carsick-john waters

“Oh God. Is it wrong to be gay but still have ‘gay shame’ as it’s humorously called by hip fags in the U.K.? Embarrassed at the old-school poofs who exaggerate the stereotype and give the new queer generation a gayly incorrect name? It’s a tough call. I remember when Divine first saw Richard Simmons and confessed that he felt homophobic.” (161)

“I’m too tired to think dirty.
The room is actually fine. At least there’s decent lighting, something many hotels (even fancy ones) neglect to consider. Not everyone fucks in the motel rooms-some people read!” (221)

does this man ever know how to live life! there’s a reason that a drawing of him is framed on my wall, and that is it. i can only aspire to have his career and joie de vivre at mid-70 (i only intend to live until 85, after all). this one was another that i have to thank the philly free library podcast for, and i am absolutely charmed when he’s on a junket. like a fine, trashy wine fermenting in a tetra pack, john waters ages the finest, and i sip with two straws. forget murakami-this man’s mind is so fantastic i’m ready to believe in his magic realism. a robbery victim pleading for her life because she has tickets to see drake in wichita, an alien probe leading to a temporarily magic asshole, “goiter odor”, urine drinking, guys who get off on monster trucks, divine everywhere (coincidence?), throwing a kid out the window, seeing the dictator and judging fat kids, and even murder-i was ready to accept all of this (only some of it is true). that’s the power of the great one.

“Can I really give up the rigid scheduling I’m so used to in real life? Me? The ultimate control freak who plans, weeks ahead, the day I can irresponsibly eat candy?” (5)

“This is the first car I have ever been in where I notice roaches.” (166)

“….and I just keep talking like a phone-sex worker desperate to keep a caller on the line. The longer I can keep them entertained, the farther Sarah might take me.” (203)

“Truckers are everywhere, and yes, a few of them are incredibly cute, but in real, unporn life most of them are, well, ugly. Just like film directors, I guess.” (239)

i love that he loves almodovar, and having just seen i’m so excited, i wonder what he thought of that. also-the commentary on the dictator that he avoided giving-i want that.

i sign off with his immortal insight: “if you go home with someone, and they have no books at their house-DON’T FUCK THEM.”

branch used: annette st.
duolingo status update: italian level 8, 235 day streak, 2022 lingots
watching: the (american) office-season two, oz-season two
book everyone wants to talk to me on the subway about: go wild by raty and manning
listening to: wideright podcast

divergent-veronica roth

“I can’t hate Al as much as I want to.
I can’t forgive him either.” (312)

“My father says that those who want power and get it live in terror of losing it. That’s why we give power to those who do not want it.” (68)

“Half of bravery is perspective.” (458)

so, the moral of this story is that veronica roth has read ender’s game. there was a glimmer in chapter 15 when i thought it wouldn’t be ender’s game, but then we were right back into beating the simulation game, and i was sucked into 20+ more chapters of waiting for a fresh idea. i know i expressed this when i was reading ender’s game, but i think there’s something twisted about “imagining” a world where children are soldiers when we are currently living in a world where children are soldiers-we don’t have to go to the future for it.

“Leaving us with Eric is like hiring a babysitter who spends his time sharpening knives.” (97)

“Those who seek peace above all else, they say, will always deceive to keep the waters calm.” (81)

to continue, though-this is the first time that i have experienced this feeling about a book. i feel it about music all the time-but i suppose that’s because music is 399% nostalgia, and books are about discovery. i wonder if that’s why, after all these years-a movie was made last year. perhaps they wanted to draw attention to the fact that the games have long been hungry.

“Sometimes I see him as just another person, and sometimes I feel the sight of him in my gut, like a deep ache.” (285-6)

i learned today that library materials that don’t have a name, only a number, are ones that have been donated. so, i now have a place to bring some of the music that i decide not to keep. i found this out because the sanderson library has a copy of explicit ills that was donated (thank you!)-it was on my list of things that i would have to get from another source but now i don’t have to. i regret that it’s not what i thought it would be, but i did discover that i have a soft spot for a cameron diaz rom com. who knew?

left on the 504 streetcar: dr. j presents 1LUV
library materials of the week: the book of unknown americans, i’m so excited by almodovar
branch used: sanderson
duolingo status-spanish level 22, italian level 7, 234 day streak, 2014 lingots

idiot america-charles p. pierce

“We entertain ourselves with skepticism or, at worst, cynicism. But we govern ourselves with apathy or, at worst, credulity.” (83)

“Cynics bore even themselves eventually. However, as a land of perpetual reinvention and of many frontiers, and founded on ideas and imagination, America had a solution within its genome. It could create fictions to replace the things from which cynicism had drained its faith. It could become a novelized nation.” (232)

