Back home there was a brand of boysenberry cider called “Boysencider”. I thought that was funny

My girlfriend’s going to Ottawa for two nights this week, so you know what that means… Boys’ Nights!

When I say Boys’ Nights, I more accurately mean Boy’s Nights. For this Boy, there will be two Nights in which I will have the house to myself and a cat. What will I do with this wild and crazy opportunity for madcap misadventures and silly shenanigans? I’ll probably go to the gym, come home for dinner, play some Magic and sleep with the bed to myself. Maybe I’ll even have a friend over to watch a movie. Call my unimaginitive, just don’t call me late to dinner. Because I’ll be making the dinner, so your plans will fail. Perhaps I’ll even put something in the Instant Pot so there are leftovers for future dinners. My girlfriend could even have some when she comes home. We have a freezer, time isn’t superbly limited on this whole leftover thing.

Are you disappointed at my lack of ambition? Honestly, the concept of a celebratory Boys Night Out seems kind of outdated in my life. Firstly, I don’t give a shit about the gender of who I’m hanging out with. If I enjoy their company, that’s good enough for me. Secondly, it’s not like I’m kept on a leash of sorts. My girlfriend and I live together and bed together, but it’s not like we spend all night waiting desperately for the other to get home. We hang out, but we’re also independent enough with both mutual and separate friends. Our schedules don’t always align and even when we’re home, sometimes we want to do different stuff.

The time worn “ball and chain” mentality has always fucked me off. I’m an independent guy, I don’t know that I’d last long with someone who wanted to exclusively hang out with me and not have their own interests. If I didn’t have a partner who made their own plans, I’d find it pretty tedious. We’d have nothing to talk about when we came back together (or after we “came together”, if you catch my drift). I don’t always even want to hang out with myself, let alone the same person. I need alone time and I need an assortment of friends to soak up on the regular. The only social constant I want is new and refreshing perspectives. It’s hard to get that when you’re perenially hanging out with the same folks.

If someone was enough of a drag to feel like they’d imprisoned you, why the fuck would you have married them in the first place? With a few harrowing exceptions, I’m going off the assumption that if you’re engaged, you’re probably an adult. Why “saddle” yourself with someone you create excuses to escape? That’s fucked up, right? DON’T MARRY THEM. You’re wasting their time and emotional energy until death/divorce does you part. That kind of makes you a piece of shit. Don’t be a piece of shit, don’t marry someone if you’re unsure. Personal preferences aside, it’s arguable whether marriage actually matters in this day and age beyond a symbolic gesture. I’m not knocking that gesture. Hell, I want to get married someday. I also don’t see a point in embarking along that path with a partner until it makes sense to do so? Weddings cost a lot of money and take time to plan. They’re fraught situations where many many strangers have many many opinions. Why get into that beleaguring morass with someone who you compare to a colonial incarceration tool? That seems like more than a mild oversight (if I’m being incredibly charitable) of sorts.

So yeah, big party for me. I might even put on some washing while she’s gone.

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Is there any difference between a frozen coke and a slushie?

Today was a weird mélange of oddly timed food and naps, so this is gonna get spacey.

Why does it feel so unnatural to sing “DuckTales, Woo Hoo” instead of “oo-woo-oo?” Is it the intrusive “h” sound? Is it segmenting it into two words? Is it using known onomatopoeia instead of a pure guttural howl? I can’t put my finger on it, but something about that little switch up makes me feel subtly disturbed. Also if you haven’t read it, this is a lovely article about the musician who wrote it.

If you were a folk singer who wrote songs exclusively about excrement would you be called Scat Stevens? If you had an interpretive dance troop who performed exclusively to Cat Stevens songs, would they be called “Express “Yusuf?”

One time I was watching a porn vid. I was almost in a daze looking at the guy’s total lack of rhythm. I couldn’t believe how uncomfortable it made me feel. Something was just off. I scrolled down and every single comment was just complaining about the guy’s rhythm. A bunch were straight up said “guy’s rhythm needs work.” Others praised the atmosphere, shots and his female partner’s performance, but every one of them *also* complained about the guy’s rhythm. It was the most connected I’ve ever felt to total internet strangers and I think about that a lot.

