24 March 2006

Thoughts Inspired by Hairspray Metal

I catch myself on Friday nights, being domestic and listening to music from my good old days. Oh yes, she certainly was a fast machine who kept her motor clean...

A while back, Danny Duke burnt me a two disc (slightly hairspray) metal mix. AC/DC, Helix, Van Halen and the like...It's the perfect compilation to get ready to, the perfect mix to bring me out of bluest days, the perfect selection of songs to keep me company and keep me up. Actually, it makes me want to get all dressed up and go out on the small town. Driving up and down the small town strip of main street, singing along, with a large coffee to go and cigarette in hand. When was the last time I could state, this is the anthem of the year? I just may getting old, but I say the last time was back in the fluffy metal days. School's out forever, you say? Why, yes, it certainly is!

Like any other fifteen year old, I was down in the dumps for one summer. And I swear, the only thing that got me through that summer was the Alice Cooper album Welcome To My Nightmare. It was a worn out vinyl record, purchased at a garage sale with no cover. It skipped. It was treated like trash from it's former owner. But this record, it allowed me to close my eyes and dream. It was a healthy escape. That boy may have shot through my heart and gave love a bad name, but Alice Cooper saved my summer. I guess I should give a little credit to the cast of Welcome Back, Kotter because I do recall watching a lot of reruns of that show that summer (no, no...it wasn't the cause of my slump).

And Def Leppard. Though one cannot really call it metal, it was the first cassette tape my sister bought when she entered the metal phase - and probably the first one she stopped listening to and pawned off on her annoying little sister. I remember sneaking into her room, not only to steal her liquid eyeliner but to secretly listen to her L.A.Guns tape which I still faithfully love. Def Leppard opened the door, the L.A Guns were there to greet me and pour a little sugar on me (though, back then, I didn't really understand what exactly that entailed).

The synth-horn plight of Europe, warning us of the Final Countdown. The trampy threat and the encouragement not to just sit there and wait for things to happen, what are we going to do? R-O-C-K you!Oh, I love rock n' roll too!

I think it's just a matter of getting older. There are no bands that make me want to throw on tight pants and raise my devil sign making hands in the air and just give'r, with the exception of The Darkness. Nowadays, you hear of kids going to concerts and raising their illuminated cell phones in the air. What happened to those days where you held up your lighter and burnt your thumb to the sap of the power ballad? What happened to the power ballad?! I scream for vengence! I just long for another time where I can actually get one hundred percent excited about seeing a show AND walking away only to talk about it for days long after. Let's keep our fingers crossed for the Darkness coming to town (and, my beloved Leonard). I'm in dire need of a huge cheesy metal concert sing-a-long.

Do all women wonder about the power of Gene's tongue? You'd think they would have marketed that idea a long time about. I mean, they have "lady toys" shaped like Native American Princesses and Hello Kitty, you'd think there' would be a demand for a toy shaped like his tongue. If they could market themselves in the disasterous Kiss Vs. The Phantom film, I don't think the toy idea is a bad one. I guess the only setback would be how comfortable most women would feel with Gene being that close to them.There's enough cougars out there to fill the demand. Oh, he would be the one they call Dr. Feelgood...all aboard! Cum on and feel the noize, all I need L-O-V-E love machine!

When I worked at the music store back home, one of the most favourite things to steal was Ozzy Osborne cds. They would be different kinds of thefties (or "sticky fingers", to some). You know, the urban kids who would lift Tupac and Eminem and any sort of horror movies starring clowns and/or rappers (usually, those were straight to video). That was the general type of shoplifter. Then you had the downtown old rocker, the fuckin' A speakin', mullet bearing, lumberjack wearing ones. Ozzy was a hit with the thefties. To the point where when the stealing was going down, I would hear a metal anthem in my head as Kevin ran off to apprehend them. Crazy Train would often play in my head, as the long arm of the law won. Once, a female thefty pocketed a ton of Lord of the Rings DVDs (which were also a hit) and Kevin ran after her. He didn't get her, but got her purse that she threw discarded. He took it back and stuck his hand into the purse only to find multiple copies of LOTR and one shiny purple thong. Poor Kevy. Her thong didn't rock him like a hurricane, needless to say. However, it's one of my top ten Kevin/CD Plus moments. I miss that guy, working with him was always such a laugh even though I got all manager-like on him sometimes.