“After all, if you’ve already made reality a show, what’s the point in making a reality show at all?” (262)

so, the thing with the internet is-it’s not actually any basic person’s friend. and the thing with friends is that they will come over for an hour on a thursday night before you both independently go back to the city that you met in to go to a party on your birthday when you live (literally) down the street from each other. but hey, electric ladies are hard to catch, and always current. when you’re busy-it’s understood that you will maximize your hour being terrible people who make fun of clueless doods who think it’s coo to #wcw you at the same time as they apply that nonsense to c and d-list porn stars (thanks for posting that peanut butter and jelly vagina, homie-we can’t unsee that shit-eeew) hashtag, that’s just not classy. but the belly laughs made me a hypocrite-i say that i’m not impressed by emojis and spelling errors and “lols” but all of that on your page (and mine) contributed to some serious laughing out loud. all in all, it was a dalliance, and it was part of my summer of freedom (i’m serious-“6 months on, 6 months off” is the best relationship model i’ve heard, and if you’re down…holla) and now it’s over. don’t tell me that i suck and i was lucky to meet you. a) because it’s not true at all and b) BECAUSE WE NEVER MET. but maybe next time you’ll figure out that bugaboo is not the way to go, and if you must call and message incessantly, you should probably go out and do some shit so you can have something to talk about. like when chris rock suggests that you should go get stabbed in the neck with a pencil so you’ll have a new story to tell. just like that.

“Actual presidents-and people who wanted to be the actual president-caught on quickly. The pursuit of the presidency is now a contest of narratives. Create your own and get it on the market fast, before someone-possibly your opponent, but probably the media-creates one for you. Poor Al Gore learned this lesson far too late. The successful narrative is judged only by how well it sells. Its essential truth becomes merely a byproduct.” (233)

“The great thing about living vicariously is that you only take on yourself the admirable aspects of the person through whom you are living vicariously. Their flaws don’t exist in you; therefore, their flaws don’t exist at all. Thus can Limbaugh pop pills, Bill Bennett gamble with both fists and a steam shovel, Newt Gingrich chase tail all over Capitol Hill, and Bill O’Reilly engage in creepy phone-stalking that would have embarrassed Caligula, while all four make a comfortable living talking to America about the crisis in the nation’s values. More than anything else, the ‘culture war’ is a masterpiece of niche marketing. Buy Us, not Them.” (109)

“This might have been enough to sink most careers but, once carved, a niche is forever.” (124)

and so this brings us to why our current brother switching mayoral madness makes any kind of sense. once again, i maintain my stance that the fords are not the castros-and i’m not actually surprised at how unbelievable this machine has to keep becoming in order to stay running. there’s a mayoral debate at st. andrew’s church on king and simcoe tonight, but still no official word if dougie will attend. well, here’s hoping he arrives fashionably late with c-notes in his hands to make it rain on the homeless folk who sleep outside that church. or tim horton’s vouchers, whatever.

i made an 8-egg omelette for breakfast today, and that’s most of my tiny brunch party food that’s done. the trade show (and breakfast at the ritz-hey, my amazing work) only served to continue my teeny living, and as one of my first non-imaginary exes reminded me last week, i’ve had these tendencies since back then and, my name anagrams to A MINI CHALLENGE. (thanks, bridey-for everything and all you are).

does anyone else feel a guilt for trapping mice? i’m feeling some serious anxiety over mouse murder (it’s a fucking guillotine!) but i don’t want the fuckers in my house and it’s a quick death, right?

it’s like ending any relationship that isn’t working for you-feeling bad about doing it doesn’t make it the wrong thing to do, yea? who knows. who knows anything. i’m burning sage and huffing essential oils (oh-all those advocates for peppermint oil repelling mice-i haven’t had any success with that) and hoping that suffices for a proper blessing and memorial of their spirits.

“In doing so, it has created a demand for inexpertise-or, more accurately, anexpertise-whereby the host is deemed more of an authority the less he is demonstrably polluted by actual knowledge.” (104)

“Of course, if everyone is an expert, then nobody is. The worst thing you can be in a society where everybody is an expert is, well, an actual expert.” (154)

branches used: parkdale
cd left on 29: les nubians-one step forward,
donated to the library: the ponderosas-until dawn (thanks for the bday wish eirene and tau, and for environmental vancouver bands with singers that have tones and phrasing that remind me of amalia)
library materials returned: divergent, carsick, web therapy season 2, the sapphires
listening to: dionne farris and charlie hunter duo
inspired by: rachelle elie

hard-boiled wonderland and the end of the world-haruki murakami

“Sex is an extremely subtle undertaking, unlike going to the department store on Sunday to buy a thermos.” (8)

my suspicions that i just like murakami‘s non-fiction more than his fiction have been confirmed by my interest only being held to about page 30 of this book. i just felt like i was re-reading wind-up bird, a book that i was already peeling my eyeballs back to finish. granted, i was at the end of my under 24hr birthday wraparound from montrill (had to be there for nomadic‘s ten-year anniversary), and i would one day like to read him not in translation, but for the moment, with what we got-i will sign up for non-fiction only. this quote, however, was worth the 30-page investment.

