i want everyone and everything that has been a part of my life to know how much i appreciate their role in it

tonight i was on a run when i got a song by testament stuck in my head. i don’t like the song now, it was just something i was into when i was in junior high and have long since outgrown. i haven’t even thought about it in many years. anyway, the song reminded me of being 14, my first girlfriend, and how i felt in general back then. there have been so many poignant feelings throughout my life that i still remember vividly, and testament and my first girlfriend were certainly the catalysts for a lot of those feelings when i was 14. while i no longer have any love for or interest in testament or that girlfriend, i can absolutely appreciate how they influenced me then, and how those influences reverberate through my life even now. for that influence, i am grateful beyond words. i piss and moan more than the average dimwit but i’m actually remarkably content, often even overflowing with love for the world, the universe, life, death, and everything else. and when i overflow with joy, i have to acknowledge that i could not have reached this wondrous moment without all of the experiences that have lead me to now.

i wish i could reach out to everyone that has influenced me and let them know how grateful i am to them.

maybe i already am though.

in love with the loveless, in tune with the tuneless, yet again. it’s a thing lately.


in love with the loveless. in tune with the tuneless.

for some time now, maybe 6 months or so, i’ve been feeling hyper emotional. and only in a good way too — i’ve been more touched by nice things than usual, but i have not screamed at jenn and then sobbed when she leaves a dirty dish in the sink. it’s pretty great.

i think it has to do with how much i’ve been thinking about the whole ‘we are stardust’ thing. incidentally, there must be a better name for this idea. that idea being we and everything we know is made of particles that have been recycled for aeons, which means you and i and everything else is, at some tiny level, comprised of things that have been other people, animals, plants, mountains, stars, clouds, planets, etc. i think it’s fascinating.

from there, it’s easy to start asking yourself all kinds of crazy philosophical questions. like, if we are all made from the same stuff, does that make all humans brethren in some way? does it makes us brethren with everything in the world, the cosmos? does it make us all one extended being? if that’s the case, what does it mean when we can’t get along with other people or the world around us? it really gets me thinking.

but regardless of where my imagination wanders with this train of thought, i always end up feeling far more connected to vast, incredible things, and i like that feeling. it’s a feeling of contentment, belonging — i want to use the word joy but don’t like its connotations of smiling idiocy. when i use that word, i mean it in a more serene, collected way. so there it is — yes, even joy.

and that feeling usually reminds me of an old divine comedy song where neil hannon describes a young ballerina being “in love with the loveless, in tune with the tuneless.” i don’t know what he means with that line but i know that for me, it captures the way that i feel when i am hit by those waves of contentment, belonging, and even…ugh…



on amy grant and the subversive powers of nostalgia

i’ve touched on here before about how much i like amy grant. i want to talk about that some more now.

when i hear old amy grant tunes like baby baby, every heartbeat, that’s what love is for, and good for me, i feel awesome. it’s not just the superb pop songwriting, charming vocals, and oh-so-80’s-but-not-ridiculous production, though. part of the appeal is that it reminds me of being a kid — an 11 year old kid, to be precise.

(yup, i’ve posted this video on my blog before and i know that’s lame but i don’t care. it’s one of my favourite songs of all time and i think it deserves more careful consideration. so check it out again and enlighten your dumb selves, you clods. pay special attention to the synth solo that starts at 2:22 and the chord progression behind it. they’re fascinating, especially in the context of a massive pop hit.)

tonight i got to wondering why this particular nostalgia feels so good to me, what is so special about that period of my life. i realized that this song, and amy grant in general, reminds me of my grade 5 crush on diane lamoureux. sure, that’s a pleasant memory, but let’s go deeper — why is that crush such a pleasant memory?

i think there are a few factors at play here but the most important are these: first, in my ignorant 11 year old imagination, i pictured diane and myself together in perfect harmony, and with that, everything would be right in the world. we’d be happy and do fun stuff together and hold hands and every day would be a sunny summer vacation. i pictured it being 100% bliss, and i believed it really might happen like that. like a lot of other 11 year olds, i wasn’t aware of the fact that relationships are hell: there are arguments, deception, disillusionment — normal relationship stuff that every adult is innately conscious of. i had a hyper-simplified, delusional impression of what love and relationships were like. but you know what? though my impression of how things would go was deeply flawed, it felt amazing. it was pure ecstasy to think of what might be between diane and me.

the other important factor is that nothing ever ruined my fantasy. she never told me i smelled bad or that she didn’t like me that way, i never saw her hold hands with someone else and break my heart. the school year simply ended, we went our separate ways, i never saw her again, and i more or less forgot about her. it was the perfect ending, like something out of the wonder years.


one of my fave stories of the whole series, actually.

