Thursday, April 21, 2011

Suit up!

This week I went suit shopping all alone.

I’m one of those boys that actually likes shopping. I’ll spend hours in the mall. When I go on a trip, I ask about the shopping possibilities at the destination. But even with all this, I love that deep down, every boy has the ability to do any amount of shopping in the least time possible.

 With this in mind, I went suit shopping 4 days before end-of-the-year-school-functions kicked off. I went on Sunday, half an hour before the mall closed, and it turns out that’s the ideal time to shop. The salesperson was able to give me all kinds of attention, and together we worked out a banging outfit that makes me look fancy, which is a rare look for me. It’s like Halley’s Comet really: it only comes around everyone once in awhile, and you don’t want to get caught looking at it but you just can’t resist.

I desperately needed some new threads since my grad suit fits like pajamas for some reason (the guys at old-school Jack Fraser don’t know that baggy suits haven’t been cool since before they had dentures). Observe:
'99? That's being generous.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Taking on The Arminator

This week I saw The Moonlight Sonata of Beethoven Blatz.

Awarding winning novelist Armin Wiebe tries his hand at playwriting with a project that he says wasn’t enough to make a novel out of: a strange blend of zany Russian antics, Mennonite accents, and secret lesbian vibes. To me, those elements have trouble coming together.

Wiebe obviously tried to create something unique, but the play made the characters carry most of that load in the absence of great storytelling. In the large gaps that resulted between plot points, I sat quietly waiting and watched a shell-shocked Russian play a broken piano, and a Mennonite girl yell in poor English about how she wants a baby. It seems that they were hoping the audience would find the German jokes funny enough to maintain interest, but I was tired of backwards phrasing and unknown German words shortly into the first act. Perhaps because no one has ever “learned” me no German words outside of playing Wolfenstein? Mien leben!

Many of these story gaps featured the Mennonite couple, Obrum and and Susch Kehler, agonizing over whether or not the ever-befuddled Blatz should remain a guest in their quaint prairie home, but the worst part is that the audience is forced to feel their agony as well. Will he stay, won’t he, just make a decision about it already! Instead, this entire issue goes nowhere; even at the end of the play Blatz is still hammering away on the keys, and people still can’t make up their mind about whether they want him or not. In between discussions on this topic, Susch confides in her sexually confused friend Teen, instead of addressing the problems head on. It’s like high school secrets in a one-roomed schoolhouse.

Wiebe said in a classroom question period later that the play started from a true anecdote that happened to his grandfather, and the rest is his own fiction. I’ll admit, that true story was pretty good, and definitely my favourite part of the play. After Obrum accidently uses poison ivy to do some forest paperwork, he’s left with a rash in an already sensitive area that makes wearing pants an impossible ordeal. Onstage, it resulted in some laughs with Obrum’s well-acted humiliation and some artfully done close calls on full frontal nudity. I smiled. Plus it reminded me of this:

Apart from saying this, Wiebe seemed very unimpressed with speaking to audiences, especially in a talkback session immediately after the play. Some of the questions were barely answered, like not giving any background information on his decision to have an emerging homosexual woman as barely a side note to the play’s plot, and offering no response to the question of his inspiration behind “all the sex” in the play.

Having had these types of sessions with creative writers all throughout the past school year, I wouldn’t be surprised by more hushed answers and dull feedback. But as we learned from our session, Wiebe was once an instructor at Red River College! Shouldn’t he be more comfortable expressing himself to a class of students, especially on matters concerning his own work and processes? I’m sure students would have found it hard to learn under an instructor who can’t explain why he makes decisions in his writing.

Overall, I’d give this play 2 out of 5. Although annoying, the accents seemed very accurate, and the actors, set, and lighting worked well. But as for the plot, it barely moves.

Here’s an excerpt from Wiebe’s message in the production’s program:

“The characters wrestle with doubts and fears as they act or resist their impulses: Can a man reach to heaven if he never looks to the sky? Can a woman only bake with what a man has to give? Can a woman hunger so much that she will reach where she should not reach? … “

The characters definitely ask all of these questions, but don’t watch this play if you’re expecting any answers.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Windowless Playlist

Today I get all summer musical on you.

