re: toronto protests

august 7, 2010

i have been thinking about the toronto g-20. i don’t have enough information or involvment really, in this kind of thing. but i felt like discussing it with someone, and here in mtl i can’t. so i’m going to post this thing from ‘the field’, one of my former go-to blogs in 2008: if you read it (yael, sonja, lora, vancouver ppl…), please read the comments too. my initial feeling when i heard of what happened sort of corresponded to al giordano’s point…but i learned a lot from the comments too. and i keep thinking of it.

OUT magazine issue – links to AL interview

noiembrie 17, 2009

best and at the same time most tl;dr interview i’ve ever!!! i mean, proportionally, i feel like it’s a bit like obama’s last march speech on the race issue, no disrespect to obama or to the race issue or to the gay issue or …whatever. it explained things to me, and articulated things about discrimination, barriers, evolving mentalities…and framed the personality of the ‘speaker’ in a very good manner. i do wish he would shut up sometimes, but then again, why?  i want to know what he’s got to say – and if it involves TMI, huh. okay, i am overwhelmed and have no original thoughts at this hour. but seriously! seriouslyyyyy!

part 1:

part 2:

rememberance and all that

noiembrie 11, 2009

time off for rememberance day, just enough to catch up and confirm i’m still alive. schedule change and generally preferring not to think about my life at the moment have made sure that i don’t update often…there are things going on…but now that i’m in my late evening post-nap slightly hysterical stage i.e. light-headed and pumped full of the new lady gaga video, maybe it’s not the best time for an update? well too bad.

since beginning of october i’ve been trying to place my writing time in the morning, i.e. i meet yael at ‘our town’ every day before work (7-9) and we have coffee and write…and bitch about ‘current events’ and about our own procrastination processes, and despair over the  chit-chat and idiosyncrasies of the  particular guy  sitting every damn morning in the armchair next to us  (he is kinda insane; so are we, but  hey, this is my diary not his, so shut up.)  really, this morning writing thing has been fun…for one, it makes sure i  am not late for work,because i’ve been already up and stretched and all that by the time i need to start.  secondly,  it will be good  writing material for later  on. i’m not kidding. [on one of the very first days  where the patterns were already clear: insane guy/air conditioning blowing in my face/ cranberry muffins/latte and hot chocolate art/rain –  i remembered  a diane diprima snippet i had read long long ago in the  beat reader about one whole  long winter in new york when she was  sitting in an armchair in her pad  staring at the ceiling eating only oreos.  it has that kind of vibe, when a thread exists that is not really…leading somewhere…but it’s  a spider-webby  journey of its own.]

yael moved, and her new place feels good. what i liked best about going there (twice, of which one on unloading day 🙂 is the sudden view of the house, the corner/lawn…maybe because it’s a corner and the place stands out, who knows the crazy connections my mind can make? but yeah. (i think i was insisting of picking my own small corner inside a nook in the living room…and my sticky note on the fridge. all these things.)

i refuse to think about moving.

halloween went by, no big fuss, thanksgiving was very good and home-y (dinner at sonia z’s, with pablo and her brother and elena – chicken instead of turkey, but the best chicken ever!!!!) and so was elena’s b’day this weekend (dance mixed tapes, three types of home-made muffins and borscht) and…i dunno, two rainy locutions…one poetry bash at the writers’ festival (carol ann duffy!!!! mild freakout pre- and  post-reading about getting to see freakin’ carol ann duffy! yael saw john irving but, oh well.) also, elizabeth had a concert at railway club which i sat through mostly chatting with lora in between acts and drinking cranberry juice, which (= the drinking of juice on a night out) i found hilarious and absolutely the way to go.

adam’s album is coming out soon and i’m glad i can legit like it. it’s been a mad ride, and great learning experience in case i ever want to do a ph d in fan communities, twitter impact, acronyms or slash fiction. otherwise, it’s taken up my evenings in a fuzzy pleasant fashion, occasionally exhilarating, for which i…ok, no comment.and there were a couple of mad mornings @6 and a night i didn’t sleep very well, when each of the singles leaked, and then again when the album snippets leaked. i…”have a lot of feelings”, okay? there are three or four songs there (or more) that i like, period. [<3 LINDA PERRY AND LADY GAGA AND ALISAN PORTER.] now i’m watching the chart climbing.

