“Douglas,” our chipper wee friend of a Christmas tree, sits discarded in the backyard. Having completely missed the free tree chipping the second weekend in January, we have no idea what to do with it.
I only remembered the tree at all when the snow thawed last Friday.
“Oh yeah,” I remarked to BoyRoommatefriend, “The tree.”
It looks so pathetic hunkered there in the corner of the yard, tilted sideways against the grass like a tourist who fell asleep on the beach.
The suggestion was made to cut it up into tiny pieces and squeeze it into the compost, but somehow the sheer brutality of such a feat made me wince.
This is the first time I’ve ever had my own Christmas tree to deal with. In years past, it was either the tree at my parents’ house, or we simply never had a tree.
Do we just leave it there in the corner of the yard until it decomposes into nothing, returning once more to the sodden earth from whence it came? How long till the needles fall from it, leaving bare skeletal remains? Will a forensic anthropologist, like television’s Bones, do a post-mortem, and point a wavering finger in my direction whilst snarling an hollow-but-accustatory: “You….” Will I forever be deemed incapable of harbouring any responsibility whatsoever?
Maybe the tree will stick it out until next Christmas. That would save us a quick $23.
As I’m sure anyone who knows me is well-aware, I was a Batkid.
Now firmly established in the realm of adulthood, I feel some vindication in knowing that the world has reached a general global consensus in acknowledging the truth: Batman is the Coolest Superhero.
Sure, he might not be your favourite (for whatever godforsaken reason), but all must bow to the fact that he is indeed The Coolest.
Batman has become an eternal symbol of cool. Just like leather jackets. And jazz. And smoking. And the Sixties. And smashing glasses of whiskey in fireplaces.
Perhaps in a vain attempt to siphon off some of this cool, Boy Roommate and I decided to watch The Dark Knight.
This led to a debate regarding the live-action Batman franchise(s).
No, not “who is the better Batman.” That debate is so *ahem* riddled with subjectivity as to render it moot and headache-inducing. (And not to mention frankly quite childish.)*
No. The debate was over Who is the Better Joker.
I was champion of the Heath Ledger Camp. Boy Roommate championed Team Jack Nicholson.**
It kind of went like this:
“Come on, he won an Oscar!”
“Only because it was posthumous!”
“But he was so AMAZING.”
“But it’s JACK. NICHOLSON.”
“I think we need to accept that it’s just two different styles of movie. Two completely different Gothams. Two completely different Jokers.”
“Right. Agree to disagree.”
“Okay.” Long Pause. “But you know I’m right.”
“This is going to be our Ship of Theseus argument all over again, isn’t it?”
This needed to be settled.
The next day, I ventured to the HMV downtown where I succumbed to the sweltering heat of triumph at finding four Batman movies for ten dollars. (From the first Tim Burton one through to that crap with George Clooney I’m going to pretend never existed.)
That evening, we watched Jack Nicholson do his thing.
Neither opinion was swayed. If anything, opinions were only reinforced.
We agreed to disagree. Again.
Tensions were still high.
So the other night, we decided to watch the original. That’s right: Batman: The Movie. From the automatically cool year 1966.
Also, the way its subtitle so proudly claims itself to be The Movie does seem rather definitive.
And this brought another Joker into the mix. Cesar Romero.
Okay, so The Joker stands out the least of all the villains in this film. The Penguin is the mastermind, Catwoman spends a lot of time trying to seduce Bruce Wayne, and The Riddler just minces around being awesome in his lavender cummerbund.
But, but, but.
You can see his moustache underneath his white makeup!
Game. Set. Match.
*Irony. Obvs. Everyone knows Michael Keaton is the best Batman.
**I posited this question to Dad and he responded with “Heath Ledger, DUH!” But, to be fair, Dad loves Heath Ledger in a way that’s a little worrisome. A Knight’s Tale is his favourite movie; he owns it on DVD but it was still his first Bluray purchase. After Heath’s death, my sister and I had a troubled phone call over who would break the news to our father. Dad also loves anything Batman, so, to him, The Joker combined with Heath Ledger is perhaps the single greatest feat of the performing arts.
So this past week has been spent moving. As of today, we officially rent the entire sweet lil’ house of ours just off Fraser St. I now live with five other roommates: Dr. Roommate, Claire, Lorna, Jessica, and Gregg (the Y-Chromosome).
I’m going to let this post serve as a very brief introduction to The Commune: a mere footnote in the traveller’s guide to our lives, if you will.
The cast of characters will be introduced in more depth shortly, and I will add more photos documenting our adventure.
But for now, let’s get a sneak peek:
Athos, the eight-year-old goldfish. He is either immortal or a very clever zombie.
With rooms called “The Closet,” “The Hub,” and “The Bordello,” naturally a shuttle bus arrives hourly to take us between them all.
