all in the family

the parents have been here since tuesday, as has the godmother. dad seems to be healing nicely from the big heart surgery - his typical brisk walk has become more of a shuffle, but the rhythm of his mind has not.

you should lay eyes on this auntie. she is a cherubic wee brown woman, barely five foot shit and hardly 100 pounds. she is the one i have lovingly referred to as the 'velcro auntie' since my visit to india last year, attributed primarily to the fact that she almost literally clung to my shoulder during our time together. i don't really care on account of her being so fucking adorable and all.

happy birthday to mama who spent yesterday doing such ottawa-y things as ogling buskers and the famous five, and dining at the best of this city's 17 million east indian restaurants (which shall remain unnamed to protect the secret). the birthday ended with us shivering in front of the peace tower to take in this spectacle.

so all in all, the visit has been ok. while i am still figuring out all the ups and downs and learning how not to blame myself for the years of duress that has been the history of our relationship, i have no problem crediting myself for the vast improvements seen now. i must commend my own damn self for the absence of explosive debates about my lack of stability, direction, and husband. that said, i'm anxious for them to get the fuck outta here. being around them is a bit like a 10 year old doing the whole 'look ma, no hands!' thing. now i'm anxious to get back to my regular schedule of coffee, cigarettes, cocktails. anxious to return to teetering between confident goddess and self-indulgent neurotic.


scene from a mall

speaking of malls, i forgot to mention that at the end of last week, in a rare occurance, i darted into one for a quick trip to the atm. i hate malls. i really do. upon entering, i recalled why: swarms of people in all their weirdness moving unpredictably in every direction, spreading germs and malcontent, often with aggression. the whole experience can be extremely unbalancing. but that's not the point. this particular mall moment delivered me the most remarkable sight: i saw a young woman leading a man through the throngs by his crotch. i repeat, by his crotch. her left hand was clasped firmly to his button fly. can u imagine? as they came into focus while shuffling towards me, i'm sure my face revealed a delighted awe. best part was, they seemed so fucking blasse about it. wow. listen, i'm not saying that my hand doesn't enjoy travelling to such areas (however sporadically), but in front of kernels at the rideau centre? i ain't knocking it. more ass-grabbery, i say. nice gig if you can get it.


feminism sucks

feminism and her cousins are all one ginormous shithead. at least that's what i think of them sometimes. actually, having any progressive politics sucks. sometimes, anger crashes over me like a reckless wave, leaving me soaked in resentment. my politics make me see, feel, and hate certain things while making me want, seek, and expect certain things. that makes for a whole fuck of a lot of inner turmoil, especially within the various contexts of this world. war on terrorism, war on iraq, war on dissent, war on drugs: essentially, we're in a war on everybody and everything. i seem to be able to preach and teach about picking your battles so as not to feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of all the injustice, yet i often feel like it's just one mother battle. those of us on this side of the arguments are up against some seriously heavy ideology: manufactured, well-funded, and downright dangerous. their forces are enough to make me want to suggest sometimes that we just shut down the whole mission and head for the mall.

as for feminism, well she can be a bitch for me to contend with. she makes me wrestle with the big stuff and the everyday. she's on my ass every minute. and she makes matters of the heart pretty tough. consider that even the most feministy of our men can't cut the mustard. it would seem, my straight sisters, that some kind of sacrifice on our part is inevitable if we're interested in hunkering down with someone. recently, i have seen a few of my sisters resist and suffer break-ups as a consequence. others seem to have found a way to succeed, to locate the magical temperature setting that keeps a relationship cooking without it bursting into flames. maybe they ended up forgoing a partnership for a relationship. and sure, that's a way to go. but when i've tried it before (stuffing all my big purpleness into a 'nice' box or category), things did not pan out. and by now, the proposition of toning any of this shit down so that i'm a more viable partner strikes me as absolutely unendurable.

i've said it before and i'll say it again: i accept feminism (and every one of her unruly relatives) not as dinner party guests who have outstayed their welcome, but as part of my chemistry. and i know i'm not alone - i'm sure most of my counterparts are also navigating their own complicated terrain, trying to achieve some kind of balance in the journey. but every so often, when shit gets rough or a news story strikes a nerve (most do) or a friend fumbles through a wrong relationship or my expectations are scrutinized by a potential love interest as 'over the top', i think about what it would be like to give it all back. that life would be a whole fuck of a lot easier if i just traded it all in for a brazilian wax, gym membership, and a minivan. it would be like a spiritual brow lift: taut and wrinkle-free, yet unable to display any visible emotion. ain't that a small price to pay for a simpler life?


mirror mirror

i've never been one to gawk into mirrors. my grooming and primping rituals, if that's what i do, are brief. over the course of an average day, it doesn't occur to me to look at myself. i don't study my reflection in passing windows. i rarely check out my face in the car sunvisor. i don't rush to washrooms in restaurants to 'powder my nose'. admittedly, it does occasionally occur to me to stress about the bigness of my hair, but it's not like i can do much about it when the worry strikes.

