Monday, March 31, 2008

I slept in late today. Yesterday I hit campus for awhile and browsed some electronic literature websites, and I think I'm going to shift the focus of my avant-garde paper a bit to discuss how the "reader" of a text is transformed into a "user," or a reader-author hybrid. I discovered some really strange art websites, of which there really is no shortage.

I couldn't stay at the library, so I went to Tim Hortons and then walked home from Keele Station. I love those walks. They give my thoughts room to roam around. I thought a lot about what lies in store in Ottawa. I'm trying to remind myself that nothing lies ahead of me but possibility, but I have to put first things first. Four more papers and one more presentation. Then I can start figuring out where life is going to take me next.

I found a live stream of Wrestlemania, so I was able to catch about three hours of it, only having to put up with a slight delay in audio and announcers who sounded like Darth Vader. Ric Flair had his last match and I was happy to see it live. I stayed up late looking at photos and thinking. Today I have to read a couple of essays and write a response paper.

Tomorrow is the first day of April. The beginning of the end!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

I did nothing yesterday but run people over in True Crime: New York City and watch X-Files, so I'm going to have to hit the books today. I need a title for my Avant-Garde paper by Tuesday's class. I did look up a few titles for my Biography presentation, so I'm going to head to the library to check them out.

I stayed up really late watching the Cast & Crew commentary track for Titanic. It astounds me how much work went into that film. How in the world does an effort that enormous come together? I've always been really curious about the film industry. A thousand people somehow gather and put out a film. Set designers somehow erect elaborate sets to achieve desired visual effects. And then they talk about it as though it's no big deal. Maybe the details are over a lay-person's, but I'd love a ground-up look at how these things are achieved.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

This is my 200th post. Another landmark flies by (albeit a small one).

Andrea ended up crashing at my place last night after the Hills after-show, deciding to take an early morning bus instead of a late night bus that would have gotten her back to London in time for work. Hooray for rationalizations! It did mean, however, that I had to get up at 7 AM. I think back to the sleep schedule I had at the beginning of the semester, compare it to now and laugh when I remember that I thought I might be able to keep it up. Given the freedom I'm a night owl. There's no way around it.

Last night I read Without A Name by Yvonne Vera, a story about a woman traveling to Herare during the Rhodesian Bush War in Zimbabwe, for Tragedy class. It's beautifully written and incredibly sad. Today I'll do a little Coupland research and start looking up texts for my biography presentation.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Last night I read Dictee by Theresa Hak Kyung Cha for Avant-Garde and talked to Jaime for a bit online. She just broke up with her boyfriend. They'd been together for seven years and had been living together. Now she wants to see the world.

Andrea went to Ottawa for Kristin Anne's birthday party because she's a powerhouse. She called me at 2:30 in the morning for directions. Today she was in town for an MTV Hills special, and we chilled at Coffee Time while she told me stories from last night's festivities. Afterwards we met up with Joy (the Scorpio) and had lunch at Burgundy's. I've known Joy for about eight years online and I hadn't met her until today. That's definitely a personal record.

My earphones crapped out so I stopped by Future Shop for new ones. Ren messaged me and said he's picked up tickets to see Buck 65 at the end of April. I checked out some library books and walked home from Keele Station. Now I'm wondering what I'm going to write about tomorrow morning. I suppose the night is still young.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Yesterday took a neat turn. I went to class feeling kind of depressed and didn't say much of anything during the lecture. At the end of class Paul invited everyone out for dinner with the film crew, but I was intent on getting home and waiting out the rest of the day. I went to Robarts to see if Subway was still open, but it had just closed, so I went to catch the subway home.

