding in social welfare programs. It comes from years of observing welfare recipients blowing their cheques at our store as their filthy kids mope around like in a Christian Children's Fund commercial where you half expect a fly to tap dance on their eyeball or something. Obviously, that's a very bias viewpoint, but experience has taught her young people have increasingly grown allergic to old fashioned manuel labour. (Guilty as charged.) My mom arrived in Canada at the heel of the Tiananmen massacre. She held down three jobs as she filed a year's worth of paperwork so my dad and I could join her. She washed dishes until her hands blistered. She cleaned, fed, and dressed senior citizens at a nursing home. She then worked the night shift at a hospital that required her to take the subway at some God forsaken hour. And she still managed to take me to school and put me to bed, on time, every time. So when she says she objects to seeing her tax money being doled out to the Mr. and Mrs. K-Fed Spenderlines of Blinged-Out Ave., one doesn't need any further explanation for her frustration. (She also thinks basic health care should cost a toonie for every visit: it might deter hypochondriacs from holding up the line.)

Needless to say, her views differ from mine over several issues. However, I do agree with her on one fundamental truth about government and, perhaps, life in general:

Nothing ever comes for free; your ease is always some else's burden.

***

SCHOOL SUCKS SO MUCH! It's cutting into my eBay addiction!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Free pass

It's now down to two people: Big Hands Ice Cream Man and Train Boy. Don't rush into anything, Lily. Play it cool. Patience is virtue and Oprah's never wrong ... except when she's raving about books written by frauds (details, details).

The problem with getting to know BHICM better is his employment at Ben & Jerry's. I don't really want to see someone who could potentially be a barometric witness to my weight gain:

"Woah, woah there. Maybe we should slow it down. Real down. You're starting to resemble Star Jones after a month of intensive butter basting."

There's no problem in Train Boy though. I watch about 6 movies a week, and he happens to work Saturdays (always approaching me with that smile of his, a boy band grin from the friggin' manuel).

Which was the case yesterday when I saw Cache. Browsing the Internet for viewer comments, many found it pretentious, slow, boring, and thus, essentially French. I assure you, it's not. There is no soundtrack, the only sounds are diagetic. But you get hooked from the first uneventful frame to the next. It's not a thriller though it is advertised as such. It has no recognizable narrative structure, but critical of the fake intellectualism rampant in the middle-class. The movie's a splice of life starting with a catalyst, but ending ... An ending? I watched it with an audience that felt cheated. "It wasn't satisfying," said one lady in the lavatory. I suppose auteur works never are since they are distictively unfamiliar. I can't say for sure what Haneke was intending to show, but whether it's a comment on the Algerian War, post-colonial repercussions, or the relationship of the West with the world, I was very happy with the movie. It felt like I was looking out the window of a car: the pastoral strip was itself the purpose of the trip, and not the destination. Cache was, if nothing else, thought-provoking; a fait accompli with a paradoxical design.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Arena

I have a very engaging teacher for media law class. The other day, HaiPhia and I were preparing to leave when he walked by to approach another student. Professor C. wore a purple checkered button-down shirt tucked into black slacks.

"Hey professor," I chimed soon afterwards. "My friend and I were just discussing how great you look."

HaiPhia chuckled nervously.

"Now she says you look like Anderson Cooper," I continued, "but I say Ralph Lauren."

Professor C. laughed. I wondered how far I could take this:

"You know, you're the most fashion forward member of our faculty."

He laughed again. I felt my way near the line ...

"You're practically a sex symbol!"

... and crossed it.

A few minutes later, NorIda appeared across the hall and waited for us outside. While relating the story to her, she abruptly cut me off:

"Lily," she said, matter-of-factly. "You know he's gay, right?"

***

DaDutch, along with a friend of hers, accompanied me to the movies yesterday. Munich is yet another overrated release. All sentimental hooha and phoned-in acting, it simplified the Israeli-Palestinian conflict into an after-school special. I could almost hear the chorus to Woody Guthrie's "This Land is Your Land" playing subliminally in the background.

"Typical Spielberg ending," DaDutch lamented afterwards.

I agreed. (Of course, I also went in having already read Aaron J. Klein's article on Spielberg's abuse of that ever-murky creative license he likes to brandish around.)

What a waste of talent. It was a fine cast made up of Western and Central European players with large helpings from the Middle East. Mathieu Kassovitz was completely underused as the bomb expert. (Why would a French man choose to speak English ... in Paris?!) The "quirky" details Spielberg assigned each assassin were so contrived, he needn't have bothered to base his movie on "real events" at all. Pointless to the plot, they were a bunch of Bratz dolls in '70s polyester. I recognized Moritz Bleibtreu from "Run Lola Run" under his thick beard, but his acting abilities were limited to scrunching his eyebrows and looking worried before being ushered off-screen permanently. Ciaran Hinds, Geoffrey Rush, Daniel Craig: the potential for something great was there. And I mean, sure Eric Bana occasionally got to show off his German and a target or two could be heard shouting in French, but the bulk of the film was in English which was a tragic mistake. Lynn Cohen as prime minister Golda Meir sounded like a subdued Linda Richman on Coffee Talk. (Not to mention Bana's frequent slippage into Ah-nuld territory.)

For a mainstream flick, it's tolerable. It gives people an excuse to congratulate their own open-mindedness. Suddenly, they've become enlightened to geopolitics and, newly emboldened, set off to shake their heads at all those "extremists" with "strong opinions". So this is what all that ballyhoo was about, I imagine them saying. Nothing a little understanding and Christianity can't fix. Spielberg should've either stuck to the facts or strictly filmed a morality play. That way, the Munich massacre wouldn't have been relegated to an anecdote and a title card.

It amazes me how often I leave chain-owned theatres disappointed ... especially those that don't have policies banning entry to teenagers in puffy coats, cell phones, and designer mukluks who giggle at the first sight of a butt, breast, or manly vulnerability as they crunch, crunch, crackle, crunch their way through scenes vital to the storyline.

I HATE YOU ALL! SLIT YOUR WRISTS AND SAVE US THE TROUBLE.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Basket case

Men don't like women who talk like truck drivers. Then again, neither do women. No sir, they do not. I suppose it's understandable: Primness is always in fashion. Which explains why I've made a practical career out of offending people. (Proudly troublesome for nearly a decade!) It's not that I go out of my way to raise eyebrows, it's just that, well, I have a dirty mouth I enjoy keeping comfortably unsanitized. Cursing is a form of punctuation for me, a buffer between strategic pauses and eventual punchlines. Adults aren't being endangered, so I see no reason to censor myself for their sakes when I'm entertaining friends. It's not like I'm next in line as the Archbishop of Wonderbread, so why the pressure to Eliza Doolittle me in every situation?

NorIda, HaiPhia, and I were having a conversation about who-knows-what and what-did-who on our way back from class this evening. They told stories about fish and boyfriends, I talked about a woman who stabs (slices?) her vagina with a shard of glass and smears the blood all over her mouth in a scene from Ingmar Bergman's "Cries and Whispers" and that time my grandma chased after the chicken she had just beheaded as it continued running in circles and laying eggs in our basement.

You know, small talk.

Now as the bus approached the main campus, the driver suddenly breaked, sending students jerking towards the windshield. My lower spine was pushed against the corner of a railing, which prompted me to blurt out: "Ow~! It's like I was butt fucked!"

I ducked my head and mouthed an apologetic oops.

Shocked silence crooned its eerie song. Besides the bellyaching laughs of NorIda and HaiPhia and the dude I nearly fell into, I was glared at from all sides. HaiPhia later informed me that one lady in purple, whom she caught watching us during the entire 20-minute commute, actually made a discernible "O" with her mouth. She couldn't tell whether it was in muffled grievance or contempt.

In any case, I guess I do occasionally come off a little obnoxious. But I also have a habit of peppering my sentences with "high-brow" words, concepts, and references to justify -- perhaps even balance out -- the coarseness of my demeanour. Although, I just now realize that might as well be an open invitation to get beaten up.

Definitely counterproductive.

