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Feb. 18th, 2009

woah!

what a week...

My phone ate my post, but thankfully gmail saved it... was written this past Saturday

8:07pm : Happy Valentines. I hope you lot are all happy, and if you're not, i hope you find happiness today.

I am currently on an eastbound streetcar heading to Opera House to catch The Planet Smashers leaving from an art exhibition. A co-worker was displaying some of her super-creative drawings, doodles, paintings and commentaries. The girl has tremendous talent or I 'get' her work. Either way, brilliant stuff. She joined an art program aimed at young filipinas giving them an opportunity and an outlet to grow.

There was an exhibit that another one of the artists that decorated this tiny storage closet into a steretypical girls bedroom complete with fashion magazine ads plastered all over the walls and post-it notes mocking the image and messages the displayed. Interspersed were these wonderful quotes aimed at how advertising and media downgrade femininity and endorse rediculous female body image standards with all of the side-effects outlined. Just wonderful. I began to wonder if the person who created this was chasing shock value or was sincerely passionate about it.

I'm embarrassed that i might have been checking out a high schooler over her mind. It was strange have part of me yelling to stop it. I'm cool. I'm writing it off as a moment of supreme weakness. Stupid Valentines...

For the record, I found out yesterday that she's 21... I just feel LESS dirty

So, my week.

The following list isn't meant to provoke sympathy. Hardly. This is me chronicling the sum of small-to-medium annoyances so if i ever get this angry again, i can review the record of what the hell happened.

Ahem.

Ripped my favourite shirt entering the washroom at Roy Thompson Hall, people only talking to me because they need something, my phone continuously providing a new and different problem with every time i turn it on, getting locked out of my computer at work for a whole day, getting no more than 5 hrs sleep for 5 nights straight and i'm not even sick, youtube pissing me off trying to share private videos and failing repeatedly, having conversations with friends where they don't listen to me, but i am expected to listen to them, eating out way more often this week than my budget alotted, having a massive headache during the best restaurant meal i've ever had, attractive women talking to me for basic information yet can't formulate a damn smile as an indication of gratitude, it was mild with no sunshine, being fiscally responsible only to discover Reel Big Fish have a new album out and probably other trivial shit that i've forgotten or can't air here.

The turning point was courtesy of my dearest friend Cindy, who, without knowing it, gave me a link to a video of an all-female six piece ska band from Japan called Ore Ska Band do a cover of the closing theme to an anime called Bleach. Here's the link. Two part harmony, horns blasting and the kind of rhythm that makes you want to start bouncing wherever you are.

12:30am : i'm on the way home from the show. I took it easy and only bought 2 CDs @ $10 each. I knew i was going to. The old me would've bought 6 or 7. Baby steps. The Planet Smashers were beyond awesome. I'm inviting everyone to the next show.

The 504 streetcar is really motoring right now. It's 15km/h shy of being a rollercoaster.

Well, happy lovey day to all.

<EOT>

Jan. 22nd, 2009

ginger bread man

Now I'm going to bitch...

Misuse of the 'environment' as a gouging tool

I'm pretty pissed off at Loblaws (supermarket chain). Aside from their
convenient mislabelling or price tag removal policy that they seem to have
in stores (no less than 3 items I bought this week were without a
corresponding tag, assholes), they now have taken to being an
'environmentally responsible' company at a cost to the consumer earlier than
it needs to be enforced.

Now I am not disputing the environmental damage that three billion plastic
bags must be doing to our planet (because as we all know, it's CONSUMERS and
not INDUSTRY who are the real offenders, duh!) so they will now encourage
you to buy their cloth bag made from recycled materials for a buck, which
isn't that bad, or charge you 5 cents for every bag you need. They have
these signs posted at the checkout and at the top of their pull-out
advertisements next to the icon of a tree. No harm in that, right?

