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Ex Tin Panther

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The present - writing migration [Aug. 14th, 2013|10:31 am]
Ex Tin Panther
[Current Location |Hexabroad]
[Current Mood |dark and thick and thoughtful]
[Current Music |streetcars]

Just wanted to put a word out to anyone who still uses this thing and has me on a friend list.

This year I decided I occasionally wanted to put stuff online, but the whole LiveJournal thing didn't seem to work for me anymore. I like that all my Japan posts are here, as well as some other stuff around that period, but it's no longer very connected to my life.

If you're interested in seeing the few things that I've posted more recently, you can check http://josefadd.wordpress.com/

Yeah. I linked to wordpress from livejournal. I feel like that must be a faux-pas or something? Anyway, let me know if you're still out there seeing this.
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Hydrotherapy [Mar. 21st, 2010|03:45 pm]
Ex Tin Panther
[Current Mood |boredthinking, cleaning]
[Current Music |CBC / Jesse Dangerously]

Hello friends,

Spring is the thing. I've been on this quest lately (pretty passively, but I do most things pretty passively, and that's kind of the point here) to awaken my passions. Yeah, I said passions. Rebalance the humours, if you prefer, to get some mojo a-flowin'. Because I've felt myself getting pretty stagnant lately, and y'all know that that only leads to bad feelings and deep creatures.

So I made an impulsive decision (under a small amount of pressure, which is how I end up doing most things) to buy myself a plane ticket to Portland OR, which is a town in a state which is a conjunction. The purpose of the trip was mainly to visit with the west-coasty folks who inhabit yet old American Pacific Northwest - specifically Jordatron, Chris & Akiyo. It was something I'd been meaning to do for a bunch of whiles, but it was never convenient to take time off work and spend money. But last month, something changed. Actually, nothing changed. In fact, work has gotten busier and more complicated, but I figured I should do it anyway. Particularly because Jordan decided that he was tired of this not-being-in-Japan crap and that he should really do something about that.

Anyway, I won't go into huge detail about the trip, because that's not really the point. It was crazy brief and ridiculous in a few ways, but entirely worth it. Besides bringing back a lot of memories and reconnecting important conjunctions with important peoples, there was a lot of input from the ocean. I saw a lot of aspects of the ocean - big waves, tidal explosions, pouring rain, brief snow over mountainous passes, exploring octopi, shipwrecks, erosions, milkshakes, etc. The milkshake might not have actually been that connected with the ocean, but it was nonetheless important. There was also a lot of frivolity, which was also quite nice.

But yeah. Passions and humours. I think it was somewhat successful. I find myself getting more softhearted lately; more affected by certain things without warning. I watched three movies on the planes, and two of them made me cry. I found the particular bits which provoked these reactions interesting. First was in Milk, which was overall a decent movie, well-made and all that. Dude gets shot in it. That wasn't particularly emotional, though. What really got me were the scenes of people getting really pissed off and marching in the streets. For some reason, every time that happened it triggered something that I can't really describe, but should probably try to (given that one of my goals is to write more), but that I don't think I will. Is that description enough? Anyway, it was sudden and powerful. The very end of the movie has one of those "here's the deal with the real people who are represented by actors in this movie" bits, and that was pretty affecting too, actually.

The other one film that really got me was Creation, which I'd been meaning to see anyway. It's about Darwin. It's very direct and even obvious about some of its points, but so many of its themes are some of my favourites that I knew I'd be into it. And about two minutes into it, I was nigh in tears watching images of fish schooling and birds flocking and butterflies migrating and galaxies growing and waves crashing. Bam.
Later, there's a lot of tragic melodramatic (and apparently pretty historically accurate) stuff which was pretty potent too, given its context. A nice little confluence is that Darwin (apparently in reality, as well as in the film) believed in the merits of "hydrotherapy" in treating his chronic illness.

Warning: introspectionCollapse )

It's kind of funny that I haven't felt the need to write anything in this box for a long time, and now that I do have something to write about, I found it challenging - not the writing part, but the selecting of a "user-pic" to go along with it. The problem is that nearly every picture I have in here seems terribly appropriate. This one's best, though. If you care to, I invite you to look at it for a while and consider why this is so.
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Kittens and Kisses [Mar. 15th, 2010|11:58 pm]
Ex Tin Panther
[Tags|, , , , , ]
[Current Mood |excitedrancorous]

Iiiiiit's Valentine's day, chums. Of course, the feast day of St. Valentine is a meaningless corporate cash-in to which we owe no heed, but this year I feel that it merits some special attention on my part. Because I have fallen deeply in love, with candy hearts and marshmallow wedding-rings? No sir, not so. Because it has been a day of intense soul-searching and exploration? Not so much that either. But if you take out the word "intense", and many of the connotations of the word "soul", that's not so far-off.</p>

Well then: what has this long, family-day weekend held for the life of myself? I'm not sure right now. I've been drinking and playing Xbox. But I wrote some notes down so as to record something about this semi-momentous weekend at a later time, which is now. So let me dig them out.

