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Monday, September 19, 2005

Things That Make Me Laugh

1. The ATSA

Even if you hear about "social justice" or so-called "culture jamming" actions, I find it's rare that you actually get to see one in progress. This evening, after relishing an oh-so bourgeois/hipster dinner and study session at Euro Deli, I went to unlock my bike which was parked on Saint Laurent, directly in front of a teeming SUV. The SUV dwarfed, yet was conspicuously adorned with a parking ticket--- or rather a ticket courtesy of the civilian officers of the ATSA (Action Terroriste Socialement Acceptable) . The ticket "fined" the owners of the vehicle for "driving a vehicle that consumes more than 15 litres of gasoline per 100 kilometres" and was accompanied with a personal note in French asking "Si grand, si necessaire?". With gas prices in Montreal at $1.10 as of this morning, it proved a worthy question to be asked, whether from the pragmatic standpoint of both consumer and (radical) environmentalist. Before I rode away rather self-righteously I had the satisfaction of witnessing the uber-hip owner couple of the offending vehicle pick up their ticket. For more on the ATSA, check out this article.

2. Mad Hot Ballroom

In my best Ebert and Roeper parlance: "delightful, uplifting and a testament to the often understimated power of youth". This documentary about the annual ballroom dancing program and competition for New York City elementary school children gives insight into an educational, and rather unconventional program that introduces 10 and 11-year olds to the Rhumba, Swing, Merengue and Tango. The filmmakers chronicle the progress of three classes in Washington Heights, Tribeca and Manhattan on their road to the "Colours of the Rainbow" final. The protagonists of the film are incredibly articulate and charming, as they show off their excellent dance skills as well as their aspirations. Some of the greatest scenes occur when they are asked about their thoughts on the opposite sex, what they'd like to do when they grow up, and of course, what they think about ballroom dance. They come from a variety of backgrounds and reveal the class differences that exist in America. My favorite moment: stocky brothers Michael and Ronnie talking in their thick New York accents about how much they enjoy dancing, while playing foosball in the basement of their home with their buddies.

Go see it if you have the chance.


Comments:
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This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 

Hi! Nice blog ya got here! [insert spam here] Come check out my website.

Like what the hell is up with that poem about the Spokane County INterstate Fair, followed by a link to an LA SUV limousine site? Wow, eh?

Anyway I'm jealous of your skills.. I think I need to start using thesaurus.com to keep up with all your parlances and what-not!

Really though I'm enjoying, thoroughly.

 

p.s. you can delete the spam...

 

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 

bebe. pourquoi est ce que le not-the-most-recent-post est si petit? I know you're little and cute, but... please coax your template to be more like your heart and less like your jollibee frame :)

ah, schtroumpfette, how I miss you!
steph

 

petite chouette! will try and change the template when i have time, just got a hold of some nice software to play with too. sorry for the small fonts :) but thanks for reading bebe.

 

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Monday, September 12, 2005

Everyone Loves a Surprise

--especially me! Especially birthday surprises, which is exactly what I got on my birthday which was earlier this week. While I was busy whining to my friends, on my blog, and in my head about how much a I missed Jameel, he was really plotting to return to Montreal prematurely and show up at my house. Then as if that wasn't enough, the man took me out for a delicious dinner at "La Charactere Chinois" near Parc Lafontaine, and orchestrated a brilliant plan that had me returning to my home to find a party happening, complete with two cakes and 30 people in my living room.

Ah, he really knows how to massage my (not so tense) ego and give me exactly what I love.
For anyone who doesn't know me, birthdays for me, as an only child for ten years, meant that I adored--- heh, actually, adore --- being the center of attention on my birthday (or most days of the year for that matter). For the past two Septembers, Jameel has managed to do exactly that... tee hee.

Jameel left on Wednesday, sad, but I know I'll see him soon. Apart from the beautiful birthday, my week has been pretty filled with the usual early September/student life stuff. I've been seeing a lot of friends, partying it up as much as I can before the impending scholastic horror sets in. So I'm being dramatic, but one thing that separates this beginning of semester from my past three in university, is that I've read more course material in the past two weeks than I usually have read by the end of midterms. I guess I had to learn study habits at some point.

