Archive for the ‘Obnoxious People’ Category

Pirate – Party – Propaganda: the Green Party of Canada is Ready For the Big Leagues!

13/08/2009

1: THE PIRATE

I live in an apartment a couple doors down from a very interesting (in every sense of the word) bar called Zemra Lounge. That place gets its ‘interesting’ character directly from its owner: a Croatian pirate. If he’s not actually a pirate, that’s only because the opportunity’s never come up for him. But he embodies all the finest character traits of a pirate (a storybook pirate a la Captain Blood, which is very different from currently-in-vogue Somali pirate type). Qualities:

Complete disregard for authoritarian morality (and any other type of morality); an enormous ego; a suave faux-aristocratic bearing, balanced by frequent episodes of alcoholic depression; …and, most importantly, incredible adaptability and resource in difficult situations. All he’s missing is a parrot and eye patch. But I’m pretty sure he has the requisite sabre and pistol stashed behind the bar.

And this is why, while businesses have been dropping like flies in saki along this street during the past year – which included both the ‘global economic crisis’ and the greatest streetcar track reconstruction fiasco ever attempted by mankind – the Zemra Lounge has thrived.

Our pirate transformed what was a hangout for the upper crust of the local Gino population into an event centre: Music! Magic Acts! Wine Tastings! Birthday Parties! Corporate Events! They all walk the plank at Zemra.

The man’s brilliant and cunning – I admire him. And he’s also a very nice guy. I run into him on the street all the time, typically finding him in furtive conversation with a shady-looking dude parked in a SUV in front of the bar. When he sees me he always breaks off the conversation to pass the time of day and ask how Madeline and Gus are doing, like Robert Frost:

When a friend calls to me from the road
And slows his horse to a meaning walk,
I don’t stand still and look around
On all the hills I haven’t hoed,
And shout from where I am, “What is it?”
No, not as there is a time to talk.
I thrust my hoe in the mellow ground,
Blade-end up and five feet tall,
And plod: I go up to the stone wall
For a friendly visit.

This character sketch has gone on way too far. The point is: he’s started hosting events lately. And today it was a Green Party of Canada local meeting.

The Zemra Bar and Pirate Hideout
the Zemra Bar and Pirate Lair

***
2: THE PARTY
As I walked by Zemra Lounge last night a great crowd of hippies, dotted with shiny suits and pinkshirt businessmen, were milling in and around the place. And at each corner of the patio a dissolute-and-untoothed fellow (members of the fanatical paramilitary wing of the Party) – was stationed, handing out bright blue and green pamphlets. (more…)

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That Bitch Stole My Recycle Boxes! A Choose Your Own Surreal Adventure:

08/08/2009


The Adventure Begins:

You surge up out of bed at 9:00 this morning when one of your basset hounds decides it’s about time to start giving you CPR. You’re bleary-eyed but less hungover than you deserve to be. The animals have to do their essentials in the park so you stumble about for five minutes trying to assemble pants, shirt, and shoes. Ok: you’re ready to go!

The hounds are plunging back in forth, seething with walkjoy and barely-restrained urine. And you’re standing at the top of the stairs putting their leashes on. You look down the stairs and, through the glazed glass of the door notice a stack of blue and grey shapes: your recycle boxes! Of course! Last night was Friday: Recycle Night!

You vaguely recall lurching out to curb last night, wearing nothing but your sexy zebra-print bathrobe; hideously drunk; barely conscious, to put out the four recycle boxes (including the one illegal recycle box which is just a big plastic tub that happens to be a shade of blue similar to the standard recycle-box colour).

Your Good Neighbor, Graham, must’ve been up early and stacked them up outside for you (like he does every Saturday morning). You notice, with satisfaction, that the Recycle Dudes were duped by your non-regulation box, and you’re proud that your booze-addled brain had the capacity to slip that box into the middle of the row of regulation boxes so the Dudes wouldn’t notice the ugly duckling until it was too late.

You reach down and click the leash onto Augustus Fink-Nottle’s collar and —

— there’s a sudden thud of a closing door from the street and – NO!!! – you look through the glass door to see that half of your recycle boxes have disappeared! They’ve been stolen from right under your nose! Your precious recycle boxes that it’s taken years to assemble: each one lovingly found abandoned on the street or stolen from your neighbors the day before moving house — two of them have vanished!!

But then, as your eyes are transfixed on the pitiful survivors of this massacre: there’s second thud – a fuzzy humanoid figure appears in the doorway – lifts the remaining recycle boxes (including the precious non-regulation box) – and vanishes with thud no.3! And you horror of the situation washes over you:

Holy shit! That was the lady who’s opening the store beneath our apartment! She’s just stolen all my recycle boxes! WTF?!?!

What do you do?

A) Drop the leash, bolt down the stairs, and confront her while she likely has the incriminating recycle boxes in hand. (turn to page 76)

B) Take a moment to grab one of the bizarre ornamental daggers from Pakistan that your grandfather who worked for the U.N. gave you, then run down the stairs and confront her. By then she might have had time to stash the evidence, but at least you’ll have some means of defense against the potentially-violent madness of someone who’d steal recycle boxes from in front of your door in broad daylight. (turn to page 149)

C) Call the cops. This person is clearly psychopathic and, even armed with an ornamental Pakistani dagger, there’s no certain safety in confronting a dangerous lunatic. The police are trained to deal with this sort of situation. (turn to page 14)

D) Overwhelmed by the confusion and potential ramifications of this outrage (losing all the recycle boxes + living above a store run by a nutter), you decide to avoid dealing with it for the moment. Instead you take the dogs out for a walk and use that time to think your options over. (keep reading…)
(more…)

Forward Rocinante!

07/08/2009

Because an absurd action magnifies the absurdity of an absurd institution:

PZ “Don Quixote” Myers and 300 atheist Sancho Panzas jousted with the Creation “Museum” in Kentucky this afternoon. The windmill seems to have taken a beating this time.

There are more pictures at Blag Hag’s Blog.

Old Lady Want-to-be Singer/Poets Can Kiss My Ass.

06/08/2009

Somehow, despite the no sleep and no prep., last night’s show was good. After doing this for a couple years, it seems to have suddenly become something that everyone’s comfortable with. Being intensely focused on every moment isn’t sustainable and definitely not much fun. I’m glad we’re figuring this out.

Now here’s the real post:

Old ladies suck. Old lady poets suck. Old lady want-to-be-singer/poets suck. And people without the self-awareness to understand the implicit boundaries between performers and audience suck.

Summary: Old lady want-to-be-singer/poets without the self-awareness to understand the implicit boundaries between performers and audience suck. And they suck a lot.

What am I talking about? Well I was obligated to tell one such Old Lady off last night. Here’s the deal:

We’re soundchecking.

Old Lady near the “stage” (if you’ve ever been to the Tranzac you know why it’s “stage” and not stage).

We play a bit of music to check the levels.

Kristin to audience: “How’s that sound?”

Old Lady: “You’re too loud.”

K: “um, ok.”

OL: “You’ve got to listen while you sing.”

K: “….?”

OL: “I know. I am a singer. That’s what you do when you’re a singer.”

Me: “And what do you do if you’re an obnoxious audience member?”

OL: “boo-hoo.”

Seriously people: whatever you’re doing; wherever you are; whoever you may be: Before you speak, take a moment to check in all your pockets for a clue. If you don’t find one – if you realize that maybe you don’t have a clue, then just shut the fuck up.

A friend of mine told me that this OL is a lousy poet too.