Thursday, April 28, 2005

ownership is fleeting

well Todat I bought my own copy of house of leaves. I had it in my possesion for about 15 seconds before I lent it out. I can only wonder where the book may travel in my absence. I leave town tuesday morning early so best wishes to all for the summer. I may get a chance to update this blog over the summer so try it once a month or so until August. Farwell...

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

q tuesday

well, A pleasant QT hosted at chez Vin & Chantelle. Wee January is a delight toddling about unnerving Chantelle by insisting that a pentagon has only two sides. And of course by being a very cute little two-year-old. A hearty repast followed a brief exchange of rapsheets on house of leaves. I certainly walked away from the book with a more broad message than Vin, who's take on the book is more focused than mine. I hope I can squeeze in one more QT to hear what Mike and James have to say about it. Oh ya, and we watched a couple episodes of Frazier on DVD (holy crap that show is well written.)

Wow, I can't seem to sleep at all of late! No amount of good fresh spring air and exercise and coffee can seem to put me to sleep. Its almost as if the coffee is keeping me awake! I think I must do some research on coffee and see if my crackpot theory holds any water. I suspect I'm unharnessing some nervousness about the summer. I've been getting pretty substantial electrical shocks off everything for the last three days. Really quite peculiar. Today I had the brief sensation that I'd woken up in an X-files episode. After shocking myself on a banana I thought I could here the morose monologue of Fox Moulder behind me. Then I got a shock off the doorknob, my apartment railing, my bikelock, the door to the lab and finally the stray cat that hangs out in the seed cleaning room. Feeling perplexed, I excused myself to the lavatory and got shocked on my sheepish exit. Must get to the bottom of this.


I guess there are advantages to sleeplessness. A snowstorm fit for a Norse myth is exploding outside right now. Bleery eyesight and a thimble of sherry I'm wrapped in a blanket, admiring the tempest. A drowsy waypoint on my way to sleep.

Monday, April 25, 2005

simple things

I enjoyed my last day off today. I played golf today with a couple friends. What simple creatures we are sometimes to marvel at a little white ball struck high into the air seeking its target. A beautiful saskatchewan spring day, sandhill cranes, canada geese, leaves in various degrees of green, peace and quiet, truly a swell day. It seemed a shame that we needed the excuse of a game to go for an all day walk in the country.

Currently reading D. Dennett's collection of essays Brainstorms. Many of the ideas ended up in Consciousness Explained but its a good read anyway.

Friday, April 22, 2005

the end

Well, I just finished house of leaves. Now what?

a thousand terrible things coming this way

Well this marks my last real weekend in town for a while. Next weekend will be moving & cleaning (I renew my objection to this loathsome pair!) I'm nearing the (end) of house of leaves and will no doubt finish my first of many readings this weekend. I'm thankful to leave behind a few things in town here. Jackasses playing crap music out the windows of their cars, engines revving at red lights, the roar of an engine to fill an otherwise blank soul. I will miss lazy saturday coffee and good conversation though. And so I'm off to enjoy what can be enjoyed in our fair city.

Monday, April 18, 2005

from a certain perspective, life is kinda sappy

well, It was a foul weekend. I found myself late in the week in a mood that did not allow me to cut my fellow man some slack (although I did play some fun hackey-sack with good company). Every overheard tidbit of conversation seemed to be accompanied by the foul reek of ignorance, tepid self-absorbed small little worlds, where nothing of consequence matters. Where the mindless banality of unexamined lives dotted on the dribble that made up the day. Where the majesty and mystery of the world around them was heeded and understood no more than the white noise between incoherent radio personalities. I could have gone on in this vein for hours a couple of days ago but I have spun myself out (but I foreshadow). Anyway, my consuming thought for this period was a remembered exasperated comment from faded on QNY15 who lamented "?what the hell to do people think about all day!" I revisit this theme periodically. When I get like this I feel cursed to be wondrous of the world. I feel condemned to wonder about things. To lie awake at night and ponder why things are not like something else. And it seems (when I'm in this mood) that the further down the path of enquiry one travels, the more you have less in common with everyone else. This is a tired theme, I know. I for one am tired of it. However: On saturday night I went to an oboe recital. The oboe being one of my favorite instruments, I suspected that I would gain some temporary relief from my malaise. I sat in a menonite church waiting for the concert to begin. I noticed the stained glass windows. One panel had a grape motif and I commented to a friend that it was an ironic image. It was a reference to the Dionysian mysteries that christianity literalized. To the christian, the window was a symbol. Of course to the historian, it was a symbol of a literal version of a symbol. Those who have read my QNY pick will unpack my meaning here. Anyway, this pane of glass reinforced my cynicism. Until the music started. The sound of the oboe erased all my petty, inward dialogue and returned my to some baseline, default level of contentment. Until I casually glanced across the pews where my eye caught the sight of a beautiful little chinese girl. She must have been three or so. She I caught her in the act of straining her head to get a better look at what was happening. The expression on her face was pure wonder and total appreciation. As though she were a glass vase with liquid music being poured in. Her whole body was perfectly still. I don't know if anyone in the audience absorbed the music the way she did, but the sight of it coupled with the music made my throat choke up. For the first time in quite a few days, I felt like I do fit in with this world after all. Perhaps this story is a little sappy but its what happened to me over the last few days and I am endeavouring to free my thoughts from the prison of what I think others will think. So sappy or not, there it is.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

