Tuesday, April 25, 2006

got to go work on my guns and my can

Heading off to the gym now, but before I go, I want to mention this fabulous belated birthday present from the ever-cool, ultra-hip "Hawk" and "PBC". On the box it says "Are you over thirty? Nerdy, uncool, or simply suburban? Get hip in mere days!"

Over thirty? Yup. Nerdy? Sure! Uncool? Possibly. Simply suburban? Never. But I still qualify I think, because I'm not entirely sure about how to use the word "crunk". But I'm keen. So don't be surprised if I start using words like "janky" and "hella" in my posts.

I've always had a soft spot for slang. Maybe because I spend so much of my professional life fussing over correct grammar and spelling.

p.s. "Guns" and "can" are not in the deck. But I want to revive "can" as a common synonym for rump. Help me out on that one.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

holy crap, it gets even better

As an addendum to my last post (which you should read first if you haven't already), this just made me sob with laughter. I hope it does the same for you.

For context, keep in mind "Crusty Louis" (a real nickname, pronounced Crusty Louie) and I have been friends for almost two decades and met in our very early teens. We go way back. He has seen me with a perm and braces for god's sake. I knew him before he was "out". As you will notice, we compulsively and joyously revert to the charming argot we developed as crass and foul little teenagers.

----- Original Message ----
From: Crusty Louis
To: Banjeroo
Sent: Tuesday, April 12, 2006
Subject: RE: Birthday


-----Original Message-----
From: Banjeroo
Sent: April 18, 2006 1:55 PM
To: Crusty Louis
Subject: Re: Birthday

Honey, I would love to be there but sadly can't....

Sending you big birthday smooches instead... and the link to my blog, since in the latest post I mention you.

Hope you enjoy the memory, sweetmeat.

Loved your dispatches from abroad. Let me know next time you're in [my town] so I can wrap my thighs around your gorgeous gay bod and give you a little appreciative dry-hump.


----- Original Message ----
From: Crusty Louis
To: Banjeroo
Sent: Tuesday, April 18, 2006 2:07:29 PM
Subject: RE: Birthday

Loved your piece re: Shawn.... I fucking love you.

Bit of a gripe....that same drama class, you and I did a piece about a man with epilepsy...and you were preggies and smoking and I had amnesia....thanks a lot...(I am correct, no?)

Sending you a juicy cup-o-fart.



-----Original Message-----
From: Banjeroo
Sent: April 18, 2006 2:10 PM
To: Crusty Louis
Subject: Re: Birthday

Crusty, wtf? Did we really do a piece about a man with epilepsy and his pregnant smoking wife!? That is FUCKING AWESOME to the MAX if we did.

I was thinking of my trash performance with [local billionaire’s son].

Shit, did we really? Jesus Christ. That is SO GOOD. Or are you pulling my leg. Either way, I'm appreciative of the whole fucking concept.

----- Forwarded Message ----
From: Crusty Louis
To: Banjeroo
Sent: Tuesday, April 18, 2006 2:15:32 PM
Subject: RE: Birthday

Crab cack,

We totally did. I fell off my motorcycle and you were with child....you didn't know if I was going to make it so you started rubbing your belly and started smoking....then we flash back to our tumultuous relationship pre accident where you find out that you are pregs and I force you to give up the smokie smokes. We have a major fight before I go out and get hit by a truck....we flash forward to us later and I start blacking out and having seizures....one of them eventually kills me and you find me....you are now very preggie....out comes the cig with the final monologue....it was raw, inspired and beyond the scope of the average socialite loin fruits that surrounded us.

Uh huh....totally true

----- Forwarded Message ----
From: Crusty Louis
To: banjeroo
Sent: Tuesday, April 18, 2006 2:15:32 PM
Subject: RE: Birthday

I am so posting this whole fucking thing to my blog.

Monday, April 17, 2006

reality is the hypocrisy of illusion

My first experience of someone hot becoming ugly was in Grade 10, when I started going to a school that had a disproportionate number of boys to girls, maybe 3:1. This was not an advantage on the romance front, girls, this just meant that you got your bra snapped more frequently.

Anyway, there was this hunk of burning love in Grade 11, we'll call him Shawn, because that was his name. He was beeyooteeful. I thought he looked like one of the teenage hunks of the cover of a Judy Bloom novel, or straight out of the pages of Tiger Beat. Chiselled features, tall, broad-shouldered (for a 16 year old), long lashes, full lips, touselled brown curly hair. And as far as I could tell, he was sweet too.

