Monday, March 22, 2010

They Will Buy You and Sell You For Celebrity Status

Mood:  bored out of my mind.
Hating:  0/3 essays, 1/2 final presentations and one major assignment to finish.
Loving:  ...if I throw myself off a five story building, I wouldn't have to do the schoolwork, right?
Lip-syncing:  Marianas Trench -- Celebrity Status
Quote of the day:  "The bra:  tit and bit holder."


Alright. So who actually pays attention in class? There are much more entertaining things to occupy your mind.

"I pray at the church of asses in the seat."

I'm a pretty sardonic person. Almost everyone I know can attest to this. Although physical humour can be absolutely hilarious, I specialize more in words. I'll admit, I'm pretty easily entertained. However, my tongue can be rather sharp at times, but mostly my snide comments are just meant for a little teasing.

And no one is above a little teasing.

Being famous means having pictures of you plastered left and right, available for anyone's use. Yes, I abuse that privilege. Here are some of my favourite artists with some rather amusing captions.

They get better, I promise... I just really like this picture.

I fear only my fellow theatre geeks will understand this one...

Tee-hee-hee, this speaks for itself, I think.
Alas, I can't claim this next one as my own, but it brings a good chuckle. Thanks Lynn!
This is one of my favourites...
The next two go together.
And by request, here are a couple of my favourite Synyster Gates ones.

And this is what I do in class. And what I do instead of completing school work. What a great use of thousands of dollars of tuition money.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Yes, We'll Drink and Fight!

Mood:  getting better.
Hating:  professors who cancel 9.00am classes without bothering to tell the class.
Loving:  today!
Lip-syncing:  Buck O Nine
Quote of the day:  "Want to know what else would wake you up? A nice, quiet lobotomy."


I've all the makings of an alcoholic, I think.

Waking up at 7.00am, sitting in rush hour traffic for over an hour, only to get to school to find out class is canceled can put anyone in a foul mood. Add a sleep-deprived, already pissed off me, and you're not too far off from a nuclear explosion.

But once again, a friend swoops in the save the day.

Perhaps drinking before 11.00am is a little extreme, yet today is one of the few days I believe it's acceptable. It's not like I'm halfway to being drunk by any means; I like to think I hold my alcohol well. It's just that today is one of the many celebrations of a distinctive culture and heritage, whether you belong to it or not.

It's truly a beauty of Canada. With so many ethnic groups living and working together (for the most part; that's a whole different argument though), it's such a blessing to be able to experience the nuances and history of something completely different from your personal life. Whether it be the Chinese New Year, Diwali or Rosh Hashana, you get the opportunity to explore and learn new things you never would have otherwise.

Although today makes a bid for the favourite. Have to love the green beer and camaraderie. So get out, learn, celebrate, and enjoy being an honourary Irishman!

Happy St. Patrick's day!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Blackbirds Screaming

Mood: nauseous, shocked.
Lip-syncing: Ludo -- The Horror of Our Love


As lovely as it would be to survive on my art alone, I am forced to work other jobs until...well, whenever I can. My part-time clothing retail position is one of them. Located in the mall, it's one of those typical, minimum wage employment places.

Except today wasn't a typical day.

Walking into work today, I expected it to be a regular, somewhat slow Sunday, especially with the gloomy, rainy weather. Even located at the bottom of a staircase, pedestrian traffic tends to be moderate at the most. And my short four hour shift lived up to those expectations. It wasn't until five minutes after closing time something happened to shake my world.

Having just served the last few customers, I was kneeling on the ground, locking the entrance to the store to let us remaining employees clean in peace. To lighten our mundane work, we often attempt to keep light, joking banter between everyone. However, just as I was pulling out the door keys, I saw a dark object in my peripherals just as a low thud resounded. Confused, I turned to see a body lying a few feet from our door. I watched as an employee from the store next to us dashed out to the unconscious man on the ground.

It was only a few seconds, but it felt like hours as a puddle of blood pooled beneath his head. As the other employee quickly lifted his head out of the fluid, he turned to me and yelled something about falling from the top floor. I blinked. Then my instincts kicked in, screaming out to my manager to call an ambulance.

My hands were shaking as I rushed to unlock the door, sliding out through the minuscule crack as the it slid open. Skidding through the crimson liquid, I collapsed to my knees next to the man on the ground as he began to regain consciousness. As the other employee and I struggled to hold him still in his waking movements, the man raised his head.

There is no way I could tell you what he looked like. His face was smashed in, features next to indistinguishable from the blood streaming and caking the entire surface. He shifted one hand enough to hold his unhinged, and though I have no official medical training, what I presume to be broken jaw in place. We held him still, despite his sobs of pain, for fear of spinal damage until the paramedics arrived.