This weekend was beautiful. I worked on the sexual assault discussion manual, went to a party, and watched some new episodes of the L Word (yes, I'm a junkie, what can I say). Today was a perfect Sunday. Nora and I ate brunch at Connor's with close friends (there were spiral waffles, Lego, and a dollar-store toy nicknamed "The Boobie Grabber" involved---nothing kinky, don't worry). Then we watched Connor's roommate, Captain of the Varsity Rugby Team, kick the Sherbrooke team's ass. I've never watched a real live rugby game, so most of the time was spent commenting with fellow rugby-ignorant spectators on things like the knee socks of the opposing team and our wonder at how rugby players lift each other up by their shorts to block the ball, making them no longer shorts, but "manties". Yes, I am that mature. Don't ask me which birthday I just celebrated. We then met Debbie's mom, who she is just like, and I think that is a wonderful thing. Tam Tams was also in the cards as well as empanadas and a couple hours of reading coursepacks at Cafe Olympico....

All in all, I'm one happy camper.

On to other things: I haven't quite decided the direction of this blog yet, but I really aspire sometimes to be one of those hip, political bloggers one day. Maybe then university professors and media whores will quote me in their interactions and I will get a write up in the Village Voice. Now you know my real intentions in starting this water-metaphor-drenched virtual diary.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

"ebb and flow"

Two delightfully meaningful (at least upon my consultation of http://www.dictionary.com), one syllable words. Lately I've been noticing how people seem to move out of the immediate space of my life, while others appear or return at different intervals. Those who are close to us are like the makings of whirlpools-- family, friends, loved ones, co-workers, everyday faces. Sometimes the whirpool shifts and the contents, in whole or in part gets reshuffled, or spilled out, while others are let in. And we continue on, making new waves, ripples of good, bad, banal.

But who am I kidding... as I beat this water metaphor into the ground, I really just miss my boyfriend. And at the same time am happy that some of my good friends have returned home from their various school exchanges and travels to beautiful far-off places. I'm also celebrating the reconciliation and reintegration of those I, in the past, willingly booted out of my particular whirlpool and who, I'm happy to say, are swimming with me once again.

***

University and classes have become a part of the whirlpool all of a sudden too. I never wanted summer to end---heh, but who does really? I was finally accepted into the graduate seminar that has been the source of my academic wet dreams for a while now. It is shocking to sit in a seminar room with 16 other people around a single table when you are accustomed to the "factory of arts" that is a McGill undergraduate political science education. At least I knew about a third of the people in the room already--- like myself, eager undergraduate disciples of the "Sexy Rexy"-- the nerdy Middle East politics guru at McGill. Before this, a class with 79 other people was considered the most intimate. I'm looking forward to learning and exchanging ideas in university, in my final year. How exciting.

For now, it's Friday night. I'm sleepy, by myself, and I'm going to curl up with some blankets and watch some trashy TV (L word, anyone???). I've spent the evening formatting a manual on how to facilitate discussions on sexual assault with high school students-- a task that is fun (the discussions), but the mechanics (cutting and pasting in Word)of which are tedious. Perhaps I will elaborate on this at a later time.

[Carmen, where are you? It's Friday night and I believe we have a date--- don't tell Shane.]

***

Thursday, September 01, 2005

[The Old Man Is Snoring]

Today, a calming lull of rainfall cushioned my awakening to a buzzing cell phone alarm clock. The dull cloudy grey outside the large window contrasted with the cozy darkness of the bedroom on Parc Ave: the makeshift curtains, the navy blue of the futon against my body, the warmth of lingering cigarettes and my partner-in-crime who continued to sleep peacefully beside me.

The sky opened up sometime early this morning so a seemingly bilingual Katrina could work her magic from New Orleans all the way (in a much kinder incarnation) to Montreal. For me, it was an appropriate end to a beautiful summer. It was the kind of rain for dancing and bathing in--reminiscent of third world rainy seasons and days of revelling at Tam Tams.

***

Later in the day Faiz and I helped Jameel pack up his Montreal life for his return to Toronto. Jameel and I said goodbye (for now) under a umbrella.

And tomorrow is the first day of school...

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