***

I attended a screening of a documentary that chronicled the life of American GIs in Iraq. The presenters of this film were war resisters from the United States forced to flee to avoid doing time. During the Q&A section, I asked fairly sympathetic questions, something along the lines of the aftermath of their actions, whether they were ostracized by their communities (all came from the South), what their impressions of big city supporters were compared to their tighter-knit counterparts.

(*sidenote: one resister walked out spewing obscenities when a student asked him if he would've signed on to join the army if he had known killing women and children were part of the job description. The question was unquestionably smug and malicious in its delivery, but the reaction was just as melodramatic. The way these men acted was similar to puppet show produced by a sensationalist ring master.)

This is my snobbery speaking, I admit, but he didn't answer my questions at all. It was like he had a script and, by God, he was going to stick to it:

"Like, everywhere we go, there's going to be people who like us or hate us. I mean, that's just the way it is."

Huh?

For the first time, I could feel the palpable wave of intimidation the audience exerted from their seats. These American soldiers -- uneducated and poor -- were trying hard to look undaunted by hipster eggheads. In that auditorium, I saw the ivory tower from the sidewalk. We, purveyors of intelligence, take pride in our meritocratic values, so needless to say, it's disconcerting to see any sort of self-indulgent superiority typically exhibited by adherents of inherited Old World prestige.

Thought to be extinct, but very much alive, it presented itself all too clearly. Furthering one's social status by leeching off impressive credentials. Where have we heard this before? Literacy hasn't replaced the old currency of exchange: it has simply become an ambivalent poker chip of distraction. To talk about money is a liberal faux-pas surged from our liberal guilt. It might be too taboo to talk about, but the choices limited by the lack of it surely isn't, especially not when it's a snooty assessment of small-minded Amerikans (an in vogue icebreaker, I'm sure).

I don't know what I'm talking about. Hypocrites exist in all forms. I'm blathering at random again. If only I had my thinking cap on ...

***

... instead of slathering an entire jar of Nutella on random food groups in an effort to cut dishes by 90 percent, cooking time by 100, and my life span in half!

Hooray for chocolate and celibacy!

Sunday, January 15, 2006

You must be joking

A gift from me to you, dedicated readers. Please enjoy (not you, Math Judas):


***

My Houseband is determined to come to Montreal to complete his TOEFL exam. I'll be expected to give him shelter, natch. "Aren't there other openings?" I asked. "What's the hurry?" I plead passive aggressively for him to find alternative days, but to no avail. He won't budge; he must come and see me. Damn his unrelenting desperation! It's more lethal than a fat girl in heels. Hopefully, I'll be in Honduras with Banana Chic by then. And since Crazy French Guy offered to lend me the keys to his (modestly dingy, but oh-so convenient) apartment in Paris for the summer, Houseband can be further avoided, if not indefinitely.

Speaking of fat girls, I've always thought I had crooked legs because of some weird obesity gene that materializes as a gigantic wad of lard bolted to the sides of my knees, slipped from the glacial heights of my thighs. That's seemingly a dysmorphic illusion because I'm apparently in the same company as 'norexicle Starbucks abusers, as evidenced in Subject A - Kirsten Dunst:

Nothing says 'I love you'
like boning grandma.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Time travelling dating service

I scored a bootlegged copy of Pride & Prejudice and watched it on my computer in my underwear with a glass of strawberry-flavoured milk on my nightstand at three in the morning because a) I'm a schmuck for British hunks and b) it's practically the number one rule in the International Spinster Handbook.

"Kiss! Kiss! Kiss! Kiss!" I chanted at my laptop. "Boooooo!" when they didn't.

Alone in the dark, sirens screaming in intervals, one could say I was the poster child for what not to strive for in the aftermath of an especially messy divorce that might include kids, a dog or two, and an unhealthy obsession with legless strippers.

If I had to pick one moment in P&P that could represent my life, it would be the money shot of the hog's testicles as he waddles from sight. You see, I sometimes feel like I am one of a pair of beings, two entities that live as one, and I'm also dangerously close to assholes, those bearers of poppycock and uninvited business.

