Looking Back, aMMusingly (Again)

I did it the last time aMMusing changed substantively, so I decided to do it again: a retrospective of posts that I like going back to, regardless of how many comments they generated. In a way, it should be a lot easier this time, since I have been a far less prolific blogger since April 2005 compared to December 2002 to April 2005.

April 8, 2005
Steph and YoshiOh. My. Gawd! I can’t believe it’s been almost as long as the last switchover at aMMusing that Stephanie has moved from Florida to Nova Scotia to be with her bewitching BeeGoddessM. In “Coming Soon to My Country,” I posted a delightful picture of the wonderful Steph with her cat Yoshi. Sadly, Ole Yoshi has gone to cat heaven about a year ago, but what a wonderful “poofster” he was! And he did manage to knock some sense into Tif, who’s now a relatively mild-manner tabby who’s still a little weird for being the only cat I know that actually LOVES lettuce. As for the crazy but happy Bijon Jackson, we think Yoshi resigned himself to the thought that he was irredeemably uncouth and puerile (for his taste), and therefore simply gave him a lot of dirty looks.

I said it before and I say it again: This crew is one of the few things I do miss now that I finally made the move to Montréal.

April 13, 2005
MonsoonWhile thinking back to being “Young in the ’80s,” I remembered days at the Kacho in Moncton with Sara (a.k.a. The Cat Lady).

Ever So Lonely (mp3, 6.0MB, 6:17)

I also brought three other clips to your attention to confirm that I was resolutely no longer a closet TechnoBoi.

Dreamed of You (mp3, 3.5MB, 3:39)
Life in a Northern Town (techno) (mp3, 12.2MB, 8:28)
The Beauty of a Witch (mp3, 3.2MB, 3:20)

Then, in a separate post later that day, I recalled, complete with Joshua Kadison’s Picture Postcards from L.A. (mp3, 5.5MB, 4:34), how “Rachel” had sent me a postcard from L.A.

May 11, 2005
Bea ArthurOne of the reasons I never want to abandon this blog is that, without it, I wouldn’t remember some of the little quirky details of day-to-day life. My most successful attempt at quitting smoking happened in 2005, and just like during previous attempts, I had done so using the patch. But the patch, for me, brings on the craziest nighttime dreams. In “Poof (not puff)! I’m Back!,” I took comfort in the fact the dreams weren’t as crazy as in previous attempts, with “the gayess [dream having been] the one where I was sitting next to (and chatting with) Bea Arthur on a New York City subway.” Which, you have to admit, is pretty gay.

June 17, 2005
I discovered the PostSecret website and have been visiting it every Sunday ever since.

November 3, 2005 & February 25, 2006
Two days after having dinner at my place with Ex Friend, some two-and-a-half months after turning 40 when I concluded that I wouldn’t survive my 40s if I continued as I had in my 30s, I referred in “No Promises” to how I had applied for “an outside job,” meaning I was reconsidering working on my own. Turns out, as I wrote on the following February 25 in “I Owe You a Blog Entry,” that this application led to my current day job.

December 27, 2005
Brokeback MountainI went to see Brokeback Mountain with Steph and BeeGoddessM, and it left me ambivalent at the time. After viewing the film, I wrote in “Them Cowboys“: “…this film, while good, should go down as the most overhyped of 2005. [Other films] managed as well if not better at addressing how it can be difficult, even impossible, to live in peace as a gay person or, more aptly in the case of Brokeback, someone who just happens to love someone of the same sex. Except that because Brokeback is a big Hollywood production, it’s as though the genre and storyline have just been invented.”

Looking back today, I’m remembering the film’s haunting tone and thinking about how Heath Ledger, who played Ennis Del Mar, is dead now.

January 14-17, 2006
What an interesting coincidence that I should be writing this retrospective two days before the 2008 Canadian federal election. In “The Likes of Who?” and “What Do You Make of This?” I reacted to a comment left by a “drive-by commentator” left in response to a post in which I wrote that “a Conservative majority is a very real and sad possibility,” concluding in my rebuttal that “if this kind of (non-)rhetorical tactic is any indication of what’s to come in a Conservative-run Canada, then ‘sad’ is taking a whole new meaning for me, and [the commentator has] unwittingly made my whole point.” Canadians went on to elect a Conservative government, albeit a minority, yet we still got to see how Stephen Harper is a nasty piece of work, standing as the only Canadian prime minister who, on the one hand, has sued opposition parties for slander based on things that have been said in parliamentary debate and, on the other hand, has stood in the House of Commons and read out of context a newspaper article in an attempt to slander a Liberal party member of parliament. And those examples are only the very small tip of a huge iceberg.

