Monday, March 28, 2005


The more I go on ther more I realize that I don't seek to own anything. To acquire and possess inanimate objects. People have been doing it for ages. The Romans and their empires. Knight's conquering castles. Pioneers racing across the new world to stake a claim to a slap of land. Cars. I Pods. Big screen tvs. Shiny new fridges from the Brick. Right down to the suburbanites in line at Home Depot to pick up the new tile to remodel the bathroom. Remodel the bathroom? For who?

In the past there was a house I wanted to own. It had a great back yard with a cliff at the back. Ivy, little tress and even a waterfall decorated this cliff. It was such an oasis. But I soon realized what a prison the oasis would turn into once the mortgage payments started rolling in. A wise person told me, "A house is really just a shelter poking out of the earth... when you think about it." It was such a great reminder to hear this when the house I wanted was eventually sold to someone else.

We often think there is someone, or some thing, or some house that we can't live without. We must have it. Possess it. Experience it. I've been all caught up in this head space many times. This is the only person for me! The only house! But in time I saw that there were others. And without fail I missed out on these "only ones" only to find there was once better suited to me down the way.

I've found life has taught me time and time again, through a series of sometimes tragic disappointments, that one can, does, will and otherwise should live without all these "must haves". Sure it is alright to have the possessions and personal needs to work and live. Still, for me, to let go of the want to possess needless items has meant a freedom. A freedom to see myself. unearthed from all the hedonistic gadgets and junk tv commercials holler at us to obtain. Free from obligation. Everything I have I own. It's not much. But it's mine. I don't owe anyone anything. So free to pick up anfd go tomorrow if I wanted to or had to. Free to figure out who I really am. To realize I am complete without the excess.

The only commodity that I want to possess these days is as much of my time as I can keep. The time, of course, can not be kept. Theonly useful thing my mother's bigoted minister ever said was"the time's going to go by, might as well do something useful with it." So instead of "keep" then, I'll say as much of my time as I can use. Use to build friendships, love and create.

Friday, March 25, 2005


This week in Dan Savage's "Savage Love" saucy advice from a gay man column he features three advice seekers who have WTS, "Wishful Thinking Syndrome". There is no denying, except maybe by them, that they are dreaming if they think whoever they are fixating on is going to give them whatever it is they want - usually it's sex with the people in this column. The third party reader delights in the smug satisfaction of knowing something the advice seeker doesn't know - that they are caught up in wishful thinking.

But we all do it. Or have done it. Thought wishfully. Let our desires for someone help us construe their platonic behaviours into flirtation with us. Believe that that person will be with us, just as soon as they dump their current lover - which we believe is soon to happen. The list goes on.

I've done it! And I defend myself. Wouldn't it be great if we had the 3rd party insight to our own behaviours possessed by the readers of "Savage Love". But we don't always know that we had WTS until much later. And besides there have been many times - unless you're a real main stream pin up dream- when we've all had so few bright spots in life and so few love prospects that unrequited love was the only bowl we could find to hold all the over flowing love we had to give.

As humans, we all want love. The more I look at why we do things, the more I believe the root motivation is to be loved. Work, buy clothes, make a home, make art. All to be loved.

But I'm reminding myself after reading this week's "Savage Love" that: Rather than give one's over flowing love to some jerk who does not appreciate it, deserve it or respond in kind, it is a much better idea to give yourself that love. Turn ourselves into a closed circuits of love for a while when we don't have, or perceive we don't have, anyone to share love with.

Rather than being someone's ego booster and feeling all nasty and rejected we can be radiating in the confidence and positivity of loving ourselves. Let's get started!

Thursday, March 24, 2005


I ate breakfast with one of the women from last night's show in the B and B where we were both staying. She had put on a 30 minute performance last night. She was a Mohawk who was emphasizing all of the real hell that the colonalization of North America has inflicted on her people with every beat of her drum. She later got in a cage decorated with blue, yellow and red cloth and beat her drum some more while a video of her sewing a big fur pelt played in the background.

After 30 minutes of this, she wasn't a "crowd favourite". And she was well aware of this fact at this morning's breakfast. She passed on a few words of wisdom which I hope to remember:

1. She said that she doesn't make her art for "entertainment", she makes it because she has something to say. And I think she is damn right to think like that.

