« November 2002 | Main | January 2003 »

December 23, 2002

Happy Holidays!

The best e-card I could find.

Posted by   at 04:18 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

December 19, 2002


I liked Adaptation, apparently quite a bit, and posted my thoughts about it here, should anyone care, (though these thoughts should wait until after you've seen the film.)

Posted by   at 03:22 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Ba Land

My roommates all have this private blog full of the most hilarious shit I read anywhere - but I am not allowed to give out that address. At times, this saddens me greatly. However, Ba has promised to start using his personal weblog, and so far he has made good on his word, which is a good thing. (Scroll all the way down on the opening page for a very quality Christmas comic).

Posted by   at 03:14 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Hero Building

This does not offend me.

Posted by   at 03:11 PM | Comments (17) | TrackBack

December 17, 2002


I made it all the way to 2062 [here].

Posted by   at 04:23 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

December 16, 2002

hand cancer

A couple years ago I was living on the east-side of Vancouver in the heroin district, in a warehouse about twenty times the size of my present bedroom apartment, and about half the rent.

That was when I first noticed it: A knot of gristle on the back of my left hand just under my skin, between the tendons that lead into my ring and pinky-finger. As it grew, it got to the point I couldn't reach into the pocket of my jeans without tweaking it, and when I tweaked it, I felt like the inside of my elbow was being stabbed with something hot.

I asked around about it. Everyone is a doctor. It's from typing. It's dietary. I should just ignore it until it goes away. I should see it as a sign and make changes in my life that will enable my body to naturally blah blah. I should get it operated on. One friend of mine - who seemed in a position to know - told me if I hit it straight-on with a book it would rupture and disperse. That way I could just avoid dealing with doctors altogether. I thought she was kidding when she said it - she said it was common knowledge.

I didn't know.

A doctor at a walk-in-clinic said he could inject something into it that would make it dissipate, only this would have to wait until it grew larger. I wasn't so sure about this, I explained, as any substance potent enough to make that lump dissipate didn't sound like anything I wanted in my hand.

Sensing my reluctance, the doctor put aside his clipboard and confided what he thought was the simplest way to get rid of it: I should go home, get out a big book, and have someone give my hand a good sound thwacking. The way he said this, I pictured it as an answer on a med-school final: there was no doubt this was something people did - it was standard protocol. Yet I remained reluctant, because I had taken direct hits - maybe not with books - but I still knew what happened: my knees buckled, my eyes watered, my heart palpitated, pins and needles flooded out of my shoulder into places I didn't know I had - and the lump stayed the same. If anything, it swelled and became more irritable.

In spite of knowing this, eventually I gave in and had a buddy thwack it - twice, no less - with an encyclopedia, and to no avail.

So I was never won over by this whole book-hitting idea.

When I moved back to Toronto this summer, my dentist came through for me. He said, "if that were my hand, and I had something growing in it, I would get it out of there." Very pragmatic. I asked him if he knew what substance they injected into these deposits that caused them to disperse - and whether he could personally vouch for the safety of such a procedure - and he said "No, no - I mean get it out of there, as in, make an incision, as in, get it out of your hand".

My dentist recommended a hand specialist, and when I asked her about what substance might magically cause the lump to dissipate she had no idea what I was talking about. Is there not such a procedure?, I asked. "There isn't one, to my knowledge," she said, which I still find a little chilling.

She was this jovial older woman with clear eyes and no lines on her face. She did the operation in about seven minutes, knew what the thing was before the report came back from the lab, and had a really nice sounding laugh, which came easily, as I shared my book-hitting experience with her. "That's another new one on me," she said.

This story doesn't really have a pay off. The stitches are out, the band-aid is off, I have restored access to my left jean-pocket. I live in Toronto now. That's about it.

Posted by   at 05:47 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

December 12, 2002


I've decided it's necessary to comment as often as possible on the situation surrounding Axl Rose, because it looks like pretty soon there won't be much to say.

I don't know why I'm doing this exactly, as I've never liked Guns N'Roses, and I have no interest at all in their come back. I suppose I do have some interest in the spectacular nature of their failed attempt at a come back, but I had decided to write about GNR before it was apparent "The Chinese Democracy Tour" was destined for destruction.

To write is to explore, so maybe it's that Lincoln thing: "Do I not destroy my enemies by making friends with them?"

Yet, I don't want to make friends with Axl, and I haven't written anything to endear myself.

Maybe it's that Buddhist thing: "Love your enemies, for they are your teachers", but then Axl is actually neither teacher nor enemy, and I doubt I could love him. He's that pain-in-the-ass who for a time I had no choice but to listen to, who I now no longer have to listen to, in spite of the fact he's tried to regain his "you-have-no-choice-but-to-listen-to-me" status.

