busy is good (???)

februarie 29, 2008

really not sure bout this one. it would seem so (i.e. makes you feel useful, therefore alive, cuts off time spent in meditating on crap, cuts off time spent thinking- period.) what is obviously happening to me is, i need to have mandatory tasks (assignments) in order to be able to neglect them, by focusing on much more interesting non-mandatory things (=other things). and i call that being busy, despite the fact that (1) i almost break my school deadlines everytime, and that (2) actually respecting school deadlines is the only palpable result one sees from me.

so i keep achieving the small tasks that i’m not much into, but can do, while the nice alluring stuff keeping me awake on deadline nights (like tonight) remains uncompleted, swirling about somewhere. i call this being busy.

story of what carmen did this week, vs. what carmen ‘did’ this week:

on sunday afternoon i met maya and the actors to re-discuss the rewritten script, and from there i went straight downtown to elizabeth’s to watch the oscars at her place (left 1 a.m., got home after 2). on monday after extra-long ‘wreck’ class, went straight downtown to the ‘new shoots’ reading with the highschool kids, which trailed into 10 p.m.. on tuesday morning i rewrote the script for the 3rd time, then at school, then after rhea’s class we all went to rhea’s for the planned yearly reading, got home at 10 again and caught up on the ohio debate comment threads…. on wednesday after class i met maya again for script discussion, home at 6 finally, but i read the class material for fiction and then i just slept. today i went out early to go to the bank and finally pay my taxes+ insurance, ended up with 2 hours to waste in point grey, went to a nice cafe self-consciously setting myself to write poetry (meh).

all through this, carmen was „thinking up the  second draft of her novel”.

and tonight i have a ridiculous (=huge) assignment to do in the how-to-be-a-writer class, the one where i got 19/20 on the 1st one, for „typos” (meaning, in nancy lee’s books, one vocabulary inappropriacy and 2 missing periods at the end of lines that in her mind were meant to have been sentences, and in mine not really.) oh well. so now i’ll just keep doing fine tuning for the novel in my head, very alertly and off the point, while, in the remaining 9 hours til i leave for class, the market research for publishers will somehow resolve itself, god willing.


bit of doubt (0.5%)

februarie 29, 2008

only thing that keeps me from…dunno…wallpapering my room with obama posters? actually writing fan letters? not even that…the 0,5% that keeps me from probably being a total fanatic. i’m just 99.5% that, because:

what’s missing is, i haven’t seen him lose. sure we don’t wanna see that NOW, OR in november – hopefully won’t, either. but it’s important. not a new hampshire loss, when (a)michelle had to prop him up on the stage for a tiny moment, (b) he gave the unfortunate 🙂 speech that is the basis of „yes we can” , net advantage barack obama. no: the creepy, grinding long-time kind of loss, that tests everything you’ve got in terms of ambition, belief in your own message, power of coming up from behind WITH A BRUISE on your record. (i know he has a bad defeat in a u.s. senate run 8 ys. ago; that was the last time he didn’t kick ass.)

defeats are bound to occur – as a president, if not as candidate. there will be bruises, and stains. it’s painful to even consider, yes, i know, at one point barack obama will be an old man, and ‘old news’ in politics. oh my god. one day we’ll all die. but i just wish i had the assurance he can carry boneheaded mistakes as well as he carries victories. that he REALLY CAN repair stuff. repair himself.


silly season

februarie 24, 2008

so i find myself gloomily lurking in dismal corporate cafes (that is, not sophisticated-pleasing-to-all-senses ones, but ordinary blenzes and starbuckses), pretending to write…something…and instead just biding my time so as to cut off the blog-politicking. alas, as long as it gets to easily more than 7 hrs/day, it is still addiction. whateva.

so i find myself, when vacant, i.e. not reading blogs – shaken. by anger. unpredictable, uncontrollable waves of anger, and i sit, choking on coffee, doodling on useless papers, hating everybody who doesn’t care about me, doesn’t show interest, everybody who is forgetting.

the odds are increasing, and some moments i see it increasingly clear, and wonderfully, through the mandatory teary eyes – that no more ties exist, that i could simply disappear. canada is nothing but air, don’t trust anyone who tells you otherwise. nothing connects to nothing, and all the world is air, with just clouds of anger traveling.


