31 August 2005

and last but not least for the day...

i stopped on my bicycle at my first red light in a Very very Long Time, at a traffic-less intersection no less.
will wonders never cease?

and Morree edditting, and unix thingeys i don't understand.

well, the former part of the day was compromised by intimidating attempts to change unix code (?!?!) to clarify my presence on a network at c/h. of course the computer defied all logic and fairly straightforward instructions and eradicated the computer administrator, making all files visible and normal looking, but completely inaccessible. which brought things, of course, to a full stop.

so, with nothing more to be done i moved on to my editorial=esque duties for Brick, and was ever astounded at just how much there is to it. the Amount of changes needed to a paltry (in size that is) four page essay. and there are More and More and More again. it reminds me of a conversation a while back about editing, where it was pointed out to me (by RSS? no doubt) that to be a Good Editor is to be someone obsessed with finding and correcting Error.

well at least with the written page things are straight forward. (sort of). rules, precedents, strategically placed punctuation.

would that there was a chicago manual of style for living life.

30 August 2005


all this discussion on cells and whatnot from the other night have reminded me in my late night insomnia of Howard Bloom's Global Brain, a ruddy great work of genius that i've been pondering over for a long while in my own dimestore philosophizing on the human form and how it's reflected in this manufactured world of ours.
and so i opened up this clever tome to apoptosis, otherwise known as cell suicide:

apoptosis is a firecracker sting of self-destruct routines preprogrammed into nearly every living cell. its fuse is lit when the cell receives signals that it is no longer useful to the larger community. between self-crippling immune systems and self-defeating conduct, isolated individuals vastly increase their odds of death.

i find this interesting when contemplating memories and history of all sorts (also relevant to previous conversation on cell regeneration). they die off when they are no longer helpful, i imagine.

sigh. i've been having another go this weekend at my reading towards some educated understanding of the human body, and what it is Really On About, with its complexities and mysterious ways. i feel like if i could simplify it for myself, i'd do a better job at using it for what it is meant for here.

of course, right now, what it's meant to be doing is sleeping. so with that, to bed.

ah, the dance cave.

oh, yonder late 20/early 30 somethings who yearn for days gone by...i hear the "dance cave" and think somewhat lamentably of geeks trundling their way to its dingy environs for cheap drinks and even cheaper tricks on a weeknight...and then i go there myself for a friend's birthday (HAPPY BIRTHDAY LAURA NANNI!) and it was Just Bloody Brilliant.
not so much the club, but then, i've didn't find clubs brilliant back in the day when i was meant to either...ah, but nostalgic droning by mister Smith and mister Morrissey and mister Reznor (still angry after all these years) and a great big floor to jump around on...Yes Yes YES.

29 August 2005


when a person can lie down on the office floor and take spontaneous naps, write inadvertent blog postings of no evident importance to the world, and contemplate trips to the lcbo for a much needed bottle of wine, it must be admitted that a person is in a good work environment. sigh.
that said, i must confess i am tired.
ah well, the spiffy urban life of a...spiffy urban person. ha.

28 August 2005

pithy preponderances from a friday night.

well, MR, in his valiant efforts to oust RSS from her throne of primary favour for immortalizations of pithy wisdom in my blog of late, proffered four gems for pondering during friday night's dinner conversation. (well, it was very possibly more, but Rebecca and i promptly went off and spent the rest of the evening imbibing just enough to make my memory somewhat short of perfect, coming back to these scribbles two days later.)

things began with a round table discussion over sushi on the nature of true love, and whether or not there actually exists One True Love. i think the consensus was that there isn't just One person. MR proffered the notion that people reach a point and make a choice and both partners make each other the One so to speak, through accomodation and acceptance and Love of that person, and, inevitably, some amount of mutual compromise.
the One, by this description (or my understanding of it anyway), becomes this mutual constantly living creation, and also one perpetually full of surprise and newness in terms of action, reaction and mutual Respect and Compassion, which is a notion i Really really like.

of course love is also the Utter Nimiety of Glorious food we consumed before the topic of conversation shifted to cell regeneration, which no doubt came up after RSS's (true!) tale of the woman who sneezed and misplaced her eyeballs out of their sockets.
in an attempt to blow our minds (as opposed to our eyeballs), MR pointed out that human cells regenerate every 7 years. they are constantly growing and combusting, making it inevitable that any one person becomes physiologically a Completely different human being every 7 years.
of course what happens is that as cells die off they transfer information to new cells to keep it all going, but of course that information inevitably becomes second generation, like photocopies. which are of course followed by photocopies of photocopies, until eventually all that is left is a translation of some prior time, somewhat simplified, exaggerated, the bare bones of what was once a richly detailed occurence.