So P&P was, indeed, a life-affirming experience. I now know where I can find meself a decent homo sapien to cuddle with: in the 18th-century, y'all. Whoop, whoop!

***

True story: the drunk girls are drunk again. And this time, they brought their tears with them.

Ring, ring. Your mom called. She wants her menopause back.

***

"I'm telling you, HaiPhia. Generally-speaking, if a woman isn't attracted to a man, nothing will make her change her mind. It's like getting Michael Jackson to like little girls instead of little boys: he called it Neverland, not Maybeland, 'cause that bed is reserved, partner."

"The guy sitting behind you just gave me the look of a very confused man."

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Je le hais beaucoup: La fin (serieusement!)

"Stop trying to ignore me!" said M. Biologique as he yanked the newspaper out of my hands.

I glanced over at him, coolly dismissive of his irritation.

"I was reading that, you know."

"No you weren't!" he went on. "You're ignoring me!"

I cracked a smile. Couldn't help pitying this poor boy. He looked so helpless, like a diapered infant in a grown man's body, unaccustomed to social decorum.

"Talk to me!" he demanded, beginning to appear increasingly agitated.

I threw my arms up for effect: "No, [M. Biologique.] I could never do that to you. Never. You're a shining beacon of hope! A ray of light for humanity! No, not I. I could never ignore you."

I raised my voice defiantly after every embellished word, play acting a matronly figure to quell his tantrum, before duly retreating to my seat.

Silence. He was taken aback and, frankly, looked a little scared.

Then laughter. Nervous laughter.

"If that's what you believe," he answered, "don't let me stop you."

I bit my lip suggestively and made prolonged eye-contact. He's so cute when he's a fucker, I just want to sprinkle baby powder on him. Of course, he's not allowed to touch even an inch of me without permission and I must never let my guard down in his presence. Each one of these encounters is a contained event, related to nothing, but the present. I've learned to work indepedent of him since I cannot escape and he will not release. It's how one survives a textbook narcissist who makes a career out of playing games and is here to stay. A nuisance, a gadfly, an accessory of sorts. Something one doesn't mind buzzing around as long as it's kept away from one's priorities. I must be resigned in accepting reality: M. Biologique is unredeemable and must, thus, be tolerated "as is". Like a second-hand contraption that's lost its veneer and value, you allow it on the mantle for as long as it can hold itself together.

He is the ultimate self-hating, self-defeating, self-congratulatory monster. And for what it's worth, he is also a thankless child; one I cannot immediately abandon. Serves me right for making my bed ...

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Average Frustrated Chumps

I'm frequently approached on false pretenses. AFCs stop to ask me where certain bars are ("Sorry, I don't drink") to whether I've been informed of my ethnicity ("Yes") before breaking into character and laying on the pre-meditated players' speech.

"Look," I always want to tell them, but can't. "Can't you see I'm heading somewhere? I'm obviously not looking to get picked up."

I tell them I'm in a hurry, they ask me what program I'm in. I say I'm running late between classes, they ask me to spell out my name.

Like I told Math Judas, the best time to approach a woman is when she's not in motion. Or better yet, help her out and cut it short when you see her making a real effort to run real fast. And though I realize I will only complain about not being noticed when my breasts grow to be spongy and glaucoma patients start ignoring my EHarmony invites, it doesn't make the situation right now any better.

I'm not saying I'm the best person to take advice from seeing how I was on my way to being promiscuous before cutting my career short to settle as a second-banana to a toilet plunger with a Jewfro, but I made this scale, so you're reading it, my friend:

<-- Clinginess <= Positive ATTN -- | -- Negative ATTN => Distance -->


Rule of thumb: If you can't stand her, she likes you. If she can't stand you, you're no better off. What you're looking for is that nice medium where you still remember her name the next day, and she promises not to call the cops. Match made in freakin' heaven.

