on a tuesday

it’s been a minute. i must say that this stand-up course has been taking a lot of my energy. that, and the pace at which i’ve been living and loving life. it’s been hard to come back from being completely spoiled in nyc, and you know, cooking my own breakfast and shit. but back to life, back to reality. there’s only one class before our performance, and i think i’m getting more relaxed because after that, it’s over. this doesn’t mean that i’ve been feeling any less guilt over my level of procrastination when it comes to preparing for class, but i have developed a kind of semi-regular routine when it comes to the time before.

i don’t sleep in after the radio show, rather i get up at the regular time to get my weekly coffee (second cup maple latte tuesday special, i see you!) early enough so that i have enough time to work it through my system, head to the scadding court ice rink to skate with the one old man who is keeping fit on tuesdays. i must’ve needed that skate, as i decided to do my check-in as a one-minute poem and make my jokes less personal because they’re not funny yet, they’re still tragic. i didn’t seem to notice until after i got off the ice that my feet were frozen almost to the point of hypothermia and they were actually burning, like my eyeballs used to in montreal when the water in them froze in the winter.

i defrosted in the sanderson library, one of my favourite branches, even though the washroom always smells like pee, even though no pee is visible, it’s like how mcdonald’s workers never can get the smell of fried out of their skin and hair. there’s a weird message written on the hand dryer there about seeing and police, and every time i look at it, i see something else.

dundas and bathurst is a good corner.

libraries used: sanderson, bloor & gladstone, annette

watching: six feet under-season one

duolingo progress: portuguese level 12, 2664 lingots

floor sample-julia cameron

“Missing a place creates a slow and constant ache. The body goes into mourning as if it had lost a lover.” (328)

“It wasn’t a fight. It was something worse than a fight: a declaration.” (231)

it seems so long ago that the artist’s way first surfaced on the radar, but i guess it’s like anything you become aware of, once you notice it-it’s like it’s always there. just look up in a tree for a plastic bag and try not to see one in every second tree that you pass after that. now that my affirmations are part of my work station, and morning pages are incorporated into my stand-up class, it only made sense to read the creative memoir of the artist behind the way.

“My friends have sometimes told me that I am too generous with men, but I have always found a genuine joy in service to art that has nothing to do with the men. There is a joy in being a believing mirror for someone else.” (333)

“Looking back, it is easy to see that our issues around the Artist’s Way indicated great differences in our personal identities. As an artist, I thought of the Artist’s Way as being like a work of art-it could stand on its own. As an entrepreneur, Mark thought of it as a brainchild that needed nurturing and guidance to be properly exploited.” (225)

“When I look at the photo now, I see it as emblematic of the trouble we were in. Like Kong, our trouble held us in its fist. Like Kong, it could crush us at any moment. Martin and I smile for the camera, but our smiles are death-row grins. It is easy in cozy retrospect to see the irony of the photograph. We were so young and in so desperately over our heads-cliches in the maw of Hollywood.” (66)

“In short, my playwriting was more successful than my romance.” (113)

it took me until the end to realize the common threads of the revolving connections between men and places, art and addiction, and occasional discord between happiness and “productivity”. the portrait on the back of the book is a bit terrifying, but i appreciated the frank and insight-full backstory behind the writer whom hunter s. thompson once told to get sober (yikes), and the woman and mother who did a great job doing the best that she could. many thanks for leaving a legacy, ms. cameron.

white privilege

when bitches complain about not having any money, call in sick for more shifts than they actually show up for, then have the audacity to go on sunny holiday “for only a week an a half” when they haven’t even worked a week and a half cumulatively. smh. and i’m the bad guy for wondering, “you still work here?”

standards is different.

sense of entitlement is a whole other animal.

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

something like beautiful-asha bandele

“I was the one who could always be given away. Nisa would never feel that. She would never know that. She would know that she was wanted, that she was wanted every day of her life. She was wanted before she even got here and she was wanted by her father and she was wanted by me. Me who looked like no one, came from nowhere. I looked at Nisa and was certain that as much as she came from me, I came from her.” (49)

“In 2000, the year my daughter was born, the nightly news reported that the only presidential campaign that was deeply rooted in the reclamation of family values was the one that was also headed up by a man who had signed 153 death warrants during his turn as governor.” (24)

“these are our heroes”

i’ve been riding the dundas streetcar a lot lately-and i must speak of an alarming coincidence. at least once in each of the past three weeks, i’ve witnessed a white mother call or refer to her brown baby as a “monkey”, “orangutang”, or “coconut”. they do know that they are part of the problem, right? i suppose i am sensitive because i am now reading about “food insecurity” in america, and i am wondering how much longer the connections between poverty, prison, hunger and mental health can be ignored.

“I would like a nation of schoolhouses that actually look like schoolhouses and not detention centers where even now, today, too many first graders are walking into their schools and their initial encounter is with cops and sometimes metal detectors, and so in case those children didn’t know it before, they know by the time they’ve walked through years of detectors, been watched by years of police officers, seen years of bars on windows, that whatever anyone told them, dreamed for them, they know their real destiny in this world is to one day be a prisoner. I would use that change.” (141)

“And now I look realistically at the people of this nation, realistically at myself, and know addiction and self-abuse and self-destructive behaviors are as American as apple pie. We may excoriate some and not others, but all that acting out begins at the same source, in the same river of pain, of disconnection.” (172)

i read ms. bandele‘s first book because of mumia and mark, and it occurred to me a little while ago to check for the rest of her books. i was thrilled to find that the library had at least this one. i recommend this continued account of her brave life negotiating love-romantic and self, motherhood, and social responsibility.

“The weight of destroying something that was created from a place of great love, destroying something that was part of me, part of us, was unbearable. I carried the weight once. To do it a second time would, literally, destroy me. I told Rashid this. In those raw, ragged days following the procedure, I promised Rashid that if I ever, ever became pregnant again, even if he was still in prison, I would have the baby.

Four years later, in 1999, I would have to stand by those words.” (20)

“As much as I love Rashid, I don’t want to be. I don’t want to spend my days and nights worried about the world of prisons and guards but I can’t imagine leaving this man alone, this man I made a child with. I want to curl up in a corner, sob, scream. I want to call a friend, tell her what’s happening. But I am at work. I am a mother. I cannot lose it. At work there is professional decorum. At home there is my baby, and my loss of calm destroys hers. Of course out in the street if you lose it and you’re Black, you’re doing time. I tell no one what’s happening, not for some time, not until I trust I can say the words, but devoid of emotion.” (81)

“you can’t refer to a baby as the third wheel”

one of my favourite mens told me that last thursday. but the feeling is real. let’s not pretend that things don’t change when small humans join the mix. and that people don’t stay together “for the kids”. but i also recognize that it’s a cycle of love and proof and in/security, one that while i don’t know for sure, i’ve found myself pondering vigorously as of late. just how women balance all of this, and the weight of the entire world, i’m not sure-but to all my mamas-i see you. hashtag, beauty-full.

freud’s blind spot-ed. elisa albert

“At length he stood up and, in an arrogant, contemptuous voice, and said, “Cria cuervos y te sacaran los ojos,” a famous Spanish proverb that literally translates as “Raise ravens and they’ll pluck your eyes out.”  Then he walked away.” (138, True Brothers, James Canon)

“I’ve tried to make of many a cool woman a sort of surrogate, wishful sister, neatly destroying many a friendship in the process.” (3, introduction)

“Probably because my parents worked so hard to ensure that it did not ruin my life, their divorce was the best thing that ever happened to me. It made me compromise between two great options.” (252)

i almost lost this one. i was saving the last story and everything. but just as i wrote a dry erase note about it, i remembered that i left it on top of the coffee maker-phew. i was reading it because it was an anthology that t cooper and jill soloway both took part in. it also has a great cover, and for all those who claim not to judge books by covers-i see you, liars. that hasn’t been true for as long as beyonce has had a (visual) career-save it for the kindles, that’s true democracy for covers. and equal opportunity for glaucoma.

for some reason, i got really angry at the girl who asked me about it on the subway and laughed at me for reading it because i don’t have any siblings. but that’s not entirely true. i do have siblings, and like most of my relationships-they’ve been transitory and non-committal. or invisible-hey, tony.

