Monday, March 26, 2007

Art is in the eye of the beholder.

As part of my swinging bachelor routine, I go out to bars, restaurants, and cultural functions by myself. This is generally regarded by folks at bars, restaurants, and cultural functions as sad and pathetic. I can see it in their eyes.

Last week I attended a swank art auction at arts central in town here to raise money for ACAD. I was wearing the same outfit I would eventually wear two nights later at another art auction--but in a different city--because I liked the way it made me feel. People really love the jacket. It's what I imagine having really great fake tits feels like! Everyone's eyes on it--twinkling with wonder and amazement--and fleeting flashes of jealousy! I digress. . .

Ah yes--I was decked out in my yellow and black thatched pattern jacket, a bowtie, and some nice Converse high tops--very daper! And I was trying, with all my heart, not to look: 1) bored; 2) lonesome; and 3) sad and pathetic. It's not easy--but this amazing jacket helps.

So after about an hour of standing in one spot nursing a glass of wine, this guy walks up to me and says:

G- "Are you art?"

I mistook this to be a really awful pick-up line. Really awful.

B- "Well--hah--my mother thinks so! Ha ha ha!"
G- "So. . . you're not one of the auction pieces? Are you some installation art?"
B- (cluing in)"Ah. No. No--I just dress like this for the attention."
G- "Oh. Sorry. I just--we thought because you hadn't moved from that spot for the last hour that you were art."
B- "No. Just too lazy to move. Ha ha ha."

He walked away. I tried to resist the urge to move--even just a little--for fear of looking guilty of standing in one spot too long and being called on it.
I was eventually asked to move by the event organiser who gave my spot to the auctioneer--whose jacket, incidentally, wasn't as nice--and his bowtie wasn't hand tied. Looking at my replacement, I felt an arrogant superiority: no one would mistake him for art.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Blazer condemned by UN.

I have a blazer that is particularly striking. Given to me at the end of my tenure at the University of Waterloo's Theatre department, I had a lot of sentimental attachment to it. It still features a cuff button I broke in a production of "Taming of the Shrew". I love it. Our Wardrobe Mistress, whom I always had a crush on, was kind enough to give it to my upon my departure from the department.

It's yellow and blue thatch pattern, with a fox hunting motif on the liner. No kidding. And tonight, with my black slacks and tie-your-own black bowtie, I owned the city's fashion scene.

And of the legion of compliments I have received over the years (because when I wear it out and about, I wear it--it does not wear me) I received the finest one this evening in the Edmonton Coast Plaza Hotel's lift. Three girls, returning from the bar, shared the elevator with me--and once the doors closed, one of them got up the courage to comment:

A- "That's a sweet suit, man!"
B- "Thanks."
A- (busting out a rhyme) "That ain't a suit, it's a goddamn warhead! It's spittin' nukes like American war dead!"

I thanked her and departed--I was only on the 6th floor, and we got on at the Lobby; however, I was pretty impressed what she was busting out. I like the idea of thinking of my blazer as a warhead.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

To bed without dinner. . . or phone reception.

I've been displeased with Ma Bell recently. I live in Calgary, on the top of a hill, and yet for the first time ever, I'm getting a ton of dropped calls.

I used to laugh at the commercials touting "Fewest dropped calls!"--"Who are they kidding!?" I would scoff, "No one has dropped calls!" That was when I lived in Toronto, where I'm told Lucille Ball once picked up radio signals in her fillings.

Calgary--dropped calls.

Finally, at my wits end (and more than a little humbled by my once cavalier attitude towards the subject), I picked up the phone and called Bell. It didn't take long for things to hit a stand still.

For the sake of this conversation, I shall remain B (it's my blog); Bell will be Z.

Z- "Have you tried standing by a window?"
B- "My entire house is windows. I have to wear pants ALL THE TIME I have so many windows."
Z- ". . . well, we don't guarantee reception in your house."
B- "I never used to have this problem elsewhere."
Z- "Where else have you used Bell's services."
B- "Toronto."
Z- "Well--that's Toronto. It's a big network."
B- "No wonder people hate Toronto."
Z- ". . . "
B- "Because it gets all the good stuff, eh?"
Z- ". . . "
B- "So how come my pal, whose on the Rogers network, gets 5 bars in my house, and I get one?"
Z- "I don't know. We don't guarantee signal in your house."
B- "Is that what you tell businesses who are considering your services? That you don't guarantee reception in offices--so maybe/maybe not folks will get their calls?"
Z- "No."
B- "So--what? Should I just go sit on a tack?"

I always ask customer service reps, when things aren't going my way, if they'd like me to go sit on a tack. It's a habit I've picked up, and it beats telling them to "Go take a long jog off a short pier!"--only, I would use more swears.

Z- "No. I'm sorry, sir, but I can file a report. . . "
B- "Where's the nearest relay tower--or whatever you guys call it."
Z- "I can't tell you."
B- "It's a secret?"
Z- "It's--"
B- "It's a big tower--it ain't much of a secret!"
Z- "I can't tell you because--while you may not go and vandalize the tower--others might."
B- "What might they do? It's a great big bloody tower?"
Z- "It's not information we give out for security reasons."

Since 9/11, every single mother-loving Corporation boils anything they don't want to tell you down to "security issues". My comeback?

B- "What? Would I go toilet paper your tower? What could someone possibly do to your tower?"
Z- "It's our policy, sir."
B- "I mean, how mad have people gotten at you guys in the past that you now classify your towers as confidential? They're great bloody huge towers! With lights on them! Usually sitting at the highest points in town!"
Z- "It's policy. I will file a report, but there's nothing we can do--we do not guarantee signal in your home."
B- "This is a crock."
Z- "Are you calling me from inside your house right now?"
B- "Yes."
Z- "Has you phone dropped the call while we've been talking?"
B- "It just did, smart ass."

And with that less-than-clever reversal of his little nipple tweak, I hung up.

Next time Bell calls me asking for something, I'm going to tell them that "due to security issues" I can't speak to them at that time. Then I'm going to say, "Wait--how did you get my number?!" and pitch a real big fit.

Harold Ramis makes every teen male look hot!

In my old age have I begun to take for granted the leisure of making out in my own home? Forgotten how my spine would tingle at the sound of footsteps heading towards the basement stairs? Or the blind fumbling in movie theatres?

Apparently I have, because tonight with legs and heads rolling across the screen during the late night screening of "300", I could only look upon the mass of horny Edmontonian teenagers with mild revulsion as they pulled at each other's laps. Despite the nudity, and the sweaty, heaving bodies of Sparta's finest--not even a tingle did I feel. Not a twitch. Only sadness that this is what teens are forced to resort to; and all the while, with an armrest between themselves and their beloved.

Are you there God? It's me, B.
Could you please send Edmonton a boring romantic comedy?
Maybe something by Penny Marshall?