My foot.

My ankle is fine. There doesn't seem to be any sprain in the area, but my foot has a gigantic bruise along the metatarsal bones.

The exam went really well! I wrote a brief essay on how Weber's definition of sociology (an interpretative understanding of social action) applies to Simmel's thesis on mental life and the city.

Now I have to prepare for my workshop and write a paragraph for linguistics. I have it easy; next semester I'm taking four courses. I was on the waitlist for Introduction to Literary Theory, but I found out yesterday that I'm now in the class.

Two more days, people. Two more days.


Some news.

I'm totally self-absorbed today. I have a sociology exam on Wednesday, so I've been studying for quite some time. But while I was submerged in turn of the century social theory, the Canadian government was dissolved today. The vote of no confidence went through. I figured the Tories were all over this scheme, but apparently the NDP were also instrumental in spearheading this maneuver. I will continue to follow these events, without a doubt.

I sprained my foot on the way home today. As I was exiting the bus, the man in front of me suddenly stopped, with one foot on the curb and the other firmly planted on the bottom step. He was chatting on his cell phone. I had to halt, and in the process my left foot (my favourite one!) slipped and bent at an acute angle, folding over like a thick wad of paper. I shrieked and hobbled over to a bench to examine the poor appendage. Nothing broken. I spent the last two hours with my foot elevated on a stool, nestled next to an icepack. My left foot and sociology: the reasons I would probably miss our first contact with extra-terrestrial life.

On the last poem: I don't know why I separated the poem into two stanzas. It seemed to contain two distinct scenes. I pondered over the new line for awhile ("grey air") in an attempt to draw a correlation between church bells and a ringing phone. I think another draft is due.

<. .>

While I was standing on the sidewalk outside our house, the cat who lives downstairs came peeking put of the alley down the street. He looked at me, then crossed the street. He walked along the edge of the sidewalk, skirting the parked cars. When he passed me and was at a fair distance, he crossed back across the street, stepped onto the corner and sauntered towards his door, which is on the side of the house. The cat avoided me. I was offended.


A poem comes alive, part three.

Glenn Gould
comes back to life,
buys a grape soda
from a corner store,
one with a green aluminum
awning over the door.

he calls up the radio
station (CBC I think)
from a phone booth, bells
ring in the grey air as
he sips soda, bending
the pull-top
back and forth, back
and forth.

Go here.

Chris has renovated his website to continue writing his insightful commentary on comics and games. If you read funny books or watch Veronia Mars, then make yourself a pot of tea and enjoy his site.

Click on The G33k on the links bar, just to your right.

I'm about a quarter of the way into my English paper. I want to write on lineation in Stephanie Bolster's White Stone, but one of the paragraphs is leaning towards stanza structure. The other two are strictly about lineation. Or not. I'm giving one of her prose poems a run down, which involves stanza structuring as much as lineation. Things can change. It's just that lineation seems to be a more sophisticated topic. I can be sophisticated.

Cheese and fleas and other awful domestic concerns.

I can't sleep.

After reading my book and browsing the internets for half an hour I couldn't get my eyelids to slip over the two orbs in my head. I might as well update. Let's see, what's going in my head at 2:30 in the morning?

We had some lovely cheese a few days ago.

The story goes like this: Lisa rented a car so we can get our cat to the vet. He was fine in the waiting room, but once he got out of his kennel (or, the vet pulling him out and Lisa sliding the kennel off the cat as though it were a sweater) he growled, hissed and bit anyone who dared to get too close. We found out that he is mostly likely asthmatic (science types have invented an asthma puffer for cats, which is way too easy to make fun of) and of course, a flea infestation. Lisa treated the little beast this evening. So, we had a car. This is a commodity we normally don't have access to, so we decided to pretend we were fabulously wealthy and shopped at Friends of Cheese. We picked up some Stilton, Guinness cheddar and the Red Dragon: a Welsh cheddar imbued with a liberal dose of mustard seeds, lending the cheese an intriguing peppery snap. There you go. Cheese. And, I picked up some creme fraiche and mixed it with a raspberry reduction, making a kind of fool - fruit and whipped cream tossed together like a salad.