Uh... these are just some shabby poems. Let's see. Oh yes.

Things to say

  • dumplings
  • art
  • gender dynamics
  • learning to love editing
  • Cupid, ok?

Hm... I'm not sure what some of these things are right now, or what I was supposed to say about them. Let's see: I shall start with today, and try to go through these mostly in order.

DUMPLINGS: Today I decided I would go out into the world and do things. Today being Valentine's day, and myself being a dude who has been single for a while, I figured I would go out in true single fashion (ie. by myself) and do some activities which would bring me in contact with people and lead me to have thoughts about the world in which I find myself. And so I did. I figured I would go to the art gallery, and also to a show that someone I (and people who might read this thing) might vaguely know happened to be performing in. It involved bees and dancing. That's about all I knew.

So I set off, with the knowledge that I would require some kind of fast-breaking nourishment.
INTERJECTION:- ALSO, I played paintball on friday night, which was intensely fun and made me all jazzed and sore and made my shoes look like they were made of candy for DAYS after (even now, in fact). But that's not related to this point. Except maybe that parts of my body were still sore. From crawling. Through goo.
So anyway, hungry. I figured, what: Falafel? Sushi? BBQ hot-wings? What about dumplings? What could be a finer breakfast on a Sunday morn? Then I thought about this fairly famous little dumpling place on Spadina (Chinatown) called "The Dumpling House", which I had always meant to visit, but never gotten around to it. And then a little voice in my ear-parts was all like: "No, you can't go to this dumpling house all by yourself, you crazy mammal. That is pure crazy-talk plain and simple." And I thought: Yes, little voice, you are right. But then I changed my mind and thought, you know what? I will make a list today. A list of all the things that I feel like doing but decide that I can't do. And then I will do those things. So I made said list. And the first item was "-Go to the dumpling house". And then I did. And then I remembered that is was Chinese New Year today as well as V-day, and that it might be all crazy in Chinatown. And verily, there were at least two lions a-dancin' around, despite the fact that it is clearly the year of the TIGER. But I went to the dumpling house anyway, which was sorta crowded, but I got a table and ate some fairly delicious dumplings. And I was satisfied and fortified for the tasks ahead.

Next up - The ART Gallery of Ontario, which was all redesigned by FAMOUS ARCHITECT FRANK GEHRY (Frank? Are you sure you're not thinking of Frank Lloyd Wright? Are all FAMOUS ARCHITECTS named FRANK? Whatever.) and now looks sort of like a whale/Portuguese Man-o-war/Museum with weird wooden semi-spiral staircases and giant faces coming out of the walls. So I went there. And I activated my gift-membership. And it was crazy-crowded with people going to see mummy-paraphenalia, so I didn't do that. But I saw a bunch of art and things, which made me pretty content and excited. Some of the art was made of wood, and some of bronze. Or acrylic and charcoal. And so on. Because it was V-day, perhaps, there were two people (a lady and a man) in the atrium part who were engaging in some kind of slow-motion make-outs throughout the afternoon. They were maybe dancers, wearing blue jeans and T-shirts, and they would roll around and kiss each other and engage in some lightly risqué fondling, while people around the atrium stepped around their bodies, or nervously laughed, or took pictures, or watched. Every once in a while the couple would pause in their activities and look around the room to gaze back at the spectators, as if to say, "Whatchu lookin' at?" or "Why aren't you guys making out with each other instead of watching us?" I found it pretty fascinating.

I couldn't make it past the second floor because of all the Egyptian Mummy lineups, but I figured I'll go back in a few weeks when there's some kind of crazy subversive Japanese anti-civilization meat-art or something.

How'm I doing? Oh geez, I've only done two things on my list, and this is long and it's 1:30. Aw, geez.