On that note, I’ll never understand people who actually download porn. It’s a frame of mind I can’t fathom. There’s so much of it out there. It’s not like you’re gonna run out. Even if, by some calamity, a favourite video of yours is taken down and you can’t find it anymore… there’s still so much more of it out there. You can find something else that’ll fill your tank. It’s such an expansive world out there, why wouldn’t you be constantly looking for new things to explore? I guess there are those people though, the folks who love “regular” flavoured chips. “Ready salted” in lieu of everything else, y’know?

How can your world be so perfect as it is that it’s not worth giving other things a try? I had this girlfriend once, and I couldn’t understand her. Not on every level of course. She was wonderful, but she had this particular thing with frozen coke. She loved frozen coke at the behest of all other treats. Nothing wrong with that, frozen coke is delicious. She’d get it all the time. I thought it was cute. One time we were walking past a food court kfc and they had a frozen coke machine. There were other flavours. Frozen raspberry too. I asked her if she wanted me to grab her a frozen raspberry so she could try it. She said no, she wanted frozen coke. I said why don’t I get the frozen raspberry so she could try too? She didn’t care. She didn’t want to try it, because she knew she liked frozen coke. If she had a sip of the raspberry that could’ve been a sip of coke, that was a wasted sip. I understood having favourite flavours, but this seemed extravagant. It was such a low cost. What if she had a sip and discovered she loved frozen raspberry even more? Then it could be her new favourite thing? By not even trying it, she had no idea that there could be a new world of appreciation at her fingertips. Was she afraid of that? Perhaps getting attached and sometimes not having it? If then frozen coke would become the flavour that she’d “settle” for? That once she’d reached that high, normal frozen coke would feel like crashing back to earth?

Knowing me, I was probably just being an annoying dork and this was a spite move.

Well you know what [@^&*)(#]? It worked. Consider me spote.

Also maybe put an advisory against breakfast ice cream into the curriculum too. A good way to crash in two hours

In 2015 the Ontario Liberal government did an overhaul of the 1998 sex ed curriculum for children in schools. With the vast technological and societal advancements over the years, it made sense. The new curriculum taught concepts of consent, body positivity and respect for diverse gender/sexual orientations. It was a necessary upgrade. The recently elected Conservative government decided to scrap it because some of their more conservative voter base didn’t like the idea of children calling their own genitals by their real names. I dunno, people are odd. I didn’t agree with this notion, so for the first time in my life I wrote a strongly worded letter to a politician.

Dear Lisa Thompson.

You don’t know me. Well, I hope that’s the case. Not that I don’t want to know you or anything. I’m sure you’re nice. We just don’t have any mutual Facebook friends (I checked), so I’m sending this in the blind hope that you’re a swell person.

As I said, before I started rambling, you don’t know me. It makes sense, I didn’t grow up here. I grew up in the stunning, coastal country of New Zealand. It’s really pretty, you should visit sometime. I’m sure you’d love it. I don’t say this in full confidence of your likes and dislikes, but most people have a terrific time when they visit Aotearoa (that’s its Maori name. I think it sounds lovely). NZ was a really swell place to grow up. There were lots of beaches, our cheese and chocolate were sweet as, and we had summertime Christmas. We also had some choice public schools. As I said, I don’t know you, but from your elected position I’d guess you’d be interested in learning about other education systems. I’ll tell you about some of my experiences, if that’ll help.

When I was seven, I asked my friend if he wanted to hold hands while we walked. “No way” he said “that’s gay”. I’d never heard that word before (“gay”, not “no”. My parents used that one when I asked them for breakfast ice cream), so I asked him what “gay” was. “Gay is bad” he said. I nodded dumbly at his sage wisdom, and absorbed that thought. Easy. Learning is fun, right? I always liked reading as a kid and to this day, words are some of my favourite things. Seven years and I knew what “gay” meant. I was awful proud.