in a nutshell, my crush on diane lamoureux was the perfect childhood crush. and now that i have more life experience and know love isn’t like i envisioned it as a kid, it’s impossible for me to recapture the incredible, innocent joy that crush gave me…until i listen to amy grant, that is. then the grade 5 feeling comes flooding back, and it feels just as good now as it did then.

and that’s why i think i have such a strong reaction to ms. grant’s old pop songs. yup, they’re genuinely fantastic and deserving of much praise all on their own, but when you couple that stuff with the inimitable, blissful ignorance of young love, they conjure up a feeling that is well nigh impossible to beat.

i love digging, getting to know myself better.


hello me, meet the real me.

for the record, i don’t even know how well i knew diane lamoureux. i can’t remember if we hung out or even talked much, and i have no reason to believe she reciprocated my fondness at all. i think the whole romance was very likely nothing more than a fantasy within my tiny 11 year old mind. not that it matters. my recollection of it still feels good and that’s what counts.

the wrap

well, festivus has come and gone. so has xmas. and now we are in the tense period between xmas and new years eve, a weird time that feels kind of like an extended holiday even though everyone is back to work and stores are open for their regular hours. and i feel appropriately tense and weird.

festivus was wonderful. i was so overwhelmed with joy that the next day, i wanted to reach out to everyone i saw the night before and tell them all how much i love and appreciate them. this song came on out of nowhere at the very end of festivus and became a perfect soundtrack to my giddy over-stimulation.

jenn and i slept in late the following day and then spent the afternoon and xmas eve with her parents at their place. it snowed while we walked on the beach, which is no small feat in maple bay. my holiday high continued.

xmas morning was lovely too. i made breakfast for jenn and i, we unwrapped our presents to each other, and we dog walked with matt and chant. it was all one can hope for from xmas. i worked that night, which turned out to be the boiling point for my hatred for my employer but that’s a boring story not worth sharing here, and luckily, hasn’t really affected how i’m feeling now.

what will new years eve hold? will it measure up to the rest of this holiday season? no one knows but i’m still feeling a bit giddy, and looking forward to whatever the night ends up bringing.


although i’m hoping for complete and utter chaos, naturally.

let’s do something together apart

there’s an old couple i often see in my neighbourhood. they go for walks together a lot but they are always at least 20 ft apart. i don’t think i’ve ever seen them within what i consider a ‘normal’ couple range, and i don’t understand what the hell they’re doing. do they hate each other? does one simply walk faster or slower than the other? do they ever talk about why they do this, or how weird it is? why not go for walks on their own instead of perpetuating this twisted charade?


it’s a grim day when a piece of shit like this is the best image i can find to illustrate my point. maybe i need to take a sabbatical.

i’m fascinated/horrified by this couple because i think they probably loathe each other’s company and only go for walks together out of some awful sense of obligation. i hope i’m wrong but if i had to bet on it, that’s what i’d put money on.

and just this last week, i saw something similar but even more sad. it was another old couple going for a walk far apart from each other, but the lady looked deathly ill — she was emaciated, frail, pale, and used a few canes to steady herself. it looked like she is probably dying of cancer, and not far from the end. she was trailing well behind her partner who appeared to have no time to wait for such a poor, wretched creature. he was up ahead and looked annoyed.

the first example bothers me but the second example REALLY bothers me. i know i can be a miserable bastard much of the time but i’m pretty confident i won’t ever walk a good 25 ft ahead of jenn, even if she is sick as fuck and i want to get the damn walk over with so i can get back to judge judy or whatever it is these old pricks are in such a hurry for. call me a dandy but i actually like walking with my wife. i even like holding her hand, despite her repeated protests.

call me a militant romantic, i suppose.

a tangled web

it’s been a while since i complained about a news article but i just found one that got me going.

a couple in halifax was engaged but didn’t see eye to eye on the wedding planning — he wanted something cheaper, she wanted something more expensive — so the guy postponed the wedding. in response, the woman ended the relationship altogether.

then they went to court to fight over who got to keep the $19,000 engagement ring. there were texts of him telling her she could keep the ring but i guess he hadn’t meant it, or maybe he had a change of heart. she said she just wanted to sell the ring to pay off debt incurred from planning the wedding. but then she claimed bankruptcy, so neither of them get the ring — the bank gets it.

what a disaster, and what a perfect example of how petty and cruel human beings can be, even to the people we claim to love and cherish the most. it’s a good thing these clowns didn’t actually tie the knot.

my problems with this story are:

  1. a couple not being able to come to a compromise on wedding plans, and ultimately breaking up over them, is absolutely pathetic.
  2. both people going into debt just planning a wedding — not even getting to the wedding itself — is also pathetic.
  3. spending $19,000 on a ring is beyond pathetic. not to mention that the diamond industry is horrific in its treatment of workers and the environment, and carefully controls their own market to inflate prices ridiculously. every sensible person should boycott diamonds.
  4. despite their apparent dire financial straits, the couple managed at one point to afford a trip to mexico together for which the small claims adjudicator ordered the woman pay her ex back $3000. i can’t believe that a financially strapped couple would drop this kind of money on a vacation.

it’s all so depressing. i hate seeing evidence that these kind of people really do exist. i mean, i bitch about them all the time but i rarely see this kind of detailed evidence of them so this is a real mindfuck. did i mention he has his full name tattooed on his left bicep along with the words “reign” and “journey” in a crossword puzzle style? i’m not sure if those are the terrible names he picked for his poor, unfortunate children, or if they’re merely words the big cornball finds inspirational. he also has numerous other lame inspirational tattoos that mention dedication and being strong and have lots of ellipses. why do people overuse ellipses so much now, anyway? what a fucking ghastly trend that is.

man, there’s a lot to hate about this one little news story.


the unhappy couple themselves. what a surprise that a competitive bodybuilder would turn out to be crazy. i’m referring to her here, of course — some people seem to be confused about that, although i think it’s perfectly obvious.


the show ‘catfish’ acts like it’s about helping people, but it’s not. it’s actually just a freakshow.

jenn has occasionally watched a show called catfish that i’ve had the misfortune of witnessing. it’s a documentary series where people who have fallen in love with someone online but have not been able to meet their e-love track those people down and actually meet face to face. inevitably, there is a ton of juicy drama caught on tape because when they finally meet, one person is an unemployed, obese basement dweller who claimed to be a successful model. you can imagine the disappointment and confrontations that would ensue.

there’s obviously a lot to hate about this show: people who end up in long term online relationships with people who refuse to actually meet them; people who can’t sort that situation out on their own and require the aid of a FUCKING TV SHOW to help them do it; people who want to expose their most private, intimate moments on tv — that’s all red flag, “i’m a screaming fuckhead” stuff. but that’s not the worst part.


i don’t even need to add a snarky photo caption.

the worst part is the hosts (nev schulman and max joseph) who give the impression that they and their show are all about helping people find truth, admit mistakes, grant forgiveness, ***and maybe even find love***. the truth is, that’s only a tiny fraction of the show. the vast majority of it is spent mercilessly capturing all the painful, awkward, heated moments on film. like when two people finally meet and realize one has been lying to the other for several years, and the host says, “we’ll give you a few minutes on your own to talk,” acting like he’s giving them some time to work things out privately, away from prying eyes. he then walks away, but the cameras and microphones keep on rolling, capturing it all in HD. come on, get real. internationally televised conversations are not private.


“i’m gonna move over here, just ignore the camera guy act and have that awkward, heavy conversation. act natural and say ‘like’ a lot. ok, roll tape.”

these guys are either delusional or soulless liars because the truth is obvious. no one watches catfish for the happy endings or the last shot at redemption that max and nev encourage each participant to give each other. people watch it to see crazy shit go down, to see what crazy lies some crazy trash is telling to some crazy fool. that’s why the juicy drama makes up about 95% of each episode. max and nev are all too happy to oblige their audiences craving, just as long as they can still market themselves as altruistic hipster angels.

oh yeah, and the music fucking sucks. it’s all hipster garbage with typical “whooah oh oh oh oh oh” choruses, just like i’ve bitched about before, and they use it ham-handedly to try to amplify the tone of any given scene. like, “here’s where she forgives him, cue the hopeful whooah oh oh oh oh chorus from that mumford and sons knockoff act.”

i’d like to make note that while reading up on the show and these guys, i learned nev was thrown out of a university for punching out a female student. after internet rumours about this swirled for a while, nev wrote a book where he quickly and casually mentioned the incident. he says he was tackled and choked with his camera strap so he punched his assailant once in an attempt to free himself from the vicious onslaught. however, the woman he punched and several witnesses claim she merely tapped him on the shoulder and asked him not to take pictures of lesbians kissing, at which point he punched her repeatedly. he was expelled from the school because of the incident. if nev really only defended himself against a brutal assault, why would he have been expelled? come on.

i already thought ol’ nev was a phony snake in the grass because of his shitty show and its bullshit facade, and casually explaining away that punching-out-a-lesbian story in short order only crystallized my belief. i think his explanation was a careful, calculated move on his part to address and downplay (and outright lie about) a potentially damaging part of his history before it blew up and did some real damage to his image and his brand.

fuck catfish, and fuck its hosts. don’t trust them or their garbage show for a second.