Saturday, November 28, 2009

I have a phobia that someone's alway near...

It's all catching up to me now. There is no time for anything but study, caffeine, and grindcore, all day, every day (at least until December 14th). Two days ago this meant staying at the library until 3am grappling with a presentation on Marxist ecology (which went well, thank you very much), which meant that the trains had stopped running, which meant an hours walk home. As I turned off onto a darkened street I hadn't walked down before, a car pulled up behind me. Strange, I thought to myself. Why would pull over here? Nothing here but a chain-link fence, and me, alone, walking beside it, and virtually no lighting. Oh.

I pulled my headphones out (which at the time had Reign in Blood, conveniently enough, playing at top volume). I quickened my pace. I looked back and I saw the driver get out and pull something out of the back seat. Oh. I quickened my pace again, and kept looking over my shoulder. He was following me now. Oh.

Then I saw him cross the street. Perhaps he was going to the seniors centre to drop something off, I thought to myself. No sooner had this thought crossed my mind that he broke into an open run directly at me. I sort of sensed that one coming. Backpack full of library books (so much so, it was literally bursting at the seams) I ran as fast as my legs could carry me. I heard shouting over my shoulder - I'm still not sure if it was "where the fuck are you going" or "what the fuck are you doing", but I didn't want to stick around and find out.

Long story short, I smoked his sorry ass. Backpack full of books nonwithstanding, I could run way faster. I suggest that all would-be muggers of Calgary do mroe cardio, because self-preservation lends my legs more speed than greed or malice lends yours.

Support: Storm and Stress - S/T, Grizzly Bear - Veckatimist, Watchmaker - Erased From the Memory of Man, Darkthrone - The Cult is Alive, Kool Keith - Lost in Space, Fyodor Dosteovsky - The Grand Inquisitor and House of the Dead, Boredoms - Soul Discharge '99, David Harvey - Nature, Justice and the Geography of Distance, debates about the merits of academic inquiry, and the Vietnamese subs from the bake chef that have been a staple of my diet for about four years running.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

I am the eggman...

I really liked the graffiti in Germany. It always meant something, it was always some sort of invective or witticism that stirred me, even if I only understood 18.2% of the scribblings proclaiming that "Grüner Kapitalismus is Schiesse" or advocacy "für Sozialrevolution jetzt!". Grafitti in Canada seems so boring. So uninspired. Until today.

Leaving the university I saw a tag that said CUNT in big huge letters. Juvenile, I thought to myself. Then I walked a closer and I could make out some script just over the offensive term that I could just barely make out. Walking closer, I could see that it said WALRUS. Someone wrote Walrus Cunt on the Math Sciences building and I still can't stop laughing at the thought of it. Dear lord.

Stuff, stuffed together: Talk Talk - Laughing Stock, Fuck the Facts - Stigmata High Five, Circle Jerks - Group Sex, Immortal - All Shall Fall, Darkthrone - A Blaze in the Northern Sky, John Bellamy Foster - Ecology Against Capitalism, the brown stock simmering in my kitchen

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Deep breath before the plunge...

Deadlines are rushing at me like fear-affected suburbanites rushing towards a truck full of H1N1 vaccines. My stomach is in knots almost all waking hours of the day and I am not sleeping. I am so fucking caffeinated that my hands shake, even though I don't really need caffeine to keep me running - adrenaline and a fear of letting other people down usually takes care of the rest.


Yes, happiness.

I just spent five days (five glorious, glorious days) in Vancouver visiting friends and setting up an academic research conference. Man, that place is epic, although 5 straight days of non-stop rain and greyness was a little wearing. I'm pretty grateful for any occasion I have to take five days off to ride bikes, party like a student (because, you know, I'm much more responsible in Calgary), get excited about academia with other young academics, record music, get intimated some of the most opulent real estate in Canada, get intimidated by the worst urban squalor Canada has to offer, have heart-to-hearts, make new friends, and ride bikes. But...

Five days off has crippled my academic process. Or at the very least hobbled it, in a similar way to how Russian peasant used to pay people to break their ankles so they couldn't get conscripted to fight on the front lines in World War I. Or maybe in the way Duane Allman (and probably quite a few others) shot himself in the foot so he could keep playing music and not get drafted for Vietnam. People with foot fetishes might not make good draft dodgers based on these experiences. I don't know. Maybe?

The gerbil racing around powering the wheel in my noggin is going at Mach speed. I like all of this, actually. I like being wired on grindcore and coffee and new knowledge, and I think that a little forlornity and confusion and heartache makes those end-points so much more satisfying. I like sitting down and writing something like this, a letter to the void, with no preparation, just sincerity that stream of consciousness writing provides. This might not make sense now, but in a few months, it will.

Currently enjoying: Lock Up - Hate Breeds Suffering, Art Brut - Bang Bang Rock and Roll, Patton Oswalt - My Weakness is Strong, Various Artists - This Comp Kills Fascists, Vol. 1, Femme Fatale - Fire Baptism, Venetian Snares - Filth, Thomas Pynchon - Inherent Vice, and my ongoing successes with French cuisine.