Not only were metal songs full of sexual insinuations, but they had a fuck-this attitude. Sure, Twisted Sister looked like a bunch of laid-off-from-meat-packing-plant-employees dressed as clown-ladies, but man...We are not going to take it! We're right - yeah! We're free - yeah! We'll fight - yeah! You'll see!

What perfect way to end a compilation and tonight.

I never thought...

I'd become dependant on his moustache, until he shaved it.

19 March 2006

Myspace & Marriage

I should be in bed, trying to get in a good handful of hours of sleep. Whenever I have the apartment to myself, I feel as though I should take advantage of this time wisely. Typically, I do not. Heh. I end up smoking too many cigarettes in lieu of kisses, doing pointless searches online and on myspace.com for old friends, and sitting in contemplation. It’s edging towards one in the morning, and here I am. Cigarette in mouth. At least I am listening to the music I can dive into and swim a little while in. I dug up a burnt cd full of songs, and found some Dale Watson. His album, “Every Song I Write For You” is truly a beautiful and sad album. I recently discovered that this album is entirely written for his ex-girlfriend, who died in a car accident. All the things that he wanted to say to her when she was alive. You can hear it, there’s honesty in every song. Down with that glossy, new country I say! Listen to him and understand that new country can sound old…and good.

It seems these days, the institution of marriage is being cheapened. I wonder why, sometimes, this offends me so. I’m fairly open-minded and I understand love can take many forms. I believe in love at first sight and support long distance relationships - I know they can work due to my own experiences and I am completely happy. Now, I may sound like the mothering type here but what’s with the rush of marriage these days? Whatever happened to slowly enjoying the process and stages of falling in love? Whatever happened to getting to know someone without hurry? Is it just a result of a disposable culture and the speed of things in general?

I have known -personally and not so personally - people who have jumped the gun and moved away afar just to marry some virtual stranger that they recently met off myspace. I should accept it, since it does not affect me directly or personally. But it seriously grates at me. This is coming from the rural female who met her significant other off one of the most cheesiest sites online - www.hotornot.com. However, in my defense, we met and communicated for a good year and change. We emailed as friends. We did our own things in that in-between time. And then one day, we struck up a marathon long IM session that connected us. We didn’t jump the gun though. We still kept it on the level of friends (even though feelings were becoming heated, for me at least) and met with no heavy expectations (I won’t lie, we were keeping fingers crossed). We wrote handwritten letters, we had our late night telephone conversations, and finally met months later. I fell into that smile and those arms and that was that - I was in love. And he, the naysayer of long distance relationships that spawn off the net - he fell in love too. We took our time. We visited each other many times. We made sure that this was real, we spent a good chunk of time together over the Christmas holidays rather than just a couple of days. We discovered a bit of each others habits and faults and negatives. We still loved each other. We made that decision. We’re still not married. We’re still enjoying the process.

I’m certain that in many of my protective friends eyes, it seemed as though I was jumping the gun and making a rash decision by moving away from my prairies homeland to his city. I did it, knowing that it could fall apart - even though I knew in my heart, that after all these months, he is worth it and this is it. This is it.

But I know from this experience, it isn’t exactly easy to pick up and leave. I think my first six months here was full of confusion, fear, and disorientation. Missing home brought a frown to my face for too many days and not knowing the language urged the loneliness further. But it became easier. The fear slowly goes away (yet arises at occasions), I am less disoriented, I am less confused. I am less alienated. It’s a process of change and I don’t think the changes that love brings is something you can jump steps on.