I'd say I'm an adventurous guy, but sometimes I have these moments of hesitation that I end up giving myself a hard time over later. Heading to the station I thought about how good it would be to go out for a beer and relax and talk with someone. While I was waiting for the train, Dru and Andrea (from the film class I took last semester) came up behind me and reiterated Paul's invitation, so I went along. Another Ethiopian restaurant on Bloor near Ossington called Queen of Sheeba. It was mostly the same group that went out for Dru's birthday - graduate film students Sarah, Paul, Sal, and Alicia, plus Tony. After eating six of us walked to a bar at Dundas and Ossington and got wrecked. It was fun sitting around, talking shit and letting loose. Tony gave me a lift home at the end of the night and I told him and Sarah that they'd made my day.

Simple enough, but I was glad to get a second chance at turning my attitude around. The funny thing is that more than one person last night mentioned that they didn't like Wednesdays. I'm completely in that camp. Something about Wednesday gets to me. But yesterday proved an exception to the rule.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Richard Widmark just passed away at the old age of 93. I just saw him in Judgement at Nuremberg a few weeks ago. A couple of years ago I analyzed a scene in How the West Was Won that featured Widmark for a paper on Thomas King's Green Grass, Running Water. A great actor.

I just read an article by Mary Ann Doane called Dark Continents about race and gender representations in Douglas Sirk's Imitation of Life, which I watched earlier today. She concentrates on the value of perspective and the visibility/invisibility of individuals in the film, making the claim that her arguments aren't finished until they are taken up by, most notably, black women. This is truly where academia is poised today, it seems. Matt just sent me a look at the new English course requirements at Carleton, which now include two credits in "South Asian, African, Aboriginal, Caribbean, American, and other literatures." Multiplicity of perspective.

I will say that I'm really enjoying the African and African-American texts I've been exposed to so far this semester. I get a little bogged in the theory sometimes, but I'm trying to make sense of it. I still feel funny that 95% of the students taking these classes are white. I think a little more diversity in experience would help the discussions.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I'm skipping Tragedy and Avant-Garde today. I couldn't track down a reading for the former and thought that rather than sit there with no opinion I'd do everyone a favour and not attend. Nor am I all that interested in sitting around discussing McCaffery. I'm in the middle of another one of my artistic crises and University has been feeling antagonistic to my creativity (though there would probably be another reason if I weren't going to school - ie. too busy living). I haven't missed a class in either all semester anyway, so the way I see it I was due.

I am going to Sullivan's class tonight, however, because I really dug her MacEwen bio. I found out that I pass MacEwen's childhood home pretty much every time I leave the house: it used to stand where the Keele Street subway tunnel stands now, on a hill on the northwest corner of Keele and Bloor. I find that incredibly neat. I can't say that I really identify with MacEwen's interests - she learned Arabic and Greek out of pure fascination and wrote fiction about Egyptian myths - but the poetry I've read of hers in the bio is often quite good. I have to hand it to Sullivan because it seems like a difficult account of a person to write. I wouldn't know the first thing about making MacEwen's life conceivable for a general audience, but she pulls it off.

My artistic crisis. As usual, I can't write. However, yesterday I was considering whether or not it might be time for me to experiment with something else. I've been toying around a bit with graphic art lately, just a little poke here and there. I've never considered myself much of a visual artist. I'm definitely not someone who can sit down with paint and create something amazing on an easel. But I know my way around a computer, so we'll see.

Sometimes I think that feeling you can't go any further means you have to go back and check to see if there's something you've missed along the way, to find that key to unlock the next logical progression of yourself. It can exist at any point in the past: a decision you made in childhood, an unfinished conversation from last year. It can remind you of an important truth about yourself that you may have forgotten. I think I'm on to something with that, since I'm always afraid that I'm forgetting new experiences. I have to investigate things that I've never been able to fully leave behind to see what they've become, if that makes any sense.

Last night I had a strange dream. I was in the backseat of a car holding a baby for a really long time. I don't think I've held a baby since I was a young kid.

Monday, March 24, 2008

I'm going a little stir crazy being in the apartment so much this weekend. I have to return a library book today, so I'll be rejoining the land of the living, however briefly. I made it about halfway through the MacEwen biography, wrote my McCaffrey response (which ended up being a comparison of Perloff and Susan Sontag's ideas of interpretation) and watched my first Fassbinder film, Ali: Fear Eats the Soul, which I'm looking at this week in Race and Cinema. What makes that film so interesting is the back story behind it. The male lead was Fassbinder's lover for a period and ended up hanging himself in prison after stabbing three people.

