Like

I have been picking up the guitar lately. And my uncoordinated strumming and singing has been the most productive thing I’ve done all week. Everything else feels like garbage.

I live in a space, inside the earth, with someone who gets angry a lot. I’m talking like 10-20 times a day. I usually almost always say, “You like to get angry.” They like it a lot. Otherwise why do they do it.

And no matter how many times I say this, it seems to fly over their head. They blame me or an event or a thing. No, it’s not any of those. It’s them. They like getting angry.

Whatever shitty thing you like to do to yourself or other people, be it anger or something else just stop. Stop liking it. Stop enjoying it.

Pick up a fucking guitar/knitting/person, and like it instead.

Meat less Poems

Poems. What the fuck are they.
I use to write them, and I have no idea how anymore.

It’s been 7 meat less days. And I’ve discovered I really love tofu nuggets from Kinton Ramen. It doesn’t feel like I’m missing anything. I guess meat never gave me that much fulfillment if I don’t even miss it. I miss the idea of meat, but not the actual thing.

Tofu will never replace meat. It can imitate it in a thousand ways on a thousand different days but it will never be the real thing. The real thing is terrible. And it shouldn’t be sought after as the ideal. Tofu is better off being like tofu.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, you are tofu. You are better off being tofu. Stop trying to be meat. Just be tofu. It’s not the worst thing in the world to be tofu.

Someone out there loves tofu, in its original blubber form. Go be tofu in full force, it will tickle that someone to the bones.

 

 

Millennials

I see a lot of millennials dismay over the state of their lives. Depreciating the good, and honouring the bad. It’s the norm. I always want to ask them, how is making fun of your life going to help change it?

I’m not here to say that I’m any better. But if I was, I would advise, take an interest in the world around you. Talk to someone new. Elevate your tolerance for your own bullshit.

Do something different.

Your world is not the problem. You are. And you can over come.

 

Pretty Girls

I am loved. By at least one person this I’m now sure of. It keeps me on the straight and narrow. I was at work, when an AD told me, ‘you’re pretty you know.’ Thanks, I thought I was an ugly butthole with a fist up my arse but I guess I’ll let you convinced me otherwise. He’s too old to be hitting on me. Way too old. He shows me pictures of girls he wants to bang. This type of thing happens to me a lot. I’m not wearing make up and my hair is Goku.

He asks me, if I have a husband. I tell him no. He asks why.
I stare into his eyes and whisper, “I’m a monster.”

He freaks out. I feel better.

Quote

“And I think about the work that I do as a designer. It’s my job to make things for other people. I get hired by somebody to make something and then that gets given to someone else. There’s three steps there already, and then if I do my job and people love that, they share it with someone else. So there’s potentially more steps after that, so how can I think about my job as anything other than giving a gift. […] And those are the times when the work is the best and the times that it’s not like that I feel awful inside. Because I’m not making mix tapes for people. My work so often as a designer that has eaten away at me has been to realize that my role has frequently been to generate desire in other people and to make them want. And the reason that I’m so prone to want to look at the work that I do from now on as a gift is because a gift offers the promise of satiating that desire in some way. So maybe if I can short circuit the system somehow. Design is just a skill and we all get the benefit of how we choose to use our skills.” – Frank Chimero

Change | Be

I learned something this week.  I was in class yesterday and my teacher, Karen was noting character study for plays, films and TV. She mentioned this to us, ‘Archetypes are characters who evolve. They have revelations, they change, and they move on to the next part in their journey. Stereotypes are characters who don’t. They learn the same lesson every week but the very next week they make the exact same dumb mistakes they made the week before. They don’t change. Sitcoms are full of these’. I didn’t think much of it at the time but now it’s become something to chew on.

It reminds me of the previous week’s class, where another teacher Sean was answering a student asking for help with change. He delivered his own version of the four stages of competence. It went something like this. ‘The first level of awareness is when you make a mistake on stage and your friends point it out. Even then you can’t recall and aren’t aware of when you’re doing it. The second level is when you make a mistake on stage and you realize it after you step off stage. The third level of awareness is when you make a mistake and immediately realize it. And then the final stage of awareness is when you are about to make a mistake but you make the realization before the action happens. You’re able to stop and correct yourself. If someone has the realization immediately after their mistake, that is great! It means you’re almost there. The next time, or maybe the next time after that, you will be able to do it. You will break the default reflex. You are this close.’ At which point my teacher made a squinty pirate face while gesturing a tiny gap with his right hand.

