This is kind of embarassing. Not in a schoolyard fall off the monkey bars and can yourself kind of way, more of an I never thought I’d do this kind of thing sort of way. But it is the 21st century and we all live busy lives right? Besides, I’m new to town, I’m certainly due a handicap of some sort – right?
I’ve just fired a shotgun blast of messages across an online dating site to a variety of Montreal girls (and for some reason a girl in Germany – she was smart and pretty, and she looked at my profile first – so there!). While there is of course some hope of achieving an intimate connection (or more, lets think positive here) on another level I just want people to hang out with, converse with, enjoy the company of. If none of them work out romantically and I just end up with a couple of new friends, well shit, that’s better than where I’m standing right now.
Its just like when I moved to Sydney. The first month was busy and hecktic, learning how everything worked, getting moved in, selecting classes and all that. Then, a month or two later, the terrible ennui. I would lie in bed for hours, wishing for something to do, someone to talk to. Eventually it happened, I joined the Cave Clan and had one of the craziest years of my life and made some amazing friends like Siologen and Niki.
This time around I’m wasting time watching Red Dwarf on the new 22″ LCD in my room and eating Miss Vickie chips. I was going to find some volunteering to do, to give me some sense of purpose but haven’t found anything that interests me yet. There are events coming up, but still…
So I logged into the world of digital dating and started doing the rounds. A girlfriend would be nice (really nice) but it’ll come when it comes. What I need are friends and I’m going to do whatever’s actively required to get that.
There are a lot of cool, interesting, intelligent people in this town. I just need to meet them and show them how cool, interesting and intelligent I can be.
I knew that Montreal was a pornography and call girl hotspot, but shit… A review site for escorts?! Wow. Most absurd of all the people who frequent the site call themselves hobbyists. Thats a bit of a stretch. Pervert comes to mind, but not hobbyist. Since when was paying for sex a hobby?
Heard about this study on French radio a couple of weeks ago but only bothered to Google it now after reading some frustrated ranting against Dubya’s conservative rodeo in Washington in a friend’s blog. Pretty interesting and probably worth further investigation. Maybe it even supports my idea to weight votes based upon the voter’s IQ and other intelligence factors. Just think of it, someone with an IQ of 120 with fifty percent more voting power than someone with an IQ of 90. Seems reasonable to me.
I wonder what defines anarchist brain activity…
Very briefly, last night tipped things in favour of Montreal even more. Running off a tip from someone on Tribe I went to an open mic last night at a place called the Pound. I had a feeling heading into it, and when I walked in those feelings were confirmed. I walked in the back door having somehow mentally blocked the front out of my perception and immediately made contact with the guy running the bar. Not many people there so a chance for some chit chat.
The place is very similar to Chriz’ old apartment in Toronto – Salem’s Loft. Basically its a converted warehouse space with private rooms upstairs and a massive living room/club/jam space on the main floor. Three people live there and throw various events downstairs like the open mic night. Its exactly the kind of thing I was hoping to find in Montreal, and here, just over a month in I have.
The open mic was varied as they always are, some good, some bad, some outright strange, but always in a very chill, supportive environment. I plan to return with some performance poetry, hopefully dragging a musician up to help out. I didn’t talk too much with anyone, but I certainly made a few connections and I’ll be back to follow them up.
Found more interesting Montreal groups on facebook. Things are good. Now I just need my computer monitor…
To use an “in” word of the times, my Montreal experience just tipped last night – yes I reached the Montreal tipping point where everything went from O.K. to Fuck I`m glad I moved here. There was a subsequent riptide that brought me back to reality a bit, but overall I`m so happy I moved here.
Last night was a meetup of the Bruleurs de Montreal Burners. Attendance wasn`t big, but that meant that I actually got to meet people rather than just being in their presence. I left with a great feeling of potential, of seeds planted and connections made. There will be new friendships, new art, all sorts of things coming from this move. Walking home through the city I saw things I liked, architecture, art, amazing little shops. I`ve inadvertantly moved into an area filled with curio, antique and pawn shops. What could be better?!
