dj co-op. habitat. cake clothing. gruf the druid. etc.
top 5 lisa 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Newcastle at the Toad Limited Edition Fudge Mint Oreos Canon’s Powershot G3 Communication Arts annuals Reliving classic synthpop
1. Seeing the Relapse Contamination Fest in Toronto 2. Upcoming ALL instrumental set in Ft. Collins, CO 3. Dysrhythmia 4. MUSIC 5. My radio show: The End of Silence – Sat @ midnight on UMFM
samantha 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Seasoning salt A boy who makes Star Trek jokes with me Visitors from Winnipeg More zines than I have room for Tea
1. Hidden Cameras - Smell of Our Town 2. The Shins - Nature Bears a Vacuum EP 3. Flowers for Hitler - Leonard Cohen (book of poetry) 4. Mine + Randy’s shaggin’ duplex 5. My not so secret crush on Sam Roberts
1. That strange sweet fragrance that lurks around the city during the last days of May. 2. The Good Life - Weezer. 3. Packages in the mail. 4. Pedro Almodovar. 5. Chocolate Malt Iced Coffee Drinks
1. Pedro the Lion 2. Nightly saunas 3. Long bike rides that allow me to explore new neighbourhoods 4. Postcountry altrock math-thrash 5. Making up musical genre names
1. Acid Mothers Temple – Pink Lady Lemonade (You’re So Sweet) (song) 2. Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band – Live Bullet (LP) 3. http://www.blackpeopleloveus.com 4. Mainliner – Mellow Out (CD) 5. Eko Eko Azarek: Misa the Dark Angel + Audition (movies)
2 6 8 12 16
46 48 50 52 55
21 24 28
my life through a music video
words by gruf the druid
59 62 64
34 36 37
artwork by steven danyluk
top 5 lists
pleasures cake clothing dj co-op seeking nourishment from the bowels of the living beloved
from my brain in a bind? 2 girls get inked adventures of cab dodger of the 21st century two stories untitled an unaccountable account of being
andrea 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Having the best friends EVER. At the Drive-In - Acrobatic Tenement. http://www.livejournal.com Carlos and Murphys french fries. My cat Daphne.
randy 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
The Japanese Arm wrestling the elderly The new COOL 99.1 FM Hagakure: the book of the samurai Late night kamikaze missions
catherine 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
The Postal Service – Give Up Elle Decoration UK (magazine) Sparkling Jell-O Dover Clip Art Books Meeting the hippos at Calgary Zoo
HERE IS MILO. MILO’S PRIMARY GOAL IS TO BE A SHOWCASE FOR GREAT PEOPLE
doing great things right here in our fine city. of course, milo also has a few other goals, none of which (for the time being, anyway) include world domination. milo’s mission is to document the rather extraordinary side-effects of the seemingly ordinary ways in which we live, work, play and create. at the moment, milo is quite small, but would like to grow and grow. if you or someone you know is doing/creating/experiencing something that you’d like to share, please don’t hesitate to contact us. paint a picture, tell a story, compose a song, knit your mum a sweater, seek out new music, cook a tasty meal, ride your bike down a new street, and send the results by e-mail or postal mail to one of the addresses on page 5. all questions, comments, submissions, content suggestions and contributions are more than welcome. 1
andy van der raadt
gruf the druid
lisa rae swan
layout & design catherine toews
michael macdonald mike alexander samantha marcelo
MILO MAGAZINE PO BOX 221 RPO CORYDON WINNIPEG MB R3M 3S7
pleasures dale kibbins age 21
MIXTAPE DESCENDENTS - Iceman ALL - Carnage (live) MINOR THREAT - In My Eyes BAD BRAINS - PMA GORILLA BISCUITS - First Failure CRAW - Caught My Tell COWS - Uptown Suckers CURSIVE - Excerpts From Various Notes Strewn Around The Bedroom Of April Connolly, Feb 24, 1997
Giant Apple Pancakes from the Pancake House There is a lot of tasty shit out there, but apples and cinnamon are undeniably one of the stronger combos (Street Fighter 2 style!) on this rotating piece of rock. Now imagine all that sweetness in and on an OVEN BAKED pancake! Tastes like a dessert, but this is definitely a pancake, and it is DEFINITELY bigger than the plate it comes on! INDULGE! The Baby Apple is for wusses... TO GLUTTONY! Props and Costumes What is more entertaining than looking over to talk to your friend in a movie and seeing that he’s wearing a Ninja Turtles mask? Probably pretty much anything to you... but I find it funny! I use a backpack as my own personal Tickle Trunk (™ Mr. Dressup). I get bored with life... these things keep me entertained! Relaxing on the Can Somehow, the most uncomfortable place on earth is the place I like to relax most. I take a book with me while I’m doing my weight loss plan and just.. RELAX. A foreign bathroom won’t do either.. I need the comfort of my own throne. But oh, WHAT a comfort! 6
LIARS - Mr. you’re on fire Mr. DYSRHYTHMIA - Body Destroyed, Brain Intact OPETH - Harvest KEELHAUL - Lackadaisical Chinese Tubesocks MASTODON Crusher Destroyer DEADGUY - Die with your mask on KISS IT GOODBYE - Sick Day
Music Music in general... makes my world go round. Nothing can beat the feeling of the right album at just the right moment. PISSED OFF? I throw in some Kiss It Goodbye or Deadguy and scream lines like “The sound of your voice makes me want to sharpen knives” while the people in the car next to me look over like I’m some escaped convict. Just want to rock out and have a good time? I pop in some Cows or Craw or Stagmummer. It’s such a great feeling to hear a new band that just blows you away on your first listen... Descendents/ALL Yes it’s music... but they get a spot of their very own. I could get all cheesy and say that their music has a lot to do with who I am today... has gotten me through a lot in life. It would be cheesy AND true. I don’t care how popular or unpopular they may be... MOST.UND ERRATED.BANDS.EVAR! I won’t even bother trying to explain how much these bands mean to me. It’s futile. I love these bands more than you’ve ever loved anything. Ever!
pleasures ashley sy age 17
MIXTAPE YOUR ENEMIES FRIENDS This Is Disconnect THE BLOOD BROTHERS Every Breath Is A Bomb LES SAVY FAV - Hide Me From Next February CAP’N JAZZ - Oh Messy Life NORTH OF AMERICA - All Actors Are Liars PRETTY GIRLS MAKE GRAVES The Get A Way
explodingdog.com Sam Brown creates this playful world starring charming stick figures, fishes, snakes, and robots telling one-line stories. Mr. Brown proves that extreme simplicity can be very articulate, definitely transcending any pre-conceived notions of what is artistically possibly with the stick-figure. Exploding Dog never fails to make me smile. So far my favourites include, “I Have Magic Powers,” “He Was Just Bursting With Energy,” and “Why Can’t I Remember Your Name?” Samosas Tasty and vegan! I am addicted to samosas. Spicy - but not too spicy - and filling, they’re a great snack. Chutney sauce makes them even better. The best samosas in the city can be found at Passage To India in the City Place food court. Coloured Vinyl Nothing cheers me up quite the way coloured vinyl does. It’s just the best surprise; buying a new record, opening it up, and being greeted with an unexpected crazy colour. Damn to hell those “Coloured Vinyl!” stickers. They just spoil everything. FYI - I’m especially fond of white vinyl.
