Tuesday, June 26, 2012

I oughtta make this my theme song.

I don't believe in astrology (and neither should you), but the rest of the lyrics are pretty applicable to me these days.

(It's fine, I'm fine, don't you worry; I'm chuckling about the whole thing. I probably can't share what this is, though. Trust me, though, it's funny. And yes, I'm a god damn cocktease.)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

This is art.

No, really, it is.

This is a Yoko Ono installation which has three piles of dirt, labelled "Country A", "Country B" and "Country C". On the wall behind the dirt is a poster that says "War is Over".

Look, I know it's weird, but here's why it works for me.

I've heard that astronauts, when asked what they found most striking about their view of Earth from orbit, say the thing that gets them the most is that, when you look down on the Earth, there are no lines separating countries. It's just all one thing, blended and blurred and continuous. The boundaries we draw between each other are just that: drawn. They're not real; we make them up.

Similarly, Ono's piece says that, no matter what country you're from, the dirt is all the same. Her statement about war is apt, of course, but another angle occurred to me: since we all eat things that come from the Earth (directly or indirectly), and we're made up of the atoms and molecules of the things we eat (and breathe, of course), and the things we eat all grow in dirt that looks the same (and is all somewhat chemically homogenous)... we're more similar than we think. We're all the same, from the molecules on up. And yet, we choose to make wars and kill and oppress and exploit.

Go figure.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

This is bullshit.

Highs of 33 and 34 this week, plus humidity?


Saturday, June 09, 2012

Buying a bike is intimidating.

One of my proudest moments as a 14-ish-year-old was going into Woolco with money I'd earned mowing lawns and working in fields, and coming out with a mountain bike that I knew I'd earned.

Oddly, I don't remember it being much of a pain in the ass to pick one out.

When I lived in Calgary as a university student in the summer of '99, I bought a bike at the local Value Village, I believe for $60. The thing might've been previously stolen, who knows? Anyway, what I do know is that Calgary has some pretty sweet bike trails through the city, and I biked around a bunch of them. At the end of the summer I left the bike in the shed at the house at which I was staying, and I haven't owned one since.

So, these days, I live in Toronto, not too far from the Don river valley, which has some nice trails too. I think you can go all off-road-y if you want and jump over logs and all sorts of crazy crap, but that's not really my cup of tea. There's a trail that goes from a sidestreet just down the block from me, all the way to the Brick Works, which I visited for the first time ever a few weeks ago, and it looks like a good (if disorganized) way to spend a Saturday afternoon. A bike, therefore, sounds like a good idea.

Here's the problem, though. Let's say you go into a bike shop and you're looking for something simple. Inevitably, you'll encounter a Bike Person. How can you tell if a person you're talking to is a Bike Person?
  • They really know a shit-ton about bicycles.
  • They act as if they're a little bit better than you because they ride a bike — and you, you fucking part-of-the-problem, you drive a car.
  • They occasionally act as if they know physics.
  • They poo-pooh places like Canadian Tire.
My next-door neighbour is hardcore about bikes; he owns five of them (which he apparently all keeps inside his third-floor apartment). He's a Bike Person, and he suggested a bike from a place up the street. I went there earlier today, and this bike runs a cool $479. As I'm discovering, this is actually a fairly low-priced bike, as far as bikes go.

And so it continues, this bike-buying idiocy. All I wanted to do, a few weeks ago, is walk into Crappy Tire, get one of their cheaper models, and ride it around the neighbourhood. Now I'm all into disc brakes, hybrid mountain/road bikes, 29-inch wheels, and several-hundred-dollar investments... my head is swimming. Plus, on top of this, I'll have to buy a lock and a helmet for the first time. What a pain in the ass!

Maybe I'll just steal one instead.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

I'm 81% sure I'm doing the right thing.

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I'm taking the summer off from chasing women. It's going fairly well so far, I think — nobody has chased me down and forced me to make love to them yet, so let's call it a tentative success to this point.

I can't help but think, though... am I missing out on opportunities here? Are there women out there that I'm taking great pains to avoid, but who are fantastic people and might actually dig me? The answer is, of course there are. But, you know what? That'll always be the case.

...I think.

The thing is, I've twisted myself in knots about women for the better part of the past couple of decades. Frankly, it's exhausting, and I need some time off. It's been nice so far, but I'll let you know in July if I'm getting antsy.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Just try to get this song out of your head, I dare you.

There's no particular reason why I like this song. It's from the '80s, and it's cheesy. The video looks like an Off-Off-Broadway production of Cats, as viewed through the lens of the early-'90s Super Nintendo game Street Fighter II* (i.e., the second-best video game in the history of the world, after River Raid for the Atari 2600). I'm not sure how it got stuck in my head a few days ago, either.

But hey, here we are.

Enjoy Scandal (featuring Patty Smyth (no, not Patti Smith)) and their song "The Warrior", direct from 1984 (the year (not the novel (or the movie based on the novel))) to you.
* I may or may not have participated in a Street Fighter II tournament with two friends of mine until 7 am, back in high school.