Well, in other news, I did some writing. And I've found lately that I enjoy editing stuff a lot. This is both unsurprising and not unsurprising to me. See, I always thought I would be a pretty good editor for other people (and lately have found that I'm a particularly good nay-sayer when it comes to collaborative creativity), but I have also found it very difficult to get around to editing my own junk. When I wrote essays, I would usually just be so happy to have them done that I would hand them in as soon as I could get them printed and stapled, if not sooner. But I think writing shabby poems has taught me the merits of editing. You can just spew out any garbage that has the basic idea of what you want to say, and later you can juggle around the actual words until it feels magical. So I spent some time doing that. I think I would like to find someone with drawing skills to collaborate with. I am slowly writing something that I kind of like.

Also writing is a short (short short) film comedy short thing that is part of a weekly competition or something? Anyway, a bunch of us wrote it last night, and will film it tomorrow, and maybe I will be a shabby, run-down CUPID who runs a dating site. I think that maybe it will be okay, but not great. Good times, though.

Also: GENDER DYNAMICS. I have some serious stuff to say about these, I think, but I'm not sure exactly what they are and how/if I want to say them? But for now, gender dynamics are strange. Also, I saw a 30-minute solo play thing tonight that was kind of all about gender dynamics and sexuality and identity and being a drag queen, and I found it fairly interesting. But more on that with sobriety and alertness, possibly.

Then I ate a BACON CHEESEBURGER and played video games with some chums. It was pretty good. And thus do I declare Valentine's day a mighty success.

This thing is long, and I choose not to hide it behind a cut right now, because I sort of forget how and also do not care to. Suck on THAT, mammals.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

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28 Years Later [Nov. 8th, 2009|09:36 am]
Ex Tin Panther
[Current Location |In bed]
[Current Music |The Knife - She's having a baby]

Had a very fine birthday yesterday. I was saying to Robin that birthdays that actually feel special rather than just like any other day are increasingly rare. But yesterday was one.

I am writing this in bed. Lola the cat has pinned my arms.

After brunch, I was walking to the station to go to an improv workshop, and put pod in my ears. I skipped through the first few songs, wanting to find something appropriate, and after a few skips (possibly the 7th song that came up?) I hit "She's having a baby" by The Knife - a song about having a baby in November. It's a very short and simple song, but has a kind of magical feeling that was totally appropriate for that day, leaves falling down in slow motion and all. I thought for a second about how I could be struck by a car and killed in that moment. I was glad that I wasn't, though.

The workshop was pretty excellent. It was with half of maybe my favourite improv duo, a group called Crumbs from Winnipeg. For some reason, only four people signed up (and even fewer for the one that was planned for today, with the other half of the group). But it was great. The last workshop I'd done was all about following a kind of formula to find the comedy of a scene quickly. It totally didn't work for me. This one was different. I love Crumbs because of how slowly and intensely they play things, and the workshop was pretty much what I was hoping for.
Lots of more honest emotional stuff, and being pushed to have more dramatic reactions. It brought me back to how I used to feel acting in plays.

Anyway, 28 seems good. I think I will keep it.
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(Actually written at 10:51 this morning, in bed) [Sep. 23rd, 2009|10:54 pm]
Ex Tin Panther
[Current Mood |crappyin bed until forever]
[Current Music |birds & bells]

The sound of whistling birdsand eleven church bells in the misty rain. Does life need more than this?

My stomach's making noises. We've been at a bit of a standoff lately, my stomach and I. Today I've no desire to turn on my computer, or even the radio. It is a day to sit quietly and digest.

I am reading Murakami and I see what everyone is all swoony about, and I worry slightly that what I'm writing even now is derivative and similar to what many people my age who have read some Murakami might write while sitting in bed drinking tea.

Yesterday I went to a meeting of a group which turned out to be two other people and a plate of nachos. We sat in an alcove at Pauper's Pub and read comedy sketches to one another. I read two that I had written and never intended to share with anyone, particularly. The other two said good things about them. I was pretty happy with them, too. One might be too long, and the other too pointless, but it was good to read them out loud. The two of them then went outside to smoke skinny cigarettes. I went to a show at Comedy Bar and mostly felt like a weirdo. Not sure why. My power level was moderately low, I guess. But I formally met some people who I hadn't yet, like the older guy who always sits in the front row and sketches people while they do scenes.

Tonight is Improv Prom, and I think I won't go (ed. Prediction = true!). It seems like the kind of event not meant for me. I'm not sure what its purpose is. And for me, three nights of improv in a row are a bit much. Actually, I've already had three. (ed. Probably why last night was weird.)

