Friday, February 6, 2004: Today I begin noting the occurences of my life, in all their daily monotony. Friday. Spent all day walking around with Peru and Doser, acquiring various objects, looking for a Naruto comic book for Jeremy's birthday. Doser and I got a smallish bottle of five star and started drinking early for the night's festivities, while Peru sipped his Bailey's, I also partook of that flavourful beverage. Eventually Doser went home and Peru and I went to visit Iris at her place of work, which was completely empty..I would like to have her job I think; the solitude would be appreciated. She came to look for Naruto at a suggested comic book store, they didn't end up having it either, so Peru and I bought Jer some weed (kind of a lame last minute present, but it was the thought that counted, maybe). Sat around for a long while by myself, reading a book about Modal Logic, which is difficult for me, but interesting. Eventually I went up to Jeremy's house for the festivities. He was still at work so Doser, Peru, Matt and I sat around hanging about, smoking weed and let the various guests in as they arrived. Jeremy then had a birthday party, which was small, drunken, drugged and funny. Attendees include Rob, James P, Matt, Peru, Iris, myself, Eleanor, Jeremy, Doser, Sean...sausage laden, but fun nevertheless. Afterwards Sean, Doser and myself went to a party across the street in the sweatshop building..not terribly exciting, I think it was petering out when we got there (around 330 ish) but, after having consumed some not unimpressive quantities of beer and weed, it was a welcome source of further late night beer..at 3 dollars a glass which was alright. Danced, dissed the DJ while standing directly beside his girlfriend, etc. Got home around 5 or 530, incoherently and uncomfortably sotten. C'est la vie. Read Thucydides some before falling asleep.
Saturday, February 7, 2004: Today I woke up around one o'clock, Doser asleep after our encounter with 1 liter cans of Faxe, terrible ten percent beer, and about 4 liters of other alcohols, each. Disgusting feeling today: I was more hungover than I've been almost any other time..I'm sure it was that Faxe. I knew it would be sick, yet I got it anyway. That's how I do things I suppose. Tonight was, among other things, ridiculous. So after a full day of slogging through modal logic and a million articles on Causality (David Lewis, Jaegwon Kim, Michael Tooley, Ernest Sosa, a few others) and being hung over I went to, quelle suprise, another party. This time at Doser's. Ostensibly, this party was a pot luck. I say ostensibly because only three of us other than Doser brought food, which I had predicted as Doser only told anyone it was a potluck the day of the affair. Nevertheless, Jeremy and I rocked it pretty nicely: he brought two shrimp rings (funny that he loves shrimp rings...) and this malt whisky smoked or soaked cheddar, which was excellent. I brought more cheese: a really buttery brie that was quite good and a bit of Saint Agur, which is about the only blue cheese I really like. I also brought bread, obviously. Sean also brought a Triple Chill Cake, which sounds ghetto (and is) but is nevertheless quite delicious. The party was attended by a number of people I didn't know, as well as the usual cast of characters. After being so hung over, I didn't buy any liquor and relied upon weed as a social lubricant. Myself, Matt and Jeremy smoked four or five quite large joints and chilled on some couches and watched the semi-ridiculous events of the party unfold. Basically, there was our contingent, a bunch of ridiculous and drunken punk rock guys (who were nice, but over-loud) and (here is the 'funny' part) a gaggle of coke and K laden girls going crazy and bouncing off the walls. It was odd for such a small party to see that kind of action, they were doing bumps of coke and K all night and just kept getting more and more insane. It was really funny, though at times uncomfortable. But I would say the hilarity outweighed the discomfort by at least a factor of three. Went home in a cab with Jeremy, Matt and Sean. Read a bunch of stuff before I could sleep: Sherlock Holmes stories (3 or 4), some Thucydides, some Leo Strauss (a tiny bit), a couple pages of Being and Time, and a bit of the Kafka diaries (which are interesting and satisfying).