If you’re in Vancouver right now, you know how ass-bitingly cold it is at the moment. And I don’t mean the normal Canadian cold, I mean “-8 and we start panicking and lining the walls of bedrooms with extra blankets because this is Vancouver and we are wusses” cold.
But we bundle up because, you know, we’re not stupid.
Last night, I kind of half-assed it, because… well, Vancouverites, especially myself, are not your average Canadians.*
We can only try really, really hard to look the part.
I wore a touque that kind of looked like this, only with giant maple leafs everywhere:
Unfortunately, I had lost my snowman-adorned, mother-purchased mittens earlier that day, so my little handsies were tucked into the sweatshirt.
This was truly a shame, as the mittens would have taken the attention away from my strikingly fashionable Vancouver Canucks pajama pants sweatpants. Before we ventured out, I actually ran them by the jogging commitee to see if they could indeed pass as sweatpants.
I was told by Dr. Roommate: “They look fine, but I’ll know.”
Where were my actual sweatpants, you may ask?
Now I could make up some story involving earthquakes and zombie plagues and cougar attacks and ninja-star-wielding hitmen whose powers combined somehow prevented me from doing my laundry, but the truth is… I simply don’t know what happened to my sweatpants.
Anyway, to make it worse, it was really, really cold and I was getting that irritating little breeze blowing up the cuffs of the pajama sweatpants.
So I did what any rational person would do.
I tucked them into my socks.
It looked amazing, kinda like this awesome person:
I’m not really sure what elaborate conclusion one can draw from this other than to serve as a future footnote on my psych ward application. Perhaps I was rocking the fur trapper look? A little courer de bois for the 21st century?
However, there was the possibility that I might have looked kind of drunk. Thus, with the overabundance of maple leafs on my ensemble, one could assume I was simply celebrating the Olympic anniversary.
No. I think I’d rather go with “Hobo.”
*I’ve never skiied; I remember nearly killing someone the only time I tried snowboarding (and then spent the rest of the day drinking hot chocolate in the lodge); and I went snowshoeing once in Girl Guides. I remember badly needing to pee the entire time.
Following the abrasively shocking revelations of last Sunday’s hair dye debacle, Dr. Roommate and I endeavoured to act like real grown-ups this weekend.
As Sunday night closed in, the adventure was deemed “successful,” as though we might be able to tick off a small box on a to-do list.
We both had work ahead of us: Dr. Roommate studying to do things like curing hideous diseases and solving the never-ending mysteries of the human brain; me to write my quota of 8000 words about space pirates. There is no room for social lives with tasks as mighty as these.
The living room was refashioned into a den of ADULTHOOD: stacks of books, desk lamps, laptops surrounding us! Making us feel Important!
The jigsaw puzzle remained on the kitchen table, but, come on, small victories.
This is how it broke down:
Adult Point Tally, Saturday:
Waking before 10 am: +1
In bed well after 2 am: -1
Dinner of sushi, not Subway: +1
Wearing sweat pants all day: -1
Bathing after noon: -1
Bathing before dark: +1
Watching Inception just for the man-candy: … this was going to be a minus, but come on… that’s amazing man-candy. It knows no maturity level.
Completing writing quota for the entire weekend (all 8000 words): +5
Writing about space pirates: -4
Watched all five hours of BBC version of Pride and Prejudice as background movie: nil**
Adult Point Tally, Sunday:
Up after 10 am: -1
Wore real pants for more than four hours: +1
Bathed after noon: -1
But waited until after I went for a run with Dr. Roommate, so yeah, bonus points for exercise: +2
It was sunny: +1
Left life-affirming voice-memo to self, “Sunshine and exercise are your friends”: +1
Switched from coffee before I got the caffeine jitters: +1
It was Coke that I switched to: -1
But Coke Zero!: +1
Still not watching Ghost World so I can give it back to person I borrowed it from over a week ago: -1
Did a pre-emptive load of laundry, out of responsibility, not necessity: +1
It’s still sitting in the washing machine: -1
Did all the grocery shopping, which was mostly fruits and vegetables: +1
And nothing from a can or jar: +1
Made dinner… from a jar: -1
Also, grilled cheese for lunch: -1
Read a whole Archie comic just for fun: -1
Watched RocknRolla for the man-candy: -1
Wrote another 5000 words past my previously set quota: +4
Still about space pirates: -3
Celebrated the fact that the noisy upstairs neighbours and their loud children have vacated the premises: nil**
That’s three more victory points to add to my never-ending quest to become a grown-up. Not bad. I think I deserve an A for effort. I really tried. It was hard.
*I realize it is not that easy, and I will be back to eating grilled cheese off paper plates shaped like zoo animals soon enough.
**not really factored in, but worthy of mention.
Monday: Back at zero after having a dinner composed of watermelon and Cheerios.