PARK - Wreck Simple MONEEN - Are We Really Happy With Who We Are Right Now? ULTIMATE FAKEBOOK - She Don’t Even Know My Name THE STEREO - New Tokyo PETER SALETT - Heart Of Mine THE POLYPHONIC SPREE - La La ATOM & HIS PACKAGE - Nutrition DESCENDENTS - Thank You
livejournal.com I am one of those stereotypical livejournal users; I write long, daily entries that are so completely self-serving that nobody actually reads them. In the mass hysteria of online chatrooms and dating services, livejournal stands out by getting people to connect beyond boring formatted profiles. It is interactive, but the security features allow users to draw boundaries on how much they want to share and with whom. My “Friends” page keeps me up to date with what’s going on, because really - who uses the telephone these days? The Blood Brothers Burn, Piano Island, Burn So it’s produced by Ross Robinson, do not hold that against it. This album is genius. It will definitely end up on the top of many “Best of 2003” lists. The Blood Brothers create songs that are furious, but undeniably melodic. The hooks are irresistible. It is impossible to listen to this record and not get excited about The Blood Brothers. Even the album art is amazing. Oh yeah, and if you ever buy this album on vinyl, please let me know which colour you got.
cake clothing interview & photos: CATHERINE TOEWS
Rebecca McCormack, age 31, recently took it upon herself to brighten up one corner of Winnipeg’s historic Exchange District. Cake Clothing, her new boutique located at 225 McDermot Avenue, offers endless possibilities for the contemporary Winnipeg woman.
When did you decide that you wanted to open up your own store? I have wanted to open my own store for many years, but I decided the time and opportunity were right 9 months ago. I spoke to financial groups like the Women’s Enterprise Centre and began to write my business plan.
What jobs did you have before you went out on your own? In my early twenties I lived in L.A. and worked in a boutique on Melrose Avenue. Later, I moved back to Winnipeg for school and worked at Holt Renfrew. For the past two years I have been working in advertising and design.
How did you cover start-up costs? I came up with some money myself and with the help of my family, and I got 4 different loans. The Women’s Enterprise Centre lent me the amount needed for inventory and I received three other loans.
What made you decide to start up your business in Winnipeg’s Exchange District, as opposed to relocating to another province? I like this city, and I love the Exchange. I have lived in the Exchange for the last year, and I knew this type of store was 9
missing from the area, so I decided to try and fill the gap. What do you feel sets Cake Clothing apart from other Winnipeg boutiques? The area has shown to be a huge benefit. People in this city want to develop a downtown culture, so they have been very supportive of the store partly for that reason.
Who or what are your inspirations? Young entrepreneurs who have been told not to bother with their business plan and didnâ€™t listen. Whatâ€™s next for Cake Clothing? I want to continue bringing new lines to Winnipeg. Hopefully in a year I will expand, but I donâ€™t want to leave the Exchange.
What challenges or roadblocks have you encountered thus far? Retail is very high risk, so it was hard getting financing. That has been my biggest roadblock. 10
photo: SUSAN BLIGHT interview: ANDREA AITKENHEAD & SUSAN BLIGHT
DJ Co-Op DJ Co-Op, otherwise known as Tim Hoover, age 23, is becoming a rising star in the Winnipeg hip hop scene. As the co-creator of the ILL RAP JAM, he’s helping to support the growing scene here in Winnipeg, and recently won 3rd place at the DMC. We met up with him one afternoon at Stella’s Café and Bakery… he had tuna and offered some answers to our questions. How did you get started DJ-ing? In junior high myself and two other guys used to do sock hops. Playing tapes and cds of I Saw the Sign by Ace of Base and other hits like Life is a Highway. I grew up in Portage La Prairie and when I was in high school the local radio station (CFRY Country) needed someone to work part time. Actual DJ-ing I got into because I was always into records thanks to my parents record collection. When I moved out in 97’ to go to university we used to have these huge house parties and we would play records. I was always hip hop. I tried rapping, but I wasn’t very good at that. I tried producing beats, that didn’t really work either. Then I thought it would be great if I had an actual set up with turntables and mixers. Because I was into hip hop I slowly started buying hip hop records and became a hip hop DJ. I was also into funk, disco, and party music.
What was your first experience as a professional DJ? New Years 2001. I played at the Pyramid. Dave from the Pyramid had seen me play before and liked my stuff. He got me to open for Moses Mayes and that was a big deal. I was nervous. My stuff went over really well and it was lots of fun. It was definitely a positive experience and led to many others. What equipment do you use? I use Technics 1200 turntables, Technics mixer, Shure needles, and Technics headphones. How do you find the time to DJ, work, go to school, etc.? I go through phases where I will be really busy, and then I take a few days to drop off the face of the earth. I just try to do a little bit of everything and have fun. Shit man…Winnipeg is
Winnipeg is so great because you can do whatever you want and
In rural Manitoba Co-Op is more than just a gas bar. It’s a real
you’re always one degree of separation away from anybody.
center for the community. I always sort of liked that idea.
so great because you can do whatever you want and you’re always one degree of separation away from anybody. Everybody knows everybody. You’re young, you might as well just giv’er and do everything you can and have fun. That’s what I’m trying to do. Do you prefer to play bigger or smaller shows? Probably the bigger shows because I’m such a ham. I love all the people. It’s fun. How do you feel hip hop has changed over the years since you started DJ-ing? Hip hop in Winnipeg has changed drastically. When Mcenroe moved to Vancouver and Sunzoo left there was a huge void. Mcenroe and Peanuts and Corn were the hip hop institution and Sunzoo put on the Plan B hip hop night at Cloud 9. Once they were gone there
wasn’t really a hip hop infrastructure in Winnipeg. So what Gumshoe Strut and I were trying to do was replace that with the ILL RAP JAM. A lot of smaller groups have stepped up and had the chance to make their stuff known. Where does the name DJ Co-Op come from? I pulled it out of thin air when I was getting started. I liked the name DJ CoOp because of my rural past. In rural Manitoba Co-Op is more than just a gas bar. It’s a real center for the community, and everyone who shops there is part owner. If it does well they get equity back, and I always sort of liked that idea. That notion translates well into the scene with everybody working together. You could say that’s what I’m trying to do with my DJ thing.
Give or receive? Give. Drinking or smoking? Drinking. Spend or save? Spend. On what? Food and records. Get up early or sleep in? Both on different days. Public enemy or NWA? Public enemy.
