Friday, 29 July 2011

Holy Something....

The other day I was thinking about the Bible and how it's really a bunch of notes that people found in the mud by a lake and decided to throw together in one book for erm...various reasons.  Some stuff they found got put in, some got left out, all of it got fancifully translated and I'm sure there were probably deaths involved in the process.  I mean, this is organized religion so I'm sure SOMEONE had to die.  I then started thinking about what sort of books would be in a bible written right now but pieced together from bubble-gum wrappers in a few thousand years.  In that spirit, and in order to save future theologians some time, I've started a list of books I think should be included in the "new" Holy Bible, to be published, oh, sometime in the 23rd or 24th century...

Right off the bat I'd like to get the same guy to do a few chapters.  My suggestion is George Carlin.  He wrote "Napalm &Silly Putty", "Brain Droppings" and "When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops?"  I figure that alone is enough to build a theology on, but just to mix it up a little let's throw in some Kevin Smith too, maybe "Silent Bob Speaks" or "My Boring-Ass Life".  That should fatten up the philosophy section of the new Bible.  Of course we need some good mythical stories involving giants and floods and whatnot as well, So I'm thinking we should also incorporate some fantasy novels.  Perhaps excerpts from George R.R. Martin's "Game Of Thrones"?  Clearly we can't put the whole thing in, no one will have the attention span, but just a chapter or two might add nicely to the mix. 

Anyway you get the idea....if I explain in paragraph why I want every one of these books in the new bible this blog will be 10,000 words so for the rest here's a quick list:

- "Hotel New Hampshire" by John Irving (Job-like story of suffering)
-"American Gods" by Neil Gaiman (add some, you know, Gods...)
-"The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test"  by Tom Wolfe (maybe to replace Solomon?)
-"Fight Club" by Chuck Palahniuk (Why not?)
-"Girlfriend in a Coma" by Douglas Coupland (relateable with some good end-times prophecies - could work as our Daniel)
-"Brave New World" by Aldous Huxley (more chilling prophecies!)

Well that should do it for story time, BUT we need a central figure a la Jesus to wrap all this around.  I haven't read them personally, but those Harry Potter books seem pretty popular so I'll put him up as the "messiah" of the new bible.  He has a similar story-arc.  Of course we might have to imply that he died and was resurrected.  Oh throw in "The Hellbound Heart" by Clive Barker too to scare people into behaving.  It's working so well, why stop?  

Of course we're also gonna need some random songs...hymns if you will....the original Bible has a few chapters of that.  I suggest transcribing maybe Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" and possibly some Beatles.  "White Album" springs to mind.  Of course if I was there I'd want to throw in songs from "August and Everything After" by Counting Crows too.  Why not?

I'd also include some biographies so it all looks official.  Maybe 2 different John Lennon biographies, one that paints him favorably and one that paints him as a mysoginistic ass?  That'll help people have something for theological debate.  I'd also include the biography of wrestler Mick Foley (gladiator!) and perhaps of actress Carrie Fisher.  We need a girl in here and again, some real life people to mix in with the fiction will only add to our credibility.

Finally, since this is the future I think we need a little mixed media.  Therefore I would like to submit the episode of South Park called "Super Best Friends" to add a tie in to present day gods.  Also, for our final, Revelation-like chapter, I can't think of anything better than graphic novel "The Watchmen" by Alan Moore.  Who watches the Watchmen?  Why, no one, my good man.

Now you know.  Anything you want to contribute?  We need to get about shredding them into non-sensical bits and pieces of books and burying them down by the lake to be discovered and redefined in the upcoming millenia!  The people of the future are counting on us for all their spiritual needs!!!  Or hey, make your own bible and then my people can fight a bloody millennium-spanning war with your people for dominance!  Good times!!!

Friday, 22 July 2011

Jessica's Eyes

I couldn't let this day go by without commemorating it....a day that will live in infamy....she's left on a jet plane and doesn't know when she'll be back again...