I shake my head when I hear of myspace marriages. Sometimes I shudder in disbelief. I think the sacredness of marriage is being completely cheapened, thanks to the internet. I know love is something you may just know, even if it makes no sense. However, to make the decision to change your life (and if you have a child, change his or hers) to move to be with someone should be seriously considered. Ease into it and enjoy the journey, if you will. I long to hear stories of becoming acquanted, those long wintery walks and long conversations of new lovers, feeling weak kneed and wishing that could last forever. And then the real stuff. The way they are when afflicted with PMS or how he releases his anger. The habits you come across. For good or bad. How personalities blend or repel. The simple chemistry. And oh boy, believe me - the chemistry will always be there in a long distance relationship. It’s not until visiting for an extended period of time or living with that person to truly see what they are honestly like.

I am saddened by women (and people, generally) who are now taking to myspace type places to fall in love. Why rush? You never know who you will really be marrying. Yeah, it’s all warm and fuzzy and powerfully sexually when you first meet someone - but do you even know if he excessively drinks or if she’s a golddigger? That part comes later. Months ago, I came across this person’s profile. Someone I dated once upon a time. A person that should come with a warning label to all women. Literally, the kind of guy your mother warned you about (too bad I didn’t listen to mine). A user, a self esteem destroyer, and a money sponger. Then, a few weeks later I saw that a woman moved across country to visit him and get married - that same weekend. I felt incredibly sad for her. Hoping that he has changed, sincerely…but scared for her. Another person back home, moved to across to marry someone after a couple of weeks of knowing each other on myspace. I wonder they found out yet that this person is constantly drinking and losing jobs? I know people who have done this and now feel stuck, with this person and in strange places. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against marriage nor am I bitter to be unmarried. I just think people should slow down.

Ease into love. Enjoy the moment. There’s no reason to rush, when it comes to love. If it’s meant to be, it’ll still be there. There’s your cliche of the day.

18 March 2006

Is Stink the New Clean?

Home alone on another Saturday night...and I'm not complaining. I took a raincheck on the rockabilly show tonight and opted to do my taxes instead. It needed to be done and I'm past the point where I can stay up late in a smoky barroom and function at work the next day. At this point, the money is more important to me than feeling tired the next day. Combine that with my on-going cross stitch project and I truly sound like a retired old cat lady. Meow. When the boys came by to pick up their gear, I got a little song and dance by Bloodshot Bill about "filling out forms on a Saturday night!" - it made me smile. You can make anything fun with a song and dance, even taxes!

Lately, our neighbours have been an issue with us. Since this is the first time on my own, I haven't honestly had to deal with problematic neighbours. They keep out of our way, generally speaking. They don't make late night noise, they don't have parties, they don't have noisy apartment building sex. However, they are complete and utter slobs with no respect for their living space. It's disgusting.

Since they moved in, the neighbour next to us has piled a pyramid of garbage bags right in front of our living room window. The pyramid has been the victim to hungry raccoons, so needless to say there is scattered garbage torn from the bags. French fries, chicken bones, you name it. The upstairs neighbour (they are all friends, apparently) has taken to the same habit on their wee and unstable balcony. Not only that, they have been lazy enough to not take their pitbulls (which is another issue for me) for walks. There are chunks of dog shit in front of our window as well. I'm sure it will be lovely, when springs rears it's head and heats up the garbage and the feces.

We noticed early last week that there is one big ol' dump of fecal matter on our side of the patio. Clearly, we do not own dogs nor do we take dumps on our patio. This was the last straw. We talked to the "caretaker" and written notes sent along with the rent cheque for months. The caretaker said to us, "Well, you have bikes on your side". Um, bicycles and a couple of lawn chairs are a little different than heaps of crap. "It's his patio, and he can do what he wants with it". There's a big difference between doing what you want and creating a health hazzard/haven for rats, roaches, and raccoons. What we thought was the last straw wasn't. We then discovered that the fire escape is clogged with tossed garbage bags. I thought my partner was exaggerating when he said "waist deep" - he was not! It's literally waist deep of garbage bags that we would have to climb over and squeeze through, in case of emergency. Nice.

The city housing inspector came by on Thursday morning to examine this situation and she did not seem impressed. The right word would be appalled, especially when she saw the fire escape. Unfortunately, I could not explain to her what I wanted and had to strongly say. There was such a language barrier between us, it was embarrassing. I was left on my own to deal with it and I felt like the biggest dummy. I was already nervous because of the potential tense situation that could happen in our building, but I was going over French phrases and words in my head to explain myself. I bombed. However, in my pathetic defense, I do find it odd that someone holding a position such as hers should know a little bit of English. I'm not asking anyone to bow down to my Anglo ways - it would just help to get my point across successfully if she understood even the simplest of words I was using. Maybe I was just nervous and paranoid, as I couldn't tell if her expression was stone-cold indifference of being a city inspector or one of complete misunderstanding my English to her French. After she took photographs and went upstairs to serve warnings, I felt as though I have failed. I know have to learn French and I take full blame for still being unilingual after a year and half of living here. I was scared before which morphed into stubborness - BUT I do feel a bigger sense of drive this year to get things done, whether it be learning French or discovering paths to daily happiness or finally taking up the old-timey piano (which would be so much more thrilling than French lessons).

After the inspector left, the upstairs neighbours proceeded to violently bang and slam things around. I may sound like a jittery feline, easily alarmed by the slightest sound. It was as if they repeatedly picked up a couch and slammed it on the floor. It was no stomping around or slamming a door. It was violent sounding and upsetting to my already shot nerves. It's been quite some time since I wanted to have a big anxiety attack but that did it. I was shaking, absolutely queesy, teary-eyed, and out of breath. I didn't want to be home alone with this. Surrounded by dog shit is one thing, but sensing someone is pissed off and it's directed at me (even though it's not my fault) is another thing. I just wanted to go home or be with friends or in my partner's arms. Thankfully, after a good half hour the banging and slamming about stopped. My partner came home. And I was off to work - for once, I was truly happy to be distracted by work.

They have until Monday to have it cleaned up. They have yet to attempt this, at least not the garbage before our window. Believe it or not, this is their second warning! The first one came from the people who live in the building next to us. The neighbours we affectionately call, "The Imbred Neighbours". They too own a large dog and do not walk it, so if we look down from our bedroom window we see more piles of crap. I suppose they too had enough of our neighbours garbage bags falling down from their balcony into their back yard. And you know, it has to mean something when slobs file a report about someone filthier.

I've had just enough of sketchy landlords and being surrounded by feces and leaky faucets. I'd like out sooner or later. Hopefully, we can work towards this goal for summer. I think it would be a good idea, nonetheless.

At work, the stink lurks as well. It's bad enough that certain people choose to take their "morning constitution" in our small working quarters and proceed to mask it with headache inducing "fruit spray". I can, somewhat, live with that even though I would never do that myself at work. However, some of the new staff at work clearly have an issue with body odour. Is stink the new clean? I wonder that, whenever they work. I understand that some people might be worse off and I respect that. However, I think that there shouldn't be an issue with hygiene when you own some brand name clothes, live with mom and dad, and go to college. Bohemian wool sweaters need to be washed once in a while! Hair does too! Somedays, work just stinks like hippy - b.o and greasy hair. Proper air circulation at call centres are not a high priority in the first place, so imagine that with stuffy winter heating in a smaller work environment. Sadly, I'd rather take the aroma of the dumps-masked-with-fruit-scent over stinky 18 year olds in funky unwashed wool sweaters and greasy art school hair. Here's a performance art rock show for you to do - take a fucking shower. It's not a good sign when you work in an office environment and feel like you need to take a shower at the end of the day, as though you worked a long day of hard labour. Count my blessings though, at least they don't cover it up with patchouli. I proposed the idea that they should hand out work bonuses of sticks of deodorant for every ten completed calls. Good idea?

