Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Blackheart Reflects on his First Year as a Blogger

As the year 2008 rapidly comes to a close, I think it’s time to tie-up a few loose ends so I can begin the new year fresh-faced.

The first is the damned cold in the house. It turns out there’s a big red button behind the furnace that resets everything. Boy do I feel silly. But I get to feel silly and warm at the same time.

The second is all that writing that I still need polish and publish. I feel like I’m even further away from finishing anything since I first set my goal, but then again, goals change, and now I find myself back in school, immersed in literature I never thought I’d read, and learning Japanese, a language I never though I’d be able handle because of how different it is. And really, on all these aforementioned fronts, I’ve got a long way to go.

The third is Nurse Betty.

I found out a few days ago that she’s been angry with me for an entire month, without telling me. Apparently I blogged about some things that she felt were off limits, and that I said some things that were out-of-line. So instead of confronting me right away, she decided to harbor anger towards me for a month, passive-aggressively avoiding every attempt I made to talk to her, message her, or meet with her.

Of course, when she finally spoke up about it, it all made sense. Well, a little. I tried to apologize to her, because at first I thought perhaps I did genuinely say something that was out of line. I looked through the old posts, and found nothing, really. I made fun of her in one post, but not in any way I wouldn’t make fun of any other friend that did something silly, and the context behind it is one of affection, not of disrespect.

She also never expressly told me I couldn’t blog about her, but somehow, she feels there’s a universal tacit understanding that there are some things you aren’t allowed to blog about. News flash, Betty: there’s not. You may think that your particular code is the only code, but it’s not. It’s just what you think. And I have tried so hard to respect it, too. I tried to explain that I didn’t know you’d be so bothered by it, and that I never ever meant any harm. I even offered to take it all down. But no, you wouldn’t hear it. All you said was “this conversation is over,” like it was your trump card or something.

I sent her another message a few days ago, trying again to apologize. She simply ignored it.

So now, Betty, I’m done apologizing. I’ve thought about it more and I’ve concluded that the problem was never with me to begin with, but with you. You’re the one who refuses to talk this through like an adult. I did something that I had no reason to expect would offend you, and when I found out you didn’t like it, I apologized, and more importantly, I stopped. I even offered to delete it all. Somehow none of that was good enough for you. Don’t you realize it doesn’t get better than that? Is what I did, which, for the most part was pour my heart out into poems about how much I care about you, so unforgivable? How do you manage to keep any friends at all? Do you live in a magical fairytale land where nobody ever makes mistakes? This behavior, getting pissed off for an entire month over nothing, screams “high-maintenance.” Should I be relieved that you want nothing to do with me?

Or maybe this is your clever way of telling me that you’re not interested in me. You’re allowed not to be interested in me, you know; I still would have been more than happy to be your friend, no guilt attached. But instead, you tried to make this out like it’s my fault, like I blew it. So now, instead of simply feeling rejected, I find myself groveling apologetically, like the obedient dog you just kicked because the bad men who actually hurt you this year are out of your reach. I know you’ve had a rough year, Betty, I know that, but that’s no excuse to take it out on me. I wanted nothing more than to be your ally through it all.

Now I’m so wound up and pissed off back at you that I don’t even know if I want to talk to you at all anymore. I can’t believe that you would take our friendship and flush it down the toilet over nothing. Especially once you found out I’m in love with you. That’s just evil. I’ve been nothing but nice to you, and nothing but fond of you since very first we met. It makes no sense. You make no sense.

I’m posting all this for two reasons. The first, because this is where my friends are – people who actually care enough to read about my feelings. I see no reason to waste them all on you. The second reason is that I think this post expresses exactly what you need to see.

Now that that’s off my chest, I’m going to go make myself pretty for a semi-formal New Year’s party. Happy New Year, everyone, particularly to my die-hard followers Ema Nymton, Inkpot, my sister of course, and to Scarlet the Spy. You guys make this all worthwhile.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

You suck, winter! You suck!

I suppose it’s about time I made a proper update. I haven’t put out anything other than poetry in awhile. So, here goes:

I woke up this morning at like 4:30 and it was so goddamn cold, I couldn’t believe it. Now it’s 7:30 and my feet feel like icicles, I’m wrapped in FIVE LAYERS and I’ve been drinking tea and hot chocolate intermittently ALL MORNING. And I’m still cold. I HATE THIS PLACE! It’s not even January yet, and I already feel like I’m getting frost bite on my stupid feet! Why did I move back here? WHY!?! I HATE WINTER SO MUCH!?!

I’ve had the house to myself for a few days, everyone else is away in Toronto. I forgot to let the dog out before bed last night, so as a reward, she laid a great big steaming turd in the middle of the rug for me to clean up, and I DON’T WANNA!!! NOOOO!!!!! WAAAAAAAAHHH!!! It’s a good thing she’s cute, because man...

At every meal I’ve been giving Yeti (my great big Norwegian Forest Cat) this pill, and now every time he sees me, he slinks away. What’s HE afraid of? I’m the one that’s getting bitten! I’m getting bitten because I’m basically putting my fingers inside his mouth to pry it open. And you really have to throw the pill down his throat too, past his tongue, or he’ll eject it from his mouth. He also foams at the mouth like he’s got rabies. I sure hope he doesn’t, because if he does, no so do I. So Ema, when you see me at new years, and I’m foaming at the mouth and trying to bite people, throw a net over me and take me to the vet. Or just shoot me and put me out of my misery. Pills for cats – what a stupid concept.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Christian Evangelists

Stigmady, Pigmady
Christian Evangelists
Think they know all about
Forgotten lore.

Their “divine” deity
Is just the product of
And nothing more.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Unfinished Poetry

Unfinished poetry, under the knife.
Unfinished stories of solace and strife,

So many whims to which we cater,
We all delay so many things,
Somehow we think them best done later,
A promise that tomorrow brings.

Years go by, and nothing still.
So much to dream, so much to do.
Nothing’s come, and nothing will.
Make your time, ‘fore it makes you.

Unfinished poetry, under the knife.
Unfinished poetry, unfinished life.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Hickelby, Quickelby

Hickelby, Quickelby,
Nicholas Nickleby
Started to tickle me
At his first chance.

Made me forget myself,
Started to wet myself,
I need to get myself
Waterproof pants.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Lear Essay

King Lear, like many of Shakespeare’s tragedies, revolves around the disruption of the great chain of being. In the great chain of being, every man, whether he be a king or a peasant, has his role to fill, and the success of the entire structure depends on how well everyone fulfills their respective role. In King Lear, Lear’s pride clouds his judgment, causing him to break this chain. It is in this way that Lear’s pride becomes his nemesis. Shakespeare uses nemesis to tell a moral tale about pride.

Lear’s pride is apparent in the first scene of the play. “Since now we will divest us both of rule, [i]nterest of territory, cares of state, [w]hich of you shall we say doth love us most?” (1.1.45-47). Here, it is inferred that the division of his kingdom is dependant on the quality of his daughters’ answers, though it is evident that the division has, in fact, already been made. (If he truly intends to base his final decision on the quality of their answers, he might more appropriately wait until he has heard from the other two daughters, before giving a third of his kingdom to the first.) It seems that he is getting his daughters to express their love for him verbally, largely as a superficial show of power.

Cordelia’s inability to wax eloquent about her love, or perhaps her desire not to cheapen her feelings with words, wounds Lear’s pride, and causes him to abuse his power during the final moments in which he retains them. In a rage, Lear casts out the two people who actually seem to love him best, Cordelia, and also Kent, for trying to speak out on her behalf.

Lear’s mistake here is that he has somehow confused frivolous formality with love, basing his decisions on hollow words, rather than deeds. His eldest daughters do not love him; they love his power, but Lear’s pride does not allow him to see this. The lesson is vocalized later by the fool, when he says, “fathers that bear bags, [s]hall see their children kind” (2.4.48-49). Friends are in greater abundance when one’s fortunes are high.