I loved her though she was so young
So sure to break my heart
I wanted her even as I felt us drift apart
I needed her, the only one
to see through my disguise
I won't forget the light I felt
Within Jessica's eyes

I cannot write a love song
Without becoming tragedy
I don't know how to feel this loss
In any other way
But how I, I love her
What I feel
Should come as no surprise
I'll never lose the love I felt
Within Jessica's eyes

I miss her smile, I miss her sense
Enfolded in my arms
I can't forget the way she felt
Can't let go of her charms
I see her now, I hear her laugh
Mysterious and wise
I'd die a hundred thousand deaths yet live
Within Jessica's eyes

I never felt a bond so deep
Connection so profound
As with this child, this woman now
A girl both lost and found
I loved her then, I always will
Should come as no big surprise
I lost myself, I found myself
Within Jessica's eyes

I lost myself I found myself again
Within Jessica's eyes......

Thursday, 21 July 2011


Just a short blog on what some are saying could be the hottest day in Toronto, EVER.  Crazy.  Everyone I've seen today looks like they are on the verge of melting and I am reminded of the old Twilight Zone episode where the Earth is drifting slowly towards the sun, every day getting hotter until all life on Earth goes up in flames.  Yikes!  Time to find something to do to cool down.

Today's also the last day my friend Jessica's in town.  I'm driving her to the airport tonight/tomorrow morning.  Hope the plane doesn't burst into flames from the heat....

So I just finished reading "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test" by Tom Wolfe for the first time this week.  I'm not going to do a whole review, but I have some thoughts.  If you don't know, this is the story of Ken "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest" Kesey and his buddies, the "Merry Pranksters."  They were basically (as the book tells it) responsible for the psychedelic movement of the 1960's.  Anyway the book is fascinating.  I recommend it.

The thing about it is, well, their mission was noble.  They wanted to take the human experience further and bring people to a new level of consciousness.  I'm all for it.  They had two tenets that I really relate to.  Here I'll let Kesey explain it...

"All of us are beginning to do our thing, and we're going to keep doing it, right out front, and none of us are going to deny what other people are doing....Everybody is going to be what they are, and whatever they are, there's not going to be anything to apologize about.  What we are, we're going to wail with on this whole trip." 

Basically Kesey wanted everyone to be as honest as possible and also for everyone else not to give them a hard time about it.  Be totally open with thoughts and feelings.  Totally out front man.  I like it.

Of course it didn't work.  They forgot that a lot of people are in it just to hurt others.  Sucks.  Still, it's an interesting ride.  Or should I say, what a long, strange trip it's been...

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Second Quarter Round-Up

In my excitement to post the first chapter of the story I'm working on I neglected to mention that we are now officially half-way through 2011!  Summertime's here!  I know, I know, I'm surprised to have lived this long as well.  Where's my hover board??

Anyway so let's see how we're doing for the year.  You may recall I made a list of resolutions at the beginning of the year (found HERE) and of course followed up with a 3 month summary (found HERE).  So how am I doing so far??  

1. Lose at least 10 pounds

I started this year at around 185 pounds and wanted to lose 10.  As of this morning I weigh 156 pounds.  Mission F'n' Accomplished!!!  I mean, I accomplished the 10 pound thing by March and still wanted another 10 gone.  Now I've lost 30 in the year.  I actually still wouldn't mind going for yet ANOTHER 10, but I think it may be a lost cause since I'm also determined to quit smoking before my 35th birthday (next January) and that may cause me to gain back 10 to 30 pounds if I succeed.  However it is nice to see both my waist and ribs again.  Hopefully this will be a lasting trend.  I'm not dieting, but I've changed my eating habits and my lifestyle in general so I think it shouldn't be too hard to keep it up.
2. Make a more significant effort to free myself of debt (minimum payments are not enough!)