When I was eight, I was quite chubby. One of the few chubby kids in my year. It’s probably why my parents didn’t let me have breakfast ice cream. As an adult I know that my size and shape didn’t make a difference to how cool I was. As a kid, most everyone told me the contrary. Kids are pretty creative and bullies had quite the Rolodex of mean names. I was told by some of the other boys that with my lumpy chest, I’d probably be able to feed babies. I told them that was silly, but without the actual reproductive education, I wasn’t entirely sure myself. To be clear, I have yet to produce milk. A pity. Here in Canada milk comes in bags and after five years of living in Toronto, that still kind of freaks me out. If I made my own, I wouldn’t have to worry about it.

They didn’t just call me names. A bunch of the older boys got physical too. I’d get pushed over or punched because I was different. They’d steal my stuff and throw it around until I cried and they gave it back. I remember one time being late for class because I was trying to run away from these kids who kept tackling me and shoving hay down my pants. I told them to stop, but they were having a good time and my opinion didn’t seem to matter. I guess they were more into Utilitarian than Kantian ethics. The teacher was not impressed that I was late. I didn’t want to tell on the kids by name, ’cause whenever I told the teacher they’d usually get rougher the next time.

When I was eleven, during a sex ed class, the teacher asked if anyone knew what a “wet dream” was. Being the total nerd I was (not sure why I’m talking in past tense there, Lisa), my hand shot up. “Yes Leon?” the teacher asked. I replied. “Is a wet dream where you have a dream that you’ve gone swimming at the beach with friends (a common NZ summer pastime) and you wake up having wet your bed?” The class laughed. This was the wrong answer. I felt pretty embarrassed. We didn’t learn a lot about sex and gender at Intermediate School (ages 11-12 ish). Mostly that we’d smell funky and get hair in weird places over the next few years. We’d get taller too. I couldn’t wait.

In high school, our sex ed got quite a bit better. We learned all about the whole cycle from intercourse to birth. We learned that STDs were now called STIs. We were taught about how contraception could decrease the likelihood of their occurrence. They showed us how to put condoms on fake phallic shaped things. We learned about different relationship styles and gender attraction, that they were all healthy expressions of love.

Now, despite being a pretty smart kid (my dad used to call me a smart arse all the time), I still hadn’t really gotten past what my friend had said when we were seven. “Gay” meant “bad”. We were teenagers in the early 2000s. Boys were still constantly teasing one another for being gay. I don’t think I actually had anything against gay people. My parents had lesbian friends and they were really nice. I babysat their kid once and he was well behaved. Teenage boys in NZ, however, thought being gay was one of the worst things you could be. I remembered what it was like getting bullied as a kid and I didn’t want to get bullied as a teenager. I mostly kept my mouth shut. I got called gay a bunch of times (which I think was the quintessential high school experience in that era), but denied or diverted the conversation. I don’t think I ever was gay as a teenager, primarily because I wasn’t sexually active. I knew I didn’t want to be though. That would be “bad”. Being a teenager was hard enough already.

Once I entered College, I met a girl and had my first kiss, etc. I liked the “etc” a lot too. We didn’t do a lot of it. We were both pretty new to it and didn’t really know how to put words to what we wanted. We mostly didn’t get what we wanted, so eventually we broke up. Don’t worry Lisa, I met other girls and they were all wonderful people. I got better at “etc” and asking for what I wanted. I was in my early twenties and I sure wanted “etc” a lot. I feel like I wanted “etc” more often than my partners did. Sometimes they weren’t in the mood for “etc” when I was and I’d get all mopey. Sometimes I’d moan enough about it that we’d “etc” anyway, even though they weren’t super enthusiastic about it. I didn’t know the concept of “consent” yet, but I did know “no” (remember breakfast ice cream?), so I’d often ask until they said that. I figured that was fair. Clearly, as a twentysomething I still had a lot of growing up to do.