All this talk about stink, makes me want to take a bath. That's the rest of my evening's itinerary - hot bath, good book (Portnoy's Choice by Philip Roth), a little cross stitching, and The Darkness.

04 March 2006

January & February 2006 Books


After reading a truly tiresome John Irving book last autumn, I kind of let the habit of listing my monthly read books (in my myspace blog) go to the dogs. Oops. As Whitesnake once wisely said, "Here I go again..."

1) Waiting for Gertrude - A Graveyard Gothic by Bill Richardson
This is a re-read. I like this book as it's just a cute tale. It takes place in the Pere Lachaise cemetary in Paris. The people who have been buried there, have become reincarnated as cats. So there's the tom cat with three balls and a ferocious sexual appetite (Jim Morrison), the amourous Oscar Wilde cat - amongst others. This is about a cat, sadly and anxiously waiting for her lover to be re-born (Gertrude Stein). Nothing deep, but a cute read nonetheless.

2) 101 Things to do Before You Die - Richard Horne
This was a gift from my friend Felica. I LOVED it. There's nothing I like better than reading a book that causes you to be interactive, for the better. The title pretty much explains it all so I won't babble on about it. I have completed about nine of the things to do before I die and almost completely about ten activities. Some of them can and will be completed - others, will not. Honestly, I just can't see myself swimming with sharks when I don't even know how to swim in the first place. Haha...although, doing that can complete another goal in the book. Dying.

3) Transformation Soup - SARK
Okay, every now and then I go through a self-help kick. And dammit, there's nothing wrong with that. I like how she writes, I like how encouraging and realistic she is, and I especially like how free and colourful her books are. This book is a re-read, however I just ordered a couple more of her books off eBay and await their arrival.

4) Walden; or, Life in the Woods - Henry David Thoreau
So I decided to finally read this fucker after purchasing it five years ago. I knew a person a long time ago and this book reminded me of him. Anyway, what can I say. It made me want to take a nap. Every chapter, I was waiting for it to be over. Some good quotes in it, but the subject just didn't hold my attention. Sorry.

5) Brighton Rock - Graham Greene
After reading pages about the woods and solitude and fishing and stuff, I filled my head with some old gangster murder stories from Greene. It was interesting and certainly held my attention. In my head, I can see it working well as a movie (which I think there is a movie by this title). I wasn't blow away, but it killed some time.

6) Life of Pi - Yann Martel
I got absolutely lost in this book! It's been a while since I felt lost with a book, so I thank Felica for the recommendation. Perhaps this book isn't for everyone, but for such a seemingly impossible story plot, Martel really pulls it off. And not only did I just read some good fiction, I actually learned some stuff (go Team Brain!). There's a lot about animals and zoos in this book and according to my friend, it's 99.9 percent true. So great read, recommended for those animal lovers out there!

Favourite book of January?
101 Things to do Before You Die - Richard Horne


Due to beginning to work full time again, the amount of books read is far from substantial.

1) A Creative Companion - How to Free Your Creative Spirit - SARK
This is the first of two relatively recent eBay SARK purchases. This is a slim volume from her. I liked it, but it didn't have that drive that I expect out of SARK. However, there's a lot of good and fun ideas that I will eventually put to use. It's an earlier work from her, and I do believe that she has improved on encouraging us.

2) Wild, Succulent Woman - SARK
This is the second book I won off eBay. I have read this book a number of years ago and I know it will be one I will turn to time and time again. Yes, I admit it...I like self help. The reason I like her books is how real and genuine they seem. They are not for everyone, I understand. I think it's somewhat comforting to read one's words, written in bright handwriting and know that I can relate to what she is saying. January and February were healing months and I feel much more grounded, happy.

3) In the Skin of a Lion - Michael Ondaatje
This is the second Ondaatje book I have read. Previously, I read The English Patient which I enjoyed. I believe I like how he writes. He manages to write very matter-of-factly, in my opinion, yet turns a rich story out in the end. In this novel, I felt as though I was in that time and understood the dirt, the mess of the characters lives.

