Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The land of HAL(ak)

After Game 6, where Jaro Halak fell from the sky to stop 53 shots, Montreal was hit with a bizarre, out-of-season blizzard. A friend at work joked that the snow was falling because the Habs had tied the series and hell had frozen over.

I think I'm going to have to stock up on some canned goods, find a flashlight and some rifle ammo tonight, then. I mean, this is fucked, right? I just watched a series featuring Alex Ovechkin, Nick Backstrom, Mike Green and Alex Semin and Hal Gill was the most dominant player on the ice.

Can't quite get over the upset tonight, although when I really think about it, it's not all that wild.

The Capitals are quickly becoming the East-side Sharks. They rule over the regular season, but their style just doesn't seem to fit into playoff hockey.

They were thoroughly shut down this last week by an overachieving Canadiens team. And while Halak played two of the most solid back-to-back games in recent memory, it was the system that really killed the Caps. Sure, the Caps had a lot of chances, but the Habs kept collapsing on them and really kept Washington's snipers to the outside. Hall Gill and Josh Georges and Markov got in the way of countless shots and knocked away so many pucks that the Caps couldn't get too many cheapies. Hall Gill was a difference maker? Fuck the heck?

As soon as the pressure came down on Ovechkin, he reverted back to his old World Junior self and disappeared. He just started floating around, waiting for the puck. I've complained about this all year. Loved Ovech. Loved him. Seriously. But after watching the Sedins over the past year and a bit and just how they work the puck around and thread pass after beautiful pass to each other in ways I've never seen before, I kind of lost a bit of appreciation for Ovechkin's game. His game is individual and it makes the team overly dependent on his rushes and his shot. Washington's whole game plan seems to revolve around getting Ovech or Semin the puck for a shot and then crashing the net. It's kind of boring and predictable. When the Caps were winning, Backstrom was flying and creating chances and Ovechkin was hammering people. Tonight, Ovechkin wasn't physical at all and he didn't skate unless he was getting the puck.

The Canadiens, on the other hand, capitalized on the few chances they had and boom! That's it. Six months wasted for Washington.

I watched the game on delay at a friend's place. I turned off my phone so I couldn't get any updates. And as the game wore down, I had to close the blinds to the street in the final minutes, because we were still a minute or two behind on DVR and we didn't want to get tipped off to the win from some massive, spontaneous street orgy. (At one point, we actually fast-forwarded a bit too far by accident and saw the Caps celebrating early in the third. We all got depressed because they were jumping around after a goal. We rewound the DVR to see what happened. And wouldn't you know it, the goal was disallowed. It was fucked up. That's some 21st Century drama, right there.)

Anyways, that game will definitely end up costing me like $200 over the next two weeks as I watch the game at pubs after work. But that's a happy $200. Plus, I couldn't ask for a better team to try to knock out Crysby and the Pens.

Montrealers are celebrating this one right now, though. If I had been downtown or if I didn't have to work tomorrow, I would be too.

Police sirens are ringing out across the city. Horns are blaring. People are screaming. A section of St. Catherines is shut down (or at least it looked that way from Berri-UQAM.) I don't think anyone can believe this just happened.

Right now, we're living in the land of HAL. Jaroslav Halak just burned the highest scoring team in the league (and probably earned a couple mills in the process when contract time comes around) and Hal Gill proved he's no longer a punchline.

Let's call it McGuire karma...

1:30ish mark if you're impatient...

Let's hope the run continues. (Only so we get more JOEL BOUCHARD HAIR!!!)

Can you say Canucks/Habs finals?

Monday, April 26, 2010

game 4 round 1: vancouver 6 - l.a. 4/game 5 round 1: vancouver 7 - l.a. 2/game 6 round 1: vancouver 4 - l.a. 2

Like that sharty Staind song... IT'S BEEN A WHILE....

Don't think I forgot about this thing, because I didn't. Don't forget I'm a fanatic and even though I'm normally a rational person, I noticed that the Canucks won every single game I didn't write something about and I'm not going to funk with the power of the jinx. Don't forget I'm the guy that once yelled at a friend during a World Junior Championship final because I correlated a U.S. comeback to the fact that he stopped ripping putrid farts. Don't ever forget that.

And don't forget that I'm a lazy fart.

But we made it, didn't we Canucks fans? It was a rocky road. I spent all of games two through five in a haze of alcohol and in times that could be described as grand. Game Three hurt me. To steal a line from someone more profound than I, I was a pendulum that night, swinging from date to game. I was sort of nervous about both. I drank more than I should have and spent less time devoted to each than is permissible, and I couldn't get out of my own head. Luckily, my date was forgiving and she talked me through my ups and down. Game Four, I spent on the run, as I watched a Marlon Brando (circa Last Tango in Paris) meander like a sore thumb through a nifty loft party with the Wind-Up Radio Sessions and some other bands without names. It was all good laughs, even with the dead hipsters and teeming polygamists. I got updates from Fredward Scicssorhands throughout the night and I was so damned euphoric, I walked home from Griffontown, singing along to 'Wanna Be Starting Something' looped to repeat on my iPod the entire time. I watched the game highlights alone in a Pizza Pizza on St. Catherines, surrounded by club stars and junkies. Game Five, I spent with my charming date again and I was far more comfortable with her and the team and things were just peachy all around. Game Six, well, I made amends with Roberto Luongo and I feel as if I've about four of my nine lives during these past two weeks.

Sammy Swedeheart? Come on, that's pretty good...

L.A. is going to be scary good as soon as they get that goaltending sitchy figured out. They are deep. They are punishing big. They have all the ingredients you need. They're what the Chicago Blackhawks were last year. It kind of dawned on me too why they've become good and the Oilers have fallen off so badly - the Kings took away all the players that made the Oilers tough to play against, ie. Smyth, Greene and Stoll. Anyways, we haven't heard the last of that squad. And I'm talking about the Kings here.

There is a lot to be excited about in Canucks land. We didn't even have our second line rolling in that series and we managed to knock off a deep team. The Sedins have lived up to their billing and Sammy, with his playoff reps, shoot-first-and-hit-everything-that-moves mentality are complimenting the Twins nicely. The Wellwood-Bernier-Demitra line has been a surprise and the D, with the emergence of Edler as a bonafide star, are shoring up at the perfect time.

Luongo seems to be gaining his confidence again too and hopefully he is just starting to hit his stride, as we are poised for a rematch with Nemesis Kane and the Hawks. The speed of the Hawks scares me a bit, but I love how it feels like the Canucks are never out of a game.

If there was ever a time to 'Getcha Popcorn Ready,' it would be now. This series is going to be a dandy.

Not only that, folks, but the Habs are doing what no one has expected. I went to work today and it seemed even the most hardcore fans of the Rouge et Blanc were cracking jokes about the Canadiens and how they would blow it tonight. But Jaro Halak descended from another planet and put on a show that reminded me of Bobby Lou against the Stars and Ducks a couple years ago. He was unbeatable tonight.

The Halak/Price debate is officially over (even though it has been for months, for all intents and purposes.) The city is buzzing right now. Cars are honking, flags are waving, people are yelling, cops are scowling. It's great stuff.

My favorite part about all this, though? We get to see Joel Bouchard's hair again on Wednesday.

Have you seen his hair in HD yet? If a shark had hair, I'm sure it would look like Joel Bourchard's.

I have been lazy though lately, I'll admit. Our old pal Jung sent me a nice email the other day that sort of kicked me in the patooter to keep writing.

This city is like a gift and a curse. It's literally non-stop inspiration. I've been pretty much relegated to Centre-Ville since I arrived (my own doing) and lately, I've been meandering around the Plateau with some folks who know the score and it's just money. Little pubs on every corner. Restaurants run by grannies in nooks and crannies. Too much to see and do.

The last two weekends have been absolute gems. You know how you feel when you're on vacation and you spend your time aimlessly following your immediate impulses and your stomach? That is what I've done the past two Saturdays and I haven't been let down at all.

The downside? It leaves little time for a quasi-neurotic guy like me who likes to spend a lot of his time ranting and raving to do much of any ranting.

This is the city of characters, but I feel I've got no time to write about them. I'm too wiped by the time I get home to put anything together. But that's no excuse. That's just me being lazy.

It seems everyone I meet is in a band or living this alternate life after work, where they are following their ambitions. It's time I started doing the same. Whatever that is.

No more excuses.

(Just no more Canucks updates. The power of the jinx is real, my friends.)

And a very late RIP to Guru. Gifted, Unlimited, Rhymes Universal.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

trying too hard

Just cut the shit and take the glasses off, okay?

Montreal is a pretty trendy place. Lots of hipster beards and half-head buzzcuts and ironic t-shirts. And that's fine. Whatever. But one of the things that kills me and that screams 'trying too hard' are all these pretty girls walking around with ludicrously large glasses. I don't get it. The glasses look stupid and they make the girls look stupid and they're not sexy. When I see a girl walking around with these magnifying glasses on her face, I take a step away because I think she has conjunctivitis or something. Or it makes her look like she has a learning disability. Can we have a vote or something and get rid of these things? How can American Apparel sell these things to people? I'm convinced, people would start hanging tampons from their ears if American Apparel said it was cool. Maybe I shouldn't complain about the glasses. Maybe they exist to allow us to immediately weed out people who think for themselves.

At work, I get all these requests over the day to do things or go back and fix little mistakes that I've made. Some of the people are polite when they ask me to do things, but others I think are just pricks. Or at least they come off that way to me. Maybe they're not pricks, but they're certainly not tactful. All they do is write an abrupt command and stick a smiley-face emoticon at the end, like that's supposed to automatically put the request in a pleasant context. It doesn't though. It's just lazy. And I find it kind of demeaning. But I suppose that's what passes for tactful in 2010;-)

game 2 round 1 recap: vancouver 2 - l.a. 3 (ot)

Not much game-related to relate.

Woke up this morning seeing stars or spots from an epic Saturday. Spent a Saturday the way a Saturday is meant to be spent. Went to the market, ate some kefta, had a tiny coffee at Cafe Italiano, drank a bunch of micro-brew pints at a cool little pub in Mile-End while playing Scrabble and cards, went back to Bruno Bar for Habs-Caps game two and then a stellar party where I tried to watch the Canucks game while adjusting the rabbit-ears for reception.

Didn't catch the whole game. Turned it on and it was 2-0 Van and watched with horror as the Kings tied it up with two ginos back-to-back. I really can't comment on the game, since much of what happened after Bruno Bar is hazy. Kopitar looked good though. As did Kesler and Edler. I remember seeing Doughty smiling on the bench at one point and that not making me feel particularly good. Dude, this is the playoffs and you're playing a huge game and you're comfortable enough to smile? Scary dude. Friggin Modin killed us with another goal too. Got most of the rundown on the game from my old man this morning, who told me how an old co-worker Kings fan put the kiss of death on the Canucks by offering him a Linden jersey out of the blue.

All in all though, yesterday might have been one of the best days I've had in a while. It felt like a day you spend when you're on vacation. Great start to the summer of Stones....

Thursday, April 15, 2010

game 1 round 1: vancouver 3 - l.a. 2 (OT)

Oh what a day to be alive!

It doesn't get much better than playoff hockey and I'm finding out that all the hyperbolic grand tales I've been told about Montreal and this time of year are not exaggerated.

This city really is gaga over their Habs. It's all over the papers. Everyone talks about the game. And tonight, it was somewhat surreal, as I ventured from spot to spot in Centreville and the Plateau and saw how deserted the streets were during game time.

