Sunday, May 4, 2014

Why Demi Moore will never be Helen Mirren

Listen...

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...

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Sex vs. Books (Part One)

 
Okay, the move has been made.  I have a room at the front of our place, with a lot of natural light being reflected off of the windows of my neighbours' homes across the road.  Never really considered how I had to watch out for my own privacy after five years living so closely in my own darkness and with no real concept of the word.  It is a type of comfort that I never knew I missed.

Of course, there is another problem.  Books.  Books, books, books...  I have too many of them.  Not the worst addiction to have, but it is still one that I am now have to contend with.  I am not sure how I managed to move around the space I am in with all of the history of my reading around me.  But, I now have a plan.  Donations, re-gifting and not giving a damn.

Now, I think that the title of this particular blog is going to cause a lot of comment.  In fact, I know this already.  A friend has already grilled me by text messages about what I intend to write about with such a title.  Here is a sample of her queries:

  • Why sex over books? (Never alleged, but her assumption)
  • Why such a choice? (Why not?)
  • Why limit yourself? (Not from choice)
  • Why choose? 
Now, that last one deserves some thought.  I have thinking back over my life and noting how books, music and film took me away from a lot of the pleasures of a sexual life.  Not being a virgin, I should be happy; being published and able to play the guitar and write a film script, I should be elated.  But as I said, the books are going out the door, bag by bag, box by box. 

Maybe a sexual life is in the offing...  Maybe I should learn not to use the word "offing" in a blog.  Either way, this is going to be in multiple parts. 

Get ready and get set...  This is going to be embarrassing and fun.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Time to Move...

I am about to move on to another section of our place to take over a space left by a former roommate.  Now, this is not something that I would usually take the space of a blog entry to record, but this is different.

 

Let me explain: I live in a box.  Not a cardboard box where I feed on roasted pigeon and beg for change, but in an apartment where I share space with three other people.  Two of the rooms face the front of the home onto the street; the other two are windowless.  Guess where I live(d)?

I will finally have a window in the place, including a balcony, curtains and natural light when possible. This is what I have longed for over the last five years living in this place.  But I have to admit that I will miss the box.  When you sleep in complete darkness, it is a total and complete experience of nothingness (ignoring the clock, cellphone and blinking light on my laptop).  It may even be good for me to have no other distractions.  I notice that I am writing much faster now, and have less distractions in the form of the old pleasures (see previous last few entries).  There is a restaurant where patrons actually eat in the dark for the sensation of only having their concentrated experience focused on food.  This I now understand.  There are certain things that you often have to leave behind to enjoy what is around you.

There is another advantage: It gave me something that I could get away from and contemplate avoiding for a few hours in a cafe with pen and paper.  I know that my family was not too happy about me moving into the box, but I assured them that I would not be spending too much time in this room to do my work.  A half-truth, since I consider my guitar to be a private indulgence that I need to practice here alone.  The reading, writing, music-listening, relaxing and the like could all be done out of the box.  Sleep and a sense of containment (rather pleasant in itself) could be done in the box.

Not sure I will like having a real room with a window and real, everyday life in front of me.  Will keep posting to see how things change.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

What weekends mean...

Another weekend down; actually the last weekend of November, which makes me think about how fast this year has passed.  Not a very pleasant thought.  I am in my own celibate hole, the work I am doing at the college is a form of performance art that is breaking my week up into different points of dullness (whatever that means), and I am still trying to prove things to myself.

 

Yes, I am still in my self-denial kick (am I setting a record yet?), so I decided to go out on Saturday night and do something I have not done in a long time: I had a drink.  Not monumental to most of the human race, but I often feel like the only reason to drink is to pretend that I like the people around me.  One mojito at one noisy bar before heading home was nothing special, but I was on my own. Not a smart move.  People can smell loneliness, I think.  But it was an important lesson in a series of lessons about me and the weekend.  Just do not need liquid courage to handle the problems in my life.

What else?  A good friend has, once again, figured me out.  I have an emotional barrier/shield/wall around me that keeps me from connecting with others (no wonder the whole celibacy deal is not such a big deal).  I have built it as a means of dealing with life and it has helped.  I may as well admit that there are things in my life that I could not have done if I was connected emotionally with others.  But, like anything that you indulge in far too often, it ruins you.  I sit in cafes alone with my notes and papers and music and wonder why I am repeating things in my life.  My own fault.  And that is enough. 

That good friend?  A good lady...  She has told me what is needed to connect with her camp if you are a guy; what to say, how to act.  My plan now is to add this to the self-improvements in my life (along with the gym, the language studies and guitar).  More challenges for me...

And what do weekends mean to me?  A time to reflect, think and maybe hope more often than I ever have before.