Being a kid these days is quite different from how it was in the 90s. People were still using the term “Information Super Highway” and my parents would get angry that I’d tie up the phone line chatting to friends. Bill Cosby was a venerated family figure. Sexual and gender identities in public for the most part only came in basic flavours. Times have changed a lot. I know one or two high school kids these days who’ve come out to their school friends. Their friends have been really supportive. That sounds a lot better than bullying, right? Many many many of my friends are queer, with a myriad of sexual and gender identities. They’re wonderful people (otherwise I probably wouldn’t call them friends) who bring so much joy to my life. I often feel pretty disgusted at how I shunned alternative sexual identities as a teenager. Imagine, not having these outstanding humans in my life purely because of who they love. Seems like an awful shame.

In the past ten years I’ve learned a lot about consent. I no longer see “etc” as a finite resource. If a partner was not interested in having “etc”, why would I push them into it? There are so many things to do, why try to make them do something they didn’t want? In the age of #metoo, it seems paramount for children to know that it’s not okay to force people into actions that make them uncomfortable. I sure do wish those bullies who shoved hay in my pants knew about consent. I definitely would have told them “no thank you”. Being bullied had severe effects on my emotional well-being that therapy has only really unravelled over the past few years. Imagine the emotional anxiety of not feeling like you have a right to your own bodily autonomy. Kids should know that they’re allowed to speak up when they’re not feeling secure. Other kids should know how to look for ways to support them in these times. The emotional health of children is incredibly important. We can both agree on that, right Lisa?

I don’t have kids, Lisa. But I want them someday. When I have kids, I’d love for them to know that their self-worth is not predicated on how they fit into the expectations of others. That they’re wonderful beings full of potential. For them to learn about their bodies and what makes them tick. I’d hope that they’d treat others with respect and compassion. That other kids would treat them with kindness too. That someday they’d grow up and meet people that’d make their heart sing. That my kids would be caring and considerate. That whoever they loved, they’d be a positive force in their lives. That they’d get to feel the electricity of holding hands for the first time, of kissing and “etc”. That the “etc” would come when they were emotionally ready, nay, excited. Doesn’t that sound wonderful, Lisa?

Imagine if my hypothetical kids and their peers could grow up learning to be nice to everyone, regardless of who they were. Imagine if they understood about how their bodies worked and loved themselves no matter what they looked like. Imagine if they didn’t have to worry about being bullied. I know, kids are cruel and this one seems pretty far-fetched. Still, if we’re imagining here, why not shoot for the moon?

Lisa, I’m gonna try to be the best dad I can be, but I’m only one person. I don’t have the influence to encourage kids across the province to grow into fantastic adults. That’s kind of why I’m writing this letter to you. I know some people aren’t happy with the 2015 revisions to the sex education curriculum, but the curriculum in its current state has the potential to do a lot of good for a lot of kids. You have a chance, in overturning the decision to repeal it, to do a lot of good for a lot of kids. As I said, I don’t know you Lisa. Still, I’m gonna assume you got into politics to help people. Younger Leon sure could’ve used the kind of help you can provide.

Thanks Lisa.

Drake has a kid in Ontario, right? I hope he’s upset too

Recent changes to the Ontario sex ed curriculum are upsetting.

I don’t mean the 2015 update, rather the fact that the new conservative government has decided to roll back to the previous curriculum. Apparently the revised 2015 curriculum was upsetting to some of Doug Ford’s voter base and one of his party promises was to repeal it. The plan at the moment is to revert to the 1998 sex ed curriculum. I could be snarky as hell on this, but I don’t know that it serves much of a point. The world has changed a lot in the 20 years since this past curriculum was implemented. Here’s what the world looked like back then:

  • Bill Cosby was a venerated family friendly icon.
  • We thought the world banking system was going to collapse over a calendar issue.
  • The human population of the world was under six billion
  • The world had never seen a black president.
  • It was illegal for LGBT people to be married in Canada.
  • Apple created the iMac. iPhones were still years away.
  • Netflix was a physical operation.
  • The Global Financial Crisis was still ten years away.