4) Selected Writings of Truman Capote - Truman Capote
This is not my first taste of Capote. This book has been kicking around the apartment for far too long and it was time to pick it up. I started to read this one when I was feeling under the weather and I felt short stories were the best my mind could handle. I loved it. I like his style of writing, I like how he tells a story. He places a sense of reality in his fiction, and I appreciate that. However, saying that, I felt a bit tired of the non-fiction section at the end of the collection. I skipped two lengthy non-fiction stories simply because they kind of bored me. It felt gossipy and tiresome, for me. I hate skipping sections in books but I figured that life is too short to read words that just don't cut the mustard for me.

Favourite Book of February?
I want to say SARK for the creative energy she encourages me to see, but in the long run I have to give it up to Capote's Selected Writings.

02 March 2006

Strange Days and The Darkness

I have realised that I cannot stop listening to the relatively new Darkness cd. What is it about this band that I love so very much?! Could it possibly be that it reminds me of when I was in junior high, painting on my skin tight jeans and styling my hair as high as it could go while dancing in front of the mirror with hair brush in hand? Whatever it is, it makes me happy and brings a wonderful smile to my face. I hope one day I can see them live, front and centre. Despite viewing a video on www.youtube.com of Justin Hawkins online, where he evidently gained a bit of tummy while still proudly wearing those painted on pants.

It seems to be one of those strange days, where you automatically assume that there must be a full moon. For me, personally, I think I was just a tad hyper due to being my last day of work before my "weekend". Supervisors at work seemed restless. There seemed to be something going down, but no one was sure what exactly it was. I felt like being a nervous chatterbox. A bit of nervous dreams in my sleep, would be the possible cause of that. I felt like I was in the way. I felt others were in my way. People spoke oddly, outside of work. Hiphopper gangsta types, mainly. Not only did I have one guy wearing bling asking my acquantence and me if we were seen at da club but another gansta type fellow kept calling me from a street corner while on my walk home. It puts me off, especially being late at night. I, of course, did not respond to which he replied - "FUCK YOU THEN!". I wonder what kind of reaction he expected to get from me? I mean, for crying out loud, it's late. He's in no apparent danger but lurking on a street corner. For some reason, I just didn't feel inclined to rush to his turf to see what he wanted. Why can't people just let me be?!

I suppose I shouldn't complain. The other day I had a team of hiphopper kids laugh and throw chewing gum down at me when I was going down escalator in the metro. Usually, they just laugh at me. For a while, I wondered what was wrong with me in this city. How did I automatically become this object of ridicule from teenagers? I didn't have this issue as often, back home. But here, my gosh. For a while, I was being laughed at at least once a week. I may sound like the proverbial old fart here but I honestly think that teenagers these days should be educated more about respecting others. One day I'll lose it, and beat the pulp out of these children. Another reason not to have children. Not because one day I'll beat them to a bloody pulp - but because I honestly don't know how much love I could have for a child with such low respect for people without having a legitimate reason or two. Yet oddly enough, the girls who dig the 80's retro scene, complete with neon plastic gummy bracelets and mullet haircuts get off scot-free in the ridicule department. I guess I can at least admit that I take it a lot less personally now.

Speaking of the education of teenagers, I discovered recently that school teachers in Quebec now have the option of not teaching sex education. This, I feel, is absolutely absurb. A recent survey showed that teenagers believe that anal sex is not really sex, something to that degree. Obviously, they believe that you cannot get pregnant by having anal sex...but they also believe that you cannot get an STI/STD from it. Ah, another Quebec law that I don't quite understand. One Quebec law that does make sense, however, is one preventing the advertising of junk food to children - which I think is a good thing.

It's my weekend...yippee! My first step into my glorious weekend? Dancing in front of the stove to cook dinner, as the Darkness plays in the background. A nice way to kick off the weekend.

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