2. She tells nosey people like the sound guy I mention in my March 20, 2005 post that she is an artist and a human first. Anything to do with her sex, or sexuality is just one facet of who she is.

3. She seeks to influence with her art, not have direct decision making power. She thinks influence is power.

4. "Berdache" - is a disgusting word. It is Pursian for "kept boy". "Kept" meaning prostitute.

5. Work in the world. Do not get stuck in little sandboxes of in-fighting and community politics. Use that energy to get out there and see the entire beach of sand.

6. Art has become a commodity - eg. the person who wants the painting because it matches their sofa. It's all about "bums is seats". To transcend this, just keep doing your own art. Maybe the world will catch up.

7. The worst thing that can happen to a young artist is to have a big hit right at the beginning and have a bunch of money thrown at them. It is better to toil away for some years and then have the world discover you later.

8. Don't wait for others' permission to do your art. Or it will never happen.

9. Figure out why you are doing your art.

10. A person has to be healthy in themselves to truely be able to pursue anything.

11. Just set out. Begin. With passion. And following opportunites as they present themselves.

12. Compared to racial issues, the sexual revolution and the discussion of queerness in all its forms has happened in a relatively short time - even if it did seem a long way away in 1994.

13. Being an asshole is a far bigger impediment to a person's career in the arts then any queerness that society's main stream suburbanites would associate with them.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005


I decided I would go to Montreal to the Transit Cabaret that was being organized by my frend Trish Salah. Actually, I waffled and did not decide through every step in the process right up to and including buying my bus ticket.

Along the way I looked for sights to encourage myself. I saw some young guys trying to stop people on the street to get them to donate to Greenpeace. I thought to myself, "How much easier is giving my CDs away than this? Lots!" I saw the girls working in the local organic market, who gock at me like they think they know something about me, scratching their dreadlocks and selling their tofu loafs - going nowhere. I didn't want to be like that.

But there was alot to discourage me. The jerks selling the bus tickets smirked at me and some guys at the diner gocked at me. And the bus was late. But I did get on. I rode to Montreal as this ignoant, pompous civil servant yapped on his cell phone beside me all the way.

I got very lost trying to find the venue. As I was heading up a big hill on rue Jeanne Mance sweating in my coat despite the cold with two boxes of CDs on my back I got to wondering if my father was right all those years ago to yell "Why do you always have to swim up stream (be different)." Ofcourse the answer is "Because I am."

I did find the theatre. the show was just beginning. I was distressed to concluded I'd missed my chance to give out my CDs in the lobby before the show. I decided to try to make my own luck by asking the MC if she'd announce that I had CDs for after the show. But in my efforts to get back stage I managed to go through the wrong curtain and emerge right onto the stage in the middle of an act. "Wrong exit!"

I did manage to get the MC to announce I had CDs. There was a slight misunderstandign though. She said I wanted people to sign a petetition for me to be a star. How Diva is that! In fact I just wanted people to join my "email updates" list. (There's yet to be an email update.)

So after the show I was able to meet up with many hip. open and positive energy exuding people and give them CDs. The only blooper was that a picture of the female anatomy that I had from my gynecologist fell out of the CD box onto the floor in front of someone. All I could think to say was, "That won't work!"

I always regret that I couldn't speak to each person more. So many of them looked like they could have been great friends. I hope to go back to Montreal and see all these cabaret cuties again sometime!

When I finally got to bed at 2 am I was so glad that I didn't let the snickering bus ticket sellers make me quit and go home without going to Montreal and sharing my music.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005


The many flaws of the "American Idol" tv series are as obvious to me as its annoying theme song. There's the promoting of karaoke stars who can't play instruments, read music or spell chord progression let alone than actually use one. Rather than promoting actual young bands who are struggling to get their music out to people now that commercial radio is completing it's quest to implode on itself with generic, derivative songs and acts. There's the fact that the "winner" of this competition has increasingly gone on to a lack luster recording career of putting their voice on a prefabricated ballad and then faded into obscurity after their one hit. There's the fact that Simon Cowell and the judges of "Canadian Ido" as well) show visible distain and uncomfortably for the young fags that prance in to the auditions and turn them away whether they can sing or not.

One of the few redeemable qualities of the show is Paula Abdul. Her own career had no staying power and it fizzled after her 1992 single "Rush Rush". But her music will always be important to me. Back in 1989 I had a tiny cassestte deck with built in speakers. I sat in my little windowless bedroom in the basement in the country and recorded myself singing along with "Strait Up Now Tell Me" at least 40 times. Trying to get the perfect take. My parents would stomp on the floor overhead to try and get me to quiet down. But the diva in me sang on.

This past week I ended up being lulled into gocking at an "American Idol" used as the filler between about 20 commercials. The theme was "#! Billboard Hits" Well before I knew it I was faced with another blast from my own musical past. One of the karaoke stars went out on stage and let rip her rendition of Heart's 1987 song "Alone". And I'll give her this : I was regretful that I didn't get her performance recorded on tape. And that's a good sign. My want to have her performance on tape rated right up there with my want to have on tape other stellar performances like Areasmilth's 2002 American Music Awards performance which featured Steven Tyler in this slinky white pant suit and high heeled boots and Tiny Tim on Ed Sullivan sing "Tip Toe Through The Tulips".

For me "Alone" is the anthem of my youthful musical aspirations and my patterns of painful high school unrequited love stories. I don't know how I first heard this song because I didn't own any Heart tapes. But somehow I ended up with the sheet music.

I had my "$ by the hour" singing teacher make a crappy synth background mix of the song and I entered it in the 1992 high school variety show. I was dressed in a pair of tight 'stove pipe cut" black Levi's and a big Le Chateau belt made of jangly metal hoops and links. I took to the stage and the country boys immediately started yelling obscenities at me. The music started. The tape was cued wrong. The song was already 1/4 over. (Looking back this was probably a blessing.) I found my place in the song and sang. I thought I did really well. Still, it was a very traumatic experience.

Only a true artist would persevere in the face of that kind of abuse and rejection. Simon Cowell's comments that this contestant or that "sounds like you're on a cruise ship" are tame compared to what a lot of eccentric artists have been told. "American Idol" is proof that main stream radio, video, tv and live venue access has almost completed the inialation of freaks from the music business by marginalizing them out of the main stream's consciousness.

The result is the eccentric musician gets confronted with the Neanderthal human thought process," What's that? Never heard of that before. Must be bad. Don't like it." The result is the freakier artists can't make any money. So their output dwindles and their participation in the music business fades into nothingness as we are forced into office cubicles to pay our rent working as secretaries. Simon Cowell keeps saying he's looking for an original artist. If he actually knows what "original " is, and if he does, if he is sincere that that is in fact what he's really looking for- both of which are big ifs - I wonder if he realizes that it's his show that is contributing to the reason why so few original musical acts can be found anymore. Tiny Tim where are you now?

Monday, March 21, 2005


Walking into the office tower I heard U2's "Still Havn't Found What I'm Looking For" playing on the radio. It was rough. It was Monday morning. Last night's audience was a bunch of literary snobs who were at the event simply to "hear their own voice". Not for my Glam Rock. So I was definately relating to the words of this song.

The elevator opened and two office hens emerged. The both sang "I still havn't found what I'm looking for..." in unison as they walked in slow motion passed me. I wondered if i was in some sort of dark music video. Then I realized I was. The title was called, "Life As I Know It".

Sunday, March 20, 2005


I'm not terribly optimistic. Just determined. So it is a wonder that I always think the best of people. I'm always surprised when people turn out to be snakes.

I was in a bar for a gig. The sound guy came up to me and put his arm around me. He said he had a confession/ question/ comment. He said he'd been attracted to me when I first started doing shows at this bar. But he emphasized that he was only attracted to me in this environment. Whatever that was supposed to mean.

He asked me a bunch of personal questions. I wouldn't give him anything to nibble on. He didn't legitimately want to know. He was just nosey. I've long since told people who are
"just curious" piss off. People who legitimately want information on a particuliar subject or group of people can do a google search. Getting in someone's face and asking people to explain themselves is lazy reasearch. Worse - it's invasive, nosey, and low class.

I asked him what he was looking for. He said, "Basically anyone who would have me. I've got two categories.: 1. People I want to do. And 2. Mom."

Thursday, March 17, 2005


A French teacher/ painter I've been talking to speaks about the need for an artist to have the right environment to work in. Create an aquarium to work in. An oasis. Homeless people don't create many works of art sitting in their cardboard boxes or as they surf from sofa to sofa. I know this first hand myself from the 90's.

