Wednesday, August 23, 2006

neVer is embroiled in a feminist debate concerning women in the workforce and how that relates to married home life. She is a stay at home mom who plans to stay at home even after br0n goes to school. She wants to work on jewelry, paint and read books about anthropology. I have afforded her that option and have always wanted her to do something for herself. The women who she is arguing with have made it clear through insinuation and slander (welcome to Earth) that they think she is wrong and women should have a formal education and a high paying job mainly, from what I gather, because women should be able to support themselves after a divorce. 

Can you spot the flaws in this picture?

My opinions on this include, but are not limited to, these points:

1. These women have a dependent world view. Ironic when arguing feminism, innit? Their self-worth being derived mostly, it seems, from their ability to break free from a situation they put themselves in, specifically, marriage. 

2. Any argument that limits the choice that can be made by a woman, be it staying at home or finding something else to do, is inherently not feminist. The feminist movement is based on freedom of choice and will ever remain thus until the end of women. 

3. The mode of feminism these women are employing is a throwback to the feminists=dykes mentality which all but killed feminism during the 80s.

I am, very much, a feminist in the purest sense. What I mean by this is that I fully endorse women of all classes and walks of life doing what they have chosen to do or making choices based on whatever their criteria might be. There is no need for complex, arbitrary rules in a system like this, it drives itself simply and accomplishes what it sets out to do. 

Any comments on feminism from my friend-base?

Sunday, August 20, 2006

I went out carousing for the first time in, I'm not sure when. It was awesome, I went with my friend gr0d, who doesn't post anymore since Final Fantasy XI ate him, and my wife, neVer. neVer and I met gr0d, unexpectedly, at the bus hive that would transport us South to Queen St. gr0d spent the bus ride showing off his new iPod and then gave me his old mp3-Cd player, he's so thoughtful. Our troupe fell out of the bus and hit the street, patronizing four of the five bars we know are there: 

The first was 2066 Queen which is a nice lounge style place with couches in the window seat, we sat there and had two Smirnoff Ice (neVer and gr0d) and a Guinness (moi.) We didn't talk about anything in particular and had a satisfactory time there.

Our next stop was Castro's Cafe (or whatever it's called) and had a Porn Star (neVer, some purple fuity thing) a Banana Ball Martini (gr0d, the name of the drink is obvious) and a Gulden Draak (I, a fruity beer that I enjoyed almost all the way to the bottom of the glass.) This is where gr0d mentioned how most beers have a strange taste when you get to the bottom of it and came up with the ingenious idea of SHAKING it before opening it. I told him about how shaken beers always end up mostly on the floor and also that it probably has to do more with the temperature of the drink and possibly the spit that ends up in it after drinking most of it than it does with impurities and sediment already present in the bottle before opening it. I don't think he quite bought that story. Castro's Cafe is a really nice place which does not serve domestic beers, only imports, wine, coolers and mixed drinks. Keeping the Rif-Raf out has never been easier. 

The next place was a much more traditional bar which had a live band, a cute chinese waitress (Tu Ning jokes, groan) and a smattering of drunken regulars. The bartender had gone home for the night, strangely, and they didn't have any coolers so we ordered simple mixed drinks and wine. The band's rhythm guitarist was missing somewhere and the keyboardist was stone drunk, playing off key sometimes. The bassist and lead were what you would expect, submissive and rudely witty, respectively. They played some songs, I don't remember what but we watched them for two rounds. The keyboardist yelled over to our table "HAY GUYZ, WOT U WANNA HEAR!!??" and I quickly said, "U NO NE CHUCK BERRY????" to which the lead gave some excuses about the missing guitarist to cover up for his lack of knowledge on the subject of classic rock idols (he didn't even know who Chuck Berry was.) They serenaded us as we left with a bit of Johnny B. Goode, ending our Scratch Daniel's Odyssey.

Next we hit a packed Lion's Club and wondered at the amount people clustered around the bar when we got a table right away. We also had an argument about Green Day and which song made them popular. There was a slightly more professional band there who were playing the old Tragically Hip song about chicken bones when we left to take a cab to the Village, or gay sector.

The cab ride was fun and pretty. We were crushed into the back seat of the car and taking the fastest route to the intersection we were aiming for when we noticed the light mist hanging from the streetlamps. It never did rain though the meteorologist said that it might. gr0d and I were about half drunk, though neVer had already had a bunch of drinks before we even left the apartment. It was a nice ride through the city streets and we were ready for Zipper's when we got there. 

Actually, first we made a pit stop at gr0d's laundry room, it has a bathroom and a small trade library.

We entered Zipper's through a back door, neVer and I being immediately driven through the pounding, stinking dance floor by our gracious host, gr0d. He knew where there was an ATM machine and was making a beeline for it. The front room of the club is a lounge with very, very good soundproofing (the noise of the dancefloor lost as soon as we entered the place.) There was a grand piano with chair around it, into which was built a small shelf for putting you drink down. The jolly fat man playing piano was doing a number called, presumably, "Tits and Ass." gr0d pulled his money out of the machine with a bit of fiddling and we got our drinks, a round of Revs, before heading back to the screaming dance floor. It was dark there, like a cave full of monkeys, lasers and pool cues. We stood at the side behind a man who was robotically, half shaking his hips, more like an aerobic step than a dance, it seemed. Pushing past him we took the dance floor and made absolute fools of ourselves, men were checking me out and trying to dance beside me while neVer was not the only girl there, which was a relief to know. We finished our Revs and continued to flail our limbs around for about three songs, I suppose. We left, fed up with the stink of man-sweat and semen, for Pegasus directly after that, hoping to find gr0d's long-standing boyfriend, Chris. 

We walked up to the door of the bar just as Chris was walking out, looking for a safe place to burn death-sticks and so made our greetings, entering the building at length. Apparently there was a dyke meet of some kind going on and there were beautiful butches and slutty femmes taking off their clothes and feeling each other up. We stationed ourselves beside a Monster Bash pinball machine and ordered our drinks, three orange Smirnoff coolers if I remember correctly and oogled the half naked pile of women before realizing that the time warp had begun playing and that we were actually dancing to it. Not just us either, a whole, excited gaggle of people were doing the time warp with us. neVer was being checked out by one of the dykes as we were goofily mimicking each other during the "drive you insayayayaaaaane" bit. gr0d begun to wilt some time after last call and, after being smacked around by his friends and being given water by his more sensitive boyfriend, he left for home, leaving neVer and I to finish our drinks and spill out onto the sidewalk to find a taxi home. It wasn't difficult to find one, though we walked a bit to freshen up and keep the ride fare below $20, the last bill in our collective wallet. 

The driver was a friendly, witty type and we had no qualms about speaking openly about the details of the night in lurid fashion:

Kraai: "I didn't notice the colour of her hair"
neVer: "The one with the boobs"
Kraai: "boingboingboingboing"
Driver: "I am hard of hearing"

And so we made it back in one piece, falling into a deep, drunken slumber which didn't last as long as I would have liked. It was a good night and strengthened all our friendships.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Over rice, tea, and stale pizza I wonder about my future. I fall in love almost every single day at my job. The kids make me think there are gods, like there is some divine purpose that might link me to the rest of this god-awful place. I find myself thinking these things and wonder if I haven't fallen into an emotional pit from which there isn't an escape or if there is some truth to this chemical response. Someone I fell in love with today threw up on me, I didn't mind. That's love, right? Another person I had fallen for what seems like ages ago fell asleep in my arms and felt safe there. That's also love, right? Maybe I am reading far too much into comfort and care. But maybe it really is something that can be felt, touched and possibly even moulded. Moulding emotion for a purpose sounds somehow mystical or religious. I have reservations about things I can't see, feel or that sound impossible. Maybe I've been wrong. Maybe..

