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Wednesday, May 28, 2003
While St. Petersburg City celebrates 300 years, rushing to restore palaces left in tatters thanks to war, both civil and foreign, and Lenin's culturally ascetic communism, I can't help but wonder what it is that compels human beings to destroy.

Posted 9:30 AM:: Home:: Guestbook

Could you imagine?
Where are the US troops, who under the Geneva Convention have the obligation to guarantee the peace as the invading force? The anarchy that reins in Iraq is proof that the United States of America has yet again failed to honour its duties under international law, something which is becoming the norm for the Bush regime.

Among the sites pillaged are the ancient cities of Isin, Uruk, Larsa and Fara. However, it is not only the sites which are being desecrated. In Baghdad, UNESCO estimates that between two and three thousand pieces are still missing from the National Museum, while the entire contents of the National Library have been reduced to a pile of ashes and up to 1,500 pieces have gone missing from the Museum of Fine Arts. (more at Pravda)
While you're poking around this Russian news site, note the article on Tatu in culture and the interview with Gorbachev. Unlike slick western translations into English or just plain English press language, some of Pravda's English articles are blunt or gossipy and quite entertaining. I wonder where on the scale of "respectable" rags Pravda fits? Somewhere higher than the Toronto Sun and National Enquirer?

Posted 9:11 AM:: Home:: Guestbook

___________ Tuesday, May 27, 2003
Everything is complicated; if that were not so, life and poetry and everything else would be a bore.
New York is a field of tireless and antagonistic interests--undoubtedly fascinating but horribly unreal. Everybody is looking at everybody else--a foolish crowd walking on mirrors.
Speak, even, as if I did not hear you speaking,
But spoke for you perfectly in my thoughts,
Conceiving words,
As the night conceives the sea-sounds in silence,
And out of their droning sibilants makes
A serenade.
from Two Figures in Dense Violet Night

Wallace Stevens: 1879–1955, American poet, b. Reading, Pa., educated at Harvard and New York Law School. After 1916 he was associated with the Hartford Accident and Indemnity Company, and from 1934 until his death he served as its vice president. A master of exquisite verse, Stevens was specifically concerned with creating some shape of order in the “slovenly wilderness” of chaos. These ideas are expressed in his earliest volume, Harmonium (1923), to which belongs the best known of his poems, “Sunday Morning.” His ideas are developed in the subsequent volumes Ideas of Order (1936); The Man with the Blue Guitar (1937); Parts of the World (1942); Transport to Summer (1947), which includes the long poem “Notes toward a Supreme Fiction,” in which Stevens elaborates on the poet’s role in creating the fictions necessary to transform and harmonize the world; The Auroras of Autumn (1950); The Necessary Angel, essays (1951); Collected Poems (1954; Pulitzer Prize); and Opus Posthumous (1957).

Posted 9:47 AM:: Home:: Guestbook

___________ Monday, May 26, 2003
Well! The next couple of years are now spoken for: photography. I bit the bullet and applied to a commercial photography program and they are actually letting me in. Through the entire application process I kept wondering how I'd juggle writing and photography as careers when, in the last few weeks while reading Margaret Atwood's and Mario Vargas Llosa's essays on writing, I came to realize that my idea of writing is highly romanticized and ruled by the literature label, each word penned in blood, so to speak. This attitude does not translate into writing for commercial purposes and is best saved for that literary novel slowly brewing in my brain, you know, the one no one will read but I secretly enjoy plotting and writing. While photography is ... Well. Let's see. A hell of a lot more interesting than every single minimum wage job ever invented? Seriously, photography is something I have no qualms "using" for financial gain, especially now that I'm fed up with the joe-job route to creative freedom. As low as my expectations regarding photography as a career might be (i.e. I have no desire to enter any of the more high-profile photography careers, like fashion or advertising), I must admit I'm not shooting for the Walmart Official Family Photographer position. Nope. I'm not sure what I'm shooting for, and I think this lack of expectation and focus is liberating especially when I consider how convoluted my writing hopes can become. Photography seems so much more straight forward and simple compared to words, so incredibly vocal in a silent way. Not to demean photography. That's not what I'm trying to communicate. I guess it's the wordlessness of the business that appeals to this aspiring writer. So, click, click. Three months from now, I'll be back in school. Ouch. And working almost full-time to boot. Double ouch. Better get my sleep when I can.

Posted 10:00 PM:: Home:: Guestbook

___________ Saturday, May 24, 2003
If it's not neighbours playing video games on systems hooked up to a super thud-thud stereo system in the evening or other neighbours home-repairing away with their Black & Decker power tools early in the morning, it's the neighbourhood cats in scrhowling heat at three in the morning.

How the hell am I supposed to get any uninterrupted sleep?

Posted 9:49 PM:: Home:: Guestbook

___________ Monday, May 12, 2003
Sundays are for slumber, strolls, sweethearts and dinner.

After sleeping in, we decided to wander up to Mont-Royal to buy salmon filets and fixings for a new (to us) tradition: Sunday dinner. About a month ago, after realizing how much time we spent together but how little of it was quality, i.e. no distracting film, TV, internet, books, etc., time, we decided to pick one day a week when we turn off or turn away from all-that-distracts and make a nice dinner after which we'd go for a stroll and maybe a movie. What a way to end/start the week.

I remember my mom stressing over and equally emphasizing the importance of the family sitting down and sharing a meal, that without moments like these, family was but a word. She'd slave away for hours making from absolute scratch a roast or meatloaf or burek or some other always filling, but not necessarily savoury, meal, usually more than enough to feed a small army and keep this family of four in leftovers for two days. After escaping to university and then travels and faraway cities, I forgot about those Sunday dinners, and I especially forgot about them when my parents divorced. Nostalgia, for me, belonged in the nightmare lane of the memory superhighway.

Then, I began to take note of all those now cliched images of ethnic families sitting round a large table buckling under the weight of all that food, securely blanketed in intimacy, real or supposed; while films, like Chocolat, featuring that one scene of gastronomical ecstasy en masse, with the neighbours and pets thrown in for good measure, held my attention for longer, beckoning me to reconsider the way I/we live.

Now it's me in the kitchen on Sundays, not quite slaving, more like experimenting with the restrictions of my diet, but mostly playing, with an emphasis on taste and minimal leftovers (and even minimal mess) so to create a delectable dish. Except this particular Sunday, when we'd slumbered too long and were starving during the shopping, almost fainting on our way to Bolduc's to grab a quick bite to eat, thus ruining our appetite. Best laid plans, and all that.

My mom's a wise woman. She deserves a happy mother's day every day.

As for those salmon filets, tonight's their night.

Posted 12:02 PM:: Home:: Guestbook

___________ Monday, May 05, 2003
Busy reading. Lol.

Posted 10:56 PM:: Home:: Guestbook

___________ Saturday, May 03, 2003
Writing, writing, thinking, decision-making, working, reading, writing, online shopping, decison-making, reading, and listening to muchos music: Blonde Redhead, American Analog Set, Be Good Tanyas, Robert Johnson, Red House Painters, Modest Mouse, That Dog... Happy weekend everybody everywhere.

Posted 10:54 PM:: Home:: Guestbook

___________ Thursday, May 01, 2003
Grey rain and cups of vanilla green tea, my company during my web travels:

Georges Jeanclos

Posted 12:05 PM:: Home:: Guestbook


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