Then the little snap back. Aspects of French culture and ways of doing things that I need to adapt to. I got another parking ticket – I`m actually going to make myself a chart so I can figure out when I can park where in the neighbourhood. And today I was hoping to get a new monitor so I can use my computer instead of the roommates` but the store I went to doesn`t actually have any stock, they get it from other places so I have to wait another day or two. Wierd.
But overall, this city is full of good things. Abandoned buildings, creative people, cool places to hang out. Its vibrant, its lively, its got cheap booze on every corner.
I`ve moved into my apartment powerfully even though I`m only here a few months. I feel comfortable and I`m making it my own. I`m using my French as much as possible, so I hope I can become a part of that culture as well. This was a good choice.
Just before I left I read an article in Popular Psychology about the benefits of living in a big city, the constant exposure to new ideas, technology, information as well as the tremendous networking possibilities. It was a well timed article. Calgary to Burning Man to Montreal. Its all been good. Its only going to get better.
I remember once bringing up Burning Man and having an embittered long time Burner lapse into a rant about how the whole thing has just become a cash cow for Larry Harvey and that the real soul has gone out of it. I talked to him in soothing hippie tones, the equivalent of saying “Hey man, don`t hijack my trip dude.” and vowed never to be like him. Well…
The Burn used to be better. Why people toss around the attendance numbers like it was some kind of achievement is beyond me. Yes we`re nearing fifty thousand freaks a year. I hope it feels good to say it, because having experienced it, I`d gladly go back to the thirty thousand of my virgin year.
So now, Kay O. Sweavers Top Ten signs the Burn isn`t what it used to be;
- No graffiti in the Johnny-On-The-Spots – What happened to this simple, universal custom? Did a teacher tell on you?
- No runners the night of the Burn – I saw a few people try, but everyone chickened out. Christ Paul Addis had the balls to set it on fire, but nobody thought it was worth running to get a big Ranger hug and front row seats?
- No DPW Parade – At least not that I saw. What happened to their madcap antics?
- Not that much fire art – I really didn`t see much out there this year compared to last. It is BURNING Man right?
- Logos – I remember fondly seeing not a single unmodified corporate logo in 2002. Winona Ryder being a personal fave. Now it doesn`t seem to matter if your truck says Budget in five foot tall letters.
- No killer art cars – Yes Drakka killed someone. Yeah well Draka was the sexiest art car out there and the dead person was drunk as a skunk. You figure out who to blame.
- The temple built before Monday – In 2002 I got to assist in the building of the temple, as did anyone else willing to go out and lend David Best a hand. Now its a specialized crew that has everything done before the week even begins. Lame.
- Everyone was a virgin – I mean everyone. Whos setting the example for these kids? I guess its me. Shit.
- No pyrotechnic foibles during the Burn – I mean what fun is it if a few roman candles don`t randomly shoot into the crowd?
- Not accepting gifts – Perhaps most telling I spent one night as a wandering bartender, offering whiskey, screwdrivers and sangria to the thirsty. The vast majority refused my offer. Gifting is a two part process, what can you do when people don`t even know how to recieve?
Fortunately I`m not a complainer. I intend to do something about all this. Some of this. Hell I dunno. I just intend to do something. Paul Addis` actions Monday night may have stirred up some much needed controversey in that sleepy little town known as Black Rock City. People need to wake up and take action for their city, their concept of freedom and creativity.
BMORG can`t mandate the Burn. Larry Harvey can`t mandate the Burn. The local authorities can`t mandate the Burn. Not without our compliance – and we don`t need to comply. This is ours. We made it. More than any other place on Earth Black Rock City is made by its citizenry. Ultimately we ARE the city. That`s democracy baby, that`s freedom.
If you`re going next year. DO SOMETHING. Do something outlandish, something wild, something creative, something perverse. Just fucking do something. Don`t just stand and watch. Be ambitious. Extend your boundaries. Thats why we`re out there, in the cruel rugged terrain of the desert. To struggle, to struggle and expand, endlessly, like love.
And set stuff on fire. There wasn`t nearly enough of that.