The weather is getting nicer every day, which means that more and more people are starting to cruise with their windows down. It’s finally time to get fresh air without frostbite, so us poor kids that can’t afford air conditioning are rolling down all over the place.

If you’re like me, and are against noise pollution in the form of crappy music, here’s a list of 5 songs perfect for windowless cruising. This will make the people in the cars beside you go “Say WHAT!?” or “Ah, Yeah!” instead of saying “Oh you turned your backseat into a massage chair with some subwoofers, that’s impressive. Why do I have to listen to your beat drop?” REMIX!

I admit- there’s a few songs on my iPod that I need to be in the right mood for, and when my windows are down and one of them comes on suddenly I leap for the volume knob and look around to make sure no one heard (Yes, I’m talking to you Tatu’s “All the Things She Said”). But when it comes to these songs, I’m always down to listen and I hope the people in the car next to me are lucky to hear ‘em too.

1. I’m an Obtuse Man, So I’ll Try to be Oblique- The JV Allstars

For me, nothing says summer like pop-punk. It brings back memories of old All-American Rejects, when you just got your license or a ride with that older kid who just got his license. Best part is, no one has ever heard this song before, so they’ll all be pulling you over to hear more of this delectable rhythm. Instead of wanting to fight you, which I hear is usually why people are pulling you guys over.

2. Uh- Fujiya & Miyagi

“Chill out with this smooth groove while you bop your head down the turnpike” is what I would say if I worked at a jazz radio station. I don’t, so I’ll just say that this song rules, whether you’re driving in Winnipeg or cooking crystal meth in Breaking Bad.

3. Veronica Sawyer Smokes- AFI

There’s a ton of AFI I would’ve like to put on here, but I’ll just stick to one and trust you’ll check out the rest on your own time. Summer is a time for light music- it just goes well with the sunshine. This little number is lighter and faster than most AFI tunes, which makes for an easy entrance to their world if you’ve never spent time there before.

4. Do You Love Me?- The Explorers Club

Summer time was invented by The Beach Boys, but I’m assuming you’ve already heard all their songs. So it’s time for a modern take on sunny triple harmonies, and no one is doing it these days as well as the Explorers. I’ll warn you though- you better be feeling VERY summer-y to play this one loud.

5. How Bizarre- OMC

Nothing wrong with a one hit wonder from the ‘90’s. You may think this one takes a little more confidence to blast, and maybe it does, but trust me: when you roll up to the Dairy Queen playing this classic, you won’t be seeing any frowns.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I retract my previous statement.

After much deliberation and careful thought, I’ve decided against changing my blog. In fact, I’ve determined that the whole maybe-genuine-love-theme might be the worst blog I’ve every heard of. That post earned me my first two ‘boring’ ratings, so it’s obviously time to move on. This whole experience has even caused me to end my fledgling relationship with the possibly real Florida girl, so I’m back to being alone like everyone wanted.

I'm SO sad right now. Emotions are SO painful.

This blog is all about you! If readers want me to be lonely and not in online relationships of questionable legitimacy, then so be it. I guess it makes for better reading? You’re welcome.

This is me being lonely on a beach.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Blog of Love

Today I change my blog.

Lately I’ve been having difficulty in coming up with topics to blog about and new things to do each week, as you can see by the fact that I’m blogging only hours before the deadline. Several of my classmates have changed the focus of their blog, so in an effort to stay fresh and interesting I’m going to mix it up a little. Not only am I changing it, but I’m kicking things off with an announcement! Such a lucky day for you.

My friends know me as a rigorous bachelor, and it’s something I take great pride in. But I have a confession to make. I’ve been engaging in some very interesting talks with a young lady online for the past few months, and last night we decided to make it official. That’s right ladies, this store is closed! I officially have a girlfriend.

She’s so incredible. She’s from Sarasota, Florida, which yes I know is the worst part of Florida, but I still hope to visit her in the summer. It would be so special to meet her in person, but until then she says she’s between 5 and 6 feet tall, with blue eyes and kinda brownish hair. She sounds perfect!

So now on to the new blog. Instead of doing something new every week, I’ll just be posting something new that I love about my girlfriend, telling personal stories about our late night chats, and posting messages in a public forum that should really just be sent to her privately considering the fact that they only affect her and are useless to anyone else. Are you uncomfortable? I’m in heaven. See you next week!