Press, tardical, update + funereal

October 30, 2008

» Second weekend in a row I’m going to be sitting at table at a small press event (see above). This time my table is going to be less PLOG oriented, more other things oriented. Also I might have company this time.

» I was dismayed to learn I did not coin the word "retardulous."

» My mother sent me an email last night that my grandma is being feistier than expected and might be pulling through, though is still in rough shape.

» Best beginning of a sentence during a date ever: "When I was in funeral school…" I don’t remember how that sentence ended, but it was followed by: "Yes. I embalmed people."

Good news + bad

October 29, 2008

» I’m "dating" a Star Trek fan with an appreciation for absurdity, flights of fancy and really bad ideas.

» My grandma is expected to die within the next few days.

Two things I forgot to write about earlier

October 28, 2008

» A few weeks ago I saw an awesome thing. There was an old woman coming down the street towards me pushing one of those old woman grocery carts with a jacket covering the top. She stopped beside me, bent over, ripped a plant out of a person’s garden, placed it in her cart, covered it witht her jacket and carried on down the street as if this is quite alright. I almost said, "Excuse me. Did you just steal that person’s plant?" But I was on my way somewhere so just carried-on myself thinking, "That was pretty awesome."

» We had a team-building day last thursday. In the afternoon we had to do improv with the woman who plays the angel in the Philadelphia Cream Cheese commercials. She made me lead a dance to "Flight of the Bumblebee." I don’t know if anyone followed my moves because I basically mimed having a verticle seizure. The theme of the day was that old chestnut: Thinking outside the box. But only in the most conservative terms. They never want you to burn the box down, piss on the ashes and start from scratch. Not that I really want to do that either. It sounds like a lot of work.


October 27, 2008

» I survived my first Canzine. It would be cliché to then add ‘barely" but it somewhat applies. At times my mild generalized anxiety disorder wasn’t so mild. More picquant or, perhaps, downright spicy.

Multiple floors of the Gladstone Hotel were brutally packed with hundreds of nerdsters squeezing past each other, trying to budget their few dollars with far too much selection of top-notch zinery, screen-printery and general indie-craftery. It was both inspiring and daunting. I was filled with either the desire to step-up my game for product quality or throw in the towel because the market (and this is only the south Ontario microcosm) is already saturated with dedicated, talented uber-art geeks creating objects of extreme beauty. And a whole lot of worthless crap. So it goes.

Of course, today there’s tonnes of stuff I’d wished I’d purchased. Especially small things like pins and mini-comics. Why didn’t I? Too much selection, that’s why. It was either spend nothing or spend $500. As it was, I even had a hard time giving away PLOGs because, if you took a free thing from every table, you’d be carrying home thirty pounds of fodder for your recycling bin.

I was blessed, I must say, with having excellent neighbors on either side of me. To my right were, ironically and creating small confusion, the screen-printing duo Ampersand/Ampersand. Kristine and Mark are great people and, I dare say, new friends for life. Even if I never see them again. On my left was Georgia Webber who makes very pretty books and, more importantly, fed me pastries. It was a long day and if I’d had the angry rockabilly girl from Montreal or one of the uptight scenester douches sitting beside me, it would have been an interminable eight hours.



October 22, 2008


» PLOG: Paper Blog / Ampersand Publishing (as in me) will have a table at CANZINE 2008, this Sunday (Oct 26th, 1-7pm) at the Gladstone Hotel (1214 Queen St. West) here in Toronto. It’s my first zine / small press show. I’m sure I won’t know what to do there.

» The following saturday (November 1st), I’ll also have a table at the Toronto Small Press Affair at the TRANZAC on Brunswick at Bloor. It’s supposed to be a more "party / social" atmosphere. And since it’s at the TRANZAC, I would assume pretty disorganized. That show is in the evening 6pm-11pm.

Democracy inaction, Phil + boozery

October 16, 2008

» I voted. Apparently no one else did. I noticed on the ballot there were two parties running in my riding I didn’t know about. Radical Marijuana was one. I guess that’sbetter than the Awesome Reefer Party or Bogus High Party. Also the Marxist-Leninist Party was running. I’m not sure why they include Lenin in their name. A Marx-Engels Party I could almost get behind. But Lenin is fast road to a dead-eyed sociopath like Stalin. Or Stephen Harper even. I have no idea who won in my riding but I expect it was the Liberal guy. I don’t expect this to affect my life at all. Which is probably why onlt 9 people voted in this election. Though I haven’t met a single person who admits to not voting this year.