Nike or Adidas? Depends on which ones I can get for free by winning a dj contest. The Simpsons or King of the Hill? The Simpsons. Sweet or Sour? Sour Spring, Summer, Winter, Fall? Fall. Innie or Outtie? Innie. Depending on how heavy I am it’s a bigger innie.
Death or glory? Glory. Coke or Pepsi? Coke.
FROM THE BOWELS
OF THE LIVING illustration & text: JOHN TOEWS
HERE I SIT, EXACTLY A WEEK AFTER THE official due date for the article, distracted by Boogie Nights on the television, 2:00 a.m… Keep of Kalessin on the stereo and the coffee pulsing through my veins the only things keeping me teetering ever so tenuously on the side of coherency. Must find the inner strength to ramble about music for as long as humanly possible. That actually isn’t too hard as the past little while was filled with some pretty damn amazing slabs of sound. Justin Broadrick from Godflesh came back in a huge way with his crazed Eastern grind industrial project Curse of the Golden Vampire. Kicking into gear with a song seemingly based around trees being fed into a shredder as percussion track and Justin vomiting the lyrics from the depths of his spleen. All this, complete with crazed synths and effects ricocheting off one another only to collapse, screaming to the floor. Insanity! It’s like Agoraphobic Nosebleed slowed right down to a kind of lurching crawl. But speaking of Agoraphobic Nosebleed…Altered States of America? Quite possibly one of the best metal releases of the 21st century so far. 100 tracks of amphetamine fuelled hyper-grind with some unholy bastard child of drum machine and man strapped behind the walls of noise. It’s good music to hurl yourself against the same wall over and over again to. And it’s all on a 3 inch CD with artwork by the guy who did Martha Splatterhead! Yeah!
Rick Wakeman’s releasing an archival live recording of a concert he did for a dog that was sitting in the front row. It reaches truly unrivalled heights of perfection when Rick “he of the orange afghan” Wakeman takes on the classic “How Much is that Doggy in the Window” and emerges unscathed.
Creative disc ideas? Merzbow has an album coming out next month on Alien8 featuring the sampled sounds of his pet chickens (?) and a song based around the grunting of a sheep. Rick Wakeman’s releasing an archival live recording of a concert he did for a dog that was sitting in the front row. It reaches truly unrivalled heights of perfection when Rick “he of the orange afghan” Wakeman takes on the classic “How Much is that Doggy in the Window?” and emerges unscathed. Both something to look forward to. But if you’re looking for immediate musical nirvana… The good people at Riot Season took it upon themselves to do the world a favour by re-releasing Mainliner’s classic album Mellow Out. Like a thousand Blue Cheers, a thousand Black Sabbaths forced through a churning sea of 17
feedback and looping bass lines only to be driven aloft on a wave of Makoto Kawabata’s guitar thunder. They are a power trio unlike any other (with the likes of Grand Funk being obviously excepted) and must have been completely insane to see live. If they ever played live. Either way, long live motorpsycho guitar and long live Gyaatees, a group of mentally handicapped Buddhist Monks who make heavily percussive vocal freak out music with people that seem to be the Oriental contingent of Magma. The monks play percussion and sing, the guitar and organ fuzz all over each other, and the stand-up bass and free jazz horn playing wrap the whole thing in a blanket of spontaneous energy that threatens to send the whole thing spiraling into chaos. It’s really really good. And for more free jazz, just track down the master madman of it all, Arthur Doyle, whose classic album Alabama Feeling is now in my possession! It’s a great set because it shows Doyle at a happier, less insane period of his life, so he seems to have more control over where his music’s going than he does in his (equally amazing, but for different reasons) more recent sets like Live at the Cooler and pretty much anything else post jail-time. Doyle’s with a set of performers at their relative peaks so he really has a chance to explore the limits of jazz and sound in general. Tracks like Ancestor and November 8th or 9th – I Can’t Remember When are vast, rambling pieces leaving plenty of room for Arthur and the rhythm section of Rashied Sinan and Bruce Moore to play around in, 18
as well as the other players. Also really good is the final track on Joe McPhee’s 1970 album Nation Time, Scorpio’s Dance a track whose difference from the rest of the album only further enhances its brilliance. ‘Twas not all good and glorious though, good friends. Many people did take to using the phrase “screamo”, not realizing that the use of such a term simply begged for a sharp kick to the head. Madonna did release a terrible album featuring 40-something pseudoBritish rapping…RAPPING! And the nation did shudder. Metallica shat out a heap of boring, uninspired riffery, grade-school lyrics and the saddest System of a Down impression ever to hit a shiny circle of plastic (check out the ending of “Invisible Kid” and wince accordingly), while Jason Newstead joined Voivod right in time to make a rather unfortunately irrelevant album. Metallica is kind of a lost cause at this point, now that they’ve sold their collective souls to Satan, but you can just tell that Voivod has something up their sleeves, you just wish they’d shake it out rather than recycling the same uninspired sci-fi soundalikes that have been their stock in trade for far too long now. On the comical side of things, Jewel the “used to live in my van, read my poetry” folk-rock yodelling harpy has reinvented herself as a candy-coated 80’s pop princess with songs like “You & Me = Love” and “2 Become 1” a title shamelessly lifted from the Spice Girls. Why is it that artists always seem
If you sing about pacts with the devil and destroying Christendom, you don’t allow yourself to be filmed sitting in your basement practice room, drinking beer, wearing jeans while you try to score with the one girl who happened to accidentally wander down
to take their saddest career nosedives whenever they decide to appropriate Prince’s numerical tendencies? Maybe the almighty short one simply wields his numbers better. Maybe you just shouldn’t trespass on his property. Either way… Sticking to major releases, the Deftones turned into the worlds greatest Deftones tribute group with their technically impressive but ultimately hollow fourth album (which I’d say was eponymous, but I hate that. So I’ll just say that it’s selftitled). It might be a good sign, possibly showing Chino and co. re-grouping and honing their attack for their 5th disc. The new album is still damn good, don’t get me wrong…it just doesn’t really add anything new. Apart from a few incredible single tracks the disc feels like more of a summary of where the group
is today. Hopefully the next album and Chino’s upcoming Team Sleep project will absolutely destroy us all. Marilyn Manson’s new release had him shedding the (rather sad) homie image of the past few months to emerge reborn as a 1930’s German dandy. Focusing more on gettin’ it on than on the tooeasy blasphemy and straight-forward religious digs of the past few albums, and with the addition of Tim Skold from (everybody, all together now…) KMFDM (!) Manson’s recaptured his great sense of fun, something that was sorely lacking from the past few discs. It takes a lot to release a song that actually lives up to the title “Doll-Dagga Buzz-Buzz Ziggety-Zag”, but they came through in the crunch. God bless ‘em for it. This past month was also seared into my pulsating brain by the arrival of STRAPPING YOUNG LAD in the fair city of Winnipeg! Devin Townsend, the man himself, sporting a yin-yang t-shirt and matching guitar strap proceeded to leap around the stage like a crazed leprechaun shouting obscenities and screaming like a bastard, kicking the collective ass of the Pyramid Cabaret in just over an hour of musical decimation. “You’re metal, you’re metal, you’re metal…we’re all METAL!” It looked like he found the rest of the band beating someone to death with their bare hands behind the tour bus and invited them along for the ride. Tying the night to other classic denimclad, beer guzzling nights of the past 19
was the presence of Gene Hoglan (he drummed for Death). “Man, you used to drum for DEATH? Man.” Gene Hoglan. A man who looked like he could crush cities with a stern glance. I’ve missed Zimmer’s Hole the past few times they’ve been here, and I think I’ll be pretty mad if I miss them again. Seriously, though. Buy Strapping Young Lad’s albums. Buy their t-shirts. Support the crazed musical visionary that is Devin Townsend until he spontaneously combusts and leaves this world forever. While we’re on the topic of metal, I have a serious concern about Dimmu Borgir. Now, if one was to look inside a typical Dimmu Borgir CD booklet, one would find creepy Europeans in makeup looking sinister, doing something seamy (mutilating someone or fondling weaponry). All good so far. They’re gloomy and sinister live. Good too. They release a live DVD. Good live footage. Really gloomy and sinister. Bad bad bad behind the scenes stuff. If you sing about pacts with the devil and destroying Christendom, you don’t allow yourself to be filmed sitting in your basement practice room, drinking beer, wearing jeans while you all try to score with the one girl who happened to accidentally wander down. Skip over that stuff. Drink some goat’s blood out of a skull or chant menacingly. Don’t screw up like Danzig did in his first video by showing us his comic books and wearing a bow tie. Keep being spooky. The image is cool, but it 20
takes maintenance. On the other hand, having the DVD packaging open into an inverted cross with 3 discs marked with 6’s…genius. Final complaint. I was listening to the Fall and a friend told me I’d like Pavement. I listened to Pavement. I did not like Pavement. Now every time I listen to the Fall (especially Grotesque) I hear Pavement. Damn it. And Dashboard Confessional is still terrible. text: STACEY ABRAMSON
SOME MIGHT SAY THAT I AM A POP CULTURE junkie. I would agree. I love it. I blame it on my Mom who showed me the wonders of television when I was a wee lass. I seemed to latch onto music at an early age - I have been told that I used to freak out when Bette Davis Eyes by Kim Carnes or Working for The Weekend by Loverboy was on the TV. One of my clearest childhood memories is the glorious day when we finally got MuchMusic and the video that was on when we clicked the dial was Dalbello and all of her frilly purple goodness (CanCon Empress Extraordinaire). I have been a tad bit obsessed with music videos ever since. The slick (or not so slick) production of a life that I could only pretend I was in through my overactive imagination
seemed so fabulous to me - and it still does. I realized recently that I had a collection of over 30 tapes, brimming with pixilated goodness, spanning since I was the tender age of eight. All filled with videos and commercials that trigger specific memories and events in my life. It may be sad, but it’s oh so true. Sledgehammer by Peter Gabriel is probably where I should start. It is one of the only videos that still freaks the hell out of me... well, that and Thriller by Michael Jackson and Strange Animal by Gowan (when they poured the cement over him I used to get scared). Sledgehammer had a scene where a dead chicken was dancing and it seemed wrong, very wrong, to me. It was like a psychological trip that an 21
My babysitter loved Poison. Brett Michaels was her god and I was subjected to his reign throughout most of my childhood. I found that I had Daddy Don’t Dance at least three times on a few of my tapes. I blame her.
eight year old wasn’t supposed to see. Videos have always tended to have an emotional effect on me. Every time I saw the video You May Be Right by the Grapes of Wrath, I cried. I don’t know why. It’s not a sad video or anything, but maybe the minor chords hit me for the first time through that song (and my love for minor chords has only become stronger as I have matured). Oh yes. My babysitter loved Poison. Brett Michaels was her god and I was subjected to his reign throughout most of my childhood. I found that I had Daddy Don’t Dance at least three times on a few of my tapes. I blame her. I seemed to feel the need to have the same video more than once on a tape. Why? I have 22
no idea. Perhaps one version seemed to be better than another, or one was from Video Hits and the other was from the Coca Cola Countdown (also brought to you by Hostess Chips) and Steve Anthony was yapping over the first little bit of the video. I also blame my babysitter for my love of “hard rock” (in particular the band Slaughter when I was in Grade Six) and the huge crush that I developed on the drummer Blas Elias (see: drummer for Mark Wahlberg’s first band in the movie RockStar. That’s my boy). Blas was my first androgynous crush. He was tall with long flowing golden locks, droopy eyes and luscious lips. This was the first of my many girly boy crushes - I had it BAD for Nelson (Ricky Nelson’s sons) and Jon Bon Jovi - I was convinced that he was going to wear the exact same outfit that he wore in the I’ll Be There For You video when he played here just for me. I was wrong. Then there’s New Kids on The Block. Sigh. I was at the perfect age to really appreciate them. When I saw Hangin’ Tough on Video Hits, I thought I had found my one true love - Jordan Knight. He was perfect in my eyes. I think that I have every NKOTB video in existence and a Jordan Knight doll to boot. When they played at the Winnipeg Arena, my best friend Avery and I thought it would be so cool if we painted “NKOTB” on our fingernails. And cool we were indeed. But I think we were much cooler when we got up in front of the assembly in Grade Four to do a dance routine to The Power by SNAP! wearing coordinating black and white Hammer
pants. Why I didn’t get my little ass whooped by anyone I’ll never know.
The first time I saw Groove is in
The first time I saw Groove is in the Heart by Deee-Lite I thought Lady Miss Kier was the coolest thing that ever did walk this earth. She had high platforms, flaming red flipped up hair, and the most amazing rings and lilac nail polish that I had ever seen. I spent years searching for that nail polish and, at the age of 10, in a desperate attempt to dress like her, started shopping for the gaudiest clothes I could find at Le Chateau. I had a daisy baby doll dress that I thought was the coolest thing that anyone could have. And it was all thanks to Lady Miss Kier. Damn she was hip. I still wish I could get my hair to flip like hers. Cathy Dennis was a style goddess to me as well. She was from England (note: she wrote almost all of Kylie Minogue’s Fever), she too had fluorescent ruby locks, but she wore the most amazing bodysuits in her videos - a lime green one piece with a hole just above the chest. Yes. So cool.
Lady Miss Kier was the coolest
the Heart by Deee-Lite I thought thing that ever did walk this earth.
I know that this may seem silly, and it may appear that I am maniacal for having so many videos that bring back so many memories, but I am still in love with the medium. It’s nerdy and fun. I’m sure some of you experienced similar feelings of love and admiration for an artist on a video. Maybe it wasn’t the Nelson twins, but still - the magnetic appeal of the video has attracted almost everyone in the 20-30 age group. So no laughing.
photos: CATHERINE TOEWS
what is it? A black t-shirt with a framed picture of John Travolta and Olivia NewtonJohn from the movie ‘Grease’. I’ve had it for about five years. My former roommate Chris gave it to me after he moved out. why have you kept it? I love the ‘50s and they were the look of the ‘50s. Also, it fits me perfectly. can you wear it out in public? It probably wouldn’t be a good idea. The picture is green and cracked from washing and it has bleach stains and holes. I now wear it as a work shirt.
what is it? A Summersault 2000 t-shirt... with a ninja & grasshopper graphic (and holes in the armpits!)
what is it? A black t-shirt with socks sewn on the sleeves. The socks were sewn on last winter when they developed holes in the toes.
why have you kept it? It’s good to wear at night for jammies. can you wear it out in public? I probably still could, but I don’t choose to.
why have you kept it? It is one of the most comfortable shirts I have ever owned. It belonged to my grandma and that makes it special somehow. And I have problems letting clothes go. can you wear it out in public? Not anymore, really. It’s so thin that you can see through it and it’s lost its shape. It usually gets the “layered” treatment if I decide to venture out of the house in it. 25
what is it? A pair of $0.99 pyjama pants with a recent rip in the shin, purchased in 1999 on a trip to Minneapolis to see Ben Folds, a green cardigan that was borrowed from a friend many years ago and never returned as it is too comfortable, and a “My heart is on the left” baby blue ringer tee.
what is it? Black high-top Taylors.
why have you kept them? I really haven’t had them for that long but they are very beloved.
why have you kept them? They are the classic sneaker, effortlessly cool, and seem to make certain outfits just right when no other footwear will do. I also use them at work because they seem to gussy up the non-descript chef ’s uniform that I now have to wear.
can you wear them out in public? I have been known to walk out of the house in this outfit due to overwork and under-sleep. This only happens during the school year.
can you wear them out in public? I can and do wear them out in public although repeated trips to the washing machine have made my beloved Chuck’s fragile; I know the end is near.
what is it? A Descendents cap that I’ve had since Grade 11.
what is it? A Nintendo Entertainment System I bought with my allowance when I was a lad.
why have you kept it? Why do women keep babies? It’s my child. It was so much a part of me that for years I was known as “Dale... the guy in the Descendents hat.” I never took it off. can you wear it out in public? I could... but it might disintegrate if it rains. The back piece is also split in half so for the last year or two of its non-retired life I had to keep it together with hockey sock tape (never leave home without it!) 26
why have you kept it? I still play it. Blades of Steel and Mario Brothers 2 are still super fun, even at the ripe old age of 20. is it still functional? It takes some TLC, but I can get it going. It requires the same old blowing in the bottom of the cartridge trick, but it works. Sometimes if that fails I’ll just sit down and have a talk with it. Man and machine. 27
city photos by IAN WEGERT
6 illustration: STEVEN DANYLUK
photos: MIKE ALEXANDER
t a t i b a h 36
john & megan
THIS PAGE: TOP - “You can’t fight in here...” Megan and John enjoy their cheery kitchen. Hanging from the wall is “the disembodied fairy”, a leftover from Megan’s Red River College graduation ceremony. BOTTOM RIGHT - The decoupaged floor was created and left behind by Rika, a former tenant.
THIS PAGE: “Rika’s Sun”... the painted ceiling was another gift from the former tenant.
THIS PAGE: Megan and John sprawl out in their “bed nook.” OPPOSITE: TOP - Megan stands atop her clothing pile, surveying her debris. BOTTOM - In the living room. The black velvet painting was a gift from friend Jim Edsel Tucker. The framed, cross-stitched ballerinas (leaning against the wall) were crafted by Megan’s great grandmother.
catherine & mike
OPPOSITE: In the bathroom. Wall hangings are postcards ripped out of a book found on the bargain shelves at McNally Robinson and mounted onto painted foam core. To avoid painting, the door was covered in a $0.99 blue checked vinyl tablecloth. Flower-shaped wall decorations are blue â€œshower gripsâ€? from the dollar store.
THIS PAGE: Catherine & Mike employ the age-old “buy cheap records and pin them to the wall” instant decorating trick. “Watch” clock crafted by Catherine’s grandpa. “Spock Luvs Kirk” illustration (on fridge) courtesy of The Globe and Mail. OPPOSITE: Wall panels and bulletin boards in the living room were created by covering foam core in coloured vinyl or fabric. Shoe racks & closet organizers do double duty as makeshift media shelves.
The two types of lino (& the pros and cons): -
Hard “battleship” lino. It’s thinner but more durable. It allows for greater detail work but must be kept warm for the easiest cuts. To warm up your lino, lean it against a working radiator or use a hairdryer on it for a couple of minutes, thereby softening it. It loses its heat pretty quickly, so repeat this process as you work.
Soft lino looks like a big eraser. It’s easier to cut but doesn’t retain a lot of detail. It is also quite fragile and must be stored and used with care, or else it will break.
photos & text: SAMANTHA MARCELO & ANDY VAN DER RAADT
Water-soluble block printing ink
Linoleum cutter (blades & handle should all come in the same box)
Tray (at least as wide as the roller, and long enough for the roller to make a complete rotation with one stroke)
Newspaper under your workspace to catch messes
Cutting & printing: For the subject of your print, start with something relatively lacking in detail until you get the hang of it. Draw the image directly onto the lino block, or transfer it by putting the drawing facedown on the lino, and scribbling over the back of the drawing with a charcoal stick. Remember that the image must be backwards on the lino for it to print properly. The smaller the blade, the smaller amount of lino it will carve. Screw the blade into the handle and start carving, blade concave facing you. Carve whichever parts of the lino that you don’t want ink printed on; the “whitespace” of your eventual print. With soft lino, you need to carve quite deep into the block to ensure it does not get inked. Battleship lino is a little bit more lenient in terms of carving depth.
Once you are satisfied with the amount you have carved, squeeze about a quarter-sized drop of ink (but more or less if your print is large or small) into the tray and roll the brayer in it until it’s coated. Then roll the brayer onto your lino block, taking care not to over-ink until it’s gloppy. If this happens, blot on the newspaper. At this point you can either turn the block over onto your desired paper, hold for a few seconds, and gently lift up, or you can place the paper on top of the inked side of the block and rub a large spoon over the paper. Give the print a few hours to dry, and then enjoy! (P.S. Because you are using watersoluble ink, you can now rinse out your tray and your roller. Warm water works a bit quicker.) 47
text: MEGAN BRESCH
After learning early on that I had no desire to eat Puritan stews or fish sticks burnt by my sister for the rest of my life, I decided to teach myself how to create my own meals.
