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Just when you need to listen to Francoise Hardy on your way home, your iPod’s battery is fucking up.

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twelve hours in pratt an the return of the ttc mc

i got to the e.j.pratt library at about 10:00 am, as stated earlier it is probably the most aesthetic library on campus (next to gerstein) — for one thing, you actually get natural light coming in, as opposed to sitting in a fluorescent atmosphere that resembles a fort more than it does a library (although pratt looks like a pillbox from the outside)

i ended up catching up on homework (and i’m still not anywhere near done) till 10:00 pm, leaving the library twice — first to get that water english toffee and crappy boston cream then later to grab a sandwich from subway

so sometime later (after 10:00 pm) i enter the subway and i’m going eastbound — at yonge these rowdy black kids come in to the car (four rowdy girls and one laid-back guy)

from yonge to victoria park (when they sat down) the girls were jumping around and disrupting people, being ostentatious, singing songs (ashanti) and dancing … one girl went to the front of the car and did her beyonce impression as she walked forward

people got up and moved away from them, some people smiled and were kind of enjoying it

finally at warden station i got up and went up to them and told them that (apologizing to the crowd for the upcoming profanity), when i asked them a question they ought to say “they schools don’t teach us shit”

then i asked them “why haven’t you learned anything?”
and they more-or-less replied “they schools don’t teach us shit”
(that’s from a dead prez song)

i then asked them if they knew who malcolm x is and they responded loudly in the affirmative

i then asked them if they knew that forty years ago malcolm x was shot dead

that quieted them down, and i said, that’s right — they schools don’t teach you shit

that’s when a man came up to me and shook my hand and so did one of the girls
i asked if they knew who the dead prez are, and two of the girls said no — but the guy and a girl said yes so i gave them props for that

i then told them to listen to mc nomes, captain nomes, to me:

you put down virtue and you promote vice
then you turn around and say you’re for the passion of the christ
i don’t give a **** about the qur’an or the bible
as far as i’m concerned it’s the fittest who see survival
but drinking, smoking pot and shooting shit in your veins
that ain’t survival of any kind you’re just ****ing your brains
but the corporations love it ’cause they’re making big profit
and your mind is so gone it’s easier keeping you down in shit
and all the while you light up thinking you’re so revolutionary
but you’re just a dumb **** and you’re slowing the evolutionary process….

i ended off telling them to stay away from drugs, to stay in school and get an education because brother malcolm said “without education, you’re not going anywhere in this world” and that’s about when the train got to kennedy

i did all that without being patronizing or condescending, and at the end i got respect from the guy and the girls, and all those people who were at first put off by the rowdiness of the girls seemed to have gained some kind of awe for/wonderment about me (i was quiet the whole time until the train got to warden)

that’s what i would mark as the return of the ttc mc, and i think i’m going to look forward to doing more of it…

(the above entry is disjointed and lacking lucidity because i’m tired from over twelve hours of studying on little sleep)

and speaking of the subway, here’s today’s daily dose of sanjeyan:

ksnite says:
today, i was in the subway
nomes says:
how was it
ksnite says:
kinda tubey

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my life seems to revolve around uncanny coincidences

for example, in april of 2004, i happened to perform house of pain’s “jump around” in the subway — and this was caught on video (a reminder: i wasn’t drunk — i don’t drink)

in the video, barely visible at the very back of the car (which was actually the front of the car, but nevermind) and to the right, sitting by herself, is a lone girl
when she got on the train she seemed slightly down, but my rapping lifted her spirits, and by the time she got off she was smiling

also, there’s this oriental guy, sitting next to a girl (his girlfriend) — almost right in front of me — and he’s rapping along with me (he was drunk)

later, sometime in may, i met the guy in front of the popeye’s at markville (mccowan and hwy 7) … he’s in ryerson, industrial engineering, not stating his name because i forgot it

later, sometime in june, i started working at toronto parks and recreation as a camp leader… the girl in the back (front) of the car turned out to be marie, who was also a leader at the camp

[at this rate, i wouldn't be surprised if i'd run into other people from that car at other places, but had failed to recognize them]

anyway, there seem to be a lot of uncanny coincidences in my life
(and yes, this example is nearing a year-old, but the more recent ones that actually inspired this post would take much longer to explain and i’m lazy)

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the viaduct

Near where I live there’s a viaduct,
Where people jump when they’re out of luck,
Raining down on the cars and trucks below.

