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07:19am 25/08/2016
  Music: SUPERCAR - Soratobi

This season's programming is inspired by Global's Night Walk (1986-1993).

"Each of the shows was a first-person view of a trip through part of Toronto during the late-night hours, accompanied by jazz music.
[...] "The program was created by Michael Spivak, then vice-president of production for Global, as a substitute for a test pattern.
[...] "Media coverage identified the show's largest audiences as insomniacs and prison inmates."
11:10am 11/08/2016
  Route: YYZ-HKG
Time: 2016-08-11, ETD +07:25, ETA -06:35, UTC 11:10
Music: Kaytranada – Bus Ride

The clinical term for it is ‘delayed sleep phase syndrome:’ permanent jetlag, induced by a pineal gland convinced that I live five hours ahead of everyone. Or nineteen hours behind.

On most days, this neurochemical time warp means that I am about 30 percent functional when most of everybody else is up and about, and getting in my best work at three in the morning.

But it also means that whenever I fly long-haul, I sleep normal human hours, at least for a few days.

And the logic propagates outward. I know exactly what to wear for flying, and what to pack on my immediate person.(1) Uncluttered of belt buckles, spare change, and shoelaces, I breeze through security lines, for the most part,(2) and wear a TSA-friendly grin for customs and immigration.(3)

As I take my seat, I reset my wristwatch to 12:00:00, push the crown in the moment the plane pushes off, and strap it onto one of the tiny slots on the seatback in front of me. It is a cheap piece of made-in-China plastic, with a drab green fabric strap that had yellowed in parts from sweat, peroxide, and fieldwork. But this, too, is intentional. It communicates to people who care about watches--and they are invariably assholes--that I am Frugal yet doing Serious Work.


Thus regimented and hypermobilized, I go on to publish full-page op-eds, get flown by foreign governments and universities to speak in front of experts in ballrooms of five-star hotels, e-mail complete expense reports to the last cent and get precisely-cut checks in the mail a week or so later.

I earn frequent flier miles, and occasionally get bumped into business class.

Somebody, somewhere, likely whiter, straighter, maler, richer, and more powerful than I am, is finding what I say and what I do useful enough to throw these scraps my way.

And I am reminded that, if allowed to live a normal life, I likely pose a danger to myself and to society.

After three or four days of this, the familiar comfort of mediocrity, and of sleeping in past noon, feels like the most responsible thing to do.

1 Black t-shirt and khaki garter shorts for summer, black turtleneck and lightweight ski trousers for winter, bright orange flannel shirt for when I need to be spotted in a crowd in an unfamiliar airport. A pen, good earphones, three pairs of earplugs and a velour eye mask in my pockets.
2 I do have at least three love letters from the TSA notifying me that they opened and inspected my checked luggage. Joke’s on them, though. They do a better job of packing my shit.
3 At the US border: “And what do you study in Canada, sir?” “Geography.” “And why are you smiling?” “Ah, nothing. It’s just that I’ve heard all the jokes."(4)
4 Such as: haven't they mapped the whole world yet; war is God’s way of teaching Americans geography; you mean geology right? and so on.
12:00am 07/08/2016
  Route: Davenport to Bloor and Lansdowne, then Bloor and the West Toronto Railpath back home
Time: 2016-08-07, midnight, give or take
Music: M|O|O|N – Hydrogen

Purpose: milk run.

Woke up right before midnight, hungry and wired for no good reason. No milk in the fridge. Bloor is likely my best bet for an open corner store, and tonight's ride will be about picking a north-south street from Davenport to Bloor that I don’t usually take.

Chose Lansdowne. Glide down was uneventful. 2.7 kilometers in 7:44 minutes, average speed of 20.6 km/h. Hit a top speed of 32 km/h.

Found an open convenience store right at the corner of Bloor and Lansdowne. Bags of milk looked off, got a carton of almond milk instead. Clerk had a huge grin on his face. "Stand-up comedy. Punjabi."

Ride back up was equally uneventful, but now have almond milk for a shake. Two bananas, a scoop of Whey Gourmet® choco peanut butter cup mix, and a cup of almond milk. 360 calories.