Monday, August 7, 2006

I've rearranged the living room into something more practical and aesthetically pleasing. This act was seeded by the sight of my daughter covering the screen for the glare coming off the pc. My pc is not even IN the living room. Well, whatever. 

I've been playing a game called Planetarian which is basically a sickly sweet account of a post apocalyptic scenario involving a female robot "always willing to serve" on her last week on earth and a guy who feels protective of her and somehow sad for her. The Japanese have labelled these types of games Kinetic Novels which is usually a fancy way of saying Dating Sims, Eroge or H-games, (PORN GAMES for those of you not paying attention to japanese media.) This one is not exactly a porn game though, since there are no nude scenes that I have come across and there is none of that silly multiple choice selection stuff that passes as flirting in these types of games. It's an emotional story in a depressing-and-then-uplifting sort of way, though I haven't completed the main story arc yet so take it with a grain of salt. It is rather singular in that it is just about the highest quality "Kinetic" or Visual Novel that has been translated into english from it's original Moonspeak, I am withholding saying that it's a completely average story with no devices or metaphor to speak of until after I have actually seen the ending. 

I'm also playing the infinitely more appealing The Dark Eye which is a point, click and watch (others might call it "adventure") game based on a couple of the works of Edgar Allen Poe and which utilizes the queer overliterate dead anti-idol himself, William Burroughs as one of the main characters in the story. Indeed, he plays possibly the most interesting and fleshed-out character in any video game I have played to date. The overreaching story is an original one, if rather incohesive at points, which borrows heavily from certain Poe classics.

Friday, August 4, 2006

I drew some sketches that weren't terribly bad today. During nap time at work I sketched one of the children in wire-frame figure style and almost got him exactly how I wanted him. My sketches are still throw-away quality though so I don't have today's sketches to scan, even if I did have a scanner. 

I used Crayola Silken Crayons today. Fancy lipstick-style pastels that are amazing to work with, if a bit innacurate. I want to get some real pastels. Back to School sales, here I come.

Wednesday, August 2, 2006

I am reading an american comic by name of Transmetropolitan. After reading the first one I am impressed. It's about a guy, a journalist who was once famous and then moved to the mountains because of the filth and fanaticism which the city breeds. He comes back because he's run out of money and is being threatened by debtors so he goes back into journalism again. It ends up he's some kind of savior to a whole group of naive people. Kind of romantic, isn't it? I'll return it to the library tomorrow and begin reading the second one presently.
I think I am falling in love with buddhist myth, art and wisdom. It is fun to discover. The pieces of knowledge that I have come across seem very simple and the teachings of Buddha don't generally tend to conflict with his other teachings.

One such piece goes something like: "There are many divergent paths to happiness. When one finds he is on the wrong path it is his duty to quit it." I assume the author meant nirvana when he said happiness, but I could be mistaken.

Another myth, Japanese in origin, I think, can be paraphrased like this: Lord Buddha was on a journey when he came across a dragon spirit below him from where he stood on a cliff. The dragon extolled a very sophisticated piece of knowledge that the Buddha may not have been aware of. The Buddha asked for another piece of wisdom and the dragon did, indeed, utter something even more profound than the first. The Buddha, again, asked for another and the dragon told him he would utter more buddhist wisdom if the kindly lord would feed him, the Buddha agreed. The dragon kept his part of the bargain and then asked for the human flesh on which he feeds exclusively. The Buddha jumped into the dragon's mouth without hesitation.

This myth seems to say that the soul's knowledge is above the secular body. It also seems to say, to a somewhat lesser extent, something about being true to your word, even if the price is not expected or is unpleasant.

Buddhist art is a strange thing. It is a discipline more than a real art form since the every buddha depicted must have exactly the same proportions and every gesture and expression has a spiritual meaning. And while an artist must be exceedingly skilled to create great art, there is no room for personal expression within those confines. Yet for all that, the images are themselves are very beautiful.

This is not to say I have renounced my atheism.