let down

februarie 20, 2008

incerc sa fiu ‘corecta’ in a-mi exprima dezamagirea – chiar daca nu e vorba de corectitudine. is un pic mai mult ca un catel batut decat ca un cetatean indignat. dar componenta de cetatean indignat exista, si asta vreau s-o afisez aici; fiindca ea conteaza.

evident ca stiam c-o sa fiu dezamagita in minunarea mea despre obama. na – s-a intamplat. vorbiti cu mine daca vreti detalii despre „scandalul” cu plagiatul. altfel nu ma apuc sa le dau, ca-s amarata destul. din punct de vedere strict legal, obama are dreptate: nu a fost plagiat propriu-zis, si este o practica obisnuita printre politicieni, din cate imi dau de inteles blogurile. din punct de vedere…hmmm…sa zic ‘moral’? – a fost o greseala tampita si o dovada de lene, de sloppiness campaign-wise, de intins mana dupa solutia cea mai la indemana. prima bresa in armura. ar face bine sa nu mai aiba multe, fiindca incepe sa castige.

ma enerveaza ca nu pot fi incantata de noile victorii, pentru ca sunt suparata din cauza unei asemenea tampenii. deja imi enumar in minte cata buna-purtare ii trebuie batutului-in-cap acuma ca sa-si rascumpere greseala. cat mai MULT astept efectiv de la el acuma. in contrast, faptul ca michelle obama a spus ca-i mandra de tara ei pt prima data…e perfectly ok by me ; a luat-o gura pe dinainte; n-am nici o problema cu asta. si eu vreau pt prima data sa fiu americanca, din aceeasi cauza ca ea. da sa faca bine barbatu-sau sa nu mai reproduca verbatim discursuri vechi.

words fucking do matter. words are fucking not cheap, and just words are not just words – fucking try harder, barack. you didn’t set the bar high just to crawl underneath it. fuck. i am really really furious. all supporters should be.


the beehive

februarie 17, 2008

last night i went for dinner at yael’s, of course not knowing what i’d find and trying not to expect anything. it took 1 1/2 hours+ to get (2 buses&walk) but once you get there it’s ‘not that far’ – off the famous commercial drive which i was so distressed looking up back in sept., and which i do keep hearing is the coolest deal in this small town.

i knew yael’s place was a ‘community house’ but had no idea of the specifics. well, it’s even got a name(the beehive, duuuh); it’s 6 adults and one very cute 5 or 6 year old kid, in a lot of small rooms…with a set of rules, if seemingly chaotically applied. the kitchen is a mess, but every adult is assigned a night/week of cooking; they have a cleaning rota; they have rules about composting, cutting waste; they don’t eat anything animal or wheat. asta poate sa sune foarte bine, si poate sa FIE bine, decat ca un set atat de rigid de reguli (pe principii straine mie, ce-i drept) imi suna a constrangere. ma rog.

people are ok. i’m trying to reinforce, with every breath, my belief that people are basically ‘the same’ all round. yael’s other friends who were there for the dinner – anjuli and maryam – were off different sets than both me and the beehive people. anjuli is east-indian, chattery and easy-going, a great cook (brought a sort of indian dish that was totally tasty) etc.  maryam is persian-born (i gotta ask maya, is there a difference btw identifying yourself as ‘persian’& ‘iranian’??? there’s gotta be one, i’m just so out of these things) canadian, with-it and slightly stand-offish sophisticated, and she is – oh my god, they exist!!! – a community organizer. fuck!

time to find out what my host/friend actually does work-wise 🙂 – well, yael and maryam apparently work together on a sort of a handbook on global citizenship, to be used in teaching at UBC…inclusive education, awareness, borderline ‘community development’. i’m sloppy and vague at expressing this, but well. i’m bound to find out more and i’ll let ya know. at the moment i’ve assigned myself one piece of mandatory reading, so then i’ll hopefully have a update.

totul a fost ok. acuma incep sa-mi explic de ce si in ce fel canadienii sunt subtili (deja sunt sarcastica aicea, nu va alarmati): nimeni nu a urlat la nimeni, yael a avut grija de toti, si totusi. au fost ochi dati peste cap din diverse motive, au fost mici depasiri de limita. stau si imi dau seama ca ASTA INSEAMNA „community organizing”, si incep sa ma cutremur un pic; pe urma ma calmez ca nu-i chiar asa- ce am vazut eu aseara nu e anormal, dar E mult mai leftist decat standardul (whateva the standard may be – i’m beginning to be suspicious of standards now; cred ca standardul in mintea mea e televizor si bere, undeva in afara canadei. well.)