James arrives not fifteen minutes later looking for milk for his tea. Side quest completed?
02:00am 05/08/2016
  Route: north shore of Glacial Lake Iroquois
Time: 2016-08-05, 2 a.m., give or take
Music: Hudson Mohawke – FUSE

Took Davenport east then turned left on Christie. I meant to check out the vantage point on Hillcrest Park, but most of downtown had switched off for the night. For all its pretensions of global city-hood, at least Toronto doesn’t feel the need to pummel the clouds with high-intensity discharge city branding.

As with the stubborn persistence of its streetcar system, whether this feature is by default or by design is unimportant.

From Hillcrest Park, zigged and zagged through the residential blocks north of Davenport. I've rode past these neighborhoods maybe a few hundred times now, and this is the first time I'm putting any effort into getting to know them.

It's good that I did. The roads here are perched on the shallows of the former Glacial Lake Iroquois, and the old shoals make for some of the more interesting relief in a mostly flat city, with gentle undulations that reminded me of the first time I rode a bike unsupervised.

I wouldn't mind living here.

Ended the ride at a short, straight street that runs lakeward, ends at a staircase that takes you down about 20 meters to Davenport road, and has a sightline straight to the wind turbine by the Ex.
Sorry, there are no available entries to display.   
08:25pm 07/10/2015
  2005-2006 truly was the high point of the internet  
     Read 1 - Post
Denser than depleted uranium   
02:24am 23/06/2011
  sa isip, sa salita at sa gawa.  
     Read 1 - Post
2010 in new music   
06:51pm 10/02/2011

     Read 1 - Post
I am an eighth-day gallows humorist   
09:17pm 02/02/2011
  I believe that on the eighth day God said, "pull my finger"  
Synesthesia: ang lasa ng cramming   
09:26am 02/01/2011

Dahil di ko hinuhugasan ng husto yung mug, rinse lang
meron nang lasa ng
mint tea
(galing kahapon)
at balat ng orange
ang kape ko ngayon.

Buti na lang di ako naninigarilyo.
     Read 2 - Post
Early morning realization no. something or the other, series of 2010   
03:50am 30/12/2010
mood: None, or other
The mark of good sociology: it should make you laugh.
testing testing   
05:56am 11/05/2009
  Evening, July 23, 2005

Me and this taxi driver chap, we were going to pull off a heist on an unsuspecting coconut hawker. We were in his taxicab, staking out the hapless mambubuko for what felt like the fourth day or so. In the trunk sat dozens of fake coconuts, which we intended to use in a classic bait-and-switch maneuver. My partner was the sleazier of us two, and he wore a panama hat with a Hawaiian shirt.

I wore a pinstriped suit.

It turns out that what he really intended to rob was a branch of the United Coconut Planters’ Bank. I can’t remember what happened next.

Morning, July 24, 2005

1: All I could remember about this dream was that it involved an ad for floor wax, and that the sole advertised characteristic was that it was colored ube purple instead of the usual red.

2: I was at home, and my family and I were packing stuff up into these big balikbayan boxes. We were leaving for San Francisco the very next day, apparently. There wasn’t enough room for all of my things, as my mom was using up most of the space for the junk she’d accumulated over the years (she was the sort that never threw things out – lifestyle sections of newspapers, hopelessly shot appliances, etc.). I was surprised at the extent to which I had put down roots here, and at the fact that I was about to leave a lot of it behind just because my mom can’t bear to throw Tim Yap’s columns and a broken electric fan away.

Evening, July 25, 2005

I had to bring my sick brother (who really is down with the flu right now) to a hospital notorious for its undead population and its inadequate parking space. I had a bit of trouble once they got him all fixed up, as I could not remember where I had parked the car. So my mom, my brother and I ended up threading our way around the mostly-empty complex at midnight, careful not to spring any traps that the zombies laid out. The architecture of the hospital was similar to those gray monoliths that Marcos put up – something of a cross between the main theater at CCP, the Philippine Children’s Memorial Center, and a videogame medieval dungeon.

It turns out that I was parked next to a friend’s car, someone I haven’t seen in a long while. And as luck would have it, he was heading towards his own car, and so we traded gabs right then and there, at midnight, in the amber-lit parking lot of some Marcos-era hospital with a zombie infestation.