in obsession-related news: nobel peace prize = hahahaha. nobel literature prize (herta muller) =….mmmm, never heard of her? is that bad? US healthcare: wow. good luck with the senate vote, folks. US local elections: the saddest i was that night was probably about the democrats losing virginia – the maine gay marriage thing was still undecided but yeah – sad. just wait for the old generation to die and the kids to get to voting age. which again brings me to: i don’t know what’s happening in my own country. WHAT THE HELL IS HAPPENING IN ROMANIA? HELP.

i am taking french classes and not really sure how much i’m improving. i mean on the one hand i do my devoir and that. and i attempt to speak in sentences and be a goody-two-shoes above average student. but currently being enrolled just gives me an excuse to not step up the grammar individual study (fucking using l’imparfait and the other stupid pefect simple which i seriously can’t grasp, which they have in all literary texts for narrative purposes). yes, i am disappointed w myself, but damn if i can handle it right now.

i read some amazing things. very short fiction anthology…short stories by nam le, who is awesome…a collection of feminist essays (hilarious), mostly off the batch i bought at the library book sale. also i got a pair of amazing jeans (= right now, my only pants that fit. sads.) and one of decent sunglasses at a clothing swap. and i got a leather jacket whose name is kitty. all these things have their own stories.

i’m doing alright in case you…just nothing is very deep right now. apparently i’m also avoiding talking about the NaNoWriMo project i’m writing on. it’s still just a matter of word count, of covering a lot of…space/time.


a bend in the river

august 26, 2009

why do i still insist on trying to write, when v.s. naipaul already said the only things i had to say, and so much more?!?!? all i can do is try to not copy the whole book here, but to quote discriminately. but read it-read it-read it. oh.

*”I didn’t want to go back. not the first time. i didn’t think my heart could stand it. but the airplane is a wonderful thing. you are still in one place when you arrive at the other. the airplane is faster than the heart. you arrive quickly and you leave quickly. you don’t grieve too much.and there is something else about the airplane. you can go back many times to the same place. and something strange happens if you go back often enough. you stop grieving for the past. you see that the past is something in your mind alone, that it doesn’t exist in real life. you trample on the past,you crush it. in the beginning it is like trampling on a garden. in the end you are just walking on ground. that is the way we have to learn to live now.”

*”i thought when i went to england i would put all that behind me. i had no plans beyond that. the word ‘university’ dazzled me, and i was innocent enough to believe that after my time in the university some wonderful life would be waiting for me. at that age three years seems a long time – you feel that anything can happen. but i hadn’t understood to what extent our civilization had also been our prison. i hadn’t understood either to what extent we had been made by the place where we had grown up, made by Africa and the simple life on the coast, and how incapable we had become of understanding the outside world. we have no means of understanding a fraction of the thought and science and philosophy and law that have gone to make that outside world. we simply accept it. we have grown up paying tribute to it, and that is all that most of us can do. we feel of the great world that it is simply there, something for the lucky ones among us to explore, and then only at the edges. it never occurs to us that we might make some contribution to it ourselves. and that is why we miss everything.

when we land at a place like london airport, we are concerned only not to appear foolish. it is more beautiful and more complex than anything we could have dreamed of, but we are concerned only to let people see that we can manage and are not overawed. we might even pretend that we had expected better. that is the nature of our stupidity and incompetence. and that was how i spent my time at the university in england, not being overawed, always being slightly disappointed, understanding nothing, accepting everything, getting nothing. i saw and understood so little that at the end of my time at the university i could distinguish buildings only by their size, and i was hardly aware of the passing of the seasons.and yet i was an intelligent man, and could cram for examinations.”