I COOK FOR PLEASURE AND TO RELAX. I love cooking for people. I love creating things and adapting recipes to create new and amazing dishes. And while I still use cookbooks, most of what I create comes from my brain. My great-grandmother Olive was the same. When people asked for her recipes, to make her amazing gumdrop cookies themselves, she’d have trouble writing down the exact recipe because for the most part, she just added a “little of this and a little of that until it looks right.” I’ve been cooking since I was quite young. My parents both worked, so my siblings and I were often left to fend for ourselves at mealtimes. After learning early on that I had no desire to eat Puritan stews or fish sticks burnt by my sister for the rest of my life, I decided to teach myself how to create my own meals. I started with a basic recipe book, making things like spaghetti sauces and cinnamon toast (it actually had a recipe for that), and then moved on to an egg recipe book, where I learned how to properly make an omelet. I began to figure out that recipes were all basically the same, that there was a certainty to what you could mix together and come up with. So, I started to concoct my own dishes. Some of them worked (my now-notorious onion soup) and some of them were terrible (curry omelets are not a good idea). Here is a recipe I adapted from a recipe book (it’s been so long that I can’t remember what book it was). I’m approximating most of the measurements because I usually just add things until, like my great-grandmother used to say, “it just looks right.”
from my brain Vegan Chocolate Cake 1 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour (I use whole wheat) 1 tsp baking powder 1 tsp baking soda 1 cup sugar (you can use brown or white sugar, and you can use less) 1 tsp baking soda 3-4 tbsp cocoa 1 tsp vanilla 1 tbsp white vinegar 5 tbsp melted margarine 1 cup warm water *preheat oven to 350 degrees *combine all dry ingredients in an 8-inch square pan *add the wet ingredients *mix well with a wooden spoon *bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick plunged into the centre comes out clean
Vegan Icing 1⁄4 to 1/3 cup cocoa 1 1⁄2 to 2 cups icing sugar 2 tbsp margarine 1 tsp vanilla hot water *melt margarine *add sugar, cocoa and vanilla *add hot water until the icing thickens **note: you can add the icing while the cake is still warm**
in a bind? a review of online booksellers illustration & text: LISA RAE SWAN
ONLINE BOOKSELLERS ARE NOT ONLY a convenient option for those who prefer to do their shopping from home, they also offer a broad variety of stock and may save you a great deal of cash. Whether you are a book collector, or in a pinch for an obscure reference manual, the sites reviewed here can give you an idea of what’s available for those of you willing to shop online. Abebooks.com www.abebooks.com Abebooks.com consists of a collaboration of used booksellers from around the world, offering preloved paperbacks to their finest signed editions. Although this site is mostly targeted towards serious book collectors, you are likely to find your most endeared favourites for a very reasonable price. 50
Shipping costs vary, depending on where your book of choice is located. Other notable features include well-detailed descriptions of book conditions, downto-earth staff reviews and taking part in supporting independent booksellers here and abroad. Search results for J.D Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye: 467 results $0.82 US for a used paperback to $35,000 US for a signed early edition. Amazon Canada www.amazon.ca Unlike its American counterpart, which now offers wrist PDAs, human transporters and other extravagant objects of the like, Amazon Canada focuses on what the e-commerce site
was originally intended for - the sale of books, movies and DVDs at a reasonable price. Without the overhead cost of physical store outlets to manage, Amazon can afford to offer titles below the actual cover price and still come out ahead. Items (if in stock) are received 48 hours after your original order is made, and shipping is free for orders of $75 CDN or more. On the other hand, if you’re not one to ignore Amazon’s questionable legal practices (visit www.noamazon.com for details), this may not be the site for you. Search results for J.D Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye: 27 results, most available to ship in 24 hours $6.99 CDN for a mass market paperback to $25.87 CDN ($11.08 CDN off cover price) for a hard cover. Bargain Book Closeouts www.bookcloseouts.com Need an expired computer manual? Interested in reading short stories penned by failed authors? Bargain Book Closeouts claims to offer titles at up to 90% off, and after sifting through their dismal selections, it’s understandable as to why. However, if you’re looking for an inexpensive how-to guide, or a Christmas gift for that cousin you’ve never really liked, you may find what you need. Bargain Book Closeouts is an American company with a warehouse located in Ontario, so items are shipped at a moderate cost without the burden of U.S. customs tagging extra fees to your parcel.
Search results for J.D Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye: 0 results Bargain Book Closeouts doesn’t even carry notes or essays pertaining to most classics. In fact, I doubt you’d find anything remotely linked to a well-respected author on this site. Chapters/Indigo chapters.indigo.ca Chapters/Indigo, one of the more popular Canadian bookstore outlets, has an attractive, easy to use site – but unless you have a fear of special order desks, or live a relatively far distance from an urban setting, there aren’t many benefits in buying their items online. They do offer bestsellers at up to 40% off and have a respectable clearance section, but the offers aren’t any different from what you would expect in-store. It would be best to save the extra shipping costs and absorb the full experience of the store itself. Search results for J.D Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye: 25 results, mostly out of stock $6.99 CDN for a mass-market paperback to $36.95 CDN for a leather/fine bound reprint.
2 girls get inked
May 1st, 2003… 2 girls, Andrea
picture, so Marc altered them for me.
and Susan, set off to see Marc
S: I knew the area I wanted tattooed, my chest near my shoulders, and therefore chose a design that I thought best suited the location. The Internet has a vast array of tattoo photo galleries which I perused until I found something approximating what I wanted. I brought the picture into the tattoo studio, asked for changes in color, size, and style, and the artist produced a custom design for me.
at Soul Survivors in search of tattoos. Here is what happened: 1. How did you choose the artwork?
A: I’ve wanted to get stars on my arms for a very long time. I just didn’t know what KIND I wanted. After a long search (at least 2 years) I found something on the Internet. I was so excited that I made my appointment right away. I wanted my stars to be slightly different than the ones in the 52
A: *** Everyone told me that what I
text: ANDREA AITKENHEAD & SUSAN BLIGHT * Bored me to death photos: ANDREA AITKENHEAD & CATHERINE TOEWS ** Like giving blood *** Hurts so good **** Hurts not so good ***** Cried like a baby
was getting was going to hurt a lot. Not true. The most painful part was getting the outline. It felt like someone slowly scratching my arm. But once he stared filling in the stars, it felt a lot better. The top star closest to the dip where my arm bends hurt the most. S: Somewhere between *** and ****. At certain times it hurt more, for instance during the outline, but filling in the color was actually quite pleasant. The pain factor seems relative to the area of the body; near the collarbone and closer to the breasts hurt much more than the muscular area in between. This tattoo
hurt substantially more than the others I have on my upper arm and leg. 3. Price?
