Wednesday, September 27, 2006

"my uncle needs a home" - Kashus, age 1

I certainly don't want to give you the impression that I am on the street. As I may have mentioned previously, I am staying with good friends. Roots and Boots and M have been gracious and warm and welcoming although another friend teased that I should have taken the hint when they got rid of the couch and replaced it with two chairs...haha...ah the floor is supposed to be good for my back anyway.

In old fishing terms, I've been skunked thus far in my search for an appropriate apartment to call my own, at least for this school year. The last place I looked at was $700/month for a bachelor suite with a fairly large storage room. I say storage room because it might be a decent bedroom for a hobbit, with the ceiling being about 5'10" and all (I'm 6'1"). The place before that was a rather large (genuine) one bedroom suite for only $600/month but the 'interview' questions I was asked got progressively weirder and weirder. Here's a sample:

What kind of routine do you keep? What time do you get up? What kind of hobbies do you have? What time do you go to bed? Do you smoke? Do you drink? Do you smoke marijuana? How often do you go to the bar? How often is not often? Do your friends smoke? Do you burn incense? Scented candles? What kind of soap do you use? How about dryer sheets?

To be fair, she who would be living upstairs did have some sort of medical condition that made her ultrasensitive to odors. Additionally, she said she sleepwalks every night and sometimes she falls down. Yeah...that and my snoring routine told me that we were not a good neighbourly match.

The search continues...

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

"living" in Mituunii

Forgive me. I have been remiss. I have been somewhat lax in both the quality and quantity of my updates this summer. In particular, I have recently become concerned with the former, especially since many of you have been so kind as to compliment me on my writing humour and style. Well, as I get into university gear with lots of reading and writing, I intend to ensure that the quality of thinking and writing here are worthy of the mundane adventures.

on school...

Week 2 is in full swing and I am still enjoying school immensely. Looking at the world we live in through anti-imperialist-docolonizing glasses is one thing, applying the same critical thought to specific classes is quite another. My long-time readers will appreciate the challenges and opportunities in the following classes: International Security (studying state system models, non-state actors, terrorism, evil doers [sorry, could not resist that one], economics, war), Early Modern Political Thought (studying Luther, Erasmus, Machievelli, Spinoza, Locke, Hobbes, Kant all the other imperialist cats from Europe - during my lecture Tuesday a summarizing thought occured to me as I listened to the professor talk of the early debates on free will and the early ecclesiastical political connections: "This all seems to be a vain attempt to rationalize imperialism"), English 395: Literature of the First Peoples, and perhaps the least contentious: East Asian Politics, although it is interesting to learn about politics from a non-eurocentric, albeit still imperialist, perspective. The trick I think will be to determine what degree I wish to challenge the assumptions of my classmates and professors. Although I shall not hesitate to speak when I feel some fundamental truth is being ignored or misrepresented, I shall also endeavor to be mindful of which battles I wish to fight.

on my homelessness...

Roots n' Boots n' M have indeed being very kind in opening their home to me, tolerating my snoring and all my totes and bags of stuff, and cooking very healthy and scrumptious meals. I hope to find a (groovy) pad of my own soon and get "settled" as well. I have NEVER lived on my own, without a girlfriend, "partner" or room mate, EVER. I'm looking forward to some domestic solitude in my life before I find the wife of my dreams and we do our part to populate the Indigenous Revolutionary forces.

on substance abuse, pirates, jedi and the movement...

You will have no doubt noticed various, vague references to "Pirates" and "Jedi" this summer. My ellusiveness is borne out of my apprehension and possibly shame to discuss the matter openly, but alas I must remain committed to the truth. These two terms were introduced to the warrior lexicon this summer to identify those warriors who live two, divergent ways: basically, Jedi are noble, strong-willed, free of substance abuse and conduct themselves with the utmost respect and dignity; Pirates are still revolutionary, but fun-loving, partying warriors, perhaps more reminiscent of the AIMsters of the 60's and 70's. We joke about Pirates with Jedi tendancies and Jedi with Pirate tendancies but really, I believe, we are one or the other. We are the sum of our beliefs and actions. I am hesitant to render judgement however, not only because I have been there myself, but also as Roots likes to say, to judge so harshly or be dismissive of our brothers and sisters is to not recognize them as a whole person deserving of more compassionate consideration.

That being said...I choose to walk the path of the so-called Jedi at this time because I believe that I cannot achieve what I want to achieve by being any other way. What I want to achieve is to play some small yet significant part in the revitalization of our Indigenous nations and people to a state of strong health, will and character, to have our children grow strong and dignified. In order to get there, I must not only be healthy to do my part, but I believe that we best serve those we love by leading by example. We must BE. This is an act of immediacy, of awareness, of now, not tomorrow or someday.

My love for my brothers and sisters, all of them has been no stronger than it is now, and despite assuming the label (from a friend who once accused me of being) Quick and Merciless, I shall not judge my comrades. It is not my place. Another pearl of wisdom from Roots is this: "Never assume that a person is unaware of the trouble they are in." As a brother, I am here for my brothers and sisters, always.

Darkness persists. The empire grows stronger. Our people are losing our ways, ways of being, Indigenous ways. Expediency and shortsightedness rule the day and the band office.

Our time is now. Our place is here.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

the not so littlest hobo

My first week of classes is over and I have to say I'm still excited about school. So much of the campus is the same as it was 12 years ago and a lot of the people (teachers and students) have changed - like that guy from dazed and confused who keeps getting older but still dates fresh(wo)men. Yeah so school is humming along just fine - the stage is set for some interesting debates with my fellow classmates and my professors but my living situation just got turned upside down. I may have mentioned that I had this house sitting gig for the month of September - this beautiful little place down by the water with a hot tub and all, well it fell through Thursday night for reasons I will not share. I'm actually typing this from my bed/Roots' couch - as Roots' and Boots and M have been kind enough to provide shelter whilst I continue to look for a pad of my own. Oh and my potential roomie situation also seems to be falling through, so I'm keeping my eyes peeled for a possible bachelor/studio setup. Here's to keepin' it simple!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

higher colonial learning

Today was my first day back to school and I had trouble being cool (not remembering whether Shrubs said I should wear my backpack with one strap or two) and grinning like a it was a beautiful day. :D I had three classes today, all short on the first day: POLI 300B: Early Modern Political Thought, POLI 348: International Security and ENGL 395: Literature of the First Peoples of Canada and the United States. Tomorrow I have East Asian Politics (POLI 318). I'm almost done my first reading assignment (I bought most of my books last week) and am still adjusting to the fact that I am now a full time student. It's a little hard to describe, and I find it easy to take for granted the significant shift in gears and life that is going on - no job, full time school (20,000 new school mates), no car, new pad, no dogs (still looking for good homes for Pongo and Cheyenne by the way), new town, missing friends and family (especially lil Kashus)...sigh. I'm at the same time, excited and a little fearful. As usual dear readers, I will keep you in the loop.

p.s. I can see better without my pirate patch, and hear better without that squawking parrot on my shoulder.