I just realized that ‘finding a parked car at night’ is a recurrent theme in my dreams, although I’ve never had the problem in real life.

Afternoon, August 1, 2005

In my hand was a piece of fried chicken that could pass for a relief map of France. I took a bite out of the Bordeaux region, and all of a sudden I understood why it was famous the world over for its wines – Bordeaux was absolutely delicious. Normandy, on the other hand, tasted like stale, salty bread.

And then I dreamt that this dream would make a great dream journal entry.

August 2, 2005

I dreamt of the smell of freshly toasted, freshly buttered bread.

This sort of dream usually happens when I chew caffeinated gum before I sleep, which I did. The last time I did, I dreamt of nothing but the smell of cinnamon buns.
     Read 5 - Post
9-11-1973 never forget   
04:29am 04/09/2008
  A Moment of Silence Before I Start this Poem
Emmanuel Ortiz

Before I start this poem, I'd like to ask you to join me
In a moment of silence
In honour of those who died in the World Trade Center and the Pentagon last September 11th. I would also like to ask you To offer up a moment of silence For all of those who have been harassed, imprisoned, disappeared,
tortured, raped, or killed in retaliation for those strikes, For the victims in both Afghanistan and the US

And if I could just add one more thing...

A full day of silence
For the tens of thousands of Palestinians who have died at the hands of US-backed Israeli forces over decades of occupation. Six months of silence for the million and-a-half Iraqi people, mostly children, who have died of malnourishment or starvation as a result of an 11-year US embargo against the country.

Before I begin this poem,

Two months of silence for the Blacks under Apartheid in South Africa, Where homeland security made them aliens in their own country. Nine months of silence for the dead in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Where death rained down and peeled back every layer of concrete, steel, earth and skin And the survivors went on as if alive. A year of silence for the millions of dead in Vietnam - a people, not a war - for those who know a thing or two about the scent of burning fuel, their relatives' bones buried in it, their babies born of it. A year of silence for the dead in Cambodia and Laos, victims of a secret war .... ssssshhhhh.... Say nothing ... we don't want them to learn that they are dead. Two months of silence for the decades of dead in Colombia, Whose names, like the corpses they once represented, have piled up and slipped off our tongues.

Before I begin this poem.

An hour of silence for El Salvador ...
An afternoon of silence for Nicaragua ...
Two days of silence for the Guatemaltecos ...
None of whom ever knew a moment of peace in their living years. 45 seconds of silence for the 45 dead at Acteal, Chiapas 25 years of silence for the hundred million Africans who found their graves far deeper in the ocean than any building could poke into the sky. There will be no DNA testing or dental records to identify their remains. And for those who were strung and swung from the heights of sycamore trees in the south, the north, the east, and the west...

100 years of silence...

For the hundreds of millions of indigenous peoples from this half of right here,
Whose land and lives were stolen,
In postcard-perfect plots like Pine Ridge, Wounded Knee, Sand Creek, Fallen Timbers, or the Trail of Tears. Names now reduced to innocuous magnetic poetry on the refrigerator of our consciousness ...

So you want a moment of silence?
And we are all left speechless
Our tongues snatched from our mouths
Our eyes stapled shut
A moment of silence
And the poets have all been laid to rest
The drums disintegrating into dust.

Before I begin this poem,
You want a moment of silence
You mourn now as if the world will never be the same
And the rest of us hope to hell it won't be.
Not like it always has been.

Because this is not a 9/11 poem.
This is a 9/10 poem,
It is a 9/9 poem,
A 9/8 poem,
A 9/7 poem
This is a 1492 poem.

This is a poem about what causes poems like this to be written. And if this is a 9/11 poem, then: This is a September 11th poem for Chile, 1971. This is a September 12th poem for Steven Biko in South Africa, 1977. This is a September 13th poem for the brothers at Attica Prison, New York, 1971.

This is a September 14th poem for Somalia, 1992.

This is a poem for every date that falls to the ground in ashes This is a poem for the 110 stories that were never told The 110 stories that history chose not to write in textbooks The 110 stories that CNN, BBC, The New York Times, and Newsweek ignored. This is a poem for interrupting this program.