Paid off another $2850.00 this quarter.  Not as much as I would like but I had some other expenses what with the new TV and the trip and stuff. All that stuff I talk about every week comes with a price tag!   I do hope to make up this deficiency with an extra $1000.00 this quarter as well as the minimum payments +1000 that I want to do regularly.  Regardless of how much gets paid at what time, I still believe I am on track to be debt free by Christmas, 2012.  We shall see....  

3. Write more (at least get 2 blogs a month in)

I`d say this is going rather swimmingly.  I`ve gotten at least 1 blog a week in all year, written a song or 3, and written 3000 words on a fiction piece (most of which I posted at the beginning of the month starting HERE). I anticipate that story continuing to at least around the 10,000 word mark if not further.  Chapter 2 is completely a flashback to 3 years earlier.  If I can keep the story alive in my head long enough to get it on paper, perhaps I`ll share more.

4. Learn some more difficult songs on guitar (sometimes 3 chords is NOT enough!)

I`ve picked up a few songs.  I still am not practising enough.  I`ve only been to the beach ONCE so far.  Must. Rectify. Situation!!!

5. Be more adventurous. (I'm going to NYC this September. With or without company.)

I think that I have been more adventurous.  I also think that I`ll postpone the NYC trip.  Again, finances deem it improbable.  I spent too much money on other things.  I may change my mind but we`ll see.  I have, however, done some pretty wacky things locally that I wouldn`t have dreamed of doing even a year ago.  This "be more adventurous" is such a subjective resolution that in a way I feel that I fail if I DON`T make it to NYC but in a lot of smaller ways I feel I`ve passed.  Well, there`s still another 6 months so we`ll see where the road takes us.

Do I have anything else to add?  I will say that I've been feeling a lot more upbeat about my situation in the last few months.  I've been pretty happy, all things considered.  My decision to forget about even bothering to date has actually made me super happy with my life the way it is.  I walk around smugly and laugh at those of my acquaintances that have to snap to it when the girlfriend calls.   Of course if someone comes along and sweeps me off my feet then they'll have the last laugh...but somehow I don't see that happening.  At least not any time soon.

The biggest change coming up for third quarter is that one of my best friends is moving out of the province.  She says it'll only be for a few months.  I've heard that before...

 Good luck darlin'!  Like the man says....have a good life.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

A Novel Proposal: Chapter 1, Part 3

Ok here's the final part for a while.  Parts 1 and 2 are found HERE and HERE.  Enjoy!
           "Choose," he says.  I say nothing.  I embrace him.  

            When asked to describe myself, I will usually claim to have black hair.  I don't really.  My hair is dark; it has some black in it.  It also has brown and red and grey in varying shades.  It's an uncontrolled mish-mash of colour, clean but untamable.  His hair is true black.  Less a colour than a complete absence of both colour and light.  His hair is long, waist-length, and gathered into a loose ponytail at the base of his neck.  It flows out sinuously in the breeze, moving like a living void.  I stare, fascinated.  His garb is also black, glossy and polished like leather and chromed steel, form fitting and imposing.  In contrast, the skin on his hands and his face is startlingly white, blindingly white and ill-defined.  His face is unlined, mere hint of a nose, thin tight lips stretched over predator’s mouth, grinning, all teeth, almost cartoon-like in its simplicity.  It is hard to focus on his face, hard to comprehend his reality.  Only his eyes betray any colour, and they are too colourful, an over-bright, super-saturated green.  They are the colour of nuclear waste in a cartoon world.  They seem to glow as he gazes at me.  He cradles me like a babe in his arms. 
            "What are you?" I ask him.
            "It does not matter now," he replies. "Choose your fate."

            I gaze into his too-bright eyes and my pulse quickens.  Fresh, bright blood gushes with renewed vigor from the ugly gash on my forearm.  I feel a sense of familiarity yet again as I look upon this inexplicable creature.  I wonder how long he may have been standing beside me, just over my shoulder, waiting unnoticed.  The hail is falling heavily now, pelting the world with renewed violence.

