Thursday, November 30, 2006


A tease? No, April, not really. I always put out eventually.

There’s a lot I haven’t been writing about here, events and anxieties that have called for discretion, every one of which underscores a two year-long argument I’ve been having with myself and have lately been losing.

In one way or another, they have all had to do with the question of calling, and, coincidentally, with the fact that I never learned how to trust what I feel.

I assure you, there is no one on earth who can agonize over a decision as much as I do, counting pros and cons like prayer beads until the surfaces of both are worn smooth. There is also no one else on this earth who can doubt her own perceptions with such fixed determination, or who is so deeply certain that she is always and irrefutably wrong.

So which one is it going to be, Vila? Writer? Musician? Revolutionary? Philosopher Queen? Jesus goddamn Christ, already, account for yourself—who the fuck are you?

Ack. No. Enough.

Today, I decided that I’m tired of the question, which misses the point entirely. It’s not who I am, it’s what I want. Desire, Vila, remember? That’s all it has ever been.

Tomorrow, I will go to the financial aid office to pick up my student loan. Everything else will follow.

Sunday, November 26, 2006


I’ve spent the last five days at home with the flu, from which I am slowly recovering.

On the second day, I curled under a blanket and let the fever take me. Hours passed as I dreamt warm, distracted dreams, which came in irregular waves. It reminded me of certain reckless highs I won’t experience again.

If I told you some of the things I’ve done in my life, you wouldn’t believe me. Which is probably just as well.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

After hours

A quick one at a bar I go to sometimes. Weeknight, it’s slow, a few tables straggle. The busboy announces last call, even though it’s early, then bends toward us. Whispered, “Not you.”

The stragglers leave; the busboy locks the door and turns out all the lights except one. We follow the pale glow to the bar. The bartender pours a round of drinks, which threaten to spill over the sides but don’t. We toast.

I taste my drink and watch for the signal. It is given. The pulse of conversation quickens as smoke rises to the ceiling. We begin to lose ourselves in the near-dark.

The stories come one on top of the other, jokes edge toward the ribald. It’s a relief to laugh out loud. Then, a perfect line of shots appears on the bar. We search for another toast; I seize one. “To bar culture.” It is agreed. “To bar culture.”

I stay longer than I should and relish every moment.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


You know those word verification boxes you have to fill out when you post a comment on someone's blog?

They're much harder to do when you're drunk.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

I don’t like Mondays

This morning, I read that half of all Canadians fear that they are only one paycheque away from poverty.

This afternoon, I witnessed an altercation between a street kid and the jaywalking police.

This evening, I learned that the Quebec Superior Court will not suspend the smoking ban.

I can't wait to see what Tuesday will bring.

Sunday, November 19, 2006


In case anyone was wondering what the "H" stands for...

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


I thought this one was fit for the Metroblog, so you can read it there.

More soon...

Monday, November 13, 2006

This just in...

From today's Montreal Gazette:

With cigarettes in hand, hundreds of bar owners from across the province marched outside the Montreal court house Monday morning, claiming a smoking ban is destroying their business.

Editorial to follow...

Saturday, November 11, 2006

The best and brightest

Once again, it is the season of that strange ritual known as the Canadian Blog Awards.

Last year, I nominated the erstwhile way down here in three categories. As you may recall, Bob’s little blog that could made it to the top five in every one of them. He’s now in rehab, poor thing, so be sure to send him your well wishes.

This year, I thought I’d nominate several of my favourite blogs across a range of categories. The list excludes many worthy non-Canadians, as well as blogs that have already secured nominations from others. Nevertheless, these are among the blogs I most look forward to reading each day. You might too.

And so, the nominations are:

Best Cultural Blog: Bits and Bytes from Elsewhere

He doesn’t post nearly as often as he should, but Iso_G still manages to provide a feast for the senses. It’s also nice to hear from a friend who couldn’t be farther away.

Best Local Blog: Super Bon!

The Professor’s blog, which touches on music, politics, academe, and more, always and incisively from the perspective of a new Montrealer.

Best Blog Post: “Smell This Law

Without question, this award belongs to The Eponym. And yes, I still desperately wish that I had written it.

Best Photo/Art Blog: husk/essem

I could lose myself in his photographs, and at certain moments I do.

Best Personal Blog: It’s all grey to me

A relatively recent addition to my Bloglines roster, this is one of the most exquisitely written blogs I have yet come across. Her last post, particularly, deserves both mention and a read.

Voting begins on Wednesday, November 15th. Please do.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Time change


The office is as dry as sand
I still my hands
and keep working


Five ‘o clock
The window is pitch black
as if the world has ended


Parc bus
Imagine the dark a blanket
Reach for his hands




draw in


Walk north
boots on leaves
they will print snow

Sunday, November 05, 2006


Behind me, CNN breathlessly awaits the verdict in Saddam Hussein’s war crimes trial, which was, by any standard, a farce. Meanwhile, Baghdad is under strict curfew, and the Iraqi government has cancelled all army leaves. Whatever the verdict, murder will follow.

It is a cruel irony that Iraqi civilians are less safe today than they were under Hussein’s regime. According to the British medical journal The Lancet, over 650,000 Iraqis have been killed since their country was invaded in 2003. This is as much an atrocity as any that Hussein committed during his reign.

In three days time U.S. voters will go to the polls, and it is widely expected that the Republican Party will lose control of both the House and Senate. Though good news, it isn't nearly good enough. It isn’t justice.

In my view, every single politician, Republican or Democrat, who voted to support the war in Iraq should be thrown out of office. Then, the whole sorry lot of them should be charged with aiding and abetting crimes against humanity, for that is precisely what they have done.

For my American readers, the roll call of votes by members of the House of Representatives is recorded here. The roll call of votes by members of the Senate is recorded here. Now please vote.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006