Ramble On… but not the Led Zeppelin Version

11 Mar

Is it just me, or does everybody have those moments, when they notice something they consider outrageous and wonder when it happened, only to find out it was 5 years ago?

This Friday I went to Metro to buy a few things I can’t get where I work and noticed signs at all the cash lines that actually have people… I won’t go to an auto checkout line, I will not help corporations make more money by using tech to eliminate jobs, these signs were proudly announcing that these cashiers all had their Smart Serve. I asked why? She said it was because they were selling beer and it was the law.

So my first thought was “When did Ford privatize selling beer in Ontario? And what else is he sneaking through that nobody knows about, child marriages? And the second was..”Why? They aren’t drinking in the store. It’s not like they have to cut them off.”

I found myself saying all this out loud and drawing the guy standing beside me into it. He felt that it was all part of the over certification problem plaguing modern society. I added that it was discrimination against ESL employees.

All the way home I was pissed, it is getting harder and harder for me to enjoy the world I am living in. Every time I turn around I feel like there are more rules, more certificates we need, that we have to pay for, in order to qualify for minimum wage jobs.

I get to my building and ask a neighbour when they started selling beer in grocery stores and they looked at me kind of funny and said “I don’t know, two years ago.” I looked it up, it was 2015. I burst out laughing. How the hell did I miss that? Do I insulate myself that much? Is it because I don’t drink beer?

WAS THIS A GERIATRIC MOMENT?!!!!!

Or is it just that there is so much, happening so quickly, all the time, that it is impossible to keep up?

Basically I’m okay with admitting when I’m wrong, but I am finding it disconcerting to discover that almost anything that you believed would always be a fact, can, be erased in the blink of an eye. I did not take it well when Pluto lost its planet status. And even though I think it got reinstated, it doesn’t feel the same now.

I can’t believe that after centuries of studying how our conscious and unconscious works, Freud, Jung, Adler… psychiatry in this country has been reduced to pharmaceuticals and if you need talk therapy you now see a psychologist or a social worker and you pay for it.

I thank every deity in the universe, that I had therapy before that happened. In fact it was this very thought that led me to realize that regardless of what happens to me, it always works out. I am a very lucky person.

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Random Shiz

24 Feb

I thought I’d write a post about the stuff that goes on in my brain during an average week. I am not a linear thinker so if you are, this post might make you crazy. This does not mean that I shun logic and let emotions rule my life. Nor does it mean that I am scattered, it just means that the path I choose to take up the mountain may be completely unpredictable.

I have never been a predictable person. Don’t ever try and finish my sentences because the odds are a million to one you do not know what I am about to say and if you try this more than once in the course of a conversation, I will stop talking altogether.

I never understand why peeps want to do this anyway. Do they believe that if they are able to finish your sentences, you are soul mates?

I have been thinking a lot about my grandmother because I am relating more and more to her now and I really miss her.

Nana and I had a complicated relationship, even before the days of “it’s complicated”. I hated her, resented her, ran to her with tears streaming down my face when I was hurting, screamed at her when I was angry, hid behind her when I was scared… she loved me unconditionally.

Growing up, I never knew that my mother had Borderline Personality Disorder. It didn’t reveal itself to me, until my grandmother moved in with us, after my grandfather died. And even then I didn’t know what it was, I just knew that my mother was a completely different person. She was cruel, withdrawn and occasionally in the middle of the night she would attempt suicide.

But this is not a post about my childhood or my mother being crazy, this paragraph is by way of explaining why I behaved the way I did with Nan.

Looking back on it all, I think my grandmother was the strongest person I have ever known. She was devastated by her husband’s death, her daughter went off the rails and her granddaughter blamed her for everything that was happening. And on top of everything, her world was changing in ways that horrified her. It was the 60’s and just like her family, everything was spinning out of control. Everything she loved was either disappearing or lashing out. And everyday she woke up and faced it like it was a new day, she never held grudges and was always there for me, always.

It took me a long time and many years of saying that I raised myself, before I realized that I had an incredible mother in my Nan.

So here I am in 2019, around the same age as Nana was in the 60’s and my world is disappearing just like hers did. Everything my peers (hippies) fought for has been rolled back or is under attack. And I am spending a lot of time reminiscing about the times I have lived in.