but i felt the parents angle, i did appreciate the discussion of how the same two parents can be experienced in such different ways, separately and together. and when they’re better to separate together.

every day is metrotextual church

“if someone would’ve told me that bestiality was illegal, i wouldn’t have worked so hard on that story”

that was just one of the highlights of the miranda july talk at the reference library on thursday. having just watched the future a few weeks back, i didn’t know that she had a novel out, and i’ve got it chooses you, which i may or may not have already seen, fresh on my shelf from the library.

i went to iyengar class today for the second week in a row, and finally made it to the ago for the first time as a member. i fell upon a fresh video project that i wasn’t expecting, courtesy of the mammalian diving reflex and i urge everyone to see it if they can. the last thing that i thought i would see today was a bunch of high school kids asking dan hill if he can still get it up, or atom egoyan telling a story about humping an inflatable chair as a youth.

i’m currently finishing a very dark and riveting film, big fan (dir. robert siegel) and falling a bit more in love with patton oswalt. i came up with an idea for a new tattoo, we saw more of the itinerary, and samurai bambi called me “aunty” yesterday. i’m burning tibetan temple and frankincense because it’s sunday, and have poured rosemary essential oil into the holes in my desk, and found a new milk tea spot. i’m going to spend the rest of this superbowl sunday not caring about football, and thinking on the magnitude of wilt chamberlain‘s numbers (shootout to duolingo once again for the knowledge in translation).

life is good.

church at studio po

“suck your kneecaps in!”

i don’t remember church at all. i seem to have transferred that same selective memory to lebron james. i do know that i went every week with my mother’s uber religious side of the family, and while i have no recollection of the sunday services, i remember dim sum afterwards with my cha poh at the table. she is the woman that i turned out to be-the only one that could truly “give me away” at the party if we were going to do that, the only one who loved me and cherished me so unconditionally that it would make sense. i remember her loving everyone, and making sure that everyone got 4 plates of their favourite dish, and that nobody else dipped into their plates. directly after that, i remember arriving back to her house stuffed to the gills to somehow eat boxes upon boxes of chinese bakery-how did it get there? who knows? who cares?

perhaps this is why church for me has always come in the form of a simple chinese or vietnamese meal-pho, congee, duck noodles, bbq pork and rice, com tam, bun cha gio, banh mi, followed by chinese bakery and chrysanthemum tea. whenever i have dim sum, i savour the chicken feet for my cha poh and know that she’s here with me as long as i’m here.

i first learned about studio po last summer, from the newly departed corrine lowen-mother to my good friend noah. we crossed each other in the then new iyengar studio in victoria, and i guess she’s studying with the master now. i’m great-full that she had the chance to know her grandchildren, and take a moment to remember a conversation that she had with me on fort street twelve years ago about my inexplicable urge to go east, and she said, “someone really must be waiting for you to get there.” it turns out there have been many someones, and the most important one is me.

i haven’t been on my practice-some changes in schedule and slightly standoffish vibes from one of the owner/teachers have kept me at bay. i know you’re not supposed to get attached to teachers, but ty chandler was my first, and those are big shoes to fill. i tried a few classes in vancouver, and didn’t bother in montreal, and it was never the same. this is also why i’ve never done mushrooms for a second time.

i almost went last week, but when i found out that nozomi wasn’t teaching, i decided against it. when i finally made it to her class this week, i found a quite pregnant and very welcoming if bossy teacher, and i couldn’t have been more thrilled. there’s a certain power that comes from stretching in ways that you didn’t know was possible, or hasn’t been available for a minute, and i love that she’s vocal in her instruction. i will definitely be back. i only have 6 more classes to finish my pack, and will be fine to take a break until her baby is here.

i came home to (finally) finish jeff chang‘s latest, who we be. i am inspired every time by the way this man sets it up so that he can knock it down. i’ve been reading a lot about taos, new mexico in julia cameron‘s memoir floor sample, and i think it should be a tour stop, as well as singapore, thanks to season 1 of the layover.

food, travel, love, life, spirituality, writing, and those who came before us-what else do we need in life? oh yea, basketball. home team is currently up by seven? go raps.