Saturday, March 14, 2015


I am back with more on my mind now than I need to have percolating up there...

I am now midway through another semester, just trying to keep my stamina up and active for the next few weeks. There is also the gym, books, a run through several hidden lanes of black ice, and the promise to myself that I will play the guitar again (my Strat needs me).  But there is a bigger problem...

Sleep, or the lack of it, is taking me out. I just do not find myself rested and ready when I wake up most mornings, a common problem that I had seemed to avoid until now.

And why is that? I have money in the bank, steady work, no relationships I would like to end (more on that later), and the prospect of actually moving out of here (yeah, I have talked about that one before, but now I can do it).

So what is it...? Why am I still thrashing about in the dark without any rest...?

Stay tuned...

Saturday, November 1, 2014

In That Head: A look at "Frank"

I just saw "Frank".

Birdman - Review

I just watched "Birdman".

Birdman... What kind of powers does a superhero like that have?  Well, he can fly, obviously; there are probably things about the eyesight that are absolutely fantastic; and never underestimate the joy to be had knowing that your shit is now white.

Michael Keaton plays the former ornithological uber-hero who must now walk among the mere mortals as a has-been trying to save his career by starring in a serious drama. His hands are in many pies - writer, producer, financer, etc. - and this is his last chance.

Sound familiar?

Okay, this is not a typical review summarizing plots and standout performances.  Go on YouTube or Wikipedia if you want to find that stuff.  Just remember this film when the awards are sorted out, because Mr. K. deserves all of the ones that I can think of this year.

And this Inarritu fellow... You will find this film very claustrophobic, a clever way of entering the minds of these people in this world. I commend the director to clinging to a method of filmmaking that no one dares to follow now. Long takes that make you feel like the whole thing is one shot, along with some of the most interesting visual effects I have seen in a serious film in a seriously long time. Another Oscar worth prepping...

That "Sound familiar?" deserves more of a comment. I have been watching Mr. Keaton in too many small roles for too long.  And I think that he deserves the kind of turn around that came for Mickey Rourke and Matthew McConaughey when they really needed it.  Maybe it does play games with the cliches of the comeback film, but I went with it.

Great supporting cast, too. Watts, Norton, Zach et al will have to be split up between voters of the Motion Picture Academy very soon.

There is one more thing a Birdman can do.  He can soar.

Rush to the screens you have and enjoy.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Why Demi Moore will never be Helen Mirren


I am very tired and very overworked, so I did not really expect to have any interest in a hobby that does not provide me with anything but an emotional release (can do that with other web sites, but I digress)... No money and no real rewards besides knowing that my name does link up to this page and others on the web.  So, no real advantages...

Fine by me.  I have just been watching "Public Speaking", a Martin Scorsese film on the writer Fran Leibowitz.   Her claim that she only worked hard enough to make enough money for rent and then loafed about strikes a raw note in my head.  I work enough to have money in my bank account(s) to the point where I can ignore it.  After a certain point, money is like the food you once thought you liked; instead, you are just going through the motions with it.  That may explain my addiction to stationery.  I have too many notebooks, reporter's pads and sketchbooks for one person to get through in any number of lives.  Moleskine and the dollar stores I have patronized are my fixes.  And that is also fine by me.

I need to loaf even more.  Right now, I handle tests and papers for students who feel entitled to a good grade just for appearing, or disappearing.  I have colleagues who have me at meetings that I cannot add anything to due to a serious lack of interest in being taken seriously.  I come home to people who seem born to just take up space (i.e. roommates) and I have my music, a few films and too many books.  How could I not write?

Now, that title.  It comes from a simple link I discovered online about how the ex-Mrs Kutcher is still able to rock a bikini.  And I will admit, she does pull it off.  To a point.  I can see the body, but I also know the particular brain that it is attached to.  She is one of those actresses who cannot see beyond the lights.  I mean, who else thought "Striptease" was funny, or that "G.I. Jane" was serious.  Her whole career seems to be one long and endless flight of her self-fantasies.  And now, Dame Mirren.  My dear Helen has been in the business for far longer, weathered more stupid male fantasies than anyone deserves, been awarded for work on stage and screen that will be remembered for generations, and admitted a devotion to nudism.  Stupid male fantasies aside, this is also something that she will be remembered for: the exposure of a body that was not hammered and sculpted into shape because of a committee meeting.  This is a woman who enjoyed life and was not afraid to show just how to live it.