He also pointed out, "Who says an artist should be poor!" He said he would have been more responsible about holding down a day job if he could do the past 20 years again. He cited his lack of $ to fix his broken glasses as an example.

He also said something very profound - which I told myself I'd remember - but have forgotten! It's almost as tortuous as if I'd forgotten a great song lyric or melody. I think the basic message was that a person has to be true to themselves and their art and keep going even in the face of rejection and discouragment.

I think it was a metaphor. In it's place I will substitute this revelation:

"A bee has to visit a lot of flowers to get just a bit of honey. The same is true in creating art"

Monday, March 07, 2005


I woke up dreaming about the Micheal Jackson trial. The closing arguments were to have Micheal put on the stand, wrapped in loads and loads of bright yellow tissue paper, and sit there sobbing. It was not an effective closing argument.

I could have written song ideas so happily all day long while watching the snow. The snow flakes were dancing by my windows so joyously. Holding hands with each other to form a giant white bed sheet against the sky.

Instead I had to go to work. I always get annoyed when I hear people on the bus say that they HAVE to go to work. Because truthfully noone HAS to do anything. It's their choice. Tell that to my AMEX bill.

Joyous snow flakes become more correctly described as a blizzard the moment one has to leave their window and go outside. At times like this I remind myself that I'm glad to have a job. At least I didn't have to go out into the storm just to go to the job search centre! I've been in that position many times. Too many times.

Saturday, March 05, 2005


I dreamed that I was staying in a hotel which was like a crappy mass produced apartment building upstairs. But had an ornate carpeted, expansive entrance and lounge with a front desk all in wood with an old man who'd been running the place in the Queen's fashion for years. I was with some other people. (I think I was there with some older gay men - in real life I've just watched a movie with a bunch of gay men called "Connie and Carla" - a long story.)

It was over in England and I was there for a concert. But there was a huge controversy about the participation of Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake. Controversy in that they had gotten super bad since the year before.

The next theme was that Prince William and Harry were there as well. I really wanted to meet Prince William very much. On the way up an elevator the door opened and I got to see him and say hi. But he was saying hi just as the door shut. So I was left to wonder if he had really seen my face.

I then went out on the street where a homeless man convinced me to go back to his elaborate box by drawing me in with promises that he would show me how to shine my shoes really well. In the box he showed me a bunch of Le Chateau clothes he had aquired but they were not in my size. He then tried getting sexual with me. I asked him how old he was. He said 19. But I thought he looked older.

When I tried to leave I discovered that he had taken possession of all of my boxes of possessions (Bop magazines and New Kids Dolls and you name it). he refused to give me the boxes. They spilled all over his box. I got out of the box and went home to Ottawa, which by this point was just around the corner. As I left the box I saw he was much older. Like 45.

I later saw him near Parliment Hill. He chased me on his bike saying that he had my stuff and had a claim on me. He did not catch me. But he had the stuff to the end.

I had gotten all tangled up with a bum. And missed my chance to try and chill out with Prince William.

Friday, March 04, 2005


My big success so far this weeknd is that I bought 2 aquatic plants for my triangle shaped aquarium. I had said no aquarium until I cleaned out my apartment. But slowly I've thrown out a lot of papers and even a sofa. So I earned these plants! Ironically perhaps, I am not interested in possessing anything. But I am interested in a cozy living situation. Which does require some aquisition. Still thinking about all this.

In the pet store I saw a small fish in a tank. It's nose was pointing strait down. In the bottom of the tank was a semmingly gentle fish. I read the tank sticker. It named this bigger fish as "aggressive". I'll say. The reason the little fish was pointing strait down was because it was missing it's back half. No tail. or half a body either. But it was still breathing. I've been this fish so many times! Poor thing. If only people would come with warning labels like "Aggressive". "Neurotic". "Delusional in their determination that they are not treating others like shit, when in fact they are". "All talk and no action." "Classsic abusers." I've met them all. Sometimes all in one monster.

When someone shows you who they are or tells you who they are - BELIEVE THEM. Don't make excuses for them or tell them they are just being eveil or vengful today. Believe them. This is how I've kept my little gills breathing in the absence of warning labels. I think I've even grown a new tail too.

I also bought a frame for a pix of myself with Jann Arden taken in Halifax's Sam the Record Man store in Nov. 1995! I put that up to inspire me.