Sunday, February 8, 2004: Another slow day, with no accompanying party or drunkenness. Went out to brunch with Jer at a new place (La Croissanterie, bad name good place). I got a quite-good chicken, goat cheese, avocado sandwich (I was in a sandwich mood) and a vanilla milkshake. Jer got a tofu burger, which looked good and was, upon closer gustatory inspection, as well as an orange juice and two alangers (I'm not putting accents in because I'm not sure how to spell the word, coffee not being my strong suit). The place was quite art-decoed out, in a non-shitty way, and it was funny hearing all the various conversations around us, as they all pertained to the art world in some way or another. Oddly enough, Jer and I talked at length about some various art crap, specifically his class at NSCAD a long time ago regarding various artist's cosmologies. Various interesting asides, went to Boite Noir afterwards and Jer got Ichi the Killer and The Tale of Zatoichi the Blind Swordsman (the first movie in the lengthy series). We went back to Jer's and Peru and Matt came over to watch said movies. We smoked a large joint and tried to watch Ichi the Killer, which was too much gore and torture for our hazy minds, so we switched to Zatoichi, which was great. A lot of odd little interludes with massages and fishing, which I quite liked, good and quick swordsmanship as well. Zatoichi looked almost eastern european or maybe Spanish, odd. Came back home, talked to Sara on the phone a few times. Again, spent a fair bit of time reading: reread the David Lewis article "Causation" (I might write a little synopsis paper about it), read a bunch of Sherlock Holmes, some Thucydides, some articles on Emotions, some Kafka again, a bit of Marcus Aurelius' Meditations which is uplifiting though worrisome at certain points (I can't believe I just said uplifting). Some other bits and pieces of the Modal Logic book, and some other miscellany that has slipped my mind. Uneventful evening, ate the rest of the brown rice with some piri-piri and butter, surprisingly good!
Monday, February 9, 2004: Quite lazy today. Woke up around one, as per usual, read some Sherlock Holmes in bed, read Jaegwon Kim's response to Lewis, read some of David Lewis' Counterfactuals, seems like he gets into a bit more depth about the comparative similarity between possible worlds, though I don't understand the depth yet. Went to Latina and got some groceries (Mango and Orange yogurt, a bit of goat cheese, some portobello mushrooms, a little bottle of those marinated roasted peppers, some orange juice, some tortellinis, a few of those good burritos) stopped at the Italian bakery on the way back and got some big round rolls to make some mushroom burgers with. They turned out good, with lots of that cheese and a big one of those roasted peppers and some garlic butter. I shouldn't say they, I only ate one. Called my Mom and asked her to order some flowers for Sara on Valentine's day. The card will say, "I profess my undying love". Suitably tragi-comic I'd say. Took notes on the David Lewis article (for so short an article it seems to require a lot of effort on my part, probably due to my aversion to the stodginess of much of this causality stuff, despite the fact that I'm interested in it). Earlier today I read and edited Christian's paper on the role of history in Cicero's attack on divination. I was surprised at how well written it was, as Christian does not write papers often at all. Only a few minor corrections here and there, and some stylistic suggestions. Watched the Simpsons (Arthur Fortune episode) and That Seventies Show (a good episode), and then decided to begin writing down the events, however paltry, of my life.
Tuesday, February 10, 2004: Woke up late-ish (12:30-1), read a little before going to class. On Tuesdays I have two classes, first (at 3:30 to 5:45) I have Wittgenstein and Wittgensteinians on Religion, taught by Kai Nielsen. This class is interesting, though sometimes a little dull, as Nielsen repeats himself often, though with variation. The problem is that we discuss G.E. Moore at too much length and too often. Though we are reading Wittgenstein's On Certainty, which deals with Moore quite directly, it seems as though the most interesting bits of the text are glossed over in favour of repeated simplifications and nods in the direction of Moore's 'proof' for the existence of the world. Not that I'm upset, as there are quite a number of interesting things said, but we haven't begun to deal with Wittgenstein's ostensibly 'religious' point of view in nearly enough detail for the second month of the class. Nevertheless. The second class I have (6:00 to 8:15, same room) is Virtue Theory with Sheila Mason. I took a class with her last semester which was extremely interesting to me (the class was also on Virtue Theory), and I wrote some papers in that class which were, it seems to me, some of my best. So, this semester, I decided to do a sort of independent study class with Dr. Mason, though under the larger aegis of a class on the calendar. This has been going well, as I get to mesh my various interests together. For instance, the paper I wrote for this class already was about Martha Nussbaum's work on philosophy and literature and Vladimir Nabokov's Pale Fire. I haven't really been able to do much literary stuff since I started going to Concordia, and it is refreshing (though difficult) to think semi-rigorously about art and literature again. This class itself is usually interesting, though somewhat repetitive for me (as I took the virtue ethics seminar last semester). The presentations all use literature for examples, which is nice, and a girl in the class lent me a copy of Camus' The Outsider after it was illustrated that I'm the only one in the class that hasn't read it. The girl who lent it to me is very nice, though it is too bad that she continually brings up para-psychology in the Wittgenstein class, really too bad (for her). After class, I went over to Reggie's (the campus bar) to see if anyone was there. Cecilie, Nick and a fellow named Dave were there, drinking and talking about how to read supposedly confidential letters of recommendation, which was enlightening. After a number of beers, Dave and I started talking about 'philosophy' (which is always funny to do, in earnest): we talked about the political aspects of deconstruction, Dave taking the Rortian position that there is no political angle and me pushing the Specters of Marx line and saying that deconstruction needn't be political but that it can be. As I got drunker I pushed a more Foucauldian line and argued that anti-essentialism (or non-essentialism, better) is itself a political move, but we both agreed that such a definition of the political is a little too broad. I kept thinking about Schmitt's friend-enemy distinction and how I still think that politics should have a broader scope than that, though I'm not as sophisticated as to be able to illustrate clearly why that is so (Derrida does it well in Specters of Marx. Dave left and Nick, Cecilie and I decided to go to another bar, despite the fact (or because of it...) that we were already quite saucy. We ended up at some ghetto ass bar, Bar des Pins I believe, and we drank a fair bit more there, something like four pitchers. Cecilie ordered potato chips, which led to a conversation about English bars (pubs) which led, further, to Cecilie and Nick regaling me with tales of the mysterious world-out-there... It was good, I genuinely enjoy listening to stories about people's travels, as I have travelled very little in my life and want to do so often and lengthily... Perhaps sooner rather than later. I walked home, it took about 20 minutes, maybe longer, and as is my habit when alone and drunk my thoughts turned to stealing. I ended up at home with a green bin, for which we have a temporary use, and ended up laughing my ass of at the fact that I stole a green bin without even noticing it. Ridiculous. Matt was awake and we talked about some bullshit, which I only vaguely recall, and I went to bed after reading a little, I can't remember what but I'll say Kafka's diaries, which seems plausible.
Wednesday, February 11, 2004: Today was another lazy day, though I did produce some tangible work. I finally wrote up the notes on Lewis and turned them into a paper. It was somewhat amusing insofar as I got to use logical symbols in the paper (the square and arrow combination for "counterfactually depends upon" is particularly delightful), though it was otherwise unexciting. I did feel satisfied that I understood the text clearly and presented it fairly clearly, satisfied because Lewis is pretty far afield from my usual philosophical interests, and quite difficult for me to read easily. I can't really recall how I spent the rest of the day, as it is Saturday when I write this. I of course talked to Sara on the phone, and I'm beginning to miss her quite a bit, not that I already didn't, but that it is coming more to the fore lately, for whatever reason. I also assume I read something at night, probably something unrelated to Causality or Lewis entirely, though I'm not certain.
Thursday, February 12, 2004: Matt was still sick, so I used his metro pass to get to school. Jeremy, who skipped work due to his being sick, came with me on the metro as he was going to James' house to scan a drawing for an art show in Tokyo (incidentally, the drawing reminded me very much of Jer's old style, which I like; I hope when he does the big war painting that it is a semi-hybrid of that style and his newer stuff). Class (Causation with Dr. Andrew Wayne) was a mixed blessing, we kept running into interesting issues, but Dr. Wayne would sideline them in favour of a determined list of topics he wanted to address. Though I can understand his reasons, it seems rather absurd to so rigidly separate one subject area from another, when the problems of one are clearly problems for another. I also made a ridiculous terminological blunder (between realism and anti-realism about causation) for which I was censured and, surprisingly, I felt somewhat embarassed. It isn't often that I feel embarassed (not that I'm especially sure of myself, just that I tend to find my mistakes funny: they don't make me feel like an idiot or a 'bad person'..). I'm not sure why I felt so bad about such a stupid mistake, but the rest of the class was filled with disinterest for me after that: I started to be over-critical and I kept thinking how little of the stuff we learn in that class applies to the career I might potentially have and how little is my serious interest in it. Nevertheless, Dr. Wayne is good at what he does, and presents the material clearly (though today might have been a little less clear than usual). When I left to go home, I worried about my paper, that it might have been wrong on some key issues, but on reflection I'm not so sure this is the case.