I still cannot fathom everything myself. Bits and pieces of the situation keep appearing, flitting through my mind as the night wears on. I would not believe it myself had I not just stripped off and tossed out my blood-soaked jeans.

I feel sick.

I'm not quite sure how else to feel. Or respond. I've no idea how this man came to be on the top story, how he slipped...or perhaps why he jumped.

I'm not sure what to think.

It's always startling to come face to face with mortality. Do not think I delude myself with immortality or illusions of grandeur and strength. I know I'm human. I know how vulnerable I am, to others, to the world...and to myself. We all are. But to think of it every waking moment would be ineffective.

To wonder and ponder our weaknesses and mortality is a waste of time and effort. This is not to say one should ignore personal drawbacks and flaws, only to see others as inferior. No, the conclusion I've come to is bit of a cliche. Always easier said than done, but to live life to the fullest is an honorable pursuit. To enjoy every moment you have, to ignore the threats of life -- within reason, of course; don't go skydiving without a parachute -- is, I find, honorable. An amazing way to share your passions, to be enthusiastic, to live your life.

To pursue your dreams, to love, to have no regrets is true happiness. And perhaps that is the way to have have the blackbirds of death sing, instead of scream.

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Maple Leaf Forever

Mood: fantastic!
Hating: work and how long school seems to drag on for.
Loving: brap brap Canada!
Lip-syncing:  Queen -- We Are the Champions and


24 hours afterward, the feeling continues to flow through the streets. I'm still reveling in it. It's hard to believe. Unfathomable.

Then again, not really.

Canada is a vast country. The world's second largest land mass. With mountains, prairies, metropolitan centres, fisheries and copious amounts of the Arctic, sometimes it's hard to feel like connected to it all. It's hard for me to feel connected to the people living two houses down from me on my street, let alone people over 1 000 kilometres away. Very few things draw together every citizen living here.

And almost nothing draws us together like hockey.

The Vancouver 2010 Olympics were quite the experience. Starting under questionable circumstances, this year's event was a roller coaster like no other. On a side note, may Nodar Kumaritashvili and his family find peace.

But back to the reflection upon our hosting experience of the 22nd Winter Olympics. Alexandre Bilodeau's beautiful run broke our gold medal drought, and from that point on, the medals kept pouring in.

But like I said, almost nothing draws us together like hockey.

This is not to undermine our other athletes. I found my jaw dropping as Kaillie Humphries, Heather Moyse, Helen Upperton and Shelly-Ann Brown won the gold and silver medals for bobsledding, throwing back a pint with Jon Montgomery on his hilarious strut through Whistler, and sniffling back my tears as Joannie Rochette took to the ice. But last night, in the classic U.S. vs Canada showdown, one can truly feel the country's pride and joy. As that one commercial said, "Let's show them who's game they're playing."

It was a high intensity game that would have done any hockey fan proud. Yes, it would have been nice if we'd demolished them like the women's hockey team score of 18-1, or even our men's sweeping of Germany 8-2. However, no fan can turn down the excitement and anxiety of such a close, nail-biting game. Drawn into overtime, I think it is safe to say almost every single North American person was on their toes.

When Sidney Crosby knocked in that final shot during overtime, I don't think I've ever heard such a collective cheer. Inside the bars, on the streets, in the cars; Canadians everywhere were celebrating. Myself included; don't worry, my friend is paying for the dry cleaning bill after dumping a whole pitcher of Guinness on me.

Stains and alcohol aside, the hours after the game were full of intensity and pride. Waving a Canadian flag out the car window as we drove, there was not one car that did not honk, one person who didn't wave, one Canadian who didn't feel included.

Amazing, isn't it?

Hockey is a rather simple sport. In fact, I find almost all athletic activities are easy to follow. But for us up north, hockey is so much more than just a game.

Hockey gives us that common ground. It provides an opportunity for us to boisterous and arrogant -- for a change, depending on your perspective -- with completely random strangers. The camaraderie that springs forth from hockey games cannot be explained. In fact, I'm having a pretty hard time trying to describe it, let alone express it in such a way for someone else to understand.

But I think that's the true beauty. This...thing that comes from hockey can't be explained to a non-Canadian. It does not have true logic, or real reason. It's just there. It's part of who we are, ingrained within the very fabric of this magnificent country. It's as much Canadian as multiculturalism, poutine, and back bacon.

Perhaps we are too polite, reserved, humble. Not necessarily bad qualities; actually, if more people shared them, I think the world would be a much better place (pardon the cheesy children's show line). But winning the Olympic gold medal for both men's and women's ice hockey?

It makes Canada a much better place.