All the things I mentioned a few posts ago, like meeting Iain and going out for breakfast with Margo, all happened according to plan. All that, and a healthy dose of Chris. A satisfying Friday night and Saturday. When Iain and I were escaping Richmond Friday night we stopped at a shop called the "Liquor Depot." With a name like that, we had to go in and buy booze. When we got to the counter, there was a couple of posters of guys who presumably lifted merchandise from the shop. One of the pictures, which was a dodgy looking guy wearing a white hoodie, had a name scrawled along the bottom: Johnny Blaze. Freakin' Ghost Rider lifted booze from the Liquor Depot.


A cat, an umbrella and pulling an all-nighter.

A poem comes to life, part two.

Glenn Gould
comes back to life,
buys a grape soda
from a corner store,
one with a green aluminum
awning over the door.
he calls up the radio station,
CBC I think,
standing in the phone booth,
sipping soda, bending
the pull-top back and forth, back
and forth.

I altered the lineation in this version, and included punctuation where I thought is would be appropriate.

Some news: I'm going out Friday afternoon/evening with Iain for good times, then having breakfast at quite possibly my favourite breakfast place in this city with the lovely Margo. Maybe other lovely people would like to join us? Margo and I both worked at the Learning Centre, and now she's at SFU. On December 1st, I'll be holding a workshop on exam essays for the UBC Writing Centre. It'll be an hour long (like an actual class!) and I have some fun ideas, courtesy of Jess (thanks again) so the students don't drift off to sleep. I'll be planning it out over the weekend, as I finish my English paper and study for my sociology exam. Oh, and the cat will be visiting the vet today. Heaven help us all. Coffee awaits.


Notes Towards an Understanding of Common Sense.

In these last few days I've wandered the damp, foggy streets around my neighbourhood thinking about common sense. What is it exactly?

Initially I attempted to deconstruct the semantic implications. The word "common" refers to something "commonly held," or public property. A sense that belongs to us all. "Sense" is a slippery word. It is not exactly knowledge, or knowledge at all. To "sense" something and to "know" something are two different experiences. When I know something I am recalling a fact, and when I sense something I have an understanding which guides my actions. If there is common sense, is there a sense specific to a time, a place or a person? A police officer and a pastry chef would require different kinds of senses in order to perform properly. Furthermore, to possess any sense, one must rely on accumulated knowledge to inform this sense. Knowledge is the foundation of sense; collected fragments from the immediate, perceivable world builds and sharpens sense. Just so I can get my head around the word, I looked up sense in the dictionary.

sense |sens| noun
1 a faculty by which the body perceives an external stimulus; one of the faculties of sight, smell, hearing, taste, and touch : the bear has a keen sense of smell that enables it to hunt at dusk.
2 a feeling that something is the case : she had the sense of being a political outsider.
• an awareness or feeling that one is in a specified state : you can improve your general health and sense of well-being.
• ( sense of) a keen intuitive awareness of or sensitivity to the presence or importance of something : she had a fine sense of comic timing.
3 a sane and realistic attitude to situations and problems : he earned respect by the good sense he showed at meetings.
• a reasonable or comprehensible rationale : I can't see the sense in leaving all the work to you.
4 a way in which an expression or a situation can be interpreted; a meaning : it is not clear which sense of the word “characters” is intended in this passage.
5 chiefly Mathematics Physics a property, e.g., direction of motion, distinguishing a pair of objects, quantities, effects, etc., that differ only in that each is the reverse of the other.
• [with clause ] be aware that something is the case without being able to define exactly how one knows : he could sense that he wasn't liked.
• cause someone to (or start to) think and behave reasonably after a period of folly or irrationality. in a (or one) sense used to indicate a particular interpretation of a statement or situation : in a sense, behavior cannot develop independently of the environment. in one's senses fully aware and in control of one's thoughts and words; sane: would any man in his senses invent so absurd a story? make sense be intelligible, justifiable, or practicable. make sense of find meaning or coherence in: she must try to make sense of what was going on. out of one's senses in or into a state of insanity. a sense of direction a person's ability to know without explicit guidance the direction in which they are or should be moving. take leave of one's senses (in hyperbolic use) go insane.
ORIGIN late Middle English (as a noun in the sense [meaning] ): from Latin sensus ‘faculty of feeling, thought, meaning,’ from sentire ‘feel.’ The verb dates from the mid 16th cent.

I've eliminated some definitions that pertain to fibre optics and genetics. These definitions don't relate to this topic. Some important words that I'm pulling out of this text are "perceives," "feeling," "interpreted," "awareness" and "attitude." For the purpose of my study, I'm going to rely on these words as I embark on this subject.