I went to the grocery store yesterday, but it was closed, so I ordered pizza. Jay went home for Easter and to my family's for dinner. My parents packed up some food for me, which was really thoughtful, and now I don't have to shop for a few days. When he came back I was knee-deep in playing True Crime: Streets of LA on the PS2. It's fun to run over and shoot people. I tried playing Final Fantasy XII but there was too much storyline and not enough actual gameplay.

I also talked with Rachael for a bit, which was nice, because we haven't talked in months. Today I'll be reading more about MacEwen. I'm liking it a lot more than Sullivan's last biography. She's more inclined to involve the process of writing about a subject, and I find that the most interesting part.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

I watched Sideways last night for the first time since theatres and I'd forgotten how funny it was. It has a great trailer, too, which uses "No Rain" by Blind Melon perfectly. That song was on a life soundtrack I put together a few years back.

More work to do. I read Ibsen's Hedda Gabler and Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire yesterday (I'd read the latter before, it's incredibly rich material). I also started reading Sullivan's biography on Gwendolyn MacEwen. She used to live on Keele Street. When I read a biography I wonder what I'm going to be when I grow up. I also think about writing very specific things to detail my soul's poetry for a researcher to find after I've passed on. I think too much about the end result and not enough about the process. One can be foolish with their capabilities that way.

Sometimes I think I'm just too damned normal to accomplish anything interesting. I know that's the wrong way to look at things. I'm still trying to learn how to be grateful for being adjusted.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

I spent a good chunk of yesterday sleeping either in my bed or on the couch. In between naps I tackled Avant-Garde readings on concrete poetry and work by Steve McCaffery. Perloff maintains that McCaffery's style is a response to the way poetry and advertising overlaps. Truth be told I find a lot of it ridiculous.

I just took an online test to figure out what kind of "thinker" I am, and it describes me as visual, but only just barely over auditory. That makes perfect sense. I'm really in the middle between the two (and not kinesthetic at all). I can never accept something that purely makes visual sense, nor can I rely solely on how I process things with my hearing. When I read stuff by McCaffery, I can't process it entirely with my eyes because even though I understand the idea of concrete poetry, the layout doesn't make sense to me, so I have to read it out loud.

Speaking of my hearing, my left ear has been clouded over for the past few days, but it finally popped back into place last night. I'm going to see a doctor if it keeps acting up.

I watched Back to the Future Part II, which is really a messed up movie and plays with chronology in ingenious ways - Zemeckis still thinks it's the craziest movie he ever made. Today: Ibsen and Tennessee Williams.

Friday, March 21, 2008

My time with Andrea over the last few days served as a little break, of sorts, reminding me that I am capable of more than research and classes. These days I'm worrying a lot about how well I perform at school. School has never felt more like work and when I get that feeling I want to quit because I no longer find it fulfilling. I'm pretty hard on myself. Three more weeks of classes to go. I need to get this work done and over with and push it out of my life for awhile.

Time with Andrea feels like life. Our anniversary is coming up and I've never been more sure of anyone's love for me. That may sound as though I have a million insecurities, which I more than likely do, but it's true and I say it with a full heart. And it's good to have faith in a sure thing. I've always wanted to be with someone I can count on, and I can count on her.

She also has the tendency to make my life exciting. I have experiences I probably wouldn't have had if I hadn't known her. Like yesterday, for instance. Andrea loves and watches MTV, so she got tickets to see The Raveonettes on MTV Live. I hate MTV but hey, cool band, so we went, and it was awesome. It made me feel a bit younger. In fact, just walking around with her, checking out places in Toronto I haven't yet seen, made me feel the way I used to feel about the city. I've forced Toronto into becoming repetitive for the good of my degree, forgetting about how magical a place it can be. I like it here. If the circumstances were right, I wouldn't mind living here for a longer period of time. Being with Andrea is definitely a right circumstance.