Lest we forget anyone who has shopped at No Frills, Loblaws' 'low-end'
chain. They've been touting this 5 cents per bag thing for as long as I can
remember. The difference: it's the LOW END STORE. They were trying to be
CHEAPER. LOWER PRICES. THERE'S NO TREE LOGO TO BE FOUND IN THE PLACE. NO
ENVIRONMENTALIST FLAG-WAVING. AT LEAST THEY HAVE THE DECENCY TO ALLOW YOU
TO USE DERELICT BOXES FOR CARRYING YOUR GOODS IF YOU DON'T WANT TO PAY FOR
THE BAGS!

I know that if 'we all do our part' that changes happen, right? It's too
bad it had to a fad mentailty to get up for it. And don't even get me
started about "organic" food.

The TTC is to assholes the way the moon is to werewolves

I realize the transit network that Toronto must deal with, nothing can be
accurate. I still don't understand why I waited 25 minutes for a bus that
goes up Bathurst from a subway station (underneath the Loblaws,
poetically). Nevermind the fact that I counted NINE busses heading east,
SIX heading north in a different direction, FOUR heading south and TWO OUT
OF SERVICE! It was f'ing COLD down there.

Here's the scenario. St. Clair West station has a bus and street car depot
below street level. Below that is where the subway line runs north/south.
There are two lines of people when I arrive. They were short but that was
before 25 minutes had elapsed. One line for the front door. One line for
the back door. Simple, civilized, polite. As more and more time passes,
the line for the back door goes so far as wrapping around the stair case
leading you out of the bus depot. As the bus nears its arrival, the plot of
land dedicated to the 7C bus going north has spilled into four lines.
Whatever, There are two doors on the back and the front has snaked about six
times over.

Bus pulls up.

ANARCHY! FUCK THE LINES! IT'S COLD AND I WANT ON THE BUS! The people who
waited in line for half an hour are being jumped infront of them by skinny
little skid tramp who obviously never learned what a line was for. She
stood there for less than 5 minutes and got a SEAT! WHAT THE HELL! I'm
pretty sure she got a seat before the mother standing 4th in my line with
her BABY GIRL.

Now the only reason why I'm on the bus is that I've got two cloth bags and a
backpack full of groceries and it's cold. And I have no gloves. I take the
bus, and it turns a eight block walk into a two. A lot of people do that.
Some only ride for one stop. I ring the bell, I say excuse me and I try to
move. No one has the faculty to move. I'm getting off the bus. If I get
off the bus, there's more room for everyone else. I said excuse me a second
time and I barrelled through. I guess the idiots felt I could teleport out
of the bus. If I could teleport out of the bus, I wouldn't need to take
public transit.

Strangely enough, everyone is courteous when waiting in line. Idle chatter,
random smiles. Very nice. If this were a violent society, there would be
dead bodies piled up at every subway station from all the throat-slitting
just to get on public transit.

These people should remind themselves : if they were half as important as
they thought they were, they would be in a car.

<EOT>

Jan. 21st, 2009

I&#39;m so fucking metal!

2008 Album of the Year

I found this imeem.com site so I thought what better way to let ppl know what I'm digging by actually playing the noise that passes for music with me. The list is in order. Yes, I'm like that.

List with a imeem player behind the cutCollapse )


And that's it.

<EOT>
Tags:

Jan. 1st, 2009

ginger bread man

Piss off 2008

I am currently sitting in the sports wagering section of Casino Niagara resting my feet. No time like the present, amidst the sensory overload, to chronicle my own personal annual inventory of 'what did i learn this year'

I have learned...

... To hug those you truly care about. Hugs feel way too good to not be doled out all the time.

... To tell your parents you love them. Appreciate them, for their greatnesses and faults.

[If you read this, please hug your parents for me. Telling them you love them is totally optional.]

... That my dad was great. He helped so many people. I wish i knew this while he was alive instead of merely speculating it.

... That even your own moral code cannot curb your feelings.

... That though there is never a bad time to pour your heart out, there rarely seems to be a good time when you're so close.

... Personal creative pursuit is another expression of life, love and enlightenment. I wish more people could put their necks out and do something that their heart craves.

... Being blunt isn't noble, it's license to be ignorant.

... More people look out for me than expected. I love you guys for that more than i could possibly articulate in this post.

... Though toronto is great, friends would be better.

... I'm shit with paying things on time.