A: $200.00, which I think is a very good price. I was expecting it to be a lot more just from what I have heard other people have paid. S: The cost was a very reasonable $200. 4. Healing:
A: After Marc finished the tattoo he bandaged me up and explained how to take care of them. He also gave me a printed copy of the instructions, which 53
was very helpful. After taking off the bandages, I applied Vitamin E gel 2 or 3 times a day. It felt really nice and cooled them off. After 2 weeks most of my scabs were gone. Then it started to get itchy. It’s strange, but the best scratching alternative was slapping them (weird, but it works!). It’s been a month now and they are finally healed. I made an appointment to get a few touch-ups. S: The healing process was remarkably swift and not at all uncomfortable save for a little itchiness at times. I was given an ointment by the tattoo artist and was advised to keep them as dry as possible until the scabbing was completely gone. Within a few days the area was scabbed over and within a week and a half the tattoos were totally healed. Keeping the area dry at all times seemed to generate a quicker healing. I will not require touchups. 5. Overall experience?
A: This was my first tattoo experience. Marc is a really nice guy, and we were able to talk during the experience, which made the 3-hour process a lot less boring than it could have been. I’m really pleased with the results, and I definitely plan to go back there for more. S: Overall, my experience was awesome and I am going back for more, probably by the time you read this. Our advice: get lots of tattoos!
text: MICHAEL MACDONALD
Within a few days the area was scabbed over and within a week and a half the tattoos were totally healed.
adventures of cab dodger of the 21 century st
ALTHOUGH DILIGENT, MY PARENTS DIDN’T manage to teach me to ride a bicycle until I was about 10 years old. My friends, who wanted to go on bike rides, would try to teach me as well but I just couldn’t get it. Some might say that I still haven’t mastered it. I’d agree with them but for different reasons. The slow process I made toward learning to ride a bike probably correlates somehow to driving a car but cars smell funny. That’s a different issue entirely. It was a cool summer evening. We were in the elementary school parking lot (Tanner’s Crossing. Minnedosa. Rock) and my mother was probably on her last nerve, expecting that this night would be the same as the rest and I wouldn’t be able to ride on my own when... I got it. I was riding my bike. I remember distinctly what it felt like to pedal hard for a few minutes just to stop so I could cruise along and feel the wind in my hair. It was pure ecstasy. Few things have felt better since. Shortly after, my parents bought me a new bike from the McLeods hardware store and the training bike was passed on to my sister so she could learn (and of course she figured it out far earlier than I did). One of the things that my mother won’t let me forget about the time between my breakthrough and the new bike was that once I figured out how to pedal 56
As a result of my confusion, I would decelerate and then completely stop by running into the backs of parked cars. It worked and didn’t throw me off balance like backpedaling did.
and steer and balance it took me a few more tries to figure out the brakes. Pedal backward? How does that work? As a result of my confusion, I would decelerate and then completely stop by running into the backs of parked cars. It worked and didn’t throw me off balance like backpedaling did. There were few bike crashes between learning to ride at 10 and an experience I had shortly before moving to Winnipeg. It was the summer when I was 12. One of my favorite things to do on warm small town nights was to take my bike out for a ride and feel the wind in my hair. Usually my bike was used as an A to B vehicle but sometimes I’d just
cruise around. I would usually ride from home, by the courthouse/jailhouse and hospital and zip over to the school. I would ride around the school grounds and then ride home. Sometimes I’d ride up the hill to the golf course or over the dam to the beach. One day I was riding my bike down Main Street toward the 7-11 or some other summertime destination. I passed the Co-Op grocery and the shoe store and Town Hall when I spotted a friend from school. I looked ahead of me and saw that about a block away a woman was getting out of her car. I was on my BMX bike and not traveling very fast at all. I turned my head for a moment to say hello and wave at my friend. It was a lovely day and I was enjoying the sun when... SLAM I hit something solid. There I was lying on the ground trying to get my bearings straight and this woman is yelling at me because somehow I managed to hit her with my bike. It was the woman who was getting out of her car. My bicycle was a little bent (nothing that couldn’t be easily fixed) and I was on the ground, the proud owner of fresh cuts and scrapes from the crash. The
woman was unscathed and still standing. A friend of my parents helped me load my bike into her car and she drove me shaking and bleeding 3 or 4 blocks back to my home. This friend claimed that I had been swearing at the woman that I hit and that I wasn’t watching where I was going but I assured my parents otherwise. Thankfully they seemed to believe me. Needless to say, I no longer trust pedestrians when I’m out on my bike. They’re the most erratic barrier on the road and never willing to take the blame when involved in a bike-related accident. I wonder why she stood outside of her car long enough for me to come along and hit her. It is very odd. I always make sure to give parked cars a wide berth just in case someone pops open their door without looking to see who is coming behind them. This of course angers motorists who want to skim past me as close as science allows. I just can’t win. I guess you would say that these crashes were my first. I’ve had many since. Stay tuned for more stories about ... The Many Bike Accidents of Mike MacDonald (and there are plenty)
It is noteworthy that from this point on, I destroyed every single bike I ever owned. I don’t mean that I wore them out. I mean that I crashed into things text: GRUF THE DRUID
and rendered them useless.
PS. ON MY 13TH BIRTHDAY I AWOKE feeling ready to enjoy the day. It was my day and I was going to use it to watch TV, relax and dictate what I wanted for dinner. I came down to breakfast and was greeted with a “Happy Birthday. I want you to go out and rake the yard before you do anything else.” “Are you serious? It’s my birthday!” “Yes. Do it because I said so” (or some other parental cliché) I moped my way out to the garage to get the rake and some bags. I lifted up the garage door and discovered a brand new mountain bike. 58
“Happy birthday” say my parents “That was a cruel joke” says I. As mean as I thought it was, I know that I’m going to present gifts in a similar manner for the rest of my life. This was the beginning of the end for me with bikes. It is noteworthy that from this point on, I destroyed every single bike I ever owned. I don’t mean that I wore them out. I mean that I crashed into things and rendered them useless.