We had breakfast at the hotel and went to see Breakfast at Tiffany's at the Bloor Cinema before having dinner at the James Joyce Irish Pub. The next day we ate at Tortilla Flats and did the MTV thing. Movies watched: Paris je t'aime, Dogma, Tommy Boy, a dash of 24 Hour Party People. Great conversations. Great silences. Great food. Great sex. Great real life.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Yesterday was a busy day, as I had to deliver the two presentations on Hejinian and Coupland, both of which involved the use of my laptop and speakers, which I had to drag around all day. I'm glad to have them done, I'm just hoping I did an all right job on them.

I'm taking today off to spend time with Andrea. We're currently lying in bed at a Holiday Inn on Lombard Street. She's asleep and looks peaceful and beautiful. We had dinner at C'est What and walked around in the rain.

It's been a long day and I can't sleep.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Two presentations to do tomorrow. As usual, I've left the bulk of the writing until the last minute. But I feel as though I did more research on Hejinian than was needed, so I just need to put it into a format that flows nicely. I'm thinking about seven pages. The Coupland presentation won't take me long to do up since the biography presentations have been quite informal (mostly talking rather than reading from paper).

Thankfully, Andrea is coming into town tomorrow for a couple of days. It will be a nice break from things. We're staying in a hotel tomorrow night. In an actual bed. I'm excited.

I spent a few hours in Robarts researching yesterday, then came home and vegged out in front of the computer. I wanted to get to bed a bit early but something in my brain goes nuts at around midnight and I can't pull myself away from looking up information online. As hard as it is for me to remember things I learn, I can't stop filling my head with new stuff, mostly trivia that I'm curious about. Decades from now folks are going to find me dead in front of my computer looking up the names of the guys in Salmonblaster.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Almost forgot to update today. Matt and I went out and got drunk at Whelan's Gate last night and then went back to his place and watched The Host, a Korean monster flick that came out a year or two ago. It blew me away even though I couldn't really tell you what transpired. Matt is truly a friend I can connect with. We're never short on conversation and though our lives have taken different paths since college we still look at the world in a similar way.

I stumbled home quite late and slept. Earlier in the day I had spent a few hours researching Lyn Hejinian, and I have to head back to campus to keep it up. I really like her writing and I can identify with her thought process, which is a bit of a relief, because you never know what kind of philosophies and approaches you'll come across when you're studying the avant-garde. Not that it hasn't all been interesting so far.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

My motivation hit a brick wall yesterday. I watched a couple of Coupland interviews and took some notes, but did little else. I made a batch of vegetarian chili, watched Speed and stayed up late watching David Cross stand-up videos on YouTube.

I have to get on the workhorse today. I'm meeting Matt at 7 for drinks, so I should try to get a healthy bit of work done, because I know I'm not going to be feeling it tomorrow.

Friday, March 14, 2008

I went out last night with some folks from the Cinema Studies program for Dru's birthday. I knew a few of them superficially from classes we'd taken. The night was okay though I was in a pretty shy mood. At the very end of the night I had this weird altercation with someone in my Race and Cinema class. I was leaving the bar and she pulled me aside and apologized for being assholes. I didn't know what she meant, but she was referring back to a presentation I gave at the beginning of the semester. She and this other guy pressed me with follow-up questions about Althusser that I didn't really know how to answer, and she had heard that I was angry about it.

First of all, I wasn't the one who brought it up - someone else made the observation that they seemed to be giving me a hard time of it. I also find it kind of weird that she found out. The class is comprised of a group of English students and a group of Film students, each of them close-knit, so I suppose one of the Film students heard the comments and passed them along. I don't even really remember what was said. So I pretended I had no idea what she was talking about, and that I didn't think they were assholes. Which I don't, really. It takes a lot for a person to become an asshole in my books. I might have been annoyed at the time, given that it was my first presentation of the semester and I wanted it to go well, but questions are part of any course.

