(A Random Post)

An Exhausting Vacation

Chips Ahoy! – The Hold Steady

The problem with writing during these long breaks, aside from the ever present axiom of “if you’re living your life, you find yourself with no time to write about it”, is that events start to pile up in your mind and you keep telling yourself that you should sit down and dedicate a post to each of them. Rarely does that happen and you usually end up sitting around doing nothing and letting all these good ideas slowly vanish. Here is the residue of the last three or four weeks.


If you had told me that the Toronto Raptors would be four games under .500 after 29 games I would have definitely believed you. Thus, if you had told me they would be leading the Atlantic Division after 29 games I would have definitely not believed you. And yet, somehow both statements are true.


Seeing Emily Haines again was wonderful. I think from now on I shall refer to her as Emily in these posts. I don’t know any Emilys, but I would like to. Emily’s voice is so pretty. There isn’t much of a difference between listening to her songs live and listening to the record, especially since she plays the songs in album order every time, but there is something special about seeing and hearing her live. She definitely has presence and I find her heroin-chic build surprisingly attractive.


I finally got to play Natasha’s song for her. It was fulfilling. The moment was far from perfect as I’d like to have played it for her and maybe some of her friends or something. Plus, we’d just come back from watching Charlotte’s Web (good movie) and I was feeling more like a nap than a performance. There was some “hype” around the occasion as well as it had been a couple of years since I first told her that I would be working on a song about her. That two years breaks down into about a year and a half of not thinking about it, a few months of working on a song which I ended up scrapping and about one week of real, genuine writing that came to me as if of its own will. The creation was probably more enjoyable than the unveiling, but she was happy with it and that’s good enough for me.

She spent the rest of the night watching Beauty And The Geek and complaining about her boyfriend, El Carlos (I added the “El”). Apparently El Carlos is unfunny, is not intimate enough for her and has no ambition. They have been dating for about six months now and she sees no end in sight even though she is apparently sticking with him because she feels sorry for him. She insists it has nothing to do with a fear of being alone, but I’m skeptical. Maybe the situation isn’t so bad and she just needed to get all that out of her system. Maybe she went to see him the next day and everything was fine.

It warrants mentioning that most of the night was spent with the two of us sharing a couch (head to toe of course) and a blanket. I was also constantly asked to bring her various food stuffs and seemingly always when I was getting comfortable. In between trips to the fridge and cursing myself for being such a push-over, I attempted to take solace in the belief that this is all part of my endless boyfriend training. That helps me sleep at night.


New Year’s Eve wasn’t as interesting as last year (see Big Al Post #147: New), but that was a good thing. It was kind of Winnie, Lee and Julius (who all know each other through the same friend) to invite me to come downtown, but I went to chill with the fam instead. That’s right, as much as I complain about having to see my family every other week, I decided I’d be happiest spending time with them instead of going downtown with a large group of people and getting rained on. I’ve never done the downtown thing, but I imagine my usual search for someone to kiss on New Year’s Eve would be multiplied tenfold if I was forced to share that experience with the denizens of Toronto. Besides, I could bring my Xbox 360 to my cousin’s house so it was as good as staying home, which is something I really want to do one year.


I am grateful that people occasionally choose to come to me for advice on various problems in their lives. That has occured often enough over the last few weeks. I’d like to say that my wisdom has enlightened the existences of all who come before me, but the truth is that I’ve been so screwed up in the head lately (for reasons that I can’t even fully comprehend) that any advice I might have to give is essentially useless. Frankly, I’ve been selfish lately. It’s one thing to not give advice, it’s another thing to not WANT to give advice and it’s another thing entirely to give BAD advice. I’ve been doing (or not doing) all three of those things. Last Friday was bad. I took this four hour nap after our little high school reunion (which was, in truth, a lot of fun) and that was one of the highlights of my holiday. I just wanted to shut down from the rest of the world. I feel guilty about that, but there it is. The other highlight was this brief fifteen minute walk I took to Shirley’s house the other day. It was raining a little and I was listening to Stars and Rachael Yamagata and all that jazz. I was at peace. That’s all I seem to want these days.

These are not my best moments.

Just falling–I’ll never forget the terror. When suddenly I remember, “Holy shit. Hansel…haven’t you been smoking peyote for six straight days and couldn’t some of this maybe be in your mind?”
It was. I was totally fine. I’ve never even been to Mt. Vesuvius.



Destined to fight the world's evil, The WAMBAG endures massive battles involving impossible stunts, races on horse-pulled carriages, and the desecration of enchanting medieval castles (all done with dizzying computer graphics). Not only does the eye candy keep on coming, the tongue-in-cheek writing and deep Transylvanian accents perfect the film with a dose of dark humor.



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