misc.post

Last night Nick, Laura, and I started moving stuff into our new place. It’s awesome to finally have enough room to, you know, set up a bedroom and all that sort of stuff. Tonight we go back for the heavy lifting, and hopefully we can get everything moved out.

On the wedding front, almost everything is done. The invites are a little late, but Elyssa is making them and we’re going to hand them out in person instead of mailing them, and people are asked to reply either by phone or via email. I’ll be checking my spam pretty closely over the next while.

We’re going to Cuba on our honeymoon.

We have the location, her dress, my clothes, the minister, the pre/post-marital counselling, the guest list, the honeymoon, the new house, transportation, ushers, bridesmaids and best men, registry at Canadian Tire, and all that sort of thing.

Laura is having something like five showers for her.

Two days back Candice and Peter and Nick took us out to the West Plains Bistro (expensive but excellent food), where even though we had to wait an unacceptably long time to be served, the mean was very enjoyable. And of course me and Peter geek talked. I love geek talking! Laura locked her keys in the car while the car was running and CAA had to come rescue her.

I have just enough money right now to pay rent. I can’t wait for next week’s paycheque and oh boy am I glad that I worked this week instead of lazing around and taking it off.

Me and Karibeth have very different taste in books. This is what she said, and I agree.

This afternoon I go taste-testing with Laura at the caterers. Thank heaven we don’t have to pay for that stuff, or you’d all be having crackers and jam.

To the victor, the spoils.

To the victor, the spoils, yes? And one of those spoils is the ability to rewrite the struggle to something other than what it is. Moral superiority. A peace-loving people pushed to the brink by towering foes. A divine call. A regretful but necessary chain of events. Fate. Genetic superiority.

This is why the conquered must be assimilated. Not simply ruled, but assimilated until they have accepted the victor’s version of events, until a few generations forward, their children don’t even know their stories.

They must share your narrative. Or else your narrative is in danger, and if your narrative, then your empire.

This is why we lie to ourselves, sometimes. Because we are inventing a story about this and that to make sense of it, to put it in a particular order, to calm ourselves and believe in structure.

There is a structure to things, yes, but very rarely is it obvious; even then it is good to doubt your own perception. Structure is a thing of belief, yes, despite what you see.

Empires, nations, states, cities, and people all share this. The narrative that we suggest is the cause when really it is simply the effect.

The founders of the USA, for instance, are not the godlike figures that grace history books today: they were complex individuals with mostly economic motivations. The Boston Tea Party was not some great moral statement: it was an instinctive lashing out against monopoly. The War for Independence was not a sweeping revolution borne of righteousness and godly vigour: it was and always will be just another war in a world with a long history of wars, and like every war, it changed the face of history.

The founders of Rome, to give another example, may have been bringing culture to all points of the world, and peace, but their unshaken belief in the superiority of the Roman way of life was, simply, misplaced. They went their way and now the barbarians rule the world.

And no matter what they may have thought of themselves–along with the Egyptians, the Sumerians, the Babylonians, the Greeks, the Japanese, the Germans–history is unerringly critical. We do not share their narrative.

The spoils are short-lived.

Personal narratives have, in my experience, an even shorter shelf-life. When you ask “why” and invent an answer to that question, remember this; remember that there will come a day when all illusions fail, like you always knew they would.

I can answer to this, because I have created many stories. I’m good at it, really. I may not have the patience for writing anything longer than a few paragraphs, but I am possessed of certain ability to obsess about motivations.

My own, for instance, are not often clear. There are things I suspect, and other things that I have just begun to smell out, but they are like looking in a mirror and not understanding what I am seeing. This is my face, yes it is, but the cone of vision is not large enough: I can focus on a point and it escapes me quickly.

This itself is my narrative, you see. I am telling a story where I am good at telling stories about everyone but myself. But again, this is not entirely true; I am, like the Romans, not quite what I say I am.

Once, when I was young, I punched a hole in the bathroom wall. My parents have laboured under the delusion that I slipped on a wet floor ever since it happened, as that is what I told them happened, and despite themselves, they believed me. This is, of course, not what happened. I simply saw a wall and punched my fist through it.

Can you imagine the stories I came up with? I do not like things that hold me back. I abhor boundaries. I belong in the outdoors, a noble savage. I was angry and could not contain my rage. I went momentarily insane. I will become a boxer. More.

In retrospect things become increasingly twisted until they become suddenly very simple. There was a wall. There was a fist. I wanted to see what would happen, to test the limits of the drywall.

It was not very strong.

That is a story I’ve never before told anyone but Laura. But I still find it interesting. I remember punching it like an experiment, as if I this were some sort of obscene science. Mostly I remember the hole I left and how after I had tried to patch it up it was never very strong, how it kept collapsing in on itself.

I suppose the next owners of that house found that place by accident one day. I don’t know. At this point, I don’t really care.

