Saturday, September 15, 2018

Alternative National Anthem 🇨🇦

Oh, Cannabis!
Our high and native land.
True patriot bud,
In all thy bongs’ command.
With glowing joints,
We see red eyes,
The true north strong with weed.
From far and wide,
Oh, Cannabis,
We have dime bags for thee.
Pot, keep our land,
Bodacious and free,
Oh, Cannabis,
We stand on guard for weed.
Oh, Cannabis,
We stand on guard for weed!

Could this be my country’s new national anthem?  Any thoughts?

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Do you jog...or chino?

I will sign a lease on Thursday, so I want to talk about jogger chino cargo pants.

Yeah, I’m confused by what I just wrote, too. They are jogging pants, if you ignore the particular material used to make them. They are also chinos, whatever that really means. But they are considered a type of cargo pants, minus the extra outer pockets.

And why are they so popular? North Americans are viewed by Europeans as wearing too much “athletic clothing” (their phrase for it), and I think they have a point. I already see enough baseball caps and logos to be sick of them and wish for a very real fashion police force to step in and enforce their necessary rules.

Now, I live in Montreal, home of the les Canadiens, poutine, and an interesting fashion quirk with these trousers. I thought I had seen it all until I noticed that young guys - always guys - were wearing these pants with either too short or no socks at all. This baffled me, especially considering how long this winter has been.  But think I know why: one interesting feature of these pantaloons is the fact that they can be slimming, at least to the eye. Wearing them, it can feel as those your calves are enclosed in sausage casings. So, what must be happening is that these guys get the pants on, realize they’ve forgotten their hosiery, and decide to just get anything on that fits. Not much space is left over for thick woolen socks once you get these pants on.

And as a confession, I must confess to owning four of these buggers, rarely wearing them out of the home unless the weather does not choose to cut a cold blade of ice through me.

I will learn how to appreciate them someday...

Saturday, April 7, 2018

A Noise in the Basement

As I think about househunting in Montreal, I am thinking about America.

I did get lucky with the place I saw today: newly renovated with washers for my clothes and dishes, and no stairs to tackle (driveway entrance). This is probably my new home, if I don’t forget to pester the landlord and they actually believe my rundown on my income and work.

And yet, I think about America...

As a Canadian, I am often asked about our relationship with the people to the south. Canadians still define themselves by not being American, but there are better ways at looking at our nation as we stare at the border: imagine that you are home late at night. It has been a long day; you’re tired; you just want you favourite Netflix/YouTube moments flowing on a screen in front of you as you gorge on Doritos.

And then you hear a noise in the basement...

Now, what do you do? Go the Horror Movie/Scooby-Doo route and check out
 the commotion, or stay put and see what happens next?

For me, this is the quintessential portrait of what it means to be a Canadian at this very dizzy moment in history. If the noise stops, the lights stay on, nothing leaks up through the floorboards, or attempts to climb up the stairs, you can live your life. Once any of those statements proves not to be true, then we need to act. Fortunately, Canada is not a country the U.S. takes much of an interest in (and look at what happens to countries when they take an interest in them).

So, we let the noises continue...

Oh, and that place I saw today? It was the ground floor of a home...with no basement!

Monday, September 12, 2016

The Checklist (A Back to School Guide)

Backpack: Over one shoulder only (Swiss Army one is good)

Binder: Big enough for five courses (Hilroy?)

Tabs: Make sure they're coloured and already on the page (no gluey attachers!)

Reinforcements: Pages will get ripped

Paper: Binder and printer (should have some around)

Pencils: #2 (Sherwood or Ti-Conderoga)

Pencil Crayons: Laurentian - The Best!

Pens: Bic (blue, red, black - multipacks?)

Pencil Case: Something to fit in the binder (3-holed)

3-Hole Punch: Will need it

Scientific Calculator: New math courses (Mom will look at the catalogue; I know what I need)

Mathematical Set: Oxford (Well, duh!)

Aspirin: Make sure it doesn't rattle too much on bus (extra cotton?)

Cellphone: Emergencies only? Mom says so

Lunch: Never (!!!) in a box (recyclable bag; change before leaving house)

Gym Clothes: Uniform (shorts can be from home; make sure it all matches)

Extra Shirt: Can wash food and other stuff off in bathroom (be careful to hide it day before things happen)

Bandages: Bring at least three of them and make sure they are all different sizes; don't forget rubbing alcohol (swabs; three, too)

Tissues: Say they are for a cold or allergies (Mom will believe it)

Wooden Ruler: Bigger than pencil case (can hide it in the binder; needs a metal edge on it - can take it out quickly)

Metal Bar: Maybe from the neighbour's garage or alley; part of the bike lock can be rolled up in a towel (not too heavy); front pocket on bag; can also take this out quickly when I need it (no chances)

Comb and Brush Set: Need this now (did not really know this before)

Candy: Bottle-Caps are good!!!

Books: From summer reading (graphic novels); textbooks are going to be handed out later

Shoes: Good ones like the last time; some money saved for the ones I want, so I'm getting the same pair like before.  No one's going to touch them.  Not this time.

Friday, November 27, 2015

"Room" and the great househunt (Part I)

I am back and I am thinking of things...  Things like the place where I live.
Not really sure why I bother with this page.  I am sure that of the five official followers I have, none of them really pay attention to this page or my thoughts.  But having it available makes it too tempting to type (say that three times fast!) about my life and how I am living it.

First, the movie "Room"

I went to a theatre to see this yesterday after a friend mentioned it.  Interesting thing is I had to give up a seat to someone who needed to seat three other people (spacing is a bitch).  And I felt totally alone and a little more than annoyed.
Perfect.  And I was about to watch a film about a woman and her young boy locked in a room by a lunatic for seven years.

Yeah, I knew the basic story.  I did not buy or read the Emma Donaghue book, but I had heard enough about it to be intrigued.  And I did wonder about the basic problem that such a story would have: how would they keep our interest in this one room for ninety minutes?

Well, not really a problem.  Spoilers here: They get out.  A very interesting method of escape involving the boy, Jack (played by Jacob Tremblay) and a carpet.  By feigning illness, he ends up in the back of their captor's pick-up truck and heads to freedom.  But it takes place midway through the film.  They did not wait for the usual conclusion (a la "Midnight Express") of having the main protagonists escape at the end with a happy conclusion.  That would have worked...maybe.  And the scene takes place, as many do in the film, from the boy's point of view.  I will never forget the look on his face as he sees the sky for the first time in motion, crisscrossed with clouds and power lines.  Pay attention and remember that name: Jacob Tremblay (possibly the most moving performance I have seen all year).

Now, his mother.  This Brie Larson lady...  Now, I had some doubts about the basic outline of the script.  Could a mother really conceive a child, raise it, and keep her sanity in what is basically a box for almost a decade?  Would any sort of escape really work.  Well, she really does sell it.  She has no make up on in most of her scenes and you can see how the ordeal has drained most of the life from her, apart from the love that she still has for her son.  He is her lifeline.  And to involve him in such a plan has to be sold to the audience in a way that makes us accept her choice.  Absolutely the best female performance of the year.

Now, about that house hunt...

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...