On St. Catherine's, bums peaked in through cafe and pub windows to watch the games. At the Sports Superstation or whatever the hell it's called, people cheered and chanted with every play in the game like they were watching it live, in person. I caught a part of the second period -- since our cable is (still) cut -- at an old school diner near Beaubien Metro beside a guy who would curse 'sacrement' each time a Habs player fanned on a shot. At one point he turned to me and stated 'c'est du vrai hockey, ca.'

The diner was a beauty. Everyone who worked there was dressed entirely in white. One guy had on the white, paper hat like they used to wear in the '50s. A Gord Van Tighem clone with a handlebar stache and a toothpick in his mouth, haggled the old Quebecois waitress lady about the bill and they traded good natured barbs. He finally walked out, chest puffed out and satisfied with his performance. An old guy with ginormous ears and veiny arms who worked at the diner chopped peppers for 20 minutes, just knocking them down one by one. One guy hidden in the corner of the bar, out of television view, worked his gums with a cup of coffee in front of him. It was like I had travelled through a time machine by walking through the door. Each booth had a tiny jukebox for frigsakes, although I was too self-conscious to sit down and browse through the song selection.

And all these kids and young gangsters wandered in and out and hung out in the booths and were loud but they got along with everyone like they hung out there all the time. One chick in braces who at the age where she was just on the precipice of losing her innocence and becoming broody or serious or sexual, hung off a kid a couple years younger than her and joked to everyone "c'est mon chum." The little dude was embarrassed and he just smiled and couldn't say anything. "T'amerais ca, eh?" she kept joking. The poor kid kept smiling like an idiot. He obviously would.

A friend called me and I was too embarrassed to answer because my conversation would have been in English and I was surrounded by such a French atmosphere that I didn't want my words to break it.

I was only at the diner because I was trying to meet a former co-worker from the newspaper. But I was late and he didn't have a cellphone and I walked into the pub, forgetting I was wearing my Kesler jersey, and just caught all these blanks stares as I searched for him during a commercial. I felt like a harmless zoo animal wandering through that pub, with everyone staring at me in silence with bemusement. I zipped up my coat, watched a few minutes and bounced.

Glad Plecky scored in OT and hope this series goes on for a while. My roommate Freduardo told me that Montreal goes nuts during "les series" and I have to agree.

Quick note: Because I'm watching a lot of the games at pubs, I don't get to hear much of what the announcers are saying or what the analysts blab about. I know that a face-off is called a "mise en jeu" and that delay of game is "retarde la match," but that's about it. However, one thing I do appreciate about watching hockey on the French network is when it comes to the intermissions. RDS has one clear advantage over CBC or TSN or just about anywhere else: Joel Bouchard's hair.

Is that a hair hat?

I swear, I just sit mesmerized whenever he's on because his hair looks like it's a rubber wig or something. It's jarring. I wonder what would happen to it in the rain. I wonder if this guy takes this thing off when he gets home and hangs it on a hook. It's impeccable. It's like impervious to a nuclear explosion. Some alien life form will come upon a post-apocalyptic Montreal and they will clear away some rubble and discover this hairdo. They will take it back to their planet and study it for centuries, but even with all their advanced technologies, they will never be able to conclude its chemical properties.

Second note: Couldn't all hockey commentators and analysts be part of the mafia. I'm thinking Darren Dregher and Gino Reda types, here. Don't they all dress and talk like wiseguys? Honest question here.

On to the Canucks stuff...

I recapped each game during last year's run and even though we got ousted in the second round, I feel like it would be a jinx if I didn't throw a little comment down after each game.

So we got the Kings. This team is kind of... um... scary. They're young. They're physical and they're pretty damn talented. Kopitar scares me. Drew Doughty scares me. And Johnny Quick was pretty stellar tonight. We're definitely in for a good series.

Last year, we caught the Blues in the first round and I spoke about how Andy McDonald made me hold my breath every time he touched the puck. Trees have rings to show their past. During the playoffs, I have shit-stained undies. That's Andy McDonald. That's Pat Kane. I'm not entirely sure who the shit stain guy will be on the Kings this series, but I found Stoll was front and centre whenever anything was happening.

