Friday, March 25, 2011

Good week for geeks

I am stopping myself from buying an Ipad2 right now.  I am not even close to finishing my programming project and won't be ready for testing on the device for at least a month.  Plus I won't be able to write it off until I get incorporated which is going to cost me some big money.  Still I want one soooo bad!  I hear the lineups are already getting crazy (it gets released here at 5pm) even at non apple stores.  I could always buy it online and then wait the 3-4 weeks for shipping?  Surely I would be done by then right?

I guess I will just have to console myself with the fact that three of my favorite shows have been renewed for next season(s).  Fringe, Venture Brothers and Futurama have all been renewed and I could not be happier.

If you currently are not watching Fringe right now get up on it.  Its by far the best sci-fi/mystery show on television.  Additionally unlike some other shows (I am looking at you x-files) this actually seems to be going somewhere.

Plus I totally want to gargle Joshua Jackson's junk.

Neil Diamond lied: He is heavy

Family drama has struck the household this week involving primarily my brother.   Some people have alcoholics for brothers some have junkies and others like myself have a brother who despite all the support in the world can't seem to make a reasonable assessment of himself.

Now some of you are thinking "Whoa Aaron this is a dick move talking about this on your blog.  Shouldn't you be keeping this private or be talking to him about this? Just trust me I am going somewhere with this post.

There has been a lot of heated back and forth via text and phone that hit is climax today culminating in an argument that caused my neighbours to bang on the floor (so tacky I know).   A lot of baggage came bubbling up that has got my mind racing.  Insomnia and heartburn the kind only family can produce is why I am posting this at 230 in the morning when I should be in bed curled up with the fella.

We have never been close him and I.   Always far too similar, far too stubborn, yet far too different in a way that only brothers can be.  We could never really find a way to really get along for extended periods.

We both had trouble connecting with people socially in our youth.  We both experienced (and still do) extreme anxiety and most importantly we both have raging tempers.   He was always a little less street savvy and always the kinder of the two of us.    In many ways I think he is exactly who I would be if i were straight.

We diverged in our early teens.   In my heart back then I always felt anxiously broken because I was gay.   I was never going to be good enough for my family to love and care about me.  So I fought to be the best god damn kid I could be.  I started to excel at school and really push myself to become something.   I planned my whole future with the fervor only an obsessive compulsive with a deep dark secret no amount of planning or achievement could fix.  

Highschool and University came and my parents beamed and fauned over me.  The whole family did.  I was making something of myself with a lot of support.  It was all part of my plan to make them all love me so hard that when I did come out they would have no choice but to keep me around (this worked very well with some unintended mental side affects).

With each success my head grew and with it so did the chasm between him and I.  Simple conversations would turn into massive arguments or physical altercations to the point where I would have to subdue him in a headlock to calm him down.  I was no innocent in this.  As I have posted about before, I was an expert button pusher in those days and I had my skills honed to perfection on my family.  

Generally our arguments had one underlying theme.  Back then I never would have seen it but the benefits of time have given me some perspective.   They were always about him not seeing his own potential and self worth.  He never pushed himself harder than he had to get by and it drove me crazy.

My brain couldn't comprehend why he never expected more of himself.  Here were two people that looked alike, talked alike, socialized similarly and yet in terms of achievement (measures of my choosing of course at the time) could not be more different.   It infuriated me because I never wanted him to accept anything less than his best for himself.

I really think the difference was drive.   I had something to run from and something to run to.  All he ever had was me 5 years ahead of him in everything.  I know it would drive me nuts having an overachieving asshole brother that was 5 years stronger/faster//more independent/more knowledgable.

Being right about something only served to drive the wedge further and fester more resentment.

Not being great at admitting when I was wrong might as well have been a bundle of TNT.   This was all exacerbated by his unwillingness to do the same.   I could never resent him but there were many days when I couldn't understand why he didn't push himself a little bit more.  Why he surrounded himself with underachievers and losers.  Why he didn't want more?  Why did mom and I have to clean his room for him?