according to this premise then, history doesn't actually exist. At All.

i wonder if this means that if i photocopy any one piece of writing, any one photograph, any one drawing, any one instance of my life enough, i will have a better sense of what it will look like in the future?
no wonder we're all so addicted to reproducing things in this western world of ours.
and thank Gods it means we are very possibly working towards a simplification of the whole Matter.

i need, at this point, to digress momentarily and put in a quote from Don Paterson (which appeared in Brick 75...i know i'm an Atrocious bibliographer), i totally revisited it today as a result of this train of thought.

...we close this...gap between poet and reader through publication, a sacred duty and the aim of the poem. The poem starts as wholly yours and slowly ceases to be so; the process is one of gradual publication, gradual exposure - gradually reading the poem as if it were someone else's, because your aim is to make it someone else's.

because publication is not much more than a form of reproduction... that makes it a way of transferring ownership of your own history, non? but also translating your own existence into more universal terms.

okay, back to our regularly scheduled posting...


somehow the conversation moved onto 20th century painting, which was defined at some point in the past by someone very clever as art is women looking at men looking at women.
this prompted me to wonder what reading today is...is it much the same thing? one of the frequent subjects of discussion at Centennial was readership and the market for books as a product, the fact that little boys don't read, the fact that most females do, and what in fact are we all reading about then, since so many authors are male?

AND, it seems the same is somewhat true of films, since so many "modern female heroes" are in fact men with tits. we aren't glorifying women by making them kung-fu heroines and gun-toting tough broads, we're ignoring the very differences that separate the genders in the first place.

hmm. that's only three pithy preponderances, isn't it. and as i go through my mind i suddenly think there must have been five pithy preponderances, for it really was a Fruitful evening of that sort, my Friday night.
alas much was lost in a cloud of post dinner cigar smoke and queen street meandering.

well, that will do for now, and as MR is now out of town it is RSS's turn to reclaim the crown.

Dear associate writers, clever philosophers, and purveyors of fine aphorisms, places please.

25 August 2005

and because they're all very relentless, these oddities...

and Monday, Yet Another Strange encounter with my past.

this guy blared his horn and peeled around a car to miss a red light and nearly hit me on my bicycle at Bloor and Bathurst.
i frowned, as i am wont to do when i'm on my bicycle and drivers are bastards, until staring at the driver as he veered by i realized he's someone i knew in an odd context from THIRTEEN years ago.

what with all of this hearkening back and in this case baffling and none-too-apparent nostalgia, i decided to heed Barker's words and google all manner of nominal variations that represented my good self in days now gone. just to see.

and it's true. nary a reference.

i guess that's as good an argument as any against nostalgia.
and in favour of succinctifying names or adopting personas.



ah, so lovely. so innocuous.

and yet still pouty looking.
oh well.

23 August 2005

20 August 2005

the Greater Truth.

i think it's the mere need to blog something that calls to mind the other day's conversation, when R and i discussed Honesty. i was saying that it was this religious tenet of mine for years and years to be relentlessly (and quite often offensively) honest down to the tiniest detail.
then along came this idea of the Greater Truth. from somewhere.
for some reason i think it was alain de botton, who's really just a Bloody Brilliant author,
the Greater Truth. the idea that noone will tell you you have an ugly baby.
and noone should.
someone asks "do i look good in this outfit?" and really, you're none too impressed. but the person asked is a loved one, and for that reason, they look Great. the outfit is Insignificant. the real question becomes apparent: "do you love me do you care about me do you find me attractive (in this outfit)?"
the Greater Truth is Yes.
the importance is to speak to the Greater Truth i think, when dealing with conflicting feelings. what's more important? my honest feelings about an ugly outfit, or my honest feelings about the Loved one wearing it?

fashion sense.