In act two, Lear continues to give undue levity to the frivolous things that his daughters deny him. It doesn’t seem to occur to him that he has given his power willingly away, and that now, he has to live with the consequences.

Still, he confuses the issue. “O, reason not the need” (2.4.258), he says, arrogantly clinging to his frivolous, self-indulging comforts. No one needs one hundred knights, particularly not when they do absolutely nothing but eat and abuse the staff. This is not an efficient way to run a kingdom.

In act three, Lear’s pride has diminished substantially, and he no longer concerns himself with the trifles that his daughters have denied him. For the first time, he seems to have genuine concerns for others. “How dost, my boy? Art cold?” (3.2.66).

The very act of giving his kingdom away disrupts the great chain of being. A king’s first duty is to his kingdom, and giving it away is not congruent with that duty.

His eyes open to the harsh elements of the world. He sees what he has truly lost, not only by giving away his kingdom, but by failing addressing its issues of poverty during his reign. “O, I have ta’en [t]oo little care of this” (3.4.33-34). Lear sees now that his pride had made him blind to the needs of his kingdom. Unfortunately, by this point, the seeds of his pride have already been sewn, and he can do little now but reflect on what he has done.

This sentiment is perhaps best mirrored by Gloucester with the line, “I have no way and therefore want no eyes; I stumbled when I saw” (4.1.19-20).

When Lear is reunited with Cordelia, his ordeal has finally given him the scope to appreciate her. Before this, he had not suffered enough to understand what is truly important to him. Once again, the fool, who acts as a mouthpiece for Shakespeare, says it best. “Thou shouldst not have been old till thou hadst been wise” (1.5.38).

It is important to note that, in many other versions of the Lear legend, whether written before or after Shakespeare’s adaptation, Cordelia is not slain in front of Lear. This is a portion of the story that is unique to Shakespeare’s adaptation, and is very much in tune with the concept of nemesis.

In the final act, Lear and his daughter are finally reunited, and it seems that Lear finally understands and appreciates the one truly important thing: a reciprocated love from his daughter. “Come, let’s away to prison. We two alone will sing like birds i’ the cage” (5.3.8-9). This is meant to pull at the heartstrings of the audience, and Lear’s consequent entrance with the deceased Cordelia in his arms would have devastated Shakespeare’s audience.

“Why should a dog, a horse, a rat, have life, [a]nd thou no breath at all?” (5.3.306-07). This question is perhaps best answered by referring back to the great chain of being. Animals, being lowly creatures, can live about their lives humbly while when a king falters, it comes at a high price, which in this case, is the life of his precious daughter.

The moral that Shakespeare intended to hammer home in King Lear is clear; Lear wastes his life in pursuit of superficial self-affirmations, and neglects his important duties as a king, and perhaps more importantly, (in terms of delivering a moral message to the masses), as a father. Lear’s nemesis, a force which he cannot overcome until it is too late, is his pride.

Works Cited

Shakespeare, William. King Lear. The Norton Anthology of English Literature. Ed. Meyer Howard Abrams et al. New York: Norton, 1974. 911-94.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Crunch Time! (English 1000G)

Hello, fellow English classmates. Thanks to our already overpaid, underworked, asshole public transportation workers striking, right in the middle of our exam period, I thought it might be more practical to set-up some notes online. I’m employing my blog rather than our facebook group because it’s the only quick way I can plug in all the hyperlinks I’ve included from my notes. For starters, I’m including a list of the 25 writers we’ve covered in class. If I’m missing anything, let me know. I’m going to try to include some basic points about each work over the 48 hours. If anybody wants to share their notes, or post a comment, by all means, go ahead.

Just to reiterate what’s going to be on the exam, it has two parts:

  1. Identify a quote (Pick any 3 of the 9 provided – 10 marks each)
    1. Identify the work it’s from
    2. Identify the author
    3. If it’s from Lear, identify the speaker
    4. Briefly discuss its significance.
  2. Essay Questions (Pick any 2 of the 8 provided – 35 marks each)
    1. Take a look at the essay questions in the syllabus for this term.
    2. Try re-reading your own essay for the term. The prof says there’s almost sure to be something from your essay you could re-use on the exam, unless you wrote a real stink-o essay.
  3. For one bonus mark, spell “parallel.” Apparently, the prof has actually written this on exams in the past, just to mess with people. That’s why we love him, right?

A (more or less) chronological list of works read in the fall term of English 1000G, by author:

  1. Aesop (620 – 560 BC)
    1. The Wolf and the Mastiff
  2. Petronius (ca. 27 – 66)
    1. The Widow of Ephesus
  3. Luke the Evangelist (0 – 84, supposedly)
    1. The Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32)
  4. John Donne (1527 – 1631)
    1. A Hymn to God the Father
    2. Song
    3. A Valediction Forbidding Mourning
    4. The Flea
  5. Christopher Marlowe (1564 – 1593)
    1. The Passionate Shepherd to His Love (early 1590s)
  6. Walter Raleigh (1552 – 1618)
    1. The Nymph’s Reply to the Shepherd (1599)
  7. William Shakespeare (1564 – 1616)
    1. Sonnet 18: Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
    2. Sonnet 29: When in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes
    3. Sonnet 73: That Time of Year
    4. Sonnet 116: Let me not to the marriage of true minds
    5. Sonnet 126: O thou, my lovely boy
    6. Sonnet 129: The expense of spirit in a waste of shame
    7. Sonnet 130: My Mistress’ Eyes
    8. King Lear
  8. Robert Herrick (1591 – 1674)
    1. Delight in Disorder
    2. To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time
  9. Andrew Marvell (1621-1678)
    1. To his Coy Mistress
  10. Alexander Pope (1688 – 1744)
    1. An Essay on Criticism
  11. Robert Burns (1759 – 1796)
    1. A Red, Red Rose (1794)
  12. William Wordsworth (1770 – 1850)
    1. I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud
  13. John Keats (1795 – 1821)
    1. La Belle Dame Sans Marci
  14. Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861)
    1. Sonnet XLIII: How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways…”
  15. Robert Browning (1812 – 1889)
    1. My Last Duchess
  16. Matthew Arnold (1822 – 1888)
    1. Dover Beach (1867)
  17. Kate Chopin (1851-1904)
    1. The Story of an Hour (1894)
  18. Alfred Edward Housman (1859 – 1936)
    1. One and Twenty
  19. Stephen Crane (1871 – 1900)
    1. War is Kind
  20. Robert Frost (1874 – 1963)
    1. Mending Wall (1914)
    2. After Apple Picking (1914)
    3. The Road Not Taken (1916)
    4. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening (1922)
    5. Dust of Snow (1923)
  21. Robert Graves (1895 – 1985)
    1. Symptoms of Love
  22. Ernest Hemingway (1899 – 1961)
    1. Excerpt - see the first comment in the comments section below. (Thanks, Becky!)
  23. Robert Hayden (1913 – 1980)
    1. Those Winter Sundays
  24. Anthony Hecht (1923 – 2004)
    1. The Dover Bitch (1967)
  25. Billy Collins (1941 – not quite dead yet)
    1. Introduction to Poetry


Our professor made mention of this essay in class, but we are not officially responsible for it. Still, if you haven’t read it, I recommend you give it a read, after the exam of course:

Politics and the English Language (1946) by George Orwell (1903 – 1950)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Unrequited Love

Kevin wanted Anna, whom he could never get.
For Anna knew she wanted Greg, ever since they met.
But Greg just wanted Sarah, who had a thing for Doug.
And Douglas wanted Chelsea, whose voice was like his drug.

Chelsea wanted Justin, who drove a fancy car.
Justin wanted Mary-Jane, who rocked at DDR.
Mary-Jane had known for years she only wanted Dave,
And David swore he’d take his love for Susie to the grave.

Susie was obsessed with Shawn, and had been for awhile.
Shawn just wanted Lisa though, awed by her crooked smile.
Lisa had the hots for Frank. Her life was in a rut.
‘Cause Frank could never get his mind off Tina’s sexy butt.