čessir, writing about Axl's satisfying.

Posted by   at 07:28 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Journeys With George

I saw the Canadian premiere of Journeys With George last night at the Bloor, and did so to answer a nagging question. I had read that the Republicans were happy with the film, and that the Democrats weren't. I had also read that it was "a candid portrait" of the Governor's journey "from cowboy to statesman".

In what sense, and in what universe, could a candid portrait of Bush work against the Democrats? I wondered. But I forgot that in the post-Clinton era, Democrats would sooner complain about other people's charm than actually look for things to use to their advantage.

Take one example: While trying to talk the filmmaker into voting for him, Bush responds to her insinuation that he isn't looking out for "the little guy" by saying that he is "the little guy". To which any thinking person might respond: In what sense is he little? Not the financial sense, certainly, the sense in which she was using the word. So where does he get off? And where do Democrats get off, exactly, bemoaning the man's charm, instead of seeing the movie as a form of vindication and leverage? Perhaps, in all fairness, they simply didn't hear Bush, as a few scenes in this movie would have benefited from sub-titles. Yet the Democrats would have done better to foot the bill for the subtitles than complain. It makes me wonder: Are they retarded? Can they not see how many damning things are said and done in the name of the Bush family during the course of this ninety minute film?

Yes, it's true: they are completely retarded.

I left before the Q&A, and regretted doing so, because I had thought of a question for Alexandra Pelosi. It was just the kind of question she proved adept at asking, a question that was innocuous and penetrating all at once. I meant to ask her: "What does Bush smell like?"

Personally, I would have found her answer illuminating, though probably not as illuminating as her film, which offers a portrait of what it's like to be in the media bubble, and provides yet more reason to panic.

Posted by   at 06:40 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

December 11, 2002


Harry Potter, James Bond... I haven't seen them. But I get the feeling - when and if I do - I will end up thinking this was infinitely more gratifying.

Posted by   at 03:41 AM | Comments (22) | TrackBack

December 10, 2002


Fruityloops t'ain't, but I find the visual composer at this site highly addictive.

Posted by   at 03:44 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

December 08, 2002

Roommate #3

Funny how often your story doesn't belong to you.

A week ago, my closet-case roommate - I'll call him Roommate#3 - made a pass at me while his girlfriend was in the front hall taking off her boots. He glimpsed at her, glimpsed at me where I lay on the couch, gave me this weird look I couldn't interpret, then pounced. He lay right across me and looked into my eyes and I redirected his gaze toward my forearm, which was perched below his chin. I said "What's this?" and he got off me, looked bashful, said "I don't know," then suddenly seemed too drunk to stand upright.

We had only known each other for a month, only talked about three times during that month, and now everything was different. I knew he was a closet-case, and he knew I wasn't. I wondered about it. I wanted to write about it. I wanted to write about how my other roommates - Roommates # 1 & 2 - both of whom I've known for half my life - looked at me when I told them what happened. There was something about the lethargy of my response they found amusing, and I wondered if I could capture it for a laugh. But I also wondered what might happen a few months from now, if his girlfriend read some exploit in my archives about her gay boyfriend putting the moves on me while she was in the next room. I wondered if he might not eventually feel he was "outed", and if I might not come to regret the impulse.

Then yesterday he came to my door for the first time since it happened, looking shaken. "Uhh, Cat might be dead," he said. I couldn't believe my ears.

I ran downstairs and sure enough there was Cat, eyes open, warm to the touch, yet completely unresponsive. He was only four years old.

Later we learned there was nothing that could have been done about it-- it had happened quickly, a defect of the heart. At the time though, my Emergency-Response-Unit impulse kicked in and this flurry of activity ensued: I phoned Roommate #2 who was building models at U of T and we arranged to meet at the vet's. I called a cab, found a box, brushed my teeth, came downstairs. Turns out Roommate #3 and his girlfriend are coming along with me and Roommate#1-- meaning four to a cab. I find myself thinking about the seating arrangement.

At the moment the taxi arrives, naturally Roommate # 1 is in the bathroom, and Roommate #3's girlfriend is still readying herself upstairs, so it's just me and closet-case crossing Dovercourt together. He opens the back door, climbs inside and says "Pass him to me" and I say, "I think there might be more room if I just sit up front."

He says, "You mean you don't want to sit back here with me?" and I think: No, I don't want to sit back there with you-- there is a dead cat in a box that we are taking to his owner-- stop trying to rub legs with me.

Then I realized I don't care if it is exploitative-- I'm just taking it; I'm taking it all and calling it mine.

Posted by   at 06:51 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack