Winning

April 25, 2009 § 9 Comments

winning

“Is it bad for me when a Toronto sports team does well?”

“It is not bad for me, but I get a feeling that is sometimes overwhelming.”

“I have to check ESPN.com and SI.com to learn everything the Americans are saying.”

“What are they saying about the Blue Jays?”

“Are they saying the Blue Jays are the best?”

“Why not?”

“Why isn’t anyone saying the Blue Jays are the best?”

“Shouldn’t we talk about how good they are?”

“Shouldn’t everybody, I mean?”

winning2

“Why aren’t the American sites I read talking about how the Blue Jays are the best?”

“They are the best, aren’t they?”

“I need more information to know if they are really the best.”

“I feel American websites could provide me with more information.”

“Why aren’t the American websites talking about the Blue Jays?”

Staff Photographer

Open, Open, Open

April 23, 2009 § 2 Comments

dscn02761

They talk about neolithic agriculture on the radio. “Caribou or reindeer are strictly arctic.” Neanderthals buried their dead in caves. In the background the Globe and Mail is refreshing every 120 seconds. I learn about the Blue Jays in slices, crumb by crumb. Lisa will be home soon. A city squirrel is a neurotic, anxious creature, forced into close contact with many species of animal (humans, cars) that might otherwise present some danger to it. It pauses at the top of a gigantic black garbage can. Looks at me.

“What are you doing?”

“Nothing, I don’t have a problem with you.”

“Do you have a problem with me?”

“No, I don’t have a problem with you.”

The squirrel darts up the tree. Chits something to his neighbour.

“I think he had a problem with me.”

dscn02741

I keep thinking about ‘opening the floodgates’. Some days it is has been hard to write. If I am honest with myself I will say these days have gone slowly because I avoided it for other things, or because of despair. Instead of attacking the problem directly, if I feel that I don’t have the time to do that, I will despair. It’s a useless and debilitating reflex. I have many things to write. In order to write them I have to turn my brain into a monastery. At least when I am alone. I work best if, when I am alone, I turn my brain into a monastery. Internet, you have done me no wrong but I don’t like you.

I’m surprised that I’m able to concentrate while the radio is on. I am not really concentrating.

When Lisa comes home I will look at her like I am a squirrel. There will be a lightness in my head that will pull me away from our conversation. If the computer is still on my head will feel like throbbing magnets. At least I can say that I did this.

When I’m At My Parents I Forget Sometimes

April 19, 2009 § 4 Comments

samosa When I’m at my parents I forget sometimes and I just make terrible jokes and the television is on. The Blue Jays are down 1-0. The Blue Jays have tied the game 1-1. The Blue Jays are down 2-1. The Blue Jays have timed the game 2-2. The Blue Jays have won the game in the 12th inning.

“They look so happy,” says Lisa. I’m eating a samosa.

“Where did you get that samosa?”

“I found it and I’m eating it because my face has been burning all day, and my teeth hurt, and I want my teeth to stop hurting.”

“Your face is burning because of an imbalance in your liver. You’ve ate too much. And your teeth hurt because you just had dental surgery.”

Minor dental surgery.”

When I was sitting in the operating chair my dentist and the assistant debated whether or not a song was Celine Dion or Shania Twain. The doctor left in the middle of my surgery to go and check on the computer.

“It’s Jan Arden. I just looked it up. Do you know Jan Arden?”

“No… but the name is familiar.”

“She started around the same time as Celine Dion. She’s Canadian too. But not as popular.” jann-arden My brother and I go to the road to knock a steel stake into the ground with a sledgehammer. While he fumbles with a box I mutter and collect styrofoam littering the side of the road. How did it get there? Who opens packages in their cars and throws the styrofoam out the window?

“Oh.”

“Oh. It’s probably just styrofoam that got blown out of our recycling bin.”

We don’t have the hands to carry it so I leave it in a pile by the gate.

The stake is too easy a target and goes down without any effort so I whack it a few times as hard as I can and the metal gets so bent out of shape it’s difficult to put the connecting girder over it. But that’s not enough, because my brother got it most of the way in before it was my turn, and I hit a stump a few times and the dog gets scared because he’s small and at one point he might have been abused. I want to hit things with a sledgehammer all day sometimes. I think that in the bathroom after I’ve washed my hands and my face is so hot because of the imbalance in my liver. Once in the forest I swung an axe for nearly an hour straight and it was hard but I liked that so much. I think about going on a portage and I’ve never done that before but Lisa is right, I would like it, even though on my first try I would find it difficult because of my inexperience.

When Lisa left to go to her mothers my head felt hot and I felt odd. I thought about the samosa in the mini-refrigerator. I planned on eating it. I did not react properly to anything although I told my wife that I loved her and maybe that was enough.

Here is a list of things I’ve eaten today out of the refrigerator or packages:

A cinnamon bun with walnuts.

A skewer of cooked chicken.

Two deep-fried samosas.

Some swiss cheese.

Several “blueberry turnovers”-style Voortman cookies.

A bagel.

Two sips of two different diet colas that tasted disgusting.

A grapefruit I peeled into segments.

Several glasses of water.

All day the wind has been like an animal and dry leaves move like rabbits or mice.  Going to the gate in the middle of the night when it’s dark everywhere there are sounds that are frightening. A tree creaks over and over. Something moves. The leaves. Branches fall from trees. I am a big scared maniac and my flashlight looks like a gun and I shine it at the dog when he’s peeing. I turn it off on the way home and the lights from the house are the only things I can see, everything else is pitch black and there are the sounds that bugs make. “TCHEE-TCHEE-TCHEE”. It’s alien in a way that I don’t expect and I realise I’ve spent too much time in the city, I need to do something physical out in the woods. Lisa and I think it would be nice to rent a cabin at some point or buy one, and get a dog to bark at the woods and run around in circles until his mouth opens up and the tongue lolls out like a snake.

a-happy-dog

Oh, Oh

April 13, 2009 § 3 Comments

alley

You probably shouldn’t expect updates here very often. I have to finish the first draft of my novel (for the program I am in) in a month. But for some reason I feel like I should note the fact that we now have wireless internet (one this computer can easily and comfortably connect) might result in some future flood of content…

This is the machine I make everything on. It is used for writing, scanning, photoshop, digital photography… and before now everything had to be ferried back and forth mind-numbingly frequently on USB keys, especially if something, somewhere along the line, had gone wrong. Lisa’s computer is fast to turn on but the keyboard requires the hand-size of a pigeon to operate. It’s miniscule screen could fit on a cracker, and there would still be enough room for a sizeable gherkin to place alongside it. Complicated java and flash seems to confound it, and navigating wordpress (or photobucket) required a frustrating amount of duct-tape and hope. In short, it is now a far, far better world for the internet, my friends.

I have yet to determine whether or not this is a good thing. Internet and me go way back. Too far. If I died today the autopsy would reveal that my central cortex was choked with the sound of “Gmail notifier” and browser cookies. I spend too much time on the computer already.

Weather dot com

April 5, 2009 § Leave a comment

gulf_sst_720x486

http://www.weather.com

The temperature is going to be

PRETTY NICE, BUT A LITTLE COLD

I got to find a girl like that. Not cold though. Just nice.

Someday, you know?

>> lol yeah I guess

>> lol

>> why don’t you look in the personals?

Hey you ever tried the personals???

It’s like a cess-pool.

Forty-year-old woman here:

Two grown kids. Looking for a “companion”, hey. Like to hold her hand until she dies, or what?

>> hey how old are you anyway

>> how can a website have an age

>> I mean you just get new servers, right?

Yeah that’s right.

Guess I’m like 26 years old though.

If we’re talking concepts here. Not just specific weather delivery systems.

>> hey you’re older than me

That’s what I’m talking about! It’s hard, I tell you. Hard to find a woman. Hard to look around and see all the changes. I mean this is all I know.

>> i just came here for the weather

Yeah, yeah.

>> is it going to rain tomorrow

I don’t know, maybe a 30% chance.

>> jeez, don’t put yourself out.

Okay, hey. I’m logging off now. You son of a bitch. I try to have a heart to heart, try to get at the root of everything, and this is what you turn it into.

>> what

>> you can’t log off man

>> this is your job

Oh fuck it. I’m so done here. There’s only so much one man can handle, only so much, you know…

>> come on I was thinking of doing a picnic

>> hey come on man

>> hey

>> hey

>> hey

>> hey

>> oh fuck you dude

>> this is bullshit

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