To the victor, the spoils, then. There’s always this question who’s won and who’s lost. Whenever anyone asks me this question, I always point at them. You.

You have won.

Well, here’s another little thing sorted.

I’ve got the apartment bit nailed down, finally. A nice little place near Dixie and Bloor in Mississauga, top floor, amenities, etc. One of the best price/benefit ratio places I think we’ve looked at yet. Thankfully, I can move in on the 12th, meaning that I can slowly transfer all my stuff out of my old place over the course of a week or so, instead of all at once.

I hope to have some sort of housewarming party a while after we’ve moved in, so you can all mark your “sometime in the future” calendars. Unless I don’t know you or don’t like you. Then you pretty much shouldn’t bother.

It’s about fifteen minutes east of where I’m living now. Pretty close to the Mississauga/Toronto border. So that means some changes, right there.

On the keeping of secrets.

Well, it turns out the old saying is true: if more than one person knows a secret, it’s no longer a secret. I hate not being able to trust people with information, but at least eventually you know who to scratch off that list. You know. That list.

Well that’s just dandy.

My landlady informed me tonight that she’s going to be using the basement for her daughter’s business ventures, and I will have to move out by the end of July.

If that isn’t some sort of sign from God, I don’t know what is.

On the topic of excuses.

Women, stop making excuses for your men. They’re not having a bad day, they didn’t wake up on the wrong side of the bed, they don’t just every once in a while do that, they’re not flawed but essentially good people, they’re not whatever excuse you’re making.

Look, sin is sin. I don’t talk about it a lot, but still, those are the facts. Whether your husband or your brother or your father or your boyfriend is having sex with animals or screaming curses and throwing stuff at the wall or beating you or constantly demeaning you, it doesn’t matter.

It comes down to whether you’re helping or hurting? Because I know this much: excuses never make anything better. You cover something up, it doesn’t go away. It grows.

I don’t have a title for this, really.

There’s pretty much nothing in the world that can destroy that last vestige of respect, that can tear away the one tiny remaining shred of hope, that can crush whatever slim aura of dignity managed to survive, that seeing a grown man act like a spoiled, petulant three-year-old. And then seeing him do that over and over and over again well into middle age.

That’ll do it, Mr Ballmer.

The simplest and easiest answer.

I found this post in my “saved but not posted” section and thought it was interesting. So here goes.

You think to yourself, there is a reason. And yes, you’re right, there is. Or maybe there isn’t and you just don’t realise it yet. That’s the obscenity of the whole thing, isn’t it? Even in these things you need to believe a reason’s out there somewhere, when the simplest and easiest answer is that there’s no answer at all.

If you turn over the coin, people suck, and people do horrible things to eachother, and people aren’t worth it. Then again, you and I aren’t so different in that we do horrible things to other people, are we? We simply do different horrible things. And while this may sound to you like a measure of equivocation, I assure you it is not. It’s the difference between throwing a brick at someone’s head and mortaring bring upon brick until someone is suffocating and must somehow escape.

Different people escape differently. There, that was equivocation. Of course, it’s still true. The truth of it doesn’t make it right, though it’s still true. Remember that. Different people escape differently. You may find yourself in a long line of people scrambling away, if you keep turning that coin over in your fingers.

I think there’s something about yourself that you don’t know. It must be, because in all the years I knew you, there was something about you didn’t know either, and I was as close to knowing you as I think anyone’s ever gotten. Do you remember talking about the distance? Was it me, or was it you? I still don’t know, and in all likelihood never will, though I’ll stop caring in a while.

I still think there’s something about yourself that you don’t know. I hope you find it, and face it. I hope you stop the dichotomy of self-love and self-hate you’ve always seemed to present.

I think to myself, there is a reason. Of course there is. Nothing never come from nothing. Or something always comes from something else. I don’t believe for a moment in things a priori. The simplest and easiest answer here is, of course, that the answer is somewhere you have yet to look.

These are a few of my favourite things.

  1. Hot coffee on a cold morning.
  2. Kisses from my honey.
  3. Warm bread dipped in olive oil spiced with bitter herbs.
  4. Sinking into bed after a long, hard day of work.
  5. Friends. Either way you want to take that.
  6. City lights at night.
  7. Writing in a coffee shop, even though my comp sucks.
  8. A good book, way too late.
  9. The UK.
  10. A park in the middle of the city.
  11. New York.
  12. Games of Scrabble with people better than me.
  13. Hearing you laugh.

For those of you wondering…

I’m giving up my residential phone line and number for a reason, yes. That reason is I’m on a cost-cutting kick right now and I figure I can shave off $30 or so from my expenses each month by not actually having a land line. It also lets me have a cell phone (something I’ve dearly, dearly needed for a long time now). All I have to do now is convince my work that I need a cell phone, and I’m pretty much scott-free, as long as none of my cow-orkers read this.

This is why I’m also not taking showers anymore.

Hah. I’m just kidding.

Or… am I?