Time changes, right? The world is a lot bigger now (roughly 7.6 billion people) and we’re wildly interconnected through the internet. Obama came and went. Turns out Bill Cosby wasn’t such a nice guy. A lot of people don’t even have TVs. Y2K would almost be old enough to drink by now. Because of smart phones, we can all ignore each other on public transit. The future is now.

Socially, it’s a whole new playing field. LGBT relationships have been accepted so widely that corporations cynically try to cash in on their sexuality every year in Pride. The concepts of gender have strayed beyond their binary trappings and we’re questioning the validity of old patterns. Like, why do single stall bathrooms need to be gendered? We have hashtags now, and #metoo has brought awareness to a ton of people about the necessity of consent. Same sex couples have kids enrolled in public school. While discrimination certainly still exists, the concept of treating someone differently because of their sexual orientation is a relic from ages long past.

The 2015 curriculum sought to address a bunch of these changes and prepare children for the world they live in. Concepts like the importance of consent and respect for people different to oneself were all part of it. Body positivity and self-confidence, challenging stereotypes and understanding one’s own body all found their place into it. The curriculum talked about cyber-bullying and creating healthy boundaries. Makes sense.

Apparently this was a bit too far for some parents. On one hand, I can realise that change is scary. The idea of kids growing up too fast fills some parents with dread. Thing is, whether kids call it their wee wee or penis, it’s not gonna change its form or function. Even if you’re against expanded gender and sexual orientation expressions, pretending they don’t exist isn’t gonna make them go away. Being aware of the existence of sex isn’t gonna make kids suddenly want to do it. Netflix is available at any time now and it’s great. I’m sure most kids would rather watch cartoons than porn.

1998 was a wholly different world. Let’s please not go back to there.

What would a polytheist talk about first?

Puns. Today is puns, at least until it isn’t.

As an aside, I’m ashamed it took me this long to start calling my wrist cast the “Infirmary Gauntlet”. Anyway.

If you were psyched for a play session with a dom, but you turned up and they were timidly masturbating, would that be a batin’ switch?

I asked this to my Facebook friends, and one chimed in that it’d happened to her before. Immediately I was moved to action. I told her that she had to admit, their shenanigans were a master bae shun. But also…

  • Sounds like a jerk move.
  • Guy wasn’t Onan his shit.
  • Wait, more like a jack off all trades. Master of none.
  • Did he pull a fast one on you?
  • Better ejaculate than never?
  • Surely you got the jizz’t of it by now?
  • Suffice to say, I’m in a seminal mood.

Then I wondered, do those ignorant folk who still believe female ejaculate is urine consider it the Piss De Résistance?

After Fargo won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, why didn’t they call them the Co-win Brothers?

Why do they call it tempo and not ear conditioning?

When the smoking gun is finally pulled on Trump, will he be considered Dead to Rights?

Where do old female monkeys go to drink? Barnanas.

Why do they call them pancakes and not flatjacks?

Technically aren’t all whales sperm whales?

If France wins the World Cup, will they drink Le Monde-ade out of it?

If the World Cup was anybody’s game, would that make it a Fifa all?

If someone burned incense despite their friend’s aversion to strong smells, would that make them incensitive?

Like a candle in a dark room, I’m out.

Life’s a lich and then you die. Better pack a phylactery

Apparently I could have a fractured wrist.

It’s convoluted, but I went to a walk in on Sunday. Got an x-ray yesterday. Today the results were faxed to my GP. My GP is on holiday, so another doctor called back with my results. Supposedly it’s fractured and I’ve made an appointment tonight to have it checked out. Pray for Mojo.

