Monday, May 25, 2009

Art mimics Life imitating Art mocking Life

Have you ever experienced a moment of intuitive clarity where you think you can see someone as they will look in twenty years? When the light catches them just right? Or they make a certain face? Sigh a certain sigh? When someone is standing in front of you, and for just one minute, you can imagine what they'll look like behind the wheel of a mini-van, carting their offspring off to hockey practice, or for those who will take offense to this liable generalization, sitting behind their mahogany topped CEO's desk in their executive office, without a man or children at home, wearing power heels and rimless glasses?

I had that moment on Saturday night, but instead of seeing her from a certain angle, I saw her through a pane of glass. No, not her, but a painted portrait of what I envision her to look like in fifteen-or-so-years. In a gallery west of Ossington, just after midnight, I walked past the well lit window front and halted a dead stop. The likeness was eerie, and beautiful – as beautiful as the subject on canvass, and the girl I compare her to.

I won't say who I think this is, or rather, who this will someday be, but I welcome guesses.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Hi ma. Hi pa.

my act...

… also known as my schtick (among my more yiddy associates): It's an all encompassing, definitive summary of who I am (or propose, or appear to be), based on the things I say, the way I dress, the places I go, the music I like, and my overall behaviour in relation to my surroundings. Everyone has one, apparently. I hesitate to say 'apparently' as I'm pretty sure I've always known this, but only recently have I been called out on my 'act', and conversely, asked to recognize the 'acts' of others.

It's a strange categorical phenomenon. It's like having a type. I'm not sure if I have a type, but if all of the character variables and physical features are compared between relations past and present, I'm sure a 'type' could be discerned. I digress.

What's my act? I'm growing to understand that an 'act' is both important and superfluous. Important, because everyone weighs on them; superfluous, because they're indefinite. Charles Cooley penned the term Looking Glass Self, which sounds painfully vain, but it's more, uhh, sad and true? The whole theory is rooted in the idea that we see ourselves as we feel others see us (...and he thought of this before, talk about prophetic). My 'act', although it's my own, is completely out of my hands. You determine my 'act', and I can act however I like, even if I'm not really acting, and there is nothing I can do to control your assessment. So, however you evaluate me, that's who I am to you, and maybe even to myself, eventually.

Sitting in my mother's bathtub today, biding time on a (sadly) frigid Manitoba afternoon, I tried my best to imagine what my 'act' is from someone else's perspective. Only a few nights ago, I wore a short sleeved, white, men's shirt and a cream coloured blazer. Very Ben Gurion. I was told this outfit was part of my 'act'. I'm still trying desperately to understand what this means. My mom stands over a pile of magazines and clothes on the coffee table and says, 'Carli, you've only been home for three days and you're already starting your schtick…' My 'schtick', in this case, is leaving clutter and making messes. The funny thing is that back in Toronto, I keep my schtick in good order. I've got the cleanest schtick around. It's so clean, you could eat off my schtick. At a formal event on Tuesday, every pantsuit wearing Bubbie and Zaida in town approached me to pinch my cheeks and ask me about my present 'shpeal' (see: act, schtick)

Presently? Well, I dress in men's clothing, leave clutter wherever I go, and blog from the bathtub while I should be doing real work...

Although the term 'act' is a new one for me, the concept is anything but novel. Today, I'm told that I should start writing about 'the act', as it's a "great term" and everyone's got one. So, now, I can add something to my former character précis:

Presently? Well, I dress in men's clothing, leave clutter wherever I go, blog from the bathtub while I should be doing real work, and take simple text messages and turn them into longwinded, self-reflective web manifestos. So, that's my act. At present...

Like it or leave it.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

a 30-45 minute wait

You can talk a million times a day, but it isn't until you actually sit down, just the two of you, and really talk, that you comprehend just how long it's actually been. In a room too crowded to care, we shout above everyone else - and we know no ones listening. She's been without phone, and I time. She's been away, and I've been busy, and it feels like neither of us has eaten in days – when really, it's only been hours. We share stories, and a pizza, and a bottle of wine – and decide not to share a cab at the end of the night. She goes west, and I go east, and I go to bed satisfied from dinner, starving for sleep, and dreaming of a summer filled with (more) cream-filling and two forks to match.

Monday, May 4, 2009

nevermind the twit(ter)

Growing up, I was both fiercely and frequently reminded that to be a follower was to fall behind.

"No one likes a follower," my mother informed me as I stomped my foot over a hooded Roxy sweatshirt that would never be mine. Apparently, Fruit of The Loom was somehow much more indicative of freethinking, and it was in a basic white crew-neck that I learned to embrace individuality. Ironic, I know.

Today, the first day at a new job. Wearing a new (old) blazer, in a new neighbourhood, I was asked to try and see 'following' in, yes, a new light.

"You've gotta just follow more people," I'm told. Pouring over a much heavier, much slower laptop than the rest of them, I quickly, nervously agree to follow as many people as my mouseless hand can click at. Of course, I am speaking of Twitter: the be-all-end-all of social media networking, and the death of normative interaction.

Twitpic, Twibes, Tags, RSS, Technorati, and then suddenly I’m 'Digging' for something. (Perhaps meaning?) A cyclone of cyber jargon whips around the beautiful room. The only thing blowing harder is the air conditioner. And still, I'm sweating, cross-legged on a gorgeous suede chair, wearing my glasses. I wore my glasses all day at my new job, as if to say ‘Yeah, I love the internet’, and heels, as if to say ‘Ok, maybe I just like to blog...’

My task is a little less html-intensive than the rest of the gang. A semi-sigh of relief. Occasionally, though, I must twit...tweet...? So, I sit. And I tap away at my keys, composing and erasing, trying to think of something that I can say, and also something someone else might care to read. The curser blinks.

I type. I am sitting here, in a room, wearing a new blazer, and my glasses, drinking a diet coke, trying to...twat? Backspace.

I don't really get it. Twitter is to me, as dancing is to the town's people in Footloose (1984). Nevermind.

Eventually this will all make more sense. Right? I'm sure of it. Sort of. Good Expensive education. Moderate to considerable confidence (on most days). Eager to learn. Happy to write. Then why do I feel so, I don’t know, out of touch? Inadequate?

I hear no one uses ICQ anymore. 'Uh Oh!'