Both of the lessons have been thought-provoking and enhanced clarity about the material I’m learning. The four plays being studied this term each have a main couple who are detrimental stereotypes. Each couple closely represents the four stages of competence. For the most tragic dynamic, the male lead believes he is a good person who saves damsels and helps others. However the exact opposite is true and he ultimately ruins both his and his lover’s life. When I see tragic stereotypes like this, people who never change, it makes me deeply curious about my own consciousness. Have I changed? How have I changed? Do I raise the consciousness of others? Am I someone who supports the maintenance of change for others? Some people never change and some do but don’t sustain it. The plays have reinforced the idea to me that pure awareness is not enough. There needs to be a support system to make freeing changes last. Friends, lovers, and mentors should be made with decisive intelligence. A person’s circle of influence is often the threshold for permitting change from who they are to who they could be.

Quote

“Everybody has a story, this is part of my story and it has made me who I am. Never feel embarrassed or ashamed of any trails you’ve endured.”

Woman at Finch Subway

Before all of the photos and videos and nonsense goes viral, I hope that I can provide a different perspective from someone who was there at the incident.

On Friday, September, 26th around 10pm an elderly white lady with spiky short white and gray hair wearing a long black dress began shouting “This is bullshit, this is bullshit”. She shouted this in the subway on the top platform where buses are loaded and departed. People began looking at her. Soon she walked up to a young pair of individuals and did something that cause the crowd to roar. I was curious but I didn’t want to be involved. I didn’t want to look in case I saw something  I couldn’t unsee.

She began walking around, dancing. She was surrounded and it was hard to see what she was doing but it was lewd enough that young adults with cell phones in hand were video recording and picture snapping.

I don’t plan to make excuses for her. She might have been in her right mind but through the glimpses that I did see it was very possible that she was drunk or mentally ill. In any case the laughing, the smart phone waving, the pointing and talking was enough to make me wish it would stop, or that I wasn’t there.

She’s a human being. To me she looked like someone who needed help. We always talk about mental health, especially in Toronto. There are CAMH (Center for Addiction and Mental Health) bus ads and Bell Let’s talk billboards to promote against the sigma of mental illness and raise donations for mental health issues. However when it comes down to the facts, and to the face to face incidents like this, everyone laughs. They photograph. They instagram. Young black men standing near me were throwing dirty drink cups at her, half empty bubble teas and dark roast Tim Horton cups. When they ran out they fished more from the TTC garbage.

It took me about 10-15 minutes before I saw a TTC driver on the phone in his stationary bus that it dawned on me I could tell him what’s happening. I could help. I wanted to help her. I didn’t want to be recorded. Even if I was recorded helping her, I wouldn’t have known what to do once I reached her face to face. If she wouldn’t come down from the bench. If she refused to stop dancing.

The TTC driver informed me he was already calling it in. I got off his bus to return to waiting for my own when a woman strode towards me. She was middle age, Indian and had the look of motherly worry that told me she too was thinking of reporting what was happening inside the station. We talked briefly. I asked her if the woman in question had been flashing people with her chest. She confirmed to me she had.

Eventually my bus came and I saw that the crowd had dissipated as I got on. I thought that getting on the bus meant I could just forget all about the incident and push it aside in my mind. I sat in the back, in the first top row. A woman quickly sat down next to me. She chatted very excitedly with whoever was on the other side of the line. She was speaking in her own language but I was beginning to fear that she was talking about what had happened. She giggled and squealed as she spoke.  Then when she finished she happily looked through her phone, confirming to me I was right. There were pictures of the incident on her phone.

Fuck.
Do I say something.

I really wanted to tell her this wasn’t okay. I really didn’t want to be involved. After a few bus stops I decided I couldn’t accept staying silent. It was wrong and if that’s what I believed I should say something.

You should delete those pictures.
What?

The bus was pretty loud and full.

You should delete those pictures.
What? Why are you looking at my phone?

You should delete those pictures.
It’s none of your business. You shouldn’t be looking at my phone. It’s my phone. I have a right.
One day you’ll be drunk and people will be talking photos of you and you’ll know how it feels.
Why did you look at my phone? How would you like it if I looked through your phone.

I didn’t want to see her pictures but since she was sitting next to me everything she did was in my range of view. I almost offered her to took through my phone just to null her point. I was hoping to guilt her, or make her empathize. I knew I had upset her.

I wasn’t the only one to say something. Another guy spoke up at the station as he was getting on my bus. He looked at the air cadet smiling to himself about the whole thing. They were both Asian and looked like teenagers.

You shouldn’t be smiling you should be helping. You’re in uniform.

What if we were all in uniforms. What if we all obligated ourselves to focus on helping rather than ridiculing. Can this be possible?