then there are the metaphoric mirrors - ones you find yourself facing thanks to a brutally honest friend or an equally ruthless life situation. strange that i would find those less intimidating than tangible glass. i mean, what screams back at you from a metaphoric mirror is often much more painful and revealing and humiliating than anything you'd notice in the compact. and yet, i can go there... perhaps not always to linger, but i do look. sometimes you have to save the staring for later. but lately, i've been staring. there are aspects about the general structure and make-up of my life that i am trying to get real about. not easy when those potentially unhealthy blemishes deliver no direct harm. in fact, they appear appealing, even desirable. but over the long haul, i have to consider how they might be detrimental. and i'm contemplating what to do about it. i'm sure all this is boringly cryptic without the gory details, but i'm pretty sure i'm onto something.

also, i've come to believe that few mirrors are as harsh as the one thrown up just before the parental units are slated to arrive. next week, the folks will land with my diminuative godmother who is on a two month north american tour - her first voyage abroad in 30 years. they will only be here a few days, but the pending visit (aka inspection) puts my fledgling posture of courage on notice. not so worried about the inevitable environmental scan - the homestead is clean and the yard is less despicable than it has been. but what about those imperfections that vim can't fix? even if they are smudges in the abstract, you'd rather suffer the squalor than have your parents point them out.

i guess i just wish the overall state of my life was as sparkly and organized as my house. as it is, the correlation is, well, NOT. nobody said balance is easy. same with other perceptions: i am trying to reconcile how i see things about myself with how others do. [this does not have as much to do as one might think with a drunken stranger named doug proclaiming loudly and repeatedly last night that i am "fabulous" - more about the dwindling credibility of random gay fans later].


one soupy summer

late-night rituals have never been so dank. as i shuffle around to do laundry and tidying, i notice the wood flooring is sticky, not quite damp. i'm peeling the bottoms of my slippers off the floor with each step. every window in the house is fogged up like the inside of a teenager's car at make-out point. and all this on the inside of an air-conditioned home. i consider myself extremely fucking fortunate with this chilling device - doing my part to deplete the power supply.

outside, the air is like soup. occasional cloudiness - like that of earlier today - does not deceive. nor does the occasional rainshower or the seeming nearness of one. we've pretty much come to accept the constant dewy heat, whatever colour or form it takes. the only thing in the sky that correlates effectively to temperature is a blazing sun, which beats on us often enough. otherwise, the heat is constant. and muggy. when outdoors, we wade slowly through damp air, up here in these unlikely canuck surroundings. this sweaty suffocation is not tropical or sunkissed or exotic. there are no palm trees or steel bands or rickshaws about. and tom cruise is not shaking me up a mai-tai. nope, this is the great white north. and central canada is gasping. no no, i'm not complaining, what with my leisurely work schedule and (very-soon-to-be-functional) pool. i'm just saying.

only half a summer to go.


dear ben and jerry

it is with regret that i write to inform you that the leader of our very very very conservative party, stephen harper, held a photo opp in a store bearing your delightful names yesterday near barrie, ontario. perhaps the location was chosen merely for the kitsch factor - breezy federal party leader in quintessentially summer setting chats up children. or else, and i cringe at the thought, one of three things occured, all of which are disturbing:

1. the conservative leader's tour team has no fucking idea what your company stands for and blindly believes all ice cream chains are created equal and that a typically wooden politician will be cast in a distinctly more favourable light just by scooping from any ice cream tub at all

2. the conservative leader's tour team is abundantly aware that your company operates on and advocates for principles of economic justice, environmental preservation, peace and justice, and deliberately placed harper underneath your logo so as to create the illusion that he's aligned with such a progressive vision

3. harper was invited to scoop and stump by your franchisee near barrie - a raging right-winger with close ties to a political party that works actively against the ideals on which your dairy project is founded

anyhow, i thought you might want to know. after all, i know how public both of you are about your commitment to progressive politics and grassroots action. surely you can't keep track of the political incongruencies of every franchisee that enters your corporate family, and maybe you're used to being exploited by political antagonists who recognize the value of being associated with your unique corporate image. but i think the top dog of our bush-loving conservative party should stay the fuck away from shops bearing your names. it just ain't right.

that is all. thank you for listening. have a great day.

ps: ben, great job with that oreo cookie analysis on the u.s. federal budget. loved it.



the excruciating ear infection that made its debut last september and stayed on for an extended engagement in my head well into the winter has returned with a vengeance. i, unsuspecting and naive, went to bed on saturday night thinking nothing unusual or sudden or brain-splitting would occur overnight. awoke hourly from 5 am onwards in pain, sobbing like a baby. dragged my aching self to the local clinic at 9.45 and three hours later, finally got the mighty prescription that would provide insta-respite. and it did. enough so that i could go to the singer showcase out here to support my pals but not enough so that i could perform there myself, as planned. and not enough so i could go see k-os and dr. john at bluesfest, which means i got nowhere near close to my money's worth for the weekend festival pass that i should never have purchased, considering my lack of steady income and all.