*”you’ve talked a lot […] about those girls from East Africa in the tobacco kiosks, selling cigarettes at all hours of the night. they’ve depressed you. you say they don’t have a future and that they don’t even know where they are. i wonder whether that isn’t their luck. they expect to be bored, to do what they do. the people i’ve been talking about have expectations and they know they’re lost in london. i suppose it must be dreadful for them when they have to go back. this area is full of them, coming to the centre because it is all they know about and because they think it’s smart, and trying to make something out of nothing. you can’t blame them. they’re doing what they see the big people doing.”

yay pity party. two in one, crushed as a person and as a writer. thankyouverymuch, sir.


august 11, 2009

this is an argument that always blocks me. what do i say to people who believe this?:

„the bottom line of leftist thought is that individuals cannot know reality or truth, that there is no objective truth. if there is no objective truth, then everything is excused. if we cannot know reality, then to act and build is futile. if an individual is just a collection of neurons and genes, or a receptacle for whatever environmental data that’s input, then he isn’t responsible for himself. in a world like this, everything’s on the same level, whether it’s a bach sonata or a papier mache pig made by a retarded kid. everybody’s on the same level; you’re supposed to care as much or more about thousands of vietnamese strangers as you would about your own family. in a world like this, what can you value or turn to but the approval and love of other people – any other people?” (mary gaitskill – ‘two girls, fat and thin’) (do NOT read that book, though!)

reasons i’m having trouble with this:

– my own screwed up feelings about family values

– third world inferiority complex turned elitism (it IS environment, people!)

– whenever i try to take an individual stand against the „everybody’s on the same level” thing, i do it in a psychotic and unavoidably random way. (i.e. someone’s story is as interesting as any other story – then why THAT someone? i don’t know why.)

i can’t even say more about it.

seagulls at 5 a.m.

august 11, 2009


– a bunch of people (not more than 10 all in all), close enough to be thought of /remote enough to be obsessed about – plus their partners, pets and own weirdnesses

– a bunch of places: desk by the window view yay; 99 bus route (got the timing down by heart); the freaking campus (SUB/ library); table at ‘our town’; main broadway to 30th; commercial broadway up to napier; false creek waterfront; wreck beach, jericho, spanish banks, kits; lora’s downtown bit; 1067 granville

– weather between the *presumed* seasons: no seriously: the no-thick- coat-in-winter, the fog, some rainy days when rain is a relief (about 1/20 of all rain that occurs but w/e), late nights in summer, the awesome blooms in spring

– bookstores, literary journals, free magazines (mag boxes), newspapers available in cafes – that is the way to go – not having that will be fucking crippling!!(i’m almost crying, so moving on…)

– readings: the blenz/rhizome grouplet, the pulp fiction/montmartre one.

– along the same lines of ‘people read the books i read’ – although the statement is blatantly false and the situation far fuzzier: my ‘current news’ being closer to canada’s current news than to romania’s. i guess they’ve always been. and yes, it is a matter of being left-inclined and of going global in order to flee the bleak reality under my nose blah blah. sue me. (i am in pain over possibly not being able to read ‘dilema’ at home any more…i’ll freaking get into political arguments all the time with people i do respect…hell.)

– i’ve got monopoly on righteousness (of the outsider who’s had it worse in the other place)

-from far enough away, i’ve been told i might look glamorous. only in vancouver/on west coast, though. i have too much respect for montreal to presume it would work there

-close to U.S., i.e. i can use my visa for cheaper (not that i wouldn’t go cluj-new york as soon as i get the money lined up…that visa is too precious to waste)

[under construction]

president obama,

ianuarie 21, 2009

may the disenchantment be not quick, not deep, not tragic.

my 2008 through songs (2)

decembrie 15, 2008

(continued) i am too pissed to figure out now exactly why my links won’t link, or why the font of my post changes midway through the text…i might fix that later, i might not. i would bet on the ‘not’. but moving on,



i was on the plane back from romania, across the atlantic. imagine listening to this in flight. with your eyes closed. or/and, imagine: „today is a day for someone else/ this moment is yours and you can give it to someone else.”


this is from matt, close to his birthday, but before i started working. i was settling in the new place, taking walks by the ocean and exploring the surroundings of main. sunny september mornings, good times. also, from about the same days:



obviously, juno soundtrack. but they’ll also remind me forever of my day painting the walls at elena’s, right after david foster wallace died. how can that happen? well. memory is a very complicated thing.


i was writing with yael at prado, on a friday afternoon:). i had no idea who the band were or what song. so i asked.

and in the following, you’ll see what one gets when one moves in with a musician: a bunch of good songs to be obsessed with:

24. PALYA BEA – ZOLD AZ ERDO (elizabeth calls it the gypsy anthem. it’s from tony gatliff’s ‘transylvania’.)

25. LHASA – LA CONFESSION – bad youtube version; but oh how i love french!!!



28. GANG OF FOUR – DAMAGED GOODS (possibly song of the season. no comment needed.)


not sure what put me onto my short wilco stage; could be yael’s doing…anyway yael, you’ll be happy (maybe not) to find out that wilco (based in chicago :)) are rahm’s favourite band. not that i knew this at that time.


hmmm, how can you tell that in sept-october i used to spend all my thursdays and spare afternoons at prado, hearing various songs and then looking them up on youtube? yep. ‘the organ’ is a vancouver band (local pride yay).


minimalism is amazing. (and this is a facebook + prado song).


not only a victory song; though i admit, this is what it primarily was to me. i do see, though, that the text is ambiguous – that it shows the character on edge, and not necessarily cocky. he is damn frightened, but/and making a commitment. that’s what i think everytime i hear the lyrics. (and he fucks things over too, probably; i wish i knew really who the song was written about.)


here we go – the dark, fumbling part of my autumn, a.k.a ‘the fall’. brilliant song, no?

and then, for a split second, i fell in love:



on the record: i do believe that seeing a friend take a different path from yours and knowing there’s nothing you can do about it is the best excuse for ending the world in a holocaust.


because i’m not the only one, obviously :). i hope he gets and keeps a huge following, so the band can do a nice video/recording.


as i was saying – political songs are hard to get right, but when you strike a chord, keep striking it.



and, really, really, really, you should hear this. but you can’t, yet, cause the album’s only coming out in april.


(„there’s a new day coming/i can feel it in my bones/but what that day brings/i prefer to leave unknown”- or smth.) scary good stuff.

transitioning: obamarahma

noiembrie 9, 2008

ok, but it could have been over. i could have been in the position of those obamazombies ‘the onion’ talks about (harder to do with a semi-job+writing to do, but yeah). who rediscover the emptiness of their lives now that the campaign’s done. look how obama’s brilliance saved me from that!

(paranthesis: you know those dickish boyfriends who keep a girl hanging on? sure you do. whenever she -hysterically or not- threatens to go, the douche will do a half-assed nice gesture. not more than is necessary. by which i’m NOT implying anything about obama, of course, but everything about the perversity of life. esp. for obsessives.)

i have 2 words for you guys: rahm emanuel.

the new (‘designated’) white house chieff of staff. i’d learned about him before, a little, during the primaries, but didn’t stop then because i was still reading about barack a lot, and the race was on. well, on wednesday, it was rahm emanuel time. honestly if i hadn’t thought the guy looks absolutely hot, who would have bothered to check all the articles ever published about him 🙂 on the internets? really now. (also, this is the most unfortunate way to prove to myself again that whatever interest i have in obama is not really, wholly, a ‘crush’. ! 😦 )

but whatever. the administration of The Cool. emanuel’s story is truly fascinating, i mean even if he was old and disgusting. (* way better than the fiction books i’ve been reading lately, and i guess i should consider as mitigating circumstances that a) ondaatje annoyed me immensely; b) i’m getting interested in anecdotics etc, and the emanuels are all divas) it’s going to be one hell of a white house, if it starts like this. at least look up a good photo of him on huffpost, current page…of course part of me would like to assure everyone of the complexities of my sudden admiration, by sending you to read long articles, interviews etc. in chicago tribune and wsj etc. to see what i mean. the realistic part sighs and gives it up. but no shrug. i will never shrug about rahm emanuel:).

climax of my year 2: yes. we. did.

noiembrie 9, 2008

this week. tuesday, november 4.

versus the rest of the week, and the year.

