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If there’s been less of this navel-gazing blog lately, that’s because I’ve suddenly taken up a new hobby: home improvement! Real home improvement enthusiasts would laugh at my paltry efforts. Nevertheless, it is safe to say that I’ve never before poured as much effort into improving my dwellings as I have this past week.

It was like a blank slate: a beautiful and spacious apartment, but nothing in it. Literally nothing. Not so much as a curtain rod, a hook, not even a mirror or cabinet in the bathroom. So, after two visits to Rona, two more to Ikea, and visits to three other furniture stores, I’ve now made the place livable. And boy do I feel smug about myself. I now can’t much see the point of spending time anywhere except home. Why bother? I love my home! All I need now is a TV and DVD player so I can hang out, eat snacks, and watch movies.

In other news, I went to Francofolies over the weekend. I had ostensibly gone for Malajube, one of my favourite Montreal bands. But I ended up indulging in the entire soirée, all the way from 6pm to 11pm. The first act, Somebody Disselets, I didn’t much care for. He flapped his arms around on stage like a bird that cannot fly. A bit awkward. Then Gatineau invaded the stage – yet another brash, garish, impeccably bad-taste francophone hip-hop outfit that – much like Radio Radio from New Brunswick – is so immune to what’s cool that you have to love them. Pink ties, fluffy toques, and all. And after that, something totally different. A band called Karkwa. I recognized Karkwa’s first number from Montreal’s CISM La Marge, and it is a beautiful, intense, brilliant song. Much like almost everything else they played. The lead singer didn’t have to do much except strum his guitar and sing beautifully – he just owned the stage.

And then, Malajube… Hmmm. I had pictured a happy-go-lucky kinda goofy band, but they were actually about the most angstful rock n’roll act I’ve seen since Modest Mouse. The lead singer/guitarist seemed a hair’s breadth away from a total meltdown. At one point, he threw his guitar about twenty feet in the air – when it landed, obviously it was thrashed, and a technician came to take its carcass away. The singer said, “It feels good sometimes to waste things” (in French of course) and the show went on.

Tomorrow, the big show – yes, the real biggie. It’s Radiohead!

So I guess we can conclude from all this that having a nice new home hasn’t entirely made me eschew the outside world. Not yet.

When you gather a large group of friends together on a summer Montreal night, expect drinks and hilarity to follow. This seems to happen at least every week — often several times a week. I must monitor myself to ensure I do not become an alcoholic.

However, it’s hard to say no to drinks. As Teena’s friend Andrea pointed out, it’s nice when you happen to be wandering along, bump into Person X, and say, “We’re going to such-and-such, would you like to join us?” and invariably, Person X will say yes. I like how open people are to socializing.

Meanwhile, I attempt to keep writing, because you need more hobbies in life than simply drinking, especially when you feel forlorn sometimes because you miss your girlfriend. I successfully steered my thoughts away from loneliness several times this week, writing a new story, which I called, “Stalking Ex-Girlfriends.” I think it’s one revision away from being one of my more successful stories.

I also submitted a piece to Maisonneuve magazine called, “Montreal Heat Reminds me of a Fat Childhood,” which is a story about the summer around the time I was fifteen, when I stayed at my aunt’s in France, and went cycling every day in the midday heat, determined to shed my extra pounds.

I’ve also drafted about eight M.o.M’s, some of which will come out the next while. I plan to start archiving them on this site. I like making things accessible through archives.

I do not, however, like Obama’s stance on gun control. What happened to his principles?

Another thing I don’t like is Canada’s laggardly behviour on climate change. We are the worst of the G8 for increasing emissions since signing Kyoto. I blame Alberta and Stephen Harper. Bunch of greedygutsses!

You cannot eat money. Or oil.

Sadly, because I work in St. Eustache, I create more than my fair share of emissions. It’s a 37 kilometre drive each way. Insanity! Sometimes the traffic is so bad that I want to have Road Rage and kick the other motorists’ heads in. But I don’t. Like them, I just sit there sullenly and patiently, waiting my goddam turn, like a tool. It would be far better to walk or take the metro to work every day, but there we go…

Someone once asked me, why don’t you move to St. Eustache?

Ha! That person clearly doesn’t know St. Eustache very well. Except for my job, there is little of interest in St. Eustache. It reminds me of all the worst parts of Edmonton.

I cannot wait to get a cat. When I move to my new place, I plan to have a feline companion. I don’t know what to call him or her. If anyone has any suggestions, drop me an email. Maybe I’ll be pretentious and name him or her after a famous poet. Byron! Keats! Ezra Pound!

I don’t know why I’m writing such a long post. I haven’t organized my thoughts into a persuasive and compelling narrative of any kind. You could call this automatic writing.

My most successful Karaoke experience of all time was my rendition of Honky Tonk Women. Yesterday I thought of repeating it. But I didn’t. Very few songs fall within my range. I wish I could sing like Jack White of the White Stripes. That guy can belt out a song like nobody’s business. I also like the singers for Wolf Parade. Actually, I like everything about Wolf Parade. How proud I am of this Canadian talent. They live here. Maybe I will bump into them one day. I would not behave like a sycophant, because I don’t roll like that, but I would maybe congratulate them on the success of At Mount Zoomer.

If anybody cares about music at all, purchase At Mount Zoomer. Take note, I said purchase, not download. All you downloaders out there are vermin! You are like rats hitching a ride on a slave  ship, taking the food out of starving people’s mouths. That is unless you only download rich bands that deserve to get screwed over, such as U2, who I now hate. Save Africa? How about saving the world from your infernal music, you tools!

I’ve now used tool as a derogatory term twice in this post. Let’s see if I can use it for a last and time time.

Let’s see.

Karl Rove. He is a total tool!

No actually, that’s not correct. He’s not a blundering-around-don’t-know-what-I’m-doing kind of tool. He knows exactly what he’s doing. Being one of the most perversely evil men on the planet, and attempting to avoid justice, that’s what he’s doing. I once heard somebody speculate that he has a very small willy.

I can’t think of any more tools right now. I can think of lots of evil vermin, but not tools. How strange. You would’ve thought idiocy was more widespread than evil. But maybe modern education has curtailed idiocy.

If you can suggest a total tool to me, I will write a story about that tool.

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