With my feeble limbs-a-flappin’, I’ve had idle time for idle thoughts. While trying to sculpt a dumb lich pun yesterday (as you do), I wondered about being a lich. Would that be an enjoyable (un)lifestyle? It could be all sorts of snazzy to have mind control, immortality (tied to my handy phylactery of course) and the ability to summon skeleton friends. Thing in, liches are undead. I don’t think they need to eat, sleep or have sex. I’m not sure where the boundaries lie, but do they have internal organs? Muscles and tendons? A heart? You can have all the power in the world, but from the perspective of a human, what good is power without the pleasure it can provide? I’m not a rich person, but I imagine people do it so they can enjoy the finer things in life. To some people I guess this would be respect and admiration, or the ability to abuse your station in order to manifest your desires. I don’t know that this particularly appeals to me. I’d love to have access to all the best things, but not enough that I’d give up my connections or desire to struggle. Without conflict, these things have precious little meaning. I’d want to feel creatively actualised, following pursuits or passions. More than that, I’d want love around me. Do liches love? What warms the cockles of the icy space where their heart once was?

This is a thought experiment, so we can go further. What attributes would I love to have? The ability of flight? To be able to swim the depths of the ocean? Endless stamina? Telekinesis? Cool light-up body parts? A chitinous exoskeleton? An incurably curious mind? Mental alacrity? Super speed? What would I give up of my humanity for them? What would I not want? When I start putting words to what I have to lose, I’m coming up short. Like the original thesis, it’s all the stuff I feared losing to lichdom. My brittle bones? Tactile sensation? Taste buds? Soft skin? Tenderness? My capacity for heartbreak? Memories? Emotional resonance? It reads like a list of what it is to feel. To be human.

Could I give up humanity?

Maybe I lack conviction. Perhaps it’s having been encultured with a human perspective. It’s possible that I don’t possess the ambition to think on a large enough scale. I’m not sure I could give it up. I love my humanity. The knowledge that I’m fallible is what keeps me trying. None of this is worth anything if you don’t have to sweat, bleed or cry for it.

I suppose that’s worth an injured limb or three.

Now that’s over with, can I get a redux?

I’ve consumed a lot of coffee today. I can’t give you a good reason as to why. Suffice to say I’m underworked and understimulated and one of these seemed more fun to fix than the other.

The outcome was twofold. Firstly, I listened to a hell of a lot of K-pop. I’ve been joking with a friend of mine about attending a K-pop gig for a while. At some point, it stopped being a joke and became something we decided to commit to. A couple of weeks ago we found a gig and put down money for the tickets. I was talking with a co-worker today about actually learning K-pop music. To date, I’d only really watched a multitude of videos on silent while eating gamjatang. If I was gonna dance to K-pop, the experience would be exponentially more enjoyable with added familiarity. Plus I’m not into half-assing most anything. I found a playlist on Deezer and started listening.

I fucking loved it. The ballads are kind of boring, but the more danceable stuff is a glorious fusion of world musics, brought together under a catchy mantle. I’m getting irrationally excited for this gig, but that may just be the unhealthy amount of coffee speaking.

I did say twofold, didn’t I? The other fold was as thus. As a kind of book-end to my online dating experiences, I wrote the following post for my Facebook friends:

 

After deciding to leave online dating, I had a thought last night.

I miss the experience of dating, of creating new/deepening emotional connections with people. Also being Toronto, I have a myriad of friends I don’t get to see enough.

In an intentional manner, I’d like to both recreate the experience of dating and further casual non-sexual intimacy with the people I love in my life: My friends.

I want to start going on “dates” with friends. I want to have new experiences and dig deep into all those squishy feelings I have for so many of you. I want to do stuff, but with the conceit that “this is a date”. Let’s play with the set-up that we’re trying to bring the best out in one another and grow closer as a result. Let’s learn more about each other and connect on an emotionally intimate level. To be honest, I think this is most of what I’d be looking for out of internet dating, but the fun part is getting to do it with people I already know I like.

Let’s go to concerts, events, active excursions, personal scavenger hunts, play 21 questions or spend a day doing our best Green Card re-enactment.

If this is something you think would be fun, let me know. The next time I’m itching for a date, I’ll reach out. If you have no plans one evening and want a date, message me.

It should go without saying that gender couldn’t be more irrelevant. In case it hasn’t, dudes, very much get at me too.

 

I hope this has given you whatever closure you were seeking. My life may be an open book, but that doesn’t mean it’s without chapters.