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.