           "Will you show me the way?” I ask meekly, "Do you have the answers?"  I don't realize I'm speaking until I hear my own voice.  He smiles all the wider.
            "I am the way, the truth without light."
            "I'm dying."
            "Believe in me, and though you are dead, yet shall you live."  He snorts derisively.  The irony is not lost on me.  Regardless, all I have left now is curiosity.  I've always despised the unanswered question.
            "Fine," I say.  "Show me."
            "You choose me?" he asks.  One hint of a barely perceptible eyebrow cocks inquisitively on his strange, supernatural face. 
            "I choose you," I reply.

            He raises the still bleeding wound on my wrist almost reverentially to his lips.  His eyes seem aflame as all that is left within me is drained away.  The world turns white, except for his eyes.  Coolly, with a casual aloofness, he claims his prize.  Time stops.  I close my eyes.

            A moment or an eternity later my eyes fly open.  A cold so cold it burns stretches through every vein, every nerve, and every molecule of my being.  I taste blood on my lips.  My lord and saviour watches over me.  He still cradles me in his arms.  The ugly gash on my arm is gone.
            "Now what?" I ask.
            "Now you fly," he says, and tosses me callously from the 19th floor balcony.  For a moment, the ground rushes up to meet me.  The storm, quieter now, nevertheless rages around me.  Sudden, instinctive understanding floods my mind.  My direction reverses.  I fly.  Through the storm I rocket upwards, through the haze and turmoil until I break through the clouds and behold the starry night sky.  Moonlight so bright it makes me cry lights the bank of clouds beneath me with a surreal sheen.  I am feathered by the moonlight falling down on me.  I absorb the night through my skin.  The light fills my eyes, fills my mind, fills my heart.  The moonlight fills me and becomes my soul and for this one perfect moment, I understand it all.

            It is February 25th, 2011, the night that I died.
            It is February 25th, 2011, the night that I was born.


Thursday, 7 July 2011

A Novel Proposal: Chapter 1, Part 2

Carrying on the tale- Check HERE for part 1.

           I used to sleep peacefully and well, before.  I could fall asleep in between breaths, curled up beside her, my right hand on her left breast where I could feel her heart fluttering beneath my fingers.  I would breathe in her hair and count her heartbeats until I fell into a dream.  All night I would dream and I would inhale her youth, her spirit and her charm.  Every day I woke up with a smile.  Now my heart is as heavy and bruised as the February sky.  My heart is punctured and ice water drains out into my veins.  I haven't slept for 6 days.  This is night number 7.

            My cigarette is finished and I toss the last glowing ember over the edge of the balcony, watching it fall the 19 floors to the black and glossy concrete below.  I want to follow it.  I need to follow it.  How many seconds would it take for me to hit the ground?  But if I have it in me to fly, why am I holding a knife?  I don't remember bringing the knife outside.  It was a housewarming present from my mother.  I wonder how she'll take the news.  I wonder if she will feel abandoned now as I did so many years years ago, on the day she and my father packed up and left me behind.  Left here, in the cold, grey, dirty, beshitted and damned city.  The knife is so shiny in my hands.  I flirt with the blade.  I tease myself, dragging the blade along the soft skin of my inner forearm.  I haven't broken the skin, not yet.  I've merely scratched the surface.

            I finish the bourbon in my glass and light one last cigarette.  I pick up the knife and see that it's still shiny and reflective even now, even chromed in red.  I can still see the reflection of my eye through the blood that is smeared down the length of stainless steel.  I don't remember making the final cut, but I can feel the ice water that was so recently, so safely ensconced in my veins, now dripping down my hands.  Dripping off the ends of my increasingly numb fingertips.  Pooling on the balcony floor by my feet.  With every pulse, with every beat of my too-frail heart, I can feel the metallic sting in my bleeding left wrist.  It is simultaneously strange and familiar.  My eye is still reflected in the blood stained blade when another bolt of lightning crashes down, so near that I can feel it.  The hairs on my arm stand up.  So do the hairs on the back of my neck.