... I still hate new years as a day's supposed symbolism.

... I was more saddened by everyone else's loss than my own.

... I often put other's happiness before my own.

... I don't hide that fact as well as i thought.

... That this prevents me for going after things I want out of life.

... This facet about me needs to change.

May 2009 bring all of you a greater clarity of purpose and an appreciation of who you are.

<EOT>

Email on the go, sent by TELUS

Dec. 11th, 2008

ginger bread man

Clearly, I must be an insensitive asshole...

So, I'm injured. I severely bruised my left calf muscle playing indoor
footie. It's karma haunting me as I was supposed to help a friend move and
I couldn't get back in time. I've been limping around for a week and a
half.

Last Friday I went to see Q-Tip, with The Knux and The Cool Kids opening up
for them. It was probably the most surprising hip-hop show I've been to in
a while. The Cool Kids, who've had some traction were OK. They were
rhyming of some slow beats which was screwing me up. The did do one of
their songs over the same beat from Slick Rick's "Bedtime Story" (or for the
uninformed, Montell Jordan's "This Is How We Do It") which was kinda hawt.
I said to my sister that it should be mandatory for a rap group to nick
someone else's beat and perform one of their own songs over top of it.

The Knux was entertaining. Though this means next to nothing to most of my
audience, they sounded like Das Efx without the goofy scheme, but the same
flow. I only got to see about 4 songs but I was sold.

Q-Tip. Wow. That dude is the NEW JAMES BROWN. His show was fucking
bananas. He left it out on the stage. He believes in his message, his
music. It wasn't "going through the motions" which is like every other show
I've been to. He did some old Tribe Called Quest stuff (more than I
expected) and did a good amount of his new stuff. Played with a 5-pc live
band, it was neo-soul hip-hop. Live show was top shelf. If you get the
chance, strongly recommend it. And for an MC, the boy can sing. The song
"Shaka" is excellent on the CD, it's even better on live. He needs a DVD of
the show. It needs to be documented.

The album, this may be bias, but it's excellent. Better than the
commercially sucessful Amplified that has "Breathe And Stop" and "Vivrant
Thing".

OK, from here begins the rant which my subject line relates to.

Last night, I watched the live UFC Fight For The Troops show on Spike. It
was an awareness campaign for traumatic brain injury, or TBI as the acronym
that was burned into my head (no pun intended) all show long, and to raise
funds for a rehabilitation centre for soldiers who suffer from this
affliction during the various tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. They
had various celebrities speaking about what TBI is and what we, the viewing
public, need to do to help these brave men and women.

So here's where my asshole-ery begins: Why is the public at large being
asked to donate to a centre to help soldiers who have been victims of their
government's management? I mean, I really feel for the troops. Whether it
was duty, a paycheque, an education or a means out, I'm sorry it had to come
to this. However, if the soldiers are the employees of the government and
they get 'hurt on the job', isn't it the duty of the government to look
after them? I mean, the amount of jingoistic rhetoric that I was assulted
with over the 3 hrs of programming had me reeling with the feeling of
contempt for the US. They were looking to raise $20 million for this centre
to be built near Ft. Bragg in South Carolina.

I kinda felt that this wasn't necessarily coming from the soldiers, but a
cop-out from the government. I mean, technically the people pay for the
military, why should they pay further for their ill-preparedness by
voluntarily paying for this.

And maybe someone can explain exactly how invading Iraq and Afghanistan is
"defending our freedom"? Razing those two countries might 'protect' America
from a distance, but selling it as freedom... insane. Does the citizenry to
the south actually buy this position wholeheartedly? Is it so rare for
people to question this position?

The number of people who appear to accepted blindly frightens me. And
unfortuntely, the soldiers who were just doing their job are in the middle.

Or, maybe I'm an asshole.

<EOT>

Nov. 11th, 2008

ginger bread man

long overdue

My life has never seemed busier. I'Ve also discovered that the reason i'm not sleeping enough is that i wake up at 9am, regardless of when i actually go to bed. I am writing this at 9:25pm on sunday night, while on the subway heading down to the docks for an 11pm sunday night futsal match.