I suppose I'm explaining it here because I only know these people in the context of a classroom. I haven't made what I would consider to be any good friends during my run at U of T and I find it a bit upsetting that people would think I could harbour grudges against them.

It was a pretty okay night. Dru seemed happy. Tony came out too, who is always fun to talk to, and I'm now about 95% certain he's gay. Taking the Olivia Newton John pieces in "Summer Nights" at a karaoke bar is a pretty solid confirmation.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Only four more weeks of classes to go.

I'm holding back on writing something. I just don't feel up to it, or that I can fully make sense of it. But I'll try later.

Yesterday I received the latest issue of In/Words in the mail. The gang did a really great job on it. I re-read a piece I submitted back in September and cringed at a few moments. There are always things you'd go back and change if you had the opportunity.

I picked up copies of Stalag 17 and Speed/Speed 2 at HMV. The first is for an essay and the second is for lazy Sunday afternoons.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

There are a few things wrong with my body, health-wise, keeping me from being in tip top condition, and at a certain point in your life you wonder if these things are going to stick around forever. Being young and healthy most of the time means you can't imagine a day when you won't be able to run. I don't run a lot now, but I love the idea that I can if I want to. I'm also at the point now where people around my age, especially women, get a little "run-happy" and start training and hitting the gym and running marathons and such. I don't think I'll ever run a marathon, but I do like using my legs. I use them daily. I love walking. It's something I'd like to do forever.

I have lost weight, which is nice. After dieting a bit I'm down to 175 pounds. I've never tried to lose weight before. Hell, up until a few weeks ago I'd weighed myself probably 3 times in the last ten years. It's kind of a strange feeling seeing proof of the control you can have over your own body beyond haircuts and tattoos and such.

Yesterday I found out there will be no Tragedy class next week, which frees me up for the two presentations I have to do in Avant-Garde and Biography. Nonetheless, it's going to be a busy weekend.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

I taped an interview with Linda Hutcheon yesterday on the subjects of Canadian literature and interdiscursive approaches to academia, and it went fine, but I didn't turn off the recorder properly and ended up recording about 7 hours of my day with it running in my shirt pocket. It can't be that interesting. After the interview I went to Robarts and watched Spike Lee's Bamboozled with a pair of headphones on (a bizarre movie - I admire Spike Lee but his style is really all over the place and I'm not sure he's all that convincing in what he's trying to say). So I'm sure that the file is comprised of a lot of muffled library noise coupled with occasional chuckles.

After discovering that I had already finished my readings, I went to see Starting Out in the Evening at the Bloor Cinema, which I had been looking forward to seeing for weeks. Overall, pretty good with a few moments of greatness. Coincidentally, Lauran Ambrose plays a grad student writing an MA thesis on a writer she idolizes. She spends most of the movie looking like a deer caught in headlights.

After the film I walked home from Keele station and spent the rest of the night not doing much of anything. I finished City of Glass and I'm about halfway through the first Souvenir of Canada book. There's a passage in City of Glass taken from Polaroids from the Dead (one of the few Coupland books I haven't read) about the Lions Gate Bridge that is amazing stuff. I'm going to have to pick that one up.

Monday, March 10, 2008

I finished Lord of the Flies and Heart of Darkness yesterday. Both weren't really much better than I remember them being, to be honest. I find Conrad's writing style blasé and Golding's is too abstract for a modernist text (I was kind of surprised by his use of the word "niggers" in the second-last chapter, given that the version I read in high school probably used the word "savages"). Salih's book was the best of the three.

My Race and Cinema prospectus is done. I tested out my digital recorder and it's good to go. I now have to come up with some questions for Linda Hutcheon to give it a test run.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

It snowed HARD in the city yesterday. said there were so many car accidents as a result that police had to stop responding to the sites and advised people to get a tow and head to special drop-in centres. I spent a good portion of the day tromping around campus, trying to make sense of the white blur everywhere.