Je le hais beaucoup: le jour apres le precedent

... and was caught standing in line with his 6' Amazon, at once trying to catch my eye while appearing suspiciously guilty, as I was receiving free vegan food from the university soup kitchen. Due to the horseshoe nature of the queue, people near the back of the line stood only a few feet away from the people in the front, so there was no way I could avoid them. I pretended not to see the pleasantly untalkative, bored-looking couple even as I forced my way through to get to the doors, which were demonically situated to further humiliate me for just such an occasion.

His Hemp Barbie looked at me threateningly. A silent sinisterness seemed to radiate from her. Me? A threat? To whom? What does Cindy Crawford have to worry about from Cyrano de Bergerac? Neither of them spoke a word to each other, their body language perceptively stiff. So here I was, in the midst of a pithy moment, feeling as if I was supposed to be the bad guy for having my heart crushed for a farming enthusiast. Under the glare of the fluorescent lights, I simply wanted the tension to cease. "Calmly walk towards them," I instructed myself. "They won't notice 'cause they're tall. Slowly, slowly ..."

And got the hell out of there.

I pulled through Round One yesterday without a hitch. "How are you?", "Are you warm enough?", "Don't make me come over there and take care of you": M. Biologique hasn't changed a bit, invariably trying to get a rise out of me at any given chance he could muster. He uses every trick in the book to make me feel the pangs of competition for his affections, however manipulated and temporary. It doesn't make any sense to me how someone (this handsome!) could be so insecure and distrusting. Even now, after disappearing for three months, he behaves foolishly when I introduce myself to other men or am seen talking to one. And, apparently, this sufficiently permits him to fly the coop in search of fresh coot because, like he's said in the past, "We're just friends." He's right, of course we are, which leaves the question: Why does he keep crawling back?

(Answer: I'm a spare tire.)

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Je le hais beaucoup: le jour suivant

... and then had the audacity to wake me up with a phone call this morning to "hang out after class." I don't hear a peep from him for three months and then Lisa Marie Pressley! now wants to see me again? It must be because he's tired of his Hemp Barbie girlfriend. The way he gets tired of everything else in his meaningless life.

Got himself a cell phone, too, apparently.

"Is it made of bamboo?" I asked, condescendingly. "Or another brand of hippie wood?"

I coolly ended the conversation about having things to do and people to see. And if he really wanted to meet up afterwards, he could contact me using his fancy soup can on a string. (He did.)

Damnit! I shouldn't even have given him that option! So, so weak ... Although, I don't know anyone who could still retain their strength in the absence of a pumping organ. But believe you me I will show up looking chic, chic, chic since I couldn't cut off his bitte, bitte, bitte.

Speaking of fashion, I was mistaken for a designer at a high-end boutique last night. "A journalist?" the man repeated, surprised. "But you don't look like a journalist."

"What is a journalist supposed to look like?"

"Not like this!" he said. "You are too, too stylish!"

Hehehehe, how I enjoy being stereotyped as someone more glamourous. Had he known I just like wrapping things around my boobs, he would've thought differently.

Je le hais beaucoup! C'est incroyable! Je voulais couper son [...]

mais ce n'est pas necessaire: je le deteste plus que les mots peuvent dire.

Clutching my heart in exasperation, I felt it drilling into the walls of my chest. I was getting light-headed as the next intersection approached, my rapid breathing unable to fulfill my excessive demand for air.

I quickly recounted the images that made up the last five minutes. I remember wanting to send J.Lass's mother some flowers for her loss, heading towards a local florist for white carnations.

I remember turning the corner at the intersection where the metro station stood, a bustling corner of commuters on their midday coffee break.

I remember walking behind a stranger only to lose sight of him suddenly when somebody else lodged himself directly between us in the crowd. A tall man of 6-foot-2, it took a second to realize my nose was already skimming the sleeve of his jacket: so close I was that the beige material spanned both my eyes. Out of habit, I looked up to apologize even though it was technically his fault to have spontaneously (and carelessly) got in my way.

It was M. Biologique. The first time in over a month since I've seen him. "Oh my God," I gasped. He kissed his new girlfriend: "I'll see you at 7:30, baby."

I remember hurrying around them, my presence unacknowledged. My heels click-clacked on the slippery pavement, large red sunglasses shielding my eyes from the sun. No, there was no sun. Though they were mercifully preventing passer-bys from judging what laid behind them anyway.