January 26, 2006 & June 11, 2006
Long an advocate of some form of proportional representation in the election of our parliamentarians, I posted detailed calculations a few days after the election to illustrate what the last two federal elections might have yielded under a PR system. Then in June, after railing against “Conservative Expendiency” for selectively taking a plank of a PR system (that is, fixed election dates, which was promptly ignored by Harper by calling the current election), I wrote about how I had started my “MPP Tallying Project.” Unfortunately, although I long completed the backend, I have yet to finish the frontend of that website so that anyone could look at numerous past elections and see not only how the outcomes would have been different (and fairer), but also that it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand how it could work.

July 3, 2006
I drove my (few) readers crazy by leaving “Boy’s First Toy” as my only post for one full month.

His First Toy

August 15, 2006
Off with their Heads!” was my passionate and very politically incorrect reaction to how Halifax drag queens had made porridge of that year’s Pride show on the Commons.

October 8, 2006 and July 29, 2007
TorontoAh, Toronto! “The City Canadians Love to Hate.” My new job brought me to go to a city where I hadn’t gone (by choice) for 19 years. I was glad to finally meet in person the people with whom I had been working. But still, I concluded that “it is clear that if I’m offered an opportunity to continue working at my day-job employer after my current contract ends, that better not be in Toronto. I would be very unhappy there.” In “Another Jaunt to Toronto” nearly a year later, I did soften my stance a little: “I’m not ashamed to admit that I appreciated Toronto more this time around.” Having left Halifax, I still think Montréal was the right choice over Toronto, plus, as it turns out (although I never blogged about it), I’m more useful to my day-job employer in Montréal than I would be in the Big Smoke.

June 2007
Donna SummersAlthough they yielded no comment, some of my June 2007 posts remain among my favorites or most seminal of aMMusing. In those posts I linked you to 30 MP3s, which I’m listing here in order of presentation:

Guilty (and Not-So-Guilty) Pleasures, Take 2(June 17)
I commented on music from the late-’70s to the mid-’80s (either in fact or for me) that I consider having marked me the most.

  1. Love to Love You Baby — Donna Summers (mp3, 5.2 MB, 5:29)
  2. Far Above the Cloud — Mike Oldfield (mp3, 7.7 MB, 5:30)
  3. Köhl Concert, Part I — Keith Jarrett (mp3, 29.0 MB, 26:01)
  4. I ekdromi — Vicky Leandros (mp3, 2.8 MB, 2:59)
  5. Un jour mon rêve — Vicky Leandros (mp3, 2.6 MB, 2:44)
  6. Après toi — Vicky Leandros (mp3, 3.3 MB, 3:29)
  7. Rhoda — Belle and Sebastian (mp3, 3.1 MB, 4:28)
  8. Piano Trio in B Op 8 — Brahms (mp3, 14.1 MB, 10:18)
  9. Charging Fort Wagner — Glory Soundtrack (mp3, 2.7 MB, 2:52)
  10. Gabriel’s Oboe — Morricone (mp3, 1.8 MB, 2:40)
  11. Adagio, Sym. 5 C-sharp-min. — Mahler (mp3, 8.4 MB, 11:18)
  12. At Seventeen — Janis Ian (mp3, 5.3 MB, 4:40)
  13. Ride Like the Wind — Christopher Cross (mp3, 3.9 MB, 4:16)
  14. Wishing — A Flock of Seagulls (mp3, 5.0 MB, 5:31)
  15. Africa — Toto (mp3, 4.6 MB, 4:56)
  16. Say It Ain’t So, Joe — Murray Head (mp3, 4.3 MB, 4:39)

Adieu, Boule Noire(June 19)
George Thurston lost his battle with cancer.