Thinking a lot about Japan again. I sometimes get spring and fall confused. It's a Japan kind of day, in the Nishi Iya sense.
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(no subject) [Aug. 31st, 2009|01:03 pm]
Ex Tin Panther
[Current Mood |mellowmellow]
[Current Music |Blackalicious - blazing arrow]

The summer has been grey and thundersome, yea,
for picnicry and frolics few precious days begat.

I know I wanted to write something besides talking about the weather in faux-old lingo.
Not sure what it was, though. I've eaten several burgers and sandwiches, lately. Found one of those vietnamese ones that Lindsay talked about when she was here - very tasty, and for a cool $2.25. The secrets of Chinatown.

I spent yesterday roaming around Kensingtron Marche and associated neighbourhoods, enjoying and fearing the fall-like air. It made me write down those first couple of lines, which then continued into a few pages of poem about seasons and mortality and fun things. I think it is one that might actually take some work though - it's got potential to be something long and even meaningful, but I'm not sure exactly what tone I'm going for yet.

I've been tutoring some tutelage lately, which is pretty easy. Getting up early to go to this woman's crazy expensive condo - a pretty huge place right at the Harbourfront. Full of pots and widescreen TVs and all the stuff you'd expect, I suppose.

This weekend I didn't go to any fests - no CNE, no Fan Expo, no Virgin Fest, no Busker Fest. I don't think I missed out, though... especially since Steve and I went to a fancy sale at the Silver Snail on Saturday night, and the place was basically a nerd nightclub. Lots of zombies and superpowered schoolgirls and steampunk goggles and body odour.

Good improv practice yesterday.
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Reality [Aug. 22nd, 2009|09:33 am]
Ex Tin Panther
[Current Mood |creativethoughts]
[Current Music |Chrysler class warfare]

Last night, I was eating dinner at an outdoor restaurant (with Jill and somebody else, I think) in downtown pseudo-Toronto. There was lightning in the sky, which began striking the CN tower sporadically, then constantly. I tried to point this out to Jill and somebody else, I think, but they seemed unwilling to turn around until the crazy purple lightning triggered an explosion around the base of the tower, which then fell down, the top landing about a block away.

We joined the throngs in evacuating the downtown area, which involved crossing a river for some reason. The bridge had also been knocked down, or made unsafe, so we had to pull ourselves along the foundations of the bridge, which were also set up quite thoughfully like a buffet table. I grabbed some hummus and olives and stuff, and made my/our way to a dance club/wooden shack above which I seemed to live. It was convenient for us to stay there (I'm pretty sure I had another house somewhere else, too - possibly the one in which I actually live) because people were planning to come the next day to do some role-playing.

Now, the funny thing about this dream is that is was wacky, but had just enough elements of reality to make sense to a lot of my brain. For example - crazy lightning on Thursday night (and at least one tornado, apparently). Also, today some people are planning to come to do some role-playing. Wha-hey.

Furthermore, I think I actually woke up in the dream, in my imaginary house/club, and tried to figure out if the whole CN tower thing was real or not. I think I was pretty sure that it was not, but wasn't totally convinced. This kind of dream-within-a-dream structure somehow just blurred the lines instead of creating an extra barrier between dream and reality.

In actual last-night-land, I played the drums a lot, and the weather was lovely, and people came to see us, and we got paid (I think) and it was a great success, and Robin and I ate at Apache Burger, and the tower was still standing when I got home, I'm pretty sure but you never know, do you?
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Sweatycakes [Aug. 15th, 2009|01:54 pm]
Ex Tin Panther
[Current Music |The Obama Administration]

Doesn't that made-up word make you cringe a bit? It should.

Free associating, here:

-In my last entry, I forgot to mention the achievement I unlocked: Standing on the sidewalk of Dundas street with a group of people, having a pep talk before the improv show, and being an obstacle to Don McKellar and his wife, whose name I forget. How exciting. It's one of those "Ooh, I live in Toronto and am important" moments whenever I run into Don McKellar walkin' around the neighbourhood (really one and a half neighbourhoods to the south of me).

-I'm wearing too many pyjama pants. One. One pyjama pants is too many.

-I've been staying up late the past couple of nights. It's been a while. Makes me feel like a carefree teenager again. Except by stomach feels worse and I have a better room.

-I've been experimenting with wearing a jaunty chapeau. Maybe I said that last time. I think I did. Anyway, reviews have so far been pretty positive.