libraries used: annette street, bloor/gladstone
materials not to miss: our family wedding, brothers and sisters (final season)
albums kept: nomadic massive (self-titled) zenobia salik & the united electrosoul underground

what money can’t buy-michael j. sandel

“But to give money rather than a well-chosen gift to a friend, lover, or spouse is to convey a certain thoughtless indifference. It’s like buying your way out of attentiveness.” (101-2)

“If paying underachieving kids to read books brings a dramatic improvement in reading skills, we might decide to try it, hoping we can teach them to love learning later. But it is important to remember that it is bribery we are engaged in, a morally compromised practice that substitutes a lower norm (reading to make money) for a higher one (reading for the love of it).” (78)

“Advertising has also invaded the two institutions most central to civil authority and public purpose: jails and schools.” (196)

this last point was the most interesting, as they really brought home the “captive audience”. the people most vulnerable to targeting messaging are sold to the highest bidder (for cheaper than if they would’ve had to been got “honestly”) and forced to consume the those messages under the guise of “choice”.

libraries used: high park, palmerston
movies watched because my dvd player started working again: etre chinois en quebec, the other woman

meaty-essays by samantha irby

“I was always falling in precocious child love with the most inappropriate people, but always the people you’d least expect: the grown up (probably homeless) man who smoked cigarettes all day in the park near our apartment, the uncoordinated boy with the unfortunate skin who sat across from me in the band, the social studies teacher. It has always been my tendency to swoon over the safest available target, the one least likely to draw the affections of anyone else. My favorite New Kid on the Block was Jonathan, for fuck’s sake. I knew in my heart that I would never in life have a shot with the smooth, adorable front man who got all the solos, that a Jordan or Joey would never be within my reach, so I focused my attentions on the shy one who danced and sang in the background. I’m a fan of low-hanging ambiguously gay fruit.” (82-3)

“Being jealous because some bitch has a dude is like being jealous of a goddamned stomachache: I’ve had one before; and while what I did to get it might have been fun, once I’m actually stuck with it, it kind of TOTALLY FUCKING SUCKS. If I knew one single woman who was marrying UP I might change my tune, but everyone I know is sucking the dick of a regular, broke-ass dude.” (220)

“I’m thrilled to pieces that you have to sit down at the kitchen table once a week with a shoebox of receipts and explain to a grown fucking man why having money to pay the electric bill is more important than upgrading his game console, but please wake me up when we get to the part that makes me feel bad about myself. Maybe the noise from the bouncing check will be loud enough to do it.” (226)

so, i’m officially in love with this woman. nehal told me about her blog sometime last year, and because of the choices of font colour, i couldn’t really ever read it. but here comes this collection of essays and boom-regular black text in a bound book form of essays-all over it like russell on kimora when he was trying hard to prove his prowess. i’ll admit that i felt some feelings when i saw the wedding photo of an old imaginary flame, but what exactly am i jealous of? i don’t really believe in marriage. perhaps it was the reminder that i have a penchant for the impossible, and i’m trying to live in my mind without delusion (if you’re an interesting person who’s honest and down for 6 months on, 6 months off-holla) and there are those who keep hooking me back (though at least for shorter intervals-phew). i mean-i am obviously immune to the nice folk who are very dedicated to badgering me with daily messages over many mediums that sadly don’t have anything interesting to say or report because they don’t read any books and do not do anything but work.

“Considering the number of 30+ year old dudes I still know living at home or still sleeping on some bitch’s couch or still subsisting on ramen and potato chips, I’d say I’ve kept this ship afloat pretty well.” (94)

”I wasn’t even getting attached until you made me feel like it was okay to get attached. And now I’ve been punished for something I hadn’t even wanted to do in the first place.” (25)

“Has this motherfucker ever met a woman before?! Has no one told him the ladybody rules?” (30)

“1.My neck is crazy hyperpigmented; it’s basically every shade in the pantone African-American skin collection, from Smokey Robinson to Amistad” (35)

“That is the worst part of the walk of shame, the tasting of last night’s dinner and some dude’s dirty balls on my breath while standing awkwardly in line at Starbucks, tongue fiddling with the grime on my teeth.” (38)

“It is assumed, naturally, that since I haven’t seen you in two weeks, and you sent a sort of ambivalent mean-ass text yesterday, and I ordered and drank an entire bottle of French wine at dinner, that once we get back to my place I expect you to eat me out while pretending to like it while I pretend you are good at it.” (126)

