Wednesday, 19 April 2006

Easter Weekend with a bunch of letters

On Good Friday I got an air filter for my car and went to New Jersey to visit P. The ride down was uneventful. I stopped in Watertown at the Salmon Run mall for food and American money.
     I knew I was planning on going to Princeton University to take a couple of pictures of the buildings used on the show House and I saw some very redneck t-shirts and hats at Spencer’s in the Salmon Run, so I picked up a “redneck ensemble” to wear when I visited the campus. I enjoyed having my still-fairly-new-and-a-novelty iPod hooked to my car stereo. I listened to the Luthor Wright and the Wrongs album Rebuilding the Wall, which is an extremely amusing countrified version of the Pink Floyd album (“that one looks squeamish, and there’s a raccoon! Who let all this wildlife into the room?”) Then I listened to Neil Young’s After the Goldrush album. 
     My energy levels flagged a bit toward suppertime, so I got a Monster energy drink, put on White Zombie (and my redneck hat) and got the rest of the way there. Paula had a friend over, and we hung out. 
     Saturday we went to the beach and sunned ourselves, then went to Princeton and toured around there, took pictures and narrowly missed watching Thank You For Smoking, a movie based on a book I enjoyed and didn’t think anyone would know, let alone make into a movie, and then we picked up N, newly in from New York, to hang out more. 
    Princeton has an awful lot of young guys dressed like businessmen on their weekend off, and each seemed accompanied by a matching guy, or a ludicrously hot girl in an extremely short “skirt.” The ugliness of the guy’s horizontally striped golf shirts and other pastel, middle-aged stuff always seemed to be balanced perfectly proportionately by the hotness of outfits worn by the girls with them. After returning to P’s, sitting on the roof, drinking wine and talking about the future of the Christian Church and stuff like that, we called it a night. 
Sunday we walked along the river, then went back almost all the way to Princeton to walk around by the canal, then went to New Brunswick NJ for tacos in an authentic Mexican joint (I like Horchata, which is a kind of cinnamony rice milk drink over ice). For the evening, we watched an episode of House and the Classic Albums Dark Side Of The Moon documentary while I made chicken egg fu yung (the “boneless, skinless chicken thighs” I’d bought were actually chicken breasts with the bone still in), then went to sleep at a decent hour. I’d offered to drive N back to Pennsylvania on my way back to Canada (which should only be three additional hours) so we turned in relatively early. 
The next day P went to work and N and I walked to the train station to pick up N’s brother M, who was coming along for the Pennsylvania trip. The car battery turned out to be dead and we had no way to contact P. 
P’s room mate (who I’d never met, but recognized from a picture) arrived back just in time to give my car battery a boost and send us on our way. Foolishly, we allowed N to navigate for a while until we were nicely lost for over an hour, then we bought a map and M took over. 
We ended up being held up in traffic just over the Pennsylvania border due to what turned out to be construction and also a bad accident involving a pair of tractor trailers which had smashed right through a concrete median barricade and lit on fire. We got 15 miles in 4 hours, adding approximately 3 hours to the extra 3 hours I’d gotten myself into, on top of the 7.5 hours I had ahead of me to get back home anyway. 
During the time spent watching construction work and arguing as to the gender of the revolting person in the car in front of us, we listened to the ‘Pod some more, covering some of my old songs, Led Zeppelin (put on to appease the lads, who like the LZ quite a bit) and then we really enjoyed Johnny Cash’s Live From Folsom Prison a great deal, as we’d all seen “Walk the Line” a few months back. 
I got the lads dropped in Pennsylvania by suppertime and headed back to Canada between 6 and 7pm. By midnight, I was wilting badly, so I took an hour’s nap in my car at a rest stop, drank another Monster energy drink and put The Cars on loudly and got home in time for an hour and half’s sleep before going in to school to teach.

Tuesday, 11 April 2006

How To Get A Mate

1. Make sure you don't really have time for one
2. Have enough money to spend on one, but have plans to spend it in other ways
3. Never be alone at any time
4. Focus on the negative aspect of the opposite sex, but don't mean it deep down
5. Give the impression that you could have anyone you want, but that you don't want anyone
6. Tell everyone that you're "not looking"
7. Assume that every person looking at the Internet (at any time) is fat
8. Project all of the above (a disinterested, busy, affluent, surrounded by people, vaguely disrespectful of the opposite sex air)

Sunday, 2 April 2006

A Silly Ensugared Saturday

I was determined to not do a whole lot of nothing again this Saturday. I needed a plan to get away from the computer, and out of the apartment where the cat, uncomfortable with his bladder stone, is peeing several times daily on the (covered) futon. I picked up J, who doesn’t get out much either, and took him to the Parliament buildings in Ottawa, somewhere he’s never been. Usually Canadian gents take girls there of an evening, but J and I went in the afternoon, as we don’t have girls. We climbed around on the locks and pilings, looked at boats and stuff, and climbed up the stairs at the back of Parliament Hill. We took silly photos of us molesting the statuary. J felt there was symbolism in the fact that the cannon had a padlock hanging off the end of the barrel. After Parliament Hill, we went to “Sugar Mountain” and bought bags of candy. Then we went to the Elgin Street Diner, where I had a beef dip sandwich (and had to remind them to bring me something to dip the beef dip sandwich in) and J had a cheeseburger.
     We sat next to two scrawny girlie-girls, the boyfriend of one of which appeared to be gay. What I overheard of their conversation reminded me how much I don’t relate to girlie girls. They were all “OMG I’m going to cut my hair all off like that girl in that commercial, y’know? The one with Harvest Wheat highlights? But I HAVE to lose weight ‘cause short hair makes you look fat if you’re fat, y’know? And I’ve been eating stuff all week. I’m looking forward to the day when I say ‘Y’know what? A salad would taste really good right now’” she said as she ate her onion rings. She and her compatriot were very ordinary, not a thing wrong with their looks; so they were both trying to make something right with their looks through immaculate over styling. It was a failure. They were both completely unremarkable apart from being high maintenance and shallow. They were fancy and boring. The accoutrements were fancy, the upkeep was fancy, but the girls were themselves bland when they weren’t being annoying.
     I saw a girl with no makeup walking down the sidewalk like a newly-freed panther who these two couldn’t dream of aspiring to be like. I realize I am simply not attracted to plain girls or fancy girls. I'm also not attracted to girls who handicap their appeal to men by "cutting all their hair off" because that is to me like an amputation of glamour. I’m only attracted to plain girls who have some hint of “zing” to them, or fancy girls who have some hint of “real” to them, neither of which is very common. Fortunately there are many girls between those extremes. It’s not like there’s ever any shortage of girls who are physically interesting. The confluence of physically interesting (what I’d need in order to want to make them not platonic friends) and being worthwhile human beings with levels, complexity and brains is what is rare. Those type don’t stay single. Then we went to the Elgin Video Station, which is decorated with antique televisions, radios and movie cameras, as well as worn costumes and used props from films. J got a Jaws poster, which made him happy.
     Then we went to Future Shop, so J could waste his paycheck on stupid DVDs he’ll likely sell to the pawnshop in a week’s time. Then we came back to my place to look at the photos and funny stuff from When I was driving Jay home around midnight, a police car followed us from Almonte to Carleton Place, then pulled us over. The cop wandered up to our car, whistling, and determined that we weren’t the bad people from my street that he thought we were. Then I came back here and typed this.