Monday, December 31, 2001
So I'm away from the city for a week and the knobs are already making the news. Can't I turn my back for a second before you stick your thing in that socket?
Some business guy, who probably makes million-dollar decisions every day, decided that he didn't want to take the commuter train after all. The problem is that he made this decision about 30 seconds after the train took off from the station.
So this knob decides he's getting off this merry-go-round on rails anyway he can, so he makes his way between the cars and steps off onto the platform. Sounds like a simple little plan, doesn't it?
However, if you factor in the fact the train is in motion, the platform is covered in snow (therefore slippy and icy), and that this business knob got off the wrong side of the train, any garden-variety maroon would be able to tell you that he's pushing his luck.
There must be some kind of Superman complex involved when you're wearing an Armani suit (not that I'm bitter at all. No sir).
So back to our story. The reward for our train-hopper is that he gets to have his foot amputated. Oooooh... That's nasty. Why gods why? Why did he need to lose a foot?!? Why couldn't he lose something peripheral? Something he doesn't get alot of use of? Like his head, fer instance?
Oh now wait... I'm sounding overly bitter here. It's been a pretty good holiday, all things considered! So Happy New Year folks! Stay safe tonight and stay away from trains, planes, and automobiles! I want to be able to see you all safe and sound in 2002.
So raise a glass tonight and thanks the gods for all the friends and family that you have, even if they can't all be with you right now. Remember that you have changed the life of everyone you've met and we're all the better for it.
Yeah yeah... I just finished watching It's a Wonderful Life. I always get misty watching that flick.
Sunday, December 30, 2001
I'm back in Montreal again, home sweet home. I love traveling by train.
After hearing that tragic story about the elderly couple in the plateau getting burgled this past week, I started fearing for the safety of my own little fortress, but the pad showed no signs of disturbance. I'd hate to have to replace my priceless collection of velvet Elvis'.
Yes... I have hobbies!
Saturday, December 29, 2001
Quebec city has its own Irish pub! I discovered it yesterday while visiting the old city (it's beautiful at night) and I returned to listen to some fantastic fiddle and guitar music. Finally... a place where I can get a decent pint of Guinness in my hometown! The multiple pints I imbibed that night took the edge off of being at home for too long. I'll be heading back tomorrow morning.
I finished the family visits today (seeing the Aunties) and drove around town one last time. Although I toy with moving back to Quebec city once in awhile, I think that the reality is that my hometown is better visited than lived in. Still... it wouldn't be too bad to be closer to my parents and my nieces.
And then there are my Haligonian aspirations, but that's another story for another day.
Friday, December 28, 2001
It just stopped snowing in Quebec city yesterday, after having snowed non-stop since the 24th of December.
Christmas ain't Christmas unless everything is covered in the white fluffy stuff.
But I'm starting to get bored. I need to get back to Montreal, lickety-split.
Wednesday, December 26, 2001
Warning: Political rant approaching
I just caught a news clip on TV this morning. In a recent poll, over 55% of Montrealers now think that Bourque`s One Island, One City project is a good thing! Just a few months ago, over 60% of the people polled HATED the idea and were right pissed off about the fact that the ex-mayor (and his PQ posse riding up behind him with the rope) just pushed it through Parliment and made it a law.
So the people cried out, protested, waved their fists in anger, and nothing got done. So they all seethed and swore that come election time, the PQ would feel their wrath at being force-fed an obvious political manoeuvre to eliminate Anglo opposition to the Separatist movement.
Now 55% of them are following the shepherd like the moronic, short-attention spanned little lambs that they are. Baa! Baa! Baa! You know what happens to sheep when they put too much trust in the shephered?
They get shagged, that's what!
It's no wonder that the PQ is in power in Quebec. When it comes to choosing a responsible government, Quebeckers seem to suffer from Alzheimer's disease, forgetting everything that happened in the past that got them in the situation they're in now.
Quebec: How could you do this?! We never agreed to this plan! You betrayed us and... and.. ummm.... Excuse me? Who you are you again?
PQ (sing-songy voice): Why, we're your trusted friends, of course! Tra-la-la! Now if you'll just sign right here, and here, and here, and give us a drop of your blood and your first born child, we'll just take care of everything for you. That's it.... that's a good little lam-- er, I mean friend. Now I'll just pull the plug on this machine that's keeping you alive and we'll be on our way....
Quebec: What? Wait! You said you were my friend! I never said you could pull the plug!
PQ (normal voice): It's not us! It's Canada that's pulling your plug. They're... umm... making us do this. Yeah... that's it! If anything goes wrong, it's their fault. But if you manage to survive, make sure you tell your friends that the PQ is your Saviour. Best of luck!
Tuesday, December 25, 2001
We just exchanged gifties... I got my Dad a bottle of Grand Marinier (he was fresh out) and a bag for hauling wood from the woodpile to the new fireplace (my parents added a new solarium to the house). I got my Mum a pair of hand-made rice bowls (from the Craft Fair at Bonaventure) and a pretty pewter necklace (also hand-made). My sister is still in Ireland (she called yesterday), but she should be getting my gift in a few days (snail-post being what it is).
As for my Yule Loot, I got mostly clothing. Two sets of warm PJs, a house-coat, a sweat-shirt from Vancouver (my parents visited the Western provinces this year), and a cheque so I could buy myself a DVD player when I get back to Montreal! Yay!
I think my first DVD will be the Emperor's New Groove. Boom Baby! If you feel the need to shower me with gifts, please see my Wish List .
If the need for praise exceeds my expectations, I shall leave a basket outside my door for your convenience. The In basket will be the green one. The Out basket will the red one. The Out basket will contain the gifts that did not meet my exacting standards of excellence (and yes, bags of white socks are still considered unworthy). Forage at your own risk.
That will be all. Continue mingling amongst yourselves, making merry where ever you go.
Friday, December 21, 2001
From all of us at the Pooh Logs, we want to wish you a Happy Yule and Winter Solstice! We hope you get all the loot, well wishes, and joy of the season. See you in 2002!
(see how I made the Pooh Logs look like a huge organization? Me am sooooo clever!)
Thursday, December 20, 2001
So I went to the YMCA on Tuesday night for my first workout session. When I got my towel and I made my way down to the changing rooms, I suddenly realized that it had been four years since I had last stepped into a gym.
When I went into the changing room, I was hit by a wave of nostalgia. I wasn't a 32 pot-bellied techwriter anymore. I was a 10 year-old boy back home in Ste. Foy, getting ready for my next swimming lesson. I just wanted to grab my bathing cap and do a bomb-dive in the deep end, trying to soak as many people as possible.
Anyhoo... I donned my sweatshirt and shorts and made my way back up to the workout gym. I spent about 10 minutes just walking around, checking out the equipment, feeling completely disoriented. I was hoping to just go in, select the machines I was going to use, figure out my maximums, and then take all that home and prepare a workout schedule.
Instead, I just felt completely lost and overwhelmed by the sights, sounds, smells, and people who were sweating it out. After wandering around for about 15 minutes, I decided to try-out the crosstrainer machine (which seems to simulate a natural walkcycle) for 10 minutes and then the cycle for 5 minutes.
Then I did some reps on the weight machines I knew how to work. After about an hour of this, I decided I had had enough and made my way towards the changing rooms. However, when I opened the door to get into the stairwell, I accidentally SMACKED it open, to which many people turned around to see what was the matter. Embarrassed, I shrugged an apology and hurried off downstairs. I had been lifting 50 to 100 lbs weights for 40 minutes, so I kinda overcompensated on the door. Oops.
Now this might sound weird to you, but when you're not used to being in a gym, being surrounded by a bunch of naked men is kinda disturbing at first ("Egads! Look at the size of that thing!"). I didn't even have the nerve to take a shower (although I regretted this later). I suppose if I keep to my committments, I'll get over this discomfort eventually.
So now it's been two days since my first YMCA experience and already, my arms are killing me. I'll be going again tonight, so wish me luck. Hopefully this exercise thing, couple with improving my diet, will lead me back to a slimmer, trimmer bod!
Wednesday, December 19, 2001
Tuesday, December 18, 2001
With Yule around the corner, I find myself asking many unanswerable questions. I am quiet, introspective, and reflective on my life, my achievements, and my failures.
My need for answers is great and I have decided I need help. Fortunately, Michael Bolton is always ready to take the burden off my shoulders, twist it in his many curls, brush it out, and reveal the answers which have thus far eluded me.
Monday, December 17, 2001
I signed up at the downtown YMCA in another sincere attempt to get in shape.
I'll be going in to the Y tomorrow to figure out my maximums for the workout plan I'm putting into effect. Then I need to pick the days I'll be going in to sweat it out. I'm tried of looking like the jolly old elf.
My biggest problem is that I hate working out. It's so boooooooring. Therefore, I might be taking a boxing class (if they get enough registrations). That would be a fun way to get in shape.
I'll make sure I go see Will Smith in his latest film Ali.
Another quiet relaxing weekend at home. I just did homey-type stuff like cleaning and laundry, and wrapping my Yule gifts. But mostly, I just sat around drinking tea, reading, and watching TV.
Everytime I got a notion of going out and doing something, Newton would meow plaintively, slink over, and snuggle up to me. I mean how could I possible move then?
Friday, December 14, 2001
The highlight to last night's conversation with friends on the issue of subtlety in conversation is as follows:
Dave: "It's like six, but with an "e". It's like being with a woman, except it's a cat. It's like using a condom, but it's actually masking tape."
Ceri: "Dave... that doesn't make any sense!"
Dave: "You see? Now that's subtlety."
Oh... and I got thumped by a bible thumper last night who tried to show me the errors of my heathen ways. I tried to have a spiritual/philosophical discussion with him, but he kept reading passages from his bible, pointing out how wrong I was to think the way I do, and how the path I was following would surely lead to my destruction if I didn't accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour.
Oy vey. God... Save me from your followers!
Thursday, December 13, 2001
"You are chaos personified. The only thing your friends can count on is your unpredictability. Although many find this to be your best quality, it can sometimes get you in trouble. You are easily distracted and chase down all that life has to offer with equal amounts of zest (unless it requires heavy lifting). You are wise beyond your years and yet cannot see the danger of rollerblading through your house with a full pitcher of lemonade."
Take the test at FeralLiving.
Oddly enough, the test also shows that I am 75% Tito Puente, 63.7% Tom Jones, and 12.4% Ginette Reno. Imagine!
Wednesday, December 12, 2001
Finally, after months of people calling for his resignation, Stockwell "Don't call me Doris" Day resigns as leader of the Canadian Alliance party.
So many politicians in that party were jumping ship, I almost wonder if Stockwell is the last to leave it. Don't forget to turn the lights out, Day.
Unfortunately for this maroon, his claim to fame had less to do with what he accomplished in parliment and more to do with the crazy stuff he'd try to accomplish in parliment.
Despite the many wonderful creatures to emerge from Jim Henson's monster shop, Oscar the Grouch still remains my favourite. Not all the creatures had to be fluffy and cute. Some of them could be gruff and nasty and still have a place in the world.
A close second would be the Lion. I used to catch Jim Henson's hour whenever I could.
Located in Montréal's old port, Silo #5B-1 was built in 1958 and has been cited by Le Corbusier as a masterpiece of modern architecture. The elevator was used to store grain which came to Montréal by rail and departed by sea.
But in 1996, the silo became obsolete and was closed.
Then somebody came up with the bright idea of playing music in this acoustically-perfect sounding chamber.
Want to know what it sounds like? Play the Silophone!
Inside Silo #5, there is a microphone and a speaker. You can pick a sound from the existing list (there are over 9000 sounds to choose from) or you can upload and play your own. It's neat!
Tuesday, December 11, 2001
Give a listen or a read to the famous editorial by the late great Gord Sinclair Sr called The Americans (aired in 1973).
You can either listen to the editorial in MP3 or RealAudio format or read the transcript (there is even one version set to music (RealAudio format)).
It's refreshing, really.
In an effort to become more Canadian, I've switched my radio dial over from CHOM to CBC Radio 1 (88.5 FM). I usually only listen to the CBC on the weekends as I'm puttering around my pad, cleaning, doing laundry, having breakfast, etc...
But now I thought I'd give the CBC another crack at the crack of dawn. The only drawback to this is having to listen to Dave Bronstetter. There's something about that man's voice that makes me want to whack him repeatedly with the concave part of a garden shovel.
Maybe I'll give CJAD a try instead. If that doesn't work, it's back to CHOM for me.
Monday, December 10, 2001
On Friday, the folks at work went to El Menara, a Moroccan restaurant (in Old Montreal) complete with fezzes, tents made of carpets, and Belly Dancers! Of course, being the fine appreciator of exotic cultures that I am, the local belly dancer wiggled her way to my seat and invited to shake my wares with her on the stage for all to see. I love being me.
On Saturday, I went for a b-day b-fast with Irene and Amy for Irene's birthday. We had both gotten here Gryphon-type gifties (the gryphon is Irene's personal symbol), so she was pretty happy. I met up with Kerry later on in the day and we just window-shopped, knocking around downtown.
On Sunday, I met up with Sarah, Rob, and Taras and we made blazing trails for Kingston Ontario. You see, I'm a member of the Midnight Players and our esteemed benefactor (Anthony Mann) moved to Kingston recently. He got us some airtime on the local radio station GTO 960 (the AM sister station to the Country 96 FM station).
So we drove out to Kingston Sunday morning, met in the afternoon to rehearse, performed Charles Dicken's "A Christmas Carol" live on the radio, had pizza at Anthony's house, and then headed back to Montreal (thanks Rob!). The performance was dead-on and was a rousing success! We're supposed to hear from the station in the coming weeks to see what the public reaction was. The station will re-run the performance on Christmas Eve at 8 pm.
Now it's back to the humdrum life until my Oscar nominations start rolling in. Do you think I should start building a case to hold my naked golden statues?
Thursday, December 06, 2001
When Bronstetter asked him why the Health Minister instructed this committee to not speak until spoken to (the committee was not to make any recommendations on anything unless asked specifically by the Provincial Health Minister), Trudel replied "I cannot ask them for advice on a subject until I make up my mind about it! To do otherwise makes no sense!"
There's provinicial logic for ya.
But I think I've caught a glimpse of the horrifying strategy behind the PQ's latest attempt at sovereignty. They've tried all sorts of tactics to get the blokes out: from screwing the economy with useless referendums, pocketing mayors to force city mergers, to squelching many forms of English expression while villifying the rest. But nothing's really stuck. The criss-de-blokes are still kicking around.
But now they've got the strategy that might work: if they eliminate English health services, then the English population can just start dying off. As the anglos shrug off their mortal coils (either due to linguisticly-based malpractice or from boredom in the waiting room), the last vestiges of opposition will start thinning out and the Armies of Franco-nationalists can come stomping in, taking back what they never qualified for in the first place.
And it won't cost a cent! In fact, they'll be saving money! And if the coffers get low, they can always fine the surviving Anglo families for violation of the language law as it pertains to tombstones. Wouldn't that be ironic!
You think this is far-fetched? Really? Consider what insanities the PQ has put into place already that we just take for granted:
- July 1st move (so we can't celebrate Canada Day)
- mandatory French-only business cards
- mandatory French software (in any company with over 50 employees)
- you must speak French in the workplace (>50 employees)
Wednesday, December 05, 2001
Well... I didn't come off as brazen, bold, and drole; I came off as creepy, weird, and disturbing. I didn't mean to, but that's no excuse for it really; I should've thought of how it might be interpreted and not taken the chance. Dumb, dumb, dumb!
That's the third time I've used bad judgement like this in the past two months. What's going on with me these days?
It might be difficult to imagine now, but I used to be quite the wallflower with people. At social gatherings, I was quiet, awkward, and terrified of someone I didn't know actually speaking to me. What would I say? What would I do? What if I used the wrong fork?
Then one day I decided to stop worrying about doing the wrong thing and go out there and live it. I'm constantly fighting against my own inner shyness and I just act on my whim before thinking too much about it. Most of the time, it works out fine. It's much more fun than being a wallflower.
But sometimes pressing Cancel instead of Send *is* the right thing to do. It's not a question of being shy or bold. It's a question of being considerate. Sometimes when you're constantly at war with yourself, it can be difficult to recognize the difference and you hit the wrong button.
The people I offended are probably reading this blog and feeling a little guilty, but don't please. You were right to point it out and I appreciate your candor and patience.
You have my deepest apologies.
Tuesday, December 04, 2001
If I were a work of art, I would be Heironymous Bosch's Garden of Earthly Delights.
I am decadent and depraved. I have an eye for small details and love to fit in as much hedonistic pleasure as possible in everything I do. I buck authority and am not afraid to make a statement outside approved channels.
Which work of art would you be? The Art Test
Where the heck are all these tests coming from?
I'll have to think about who else could've pulled off that role... Jim Carey? Robin Williams? Bronson Pinchot (he could use the boost)? Paul Reuban?
Monday, December 03, 2001
The family has made a special request of his fans for a minute of quiet meditation at 4:30 pm EST to mark his passing.
I know I'll be humming the bars to My Sweet Lord... It somehow just seems appropriate.
Sunday, December 02, 2001
If I was a James Bond villain, I would be Dr Kananga.
I enjoy tarot readings, growing drugs, and throwing people to hungry crocodiles.
Who would you be? James Bond Villain Personality Test
And in good Evil Bond Villain tradition, I attended the annual Santa Claus parade in Ste. Anne de Bellevue on Saturday night. I half-expected to see giant aluminum floats (of which there were a few) dragging gaggling children by their tongues (aren't winter dares great?).
BTW, I tried to find a link about the whole licking-cold-metal-objects phenomenon many of us went through as children, but when I type the question "Don't lick a frozen metal pole." at Ask Jeeves, most of the links went to paleolithic-type websites. Apparently, this practical joke is older than God. Will we never learn?
Oddly enough, I never succumbed to licking cold metal poles in the winter, although I had plenty of opportunities thanks to multiple dares. The risk of getting hosed off a pole with boiling hot water was a higher price than I was willing to pay.
Friday, November 30, 2001
Here's a good little town to wreak some havoc.... Tabarnac! They've got an anti-Satan law here. It's gettin' to the point a man can't get his business done no more... I'm going to write to my member of Parliment... Give Stockwell Day a piece of my mind and remind him of that favour he promised me...
In the meantime, I guess it's back to Beverly Hills for me. Maybe Paul Reuban's watching a movie by himself or something. That's always good for a laugh...
Bin Laden can carve a really cool fortress into a mountainside armed with a rifle and spoon, but we can't build an Olympic stadium that doesn't collapse or break down with a regularity that you can dance to.
He probably gets great satelite though (with all the naughty channels on parental lockout (guess who has the password?)...
Yesterday afternoon, we put up the Yule tree at work, complete with lights, balls, and ribbon. Then someone pulled out the 10 year-old single malt scotch and we toasted the new season.
Wednesday, November 28, 2001
In the interests of building stronger bonds with my cow-orkers, I'm going to have to miss another storytelling. Crap!
I'll have a kick-ass story ready for January 4th, so be sure that you make it!
I have about 4 new stories that I'm trying to learn. I've promised myself that I'm going to learn all new stories this year 'cause the last 2 years, I've been lazy.
So now I have an extra week! Yay!
Tuesday, November 27, 2001
I can see the benefits of banning smoking from restaurants, but in bars/pubs? I can still see it, but it seems a bit extreme. But this? CBC News: American community to impose fine for drifting tobacco smoke, odours. This seems way too much.
This is a classic case of a good idea taken way past the limits of intent.
Monday, November 26, 2001
There were alot of things that made this project difficult. On my first project, they give me a 300 page tome to complete which ain't easy. Their equipment was constantly breaking down, slowing me down, and the book's author should take a basic grammer course. Her bizarre phrasing kept throwing me for a loop, making it very difficult to read this publication with the proper inflections.
And after filling 7 90 minute tapes and spending over 20 hours on this project, I don't get the satisfaction of closure. I hate not being able to finish what I start! Argh!!!
And since I'm so fucking selfish at having a day-job and I can't be coming in every day to finish this 300 page book (they wouldn't let me in on the weekends), they're going to be giving the job to somebody else. The remaining 130 pages will be read by a fella who CAN come in everyday.
And they wonder why they have a shortage of volunteers...
Not that I have much time this month anyways. The MAB project is becoming a cankerous sore in my side. I've still got 140 pages to go, which means about 5-6 more sessions. This week, I can only give three days to the project, but I'm already having to give up a few other activities I would've liked to do. Bugger!
My second date with Kerry was great! She's fun! Of course, I only get to see her on the weekends 'cause she lives way out in St. Anne's and I'm in NDG, but that's just as well. Quality not quantity, right?
I'll be glad when this month is over (and the MAB project is over) so that I can catch up on other things. With Yule coming up, I've got me some shopping to complete!
Friday, November 23, 2001
Thursday, November 22, 2001
When I'm documenting a system, I tend to have to write very dryly. It is a technical document after all, so it's supposed to be factual and to-the-point. The presence of humour in technical documentation is a hotly-debated issue, but the general consensus is that it can be dangerous.
But sometimes my personality flares up and I feel the need to let some of it bleed through in the guide I'm writing. In my last user guide, the Toon Boom Studio User's Guide, I was able to have more fun with the writing style because the product was designed for web-animators.
But my latest project is definitely more serious. All the same, I just see it as a greater challenge to leave little Easter Eggs in the document. Why should the developpers have all the fun? Nothing too serious, mind you. Just little niggles to see if the reader is paying attention.
My latest attempt reads as follows:
Popular culture tells us that size does not matter. That may be true in some circles, but when it comes to the size of your geometric models, size DOES matter.
I'll let you know if my boss picks up on this little ditty.
The books with the finest writing are the Green Arrow, Usagi Yojimbo, and the now defunct Starman series.
The Starman series ran for eighty issues. Starman has the driest wit, poking fun at the genre and breaking down many of the stereotypes and basic devices used in illustrated fiction. Just the fact that Jack Knight (the hero) didn't wear the de rigeur tights made him worth reading.
Check out these Starman Quotes and you'll see what I mean.
I should be going back next month to tell Yuletide stories. I don't have many Xmas stories, but I should be able to work something out. I know I'll be telling La Befana (an Italian Yule story) and The Selfish Giant (an Oscar Wilde fable). I just need to pick two more and I'll be set.
This regular storytelling gig is great for practice and experience. I'm working to hone my storytelling style to a point where I can take it on the road and perform in national and international storytelling festivals.
Wednesday, November 21, 2001
I met up with a friend this morning on the bus and we were talking about the little deli near by pad that's going out of business. The owner, Harry Wolfe, was always nice to me and the food he served was great (most of the time).
But my friend had nothing but bad things to say. He's a drunk, he yells at the customers, he's an awful man. I was shocked because I never personally saw these things in him. When I said so, my friend said huffily "Fine. Don't believe me then." A nasty little silence ensued until we changed the subject.
It's not that I think my friend is lying outright, but I have to wonder where she's getting her information. She says she's never been in his shop, but she somehow knows how he treats his customers.
Personally, I try not to judge people until I experience them myself. If someone gives me a warning about somebody, I keep an eye-out for proof, but I try to be objective when dealing with that person and form my opinions on my own experience.
It's not that I don't trust my friend's judgement on the situation, but her life experience goes through a different set of filters than mine (as does everybody else).
But I will NOT damn a person on somebody else's say-so. There's no need to be insulted by this. I just feel I should make my own decisions based on my own experience and judgements.
Tuesday, November 20, 2001
"If all goes well." Ha. Don't you love my optimism?
I'm going to auditions tonight for the Lakeshore Players' next production of Cliffhanger. I don't know anything about the play beyond that it's a thriller and it's being directed by Bob Vernicks.
What can I say? When the performance bug bites, it bites deep.
Monday, November 19, 2001
These music fellas live such decadent lives... I remember the days of debauchery I used to live. There was nary a doorbell in my old stomping grounds that had not felt the pressure of my digits, followed by the pitter-pattering of feet as I stole away from the scene, eager to watch the confusion of the unsuspecting home owner as he/she opened the door to a still night sky. Ha ha!
Anyhoo, I hope they fix this up soon. I want to be able to keep track of when The Mahones come back to town.
Filled with curiousity, I checked out the stats of who was coming from where. Not surprisingly, most of the hits were from North America (Canada mostly), and I have a fair idea who's visiting my Pooh Logs from the UK (hiya Lisa and Jane!).
But Brazil and the Netherlands? That *is* a surprise! Who knew that the Pooh Logs could contain such international flavour?
The show really pounded. The energy was off-the-wall, the place was packed, and everyone was ready to party. A few of my buds came out to see the show and they seemed to be enjoying themselves immensely.
The other item of note was I asked a girl out on a first date to see this show and the date itself lasted [cough] 24 hours. Her name is Kerry.
Kerry took me out for breakfast on Sunday and we went window shopping on Sherbrooke street. I found a few things that I'll need to go back and get for Xmas presents.
I've already started by Xmas shopping for folks. I went to a Craft Sale at the Frasier Hickson library and picked up a few items for friends, my mum, and my nieces (my friend Dianna had a few beautiful necklaces and bracelets for sale, and I got to meet her charming mother). I just have a few more things to get and I'll be armed and ready for another Xmas season.
Friday, November 16, 2001
Nation Pulls Together, Falls Over
Santa Barbara, Cal. — Answering the call from government and civic leaders, Americans all pulled together yesterday in a display of patriotism and unity that left 44,000 people dead and 3.3 million injured. The injuries resulted from a lack of an equal number of people pulling together from the other side, causing all 285 million Americans to immediately fall backwards on top of each other.
Check out the article on U.S. "GROSSLY UNPREPARED" FOR UNLIKELY THREATS. It's worth a giggle too (especially the part about the stapler ""What if this stapler suddenly turns on me, decides to attack me, inflicting hundreds of puncture wounds on my person like this (clack) aaaargghh!! (clack) arrrgghh!! (clack) eowarrrgghh!! so that I bleed to death?")
Last night's lesson: the smaller the glass, the more disastrous the result. Don't even get me started on the bizarre nights I've had when someone starts bringing out the shots. Ick... stick to beer Dave...
Thursday, November 15, 2001
I also need to get a new VCR 'cause my old one shorted out a month ago. So I find one that seems suitable for a reasonable price (a JVC for $120). I ask the salesguy a few questions about it, which he replies way too fast for me to understand. I kept having to ask him to repeat more slowly.
I hate it when salesguys do this. I always get the feeling that they're trying to slide something past me. So that's already -1 point for Sparky the Salesguy.
So he reaches over for a box that contains the VCR I'm interested in, making to give it to me, when I speak up and say I wasn't going to take it right now. I said I would pass by on the weekend to pick it up.
"Why wouldn't you buy it now?" he asked annoyed. Knock off another 5 points for Sparky.
"Because I'm not going home right away and I don't want to lug this thing everywhere I go, that's why." I replied, already regretting the entire exchange.
With that, he unceremoniously drops the box onto the pile and swoops off, in search of another victim.
Everytime I go into that place of unspeakable horror and I speak to someone, I'm filled with horror. Let them make their money off of kids and the rich yet technologically inept. They're not getting their grubby little hands on my cash.
The play was written in the 1950's, so it has some of the wisdom and expressions of the day. But some people are so PC nowadays, they think we need to eliminate anything that could be construed as offensive.
I heard these two women complain to the president of Lakeshore Players about how inappropriate certain lines were. "You should have deleted those lines right out! How dare you!" they gestured wildly, almost spilling their wine.
The lines they objected to are as follows:
"I don't want to hear anymore of your menopausical hallucinations!"
"She's so wholesome, she could give milk."
Wednesday, November 14, 2001
As some of you know my life is a series of ups and downs culminating in being dressed in ceremonial robes, placed atop a sacrificial altar, and left for dead while hordes of tibetan women throw gerkins at my feet.
In short, I've always got stuff going on.
So it always amazes me that when I ask someone what's new, he/she will say "Nothing much."
"C'mon..." I'll cajole, snacking on a gerkin. "I haven't heard from you in months. *Something interesting must've happen to you in that time."
"Nope. Not a thing. I go to work, I come home, I go to sleep. I wish I could meet someone... I'm so lonely."
You mean you're dull as dishwater. Why would anyone want to date someone with so little ambition? How are you going to meet people if you don't go out there and find someone?
There's a whole world out there! Go take a course in something, volunteer your time in some worthy cause. Meet people with common interests, interact with folks, LIVE your life instead of just letting things happen to you.
Argh! This passive take on life just annoys me. I had a friend who had taken a week off from work. When I asked her how she was spending her time, she told me she was sleeping alot.
"Sleeping?" I said incredulously, reaching for another gerkin. "But it's beautiful outside! Why don't you take advantage of the beautiful weather?"
"When I sleep, the days pass faster," she yawned.
Ye Gods... I actually hope these people do meet someone eventually. Someone needs to water them and make sure that they're always facing the sun.
** High Priority **
The Canadians are going to help America with the war on terrorism. They have pledged 2 of their biggest battleships, 600 ground troops and 6 fighter jets.
After the exchange rate, America ended up with 2 Mounties, 1 canoe and a flying squirrel.
Tuesday, November 13, 2001
I also need to mention Danny DeVito and Christopher Lloyd here (not meaning to be too Taxi-oriented). These are both actors who have wide ranges of acting skill, from evil to good, from maniacal to goofy. Not only are these two men fantastic actors, but they have also stepped behind the recording lens with much success.
Not that their careers are suffering or anything, but when you think of a Hollywood Super Star, Kevin Spacey just doesn't seem to jump to mind.
If I were to ever be able to earn a living as an actor (I act and direct plays in my spare time), I would love to be one of those actors that take supporting roles, but never the lead. They take smaller and supporting parts in movies and TV shows. Everyone recognizes them, but no one's really sure of their names.
Judd Hirsch is like that. Famous for his part on Taxi as Alex (the disillusionned yet wise cabhack), Hirsch has been appearing fairly regularly in films in the last few years. Brilliant as a supporting role actor, Hirsch can pull off a quiet, unassuming, and yet powerful performance with any role he's given.
Other actors like this include the following. How many do you recognize?
More to come...
Monday, November 12, 2001
Not that I'm trying to give anyone a hint or anything (no, really!), but these are the things I'm lusting after currently:
a kilt in my family's tartan
a DVD player
a new VCR (to replace the one that just shorted out)
a better tin whistle (a Sweettone)
an upgrade to my home PC
an m'bira (Thumb Piano)
a Nikon Coolpix 950 digital camera
I'm a greedy little fella, ain't I?
Sunday, November 11, 2001
I went to a fantastic Qabalah workshop on Friday night followed by a night out at O'Donnell's pub. It had all the markings of a night to remember: music, friends, drink, rambunctious behaviour, and dancing with pretty girls.
I stopped a girl who was crossing our table (on the way back to her friend) and I asked her "Pardon me, but I wanted to know your opinion on something. If the band were to play a song that I could invite a pretty girl to dance, what would be the odds of you saying "yes" if I asked you?"
To which she replied, "If you had the balls to ask me, then the odds would be 100% in your favour."
And I thanked her for her time and sent her on her way. When the band finished their song, I requested the type of song I needed, went up to the girl, bowed low and introduced myself. "Would you care to join me for a dance?" And she said yes.
Gina was her name and she danced divinely. We had a wonderful conversation, heavy on the flirting. When the pub closed, I bid her goodnight and headed out. I got about a block away from the pub when I realized that if I didn't give this girl my phone number, I would hate myself in the morning. I doubled-back, pounded on the pub door to get back in, and gave her my number.
Although she said she would call, I realize that she may not. It doesn't matter though. It was a great end to a fabulous night.
Friday, November 09, 2001
Thanks to Bill for the link.
I don't think the book I'm reading to tape for the MAB was meant to be read aloud. The author has a real problem with using commas correctly, making it difficult to read the sentences with the proper intonation.
And then, just to frustrate me, she throws in anecdotes about people writing plays that involve character names like (I'm not kidding) Poluphloisloiospaleapologos Petrilopetrolicoconose (taken from the play called The Laird written by George du Maurier in 1894). It took me almost 10 minutes (and 5 retakes) to say that name properly, and even then, I'm not sure I did it properly... Argh!
So then she said "Oh, that would be bad. I wouldn't want anyone to die because of this war."
Incredulous, I replied "But people *are* dying. That's what a war does... it kills people."
"I meant Americans dying," she said. "There are Canadian troops over there too, you know. I wouldn't want them to lose their lives over this."
"But people in Afghanistan are dying. The Taliban soliders are being killed. Don't they matter?" I asked.