Tina had a crush on Brent, who had a way with words.
Brent had only eyes for Kate, who mended wounded birds.
Kate could never count the times that, over Mark, she’d cried.
For Mark had always dreamed of having Jessie by his side.

Jessie sadly wrote her note, to her beloved Kevin.
If she could only win his love, she’d be in seventh heaven.
Still haunted by the words he said that made her feel so crappy.
“If I can’t have the one I want, why should you be happy?”

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Sitting in an Empty Room

Sitting in an empty room,
Just me, alone, in hollow gloom.

I focused on what wasn’t there.
I rose, and saw an empty chair.
I sat back down. An empty floor.
No one knocking at the door.

You focus on the empty things,
The noise the silence always brings,
To see the world for what it’s not,
To wonder about things forgot.

An empty room, an empty heart,
I snapped, and tore the place apart.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Still Water (Haiku)

Sailing on your waters,
Which are still; I won’t force it.
I’ll wait for the wind.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Why are We Still Friends?

It’s your birthday.
I’m coming to see you later.
I didn’t get you a gift this year.
Somehow it didn’t seem appropriate.
I haven’t seen much of you lately.
To tell you the truth, I’ve been avoiding you like the plague.

Is it any wonder?

We were best friends once.
Can’t say I know why.
It’s not like I ever gave you much of anything.
We just played lots of video games together.
And I never did anything bad to you.

But you…
You slept with my girlfriend and killed our cat.
How can I ever forgive you for that?
And somehow that’s not what I hate most about you.
It’s the fact that every time I see you, you make a conscious effort to argue about things neither you nor I understand well enough to have an informed opinion about.
The only thing you and I have in common is our past.
And I hate my past.

But today, I will come over, and say nothing of this.
After all, what are friends for?
That’s not meant to be rhetorical.
I seriously have no idea at all.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Five by Five

There is a wall here,
Made up of your fear.
Not another tear.
I want it to clear,
And to have you near.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Depressia’s Scarves’ Haiku

Selling grandma’s scarves,
In a temple of old Jews,
What a waste of time.

Saturday, December 6, 2008


Christmas season, here at last.
My exams approaching fast,
Having reached the end of term,
I work one last day at the firm.

In video remand number five,
I wait for clients to arrive,
Scoundrels come up one by one.
With all the nasty things they’ve done.

But you rise above the rest,
And still, days later, I’m distressed.
Six of them, six of my sisters,
That you hurt, and my heart blisters.

I feel my heart go up in flames,
As the judge reads out their names.
You coward, you scum, you evil swine.
One of them’s a friend of mine!

Some were minors, says the clerk,
And leaving their late shift at work.
Their lives will never be the same.
Stranded, stunted, stained with shame.

To think the only goal that’s here:
To rush you out, with Christmas near.
What about their Christmas cheer?
There is no holiday from fear.

It’s not the system that’s to blame.
It’s men like you, who kill and maim,
And though they’re all alive and well,
Well, not well, their lives are hell.

A lawyer, I could never be,
With all the evils that I see,
The aftermath it all ensues,
I’d feel so helpless in those shoes.

Friday, December 5, 2008

I am Poet

I am poet, one two three,
Rhyming fun and fancy free,
Though I’m never one to gloat,
Here’s a poem that I wrote.

English is so easy for the kids to learn in school,
But difficult to master, with exceptions to each rule.
Look at all the words for “group.” Excessive, isn’t it?
Why bother with so many, when a single word would fit?

Crows come in a “murder,” which I’ve always found morose.
Owls come in a “parliament,” which isn’t even close.
There’s lions in a “pride,” which I find is more astute,
And penguins come in “waddles,” which is just so very cute.

You have a “watch” of nightingales, and a “herd” of cattle.
You have a “slither” of snakes, even those that have a rattle.
You can have a “school of fish” and a “school of whales” too,
Despite the fact that whales are mammals, according to the zoo.

You can have a “harem of cougars,” well okay, no you can’t.
That’s one that I made up to help the structure of my rant.
But now that I’ve considered it, this is a concern.
Now English seems to be the toughest language one could learn.

Still, I find it fun to rhyme with any word I can.
Something I’ll keep up, no doubt, when teaching in Japan.
Of all the words that I know, which one rhymes with English?
I don’t know, but this ends now, so finkle-fala-finglish.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Redhead on the Street

I passed you on the street today. I was sure you saw me. I can't be that easy to forget. You were on your way to your government job. I don't know what they pay you, but you're overpaid. I'm not sure exactly what you do either, but you're underworked. You're pretty though. I can't deny that. But still, you're really letting yourself go. Fatty.

I liked you, you know. I did. I thought we could make it work. Our sushi dates were enjoyable. I was funny. You were insightful. We didn't resort to the usual asinine conversations I have with most civil servants. Civil service - now there's an oxymoron if I've ever heard one. Most of you are braindead, or at least your brains are horribly attrophied from dissuse. I thought you were different.

You had the nerve to tell me that I didn't seem interested. For the longest time, I couldn't even figure out what that meant. Did I genuinely give off that impression, or were you just being arrogant and manipulative?

You said I didn't seem serious, since I was planning on moving away to Japan at the end of the year. Well, I'm not necessarily going, you know. My plans change all the time. And this was a plan I came up with before I met you. There is a reason why you and I are perpetually single.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with the way I treat women. I'm always respectful. I never expect anything from you. I'm charismatic, without the arrogance. Well, I admit I do have a bit of sass, but mainly, I just want to entertain you. I want to hear what you have to say. And whatever it is, it's always entertaining. But somehow that just never good enough.

And you were right when you said that I wasn't interested in you. That statement alone made you right.

You're still single, because you tend to make excuses as to why a guy isn't right, and then you toss him back into the pond, reasoning that a better one will come along. What if this is as good as it gets? Did you ever think of that?

"This one's too messy," you might say, or, "he's too short. I don't like his hair. I don't like this one's face. This guy's too muscular. That guy's too scrawny. This guy has no ambition. That guy's a workaholic. This guy wears argyle socks." You'll always find something, because there always is something. Nobody is going to be perfect for you. No one. But by all means, keep looking. You know what you'll find? You know what happens next? You're old, and nobody wants you anymore. Men may seem to be in heavy supply now, but give it another five years. The illusion won't last, and when you're in your mid-thirties and you start to get desperate, don't say I didn't warn you.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

What’s Important, Is what’s Inside it.

Look here, at this rock I found.
I’ve been looking at it all day long.
Can’t be worth much, but still, look.
What do you notice about its form?

Listen now, don’t make a sound.
Can you hear? It’s singing you a song.
No? Perhaps I was mistook.
We are strangers. All the sky’s a storm.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A poem a day keeps the proctor away.

That’s a play on words in a number of different languages. You take the expression “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” and doctor rhymes with proctor. This makes sense because it’s exam month. Also, in French, apple is pomme, and poem is similar to it, though not exactly. Why any of this is relevant is completely beyond me, as it’s a stupid maxim that doesn’t make any sense to begin with.

Anyway, the plan is to post a poem a day, for the whole month. If I miss a day, please feel free to relentlessly guilt-trip me about it. Since there are no classes in December, other than yesterday’s anyway, there’s really no excuse. And now, without further ado, here’s a seasonal limerick I wrote:

There once was a student named Sam,
Who panicked while at his exam,
He began to spew,
And the proctor said “Whew!
Looks like he just ate curry and lamb.”

Monday, December 1, 2008

Personal Aspirations in J-Pan, #2

Halfway through the school year, I feel like I’ve learned a lot, and yet, I also feel like I’ve learned hardly anything, as I peer ahead at how much of the language I haven’t yet tackled. I suppose it’s easiest not to think about where one is going, and just to focus on the here and now. So, I’ll take another look through my goals, and say to myself, “stick to the plan, man, just stick to the plan.”

Goal #1: Be able to have a simple conversation with my sister entirely in Japanese. I’m a little closer now. We can bat simple sentences back and forth now.

Goal #2: Play through a dialogue-intensive Japanese game, and actually understand it. Actually, I haven’t even tried this since my last Personal Aspirations paper. There really hasn’t been time, as scholastically, November tends to be a very unforgiving month. I’ve still got a lot more kanji to learn before I can even start to guess at what’s being said. I now know perhaps 28. Even after learning another 100, I’m not entirely sure how close I’ll be. I had an idea though – I might be able to get a transcript of one of my favorite games and work from that, looking up things electronically. Otherwise, I have no idea how to look up kanji.

Goal #3: Watch a Japanese cartoon, with no subtitles, and actually understand it. Again, I actually haven’t even found the time for this, which is strange to hear myself say, because normally I’m a fiend when it comes to the consumption of television shows. The last one I watched through, デスノート, (A.K.A. Death Note, which is based on a manga of the same name), was before I’d started Japanese class. I never quite finished the series, so I wouldn’t mind watching it through again to try to make sense of it.

Goal #4: Apply to the JET Programme, and teach English in Japan. Well, I’ve submitted my application. I can’t say much else on the subject though. I haven’t yet given any thought as to which prefecture I might want to teach in. I don’t really feel I’d be able to make an informed decision anyway. If I ask somebody from Hokkaido about prefectures, they’ll tell me I should teach in Hokkaido, because of all the wonderful people. If I ask somebody from Kyoto about prefectures, they’ll tell me I should teach in Kyoto, because of all the wonderful people. You get the idea. I’m sure I’ll be happy wherever I might be placed, but I will look into it a little, if for no other reason than to give a more impressive interview.

Goal #5: Write a short story in Japanese. I haven’t started on this yet either. I also hadn’t expected to. But perhaps I’ll get started over the Christmas break. Since the beginning of the school year, I’ve taken a shine to writing poetry, so perhaps I’ll start with a few short poems. They’ll be silly for the most part, but then again, so am I. Here’s a poem I wrote for my Japanese term test:

さけ すき です、 すし すき です。

うきと かぶきと たぬき すき です。

大学 すき です、 日本ご すき です。

いそがしい いそがしい いそがしい です。

In Romaji characters, for those of you who can’t read Japanese characters but want to share in the sound aesthetic of the poem, it reads as follows:

Sake suki desu. Sushi suki desu,

Ukito kabukito tanuki suki desu,

Daigaku suki desu, nihongo suki desu,

Isogashi, isogashi, isogashi desu.

Roughly translated, it means:

I like sake, I like sushi.

I like the rain, kabuki, and tanuki.

I like university, I like the Japanese language.

I’m busy, busy, busy.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

I don’t want the dream to end.

My apologies for omitting her reaction to what I told her. I admit I was in a rush to get that last entry out so I could also write her a letter explaining to her the things I couldn’t quite get through on the spot. In the car, I simply told her that I’d crushed after her since we first met.

Her first reaction was “aw!” I liked that. It’s not a yes, which I wasn’t expecting anyway, but it was positive, and friendly. I told her I didn’t need her to say anything to me right away, which I reiterated and fortified in the e-mail I sent her last night. She said she would speak to me over msn at some point, and I was quite happy with that.

I have only just awoken. I’m surprised some people read my last entry already, since I posted it at midnight, but then again, I oft forget there are time zones. I stayed in bed for an hour this morning, unable to quite pull my mind out of its half-dreamy daze, because I know that sooner or later, I’m going to hear from her, and then the dream will end.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

I love her, and now she knows it.

No poem today. Sorry I’ve been away so long; I have good reason. Many reasons in fact, as I’ll briefly explain.

Firstly, I wrote three essays this week, on top of three tests, and I got that JET application in on time. (Actually, my sensei also introduced me to the program coordinator tonight, so hopefully that will help. She was very complementary, say I was “always there early, every day, very eager to study,” and that I “would make a great teacher,” and even that I was “her favorite student.” That last one can’t possibly be true, or rather, I’m sure everybody in the class is her favorite. I love our teacher; though she’s over sixty, you wouldn’t know it. She’s always so cheerful and very upbeat. Anyway, I digress.)

Straight to the good stuff – I went on a date with Nurse Betty on Thursday night. Not a date-date, but a friendly friend-date. Still, I had the time of my life, we had sushi, laughed our asses off, she told me about a few pranks she pulled on her ex. Basically, she egged his house, and also drove up to his place later, and gave him flowers. When he asked why, she told him that it was her condolences to him for losing the best thing that ever happened to him. This is why she’s my hero. Ah yes, I suppose I should mention that shortly after I posted that last poem, he broke up with her for good.

In a moment of rare courage, when she pulled up to my house to drop me off, I told her how I felt about her. I figured it would be best if we both had an immediate out – I could leave the car, and that would be that. But I thought to myself, if I don’t tell her now, I will lose her. It has to be now. When else would I tell her? A week from now? A month? She’ll be taken by then, because in my mind, she’s perfect, and nobody who has her in their sights would let her go. So I won’t either.

That’s all for now, no poetry, sorry. Actually, I went out to a Japanese dinner banquet tonight, and sang karaoke and made a few haiku in a competition to see what group of people (by table) could come up with the best ones. So, I’ll share those, and those can be the poems of the evening. Oh, the theme they gave us was friendship.

Friends are like haiku,
Rising suns and maple leaves,
They are seasonal.

We are not alone.
Friends make us laugh and cry,
Like rain in the spring.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Second Guessing

I keep clicking your facebook page, I’m sorry, I can’t stop.
But you keep drifting through my mind, and rising to it’s top.
I know it’s not my business and I shouldn’t get frustrated,
By the way “in a relationship” becomes “it’s complicated.”

I’ve sent you a few messages to see if you’re okay,
But now I see his comment, and I fear he’s back to stay.
Now I’m second guessing every little clue I see,
Which I’ve been doing all along, with ev’ry you and me.

Even if I’m eloquent, appreciative and witty,
My words just get eclipsed by his, “oh hey, you look so pretty.”
It’s disgusting, it’s barbaric, it’s an outrage and a sin,
That with these shallow words of his, he’s back under your skin.

He stays away from you too long. He clearly won’t commit,
He’d have wed you long ago, had he thought you were fit.
He’s stringing you along and never making you his wife.
Can’t you see he’s chewing up the best years of your life?

You say he has no boundaries, with the women that he meets,
How long until he breaks your heart? How long until he cheats?
By your admission, you confess you’re crying all the while,
With your permission, I would give my life to make you smile.

But I’m not one to open wounds, or make unfair demands,
I merely think that you deserve someone who understands.
And though it breaks my heart to well these feelings up inside,
It’s not my place to tell you now; alone I must abide.

I made a rule about this, and it’s one I plan to keep.
For he who steals a girlfriend is a lecher and a creep.
How can I expect to keep a love that I have stolen?
Even if he makes you cry until your eyes are swollen.

I know you’re tired, I know you’re sad, I know you must be scared.
I know this handsome engineer has got your heart ensnared.
I know that you don’t make the rules, I know that love is blind,
But I’ll be here for you in case you ever change your mind.

Monday, November 17, 2008

An Early-Morning, Mourning, Free-Form Poem I Formed for Nurse Betty

Nurse Betty,
Brave, brazen, bastion of beauty,

Thoughtful, lovable nymph.

“He never deserved you,” he shouts towards his monitor,
Like a child jerks extraneously while mashing a gamepad…
In the pre-Wii days.

“I want to be the co-dependent leech that ends your loneliness.”
He says, realizing that he threw away his last love in much the same way…
Like a piece of trash.

How does he prove to her, or even to himself,
That he is any better than the turd who went before?
For he himself has been a terrible, tumultuous turd,
Unworthy of the love he once spurned.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

I’m Nursing this One

I was going to go to a party this week-end, tagging along with Nurse Betty again, but I got a cryptic message from her on Friday saying that “the shit hit the fan” with her boyfriend, and they broke up.

My first reaction was shock. Though I’ve wanted her for a long time, ever since I first met here, really, it seems unreal somehow. As long as I’ve known her, she and this handsome dude, (whom I’d never actually met, and now presumably never will), had always belonged to each other. But I suppose I should have seen the signs, and so too should she.

In fact, I did see a few signs, but I figured I was only seeing what I wanted to see. It’s funny how we often do that. I thought it was odd that he spent so much time away from her. She said it was work, and perhaps there was a degree of truth to that, but still, something seemed off.

In one note I published on facebook, under my real identity, I described a woman whom I desperately wanted to know I was alive. Actually, it was Make-up Girl, in case it matters. Nurse Betty read it, and commented on my phrase “eyes with burning sharp intelligence behind them” and she said:

“I wish he would say things like that to me.”

We all need people to see these things to us. And though I couldn’t say it tactfully to her, that’s how I’ve always felt about Nurse Betty too. But she wanted her boyfriend to say that to her, not me. And I suppose that’s what I really wanted too.

To be honest, I’ve been trying to ignore my crush on her, and I think it’s been working. Maybe not, but right now, I’ve got my eyes on someone else – the subject of the last two poems. No, scratch that. I also wrote that thy-touching poem since. The subject of “Bright-Eyes’ Haiku” and “A Paradox Unclear” is my current crush. Perhaps there’s no reality behind this crush, as I had hoped to get her to join a study group for this week-end, just to get to talk to her a little more, not to mention share with her some really terrific notes on the English Renaissance. But I guess this week-end, nobody gets what they want.

Now my heart is filled with angst, not knowing what to say to either of these women. Bright Eyes is cute, but I need to get to know her better first. I *think* there could be something there, but until I can get more than 45 second spurts to talk to her, I can do naught. But Nurse Betty, I know very well, and she’s actually one of the few people I really feel I connect with. There are so many things about her. Maybe it’s that she reminds me of N/A, or maybe it’s that she likes those stupid facebook pass-it-on surveys as much as I do, but whatever it about her, she’s always on mind. I don’t know what to do about her, because it seems tacky to tell her now, while the corpse of her old relationship is still warm. I tried to send her a message to comfort her yesterday, but somehow, the right words never came.

I suppose if I had to choose between them, (he says, as if his black heart had a chance with either of them anyway), then I don’t know who I would choose. When Bright Eyes is away, I never think of her, but every time she is near, and we talk, I am filled with excitement. But this feeling is present whether Nurse Betty is or not.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Touching My Thigh

At first, I am oblivious to you.
I sit in class, taking notes like those around me.
You hover there, just above my thigh,
Waiting for your chance to touch me, in a way that no one can see
And only I can feel
And then, stealthily, I feel your touch,
You caress my thigh softly
And I sit there helplessly, unable to move,
I try to ignore your touch, but I can’t.
You divide my attention.
You are all I can think about now.
The noise of the class moves further away from us.
You have no class.
You never did.
You’re not listening,
You feel no remorse,
No shame
And how can I blame you?
You tease my thigh,
With your soft touch
Though every part of me says I should not,
I am compelled.
I touch you back.
And I wonder to myself,
I you were mine,
What would you taste like?
But you are not mine.
And you can never be,
For you are someone else’s.
At least you were, until he heartlessly left you there.
What kind of ass-wipe sticks gum under a desk anyway?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Paradox Unclear

I like loving her at a distance.
She doesn’t know, and I think it’s best that way.
We have several classes together, and I sit as close to her as I can,
Without being too obvious.
I don’t like obvious.
I prefer oblivious.
It’s like obvious, but with a li added to it.
A lie.
A sweet lie.
We talk though, and whenever I can, I try to make her laugh.
As our Brit Lit prof dictates her notes to us, at hyper speed.
Side-by-side, we race one another to copy everything down.
Some days it’s a challenge.
Some days it’s damn near impossible.
One day I turned to her after class and said:
“If I were the language police, I would give her a speeding ticket.”
I was proud of that one.
It made her smile.
That made me smile.
“You should tell her that,” she said, ever practical.
After class I have maybe 45 second to talk to her before we part ways.
Perhaps I should be getting that speeding ticket.
I wish we had more time.
Don’t we all?
Even before I found the courage to speak with her,
I watched her whenever possible, excited whenever she put her hand up.
And I’d just stare, mesmerized by her countenance and charisma,
And indeed, the cute outfits that she wears.
The lady is classy to a fault.
And her eyes light up as she speaks,
Whatever she is saying, she is completely into it.
What she says is profound, exciting.
She’s exciting.
And every time she speaks, I wonder if I could ever be this exciting to her,
Or anyone,
Or if I’ll ever even meet another woman this exciting again.
I would tell her this. I would.
I’m not afraid to share my feelings,
But I wouldn’t trade our current dealings for the world.
I’m still shaken by the memories of those women who told me I was positively creepy for being interested in them.
Somehow it doesn’t seem fair.
Why would a woman be offended by the fact that I’m interested?
I’d have to be really fucking ugly, or have some other terrible attribute, wouldn’t I?
I don’t want to lose what I have,
Which doesn’t seem like much, I know,
But I like loving her at a distance.
I can’t hurt her, she can’t hurt me,
And we can smile.
And then nothing.
Sweet nothing.
Then she is gone.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Bright Eyes’ Haiku

She puts her hand up.
What she says is exciting.
She is exciting.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Remember This

And now, for Remembrance Day I wish to extend my gratitude to every person out there who has made a conscious choice NOT to become a soldier. That’s right. NON-combatants. My beef is not with those who, in centuries past, were conscripted, nor is it with those who, as a matter of necessity, defended and/or continue to defend their own turf from unswayable opponents. But as for the war in Afghanistan, there is no fucking excuse. Looking for terrorists? Ha! You’ve been there SEVEN YEARS! “Where are the terrorists, guys? You aren’t serving your country. You’re wasting its money and occasionally coming home in a box. And you chose this. There is no honor in this life. It is a war FUELED by greed. Get the pun?

I don’t believe in ghosts, but I imagine that if they did exist, the world would be steaming with pissed-off World War 1 vets, wondering why in the blue fuck the “war to end all wars” didn’t end anything, really. And then the WW2 vets would come along and wonder why their war, the “war to end all wars, and this time we really mean it” war dissuade people from fighting either. And then the Korean War vets come along, and wonder why their war, the “okay, we probably shouldn’t be doing this, but you know, we just can’t help ourselves” war didn’t… Oh… Never mind. I guess the lesson here is that people kill one another, people have always killed one another, and people will continue to kill one another until there’s none of the mother-fuckers left. And no amount of standing for a moment of silence is going to make any damn difference. So piss off and have a happy fucking remembrance day!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Something tells me I’m missing the point of these haiku thingies.

Today in Japanese class we watched a documentary on Japanese culture (we watch a lot of them actually, part of a Japanese culture series. I forget the name unfortunately. There will be more opportunities to learn it.) Anyway, it featured a Welsh poet who moved to Japan to write haiku poems and to study Karate. His writing is very pastoral, and it is clear that he loves nature, particularly the woods and the cherry blossoms. He apparently purchased 25 acres of badly mistreated (over-cut by loggers) woodland, and has hired two full-time workers to restore his neck of the woods to health. As he says to his friends, “it’s my land, but it’s your country.”

I can’t remember his haiku exactly, but one of them went more or less like this:

Strangers, you and I?
Under the cherry blossoms,
We’re certainly not.

Deep, huh? I wish I could write like that. Well, my understanding is that generally haiku should have to do with nature, but I’m more caught up in the rhythm of them. They can give the illusion of profoundness to the most asinine thoughts. That’s why I like them.

I would like to see
An epic movie starring
A great big sex cake

Silly, I know, but rhythmically just as sound. Anyway, I think I’ve wasted enough of your and my time for one day, and I have an essay on Thomas More’s Utopia due tomorrow.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

I don’t know what in the haiku to write about…

I’m aware that I need to write more.

Well, another week or so has passed since my last entry. Not that I have that many readers anyway. Still, I’ll try to be good and write about something. It’s not like I got that much to do – I’ve got an essay due next week, actually. I made a vague goal to get started on it today, and so naturally this is when I choose to do a blog entry instead.