sa dau exemple, ca sa nu va plictisiti si sa pierdeti firul: fetita casei (solena) nu a mancat in viata ei ciocolata. in loc de ciocolata mananca carob(!!!), desi se stie clar ca ii plac dulciurile. ok, sa zic ca ma mir si accept, bravo lor, parinti responsabili. in urmatoarea secunda o vad pe solena, aged 6, ok, maybe 5, sugand lapte de la sanul lui maica-sa. trebe sa stau un pic perplexa ca sa ma gandesc daca e fiziologic posibil – apparently so – si pe urma trec peste fenomen incercand sa nu pronunt judecati.

evident ca in casa nu exista televizor, ce credeati. in schimb exista ‘camera de meditatie’. cand ajungem cu turul casei in camera de meditatie insa, yael si tasha reusesc sa se aproape-certe pentru ca cineva mutase o masa de la loc si camera avea un cu totul different feel. „you mean compared to 2 months ago?”intreaba tasha, cu subtextul evident „…de cand ai meditat tu aici ultima data.” – hmmm. eu in timpul asta cugetam cu ce viteza as fi pleznit pe cineva si as fi iesit ca sa-mi fac bagajele. communities will be communities, and i just leave it at that.

dupa cina am iesit cu yael si maryam (si doi tipi impromptu adusi de maryam) sa mancam gelatto pe commercial drive, in cel mai bun loc pt gelatto din van (so now i know). yael si-a carat si catelul, pe ypsi, care are ‘separation anxiety’ (da, ati ghicit: imi dau ochii peste cap as i type), dar a fost misto ca nu are voie cu el in locuri publice, si deci catelul era ascuns intr-o doggy bag, si exista suspansul ca era posibil sa inceapa sa latre at any point in time. gelattoul a fost bun, ne-am luat o groaza de arome, evident, si am primit o cupa de vanilie gratis :), am mai vorbit cu maryam, care imi place, desi pare genul de persoana eficienta care imi da fiori. la o prima intalnire cred ca sunt in stare sa par destul de adunata (i was just wondering…), iar canadienii trebuie sa aiba o veche deprindere in a parea interesati. pe urma brusc, in mod absolut surprinzator (ca si cu elizabeth si lora, cred; imi amintesc momentele) m-am trezit rabufnind cand yael m-a intrebat daca ies cu colegii mei de la UBC. am spus ca iesitul nu indica nimic – ca sunt oameni acolo care imi plac, dar nici asta nu indica nimic. yael a aprobat si a inregistrat. nici macar nu mi-e jena, pentru ca nu mint- imi ascut doar pitch-ul – soon enough it will be so sharp it’s gonna work like magic. (mai tarziu maryam m-a dus acasa, si pe drum again m-am auzit zicand : „the narrative i’m trying to impose about myself is that…”)

mda. autoreflexivitatea intr-o prima faza ar trebui sa nu strice defel. vom vedea. (cu paranteza ca o sa fac urat data viitoare cand cineva ma lauda pt cat de buna e engleza mea. e engleza, for god’s sake, just quit it!) nici nu mai stau sa trag concluzii, ok? concluziile o sa le trag la vara, undeva pe o terasa. ca ultim element as dori sa mentionez parerea exprimata de maryam pe la spatele lui yael in legatura cu feng-shuiul din beehive. eu n-as fi pus-o in termeni de feng-shui, i guess it just goes to show, yet again. dar pe yael o iubim oricum.


for all the wrong reasons, and more (falling in love with commitment)

februarie 16, 2008

1. stiam de barack obama ‘dintotdeauna’. stiti ce vreau sa exprim: ca nu exista un moment precis in care eu sa fi zis, aha, uite acest politician de culoare care vorbeste frumos. trebuie sa fi stiut de el de prin 05, si probabil incep sa inventez amintiri, cu el pe o coperta de ‘newsweek’ de-a lui matt, cu cineva (giulia?? nu? credeam ca lari, dar probabil nu ea) entuziasmatA la ideea ca obama va candida in turul urmator de prezidentiale. stiam fara sa fi trebuit sa urmaresc.