He did it on purpose. On purpose. The words resonated like a tremor through my body. He felt the need to hurt me even as he aggressively sought to push himself away. On purpose. Malicious. What would Oprah do?

In retrospect, I am glad to have witnessed the pettiness he demonstrated oh-so-clearly today. He needed to prove that he's moved on. And my surface display of indifference proved to him the same.

Besides, "cruelty is fed, not weakened, by tears."

***

After that initial shock, I went therapy shopping with NorIda. I bought accessories here and there, a coin purse (on sale!) at DKNY, a few Body Shop moisturizers, and basically pampered myself, grateful for my friend's companionship on such short notice.

Books were being unpacked on the mezzanine at school, so I picked up Skipping Towards Gomorrah by Dan Savage. And The Tiananmen Papers: I was there when it happened, I deserve to know why.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Beads

At CatCouver's going-away shindig last night, I was backed into the proverbial corner by 1) Techbiana, who confessed -- with no help from the magic juice -- she had tried to get me into bed on numerous occasions over the past year, and 2) CatCouver's friend, Marxist Biologique, a 24-year-old who reminded me too much of his namesake to give him a chance. They kept interrupting the flow of conversation with little asides about wanting to screw me during our discussion about South American foreign policy.

I finally stopped ignoring it:

"This is exactly why I'm part of the Ya-Ya Spinsterhood: I'm so social, I'm so personable, but everyone just wants to have sex with meeeeee!"

I know, I know, it's practically the complaint of the century, a mutation made of equal parts self-deprecation and self-indulgence. Techbiana nearly turned blue from laughing so hard.

***

I've never been a letter writer, but the latest onslaught of Ayelet Waldman hate mail on Salon.com motivated me to say something, anything. The same readers come on and wax idiotic and it gets infuriating how childish adults can get. [Update: Hey sweet, it's become an Editor's Choice]:

WHY ALL THE VITRIOL?

I, like a previous reader, also cringe when I read all the angry letters sent in the wake of a Waldman piece. Psychoanalyzing the author, exaggerating her qualities only to tear her to shreads [sic], bringing up her bipolar disorder, it is a one-upmanship of condemnation for the sake of impressing like-minded peers. I may not agree with Waldman's views, but I don't shy away from her byline. Writers are taught to write what they know, and what we typically know is ourselves. That may be interpreted as narcissism, but it's a matter of degrees and perspective (and I have known diagnosed narcissists, those vortexes of self-hate). The driving theme of this article is Oedipus, so it is not without reason her literary embellishments are of the incestuous kind. Further more, the interactions described between herself and her son obviously cross the line of good taste for some, but it is far from pornographic as suggested. I am not yet 20, still admittedly naive, and sensing all the eye-rolling, finger-pointing, and instant judgmentalism ... well, let's say it's more than a bit disconcerting.

-- Lily


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Monday, January 09, 2006 11:22:01 AM

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Un chapeau noir

For her birthday three days ago, NorIda received from her boyfriend an autographed hat worn by Slash (previously of Guns N' Roses fame, now in Velvet Revolver). Though I am not the first to comment on her unsightly taste in men, who wouldn't want to own a piece of their heartthrob's wardrobe? Apparently, a friend of his asked the 80's rocker during a private party and the man obliged and personally made it out to her.

I told her I've officially become that girl who starts stories with, "A friend of a friend of mine ..."

Also known as the third tier of gossipdom, eight degrees removed from D-list.

***

CatCouver's doing an exchange in England this semester. She's dying to see Britannia again; her plane leaves Monday. NorIda, having spent a great deal of time there, warned me that London's City University has a terrible reputation for being unorganized. But knowing CatCouver's distaste for our journalism program ("Too vocational!"), anything that appears remotely exotic must look appealing. I'm a little saddened that she's decided to switch into anthropology though. I mean, I understand I'm not in a position to say considering I have more "fun" classes (with the addition of a joint major in communication studies), but anthro? Interesting? Sure! Practical? Not for most. But who am I to say? I also earn credits watching and discussing obscure movies. Where's that going to lead me besides a dark room in Rio with transsexual hookers and a post-op paraplegic named "Pigglesworth"?

***

I went to see Brokeback Mountain with Readerdroid (its popularity escapes me) and caught sight of Choo-Choo Chuck (i.e. the boy I met on the train the day I was informed of J.Lass's passing). He was behind the concession stand and greeted me with a huge warm smile when I exited the theatre, wanting to know how my holidays went, what I thought about the movie, to which I answered both times, "Uneventful." Even cuter than I had remembered, Readerdroid found him "extremely dorkish ... in a good way." (I guess she was getting me back for when I originally called her ex-boyfriend "scrawny", "pre-pubescent", and "okay, at best.")

"I'm moving on from hippies to hipsters," I explained, cheerfully unfazed, then gushed for a full minute before being calmed down by the apparentness of my absurdity in the ladies' restroom.

He hopes to see me again. Hmm, does he now? But it won't be for another week. Not before I get accustomed to my new class schedule because this time I will not be accommodating for just anyone.

***

Houseband, or that guy I met during my trip to China this summer and forced to live with during the Christmas break because he's decided to study in Canada and needed a place to stay until he found somewhere of his own, is getting on my nerves. He seemed harmless and boring when he was under my parents' roof, showing frequent restraint in his flirtatious pursuit (which I brushed off as another side-effect of his lonely situation and the fact that he's native Chinese, which I should've known would make him virile, not sterile). He was driven to his new place in Toronto the day before I came back to Montreal. Let me point out that I had tried my best to appear extremely short-fused and temperamental whenever anyone brought up the opposite sex and even got my mom involved whenever the three of us were alone in the car:

"You ask daddy why he no buy me [wedding] ring! I say, Leelee, why marry? Men, they crazy!"

I went out every night with one friend or another to avoid having to "get to know him" and "show him around". I was rude, sure, but passively so.

This strategy, presumably, would've driven any sane person away. And I thought his lack of intimate intiative was a result of that. What delusion because I received messages from him today telling me how he misses me and asking me for my cell number:

"Why would you want it? It's long-distance."

"Oops, I have got it already."

Shit, I can't be expected to maintain a conversation with someone who has gems like, "I bought a phone card today" and "No, the notebook was not from Chinatown," in his repertoire. When I mentioned going to a party this Sunday, he said, "Oh, so u have to go to sleep or u will not be beautiful for tomorrow."

*Silence*

He's the son of a family friend, I understand that. Which also means I'm obligated to be nothing less than courteous to him. Fine. He has another side to him I noticed when he lamely tried to court me during my vacation in the land of a billion chinks. I didn't like what I saw then and I don't like what I've seen now. Besides, how can you trust anyone who gets on your parents' good side simply to get to you? Pick-up lines that might've worked with girls on the mainland do not work with this uber-plantain.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Letterman vs. O'Reilly

How do you spar with a bullshitter? At least liars acknowledge the truth in order to deny it. Turd wads like O'Reilly have only manure ingrained in their brain chemistry and are about as complex as a bowel movement.

Letterman to BO: "I have the feeling that about 60 percent of what you say is crap."

Link to video at Media Matters.

Leaud

Chinks are the new Jews -- a gem of an article, 10 years on. I'm so not looking forward to playing forward.

***

Nothing substantial ever happens in my life. Not that it did in the past, though I feel Lucci-esque drama should at least appear once in awhile. Not so much comprised of boredom than incompetence, student living is often inane (and inebriated, though my neighbours pass that for fun). No rigidity, transparent disorder, I live in the perpetual aesthetics of a home video -- that is to say, session after session of purposeless mobility. Eat (rarely), drink (never), enthusiasm has dissolved into char: a passing reminder of a once organic matter.

It's the new semester blues.

***

I've been carrying on a friendship with Francois Truffaut. Every week or so, I pop in another one of his films into my DVD player. First came Jules et Jim (1962), followed successively by Tirez sur le pianiste (1960), Antoine et Colette (1962), and inevitably Les quatres cents coups (1959). I realise I'm approaching them in an anti-directional way and that's okay, because he and I have an understanding that as long as I sit glued to his vision, I have an excuse to stay in.