Tonight, as was the case all season, the Sedins bailed us out. And again it was Mr. Hanky. This guy is playing on another level right now. It's like any pass he gives winds up being a scoring chance. In overtime, he set Samuelsson up with that beauty from behind the net, but he had a pass a few seconds before where he whipped a 360-no-looker cross ice right onto Erhoff's stick that was straight up X-Box 360. I couldn't believe it. This guy is seeing things a few seconds in the future. It's a lot of fun to watch right now. That goal they scored on the give-and-go is just the latest in their growing collection of ESP highlights.

You put this chick out there with the Sedins right now and she'd probably pop 25 ginos.

Luongo still looks like he's battling it a bit out there, but he didn't have much of a chance on either of the pucks that got past him. It's too bad we can't throw our d-men out in front of Quick, because they really do a good job of screening goaltenders. Luongo came up huge with that desperation save in OT, but we were also lucky to get there after Edler made the pokecheck on Kopitar when Luongo was swimming ten feet out of his crease, like someone freaking out on acid. Hopefully tonight's win settles him down a bit.

Edler, man. Where did that come from? Looks like he wants to make the jump. He was a beast, just beheading Kings all night. He was dominant. I wonder if it's just playing with confidence, because some games he looks like he can't make a correct decision. If he plays like he did tonight, we might not be so thin on the defensive end. I thought Erhoff and O'Brien played well. Bieksa didn't make any Bieksa-esque blunders and I liked how he was trying to mouth some of the young Kings, who were playing their first playoff games. Salo played decently. Andrew Alberts is a plug.

Up front, Burrows was flying. A friend of mine at work came up to me today, as I was wearing my Kesler jersey and repeated "my friend played hockey with Burrows and he's a cock-sucker. He's a cock-suck-er." He's not a nice guy, I guess. So what? He compliments the Sedins perfectly right now and he was playing that sandpaper role to a 't' tonight. Raymond had a strong game. Samuelsson, of course, had a great game. I like what he's going to provide this team. He's been there before and he's a pretty serious guy. With guys like Burrows, Bieksa and Kesler in the dressing room, it seems like Vancouver was always a fun place to play, but it kind of lacked in professionalism. I don't think Samuelsson will let anything slide. Kesler looked really serious tonight. I didn't think he played his best game. See, I can be somewhat rational when it comes to Kesler. He got beat in the face-off circle by Stoll and Handzus all night and he just didn't seem to want to get involved physically. Hopefully, he just had some butterflies because of his increased role and expectations brought on by that contract. That Samuelsson goal really was huge. It takes a lot of pressure off.

Anyways, it's nice to have playoff hockey back in my life again, even if it means being driven nearly to the brink of insanity by CBC's continuous loop of its only four commercials.

Small price to pay. And I was probably already insane anyways.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

RIP Supergrass

I had a few tonight, mi amigos.

Since I don't feel completely capable of explaining a few wacky things that happened today, I will instead embed a few Supergrass tracks. Wicked band that kept me cool during the 1990s. They broke up the other day.

Godspeed, Mr. Gaz.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

long time...

Hey folks. It's been a bit, eh? My have you changed. Is that a new haircut? It looks good. No, really.

I think this had been the longest absence I've had from the old blogski. No excuse really, other than being completely allergic to writing. Something happens when you spend your entire day maniacally writing down words. It's like, once you leave, you are completely brain dead. I told a friend who was badgering me last night about not blogging, that all I feel like doing after work is making fart sounds in my head and then laughing at them.

I've been busy too, I guess. Lots happening. Went to Ontario last weekend. Danced to Snow's "Informer" in a club in Toronto -- I don't know how much more authentic of a T.O. experience one can have. Saw my grandfolks and aunts and uncles and cousins and had Easter dinner with them and it was a grand old time. I'm definitely going to have to make another trip back there this summer. Maybe catch a Jays game and some Jazz Fest.