Two very different examples; two very different aims to consider.  And that is what I have to consider if I am going to continue with any pretense of being a writer.  I have to consider what makes me tick, what makes me want to do this...

Am I Bored?

No one's going to read this, so okay...

Went to another literary festival in this city o' mine for a talk about vampires and zombies in our contemporary culture.  Met an old prof there who was very happy to see me and then I went through my life since university.  Not much done as a graduate of McGill besides teaching at a college and not getting anywhere with my stories and essays besides this blog and some web sites that offer no pay, but plenty of patience.

Very sad...

I have lived in Montreal for over a decade now and I can feel the routine of life in this city entering my skin and thoughts.  Gym, work, shopping, festivals, films and the same-old same old.  Not much else to report and look forward to this year, besides certain shows and events that already feel like they have been experienced.

So, back to my question: Am I bored?  Yes, perhaps.  Almost glad at how unpopular this blog is.  Not much chance of getting any feedback about how to improve my lot.  Focus in my life is on my work - not the college; just the writing - and learning to enjoy my own company.  Not always possible.  Too much time with guitar and books can even test my own deep patience.


So, what to do?  Another routine?  Another hobby?  Another move?  I am thinking about all of those things, especially the move.  Almost had a place last January, but I did not get it (too many debts still to be paid).  And I think that is the big thing.  I have walked on too much broken concrete covered with garbage and excrement to see the charm of this neighbourhood anymore.  I have to get out and move my mind about somewhere different.


I think I know what to do...

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Sex vs. Books (Part Three)

Back in Montreal, meaning that I am back facing some old problems.  Those problems include lack of a phone (remedied today), lack of a car (am working on it), lack of privacy (soon about to find my own place without bearing afraid that I cannot afford it in the long run), and lack of contact.

That is the key, I think. Lack of contact.  No one to really connect with.  Not that it was much better when I was at home for two weeks.  Family is family; you know what to expect from them.  Love and perhaps an unending amount of patience (if there is some luck on your side).  What I also found was that I was more willing to get rid of many of my old books, things read and unread; things that I thought I could learn from and now I am much better for pretending otherwise.  A large midden of ideas and thoughts all stacked up by a bookcase that is still loaded with too many other ideas and thoughts.


Now, sex.  Well, it is my own bedroom.  My old teenage bedroom.  Many a lonely and desperate day, night and long afternoon wondering if I would ever spend time in there with a girl (never happened).  Of course, there was a guitar, books, and my own thoughts.

But that stack...  If I am willing to give up one thing, does that mean I am willing to embrace something else? Is there change in the air?

2013, I see your raise...

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Sex vs. Books (Part Two)

Orwell, you had it so wrong.


I'm sorry, I should explain myself.  I have just re-read George Orwell's essay "Books vs. Cigarettes".  He argues that it is actually more affordable to buy books than to spend money on the old nicotine sticks.  Now, maybe back in 1946 when he wrote the essay, the arguments against cigarettes made sense.  But we are in an age where smokers no longer have the respect they once enjoyed, where stores now cannot advertise their particular brands of smokes, and where the information on the link between smoking and cancer is now common knowledge.

But did he have a point?  I wonder about the trade-off between vices.  And yes, I will admit it: reading is my vice.  Not even porn has the same hold over my free time.  I don't keep stacks of videos or magazines in my room or hidden in a box in the basement.  I do however like to keep books in boxes all over the house and I have piles more back home at my parents place.  I did notice how easily I gave up certain books this month when I donated some to a local charity, but I also noted how charged I felt when I passed by a bookstore today to do some Christmas shopping (no falling off the wagon...yet).

Now, I have mentioned porn but not sex (a distinction that I will explore soon).  I feel that the trading of distractions is something that I am always going to have to deal with in my life.  Books provide a means of control that can be more than a little tempting.  If I like a book, I can keep it, put it on a shelf, and return to it when the mood takes me.  If I do not like it, I can put it away, not have to think about it, and never doubt that I am missing something.  Cold?  Yes, but it does not mean that it is not the truth.  As I said, embarrassing and fun...

I know that I have to get over my need to control things.  I also know that I need to talk about why I have to control things.

Wait for the next entry...