>>> Text-Heavy
By staff writer E.E. Southerby
November 17, 2002

-This week is Reading Week. I'm 5000 kilometres away from Victoria, in snow-ridden Ottawa, which is technically my home but no longer feels like it. Not that Victoria, where I go to school, feels any more like home or anything. I'm completely nomadic. If it weren't for the snow and sub-zero temperature (the weather channel here uses the Kelvin scale) I'd be outside right now with the rest of the hobos. That's how out of place I feel.

-Now Playing: “Blue” by Angie Hart (of the band ‘Splendid'). It's unreleased and nearly impossible to find (unless you're resourceful like me), but it's most definitely music for people who feel out of place.

-I am so jet-lagged right now. I go to sleep at 5am and I wake up at 2pm every day, and it seems perfectly natural. Well, maybe that's because that's pretty well my schedule even when I'm not jet-lagged, but still…

-Since my sleep schedule is basically the same as a narcoleptic, I end up watching a lot of late night tv. There's really only two commercials that play at four in the morning: One is for phone sex, and the other is for sleeping pills. In both cases, I'm always like “gotta get me some of that.” But phone sex is just so much more convenient, you know?

-Being back home for a week is a lot like being retired. The one thing I've noticed is that everyone back home eats really early. At University, on the off-chance that I actually have dinner, it's at like 7pm. Here, everyone's done eating and is off to bed by 4:30. My guess is that my family's jet-lagged the other way. I can't think of another explanation for this madness.

-When you're back home, suddenly the logistics of going out to party become more complicated. First off, you've got to find some sucker who's stupid enough to drive you. Then, there's always somebody who says they have to ‘wake up early' the next morning, which is so obviously a lie. And, of course, there's nowhere to pre-drink unless you want to do it with somebody's mom watching, so you end up spending $80 at the bar and then coming home before midnight, thanks to your designated driver (“nerds saving lives”). Then it's off to bed for some phone sex, whoo-ee!

-If you come home to your mom's house drunk, I find you're always afraid of waking her up and having her find out you've been drinking. So I'm always stealthily tip-toeing around, not turning on any lights, and trying to hold my breath so my breathing doesn't wake her up. This usually results in me bumping into things and then passing out, so she finds me at the bottom of the stairs in my underwear the next morning. But at least I didn't get caught drinking.

-Now that I'm back home, I find myself comparing all the clubs in Victoria to the ones in Ottawa. I'll say things like “Sugar? It's like On Tap, but bigger.” And nobody knows what the hell I'm talking about. Of course, there are some clubs that have no comparison. Like there's this one called the “Honest Lawyer” where you can get drinks and play arcade games and whack-a-mole and go bowling and dancing under the same roof. There's nothing like that out west. And with good cause. So I just call it “Chuck E. Cheese for alcoholics.” Still, nobody knows what I'm talking about.

-I bet somebody gets paid lots of money to come up with names for clubs. I'm pretty sure that person takes amphetamines. Here's a sample of the club names around here: The Liquor Dome, The Factory, The Cabin, The Cave, The Well, Zaphod Beeblebrox, Zaphod Beeblebrox II. How many different names can you come up with for places to pick up underage drunk girls? I'm just waiting for a club to open up called “The Dirty Old Man”. You laugh, but just wait. It'll happen.

-So I come back home expecting some good old-fashioned home cooking, and my mom wants to take me to a restaurant. God bless her, but there's nothing I can stand less than restaurant food right now. Quick question: When the restaurant greeter person asks you “Smoking or non-smoking?”, don't you ever want to say “One of each.”? I do. It's not funny to anyone but me.

-Ok, one of my best friends has a steady girlfriend. Her name's Anna Kournikova (actually, it's just Anna, but she's Russian. Wouldn't it be cool if that was actually her last name, though? Think about it.) Apparently, I'm obligated to like her. Don't get me wrong, I don't have anything against Anna (yet) but I just don't like being forced into friendship. I usually like to start people out as my arch-nemesis, then slowly build up a trusting relationship based on lies and deception. It's just the way I was brought up.

-At first I thought my friend was trying to keep Anna away from me, because I'm such a bad influence. I don't know if he thought that if Anna and I met, she would find out that her boyfriend has weird friends and dump him or if he was afraid that Anna might fall for me (yeah, that happens all the time). Either way, Anna and I were kept apart for the first few days of my visit. I was starting to suspect that she was just a myth, like the bogeyman, or Michael Jackson, or the girlfriend I tell everyone I have but is really just a figment of my imagination.

-Then I finally met Anna, and I understood why I was being kept away from her. You remember when you were fifteen years old and you would see these couples making out in public so hard that you thought they were going to swallow each other's heads, and you would say “I'm glad I'll never be one of those”? Well, my best friend's turned into one of those. I'm planning an exorcism later today (“The power of Christ compels you!”)

-Quote of the moment: Hoo-boy, am I going to get in trouble for this one. Anna, at dinner, commenting on my social life while directly translating from Russian (I hope): “Emmanuel, suppose you actually had a girlfriend…” I don't even care what she was going to follow that up with, I no longer feel bad about slipping her that roofie.

-I want it noted that I think date-rape is an incredibly serious crime. There's nobody who thinks it's less funny than me. But when I go to a club and I see signs all over the place warning girls about the dangers of the date-rape drug, I sometimes think they're doing the date-rapists a favor. I mean, it seems to me that the ideal time for some parasitic psycho to slip the roofie is when the girl is distracted, staring intently at the warning sign.

-Have you ever thought how much potential fun you could have if you took a roofie yourself? I mean, you wake up the next morning in a barn in Alabama without your pants or wallet, condoms and empty bottles of Astroglide strewn about, and you're all like “whoo-hoo!”. I already know I'm sick in the head, you don't need to write to me about it.

-On a lighter, more sane topic: I had a whole week to do the intense amounts of homework that had been assigned for Reading Week. I had no job or sport to keep me busy. I certainly didn't spend my time writing a quality newsletter. So why the hell did I save all my homework until the last day? I'm always like “I'll do it later.” Yeah, right. Later. Someday I'll write the book on procrastination. Not today, but someday.

-And, finally, will people please stop asking me what I take at university? Every single person I meet back home asks me what my major is, like they give a rat's patootie. Then I tell them (“Theatre”) and they always give me this weird sympathetic look, as if to say “I'm sorry to hear that.” Then I have to ask them what they take, even though we both know good and well that I don't care any more than they do. Seriously, people, if I wasn't so jet-lagged right now I'd be kicking your ass back to Kingdom Come. Then I'd probably look that expression up. Forget it, I'll do it later.