I think everyone hits a point in their life where they look back and decide that they are glad they were born when they were.

I love it when I get a memory of my past that’s so clear, it’s like time travel. Everything resurfaces, emotions, taste, smell, sounds, the way things felt as I touched them or they touched me.

The time my father made a chocolate malt cake and we ate it and drank orange pop while watching Them, a movie about giant ants that invade LA and terrorize everyone, especially me at the age of 5. Daddy fell asleep. I continued to watch till the ants were destroyed and America was safe. That movie gave me two things; nightmares that would last for months and a love of horror movies.

The night I left home when I was 16 and I stopped off at Shoppers World (the teen hangout in Brampton) to say a final farewell to my friends and ended up talking to a guy that was in my homeroom class that I didn’t know. He was a greaser, black leather jacket, slicked back hair, hung out with Satan’s Choice and he was trying to convince me not to leave home. He started telling me all about his life and how leaving home young changes you. I argued that he didn’t know me or my situation and that he should respect my freedom of choice. He argued back, saying that I didn’t know him or anything about him. I said “I know exactly who you are. You’re a boy from the past.” He broke down crying.

I was thinking about my job as a singing waiter at a restaurant, I can’t even remember the name of, during the time I was taking acting classes with Ken Gass at George Brown and dance classes at Toronto Dance Theatre during my first year in Toronto when my rent was 165.00 a month. Rene Highway (the most beautiful human who ever existed) smiling at me because of the conversation I was having with a possessive guy about the black leather pants I was going to buy at Le Chateau.

Occasionally a not so pleasant memory will surface but I no longer have any emotional attachment to those, beyond the lessons that they taught.

I’m like that. Like my grandmother actually, no matter what I am going through, I will work on it until I can let it go. There’s a lot of truth in the expression “No Justice. No Peace.” It may take decades but I persevere until it no longer disrupts my groove.

It’s no secret that I’m a social democrat. I believe that people are more important than money. I don’t give a fuck about the deficit. In fact I don’t believe that social programs cause it, I believe that bureaucracy and corruption does. I believe in neighbourhoods not the right of “richer than God” people to be able to displace thousands of lives just because they want something. I believe we have a drug crisis because governments are taking away any vestige of hope that people with lower incomes have in a future, instead of working on trying to help them find one. Hell there are times when the future looks so bleak to me that I can’t wait to come home and spark up. It makes me crazy that people can effectively blank out the living hell that is happening all around them to people, because it is not happening to them. And being white these things have only been apparent in the last 4 years, POC have lived this forever. Their strength blows my mind.

So I have this game, where I try and find good things that have come in spit of all these things that I hate. One of these things is H Mart. They are a chain of Korean grocery stores that have popped up all over Yonge street that have a ton of inexpensive pre-made Korean food and lots of produce and grocery items to make Asian food. I love the Pork and Kimchi dumplings. I make it a habit to hang out in places that can’t ever be torn down to build condos like the AGO, ROM, heritage properties, new neighbourhoods that actually have character like Cork Town and the Distillery. I immerse myself in the arts especially those created by true independents. Of course what I really need to do is immerse myself in writing a book based on a world I would love to be living in. Especially since I have worked out everything I need to start it. The only routine I am good at beyond work, is no routine.

It has been well over 6 months since I got rid of my cell phone. It has been the most liberating thing I have done in a long time. It is a revolutionary act on my part. I did not want to carry a device on my person that authority could send messages, alerts etc.through. And the fact that they gave us no choice in the matter made me wonder what else they were or might start to do. I am not a big conspiracy theory person but it isn’t much of a leap to go from the connecting of everyone’s cell phones to Big Brother or a Dr. Who episode that deals with mind control (jokes).

Remember when you didn’t have to tell people you were joking?

Anyway this has been my brain during the week of Feb. 18-24 2019. What’s been going on in your brain? #socialism #hippies #writing #revolutionforthehellofit #anti-capitalist #freethought

Dying By The Seat Of My Pants

12 Feb

I have never been afraid to die. Not when my stepfather threatened to kill me, not when a jealous ex-boyfriend held me over the side of a balcony 15 stories from the ground and not even when I flung myself out of a truck going 80 on the 401, because some things are worse than death. In fact a lot of things are and not to be overly dramatic but I have experienced a lot of them, so for me death was always an option, not my go to choice but maybe my plan z.

For example, nine years ago I was prepared to take an overdose of heroin because there was a very real possibility I was going to be homeless and I don’t have the courage to live on the streets.

Quite recently my attitude changed. It happened when David Bowie died. I’m not sure why, but after listening to his final album with the understanding that it truly was his final album and that he had recorded it knowing that these were his last words musically, perhaps even creatively… his goodbye was a meticulously brilliant communication.

Actually I do know why. I realized that I haven’t planned anything. If I die tonight, I don’t have any money saved up to deal with the disposal of my body, and who would take my cats?

I’m still not afraid to go, but I am terrified of leaving a big mess. And I am afraid that being sixty-three and not having a good income, I will not be able to do anything to rectify it in the time I have left.

Now I know you are all thinking “Marc, you’re a writer/performer. Why don’t you just put on a show? Raise the money that way. It should be easy, you are the queen of dark comedy… or do a Go Fund Me.”

I actually have seen Go Fund Me posts on Facebook for people’s funerals. And when I saw them I thought, ‘no way, can you raise enough money’, because for some reason, I thought death was prohibitively expensive.

I was under the impression that with the exception of an unmarked grave, thanks to the City of Toronto’s poverty plan, that anything else would be at least five thousand. This is a myth likely started by those in the death biz. You can actually be picked up, cremated and put in a cardboard box for $1449.00. This also covers your death certificate, but no copies, and no delivery of your remains. If your friends want you, they have to pick you up.

Now if you don’t think cardboard becomes you, you can buy a tasteful brass urn for 125.00 or have your ashes put in a clay container that holds what will grow into a tree which really appeals to me except for the fact that it doesn’t hold all your ashes. What happens to the rest of them?

1500. to 1700 is affordable. I have at least 3 times that limit on my credit card, credit card I got ironically for travel.

So I likely will do a show to raise money for my death. In fact I might as well start promoting that now. You’ll all come right?

Now I just have to come to terms with the fact that I will have no control over my memorial. This is hard because I have a very clear vision and nobody is going to be able to do my memorial as well as I could.
#death #thelastlaugh #killingjoke #writing #thefinalchapter

And Now For Something Completely Different…

6 Feb

On days like this
I forget who I am
A regret caught in my throat
A reflection of surrender
In my rear view mirror

Too old
Too late
Too tired
Too far behind to catch up

My laurels, an imprint
I’ve rested so long
My disrepute, mere fragments
I’ve fallen so hard

Too beat
Too angry
Too blue
Too heavy with doubt to rise above it

On nights like this
I wear my brightest lipstick
And try hard to remember
Who I was.

#randompoem #writerwriting #blues #word

If Wishes Were Horses…

29 Jan

If you could have any single wish come true, what would it be? Would it be the ever popular “unlimited wealth”, immortality or incomparable beauty? What about youth?

Let’s say you could wake up tomorrow morning and be 20 again, 20 and never age a day after that?

Of course with the way things are going, does youth matter if there is no future?

So let’s say you wish for the environment to be miraculously… cleaned up. How long would it take before it was completely fucked again? Or would the greedy money addicts fall on their knees and accept Gaia as the one, true goddess?

What would you wish for if you were a billionaire? Would you want to save the world or rule it like Caligula? Do you think there is a weathered wooden sled with peeling paint bearing the name Rosebud in their past, or a diminutive, terminally ill child, that they would wish to heal? I like to think so. I like to believe that everyone has that one thing, that would melt their heart, or tweak their conscience. But it’s getting harder and harder.

I know a lot of peeps that would wish for love. Not just any love, but Hollywood love. Does that even exist? Have any of you had it? Are you experiencing it now?

I have no idea what my wish would be. I think I have forgotten how to dream big. It doesn’t take a lot to make me happy. But right now, even the things that don’t cost anything are disappearing, like customer service, small businesses, affordable housing and politicians who actually represent voters and not just those who donate to their campaigns.

I would wish for all the money in the world to disappear but there would still be those with carrots, to dangle in front of those without.