            That is when I see Him for the first time, standing behind me, looming over me, reflected in steel and blood.  He sees me notice him and smiles.  He smiles at me the way a shark would smile.  He smiles at me the way death would smile.

            "Tonight you live, tonight you die.  Either way, tonight you fly."  His whisper sounds like white noise in my head, like something heavy being dragged through gravel.  It seems to emanate from inside me and reverberate around me.  I don't have much time left.  He lifts me, suddenly, in his arms.  He is inexplicably, incomprehensibly strong.  

            "Choose," he says...

Stay tuned for part 3 next week....

Friday, 1 July 2011

Happy Canada Day!!! PLUS: A Novel Proposal: Chapter 1, Part 1

         Happy Canada day everybody!  July 1st!  Half-way through the year...I oughta do another "round-up" since we made it through another quarter but that'll have to wait for next week cause for now we get part one of a short story I wrote recently.  I'm thinking of expanding it past what it is now, thus Chapter 1 of an as-yet-untitled work.

Oh, it's long so I'm feeding it out in about 500-600 word increments.  Enjoy!


           A lightning storm in late February is rare, even in the chaos that is Toronto weather.  I couldn't help but watch, wondering if tonight would finally be the night.  Outside, standing on the balcony, I look out over the world.  The sky is bruised, a dark purple, blue and black over black and white, the dirty grey filmstrip quality of the city streets in Winter.  Hail falls in sporadic bursts.  From my spot on the balcony I can see the people below waiting on a train.  Hunched and miserable, they wait, resigned to the cold and useless February existence.  A train arrives and they shuffle dutifully aboard, visibly relieved to be out of the elements, if only for a short time.  Over it all, the lightning crashes, stark and white, the pure embodiment of violence.  Thunder rolls over the world a few seconds later, cannon booming in the night.  Somewhere I hear a dog barking, or maybe it's a child crying.  

            Inevitably, my thoughts turn to her, the girl that started it all, or perhaps ended it all.  She used to feel guilty when we made love.  Visualize shades of a dead grandmother watching over her with a disapproving gaze.  We are all haunted, in our own minds.  Some are more haunted than others.  Of course, it turns out that she doesn't feel guilty about sex.  She only feels guilty about sex with me.  

           I don't think I am crying but my face is all wet.  Another train passes by in the night, lights flashing.  A dead-head train, it does not stop.  There is no relief here.

            Lightning crashes once more and shines its light on the naked steel held in my hand.  I look down, surprised to see it.  It's a knife, the big butcher knife from the wooden block on my kitchen counter.  The knife that I never make use of on my microwave dinner diet for one.  A useless tool, but still very sharp.  Like brand new.  A glass of bourbon sits next to me on my dirty, winter-stained patio table.  It's a cold night, but the ice cubes are still melting away into nothing.  I take a sip and contemplate the knife in my hand.  I hold it close to my face and see my reflection in the unforgiving steel.  I look into my own eye, extreme reflected close-up.  My eye is bloodshot; I contemplate the tiny webs of blood without comment.  My skin looks too cold and pale in the white flashes of electricity made light.  There's a dark blue circle under my eye.  My skin looks as though it is already dead.  Only the tiny lines of blood in my eye betray my essential aliveness.  I set aside the knife and light a cigarette.  I like to breathe the smoke from my lungs into the whisky glass.  It lingers like an early morning fog, wrapping around the remains of the ice, providing an illusion of warmth where none can be found.  Creeping, cancerous death masquerading as life.

            I haven't slept in 6 days.  Hail or perhaps freezing rain starts to fall again, heavily, and I know that the storm is getting closer.  I take another sip of bourbon.  I can taste the sticky, nicotine quality of the smoke entwined in the bitterness of the brew.  My tongue and the tips of my fingers have gone numb.

To Be Continued....