» Who would have thunk, but Phil Collins > Oasis. Or so I claim. Ken thought I should have specified "Phil Collins era Genesis" but I stand by my conviction. I think I’d rather listen to "Susudeo" than anything Oasis has done.

» I’m going on a brewery tour this weekend. I’ve never done such a thing. I wonder if it’s bad form to get sozzled.

Nature walk, urban fox + unpacked

October 13, 2008

» On saturday I was taken to the Blair Witch Village. That’s not what it’s actually called but it had the homestead from The Village and the woods from Blair Witch. It’s the first time since I’ve been in Ontario that I’ve left the GTA. At any rate it was nice to get out in proper nature and a lot of the woods were less Blair Witch and more Narnia anyway. The only wild life we saw though were snakes and caterpillars. It turns out some people don’t believe snakes make your hands stink until they pick them up. Then they run to the nearest puddle screaming "My hand smell horrible!" I told them what would happen. They didn’t believe me.

» Though I didn’t see any animals in the country, I did see a fox right here in the city. Down by the Humber River.

» I finally have my apartment set up. It was a long process but except for a few minor things I still need to acquire, it’s a done deal. That means nothing that should be out of boxes is still in boxes and nothing out of boxes is just piled up in the corners. I hung my pictures. Done.

Plenty of Fishing

October 9, 2008

» I joined an internet dating site a few weeks ago. It’s been an interesting process. I’ve certainly met a lot in unique and interesting characters (take that how you will). So far I’ve gone on six dates with with six women and maybe only one might result in a genuine 2nd date (not sure if she’s interested in that though).

This is to be expected, I think, given the nature of the enterprise. To a certain extent, it’s the worst way, in the history of worst ways, for one person to meet another. And the reason is this: a person’s profile is like the trailer for a movie or the write-up on the back of a book. It gives you an idea what the person’s like but leaves out major plot points and highlights only certain aspects;  things that are exciting and sensational but aren’t really what they’re all about. When reading the DVD box for a favourite film, you might often think "Well, that’s kind of true but why would they say that about this movie? I guess they wanted to sell to a wider audience. But that’s not really what the movie is all about." 

It seems to be the same thing with dating site profiles. People highlight certain aspects of their personality, for the most part honestly, but this doesn’t really tell the whole story. It’s not intentional (on my own profile I’m not trying to be misleading though I’m sure I am in some ways), it’s just nature of summing yourself up in a few sentences or, sometimes, point form. And who of us can even be accurate about what we’re really like? We have a distorted self-image whether it’s positive or negative — or most likely a combination of both. 

Also the person reading the profile is going to paint a certain picture of you for themselves based on what your key words and phrases (which may ore may not be accurate) mean to them. When I write I’m "extremely creative" there’s a whole spectrum of "creative" I could be depending on what the reader’s experience with the "creative" has been. Some will assume I’m exaggerating and maybe have a few wacky prints on the wall or take some photos. Others might understand it’s a whole encompassing way of life.

That is just an example of how semantics come into play in this arena. The first impression created by that profile is carried through into emails and instant messages. A bit more of the person’s true self might come into focus on the telephone, but it’s still clouded to some extent by the initial reading of that profile which remains as a concrete document to re-enforce the intial impression even when new, more accurate information comes to light.

Further muddying the field of vision are the photographs attached to the profile. It’s not only that people generally only pick flattering photos of themselves, but that not having met a person (and understanding how the 2-dimensional image relates to their 3-dimensional reality), it’s hard to discern what they actually look like. Five of the six women I met don’t look like their photos (to varying degrees). But now that I’ve met them, I see how the photos do look like them or an aspect of them. It’s pretty trippy and I’m surprised each time even though I expect it. I always wonder how different I look to them.

This all adds up to, when you finally meet for coffee, a disparity between the person you thought you were meeting and the person you actually meet. Part of it is simply body language. People you expected to be confident are nervous wrecks, people you expected to be demure act like sailors. The thing is that not expecting anything beforehand (a total blind date), you might be totally okay with this person in front of you. But the mere fact your expectation (high or low) was wrong is what makes it difficult to form an honest opinion of the person — much less develop a crush or entertain the idea of a second date. On the other hand, you’re actually meeting 10-1000% more people than you would be normally (unless your an extreme extrovert), so that is an undeniable checkmark in the plus collumn.

And maybe expecting a person’s "trailer" to be an entirely accurate advertisement of the person’s "film" is unreasonable. I guess I just want to come out of the theatre saying, "That was awesome. Nothing like the trailer, but awesome."


October 1, 2008

» It’s the first day of October. I forgot to shave this morning.

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