Friday, February 13 2004: Today was notable. Most of the day I whiled away (woke up at 2), I read some of the Camus book, I'm not sure how I feel (still even after I've finished it..). It has its good and its bad points, though it does seem to me that a lot of the work is subordinated to an obvious and unsubtle existentialism, but that is just my prejudice against that kind of view filtering through my reading. Some of the sentences are nice, and I do like the main character, it just seems schematized in the way that Nabokov thought a lot of moralizing writers schematize until they miss the tingle of aesthetic bliss (whatever that might be...). After sitting around, and doing whatever it is I did all day, Sean showed up at the door with a friend of his from Ottawa (Simon was his name). He asked if I wanted to go get a beer, I accepted (being bored), while Matt declined (being sick). We went down the street to Dieu du Ciel, which they had been to earlier for quality beer at eleven dollars a pitcher. When we got there it was packed, we had to sit at the uncomfortable bar, and the pitchers ended up being $14.50 after a certain time. So, after the first pitcher we left and got some forties (Forties of 50-- up ten notches!) and went to Sean's studio underneath the art store where he and Peru work. It was spacious and comfortable...Sean was on the computer doing some miscellany, so Simon and I talked, as I hadn't met him before. After discussing History at length (he is a history student and interested in the sort of history I like, i.e., stuff about Eurasia and the middle ages, Slavs and also British Imperialism, Greek and Roman history, etc., it became clearer and clearer how right wing Simon was. I was surprised, as the university culture tends, for the most part, to breed facile leftists (which I am constantly in danger of becoming, unfortunately). We argued back and forth for a good few hours, surprisingly, and then I got tired of arguing (which usually happens much quicker) and I decided to just see how far his beliefs went, and instead of arguing we just talked about his thoughts on various issues. It was really surprising for me to meet a person who thinks that the American government is a perfect model for the world, that there is nothing wrong with the state of capitalism and that sweat shops and colonialism are not problematic. Despite his politics, or maybe because of them, I can't be sure, Simon was congenial sort of fellow and we drank another forty at the studio (I got a 6.9% one this time...which may or may not have been a mistake). Sean's ex-girlfriend (Nataile) arrived later on, which was funny because Sean had pretended to be out of town in the south (Santo Domingo, etc.) for a few weeks to avoid her, and others, though I think it was more a need to chill on his part than a hatred or dislike of her or the others, as they both got along fine. I met Natalie once before, but never talked to her much, she seems nice, we talked about her job (she works in a group home sort of set up for schizophrenics) which sounded interesting and something I could never do.. After getting suitably drunk, we went to a bar called the Jupiter Room at like 1 or 2 or so, I'm not really sure as I had no watch or interest in the time for that matter. Simon left and the three of us went up the stairs and they were playing that song "Here in my Car" by Gary Numan (sp?) which I am decidedly in favour of. It was eighties night, and they played some good jams, though no Soft Cell (quelle dommage pour moi). Natalie kept buying me vodka and cranberry, as they had no interac and I had no cash. I must have had like 6 of them before I went to the bank and got more money, then I must have had a few more at least, but they were more expensive for me as it was Ladies' Night, which I learned rather too late. After dancing for quite a while and spilling quite a bit of vodka on everything near me, I thought it best to go home, and I left by myself. Apparently, Sean and Natalie were out til around six or seven, so I'm glad I left when I did (around three) or I would have been drunk and broke. Well more drunk and more broke. I collected a few idiotic items in my drunken stealing mode: a bunch of band-aids (which could prove useful), a huge bag of elastics, and a paper with about 1,000 names on it, all of which are crossed out. This is my life, and I'm losing it one day at a time.