  1. Aimer d’amour (mp3, 3.3 MB, 4:18)

Franks Tiger in the RainMy 25th Anniversary(June 19)
Realizing that it had been 25 years since I “came out”…

  1. Living on the Inside (mp3, 5.3 MB, 5:39)
  2. Sanpuko (mp3, 4.0 MB, 5:39)
  3. Anthony’s Song (mp3, 4.8 MB, 5:05)
  4. The Lady Wants to Know (mp3, 4.4 MB, 4:44)
  5. How I Remember You (mp3, 5.3 MB, 5:11)
  6. Abandoned Garden (mp3, 6.3 MB, 5:24)
  7. Dragonfly Summer (mp3, 4.7 MB, 5:03)
  8. When Blackbirds Fly (mp3, 3.1 MB, 3:17)

Time to Say Farewell to Nova Scotia?(Five-post series, June 25-29)
I finally argued with myself that there was no reason for me to remain in Halifax any longer and I had to finally get off my ass and move to Montréal. A month later, in “I’m Going to Have to Do It,” I speculated that this series of post was meant as a personal antidote to inertia, where I would finally do what I’d been talking about doing since 1999.

  1. Part 1: Farewell to Nova Scotia (mp3, 2.3 MB, 3:20)
  2. Part 2: I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For — U2 (mp3, 4.3MB, 4:38)
  3. Part 3: Marcia Baila — Rita Mitsouko (mp3, 5.2 MB, 5:34)
  4. Part 4: Touch — Joy (mp3, 5.8 MB, 5:24)
  5. Part 5: Le soleil noir — Sash! (mp3, 3.6 MB, 3:51)

August 5, 2007
A Mixed Bag of Confused Thoughts” was my reaction to the town of Truro’s ruling against flying the Pride flag in front of Town Hall. By the end of that post, I realized just how much I harboured a “yearning for that little something that has nothing to do with appendages and orifices.” I wrote this exactly five days before meeting he who would become my husband…

August 20-September 23, 2007
Future EspososI wrote about first meeting Esposo 10 days after the fact, that is, shortly upon my return from a vacation trip to Montréal. In Part 3 of “What I Did on My Summer Vacation,” I was already referring to him as “mon beau prince aux cheveux longs” and “El Poema” after he said in response to my speaking about my late father, “Your father is still living in your eyes.”

October 28, 2007
Hot!Making a deal that’s a must with a Mexican…

November 12, 2007
I Laughed, I Cried” is a little raw and totally compromising. A lot like this retrospective, I looked back at more than a decade of e-mail messages I had sent and found that, indeed, I had changed a lot over time. While I laughed at the acidity of my prose, I wasn’t entirely proud of some of the things I had thought and written. At the same time, just like with this blog, how would I have remembered thinking those thoughts if I hadn’t written them down?

December 2007-22 February 2008
Puerto EscondidoMy posts for December 2007 were my countdown to Mexico, all the while knowing — but unable to blog about — how I intended to propose to El Poema, now Esposo. I was fully prepared to return to Halifax with a “No,” but that was the risk involved in my new m.o. of not accumulating regrets.

But as you know, he said “Yes.” And in “Days of Engagement,” I reflected on how this was the climax of two years of change for me — from a struggling Web developer and bachelor to a steadily employed guy married to a most wonderful man who hails from Mexico City. And although we initially planned on marrying in May in Montréal, we ended up doing so on 22 February in Halifax.

13 March 2008
My late father came to visit me on the exact anniversary of his death.

April-June 2008
April 2008 was the month of the move to Montréal …AT LAST! While the actual move went smoothly thanks to Cleopatrick‘s help, settling in and officially becoming a resident turned out to be a major trial. But by the end of May, upon writing “This City They Call Sin City,” I knew that I had moved precisely where I was supposed to at this time, even though I had not yet seen the worst part of Québec bureaucracy.

And that takes us to just about now, when I’m going to Spanish classes two nights a week and, generally, just working my tail off, with my esposo guapo still in Mexico City, but only for now…

{2} Thoughts on “Looking Back, aMMusingly (Again)

  1. I love that photo of Steph and Yoshi! Tif has another brother now named Cheeko who he loves picking on. We miss you too Maurice. It’s just strange having holidays like Thanksgiving without you. BTW, Connie is still here and you’re welcome to join us…if you leave right now.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. Nice new digs for your blog, there, Maurice! I write with potentially good news: there is a chance I’ll be in Montreal on the weekend of Nov. 7-9. I’m down in Boston right now on a research fellowship and will be in the area until the end of November. The fellowship plus a conference will keep me busy for most of that, but some good friends from grad school have been working on me to come up and visit. The plan is tentative right because I’m applying for jobs, etc, and that always has the potential to throw a monkey wrench into things. But it would be great to get back to Montreal. And little did I know that I actually know so many people in Montreal! Perhaps, if everything works out, we can catch up?

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