-I don't seem to own any cheese. This has been going on for a few days now, and it's pretty jarring.

-A French guy lives in our house. So does a gal who is not so French.

-Good milkshake last night.

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Back on the Banana-horse, in the Banana-saddle [Aug. 6th, 2009|12:11 am]
Ex Tin Panther
[Current Mood |cranky...finally!]
[Current Music |something smells like fish a bit.]

Friends, I do not know where the needle on my power-gauge is headed, but it seems to be wiggling in the "moderately high" region for now. I'd neglected my daily banana regimen for nigh a fortnight in recognition of the fruit fly menace brought on by garbage strikes. But now the strike hath ended, the garbage be collected, and the fruit be ripe and in the open air of the kitchen.

And man, have I eaten well in the past 26 hours. See, my Tokushima chum Lindsay has been visiting from NYNY:USAmerica, and thus I have been free with my dollars and ferocious with my digestive apparatus. After a very successful (best ever?) show with Riggins (mysteriously-named improv team) last night, we strolled to Sneaky Dees (fameously dingy late-nite Tex-mex jam-joint) to dig into a "King's Crown" (monstrous layered wedding cake of the nacho world). I was pleased that I had skipped proper dinner, because I was able to do proudly honour the sacrifice of the young avocado by filling my gut to the very craw, despite finally being defeated by the mighty Crown.

After a period of gustatory respose, we awoke to make reservations for the overpriced CN tower restaurant, in order to cut the tourist lines and show the Rinj an appropriate view of the cittay. This we did, and I breakfasted on a spinach and asiago stuffed capon and scavenged quish, as well as myriad forms of cook'ed sweet potato, and the squozen juice of many an orange.

But this was not the end of the day's mighty alimentary conquests - nay! For another Tokushima chum, one Elizabeth Tracey, was due to arrive in our fair land, from the also fair land of Scot. This she did, and after the killing of time in the buck of Stars, our way was made to the Bangkok Garden, which is that totally fabtastic Thai place with the sweet water features. Indoor koi and all. Or some kind of fishies, anyway. I didn't inspect. There's also this squirting turtle fountain thing, and lots of funny objects carved out of various fragrant woods.

So we gnashed and masticated our tamarind beefs and noodly phads and emerald curries of chicken, and we agreed that it was good. We took Ellie back to her home for the night, and retired to an evening of making Lindsay finally watch This is Spinal Tap. I might have to do the same thing to Ellie tomorrow, after Lindsay returns to the kingdom of NYNY:USAmerica.

In the meanwhilst - Doppelgangs are in town, along with their crews of Spinneys, Coles, and FrankenFish. Turnover at the Pentacon continues, with two new recruits expected in the next few weeks. Aaaaand my job continues to sort of let me down and evoke earthward-pointed thumbs from me, so tomorrow I will find myself at the Royal Ontario Museum, applying to be a teacher in residence (except for the residence part) involved in their education programs. If all goes well, I might find myself teaching people about mummies and dead sea scrolls and ecosystems and rocks and medieval polearms and asian pots and australasian pipes and dinosours and daemonelices (look it up) and so on and SO FORTH.


So that's what I'm up to. What's new with you?
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Friends/Countrypeoples [Jul. 22nd, 2009|09:52 pm]
Ex Tin Panther
[Current Mood |contemplativetribal]
[Current Music |ideas]

Lend me your body parts. Any parts will do. I hope to get a good variety of them to make something really good. Like a monster, or a salad.

It's a fruitfly massacre at my place, like at so many others. Particularly this place though, it being well into the 5th week of a strike de garbage.

The month has felt pretty nuts. I've been doing this drama class from 8:00-1:00 every day, which has overall been very nice and invigorating, but drains my juices pretty fiercely. Tomorrow's the last day, which will only involve the sharing of some lesson plans, and then going for beer & pancakes.

Today had a pretty good moment though, where I was actually excited about planning a lesson, and felt a pretty big confluence between my various spheres of teachering, improv, and role-playing structures. Also, I will have some more relax time in August mornings, and then a new ESL class in the mornings beginning in September. And if I'm lucky, with my new qualifications-n'-such, I might actually secure an interview and be able to supply teach.

Probably all kinds of other things happened, too. Lots of roller derby. A fair quantity of nachos. More roommate turnover. Many cats. Impending visits from several good folk. Impending good times?

Basically, what I'm saying is that it's 10: o the clock and I gah go bed.
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