He looked a little bit like MITCH GAYLORD, AMERICAN GYMNAST:

Imagine my delight when Shawn, who was so hot to me that I felt like I was asphyxiating every time he walked by me in the hall, joined my drama class. Group exercises? Opportunities to get closer to Shawn! Other people's performances? Opportunities to stare at Shawn while all other eyes were focussed on the stage!

And did I confirm that he was sweet? Yes.

But did I discover he was dumb? Like, sack of hammers dumb? Sadly, also, yes.

One month we took turns performing our own mini one-act plays which we'd composed ourselves. This was an opportunity for us to put our hormone-addled brains to work and basically write the prose/scripted version of Teen Angst Poetry, you know, so we could examine such hard-hitting topical issues as abuse, suicide, no one understanding us, and not getting asked out to the school dance.

I did something embarrassingly dramatic about a young couple breaking up, and overachiever that I was, I think I included abuse, suicide, no one understanding us AND not getting asked out, AND I got my co-star to smoke on stage (because it was drama class!)... but Shawn topped us all. Topped us all in dorkiness that is. And man, my play was dorky.

I remember the room went dark. Then a spotlight suddenly illuminated him sitting solemnly at the piano. Then he played. Played and spoke. Played what? Played cheesy chords. Spoke what? Fucking gibberish. I'm serious! He sat there playing chords and gazing wistfully off into middle distance in lieu of "emoting" or "acting", while spouting a lot of big words incorrectly, often strung together as though he'd written the entire thing with a thesaurus in one hand and his big old bleeding heart in the other. (Wait, with both hands occupied, how did he write it?)

Anyway, it went on and on, and it (clearly unintentionally) made no sense, and it was completely over the top. Keep in mind when I say "over the top" that the norm already was (myself included) to deliver supremely bathetic teen extravaganzas of sordid amateur drama.

All I can specifically remember -- this one line, this gem, this nugget -- is how he announced to the audience at the very end of the 20 minute monologue "Reality is the hypocrisy of illusion". It kind of sums up the whole flavour of the piece, actually. It almost makes sense. But not quite.

I must thank my friend and fellow student who I'll call "Crusty Louis", still a friend after all these years, (and now a successful, talented stage actor in Toronto) for laughing silently beside me through Shawn's entire performance, cheeks damp with hysterical tears -- and for whispering that line in my ear throughout the remaining years of highschool (and indeed my life) whenever time threatens to strip me of its memory.

Anyway, that was when Shawn stopped being hot, bless him.*

I'd never experienced that before -- how someone SO gorgeous and heart-poundingly hot could just turn blah.

Since then, I've had mad crushes on brilliant sweet men who were not exactly the most physically attractive specimens, and crushes on hot men who were made even hotter by their quick wit or kind hearts. (Growing up is rich like that sometimes.)

What about you? How many times have the hot become not/naught? Isn't it interesting how someone's internal loveliness can make them radiate gorgeousness from an otherwise plain-looking package?

*God knows how unhot I became in the eyes of others with my play, but I'll leave it to the others to write about it on their websites.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

casting pizza before swine

Yesterday a good friend of mine and I went for a long hike in the woods. It involved torn pants (I tripped) and torn flesh (he slid down a bit of a rock face on his elbow), but really, a good time was had by all. On the way home we were exhausted and starving, so we called for pizza from the cell phone so it'd arrive shortly after our own arrival.

As expected, the pizza arrived soon after we stumbled in the door. We popped in a movie and poured some drinks (both had water to rehydrate; plus I had a tasty cotes du rhone, he had some pilsner). The pizza was tasty. Loaded with meat, cheese, meat, and cheese, and meat.

It was about 30 minutes later that the couch beneath us began to rumble and my friend's leg began to twitch from the effort of gaseous expulsions. Soon we were choking on a cloud of our own emissions (75% him, 25% me - he had beer too, remember?), and I lit matches and beeswax candles to cut the stench. Puerile humans that we are, we were laughing so hard we could no longer follow what was happening in the movie, so I hit pause, and he took the opportunity to run up the stairs to the bathroom.

Many minutes passed.

I finally hollered up the stairs, "You alright up there?"

He hollered back, with an exaggerated drunken slur for effect:
"What the hell kind of bathroom doesn't have a plunger!?"

Another long pause, and then he suddenly announced:
"I've taken my pants off -- I don't need them anymore!!"

By this point I had collapsed with laughter on the landing and was gasping for breath when he shouted gleefully:
"I'll need you to pass me up two bottles of bleach... and some steel wool."

And finally, with my stomach aching from laughing, he exclaimed:
"They don't teach you about this in biology class! But I think everything's going to be... okay!!"

Thank you Lorenzo's Pizzeria. You do good work.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

where are the other 96?!

Like an old lady or something, I've been having lower back problems. It started getting acute when I was skiing an average of 50-100 km a week in training for a ski marathon that I sort of did, in a manner of speaking, back in February. Long cross-country ski outings in the classic style can lead to a sensation that your lower back is being slowly penetrated with sharp hot knives.

Now that ski season is over and I'm no longer putting my back under such strain, I've been waiting for the lower back problem to vanish. It hasn't. I actually went to my chiropractor for the first time in almost a year and he diagnosed the problem, which I paraphrase for you here:

"You have very strong arms and legs, missy, but your back and abs are made of pudding."

So to strengthen my pudding muscles, I went out and got a ball to sit on at work, and I went to my gym and got prescribed a certain set of exercises, on the ball and off, to turn the pudding to refridgerated butter. No, frozen butter. No, frozen BRICKS. Yeah!

Doesn't she look happy with her bushy little eyebrows and perfectly erect spine, like her pudding muscles could be used to support a construction crane or some such?

My ball is red. It looks a lot like this:

(A book you should go read if you haven't already.)

I also got one for my mom, and another one to have at home. A friend of mine saw the three red things inflated in the back of my car and cheerily asked "where are the other 96?"

Friday, April 07, 2006

Vote: Porkcraft, or K-Wolf and the Horse Town Howlers

Why blog when I can just post the brilliant, hilarious things my siblings write?

Now, the reason I am posting this is because I want to poll the Internet, or at least the 2.5 people who read this blog. Is it funny to you? It is SO funny to me. Do you have to know that she is completely taking the piss out of their team, team names, and all that is holy, or does it speak for itself, as I believe it does?

(posted with permission)

----- Forwarded Message ----
From: sister in whitehorse
To: friends who have just agreed to do an adventure race with her (her first)
Sent: Friday, April 7, 2006 3:09:07 PM
Subject: Re: Adventure Race

Ok, i've just printed up the form and i need birth dates and a team name.

Team name possibilities

I searched the internet and found a bbq competition's list of team names

3 fat guys and a smoker
2 hot 2 handle
Arlington Lawn Chair Club
Beer, Meat & Rebar
Boss Hog & the Hog Troff Gang

ok ok ok, seriously, we need a name. Give me some suggestions....

how about:
the screaming banshees
turn me loose
the wild apes
avenge and destroy

or on another note:
octopower squared (because we'll have 8 legs and 8 arms between the 4 of us)
K-Wolf and the howlers
Baby K and the horse town howlers (sounds like a r n b band)

fuck i don't know. i give up. time to "get back to work"

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

look on my works ye mighty and despair

banjeroo: also, you know what is funny about blogging? every now and then I feel repulsed by doing it
that it is narcissistic and pointless and dull
I start to hate my blog
sister: i know what you mean
banjeroo: and want to stop
sister: i felt that way too with mine
banjeroo: I mean, I just do it to be frivolous
and to practice writing
sister: its very narcissistic and pointless and dumb
but also fun
it's a performance
actors and comedians must struggle with the same issues
banjeroo: yes
sister: and writers for that matter
especially memoir writers
banjeroo: I almost posted our brother's email response to me, the geeky clever funny lawyer one
and just got seized out of the blue with embarrassment that I'd even consider it
it feels gross
yes, memoir writers!
I keep thinking of Ozymandias, king of kings, look on my works ye mighty and despair
who gives a crap

(Caveat: All this despite the fact that I read and genuinely enjoy other people's blogs without drawing these conclusions about them.)

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

wind river, peel river

Going up a mountain:

At the top of the mountain (you can almost see our tents, at the t-junction of the creek coming down the middle of the picture, and the Wind River cutting across):

Going down the mountain - should I mention again that my intrepid sister did this all after sustaining a spiral fracture to the fibula a couple of weeks before the trip?:

The morning after a thunderstorm that sent us scrambling into our tents:

Eventually we made it to the famous Peel Canyon. (I'm skipping lots of incredibly beautiful places and fun mini-adventures in between but maybe I'll post more another time.) In the meantime, enjoy the canyon:

Next time, you should come with me. You will love it.

better than spit, cheaper than a one-night stand

Well for those of you who don't know what a hootenanny is, or worse, have never been to one, I am truly sorry. Sorry for what must be an empty, joyless existence.

For my birthday weekend, I went to this one, and it was a foot-stompin', hootin'-and-hollerin' good time. It was so packed there was no room to dance, but at least I could wiggle a bit in my seat, and thump my quart beer bottle (it was in Quebec after all) of Belle Gueule on our little table.

I caught one of the performers, Carolyn Mark, last year at the Dawson City Music Festival. Then, as now, I'd say she seems like the sort who would be constantly recklessly inventively fun, and who would laugh merrily at you if, after three straight days of partying, you had to stop and rest, or sleep, or barf up your seventh bourbon decay of the morning (though she’d probably hold back your hair while she was laughing, and then maybe make you some delicious scrambled eggs and toast). Here she is singing with Luther Wright (of Luther Wright and the Wrongs), who is lanky alternative country hotness:

Anyway, everyone was terrific. I especially love Juno award-winning Jenny Whiteley, who has a hideous website, but who does a kind of folk-country-bluegrass thing, (even though I keep telling myself and anyone who will listen that I love bluegrass but hate country), and who has a voice that makes my heart ache in the best ways. Her brother Dan is sensational on the mandolin too, and like all great musicians, knows exactly how to make everyone else on stage sound better without being a show-off.

Also worth mentioning, the oh-wow-they-are-SO-west-coast Lily Fawn and Hank Pine. Hank wears a mask and goggles at all times, Lily wears antlers and plays a saw with a fiddle bow (you have to see it to believe it), as well as trumpet and drums. On the side, she also makes an all-natural lubricant called “stroke it” that she advertises as “better than spit and cheaper than a one-night-stand”, (which is actually how I'd describe the beer).

Get thee to a hootenanny!

Monday, April 03, 2006

by chance or appointment

You're all encouraged to find the McCleave Gallery of Fine Art wherever it is in the world, and say a warm hi there to Michael McCormack, curator, who is just about the loveliest, sweetest, smartest fella you'd could ever hope to meet. (He's the one in the rain slicker, carrying the McCleave Gallery in his hand.)

cure for the blues

Slightly abridged version of conversation with my sister today:

sister: hi roo
r u there?
banjeroo: hi!
sister: im mildly depressed
how do i get out of it?
banjeroo: why are you mildly depressed?
sister: i don't know
banjeroo: because harper sux?
sister: maybe
banjeroo: because world is fuct?
sister: i just don't feel good right now
i don't know why
banjeroo: well
sister: i just feel dark and cynical and negative
and have been for the last couple o weeks
banjeroo: you must do this:
10 jumping jacks
sister: right now?
banjeroo: walk in a straight line with your arms out down the hall like you are walking a drunk test, putting alternating index fingers to your nose
10 m out, 10 m back
do it right now
sister: ok
i will
banjeroo: ok then get a piece of paper when you are done and let me know
and I will give you more instructions
sister: i am done
banjeroo: ok good
now do you have a pen?
sister: [dog] is up
from his nap as a result
ok yes
banjeroo: do you have a surface you can safely write on (you'll write on the paper but you need to press HARD)
sister: yup
banjeroo: ok
sister: yes
sister: ok here goes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
banjeroo: now make up a few more things that you feel like writing
keep going!
scribble all over it
then rip it up
let me know when you're done
you're almost there
sister: ok therE. THAT WAS FUCKING FUN!
banjeroo: sure
did you rip it up?
you're almost done
sister: no i want to save it
i like it
banjeroo: ok keep it then
this program is versatile
sister: i love it
banjeroo: but now you need to go do one somersault on the carpet
maybe three
sister: i feel better already
banjeroo: depending on how you feel
sister: ok i'll do it
[dog] will go nuts though
here goes nothin'
banjeroo: we are in the home stretch of curing the blues
are you done?
when was the last time you shaved your legs?
sister: i am done
that was CRAZY!
5 days ago

long pause

sister: sorrrry. i just had a visitor he's gone now
banjeroo: are you at home or work?
sister: i showed him my piece of paper
banjeroo: what did he think of your paper?
sister: he was shocked and delighted.
banjeroo: perfect. now make a list of ten things you love and go home and shave your legs. then make a nice supper and you're all set.

UPDATE: A day later - I just got this fax at work, no cover sheet, no name, and I swear it made me laugh quietly through my nose until my stomach hurt:

Folks in my office and hers who have accidentally seen "the paper" are probably thinking we're: a) juvenilely obsessed with the puerile quasi-subversiveness of the work "fuck" or b) off our anti-psychotic medication or c) struggling unsuccessfully with rage problems or d) not that well-adjusted generally or e) all of the above.

I say hey, whatever it takes to get a little respect around here.