I am still mending the remnants of my heart. Sometimes, I want to leap inside my mind to rearrange those excruciating conversations, reverse the dialogues of action. I feel as though I was convinced to row farther and farther into an impossibly deep sea, then left to fend for myself at the first sight of an ocean liner -- all pomp and circumstance, a brittle show of restraint. "Trust me," I'd hear and comply. "I would never lie to you," but did. The boat was made of lead from the start made worse by the holes in my head.

Still an idealist at 19: sensible, one it does not make.

I'm relatively content, not ungrateful and far from urban decay. I don't know. I've never been not single, I can't see it being otherwise. I flee from aggressive attention, yet bathe in the passive kind. It's depressing to acknowledge that my conscious decision to stay unattached (for whatever reason) is seen pitifully. "Don't worry." Who's worrying? "It'll come." But why? Whereas the parallel judgments of my coupled-up self would probably never need justifying. Being in a relationship is associated with more positive connotations: maturity, stability, ambition, a lovely disposition. Already, one's personal character passes the unspoken test of society. Now for myself, how I choose to think and what I choose to do is consistently evaluated. One assumes this also doubles as an assessment of my character (because bureaucrazy exists for the needy and disenchanted). I'm "stubborn", he's "determined". And while I'm painfully "naive", they're playfully "childlike".

Steve -- whom, might I add, has never been without a steady -- thinks I'm being irrational (and probably more than a little paranoid, but too nice to say it outright). So what if I'm finding causal links where there is none? I'm cruel and embittered, the tremors of yore still scaring the bejeezus out of me. Likewise, I'm also tired of not being able to say "my ex" like everyone else, though I'd be lying to everyone else if I did. However, "unofficiated intimate relations in a previously ambiguous, emotionally incestuous, slightly masochistic affair" doesn't exactly roll off the tongue either.

But I know being single isn't all sisyphusian toil: at least the prospect of marriage becomes obsolete.

"You'll change your mind."

That's not what my mama said.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Scene Stealer

What happens when you mix expensive denim with a mother, any ol' mother, especially one who refuses to accept modern standards of living? You get darting looks from other customers, a manic matriarch passed the verge of Hulkdom, and a mouthful of insults.

What started off as a day of shopoholic intentions turned into a meow meow, claws-out brawl. I continued sulking in the car, acting irritated and peeved-off:

"How could you humiliate me like that in the store?"

The truth is, I wasn't very embarrassed. I had initially handed my credit card over to the salesgirl reluctantly anyway. (She was too good!) My mom's tantrum was a blessing in disguise considering I would've had to sell my body to pay off the subsequent bill. Frankie B. and Gas: nice jeans, just not worth the STDs. I was still pouting as we neared the exit ramp, apology at the tip of my tongue, soliloquy in my head. But it never made it out. Maybe her friend had told her something at the restaurant or it could've well been simple retrospection; in any case, by the time we turned into the driveway, she was figuring out ways to make it up to me:

"Let's go shopping again tomorrow," she suggested. "We can find something before you leave."

Don't bother, I told her: "I don't care anymore." Which was the honest truth -- pants never meant much to me to begin with. (There's no nudity clause in my contract.) Yet, even as she scrambled to get me to stop frowning, I couldn't come out and say sorry. The entire incident was clearly my fault: my will too weak to oppose material temptation. I was guilty of impulsiveness and thought I could hide it from her. She was justified in getting angry; I had been prepared to lie for distressed blues. My mouth kept shut the entire time to gain sympathy from the staff, but in reality, I wanted my money back as much as my mother did -- I just didn't have the balls to pull out all the stops to make a timely ruckus.

Besides, I don't do the mall. It's about the art, as my father likes to point out, tauntingly.

Lecon du jour: One must never trust a parent to behave in public without supervision or a bribe. "Deranged" doesn't even begin to cut it.

***

"How do you spell cremation?"

Oh, that sly woman. Never without an idea for restoring peace.