There’s something a little bit sad about the blog of a person who doesn’t actually do anything. This week-end I can quite honestly say that I’ve done nothing but play video games, watch TV, and met with Ema Nymton to create a Dungeons and Dragons character. That’s right. As if being 28-years-old, living with my parents, and in first year uni weren’t bad enough, I’m playing D&D for the first time since I was ten. And I plan on enjoying it, dammit. But it gets me thinking – not that I’m terribly emotionally invested in what other people think, but more as a point of interest – exactly what sort of impression do I give people? They’re probably thinking “good grief, look at this guy. He’s going well out of his way to make sure he never gets laid.”

And now, a few haikus by Malice Blackheart:

Trying to find girls
Only to breathe shallow nothings
Banana hammock

A boy coughs down eggs
Fried greased ham in just known lays
Must not own place quaint

Rescued a toad once,
She was trapped in a match box.
Who would put her there?

To write my essay,
I stare all night at the screen,
Then it dawns on me.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Poem: “I Like Cheddar, I Like Brie”

I like cheddar, I like brie.
I like all kinds of cheese, you see.
From parmesan to Danish blue,
It warms my heart with every chew.

There sits a girl at the next table
To whom I’d speak if I were able.
I never know quite what to say.
My mouth is full now anyway.

I like cheese, and she’s the same.
I even learned that Brie’s her name.
Now I like brie all the more,
I’d even eat it off the floor.

If I like Brie, and she eats brie
Could it be that she’s for me?
For she’s a cheese habitué,
Who breezes by the sweetest way.

Whatever should I say to her?
Or how might I display to her,
I’d give my heart away to her,
Without giving dismay to her?

Should I smile, or give a wink?
No. All the while, I sit and think.
I must tell Brie these thoughts of mine,
Without some cheesy pick-up line.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Went on Date w/ Someone Else’s Girlfriend

Well, it wasn’t a date exactly. Nurse Betty wanted to have someone accompany her to a stag and doe party being hosted by some of her boyfriend’s friends and colleagues. Come to think of it, I’m not really sure what prompted her to go. He’s in Australia you see, for two months.

She chose me because I happened to live more or less on the way to this place, which was about a half hour’s drive south of the city. It was a fun drive though. She was glad for the company, and I was glad to actually be doing something with my Saturday night. I learned a bit more about her. I can’t remember exactly how we got onto the topic, but she made a remark about someone hanging himself in his closet, and somehow I felt it was necessary to make as many jokes as I could out of this.

“How many times have I found a body hanging in a closet? It makes me sick. What is that like the cool place to go and hang yourself?”

“Really?” She responded.

I laughed maniacally, trying but failing to compose myself to finish my mean-spirited joke. “Yeah, you know it can be hard to find something to wear when there’s people hanging in your closet. I had to shift aside like four or five of the motherfuckers just to find a decent shirt.”

“I found two people who shot themselves in my home,” she said.

“Why would they shoot themselves in your home? Couldn’t they use their own?”

“My father shot himself one day and I came home and found him. Then later my cousin also shot himself.”

“So your father started a fad.”

This made her crack-up. I got this feeling immediately that maybe I shouldn’t have said that, Somehow she liked that I made a joke rather than responding with hollow sympathies, as is the normal response.

I didn’t say this to her, but I am really sorry. I can only imagine angst, and the sorrow, and most of all, I suppose the loneliness of coming home to find not only your dead father, but the reality that he actually chose it. And finding the cousin is scarier still, because then it starts to look like something genetic is going on. She’s a beautiful person, and she should not have had to deal with that so young. Then again, I suppose no one does. I’m beginning to see why she grew up so fast.

We got to the party, and she made her appearance. She introduced me to her bf’s friends jokingly as his “replacement” for the night. She confided shortly later that she didn’t really want to be there.

“I don’t like half of these people,” she said.

“Then I don’t like them either,” I said. “You know what I don’t like about these people?”


“The fact that you don’t like them.”

She laughed.

“What don’t you like about them?” I asked her.

“They’re all just so… I don’t know. They’re cliquey. There’s a whole engineer’s girlfriend’s club that I don’t feel like I’m part of. They’re high society.”

“I dunno, about high society. I mean, look at them. They’re playing beer pong. And they suck at it.”

“They come from money. That’s what I mean.”

And I could relate to that. I suppose most of us can, because most of us don’t. And when you don’t come from money, it can seem like everybody has more. Strangely, I bet people who come from money feel the same way about people who come from more money. I’m also fairly certain there are people who might feel that way about me, though the truth is, I’m poor. I just have very tolerant middle-class parents. Ugh… who haven’t shot themselves.

“Well, I suppose it isn’t about you, is it. It’s about her.” I pointed to the bride-to-be. “It’s all about making that little appearance so she can feel like people give a shit. And we all do it because he fantasize that when our turn comes around, people will show up for our weddings.”

“I’m never getting married,” she said.

“Yeah, it seems like a funny sort of formality, doesn’t it? I mean, why bother?” I said.

“Too many damn people.” It was like I was looking in a mirror.

Somehow, we had fun sitting there in corner, not socializing with the people we really didn’t care for, content to commiserate our distaste for social interactions.

She really is quite captivating, fun and beautiful, and I still have quite the crush on her, but alas, I cannot have her. And really, that’s not a big deal to me. At this point I’ve become accustomed to admiring beautiful women at a distance. It’s like my unemployment issue – you’re unemployed or single long enough, you start to believe it’ll never happen, and you become comfortable with it.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Personal Aspirations in J-Pan, #1

This post was actually a paper I wrote for my Japanese prof, but I wrote the paper itself as I would normally write a blog entry. We have several of these due throughout the year, and though this is actually the 2nd, and I didn’t actually publish the first aspiration paper, you’ll find that no content is actually missing, so this shall function as my first personal aspiration report.

It has now been approximately six weeks since my initial report, and already, I feel like I’ve made big strides. I now know two alphabets, hiragana and katakana. I also know how to convert English words into katakana, which entertains me to no end. I even have enough basic understanding of syntax and sentence structure to say: プリンセスレーヤーはきんいろのビキニをきています。(Princess Leia is wearing a golden bikini.) Not that I would have much occasion to say that, exactly, but you get the idea.

My sister, as I mentioned in my last report, is far more advanced than I, and I feel very lucky to have her around to help me study. The other day she taught me a phrase that I found entertaining; ふとんはふとんだ。It either means “the futon goes flying,” or “I suddenly have a futon,” depending on how you translate it.

So, in my last report, I spoke about my goals for the year. Without further ado, here is my report on my progress.

Goal #1: Be able to have a simple conversation with my sister entirely in Japanese. This one is definitely not happening yet. Most of the time, she springs some long-winded phrase at me and I just shrug and stare dumbly. At least now I know how to ask her in Japanese to repeat herself; もういちど、おねがいします。

Goal #2: Play through a dialogue-intensive Japanese game, and actually understand it. About a week ago, I tried to load up the Japanese version of Chrono Trigger, orクロノトリガ, but alas, I couldn’t get past the first few screens without being bombarded by kanji, which I am still completely hopeless at reading, so I was unable to translate. I just had to give up. By the end of the year, I’ll know 130 kanji. Maybe then my chances will be a little better. I just learned my first 5 kanji in the past week.

Goal #3: Watch a Japanese cartoon, with no subtitles, and actually understand it. I haven’t even tried this yet, but I imagine it would also be totally hopeless. I tried keeping up with the MP3 listening excises our T.A. posted online for the class, and I have to keep stopping it after every sentence. I’m still painfully slow, and listening is still a challenge.

Goal #4: Apply to the JET Programme, and teach English in Japan. Okay, I admit I’ve been bad here and I still haven’t filled out my JET Programme application. Of course, I still have a month to do it, but it’s amazing how quickly deadlines can creep up on me. I’ve been getting bogged down by schoolwork, but I’ll get right on this one this week-end, I swear. Or next week-end and the very latest. Or the one after that. But that’s it.