2. si totusi nu stiam. in pivnicioara mea de pe W21st Ave., in octombrie 07, ma uitam la TV cu un fel de stupoare greu de descris – e un sentiment diferit fata de tv-ul de la noi – si am vazut niste bucati de dezbateri. as putea sa jur ca aveam egala simpatie pt obama si clinton atunci, dar ceva din mine refuza sa se pronunte, ma amanam in ideea ca well, mai este destul timp. sa ne intoarcem in timp si sa ne amintim, (generatia mea de romani) de cand o stim pe hillary. eu si colega mea de banca dintr-a sasea ne-am imbratisat de bucurie cand bill a fost ales. de ce, de unde dracu stiam, evident era ilogic, evident era o chestie cool ca america sa aiba un presedinte tanar si …hm, sexy. (come to think about it, nu cred ca bill clinton mi s-a parut vrodata sexy, but obviously that’s just me.)

recapitulare: stiam dintotdeauna si nu stiam nimic. sunt lucruri pe care le-am luat de bune fara sa ma ostenesc sa ma intreb de ce. de multe ori asta e rau, dar in alte cazuri (cand ceva se potriveste – cand ai nimerit-o – cand castigi) poti spune ca e instinct, ca te-a ajutat in viata, ca e bine sa te bazezi pe cele mai generoase impulsuri ale tale etc. stiam despre mine ca sunt democrata, ca sunt idealisto-entuziasta, ca barbatii sexy alesi presedinti ma pot face sa ma imbratisez cu colega de banca, chiar daca nu am pariat nimic pe victoria lor. de asemenea, oricine ma cunoaste cred ca putea garanta despre mine ca o sa ajung AICI.

3. si ajungi intr-un punct unde te pui in situatia de a hotari. unde descoperi ca ai hotarat deja. pe la sfarsitul lui decembrie ma bucura ideea ca incep alegerile; nu gandeam foarte departe. eram multumita ca ma incadrez in tiparele clasice pt mine – rooting for the loser, but not so involved that it would hurt.

4. dupa iowa m-am trezit ca-mi tin respiratia. „this can’t be happening”. sunt cea mai pesimista fiinta posibila, DAR tocmai pt ca stiu ca am tone de idealism de contracarat. i made all the mistakes, i went in deep for all the wrong reasons: am aflat ca nu stiusem nimic, cand am inceput sa stiu – de pe siteuri, de pe bloguri, din arhivele senatului, for god’s sake etc etc etc. m-am simtit prost pentru ca alesesem deja si tot ce faceam era sa-mi consolidez alegerea.

(paranteza: ca sa va ganditi de cate ori v-ati indragostit „la prima vedere”, dupa care pt o perioada de timp tot ce aflati va sporea incantarea cum ca uite ce misto, CHIAR E ASA, chiar merita. ca sa va reamintesc ca uneori instinctul respectiv e corect, alteori nu. do not discount it just like that.)

5. embarrassment. avand o personalitate de borderline hysteric, sunt suportera unui candidat care genereaza un cult, care aduna zeci de mii de oameni la rallies, care provoaca lesinuri, declaratii sentimentale de suport in presa, din partea unor politicieni – who should know better – din partea lui oprah, a lui scarlett johansson…sunt o persoana care nu chiar a lacrimat, dar a zambit si s-a inrosit la „yes we can”, dupa care, in cateva zile, a ajuns sa-si dea ochii peste cap la vederea aceluiasi videoclip – pentru ca stim ca ceea ce ne face placere paradoxal ne si rusineaza. se pare ca flegmaticii o duc cel mai bine cu the self-image – eu sunt intr-o continua lupta cu tendintele mele. sunt o persoana care da click-uri ‘de simpatie’ pe nasul sashei si maliei obama in pozele de familie de pe forumuri…care a vazut asemanarea lui michelle O cu jackie O inainte de a citi asta in vreun articol. mult mai important, sunt cineva care, de cand au inceput alegerile, nu-si mai doreste macar sa citeasca cosmopolitan. simplu – pentru ca am inlocuitorul perfect. how does that make you, wait, how does that make ME feel about me?

6. the wrong reasons do not dispel the right ones. mi-l amintesc pe ovidiu, la 2 saptamani dupa ce incepuse actuala lui relatie (rock-solid, and totally justified) spunand „de data asta vreau sa fiu serios”. motivele fiecaruia sunt relative la moment, la loc, la o multime de alte lucruri. as fi putut sa rad, sa ridic din umeri etc; daca relatia ar fi esuat, eu as fi avut dreptate; fiindca a inflorit, dreptatea a fost a lui. riscul a existat acolo, indiferent de motive. anunti ca sustii ceva: cineva o sa rada si o sa ridice din umeri.