“An avid masturbator, I had grown bored with my imagination’s ability to come up with new ways for Tom Cruise and Method Man to fuck me.” (127)

“Dreaming about someone whose allergies I need to remember when I’m at the grocery store: that’s where the real romance is. Because I’ve had sex before. What a fucking snooze, my dude. Sex is so dumb and boring and unless you’re in really incredible shape or you have a ridiculous imagination and are into some really freaky shit, what you do and what I do is limited to a handful of very similar things. Even your grandmother has been choked and spit on and handcuffed. Why don’t we instead dream up some motherfuckers who will set up the automatic renewal on our magazine subscriptions?” (158-9)

i’d like to say that i’m feeling optimistic about one day dating again, though i need to be realistic about the reality of the situation out there. for the moment, i’m good being single (and happily, willfully so)-it’s something that i should’ve allowed myself a long time ago, and i’m kind of disheartened over the way that people choose to speak to each other. it’s like porn and unrealistic immigrant bravado (to quote vincia, “why are uncles so thirsty?”) have blown everything out of proportion and it’s hard out here for a smart girl who’s also single, sexy and free. i’ve recently recounted experiences that will appear in my one-woman show because they are too ludicrous not to share, and i’ve heard my share of nonsense. but there has to be a flip side to all of that, right? right?!

basically, i love that this woman reads caitlin moran and bust magazine, loves soderbergh and YA, advocates for never cohabitating with anyone, and made me laugh out loud multiple times on a bench outside my work. her tumblr rocks my world, and i would nominate her to do any commencement speech for any institute of higher learning. the graduating class could be so lucky.

albums released on the 504 streetcar: the dreamgirls soundtrack, les nubians-princesses nubiennes
duolingo status: spanish skill tree completed, 220 day streak, 1961 lingots, italian level 7

absurdistan-gary shtenyngart

“are we at war?”

“Along the way, we took turns hitting the driver with birch twigs, ostensibly to improve his circulation, but in reality because it is impossible to end an evening in Russia without assaulting someone.” (75-6)

“But beneath this sophistication lay a simple, exposed fact: the West, when stripped bare, was essentially a series of cheap plastic components, pneumatic work chairs, and poorly framed motivational posters.” (285)

“Are we best off with abusive parents or no parents at all?” (300)

i just passed my five year anniversary in this city (and four years at the store) and this time of year does not get any easier. four out of those five years, i’ve lived right outside the exhibition gates, so this air show madness (and nightly pyrotechnics) just seems to get more and more absurd. i mean, don’t people escape war-torn countries to come here, only to relive the technology of war, in a “celebratory” way? i’m glad that my friends at oshaosha paddling are taking the day off today, because there’s nothing like paddling on the serenity of the water while warcraft fly ear-burstingly noisily above us.

as patrick pointed out, i haven’t had three days off since i went on staycation in march, and i must admit that i’ve been moving at a leisurely pace-my motivation matching the muggy and selectively overcast day outside. my desk is getting clearer and my dishes are done, but i’m tempted to stay a hermit today and run the rest of my errands tomorrow.

“we come into this world naked (said rhyming with “baked”) and we leave the world naked (ibid).”

“This is what happens when you don’t learn English, by the way. You’re always at a loss for words.” (6-7)

“His wrist was taut and narrow, like a leek.” (254)

“..and were staying mostly out of each other’s way, because neither of us could understand what the other was becoming.” (16)

“A cry dislodged itself from somewhere between my sternum and my groin, from someplace wet and lonely and orphaned.” (168)

“Children are like champagne corks,” I advised Mr. Nanabragov, patting him on the back. “They should be pointed away and released.” (259)

this was a custo pick-the lovely couple that used to own the serbian bookstore on dundas west who are now living in an overpriced condo in liberty village (how life changes). i was also quite charmed by the author talking about his latest book on the philly free library podcast, so i thought, why not? i did guffaw a few times, though i am not rushing to read the rest of his canon just yet. i did appreciate the marriage of the identity quest between self and nation-this is always a good one. on that note, you know what needs to die? the question “what’s your background”. in all forms, but ESPECIALLY if you think you’re trying to be cute in picking someone up. i’ma start answering “18 counts murder in the first degree, but out on good behaviour and superb use of a card catalogue”, just to fuck with people.

library used: bloor/gladstone (drop off only- it’s a holiday, people)
most interesting library material returned: wolf by tyler the creator
watching: orange is the new black-season two and high maintenance
duolingo status: 3 units away from finishing the spanish skill tree, 1952 lingots
listening to: djalxxx r&b & hip hop mix volume 4