Goal #5: Write a short story in Japanese. Towards the end of the year, or perhaps as early as the Christmas break, I’ll get started on this one. I want to at least wait until we cover Japanese myths and fairytales – I’m quite looking forward to that section of the class. In fact, I even want to incorporate some of the Japanese mythology into the English stuff I’m working on. I find that the 1-page journal entries we are periodically assigned are very good practice for this.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Poetry Recital

Towards the end of the month, I’m told that the “English Literature Society” on campus is hosting a poetry reciting event, in which you get pledges to sponsor your poem. The money goes toward PEN Canada, an organization which “defend[s] freedom of expression and raise[s] awareness of that right.” To boot, my Canadian Lit professor has offered any students who participate in it a bonus 5% to our end-of-year mark. All participants have to do is memorize a poem, and recite in front of… however many people there will be there. I get the impression there won’t be many, but I may be pleasantly surprised. I was surprised today to find most of my classmates are too chicken to do this. It’s an easy 5%, but I suppose they’re all young and worried about what the world might think of their half-formed ideas. But it sounds like a pretty supportive community. I’m a stage actor, (one of my many talents), so I’m not afraid of speaking in front of any number of people. I’d address the entire world if I could, if only they would listen. Then again, I suppose if that does happen, I’d better damn well have something profound to say. Or something entertaining, possibly because it’s so profound, or conversely so profoundly stupid.

Now, I could either go the easy route, and use a classic piece from, say, Robert Frost, or Robert Browning, or Robert Hayden, or Robert Herrick, (apparently you’re really no one in the world of poetry unless your first name is “Robert”), or I could get creative and write my own. I’ve chosen the latter. “A poem,” by Robert Blackheart. Obviously I have to actually write a poem first, and given my current track record on extracurricular writing, I’d say I’m in for a challenge.

I’ve got a Japanese test tomorrow and presentation due the following day, so naturally I felt compelled to blog about it instead of actually do it. O wretched, procrastinating student mind. O cursed dodger of responsibility. Get thee to a nunnery. Or something like that. A poem by William Blackheart.

If I haven’t written something worth reciting by Sunday, I’ll just admit defeat and pick a damn Robert Frost poem. No! A William Topaz McGonagall poem. His stuff is effing hilarious. He’s the epitome of “so bad, it’s good.” And on that note I’ll leave you all with a link to one of my favorites of his works, “The Demon Drink.”

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Black to School

Hello everybody, and welcome back to Malice Blackheart’s magic bag of thoughts, rants, and other assorted non-continuous awesomeness, and other boring personal stuff.

I realize that I’ve been away for… awhile now… How long has it been, let me check…

Six weeks? Unbelievable! I feel like my blogging muscle is… getting cramps… most… gratuitous… amount… of… ellipses… ever…

You’d hardly know that I’ve written three term papers already.

I think it would be really awesome to be part of a comedy troupe. Come on, Ema, we haven’t shot any films in like a year. You’re still in film studies, right? Wouldn’t it make sense to make some films?

All hail, the king of non-sequiturs has spoken.

Still with me?

So, here’s what I’ve been doing for the past six weeks; I’ve enrolled myself into university. Again. And I’m doing another B.A., this time in English. Why on Earth, at 28, would I go back for another B.A.? Well, let’s be honest, I haven’t exactly been “Joe Successful” over the past ten years, or even “Joe Crappyjob” or even “Joe Doesn’t-Still-Live-With-His-Parents.” So, why? That’s why. The plan is to acquire teachable subjects, or “teachables,” and become a high-school teacher of English and Drama. Or some other kind of teacher at some other level. Who knows?

I ran into one of my old college friends on campus. She’s doing a B.A. in mass communications apparently. I’ll just call her Fatlip. So I tell Fatlip I’m doing a second B.A. and she says to me all sarcastic-like “Yeah, that’s a very intelligent way to do it, Mal.” And I was like “Shut-up, you… sss… s-stupid. You’re too dumb to mean that. Remember when you told me I should take up smoking to relieve stress? You’re fulla crap, Fatlip, and that’s why I don’t have to listen to you.” Then I gave her a wedgie and ran away. Yup, university, I’m back.

Now I’m reading lots of classical English literature, pretending to understand it, surrounded by stunning young hotties, trying not to get too distracted. And did I tell you? No of course I didn’t, but I’m going to. I’m studying JAPANESE! I’m applying to various cooperative agencies to teach my mother tongue in J-Pan! The language itself is pretty easy once you get the hang of it. You just have to remember to say please (“onegaishimasu”) and thank you (“arigato”), and call everyone sir (“_san”). Check this out:

はじめまして どうぞよろしく。

Hajime mashite douzo yoroshiku.

Nice to meet you. (Polite form)

わたしのまえは ブラークハート です。

Watshi no maewa “Buraakuhaato” desu.

My name is “Blackheart.”

Yup, I’m gonna be picking up Japanese hotties in no time. And by “no time,” I mean literally never, at no time will I ever pick up a Japanese hottie. Ever. I’d probably try and epic fail miserably. I’d probably proposition her and she’d just stand and stare with her mouth agape, finally telling me how completely rude I just was. And I’d smack my forehead, remembering that I forgot to say please. “Would you sleep with me, hottie-san, onegaishimasu?” Then I bet she’d be impressed.

Ah yes, the many loves and sexual harassment suits that await me in the land of the rising sun. I can hardly wait.

I will try to be good and post more often. I promise.

Sunday, August 31, 2008


Ever have one of those days where everything you’ve ever done that you’ve regretted seemed to come back an smack upside the head? Well, today was one of those days for me.

I got up early this morning to help a friend of mine move. Let’s call her Scrabble Queen. I actually didn’t know about this until less than a week ago, but Scrabble Queen’s longtime boyfriend, Indecisive Boy, broke up with her, and for the past month she’s actually been dating someone new. Actually he’s not new. He’s yet another member of our group of friends, making it seem evermore claustrophobic. We’ll just call the new bf Handsome Brown.

According to Handsome Brown, Scrabble Queen has been having a rough few months because as Handsome Brown puts it, Indecisive Boy “doesn’t know what he wants.” Handsome wanted to give Indecisive a fair chance to say everything he wanted to say to her. We are all friends, and the last precedent he wants to set is to tell Scrabble who she can and can’t see. But apparently, Indicisive Boy was the one who pushed Scrabble Queen toward Handsome Brown in the first place. And I understood entirely why, because I’d done exactly the same thing with N/A.

That’s right. I broke up with the woman two years ago, haven’t spoken to her in almost a year, and somehow I’m still not over her. I probably never will be.

Sure, I never pushed her towards another guy, but I hinted that there were better ones out there, with more appealing features, and that surely he was right around the corner for her. What was really going on was, because I, like Indicive Boy, felt bad about breaking my lover’s heart, so I come up with this pathetic kind of rationale that she could find happiness elsewhere, as if I was doing a good deed pointing her toward it. But truth is that I was a coward running away from commitment. She didn’t want to find happiness somewhere else. She already had it. And so did I. And I totally blew it. And still, somehow two years later I feel like she must still hate me for it. And who could blame her?

Another friend of mine who was helping us move, let’s just call him the programmer, has been dating the same girl for six years. As we all talked about commitment, he mentioned that his girlfriend keeps asking him when he’s going to propose, sometimes throwing angry fits that eventually subside, but saying things like “this relationship is going nowhere.”

“Well, why not?” I asked him. “Why not at least get engaged to her? I know you love her, man, and you’re a great couple. You’re already living together. What’s holding you back?”

The reaction from everyone else was astonishment.

“She’d be overjoyed to hear you say that, but don’t you dare,” he said finally. I realized maybe more of what I was doing was pulling my own regrets out of the past and vomiting them out to him because I could no longer stomach them. I also realized that I sounded just like my mother. It was not 3 years ago that she said the same thing to me about N/A. I remember those words.

“I think you’ll really regret it someday it if you don’t at least get engaged.”