Like I said, work is a bit crazy right now. I'm realizing I'm a guy who is going to be stressed out at whatever he does. Until he croaks. I also realize the next place I want to visit is Cuba, but that might be some time, since I realized recently that I'm a guy who is going to be constantly paying off his VISA. Until he croaks. The next trip I will be making is to Tofino in May to see my boy Mindy take the plunge into holy matrimony. It's going to be a time.

Been to a couple of shows. Saw Black Rebel Motorcycle Club last Friday. They were the tits. They played for more than two hours. Two encores. And they hit all the classics. I don't know if there is a cooler bass player than Robert Levon Been. My buddy Skaped told me ages ago that they were a band that just made you feel cool listening to them. I totally agree. Extra points for ending off with 'Open Invitation' and the green lasers.

I'm starting to get itchy about summer. Really, we got teased last weekend with some +25 stuff. Girls everywhere. St. Catherines might as well have been a cat-walk. I felt like Summer Me was starting to break out of stodgy, winter guy, but now Summer Me has gone back into hermitude. He'll be back.

Also getting antsy about the start of the playoffs. Those Sedins are on some other level right now. It's almost spooky the kinds of plays they are making these days. I appreciate Ovechkin and his skill, but I'd rather have the Sedins any day. They play a team game and they're doing things that look impossible or choreographed.

We started a writers' group a couple months ago. We put a website up, but we haven't figured out how to allow people to post on there without going through the blog's administrator. Once we do, I'll provide a link and encourage any of you who have a fiction (or non-fiction) jones to submit some stuff. It's all about practice and getting comfortable with having people read your creepy, innermost neuroses.

So, since I have nothing more to share, here is a story about an idiot I know all too well. (Note: for some reason, my roommates stay away from me on Tuesday nights now. No idea why?)

The Idiot

This idiot friend of mine started a writers’ group or something and he suggested I join. For some misguided reason I obliged and I’ve been kicking myself about that decision ever since.

Anyways, we got together for the first time last night and I got to say my piece. The idiot had told us to concoct a work of autobiographical fiction, no longer than 600 words. He called it an assignment. Really, I started to wonder who this guy thought he was, giving grown adults assignments.

I told him so much, actually. Well not really, but in the way I fought with him about the “assignment” in the weeks before the get-together, I felt I was definitely challenging his self-important authority.

“A story? You want me to write a story about my life?”


“Well, I hate to break it to you, but my life isn’t really that interesting. I go to work each day and then I come home. Somewhere in between, I eat and I shit and I might have a laugh or two. But that about does it.”

“Well this assignment is about fictionalizing your life. You can write a story about anything,” he said, with his typically patronizing tone. He didn’t even look at me during most of that sentence.

But this idiot made it sound easy enough. Just make something up. But when I sat down in front of my laptop, nothing came. Every single idea I had revolved around some clich├ęd search for romance or adventure or self. And since that’s what I’m really going after in life, there was no way the story would wind up as anything but non-fiction.

A week before we were to meet, I called that idiot up and asked him for some help. God, it pained me to call this idiot. He really got on my nerves.

“Every idea I have is so played out. I don’t think I can do this. I can’t think of anything to write. about”

“It’s called writer’s block. I never have it, but I hear it can be annoying.” He was trying to make a joke. I didn’t laugh.

He continued, albeit with a little less confidence. “If I were you, I’d just write about your days. Write about what you do every day. I’m sure there is something there. There is no way it will be uninteresting. Good luck.”

I hung up the phone and grabbed a beer from the fridge. I cracked it and took a deep sip and then threw on some beats. I didn’t think I could write anything interesting about myself, but the idiot seemed sure it was possible. And so I slumped down in front of my computer and shrugged and did what the idiot had told me:

Thursday. I got up really late for work and ran to catch the train. It was snowing but the snow melted when it hit the ground and there was slush everywhere. My shoes got all wet. I rolled up my pants when I got to work because my cuffs were soaked. I passed a cute girl in the hall and she laughed, on account of my pants. My boss shook his head and wrote something down into a binder. I ate three sandwiches at lunch, choking them down with a can of Pepsi. I went home sneezing and coughing. I thought I’d caught a cold.