So if I make the distinction between knowledge and sense then I can, with some confidence, say that common sense is a shared understanding of the world. Also, it is a way of doing things, a way of presenting oneself, a way of thinking about a subject and a way of responding to events - a way, a methodology. More later.

On video games.

Saturday was fun. I hung out with Chris for awhile, discussing comics and all things geeky, then I swung by Iain's for drinks and video games. We played Star Wars: Battlefronts 2, which has its flaws, but is still a fun game to play. If you're a Star Wars fan and want to relive the action from the films, then this game will definitely satisfy one's urge to pick off Rebels with a sniper rifle.

I grew up with video games. I played Atari when it was around, then I received the Sega Master System for Christmas many moons ago and probably spent (read: wasted) a king's ransom in video arcades. I'm thinking of investing in the Xbox 360, since Sony has decided to install lockware (software that "locks" games to specific consoles, so users cannot install games on other consoles - but if your console is stolen or breaks down, the games you have will be useless) and are involved with other shady dealings around copyright and privacy issues. Boing Boing has some great coverage on the whole debacle.

Lately I've become a casual "gamer" - I hate that word - playing real-time strategy games (Rise of Nations is my current vice) and first/third person shooters (Halo is fun, but I'm more into historic games such as Battlefield 1942) like Battlefronts. I'm a sucker for Star Wars games. By casual I mean I (a) don't join clans (b) don't spend hundreds of dollars on gaming-specific PCs or the upgrades (c) don't (or at least try to) spend most of my waking hours playing them or discussing them. Lisa and I discussed my gaming habit, and she makes a good point: hanging out and being active is much more rewarding than sitting in my office for hours. My plan is to build a kind of schedule than limits my gaming time. Yeah, I don't mind the verb/adjective "gaming." It's a good word.

Getting some school work done. I want to post more later.


My favourite quote, so far.

"Nature is a haunted house—but Art—is a house that tries to be haunted."

Emily Dickinson


Look at us now.

The problem I'm having with Blogger these days is the fact that the "Interests" and "Favourite Books" sections don't give enough room for all the stuff I want to brag about. I cut and pasted my profile from Friendster, but only a third of my favourite things appear. I should look into editing the old profile page.

I'm just doing up a short paper on W.E.B. DuBois and then I'm slinking off to bed. Lisa is staying up late so I figured I'd hang out with her for awhile and finish this thing off. No, not because I procrastinated. Well, a little.

Oh, last weekend. A brief summary: last Thursday I made the trek over to New Westminster to celebrate Iain's birthday and hang out with the Other Press crew, the student paper I wrote for when I was attending Douglas. Lots of booze. I played pool - I'm totally rusty, like an "iron nail immersed in a rain barrel for a century" kind of rusty - and I taught two people how to hold a pool cue. I received some compliments on past work and condolences for Terminal City. I ended up crashing at Iain's, and the resident cat snoozed on my lap. Friday night was the Terminal City get-together. Kind of sad, it was. Honestly, I don't remember much. I had the linguine (too much butter), several glasses of beer, aged whiskey, flourless chocolate cake (which was rich, but needed another dimension), creme brulee (now, that was fine) and some bites of other dishes. I remember walking home happy, but feeling a little empty. There should be accents for "creme brulee," but I don't know how to HTML that kind of thing.

Just two more assignments, then I'm free. My plans so far? Hang out with Chris and play video games with Iain. I've been invited to see Harry Potter - I'm not a huge fan, but it's wonderful to have kids reading and getting excited about stories and characters, so it's fun to keep track of the narrative. I don't have time to read the books so the movies shed some light for me. But, like I heard recently, Rowlings can't write a sentence without bogging it down with adjectives and adverbs. I agree. That kind of turns me off her prose.


Halloween 2005

The squash in question in broad daylight. This year's theme was "oversized goods."
Creepy evening photo. The labotomy will commence.
I get fuzzy when I carve. Luckily, I stay away from turkey.
The little pumpkin is ready for its journey into the afterlife.
The final product(s).
I was accosted by a man-sized chicken outside my house. A chicken, I might add, wearing a cape and a belt. At first, I thought this peculiar poultry wanted to hand me a leaflet for the neighbourhood fried chicken restaurant - then I realized no such place existed in my neighbourhood. My doubts were verified when the chicken tackled me to the ground. Happy Halloween, Kevin.