And still you want a moment of silence for your dead?
We could give you lifetimes of empty:
The unmarked graves
The lost languages
The uprooted trees and histories
The dead stares on the faces of nameless children
Before I start this poem we could be silent forever
Or just long enough to hunger,
For the dust to bury us
And you would still ask us
For more of our silence.

If you want a moment of silence
Then stop the oil pumps
Turn off the engines and the televisions
Sink the cruise ships
Crash the stock markets
Unplug the marquee lights,
Delete the instant messages,
Derail the trains, the light rail transit.

If you want a moment of silence, put a brick through the window of Taco Bell, And pay the workers for wages lost. Tear down the liquor stores, The townhouses, the White Houses, the jailhouses, the Penthouses and the Playboys.

If you want a moment of silence,
Then take it
On Super Bowl Sunday,
The Fourth of July
During Dayton's 13 hour sale
Or the next time your white guilt fills the room where my beautiful
people have gathered.

You want a moment of silence
Then take it NOW,
Before this poem begins.
Here, in the echo of my voice,
In the pause between goosesteps of the second hand,
In the space between bodies in embrace,
Here is your silence.
Take it.
But take it all... Don't cut in line.
Let your silence begin at the beginning of crime. But we, Tonight we will keep right on singing... For our dead.

* * *

Translating thought to word--on the decade of hundred-dollar flip-flops and trillion-dollar wars, on the strange, tingly sensation of awe and fear that the stricking, spectacular views offered by the Precipice of Human Hubris brings--will commence shortly.

¿Venceremos, venceremos, venceremos?
07:07pm 07/09/2007
mood: nasolid
Elsewhere in the world, Castro breathes his last few thousand lungfuls. Syrian missiles home in on Israeli jets, which could make for even more interesting times. Raul Gonzales munches on an adrenal gland plucked fresh from a dead infant, his fourth for the day. My Econ 100.1 classmates plow, brain-dead, through their corrected midterms.

But then and there, all that mattered was the long, slight uphill ahead, the downshift, the reassuring thnick of the rear derailleur, and me matching cadence; I don’t give a shit, expressed in meters per second.

Glory be to the machine, to the afternoon sun, and to my momentarily free spirit.
     Read 1 - Post
So it goes   
11:33pm 17/04/2007

When the tupelo
goes poop-a-lo,
I'll be seeing youp-a-lo.

Friday morning, early amihan   
07:53am 03/11/2006
  Sana maulit yung trip na ganito--tamang dinuduyan ka sa pagitan ng pagkaidlip at pagkamulat, sa lupa at sa langit.  
     Read 1 - Post
02:40pm 02/11/2006
  Minus by Ryan ArmandCollapse )

* * *

Saka na ang dada; magpapakabasag muna ako.
     Read 3 - Post
11:48am 29/10/2006
mood: sedated
I got a nine in my mind you can't metal detectCollapse )
     Read 10 - Post
Language rarely does justice to these moments of clarity   
08:39am 16/10/2006
mood: calm, oddly enough
Case in point: I think I just figured out exactly what to do for the next ten to fifteen years.

* * *

Expand your mind
to understand
we all must live
in peace
     Read 8 - Post
What I did with my rocket fuel   
04:04pm 08/10/2006
mood: good
I’ve been meaning to commit some thoughts to writing for so long, now. I haven’t succeeded, yet, but I intend to see this attempt through, no matter how badly it turns out.

My attempts so far have been characterized by bad starts, by first few keystrokes that didn’t have that starter cough-starter cough-vroom resonance to them. I’ve always hated the way I write when I’m happy; it’s a mood I’d much rather spend drawing, or in conversation. Writing is for introspective early-morning lulls, or for when I feel like dropping a pile of logorrhea.

Still: this pogo-stick hijink, which took me three-quarters of the way around the sun, deserves a proper paragraph.Collapse )
my god, what is that awful smell?   
07:01am 02/09/2006
  "I'm sick of making my liver pay for mistakes that my limbic system made,"

was the exact same thing I told myself the last time this happened.