They’ve put a net there to catch their fall,
Like that’ll stop anyone at all,
What they don’t know is when nature calls, you go.

when you take the eastern half of the bloor-danforth line subway for the first time (presumably to the university of toronto), and pass on the underside of the bloor street viaduct over bayview avenue (on its west side) and the don valley parkway (at the east) and the rosedale ravine, there’s something that makes you gaze in awe and wonder at the sight over a hundred feet below you

it’s not the same kind of awe that you feel when you’re standing over a thousand feet above the ground in the cn tower, the viaduct is much more intimate — there, nature is situated side-by-side with the work of humans as you travel over a feat of engineering — there’s an almost primal draw from the ground below you

over time, you learn to suppress the wonder and bury your nose in your book or your thoughts as you pass over the viaduct, but every once in a while it calls to you and you turn your attention to it

on thursday night, i took the subway home from the university, as i’ve done hundreds of times before
this time i decided to stop at castle frank and walk across the bloor street viaduct, to broadview

when i exited castle frank station and was crossing a street to the viaduct a homeless man was also crossing the street from the other side and was asking motorists for some change

after crossing the street i noticed a park with a concrete circular seating arrangement, trees, and carefully tended pink flowers — the park was strewn with garbage as well, the concrete seat spray-painted with useless graffiti

as i approached the bridge i noticed a sign that said “distress centre” and had a number and a guarantee that they listen twenty-four hours a day, beneath the sign was a telephone booth (ironically the number they gave wasn’t toll free) — across the street was a similar sign and phone booth

once i started walking across the bridge, i noticed the barrier they had put up to prevent people from jumping, steel rods spaced close to each other so that they would prevent most people from slipping through … i also noticed that if someone truly wanted to circumvent the barrier and plummet to their death it wasn’t difficult

it’s easiest at the east side of the viaduct, because the don valley parkway is close to the end of the bridge (on the west side, bayview is a bit further from the end of the bridge) … it is at the end of the bridge that you can climb onto the stone and get around the barrier and holding onto the steel rods inch your way across until you’re above the don valley parkway, and then let go

you could do the same with bayview but, as i said, it’s further away from the end of the bridge

after walking the half kilometre, i reached broadview — there was a pizza pizza there and i purchased a slice

then i went home

They say that Jesus and mental health
Are just for those who can help themselves,
But what good is that when you live in hell on earth?

And the very fear that makes you want to die,
Is just the same as what keeps you alive.
It’s way more trouble than some suicide is worth.

Won’t it be dull
When we rid ourselves of all these demons haunting us
To keep us company?

Won’t it be odd
To be happy like we always thought we’re supposed to feel
But never seem to be?

- “War on Drugs,” Barenaked Ladies

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late for class …

i saw the train approach on the other set of tracks, on the other side of the platform, going the other way

i was disappointed that the train i was waiting for wasn’t there

but i wasn’t quite sure if my disappointment was that of an artist’s — the train’s absence upset the fragile symmetry of the station, or that of a student’s — i was running late

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ttc mc

on the subway ride home last night from school some of us decided that it would be fun to bring some entertainment to the crowd

we got in and sang some songs

then we did a stand-up type of comedy routine

in the last leg of the journey, from warden to kennedy, i rapped — once again, house of pain’s jump around (because it’s essentially the only rap song i know in its entirety)

props to josh for doing the singing and the comedy, and thanks to kevin for filming it (i didn’t know until later that he was filming it)

(you need quicktime, the videos are about ten megs each so it’ll take some time to load — right click and saving is probably the best way to go about it)
video 1
video 2

no, i wasn’t drunk

i don’t drink (but i did drink a lot of canada dry ginger ale that day, maybe there’s something in it)

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message sent to physics department:

Dear Professor Keys (sic.),

I only now realized an incredible conflict of interest pertaining to the date of the Physics Test.

Unfortunately, the TTC’s 50th anniversary celebrations of Canada’s first Subway line also fall on March 30th.

For those of us who believe fervently — even fanatically — in Public Transit and the TTC, this is virtually a religious conflict.