I finished Salih's book, which I read in the short term loan section of Robarts, listening to the winds howl against the building. It was quiet and nice. I went to L'Espresso for a bit and chilled out reading City of Glass. They didn't have any coffee brewed, so I had an Americano. I had to ask what it was because I'm pretty coffee-illiterate. It's essentially espresso and hot water and it tastes like coffee if you stir it like mad.

I also bought my plane ticket to Vancouver, so I suppose this means I'm officially going. Today I'm going to finish Lord of the Flies and Heart of Darkness. I also have to return a cell phone I found to a guy on campus. It's amazing I found it considering it was a white phone dropped into an infinite landscape of snow.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

I still think that Terry Lee Hale's "Dead is Dead" is one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard.

I got a lot of work done on preliminary research for my Race and Cinema essay, and I should be able to hand in the prospectus this week (a week early). It will be nice not having to worry about it when Andrea's in town. And it actually seems like it will be an interesting essay to write - I'm going to look at representations of African-Americans in WWII on film, so I'll be looking at old propaganda films and then examining the gap between the war and narrativized accounts of how they were actually treated.

I bought a bunch of Coupland books I didn't have previously: Souvenir of Canada, Terry, and City of Glass, which I've been reading obsessively to get an idea of what to expect in Vancouver. I ran across a video online of Coupland giving what he announced as the last reading he'll ever give back in October (it's right here). At the end of the clip he says, "That part of my life is over." It makes me wonder what part of his life he views as beginning.

Friday, March 7, 2008

The Vancouver trip is looking more and more settled - I'm planning it for April 11th - 14th. After doing some research about East Vancouver and the state of the Main and Hastings area, I've booked a room in a hostel in West Vancouver. There were three HI hostels to choose from. I picked the one that doesn't apparently vibrate with the music in the neighboring clubs. It's close to transit, anyway.

I picked up a digital recorder at Future Shop yesterday, as well as a new air mattress. I got rid of the bedframe because I think it was causing the punctures, so now I'm sleeping on the floor, but at least I'm not waking up bent backwards over a bar.

I'm hitting campus today to start researching my Race and Cinema essay and hopefully to get some other reading done. Yesterday I read Frank O'Hara's Lunch Poems and John Ashbery's The Tennis Court Oath for Avant-Garde. This weekend I'll be looking at Heart of Darkness and Lord of the Flies for the first time since high school, along with Salih's Season of Migration to the North, if I can find it. Thank goodness the Tragedy responses are staving off for a couple of weeks.

Andrea is visiting soon. We're going to see The Raveonettes. I just downloaded their new record and it's good stuff if a bit repetitive.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

I woke up at 7 this morning, which is kind of neat, though I'll probably need a nap sooner than later. I'm hitting Canadian Tire for a new mattress today, and I'm also picking up a digital recorder to use for my Biography interviews. I'm going to ask Linda Hutcheon for one, as well as perhaps a prof at Carleton who has put Coupland on his syllabus in the past. I've heard from Coupland a couple of times since the first email and we're trying to hammer out the specifics of time and place for the interview.

I've been getting some good marks lately, which of course makes my opinion about the future feel like a yo-yo upswing. I really need to get to work on the papers and presentations I have to do, especially considering that I may be heading to Vancouver for one of the few remaining weekends I have.

Yesterday I sent a cheque to Ash for the room I'm subletting over the summer in Ottawa. Everything seems pretty official at this point. Less than two months to go.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Fucking bullshit piece of crap mattress. My back is killing me. Like the first mattress that deflated I can't find a puncture in this one, so I guess this means I'll have to buy a new one. And I'll have to do it before I'm no longer able to walk.

Blah blah class, blah blah Jazz Singer, blah blah aching back.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

If the stabbing pain in my back is any indication, it looks as though I've punctured another air mattress. Vying for space in the still-inflated portions of a surface is not the most comfortable way to start a day. The worst part is that I won't have time to fix it/buy a new one today. I'm pondering sleeping on the floor.