TO ALL THOSE CURIOUS CHARACTERS WHO MIGHT FIND THEMSELVES INTERESTED IN these words crafted by a self proclaimed druid; Greetings. But be aware, if you are looking for something that is inspiring or comprehensive or proper english and or spelling or which could be classified as good or positive reading worth discussing you may have come to the wrong column. If it’s any consolation, i tend to view pieces such as the following as a picture painted with raw spontaneous spatters of emotion committed in the moment. Now let’s get on with it. I am sick.. and disgusting. Yep. Really, really sick. Grotesque. A vile creature who, obviously, despises Itself. Got it? Why? Well lets see. Maybe it’s that, while gorging myself on the carnal waste and byproduct created by a reality starved culture ravenous for reality programming programming life to mimic that which doesn’t exist but is conceived by that which does, only to create a massive non-existing existing landfill of ideas, time and energy (mostly energy) wasted on searching for, discovering and understanding absolutely nothing, i chipped my tooth and it has now become infected. Whatever. Take it or don’t. I am that disgust.ed. Sickness, indeed. Please, let me further elucidate.....or agitate....or e.liminate. 59
I am that I am that wheel turning on the big rig roaring down the highway splitting the guts of any hooved, toed, pawed or winged seraphin searching for a sign behind the parylizing glare of light. Do you see the light? Yes, i too am a bringer of light, extinguishing the protective blanket of darkness like a flame or better yet, hydrochloric acid (mmmm) burning away layers of skin and exposing the life force encompassing flesh beneath. Oh sweet, sweet sickness! I am you and you are I! Let me kiss your gaping wound, your gaping hole. horrendously huge cavern of aching emptiness. And while I’m here, i may as well take a bite. Yess! With delight. With DELITE. Yeah baby, groove is in the house because i am that euphoric dose of love drug dancing my way into the veins of that special someone unaware of the cyrosiss caressed liver too weak to fight love to live on loving. So on we dance. Dieing. But we doin’ it and doin’it well. And the dance is complete cause we diggin’ the beat like a forty year old abused child. Droppin’ beats! Certified bangers! On their own childs numbing skull. Growing bones growing up knowing how the beat goes on. The beat goes on and the beats go on, from home to home the beat goes on goes all across the zones in (chant with me people) Israel (the beat goes on... Iraq (hell yeah! The beat goes... Palestine (you know it, the beat goes on... The congo (Yes y’all, the beat goes on Columbia (Non stop, the beat goes on..
Brazil (What a thrill, the beat goes on.. And the U.S. of eh eeeee i owe you another one (Ain’t that fun!) Another beat for the indians. American indian for the anger that will politically incorrect the next pale faced beurocrat or new aged, neo hippied fruit cake wanting to give that next name said to give a nation respect and identity there is no such thing. When, what is meant, is to have a name pacify and “tame the natives” and convince them to walk hand in hand to their graves. Hell yeah! Pass me that war bonnet my brown brothas because I AM DOWN. Yes i am. I am thee. Sickness. I am this, that, them. Say it. Spell it. Ssic sik Ssssk Zzsssekk ssick taste it. Stick your tongue into my oozing, gushing, erupting madness because i am that mutant called X who will live only in your dreams because in life i am trapped by your superhuman fear. And so i kill myself trying to convince you that i can become you so that i won’t have to. So that i won’t be your son or your daughter i will rejoice in my own slaughter because i am one mad cow. And every time one of us “loses it” thousands will expire In sickness
TWO STORIES UNTITLED He said had they but courage equal to desire was the perfect line to describe us. I wanted to beg to differ; I think we’re braver souls than we’d ever admit, but I couldn’t help but feel the sentiment inside me too. I laughed, told him I was thinking about leaving him just moments before but had changed my mind. What happened? he said; curious words could say no more than I ever hoped to dare. Sometimes; I say, sometimes you just know when the reason you believe, the chance to deceive is nothing more than wrong, and besides; I’ve never heard someone speak so (god damn) beautiful before. We had the same sad music playing on the same sad record player, the one that skips when it gets to the end, and he started reciting poetry out loud towards the wall. This boy, here, this boy I love more than life itself, yet somehow still find moments of self made loathing deep within. This boy who is laying in my unmade bed, on my dirty sheets, my hand pressed flat upon his back to feel his spine when he speaks these words. Pausing now, I can hear him thinking, the way he squeezes his eyes shut in concentration as if to make the words appear clear in his mind, the way he can’t speak unless he can visualize. Yeats. he said; I memorized a book of his poetry when I was twelve; like a photograph in the mind, you know, just like a bullet straight through the heart. Sometimes I wonder what our children would look like, if they’d have my blue eyes or your green. Dark hair for sure, and maybe the freckles we outgrew years ago; the way our parents passed their faded smiles down to us. When I look at my older brother now, he looks just like my father did in my first memories of him; the way he used to take me to the park on Saturday afternoons in my green painted stroller while my mother laid in bed; hiding. Always hiding. I don’t want to hide away from my children, I said, so maybe it’s better just to imagine them instead. My birthday is coming up soon, it’ll be 24 years to the day that my mother gave birth to me, and 48 to the day that her mother did the same for her. Oh, those hollow passages we escape down alone. It’s funny, I said, how all we worry about is dying alone; those fears we can’t escape when we lie awake at night. No matter how many people, I said, how many people line the bed; you’re the only one who’s dying. You’re the only one who’s dead. illustration & text: ADRIENNE JEAN
AN UNACCOUNTABLE ACCOUNT OF BEING Today’s Episode: “Post-Everything” illustration & text: ASHLEY SY
NO MATTER HOW MANY TIMES I WATCH ‘American Beauty’, there is one line that always gets to me. Towards the end of the film, in the final interim voice-over, Kevin Spacey makes reference to the line, “TODAY IS THE FIRST DAY OF THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.” I remember seeing this movie for the first time and being stupidly amazed by how completely true it was. It meant that right now – this very moment – my life could really begin. I found this concept hard to grasp, because I have always assumed that “first day” would be high school graduation. I am not even sure where this notion originated - that once you leave high school a whole new world opens up to you with new experiences, new people, new places, new everything. Perhaps this is the backlash of the array of horrible teen movies of late, for they all take place within a high school and have developed this concept of an ideal teenage existence. Somehow, it always involves palm trees and beaches. The idea of high school in movies has become more like a “scene” as opposed to a sort of milestone period in coming to terms with oneself. Rampant teenage angst continues to be a “big thing” in movies, television and music, as evidenced by the popularity of packaged, watered-down rebellion in the form of pop punk bands. 64
As the high school roles become more defined, the number of kids who do not fit the mould increases. Throw in an event like Columbine, and the “high school is like a prison” concept becomes more convincing than ever. This has left me holding on for dear life to the hope that life post stereotypical teenhood will be good. Great even. No more having to deal with the “he said, she said” mentality, stereotypes, peer pressure, and general superficiality. All this within less than a month’s reach. Then I realized how jaded I was. I spoke with a friend who had graduated a year ago, and she explained to me that we
never really leave high school. People in general just act that way. It is behavior that is not simply contained within the walls of a secondary educational institution. This disappointed me, but it made sense. Maybe the world in general really is shallow. I still wanted a second opinion, and this led me to speak with a friend who had graduated several years ago, and therefore (I hoped) had a more thorough idea of the post-high school existence. He told me that things really do get better. It is simply a matter of taking control. There is more freedom - the key is to take advantage of it.
But what about the shallow mentality? I recall his response mentioned something along the lines of weeding out the idiots. My hope was restored – everything could get better. “Post high school” still meant something. I expect that my wishful outlook on this matter will be the death of me, because I know that the trauma of leaving familiar surroundings is inevitable. I am lame for not making that important first day today, but instead a day that – at the time of writing this – is still a few weeks away. In all the anticipation, I forgot something: I am not quite ready for “life” just yet. 65