7. iluzii. idealismul meu e misto prin imensitatea cantitatii de noroi prin care e dispus sa treaca. am mai spus la vro duzina de oameni, il admir pe obama in primul rand pt pragmatism. si-a facut o imagine super. credem noi, majoritatea idiotilor din tabara lui, ca imaginea aia e suta la suta reala? come on. dar ea exista acolo, si e net superioara imaginilor clinton si mccain. punct in plus pentru el. la fel, campania. it sure does help that he’s young, and looks good, and can give a nice speech. doar nu veti fi pretinzand sa doresc pentru america un presedinte naspa, incoerent, batran si cu IQ sub 100. hmmmm.

8. bottom-line illusions: my american dream. dorinta mea de a conta in lume, ca om care scrie si discuta cu alti oameni, are sens doar in contextul in care lumea e pregatita sa-l aleaga pe obama presedinte. mi se pare atat de clar incat stau si ma intreb de ce m-am chinuit sa repet aceste totally self-evident truths. nu stiu sa detaliez puncte de pe agenda politica propriu-zisa (decat daca sunt intrebata in mod specific), dar stiu ca convingerea mea e justificata atat politic (pragmatic) cat si…ahem…’mundan’ (stilistic, or whatever). mult mai important, stiu ca m-am gandit la orice pe tema asta, si nimeni – decat faptele viitoare – nu poate veni cu ceva nou ca sa imi mineze convingerea. probabil am devenit obamaniaca din motive gresite (vezi fan ‘nirvana’ post- kurt cobain’s death), dar raman asa din motivele corecte, among others. do not discount me just because i feel strongly about it.

ok, that’s a wrap for today.


rhizome cafe – waiting to leave

februarie 16, 2008

aseara dupa curs am fost cu john si jaclynn la cina, de valentine’s 🙂 de fapt de ziua lui jaclynn – si pe urma la reading, la Locution, unde am facut poze. e ciudat cu pozele astea: ma ia si ma lasa cheful la intervale imprevizibile – ma rog, aseara m-am chinuit. de fapt m-am chinuit ca sa ma tin ocupata. ar fi trebuit sa fie o seara excelenta, toata lumea era acolo, fusesem ‘eating out’, sangria, chestii. totusi – am stat aprox. o ora (socotit pe ceas) dupa readinguri dorindu-mi nimic altceva decat sa fiu in camera mea, dar stiind ca ar fi nasol sa plec si basically asteptandu-l pe john sa ma care in minvan-ul lui (desi puteam sa iau busul -, anyway.)

deci am staaaat, si am staaat, am ascultat vreo 5 conversatii, mutandu-ma pe la mese, am furat valentine si am capatat un sticker (fetele ne lipeau la toti chestii pe bluze) cu niste prumbei&trandafiri…se vorbea despre babe care joaca bingo, despre „into the wild”, o tipa croseta ceva albastru, se vindeau carti de la ‘duthie’, larissa si liz si-au comandat pe la 10 niste supa verde care arata gretos (cica e ff buna mancarea totusi – da well, astia is vegetarieni toti, orice arata verde ii bun). grant a venit cu o tipa blonda, essential vancouver – silfida, cu o dantura de reclama, cu niste cercei foarte mari si delicati – ciudati- intr-o mini-rochie neagra si cu un picior in ghips. mi-a placut cum o tinea de dupa umeri  non-stop – am zis ca grant e fain:) . bruce, care a cantat 2 cantece proprii, si i-am zis ca suna ca tim buckley – deja stie cum sa deschida o discutie cu mine: „so, i see barack is doing well these days.”

si asteptam sa plec. oamenii se inghesuiau s-o complimenteze pe liz, de care imi place asa tare incat nicicum nu reusesc sa-i spun nici un cuvant. john mi-a dat jumate din cidrul lui, on top of the sangria. lumea isi scria valentine in prostie. pe urma se inchidea si toti mergeau la ‘legion’, si a trebuit sa ma stramb in mod repetat ca sa-i exprim lui john cat de mult NU vreau sa merg la ‘legion’, ci dimpotriva, vreau sa fiu singura. pe drum, in zona mea, intre highbury si crown, un sconcs a iesit in mijlocul drumului si s-a oprit un pic, cugetand probabil daca sa-i binecuvanteze masina lui john.