My laptop is back online. I'm thinking seriously about picking up a desktop iMac. Nice ones come fairly cheap and are usually accompanied by glowing reviews of their performance. I think Kat has one so I'm going to ask her what she thinks.

My mom was going through x-rays of her shoulder injury for her hearing (which is today) and noticed one that indicated a spot on her lung. She had new ones taken a few days ago and got the results back yesterday - negative, thankfully. It was just an area of scarring from a previous bout of pneumonia.

Monday, March 3, 2008

I'm back in Toronto with a couple of essays to read and a short paper to write for the weekly Tragedy onslaught. Hopefully I'll be able to get my computer back online today.

Jeff Healey just died, which is really too bad, because he was hands down one of the greatest guitarists of all time. I thought he would have been a bit older than 41. That means he was only a fresh faced lad of 22 when he appeared in Road House.

I added Zelda from Offbeat Cinema to my myspace friends list, and she responded back with a comment about my profile, giving me a small thrill. I spent most of yesterday reading Othello, plus a bunch of essays on famous artistic couples to get a feel for biographical approaches to subjects. Another weekend in Peterborough comes and goes.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Hi David.

Thank you for your interest and I'm sure we can work out something. I
don't do phone interviews and email interviews feel like the worst
sort of homework assignment so ...we could do something in person.
I'm based out of Vancouver but travel frequently, so things would have
to be scheduled in advance. Life is always busy, so I can't say that
one time is better than another. Your call.
Give me a shout any time at this email address,

So I didn't dream it. Good.

Yesterday I read Coetzee's Waiting for the Barbarians, a pretty violent and emotional book that seems almost ripped from space and time given its hesitance to identify where and when the events are taking place. I need to plow through Othello today and get some shorter essays read. My parents' shower is being re-grouted so I have to take a bath. Thankfully they have one that shoots jetstreams.

I made it out to Chumleigh's and picked up a copy of Hot Fuzz along with Pure's Feverish and a Matthew Jay single. After dinner I went out for a drink with my siblings at Mexicali Rosa's for some hangout time. My brother told me this huge plan he has to "financially stabilize a country" by the time he's in his 60's. He has some big ideas, which is good for a young guy like him to have. He just needs to apply himself and finally take the step to go to school.

I stayed up late finishing off Coetzee while watching Offbeat Cinema, which was screening The Wild Ride with Jack Nicholson. I finished the book a little after 3:30 and couldn't bring myself to stay up and see how the movie ended, though I imagine there was probably a car crash and hep language.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

I spent the entire bus ride (with two seats to myself) to Peterborough reading The Gum Thief over again, since it's been awhile since I last picked it up. Coupland's writing style is still among my favorites. His latest book admires the idea that people deserve a second look before they can be considered understood or even really seen in the first place. We all remain so relatively invisible to one another, lumped into categories based on our appearances and social positions. Meanwhile there's so much going on inside everyone. It's a fascinating contradiction.

I just emailed him, asking for an interview. I'm already nervous as shit. In any event I have to go with the flow of what comes of it, if for nothing else than for the sake of my mark in Biography.

It snowed heavily in Peterborough. I have a hankering to check out Chumleigh's. We'll see if I can slog my way down there. I do have a fair amount to read this weekend, including work by Coetzee, and a Shakespeare play I had to rescue from the boxes of stuff in my parents' basement. Every time I visit my dad announces his plans for spring cleaning. There are decades worth of junk in this place that would make a nice addition to someone else's junk pile.

Last night my folks and I watched Judgement at Nuremberg with Spencer Tracy and a slew of other stars. Really well directed and didn't drag at all in its three-hour length. There's a fascinating scene in which Marlene Dietrich and Tracy are walking through the streets of Nuremberg and a band of men are singing "Lily Marleen," a song that Dietrich made popular. She lightly sings a couple of bars herself but otherwise translates its meaning into something Tracy can understand. It's a wonderfully scripted scene.