So how does one escape the wish trope? Is it possible to make a wish that will result in a happy ending? If you come up with one, let me know.

#wish #revolution #writing #drugssexrockandroll #dangergirl #eattherich

What Makes Me Happy

13 Jan

#blackcats #anarchy #jazz #newyork #hardcoreguitar #books #bwmovies #dinosaurs
Black cats.
Guitar virtuosos like Jack White, Jimi Hendrix, Gary Clark Jr, Jimmy Page, Orianthi, The Great Kat, Carlos Santana, Marc Ribot
Buying new sheets. (I just bought a set with rhinos on them)
Hanging out in jazz clubs
Having sword fights with N.
Turning out all the lights and listening to radio plays from the 40’s and 50’s.
Chinatown
Spending hours in art galleries
New York
Hats
Coffee table books
Single malt scotch
Dancing
Reading
Finding new books to read
Eating cuisine from everywhere
Watching classic films in bed eating Haagen Dazs salted caramel ice cream.    
Wombats                                                                                      
Going to plays in untraditional places by artists who produce themselves
Finding other rebels to plot revolution with
Tulips, Freesia, Gardenias, Iris and Narcissus… flowers
All the fun, fluffy, intense, creative, eccentric, loving people in my life
Believing that everything is possible.
Experiencing brand new things
Classical Iranian music
Travelling to places that stretch my comfort zone
Discovering that my comfort zone is huge
Sloths
Going to Chinatown for foot massage
Being in the present.
Coconut yoghurt with fresh pineapple
cheese
Going to concerts
Blowing bubbles
Yoyos
kazoos
Bach cello solos
cello solos
black clothes
getting a line of dialogue so perfect, I have to drop everything and write it down before I lose even a word of it.
new discoveries about dinosaurs especially when they find a new species.
when something great happens to someone I like
when I discover that I have reached a point of indifference with people I once disliked.
shoes
having art created by my friends, on my walls
my apartment
knowing that this list could go on forever.

The Sun Is Out, The Sky Is Blue

6 Jan

I am an unapologetic idealist. I believe, with everything in my being, that it’s within our power to create a world with no hunger, war, disease, homelessness, illiteracy and oppression. And I believe we could accomplish all of this in the same amount of time or less, than it’s taken to turn the world into the pit of despair it has become in the last 3 years.

I’m not saying the world was a box of Godiva’s before that.

If I’ve learned anything, it’s that the only difference between 2015 and 2016 is that I was untouched and unaffected in 2015, whereas for many, the only difference is that now, the hell is out in the open.

The most surprising thing for me, is why so many people are content to ignore this hell, especially when it is obvious that any day it could effect them. Any day, they too, could be homeless, unemployed and targeted.

But this is not a blues song or a lament, it is my line in the sand.

I’ve talked about a lot of things in this blog. I’ve talked about #lawofattraction, #rewritingyourstory #cats #death #writing #moneymindset #solitude #music #mymother and #culturalgrowth. And if you have been following me, you know I’m a solution oriented person because there is always a solution even it means not playing.

In fact, not playing is one of the most effective solutions. And it’s my new game plan, until things really do, get better.

What does that mean for me?

It means walking my talk. It means doing what I believe in, even if it’s doomed to failure because the masses are doing something else. It means not spending my money (as much as is humanly possible) on things that add to the oppression of others and the destruction of the earth. It means voting only for people who genuinely represent what I believe in. It means putting my money where my beliefs are and supporting artists who are hammers, not wallets, giving to animal rescues, and feeding people who are homeless. Not giving in to the anger, fear and hopelessness, the media, including social media, and populism are inundating us with. It means not losing my sense of humour or my belief in magick.

I was trying to figure out what the main difference was between the 60’s and today, in terms of outlook and I realized that the biggest difference was faith that change could come, would come, because it was righteous.

Naive? Who cares. I’ve been on both sides of this perspective and naive is infinitely better than cynical.

We don’t know what the future will bring, all we have are speculations based on our beliefs, what we are fed, and what could happen if nothing changes, or it gets worse.

The only thing I (personally) have control over is my belief system.
I believe we can make life good for everyone. I believe we can be positive without burying our head in the sand. And I believe that if we all threw off our fear of authority and our conditioning we could do it now.