The most poignant thing about this here life was the dinner i had with the brazilian on monday. We were speaking of our current relationship status, hers being 'well in progress' and mine still listed as 'painfully absent'. In our discussion, i ask about how things are with her fishie (they met on plentyoffish.com) and she asks me about my pursuit of my doppleganger.

In my situation, i'm at an impasse where i want to move away from her in any way possible while in fact, my subconscious is on autopilot pushing me forward. I am clearly the "no. 2 man" in her life, but i no longer want to be a silver medal. Ms. Doppleganger just returned from an extended vacation, and though that separation was good, it was over before i realized it.

The brazilian said something to me that was rather poignant. Upon declaring that knowing full well that i am rather picky when it comes to what does it for me, the brazilian summed it up a little like this,

"i hear you man. I don't think you should give up hope on her just yet. I mean, she must feel something for you. But if she can't see how great a guy you are, yhen of course, try to move on. I support whatever course of action you take. I just want you to be as happy as i know you deserve. But i gotta tell ya, it's a great feeling to come home after a long day, have someone to wrap their arms around you and say 'I love you'... I want that for you."

Now, i've heard da_flipboy and greysilk tell me that i gotta lower my standards. I don't think my standards are that high, but apparently i am unrealistic. Or unrealistic in the sense that i'm not going to find "her".

I could list them...

Anyways, i have begun to try talking to women on dating sites. Sadly, i know and have always known that i excel at the interview. Me speek bettr then me tipe. :)

Sadly, i certainly do not have the physical appearance that women would deem attractive. Not being mean, just calling it like it is. Honest. So with my gub, and a borderline interesting way to break the ice, i do not translate well in text form. Not even so much as a sniff. Rarely anyone checks out my profile even after i write them... Just delete the message and wait for Brad Pitt to come knocking apparently. Also, not really the kind to walk up to people and chat them up. I hate to interrupt people.

Needless to say, i'm looking to broaden my horizons, as it were. Make new friends, meet new people, things like that.

And I don't want to say 'lower my standards'. That is why they're standards. But i will be keeping a more open mind in general. When opportunity occurs, i hope i recognise it.

We lost 3-1, and i played better this game than the last two. It should be 12:40am by the time i get in.

<EOT>

Email on the go, sent by TELUS

Oct. 22nd, 2008

ginger bread man

Aftermath

Well, it's four weeks today since my father's passing. Thank you all for
your kind words and support.

The biggest thing that's taken place has been numbers.

For example, at Thanksgiving dinner, I asked my mom who was all coming to
dinner and she said that Aunt M, Uncle N, Uncle R, Aunt M and cousin R were
going to be there. She asked me later to set the table, which I did. I set
plates down and there was only nine. So I asked "who am I missing?"

You see, the math is usually my family, which is 5, plus the revolving cast
of extended family, and in this case, it works out to be 10. Oh wait...

There's only four now...

I'm so accustomed to counting 5 in my clan. Hell, it's been 5 since shortly
after I could count. That's 28 years of conditioning.

So far the only thing that becomes difficult in dealing with my father's
passing is running into people face to face who make it seem like it's been
a huge earth-shattering thing. I mean, yes, it has been rough at times, but
it is not like my world was ruined... just the foundation shook. A lot.
People have been channelling their own grief, because that's how we relate.
I know, I do it. I've just never been on the receiving end of such
sentiment. That's what makes it tough... the regular reminder of our
own mortality.

A fellow at work was diagnosed on Monday of pancreatic cancer. He's two or
three years older than I am. It's so strange and surreal. The realist in
me isn't optimistic for him. It spread to a few locations and it was
four-day long stomach pains that sent him to the doctor. I do hold out hope
for him. For anyone. But the reality is, this cancer really bad because it
is usually too late by the time it is detected. There are no real early
warning signs.

Nothing poignant beyond this. Get checked regularly is the moral of the
story I suppose...


<EOT>

Oct. 3rd, 2008

ginger bread man

What a week

Not to evoke sympathies (please) but on Wednesday, September 24th, my father
passed away after a battle with pancreatic cancer. He passed comfortably at
home with little to no pain or discomfort as possible.

