Comrade Conrad

Wow, been like six months since I posted anything here. No excuse – just haven’t bothered.But writing today cause I am off to New York tomorrow to see my brother, who is an applied mathematics prof at Stonybrook. No, don’t ask me what an applied mathematics prof is, cause it’s way beyond me. It’s math plus physics plus chemistry, and involves lots of theory, from what I can tell. At least, that’s what I gather from the little I understand when he talks.

Anyway, Occupy Wall Street is in full swing, and we’re excited about checking that out. Meeting up with an old friend of Meg’s who is in the city at the same time as us, and we all figure a protest gathering is an appropriate place to reconnect. And Mica is excited about Central Park and fashion and cool shops and cafes, as a 13 year old girl is inclined to be. Mostly I’m just glad to have some time with my brother, who I don’t see nearly enough and who has been going through a rough time lately. Continue Reading »


Elections, elections. Municipally, provincially, federally, we are gearing up for elections and I, as always am following every step, even though I know I ain’t voting for anybody I’m ever gonna hear about in the news.

I am intrigued, though, more this time than I have been for a long while. OK, skip the provincial end of things, which looks exactly like it has for a couple of decades, with a super hard right wing and a bull-shit “social democratic” alternative that is continuing its tried-and-failed strategy of playing to that right. But on the other levels, something interesting is happening. Continue Reading »

Leaving Libby

I vote, each and every election. I don’t, however, vote for any of the major parties, the most ‘leftish’ of which is the New Democratic Party – a pretty standard social democratic outfit that gets the vote of the left simply because there’s no other viable option, and consistently steps further and further to the right in the vain hope that one day the bulk of Canadians will flock to them. This, contrary to all evidence here and around the world that such a strategy does nothing but shift the whole political debate to the right. So, no, I don’t vote NDP, instead casting my ballot each time for someone who may be marginal but at least speaks of an alternative, who at least takes positions, no matter how unpopular. Cause I don’t see my vote as a strategic tool in a limited system, but as a small but important opportunity to register, periodically, my values.

In my years of voting, though, I’ve made on exception to the above. When I’ve lived in her riding, and there’s been an election, I have always voted for Libby Davies. But not this time. Continue Reading »

I’ve got a pretty good life, all told. In fact, I count myself just about the luckiest guy alive – good job, little work but tons of projects, lots of friends and dinner parties, a beautiful and amazing child, and a partner and lover so perfect for me she is literally the stuff my younger-years dreams were made of.  A home people like to visit, that is welcoming and open and often full of laughter, learning, support, love. It really is more than I have ever imagined possible, so full of everything I wanted and much I didn’t even know I wanted til it was shown to me, til it was made possible. I, least of anyone, has any reason to complain, to whine, to wallow in self-pity.

And yet, there it is. That hollow feeling, that boredom, that emotional blank space, that feeling of being entirely disinterested, disengaged. Been with me for the last couple of weeks, and I’m having a hard time shaking it. And an equally hard time making any sense out of why, why now, why for? Continue Reading »

A hell of a week, I tell ya. Feels like there’s been all kinds of crazy swirling around me lately and while I myself am not directly implicated in all of it, it is fucking exhausting to deal with. I’m not about to out any individuals or any specific details here, but as a little sample of what’s going on: Continue Reading »

March 16 is of no particular significance to me. However, that is indeed the date today, and I am in need of a blog post. And so a little scan of the day in history, and I find there are things to remember and to celebrate, as there always are.

A few moments to remember, then, dealing with various interests of mine: books, radical left politics and heavy metal. Continue Reading »

Some time ago my brother and sister-in-law were up for a visit from their home in New York, and we sat in the living room bull-shitting about this and that. Not sure how the subject came up, but my sister-in-law joked to Megan, about me, “We call Brian the lazy brother”. Offended? No. Hurt? No. It was pretty awesome, actually. I am pretty much satisfied with my level of accomplishment, and actually pretty glad that I am not an all-out achievement-seeker. I like to rest. I like to lie back and laze. I like to lie in the bath and read books. And sometimes – often, actually – I like to sit on the couch at watch the walls for an hour or so at a time, doing and thinking absolutely nothing. Continue Reading »