By the time he was 16 we would hardly talk about anything other than video games comics and toys.  By the time he was 18 I spent more time talking with his girlfriend (who had been living with us for 2 years) than I did him.  Over this time after being pushed away from him every time I tried to talk I sort of stopped trying.  All I was doing was making him resent me more.  The discussions stopped.

Moving out at 24 may have solved a ton of my issues with my parents but did nothing to bridge the gap between me and my brother.  He would call me for technical support or to ask to crash on my couch (usually at the very last second).   We would talk and hang out at family stuff or when I was over at the house but in that time he only came over to hang out once and that was before going on an 8 month trip to scotland.   We had a great night.  Ate pizza talked about his trip and played a ton of halo.  In some ways it was like things were back when we were much younger.  After he returned from scotland worldlier but with a broken heart, radio silence was resumed.

I always admire his heart and ability to see the best in others.  I can't imagine what that kind of world would be like.  This ability  to endlessly forgive others that he possessed always seemed to be missing when it came to me.  Every word I said to him came as if it was laced with acid.  Every bit of advice was a wound to his heart.

I have to wonder if I don't have a similar blind spot when it comes to him.  Do I automatically doubt everything he does because I feel he lacks a perspective on himself?  Are we like cyclops and Havok (for those of you unfamiliar with the two they are brothers from the x-men who's powers cancel each other out).  In many ways we fit the profiles: cyclops is an overachieving emotionally retrained control freak older brother and Havok was the younger passionate resentful and random one.

Currently he is making some really terrible decisions with his life.   Everyone around him sees it and everyone is very worried.  At the request of my Mom I tried to talk to him about it but we couldn't get anywhere.   He said things and I said things.  What hurt me the most was when he said I was a bad older brother who didn't provide him support for the last 5 or so years and had no right doing it now.  

I was pushed away and stopped banging my head against the wall and here I am today still the bad guy for not doing what he hated me doing to begin with.   All I ever wanted was for him to see his own potential and actually want to try and fullfil it.  He really is a better person than I will ever be and I envy that innocence he holds on to.   He deserves the best from himself and the people he chooses to spend his life with.

When i pushed him its because I knew he had the strength to lift himself to the next level he justs didn't know it.  When I fought with him it was because he couldn't see what I did.

In the end I love that guy to death and it breaks my heart that his picture of me is so bereft of any positivity.   I wish I could go back and find that magic formula of encouragement and support he was looking for.  I wish i could be the big brother he wanted.

Most of all however I wish that once, just once he would see himself the way I do.  Then maybe he would understand me a bit better.

Neil Diamond sang "He ain't heavy, hes my brother" many many years ago.  I can understand the sentiment but really have to disagree.  Like most people in your life for the long haul that we don't choose (look up family in the dictionary) they are a ton of heavy lifting often for very little reward.  

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Nobody Cares like a bear in a drag show

After a ton of work saturday's drag show came too quickly.  I was stressed and feeling unprepared and we still had yet to do a full dress rehearsal for our number that night.   All four of us had never been on stage before and I could not even fathom what a huge rush and success it would be.

We met up  at the condo at 1 pm and started working on our costumes (by we I mean Brad who sewed almost everything we wore).  I worked on the body paint which turned out to be a massive disaster.  We could not get the right consistency no matter what we tried.   Add to that some drama with the clown makeup we bought and I really thought our night was going to go down the tubes.  There was makeup and cornstarch body paint from one end of the condo to the next.  It looked like a drag queen had exploded after a glitter enema.

Our flame dame Anna and her fella Morgan came by to help support and provide us a much needed ride to the venue.  We decided to call our group Grin and Bear It.  If it was bad at least we had warned them!

So here is what the care bears ended up looking like:

You can see the clumpy alligator skin on my chest was supposed to be royal blue body paint.  All in all i think we looked great in that dark bar lighting! Thats another drag queen trick they don't tell you.

The number was incredibly well received and it led to a rather sloppy night.  Who would have thought an innocent song from a children's cartoon would be so easy to fill with filth.  What the camera does not show is that immediately after this one of our team had to rush out the back door of the drag room into the alley to throw up as he had swallowed too much glitter!  Take this as a warning next time you throw glitter on stage while doing a dance number.

Will i do it again? Probably not for a long time. We represented the bears/cubs really well and had fun in the end but the amount of work to get to this point was crazy!  Its tuesday and I am still tired! 

Friday, March 18, 2011

Green beer and drag queens oh my!

I did not really celebrate St. Patricks day this year.  Usually I would meet up with my parkie friends one of whom is from ireland and get ultra sloshed.

True to form this year they started at 11 am and I was getting fairly hilarious text messages by 1 pm.  As the night progressed pictures and play by plays of what was happening were coming in.   I actually prefer this passive method of participation as I get to hear all the stupid shit that happens without any of the drama , headaches or cleanup.  The fella had never had green beer so I made him a green corona.

So why did I not go out and get sloppy like a virgin at his first gay bar?  Well guuuurl (I talk like this now) we had work to do on our number  for feathers leather and fur on saturday.   We watched this weeks episode of Ru Pauls Drag Race and Untucked for some inspiration while we tested out different body paints and worked on choreography.

Its a good thing our song is only two minuets as anything longer and there is no way I would remember the moves.  I am clearly the weakest link in the team.  It seems my multitasking ability stops when singing or dancing is involved because I can only do one at a time.  To to do both would fry my brain.

I am thinking this point that it would be better to do actual drag because you can be so much more theatrical with your moves and hair.  We are limited in this case so we are keeping it simple for now.

Monday, March 14, 2011

I don't know how the drag queens do it

This was a hell of a productive weekend.  Went shopping with the boys on Saturday for items for our costumes.  This saturday we are performing a number for Leather, Feathers and Fur representing the edmonton bear community.  This number requires some body paint and extras.

I think we are in a bit over our heads as none of us have ever done a number or choreographed anything before.  The costumes are coming together at least thanks to some surprise seamstress skills that Brad decided to show off.   Between the costs of things and the amount of work it takes to put on a single number I have no idea how drag queens do it every week.

I will be posting video of the disaster on sunday!

Monday, March 07, 2011

Music Monday: Working in the sprawl

Many people were surprised at Arcade Fire's recent grammy win.  This reaction surprised me because these guys have been a building block for the soundtrack to my life for a very long time now.  From my wild university days to now they have been creating music that touches a nerve with me.   It may sound weird but at times it is like they are singing for me not to me.  Neighbourhood #1 takes me back to so many good memories.

Ages ago before they became indie darlings in Canada they were playing a show at my old haunt the Power Plant.  I had been planning to go see them after some glowing reviews in See magazine.  l always regret not getting tickets in time before they sold out.

Here is a fantastic remix by Thunderlust of the already stellar Sprawl II.  If this doesn't get your ass moving nothing will.

Arcade Fire - Sprawl II (thunderlust remix) by thunderlust


Its that time of year for the next BEEF Bear Bash!  Check out the website for more details!

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

What what in the Butt??

I am exhausted today.   My throat is incredibly sore which means that despite feeling fine for a total of 3 days my cold from last week has come back at me with a vengeance.  Or I swallowed some bad water at the waterpark on Sunday.

The soreness was so intense I even had it in my dreams which were super fucked up.  Mark Zuckerberg wanted me to give him a bj while we were taking a break from filming a comedy scene for an incredibly terrible zombie movie.  I know the movie  was incredibly terrible because Avril Lavigne was a featured star.

As flattering as his unexpected advances were I turned him down as his equipment did not meet my standards and my throat was damn sore.   Plus who wants to say they got fucked by Mark Zuckerberg?  I do not need a sugar daddy that badly.

I am working the tea today with hopes that I will be in good enough shape to hit up bootcamp tonight which I have missed almost 2 whole weeks of.   My 3 month contract is up on the 11th at which point I will be posting some before and after pics.  

I am not sure I can justify 3 more months of the program but something tells me my body would fall apart shortly after stopping.