On March 30th, us believers will firstly gather at the SAC office to purchase our April Metropasses.
We will then indugle in a night-time remembrance of the sacred Red Cars that, though produced in Great Britian, still reflected Canada’s … redness (in a non-communist way), through poetry and physics recitals and, of course, singing the famed TTC Subway Song.
We will then hike — above ground — from Union Station to Eglinton Station to remember the trials and tribulations that faced the people of Toronto before we were graced with the Subway.
We will then take the Subway from Eglinton to Yonge Station, and go west to St. George Station to initiate the final rite: Starting from Bloor and St. George we will take the Subway to Kipling, then go to Kennedy. From there we will back track to St. George, and go north to Downsview. Then, we will go south, do the loop (well, a U-turn, or whatever you want to call it) and go north to Finch. Then south to Sheppard, go east to Don Mills, come back to the Yonge line and come south to the Bloor line and back to St. George.

I realize that this is very short notice, but on behalf of all us Public Transit believers, I request that the test be postponed, rescheduled for another date. (Yes, we know one test is droppable, but we hope to drop one of our earlier tests due to our dismal performances there.)

(Or you could at least announce to the Physics class that March 30th also marks the 50th anniversay of the Subway, and the TTC’s official celebrations are being held at 10:30 am at Union Station.)

Thank you for your time and consideration.

“captain nomes”
Noaman Ali

reply from physics department:

Dear Noaman,

I have read with much interest your urgent request and regret to inform you that it cannot be granted. According to the Interfaith Calendar (, worship of public transit, whether of the TTC variety or of any other, is not a faith recognised by the University of Toronto. Furthermore, neither Professor Key nor I are keen to encourage fanaticism in any form whatsoever.

Let me assure you, however, that we are fervent supporters of public transit as an alternative to more private and wasteful means of transportation, such as the so-called sports utility vehicle.

May I suggest that the calm and studious ambiance of a test, so conducive to one’s contemplation of past sins and of the frailties of human nature, would make an ideal prelude to the boisterous revelry being planned for that evening.


Pierre Savaria
PHY138Y Course Coordinator

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a streetcar named lobo

the greatest thing happened this morning — afternoon actually — on the spadina streetcar

i was on my way to school (having missed my three morning lectures, i was going for a lab) and i was standing near the doors of the streetcar because i get off soon, and there were a bunch of china-folk sitting in the back

one of them had a guitar, and they just start strumming along — and i’m thinking hey i know that song

then they start singing, and it’s a song that relatively few people know about so i was amazed that they knew it

and i felt like letting loose and singing, but i was short on sleep and i couldn’t remember the lyrics properly

so i just start singing to myself instead of going loud, but the people around me were looking at me like the fool that i am

but then unfortunately i had to get off the streetcar because my lab was about to start and my stop was there

i wish i didn’t have the lab then, i’d gladly cut about any other class to join a bunch of chinese young adults with a guitar

lobo – i’d love you to want me

when i saw you standing there
about fell off my chair
and when you moved your mouth to speak
i felt the blood go to my feet

now it took time for me to know
what you tried so not to show
something in my soul just cried
i see the want in your blue eyes

baby, i’d love you to want me
the way i that i want you
the way that it should be
baby, you’d love me to want you
the way that i want to
if you’d only let it be

you told yourself years ago
you’d never let your feelings show
the obligation that you made
for the title that they gave

baby, i’d love you to want me
the way i that i want you
the way that it should be
baby, you’d love me to want you
the way that i want to
if you’d only let it be

it took time for me to know
what you tried so not to show
now something in my soul just cried
i see the want in your blue eyes

baby, i’d love you to want me
the way i that i want you
the way that it should be
baby, you’d love me to want you
the way that i want to
if you’d only let it be

oh baby, i’d love you to want me
the way i that i want you
the way that it should be
baby, you’d love me to want you
the way that i want to
if you’d only let it be

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ttc, wherefore art thou?

going back a few days, i was going home with linda and sanjeyan
we — i, actually — decided to take the subway from museum station
i entered using a ttc token, but sanjeyan and linda flashed their student cards (from high school) and submitted student tickets
the ticket collector stopped them and asked “how’s university going for you?”
they said “oh it’s all right”
he confiscated their student cards … telling them they’re supposed to forfeit usage after graduation from high school


let this be a lesson to all who still use student cards despite having graduated — perhaps it’s time to switch to the metropass

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