And I didn't make it on time.

Wednesday was a day where I did minor, un-me-like things. I packed two sets
of gym clothes. I paid off my bills early and on-time. After work, I went
on the treadmill after playing squish. I never hit the treadmill
post-squish (which is really the raquet game squash, but squish is more
funner to say). Needless to say, when I got out of the gym, I had a voice
message to come home...

Now, I don't think I'm in shock or denial or a suppression of emotions. I
knew my dad wasn't doing well. Every time I visited, he was a little more
frail, more whispy in voice, more weak. I also knew that with pancreatic
cancer, the odds aren't very good because by the time it's detected, it is
usually too late. The "mass on his pancreas" that was discovered in January
was enough to paint the picture. I had done plenty of mourning in the
privacy of my own home, in no one's presence. I've had plenty of time to
reflect on the fact that my dad wasn't going to be around much longer. And
when I did spend time with him, it was smiles and laughter.

There was no burial. No service. At my dad's request, and it was the best
idea.

Saturday was tough. Everyone who came into the house usually triggered a
flood of tears. Family. Friends. Neighbours. All these people who knew
my father and I was saddened for them.

I was most broken up by the loss and pain that others were suffering moreso
than that of my own. It was hard. My dad was a great guy. He helped many
people. He's helped my friends on many occasions, nevermind all that he did
for his family. But that's what he did. He bettered the world with the
gifts and talents he had. Something I hope to carry forward, and I think I
have been carrying for quite some time.

Mind you, once those initial tears passed, the laughter and smiles of those
around the house would have you thinking something else was taking place.
My dad would never have wanted people to be mourning... that was never his
style. He'd want people to have a drink and a laugh. A very befitting
celebration of his legacy : joy.

Je t'aime papa...

<EOT>
Tags:

Aug. 31st, 2008

ginger bread man

PAX

Sorry, I'm late.

We've had some crazy internet issues in the hotel. It's WiFi and stupid.
Whatever. Right now, it's working.

So far.

PAX is pretty bananas. I mean, I feel like I've DONE it all with one day to
go. Good times.

Bunch of swag. DVDs, some CDs, some T-shirts. Many cute nerdy girls that I
would pay money for sex with.

Many smelly derelicts of society, but that's to be expected.

Food has been good. Things are kinda expensive, but not too bad.

We haven't killed Mikey yet. Thought about it once or twice. May kill him
later.

I ate a piroshky. It was delicious.

I'll write up a more detailed account later.

In ya face.

<EOT>

Aug. 25th, 2008

ginger bread man

maybe i'm a loser...

(this was composed friday night, but my phone choked on the awesomeness of it all)

I've meant to write an update for some time now. In fact i'm pretty certain that somewhere, i'Ve got a post nearly ready.

I'm sitting in the back room at the Rivoli at Queen West waiting for Dodger to play, which may be a few hours away, nursing a Strongbow.

That didn't mean to sound nearly as emo as that reads. Sorry.

C'mon, when do i ever have a personal crisis? Not often enough.

If for some reason i missed thanking you for well wishes earlier this week, allow me to quote the chorus of one of my most favourite songs...

changed a lot and then some, some
Know that we have always been down, down
If i ever didn't thank you, you
Then just let me do it now...


It has been an interesting week. All of it good, but i'm super glad it's over. There's been subtle disappointments along the way. Just kind of the eye rolling type shit. I love it when plans get hijacked on short notice, and i really love when people make plans in front of you while the current plan is still being executed. Fucking classy.

Oh friday, how i'm glad to see you visit. But right now, don't stop, keep moving.

I wrote my first lyrics in nearly a month. One of these days, i'll learn to put it to guitar.

Next wednesday we head to Seattle for a week. Sadly, Philly got taken over a barrel by his work, so he can't go. Fucking weak. Sorry homie.

This opening band is playing a really cute light reggae-rock song. I liked it. May buy the CD. I know, unlike me.

Maybe i should put the stylus down and relax...

*sigh*

<EOT>

Email on the go, sent by TELUS

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