so i guess what those magic capsules do not do is curb crabbiness. and i'm pretty sure they don't make an ointment for that.

speaking of crabbiness, i (noticably?) have not weighed in on last week's london bombings. same as with homolkapalooza. these may seem like two shockingly disparate news events, yet to me, warrant the same level of inactivity: both shocking, disturbing, frustrating, overkilled, over-analyzed. it would be nice if we could ever just talk about the essence of an event, a pearl of some kind of truth. as it is, we have to contend with the surrounding jackassry, spinnery, punditry - a fucking mockery.
oh wait, but if i don't blog about any of it, the terrorists will have won. who the fuck am i, really?... yeah i get that. but still, i have said nothing because too much is already being said. enough already. and my ear fucking aches.


london calling

to the fact that jason has linked to pamusement from his new blog, i say shucks. if you've dropped by as a result of that recommendation, howdy. thoughts here range from politics to pop culture. but really, it's all about me... teetering.

i too went to london to find myself once - for just over a year when i was 19. i was far less savvy than jason is now, and a much much worse dresser. if you're a fan of jason, then you'll appreciate why i like him: he's aware, genuine, HOT!, interested, supportive, deliciously caught between bitter and naive, and unafraid to point out a complete stranger's resemblance to a teletubby. i hope to be just like him when i young down.

what's goin on: pt III

o canada indeed. my july 1st started with a lazy brunch with friends. then off to a pool party at mika's house, a new friend who happens to run this neat store. several cocktails and rain showers later, we engaged in dialogue heard among most ncr dwellers ... the one where we poo-poo canada day and get all blassé about what's happening on the Hill, then eventually agreeing to wander downtown to merely check things out. so we watched the fireworks from the market and ducked into the patio party at the lookout before the line-up got outta hand. three hours of dancing on muddy and stinky gravel was actually much more fun than it sounds. the weather was good, as were the beats, and dare i say it, i really enjoyed myself. soon i found myself wandering the streets with a dozen drunks à la grade 11 looking for a party that never happened. then i spent three hours in a hull kitchen watching four gay men dance and carry on, all the while pondering the question is this really my life? headed home at around 7 am to get in some felicity time before the live 8 / napping session.

i watched all four seasons of felicity in under one week (i do not wish to encounter mock regarding this), all the while ignoring the desperate grocery crisis in my home. reminds me of last fall when i was between contracts and half in the bell jar, when i cocooned with all six seasons of sex and the city. i tell you, when i aim for pseudo shut-in status, i do it up right. let it never be said that i lack commitment to a project, particularly ones involving neglect of responsibility and personal care, escapes to story lines that make me laugh and/or make me remember, and shades of agorophobia.

in other news, our gig on sunday night for the canada day events did not go too badly. it was cool to sing in a bandshell pressed right up against the brilliant setting sun. though the crowd was a bit tranquil, there has been some positive feedback, particularly about the vocals. the band now enters a bit of down time. appropriate, really, considering i should probably set that wee distraction aside in order to get down to far less groovy matters.

so maybe this little honeymoon-o-mine is coming to a close. it's been just over a month since i've worked full time. i fucking love not working. if there was any way on earth to never have to work again, i'd be one happy gal. but as it is, there are bills and mortgages and obscure parts of pool machinery and such. and so while it's been pretty wonderful in this bubble, i guess it's time to emerge.

pretty soon, i'll start a writing contract with
this org, and may just have the ovaries enough to pursue other ways to write full time. i think that's what i want. or maybe i want to be a chef. or a trucker. or a singer. obviously not anything that isn't lofty or unreliable. fuck me.

today, i saw my lover from 20 years ago perform on this tv show. then i watched my long-term boyfriend's shitty shitty movie on muchmoremusic. i'm stunned to report that the fire still burns HOT for both. figures... my heart usually swells backwards. as ever, i have a hard time facing forward.


live 8 - no death

caught some of saturday's live 8 hoopla on tv and i did not die [it is, of course, all about me].

guess i'm better than i thought i was about the whole "it's not you, it's me" nonsense between me and that
last job. i was a bit sad, i guess, that i am no longer close to that campaign. but those emotions are mainly a result of internal disappointments. as for the big picture, i recognize that i am a part of it anyhow - always have been and always will be. at the end of the day, i'm pretty moved by what happened on saturday, that nearly 30 million signatures went up in support of this wee statement. there is no shortage of opinions as to whether or not geldof's new idea was a success or a flop. it's clear that the g8 summit this week in scotland will not yield quite the results that make poverty history campaigners and allies would want, but live 8 made enough of a noise that reverberations may well be heard throughout 2005 over the duration of the campaign. as far as i'm concerned, getting that many people to think about something, let alone log onto a site and put a name to it, is a public awareness dream. and this communications worker is mighty proud. because i still believe the only way to change the world is to change a mind - one or 27 million at a time.