i had cleverly devised an outfit yesterday that i assumed to be a little less than utterly boring in my limited-by-laundry resources, wearing a bunch of slip-like garments and tops to otherwise excite some completely unassuming trousers.
and then promptly stepped out of my home to bike to work in a MONSOON.
upon arrival, as i stood and sopped all over our historical building stairwells and lovely carpets, i realized that fashion was not to be the order of the day, and changed into my unassuming black shirt and shed all slippey things and hung them about the office to dry.
so of course Miz R came in to her place of business to find what looked not unlike a 1920's brothel.

which of course led to discussion about the 1920's, and the fact that i was quite convinced i had found the ideal work cohorts when R came to our first introductory meeting so many months ago in a fedora. and as i said yesterday, in a way So Pithy that it cannot escape being blogged about, she might as well have been wearing a lamppost and a foggy London night, it was so Apt a headpiece.

18 August 2005

on the nature of misapprehended postings.

i would hereby like to retract my previous misapprehended posting and post my accolades and praise to Rebecca Silver Slayter, as the smallest token of gratitude for allowing me to constantly pilfer her wisdom and pithy remarks for my humble blog.
let's face it everyone, i am but a humble medium, nary a prophet.

RSS, will you ever forgive me??

17 August 2005

on the Useful nature of literary pursuits.

and it was the other day now, that our lunchtime discussion was on the nature of literature and doing useful things in the world. this concerns me, sometimes, that my interests in gratuitous literature and arts are self-serving and somewhat useless.

and as we commiserated over the shared experience of being little kids with no friends but an eternally welcoming corner with a pile of books, Rebecca declared that Somewhere out there are lonely 9 year olds being kept alive and nourished by books, "and it is Them i am serving by keeping this stuff Alive".

how Totally Fucking True.


thoughts on specificity.

Miz Rebecca and i were discussing the world today, as we are wont to do, and it came up that in some way i might be in the wrong job 'coz of my conflicting love of art and editorial, and what my skills are more appropriate for and all that, and it made me think about how specific the world is getting. there is so much information and redirecting to appropriate agents and targeted marketing and focus groups and all manner of that sort of insanity, so that we have less and less opportunity to do anything but that which we're supposed to do.
which is liberating in one way, and completely Terrifying in another.

16 August 2005

sign outside a store.

"gardening, yoga, bubblebaths, medication,
and still i want to smack somebody."

12 August 2005


yesterday i reneged on my no-anonymous comments soapbox so as to accomodate my fine friends who would otherwise be loyal and accountable commenters, but don't feel the inclination to start their own blog to do so.
it's of Greater Importance in this conflict of mine.
and today i got Two Spam messages blogged as comments.
i've only managed to track one of them down and delete it.

(insert all manner of crass language and Furious expletives here)
i feel violated.

11 August 2005


12 days ago i ran into an ex i hadn't spoken with or seen in 6 years or so.
two nights ago I was sitting at my computer (of course) at 3 in the morning, and got an email from another old friend i lived with for a spell in Australia and haven't seen in 4 years.
and now, Now, it's 1.22am, and i just got ANOTHER email, at This moment, from yet Another character from my sordid past, this one from a surreal stay in Sweden in 1995 (in and around)
WHAT ON EARTH IS GOING ON?!? this is Complete Insanity.

no really.
i'm not complaining of course... it's moments like these where i feel like something is going on Way beyond anything i know about.

that and getting locked out of my own bathroom a few weeks ago, a picture leaping off my wall in the middle of the night and dis-enframing itself, and a snotty poltergeist kleenex (or so i would assume, i didn't examine it very closely) found on my floor when i arrived home...there are forces at work, i tell you. forces at Work.

07 August 2005

the Very Worst Thing.

to not be able to Help someone going through a painful time. it's the Very Worst thing.
especially when you've been there, or somewhere similiar, yourself, and there's just nothing you can do but stand on the other side of it and watch it happen. 'coz it's no longer difficult for you, but you can't give that knowledge away, if it's even Knowledge...
i HATE this.

06 August 2005

word of the day.

ok so it was the word of a couple of days ago, but it's such a Good one!

Today's Word: Gardyloo (Adverb)

Pronunciation: [gah(r)-di-'lu]

Definition 1: An exclamation to alert passers-by of slops or dirty water about to be dropped from a window above their heads.

Usage 1: The inhabitants of upstairs Edinburgh (and a few other areas of Scotland) traditionally shouted this warning before emptying their wash bowls and slop buckets onto the street below. It is a good word to know when strolling about Scotland, even if you don't use it much yourself.