Friday. I woke up, and went to work. I wasn’t sick. I ate two sandwiches at lunch. I met a friend at a bar after work and drank a lot. I don’t remember much of what happened on Friday.

Saturday. I woke up on the floor beside my bed at 2 p.m. with a really bad hangover. I didn’t leave the house. I spent the whole day trying to remember what had happened the night before. And trying not to vomit. I ordered a pizza and watched a movie.

Sunday. I felt a little better. I went for a walk. I passed an air-outtake vent outside a mall, where homeless guys usually sleep during the winter because the vent spews out hot air all the time. There was a huge pile of dog shit under one of the vents. I wondered if the mall owners purposely let a dog shit there to discourage the guys from sleeping outside their property. Then I started to wonder if that would backfire, since – despite the smell – the pile appeared cushony and warm. I went home and nuked the rest of Saturday night’s pizza, then went to sleep.

Monday. I got up for work. I didn’t sleep well the night before, so I needed to drink like three coffees to wake up. That was a bad idea though, because it ran right through my system and I spent a good part of that morning covering my nose on the can. The day flew by quickly. I ate two sandwiches for lunch. I took the train home. I made dinner and fell asleep.

Tuesday. I got up late for work and didn’t have time for a shower. I felt stinky all day. I sat next to the cute girl at lunch, but I was real self-conscious about my smell, so I didn’t say anything. I ate two sandwiches. I took my train home after work. I made dinner and ate in front of the television. I masturbated before falling asleep.

Wednesday. I woke up and had a shower. I smiled at that girl at work. She smiled back, but I didn’t get the chance to talk to her because we don’t have enough time to socialize with anyone at work. I ate two sandwiches at my desk because I didn’t take a lunch. I came home after work and watched television. I drank three beers and fell asleep on the couch.


I got up from the computer and printed off my piece. I read it over while I pounded back my drink. I thought it was kind of funny and it was certainly my life. I kind of inserted some fiction into it too, like the part where the girl smiled back at me in the hallway. I closed the laptop and went to the kitchen to make a sandwich.

We met last night at the idiot’s place. He was playing the same music he plays every time I’m over at his apartment and he was grinning and showing off his story, which he thought was very clever. He reread it aloud a few times and each time he did it, he read slower and with more emphasis on certain words. His story was twice as long as his own imposed word-limit. (“I didn’t want to make the limit dauntingly high, because I didn’t want to discourage anyone from writing,” he reasoned. He was drinking.)

We went around the table reading our stories. We nodded and laughed and drank wine.

Finally, it was my turn and I read my piece.

When I was done, the idiot was shaking his head. His lips and front teeth were purple from the wine.

“I told you to write a story.”

“I did.”

“No you didn’t.”

“Yes, I did.”

He got up and grabbed my piece out of my hand and was silent for a minute or so.

“I’m sorry, but this doesn’t qualify,” he said when he’d finished re-reading it. He was obviously thinking himself some grand literary critic. By this time, he’d had about twice as many drinks as the rest of the group. It was too bad he didn’t impose limits on his alcohol consumption – although he’d probably break that limit too, come to think about it.

“I don’t get it. I did everything you told me to do.”

“I don’t think you did. This, my friend, is not a story. There isn’t much of anything here at all. Nothing is happening. There’s no plot and no climax and no conflict. And there certainly isn’t any character development. I mean, what reason have you given me to care about any of your characters?”

That’s all I needed. I think I was kind of waiting for someone to antagonize me like that, to tell you the truth.

I took a heroic swig of my wine, stood up, ripped my story from the idiot’s bony fingers and punched him in his big, fat, crooked nose. He doubled back in defeat.

I took two sandwiches from a plate on his kitchen table and then I bounced.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

what do you do when...?

What do you do when you get an invitation to an aboriginal healing event from a white person who is employed for a political party?

Politely decline or grudgingly accept?