The silver lining.

I have some things to look forward to these days.

I'm still writing. I got the jump on my freelancing career; there's an interview with Seth to sell (anyone out there interested?) plus some connections elsewhere. School is almost over, thankfully.

That's it for now.



I just wrote my linguistics exam, and let me tell you: that was one of the most disastrous exams I ever wrote. I did well on about sixty percent of it, the rest were either left incomplete or incorrect.

What the hell am I going to do?

There is still a group project due at the end of the semester. I know we'll do well. No, we have to do well.

On the bright side, I seem to be doing great in my other courses. I missed my classes on Monday, somehow fell into an erratic sleeping/eating routine, and I'm behind on a couple of readings. I'm getting good grades in these other classes, despite my rotten habits.

I said it over the weekend. Now I'm saying it here.

I'm burned out on school.

The daily grind of going to classes, the constant critizing, the bureaucracy, the lack of money, reading texts after texts after texts and not having time to read what I want; I've about had it. I'm sick of writing papers on topics I don't care about. I'm tired of being in classes where almost everyone is at least a decade younger than me. I feel like a fraud. I don't belong here at all.

Most of all, I'm starting to suffocate in the closet. I feel as though I need to conceal my history and my politics, like if I "came out" no one would take me seriously. It's like I'm minority. People see me and they think, "another white male." It's funny how ethnicity and gender not only act as signifers, but also as a facade that conceals indentity. Identity is rooted in the historical relations that underline social relations in day-to-day life.

Thanks, Dorothy Smith. I feel better.



That stuff at the very bottom of the page? The very bottom? That's supposed to be in the sidebar, directly to your right. Under the links. How the hell did it get there? Did it drink some bleach and fall down?

Must improve HTML skills.

I would like a new liver for Christmas. And a pony. But not a pony's liver.

Here is my itinerary for the next few days. Does this entry sound a little downtempo? That's because it's raining and I'm (attempting) to study for my linguistics exam tomorrow. Oh, and the paper went well. I stayed up late Sunday night finishing it off, and I even included coloured copies of the prints and analyzed in the text, then related the analysis to the three theories (Baudrillard and Smith, and I'm hesitant to call Klein a "theorist" but her book, while a refreshingly light read, wasn't the usual postulating I'm accustomed to in sociology) throughout the paper.

So, I'm going to Iain's birthday party on Thursday. It's in New Westminster at some bar, where I hear offers one dollar shooters. If you really want to get blotto, and quickly, then buck-a-shots are fine. But I bet the cheap booze employed to concoct these "drinks" would make the palate "shrivel up like a spider with a pin in it." (Ellis, 2005: p. 3). On Friday, the Terminal City get-together. One thousand dollars. A handful a people. The handful of people will be eating and drinking an entire one grand.

MENACING, GRAVELLY VOICE: Ten strangers, locked in a comfortable bistro, must somehow survive the evening as they are subjected to a grisly test: one that will twist their wills, shatter their nerves and inflate their buttocks. They must blow one thousand dollars. Or they die. (The voice trails off, replaced with the dim hum and clatter from inside a restaurant.)


Check this out.

Andrew sent this my way.

Report back, if you like.


A poem comes to life, part one.

Glenn Gould comes back to life
buys a grape soda from a corner store
one with a green aluminum awning over the door
he calls up the radio station, CBC I think
standing in a phone booth, sipping soda
bending the pull-top back and forth, back
and forth.


The End and the Future.

I want to return to a exercise regiment again, but school keeps me glued to the seat. Sometimes, I start to get worried if I'm not reading or writing school related stuff. I will return to the gym and the dojo soon.

Just to let you guys know, Terminal City has officially folded as of Monday. The publisher released a press statement yesterday after a meeting with the editors. My section editor sent me an email with her work number so she could relay the bad news to me. Ugh. There's going to be a food and booze session this Friday, with whatever backpay owed to writers and editors. This sucks. TC was one of the few independent media outlets in the city, and was kind of an institution for awhile there. I know the newspaper folded a few years ago and then was sparked back to life, but I'm skeptical such a rejuvenation would occur again. I get paid, I get fed then I get booze. A nice way to end, I suppose. I was thinking of cutting my ties with them in the future; I guess this is a sign, of sorts. I have my eye on the Tyee, Quill and Quire and, uh, well, I reckon that's it for now.

An essay due next Monday. Another exam next week.