Suggested Usage: If you are a college youth with so little homework that you have time to drop water bombs on innocents entering and exiting your dorm, you should show the courtesy to shout, "Gardyloo!" before "Bombs away!" At least the Scots will duck (get the pun?) But why restrict this rippingly cute word to warnings of plummeting liquid? "Fore!" on the golf course always struck me as a limp sound, too easy to ignore. I would be willing to bet that if you shouted, "Gardyloo!" far more people would make way for you.

Etymology: Philippe Auguste, who ruled France from 1180-1223, according to legend, received the contents of a chamber pot on his head while strolling through the streets of Paris. The upshot of this misfortunate incident was that all residents of Paris began to exclaim, "gare à l'eau!" (look out for the water!) before dumping their dirty washwater (and more sordid liquids) out of their windows onto the streets. Once the residents of Kiltland had added their magic to this sophisticated French phrase, today's word was created. (Leave it to Katy Brezger to find such a useless word with a silly sound attached to an absolutely fascinating story about us and the language we speak.)

—Dr. Language, yourDictionary.com

for the purgers amongst us.

by George Murray, first printed in Brick 73, permissions and rights waived for a lifetime of ice cream to the managing editor.

a clarification of the Cecily Moos Affair (or one of the many reasons i Adore my job.)

the following is an e-missive i sent to my fellow co-workers upon discovery of factors of Some significance regarding one of our esteemed contributors to a great many Br--cks. (i'm cancelling out the middle words to keep errant googlers from spreading the word)
i think the circumstances should clarify why this job is the most Perfect job ever, and why Everyone in the world should read Br--ck.

my dearest colleagues,

I would just like to say that I'm slightly offput that no one felt fit to tell me that Cecily Moos was a fictitious author. I had developed an inadvertent affection for Ms. Moos, wondering who, how, and why she was affiliated with Br--ck, what took her to Denmark, and how on earth I might one day garner such an exotic life myself, with such grand and respectable affiliations.

so Imagine my crushing disappointment, when Miz Rebecca, said this morning, somewhat tentatively, "you Know that she is fictitious" when I asked how I would get her contact details for the Brick excel file of contributors for our upcoming issue.

now I've had illusions aplenty dashed in my life. God, Santa Claus, a significant other or two, but none can compare to the melancholia I felt upon hearing this news.

i've since recovered (sort of), thanks to lunch and comforting assurances that even tho' Ms. Moos is fictitious, she's alive and
well in the parallel universe that is Br--ck Literary Journal.

but mind how you go in the future, my beloved colleagues. I am most fragile when it comes to my illusions about figures in the literary world, and most specifically those that decide to up and move to Scandinavia.

all this said, Monsieur Redhill, I need Ms. Moos current contact details and bio for Brick 76.

all thanks and cautions for the future,

02 August 2005

the problem with vacations

is that i go right back to staying up 'til 2am and then getting up at 8am subsequently. it's a mixed blessing, this state of rejuvenation!

slightly useful.

a Hessian discussion beneath a willow tree this weekend about being useful in the world had me once more feeling melancholy that the things that bring me Great Joy (ie. drawing, reading, writing, setting things on fire) are very likely of utterly No use to anyone else on the planet. which is a problem when one is trying to find a fulfilling direction that is not just worsening the worry of self-absorption and the resultant isolation and arrogance that comes from that.
then, checking my work email to fleece it of some of the gratuitous spam that is very overwhelming first thing in the morning, i found another response from a writer who had sent a lovely piece to us, but alas, not a Brick worthy one. she was so thankful for the kind words (which really were very cursory, but did come from a real place, and having read her piece), and i thought perhaps that could be a useful thing.
i really really enjoy reading the Unsols. not always, but we get alot of good and Important work, even if it's not Good or Literary "Writing" per se. How crucial to keep people aware that the very fact that they are submitting work for consideration is a victory and of Great Merit.
it's interesting to me that it is a challenge to find merit in things, whether it be my own accomplishments or those of people i don't know. it doesn't come easily, but it's Immensely fulfilling, this line of thinking.

01 August 2005

life in bowmanville.

i'm going to try to resist posting the 49+ photos i took of our campfires and of the clouds, and focus instead on photos indicative of the cultural significance of our camping trip...this from jolly Bowmanville, where we got victuals before plowing into the national park...