symphony book sale

went to symphony book sale in confed mall and made off with a number of swell books. Brainstorming by Denett, a wonderful edition of Candide, some chinese lit, some Edward DeBono, Jane Austin and a lushly illustrated book of ancient maps. In other book news I'm on chapter 3 of House of Leaves. So far I've laughed a bit and got pretty scared once. I suspect that soon enough I won't be able to "shut up about it" as cap'n orange would say.
Spent my day at work building a house on a piece of property I've seen for sale on the riverbank. Unfortunately, even in my head I went over budget and had no money left to furnish the inside. I've begun to think recently that I could make good use of a bit more money. My recent endeavors to own a home have led me to this conclusion. It strikes me as a terribly askew that one has to devote so much energy just to have a place to lay your head down somewhere. Housing is certainly one instance where our capitalist economy leaves much to be desired. It seems like a colossal waste of the inestimable gift of time to devote to procuring funds to own a home. Its a comment on our level of prosperity that people apparently get used to spending half there life's fortune on a home. In light of these ill dealt cards, today is day one of thinking about ways I might make a little more money in order to not spend years paying a bank double the asking price of a modest house.

also just came back from a walk in the snowstorm that's currently swallowing the city. I think I prefer a world with weather.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

what I thought about at work today

Today I was imagining that for some reason, everywhere on earth and for the last 100,00 years, it was warm and sunny during the day and rain at 8pm every night- without exception. The daily warming and nightly shower were exactly the same every day. I was wondering how that would have changed the way we think? Would we think differently without a constant change in weather? How would that have altered the undulations of culture over the teeming centuries? I thought that it would have a tremendous effect on the development of our culture and enjoyed passing the day away concocting new cultural variants based on this. Comments and scenarios are most welcome.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

tell me something good

scene 1: a sparsely furnished, poorly painted living room. All colours in bad taste and generally uncomfortably warm. Wind howls. The sound of a thousand terrible things looms in the distance. I sit in my red chair, my only piece of furniture, and stare at a pile of books on the floor. A reminder that I used to know things. And I sat there thinking of the profound. Curious how I recognize something as profound or as an epiphany. Its a distinct sensation. It almost has a feeling, although its like trying to think of a taste. Its interesting I thought, that somehow, something triggers this sensation. Its as though we're wired to recognize profound things. What's going on here? I can figure out lots of different things, but only specific figuring outs trigger this sensation. I wonder if the recognition of something profound involves tying together a whole bunch of ideas and linking them together with a common thread? Or when I get that sensation, am I really thinking of anything at all? Is it just when one thinks kind of abstractly one can capture an idea better because one is not being specific. Is the sensation of the profound just a slight of hand that my brain is playing with me?
Perhaps there's some meta purpose at work here. Perhaps in a futile attempt to detach myself from my own mortality and the inherent meaninglessness that mortality generates, my brain is predisposed to thinking of "larger than life" ideas, concepts and patterns in the world, such that I can free ride on the immortality of the universe around me. (awkward run-on sentence -1) So in fact, the recognition of the profound is actually the brief denial of mortality by recognizing the immortality of other things and attaching oneself to them. Of course on the surface the content of a profound thing resembles nothing that I've just spoken of.

scene 2: a cluttered bedroom, booster juice cups arranged carelessly at the foot of a stylish office chair, wires, boxes with buttons and sliders adorn the table like the cockpit of the space shuttle. They are reminders that I have hobbies. I'm sipping a glass of Corban's select medium sherry, listening to ltj bukem, and typing at my computer, defiant of my lack of any good reason for doing so. There is a strange noise behind me. I turn to discover that the narration of the past is quickly emerging towards the present as I find myself typing out exactly what's

Monday, April 04, 2005

Finery! Silks! and the Ephemeral Corpse

After having an argument for several hours over Straw Dogs, Geof concludes that Gray doesn't prove his thesis. Geof contends that I prefer the thesis rather than defer to it on logical grounds. After having a few hours to consider it, I think that Gray's argument is one based on a prima facie premise. Either that principle resonates with the reader or no evidence in the world will convince you. The value in the book for me is that Gray gives a lucid voice to the notions that percolate in my head.
For me, the search for meaning became a lamentation before the crucified body of created necessity. When the body is laid to rest, it resurrects and we follow like disciples, till finally necessity of meaning becomes a monolithic leviathan that we can doubt no less easy than doubt our very being. In the absence of a Cartesian doubt, we dissect the rotting corpse only to discover not that the emperor has no clothes, but that he has no body! Clothes-yes. Finery! Silks! Purple and pearls but a body of not even ephemeral quality. It is this revelation that mutes the witness and melts the gospel. And the necessity of miracles disappear like a limp on the stage of a faith healer.
What then of meaning? Well. It is easier to want there to be a blue key, than to search for a blue key that was never forged. Action becomes clarified and what meaning I parcel out to myself becomes true.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

another one bites the dust

Well, as much as I loathe commenting on current "events" I really must express my deep sadness over the death of the pope. I'm joking of course, what saddens me is that he will be replaced by another pope. I tell ya, these popes are like cockroaches for trying to get rid of them. Perhaps both cockroaches and popes came on the same ship to italy so many years ago. Thank goodness for the cleanliness of our modern exchange of goods. I doubt with the strict rules of hygiene, Canada could ever see a papal infestation like that which has taken up its foul and filthy roost in italy. And yet life goes on. The church plays its games and we play ours. The battle does not go to the strong nor bread to the wise or speed to the diligent but time and fate happen to peon and pious alike. Nothing more to see here folks. Move along.

Friday, April 01, 2005

one of these things is not like the other

most music isn't very good
most pants do not fit me
most numbers are not 8

Place your bets: