Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Ambush French Interview!

I just make a big giant fool of myself on French television.

I got ambush-interviewed by these two men on the street with a video camera, who asked me if i spoke French. I said, 'un peu?' and they went ahead and asked me anyway what I thought about the name change of Parc Avenue. I had heard about this, but my research had gone as far as the signs I saw on the street and people telling me about it. So I said, "oh, I know--oh wait--decided?" and I was so bumbling that the interviewer said "C'est fini, c'est decide--it's done." There's nothing more humiliating than being talked at in English when you are trying to have a dialogue in French. So I go on, in French,
ME: "Oh, well, you know, I think it's pretty stupid. Why change the street? We already have a metro station called Henri Bourassa, so it's just going to be confusing for everyone."
HIM: "It's going to be Robert Bourassa Street. Henri and Robert Bourassa are not the same person."
ME: "Oh, uh, oh, I thought it was. So, Rue Bourassa? That's still confusing."
HIM: "Rue Robert Bourassa."
ME: "Oh. Well, anyway. I think it's stupid. it's not a huge political issue for me."
HIM: *blank disapproving look* roughly translated as "stupid Anglo skirt."
ME: *realizing i'm acting like a total n00b: "Well, except for the history! Lots of history! and history is important! So, uh, I'm not happy about it!"
HIM: "Thanks."

Oh man. I can't believe I had a television interview about something I knew absolutely nothing about that changes the city's face, political statement and history, *IN FRENCH!* I managed to come off sounding like I cared more about the difficuly for tourists to get around in a place that had more than one Bourassa than the political implications for Montrealers. At least my French was good. Ironic: my French gets brilliant as soon as I start talking like a retard.

if any of you get ambush-interviewed in the next few days, prepare yourselves!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

makeup is the devil! aaaaaah

I've decided to go makeup-free.

it started out as a week-long experiment, to see what my skin would do, but I am never going back. I was just thinking that maybe my skin was reacting badly to some chemicals in my makeup. I checked out the label and--first strike--the letters were tiny and white on a clear bottle full of light-coloured liquid. It was impossible to read. Strike two--whether or not this particualr makeup had any 'bad' chemicals in it, there is a whole buttload of scary chemicals in there that I do not want on my face!

Strangely, there just happened to be an interview on the Wednesday Morning After show (which I am sure you have all been listening to regularly) about cancer and makeup. Apparently, there is a ton of stuff in makeup, lotions, and haircare products that can be poisonous and that are unregulated. Did you know that 'non-toxic' is a marketing term, and it's completely unregulated? Apparently some makeup contains 'parabins' and 'bisphenols' that are estrogen-mimicking and have been linked to cancer. The connection is too tenuous to cause any changes in the market, but as of last week, all makeups are required to display their ingredients. the toluene and formaldehyde in nail products are also big culprits. Scary.

Anyway, fuck makeup. I'll still wear mascara and stuff when I feel like it, but foundation and cover-up is out of the question. The other issue is that when you wear makeup like that, you are effectively hiding--i'm trying to get used to being myself, au naturel, and not being afraid of that. I'm more awesome when I'm more me, right?

One thing--if I stop shaving my legs and wearing deodorant, i've crossed a line. Stop me. I'm going to go wash my face.

pretentious people suck my epistemology

I had an excellent moment at school last week. There's a thoroughly annoying kid in my MA1 English class who likes to use 'epistemological' 'pedagogical' and 'ontological' as often as possible--preferably in the same sentence. It's unbearably funny trying to listen to him communicate in class. He might as well be saying, "I'm smarter than you. Just so you know. All of you. I'm smarter." As Rob says, he pulls out the $20 words, when a $1 word would do.

Well, we were talking about Dracula, and the connection between technology and one of the main characters. Just for a lark, I decided to actually listen to him for once and respond instead of giggling quietly to myself while he struggles his way through all the words he knows.

I responded by saying something about how Dracula is in general about the fear of emasculation, and how that's tied to the technological revolution, where women can now type and use technology the same way as men.

He snips right back, 'but don't you think it's actually about the fear of going crazy? I think to say it's about the fear of emasculation is just a really vulgar psychoanalytic interpretation." Which is, of course, MA-English-speak for: I'm smarter than you.

But then, i came back with, "But isn't going crazy always gendered female?" Which it is, and everyone in the class murmured assent. Quietly, the girl next to me says, 'That was really good.'

I love getting in intellectual fights with pretentious people.

Ironically, I must sound pretty pretentious for even telling this story, but we'll let that go.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

everything's coming up milhouse

In other, more personal and less poetic news, I'm leaving for Vancouver in less than 2 weeks! I can't wait to get a unlimited month of yoga at Semperviva, eat good food and drink good wine with my parents, bask in the slightly warmer december weather, not be stressed out for a whole month, and, of course, cuddle up with my love. I'll also be hanging out with his parents in North Battleford, Saskatchewan, for a week.

But even more exciting, (i am just bursting with news today), Cheyne is coming back with me! He's takng some time off from his horrible and stressful massage school (ironic, I know), to come live with me in Montreal. He's already heard back from a spa that is willing to interview him even though he doesn't speak French. Granted, he is coming during the worst possible months of the year, so it will be a hard sell tomake him fall in love with Montreal and then stay and get his RMT here. April better be nice.

Anyone know of a sublet opening up around the Plateau for the winter semester?

poetry: 1 philistinism: 0

Well, poetry on the radio has been going swimmingly. The other day, I found out that people were listening to it. And not only people, but people i have never met . Point for poetry!

In other good news, last night, the poet I have the biggest crush on, and on whom I will be writing my MA thesis on, George Elliott Clarke, came to read in Montreal! Not only that, but a bunch of my friends actually wanted to come with me. Four out of five of us loved George as much as I do, and the one straggler had never seen any poetry before.

Also, my plan to slowly take over CKUT is is motion. This week on the show Neil and I are planning and hosting it. I will be doing an interview about cloth diapers and reusable menstrual cups lie the divacup (), which I will fortuitously be waring during the interview.

My hour-long dromotexte show is also coming up pretty soon--in ten days or so. I'm learning how to operate the board tomorrow, and I'm getting some pretty excellent poetry together.

I hope you all hear it and love it as much as I do.