it’s not change. change is not like that. i don’t feel more triumphant these days. maybe i feel nicer: because since wednesday morning i’ve probably smiled non-stop at work, my cheeks hurt, plastered in a rictus. sometimes it goes down cause i’m tired, but reappears in the instant of interaction: i thank everyone for everything. i get teased and complimented on my smile. but there is not an abruptness to it, as in yesterday i was sad today i’m happy. i’m probably not even happier: i „knew” we were going to win before, right? and obama is still guarded by the secret service and basically under threat non-stop, right? and victories fizzle out, and ok, maybe this is a short honeymoon but we all know what happens to honeymoons.

i’m not sure if people (and which people) expect an account from me on what i did and felt on that night, the cnn projections, the crowds. it’s simple: i don’t know what i felt. it was good because i could scream. i screamed a lot. in the yaletown brewery i positioned myself at the bar, under the screen, in a completely full room. in non-fiction i spent the last hour of the course with nadia’s laptop on my knees, after kinda announcing i wouldn’t be participating in the workshop. i let loose, and it was good while it lasted. but i was noticing myself doing what i assumed was expected of me. i noticed myself gasping, facebooking people from the bar, jumping sites to check maps, yelling stuff about senate races, talking to americans, hugging the only kenyan in yaletown (who, of course, was tearing up) but it was ok, because. we were winning. why not?

my voice almost went, and it was raining. after 4 beers, on the skytrain, the science world lights swung by dangerously close, and i was alone. who is the ‘we’ in yes we can, yes we did? downtown vancouver knew there was a president-elect obama, and they kept on their way to clubs, they kept walking in groups, soberly, chattering lightly. no one outside of yaletown jumped up or embraced someone next to them. and when i asked for directions, with my delirious eyes, and my smile, they didn’t even smile back. i wanted to put my tongue out at them, or take a stick and beat them. i knew in DC people were shouting at the white house gates, i knew in grant park they were trying to prolong the moment, later i saw youtubes of dancing in the streets in seattle. running on commercial in the rain, to sonja’s, i wanted to be in the US. (*not then: in general. it’s the US that i want – in the good moments and the bad). then a guy selling books under an arcade (at 11 :)), and i couldn’t help myself and asked. „you know obama won?” and he said yes, and nooded at me smiling, finally. a group was coming down and they cheered and gave me a high-five. further – empty. a girl on a bike passed by and looked at me and mouthed ‘obaaamaa’, but lightly, almost a whisper. i entered, and sonja poured me champagne.

i woke up smiling every day since. my boss gave me hot oatmeal to repair my voice. i smiled collecting newspapers from tables, folding them with the first family picture neatly on top. i thought about it long – the moment of the speech – and discovered i hadn’t cried. at all. lots of people cried for joy: apparently i only cry for sorrow. (cecilia, the boss’s wife, looked at one of the huge pictures, and what she had to say was, „poor guy, his grandma died”.) i see obama’s face, tired and deeply lined, his posture the moments before he spoke. somehow it makes it harder in retrospect to see what the cheering or the crying was for. the guy freakin’ just got himself a job. (and no, i’m not cynical. i’m trying to be…nuanced?…)

whatever. my point is that i understand elation, but when it lasts more than a few minutes it’s harder to understand. so i feel good. we’re better positioned for the US to get well under an obama administration. (again, what am i doing in the ‘we’??) and tuesday night was not the purpose for me. i’m still in it. for the serious and non-serious reasons. mumbling „president-elect obama” from time to time, tasting it like soft icecream. reading about the first presser, the cabinet, looking forward to jan 20 and beyond. it’s the only way i can adopt a country, apparently. by being a freak about that country, while i’m someplace else. (and yes it’s all my illusion & wishful thinking, thank you very much.)

but from now on it will be harder for me. silenter. i can’t expect any canadian, hell, any american, to keep up with these things as much as i’ll keep keeping up. i understand that the election caused interest (though, i mean, ‘canadian enthusiasm’ is after all an oxymoron), and that is over now. nevertheless. („yes we did” sounds way sadder than „yes we can”). but yes, we still can. it’s a fine beginning my friends.