And now of course I realize that I need to be thinking about N/A like I need a hole in the head.

I entitled this one Wicked, because I actually saw the musical, Wicked, tonight with my parents and sister. We all thoroughly enjoyed it. The music, choreography and special effects blew us all away, and it really is a beautiful story. If it happens by your town, I recommend you see it. It really was an inspiring way to end a day like this.

On the way home, my mother asked me how I got roped into helping my friends move today. The best response I could come up with was, “because she needed someone. When I left Toronto, I didn’t have anybody at all.” As the expression goes, many hands make light work.

In truth, I did have one person help me move from Toronto. I called N/A for help at the last possible moment, when my other helpers failed to show. She came through for me and helped me with the really big stuff, like my oversized mattress, that we’d shared intimate moments on so many times. Even though I had turned her away from my life, she came through for me. The very fact that she did this for me makes me still feel sick for leaving her.

Today wasn’t a bad day. All things considered, it was a great day. I just still can’t help but shake the feeling that I’d enjoy it all so much more if I could share it with N/A.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I needed that surgery like I needed a hole in my head…

Actually in my case in was literally the same thing. Only there are two holes.

This morning I went for my surgery to finally remove that huge-ass cyst from the top of my head. I thought I’d get the doctor to remove a smaller one while he was at it. Now, I’ve had some cysts removed from my body once before, but this experience was completely different. It just goes to show that two doctors dealing with essentially the same problem will have radically different approaches.

The last doctor, let’s call his Whitehead, froze the area with some jelly and then simply cut the cysts out with a knife, and then sewed the wounds back shut. The scars from that procedure are pretty much invisible, since minimal healing is involved if you just pull the skin closed with a suture.

This time around, doctor Bobo decided to use a laser to burn around the entire area, and just remove a huge chunk of flesh, leaving the gaping hole to heal.

“It’ll take awhile to heal,” he said. “Bear in mind it has to heal from the bottom up.” Right. From the bottom up. Well, I suppose I’ve had worse. Actually, I’m starting to wonder.

When the nurse showed me what the doctor had done, I think my initial reaction was horror. I looked like I’d been shot in the head twice. And the wound from the small cyst extraction looks worse than that of the large one.

And my head still smells a bit like burnt bacon… Not bacon exactly. It’s that burning human flesh smell, which is something very distinct, and deeply disturbing.

Anyway, the good news is the cyst is gone. The bad news is, I still don’t know if I’m going to look alright with a shaved head. I guess I’ll have to see how much healing happens this month.

And son of a bitch… now that the anesthetic is wearing off, the gaping wounds on my scalp are really starting to hurt. You know, I even took some pics for the record, but you don’t want to see them. Trust me. They’ll haunt you for days. They certainly burned an impression in my mind, so to speak.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Don’t let the Audition Go to Your Head!

I went to my dinner theater audition yesterday. I think it went reasonably well. I prepared a monologue I stole from Mad TV, I sang a few bars from Sukiyaki, and I told them a joke. It’s a joke I actually got from Ema Nymton, who’s a great source for such humor. What I like so much about this joke is that it’s flexible and you can make it your own. Sure, it’s not as legendary as The Aristocrats, but it’s also not as crass. It’s a clean joke that I think has tremendous potential. Anyway, here’s my version of it:

A man walks into a bar with a giant, spherical, orange head.

“Excuse me sir, you can’t wear that in here,” says the bartender.

“You don’t understand sir, this is my head,” the man replies.

Seeing the mouth move and the expressive eyes and everything, the bartender looks in awe.

“How on earth did that happen?”

“Well, it’s sort of a long story. Get me a rum and coke and I’ll tell it to you.”

So the bartender fixes his drink and the orange-headed man begins telling his story.

“Okay, well, a year ago I was part of this excavation – I’m an archaeologist you see. Well, I found this oil lamp, and I started cleaning it, and wouldn’t you know it, a genie popped out of it, you know, like that movie Ali Baba.”

“You mean Aladdin?”

“Whatever. The point is, this big gay genie popped out and granted me three wishes. Now, I should preface this by telling you I’m a very impulsive person, so I needed some time to collect my thoughts. I mean, it’s not ever day that you get three wishes, and, oh, I was just so excited you know?

“Okay, so I thought for awhile and finally I was ready for my first wish. I wanted to have a lot of money, but not be too famous you know? So the genie made me this sweet wallet which always has whatever money I need, wherever I go. It has every currency for every country and this way I can spend what I need and live in relative wealth, without the notoriety attached.

“So I thought long and hard about it and I decided that my second wish would be to be able to go wherever I wanted, and really fast. I needed like a spaceship or something. So the genie made me this really sleek spacecraft that can travel at speeds of mach 8 through the Earth’s atmosphere. I can get from Ottawa to Beijing in under an hour. I’ve got it parked just outside, it’s awesome.

“And then for my third wish, and I think this is where I really went wrong, I asked for a giant, spherical, orange head.”

“Why on earth did you do that?”

“I don’t know. I told you I was impulsive. I was on a roll, and it seemed like a good idea at the time.”

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Haunted by Daydreams, Nightdreams, and Pipedreams Alike

I awoke this morning from a dream about N/A. She was doing a project of some kind, and I was there, and she was really angry to see me, and I insisted that all I wanted was to see her presentation. So she said I was allowed if that’s really all I wanted. But she never showed up for it, and I sat there with everyone else, waiting. Then, to my horror, I found out she took the opportunity, knowing I was across town, to visit my own home stab all my cats to death.

I was already terrified of ever showing my face around her again, but now I’m doubly spooked. Because though there’s a part of me that knows she would never do something like that, there’s another part of me that believes she hates me that much.

I’m also trying to figure out how to get a work visa for Hollywood, and it seems totally hopeless.

My friend, let’s call him “Al,” has been living in the U.S. for 5 years, and has two parents who are U.S. citizens, and even he is having trouble getting accepted, and is facing a 10-year ban from the country.

My aunt Twiggy, her daughter Twiggy Jr., and Twiggy Jr.’s son Boogers are visiting. (Boogers is a good kid, I’m just trying to be funny, and Twiggy the 3rd gets too redundant.) Anyway, Twiggy Jr. and her husband and son live in L.A., and I did actually visit the place a number of years ago, and stay with them.

Anyway, I brought up my friend Al’s plight, and how she might remember his mom, (who worked for her great uncle for awhile), and his sister (whom I dated for awhile – that’s how our families became entangled in the first place), and all Twiggy Jr. could think about was how much she hated Al’s mom. Let’s call her Papaya. Twiggy Jr. hates Papaya. Not necessarily the fruit, though she is quite the picky eater, but definitely the person. Why does Twiggy Jr. hate Papaya? Twiggy Jr. claims Papaya “poisoned by great uncle against me, and he died hating me. She told him he’d already given me millions of dollars, and then though I was a liar for saying he didn’t.”

Twiggy Jr. also claims that Papaya said weird things to her like “rich Jewish bitch,” (unprovoked, I’m sure), and when Twiggy Jr. was pregnant with Boogers, “It must be a boy. I can see a tiny penis in your belly.” Now, this definitely sounds like the Papaya I know, you used to call her daughter “the whore of Babylon” right in front of me. But this is just Papaya’s larger-than-life way, and she was usually kidding, provoked, or just blowing off steam.

On another occasion, Twiggy Jr. said one of my female friends that stayed with her was a prostitute. This may actually be true, but I doubt either she or I could verify that claim. She just likes to gossip.

Anyway, I guess my point is that I’m feeling a bit discouraged right now. I guess I’d always figured I could go off to Hollywood when I was ready, but now I’m finding that if immigration even has the slightest reason to suspect you’re planning on staying, you can kiss your visa goodbye.

I haven’t heard from Pagan Girl either in five days. I know she’s been logging into lavalife though. (It keeps track of when every user was last on.) So now I’m of course wondering if I said something in my last e-mail to put her off, and I’m thinking of sending her a message saying something to that effect. I’ve already been called a creep by two women I was interested in over the past year. I think it’s affected me.