"But the Taliban deserve it. Only the bad people are being killed."
Like the cruise missles have some kind of built in little morality detectors built in. If that were the case, there'd be alot more ships sinking due to "Friendly Fire".
It must be wonderful to have the world divided up in the Good vs the Bad, Right vs Wrong, Us vs Them, Great Taste vs Less Filling. Everything and everyone gets divided up into neat little groups and nothing crosses over, not ever. No siree Bob!
Thursday, November 08, 2001
He said stuff like: Clear documentation and a professional approach and The print and online documentation is not identical. The different approaches taken in the two sets of instructions is sometimes helpful in illuminating a problem.
He said nice stuff about the product itself too, but who cares? He wouldn't have figured out how to use it if it wasn't for the superb documentation!
Wednesday, November 07, 2001
Thanks to David for the reminder. Now I'll know what to say to my next American tourist: "Broaden your horizons and try something different, you knob!"
As far as I know, there aren't any Starbucks coffee shops in town and I told her that there were none. The woman looked shocked and then drove away. I checked the license plate. Americans. Figures.
What's the point of visiting other cities in the world if you're going to spend all your time in franchise shops that you have at home?
When I have a whack of pocket change (quarters), I used to feed meters that had expired for cars that had not yet been ticketed. It was my way of sticking it to the man.
But don't get the Green Onions catch you! I was feeding the meters when a dreaded Green Onion surprised me by telling me that what I was doing was against the law. I began to laugh when I suddenly realized she was serious. So even being a Good Samaritan is against the law in this town.
Actually, many cities have this kind of law, but it just means I need to keep an eye-out before I feed the meter. Sure, I might be robbing the city of funds via the parking ticket, but there's no way those meters follow any clock-systems known to mankind. I'm just keeping them honest in a hide-from-the-Green-Onion kinda way.
Here's a better idea: put 10 people on an island and promise them each $50 000 each as long as they all make it through a month. For each person that must leave (for whatever reason), each person loses $5000 from their pot.
Even though it's for monetary gain, at least it would promote cooperation of some kind.
Then again, maybe it's just me... I mustn't be cynical enough for the new millenium.
It always amazes me how people can be so self-absorbed. This morning as I arrived to Villa Maria metro, there was an older gentleman (in his 60s) who was trying to get past the wicket to get into the metro. For some reason, his pass didn't work and the wicket wouldn't let him pass. He just stood in the wicket, staring at his pass, unsure of what to do.
I approached him and tried to tell to show it to the lady behind the desk and she would let him through. Unfortunately, he didn't speak English and I don't think he could understand what I was saying. As I tried to explain to him what he needed to do, a woman came barrelling down the stairs and barked at the old man "Will you get out of the way? People are trying to get through!"
"There are six other wickets to choose from," I replied, disgusted. "The guy is lost and confused... Can you cut him some slack?"
"Fuck you," she snarled and plowed through the wicket.
Oh, how I prayed for the wicket to jam just then. It didn't, but I would've giggled profusely at that point.
I finally got the gentleman to speak to the metro attendant and I went on my way. I searched the metro platform for that woman, but I didn't find her again. She was off to blast her way through all the idiots who were getting in her way. I can only hope that one day, she'll get in someone else's way, and then remember this moment as she bounces off the hood.
She probably won't, but it fills me with a certain satisfaction that she might.
Tuesday, November 06, 2001
I'm really glad that I get to come home to an empty pad (not counting the kitty). I'm not sure I'll ever want to give up the privacy of having my own place, girlfriend or not.
I shaved my goatee today, so now I look like a child again. It's some kinda weird Captain Marvel/Billy Batson thing. I don't know what possessed me this morning, but I thought I could use the change.
I've got storytelling this month, but I still haven't found a story. I think I'll be a listener this week. The theme this week is Animal Tales, but my only animal tale is The Blue Hippopotamus and I've already told it at the Guild meetings.
Unfortunately, with all the reading I have to do with the MAB, I don't have time to read up on my folktales. Yikes!
Monday, November 05, 2001
Actually, it was a Scottish/Greek wedding (bride: Scottish, groom: Greek). That meant there was a bagpiper at the church ceremony and at the reception, a few kilts floating around, and lots of traditional Celtic and Greek music to dance too.
It's a weird mix, to be sure. But the Greeks are such a passionate and expressive people. It was such a pleasure to see them enjoying themselves and expressing their happiness in traditional Greek dances. I took a stab at it a few times, although I had no idea what I was doing, it was a blast. We even got the chance to teach a little step dancing to a few brave souls when the Celtic tunes came on.
I've never seen a more relaxed couple during the wedding ceremony. They were constantly whispering to each other and giggling through the ceremony.
When we left at midnight, the party was still going strong. I'm guessing it went on for another couple of hours.
The only downer on the evening was that I got the "It's not you, it's me. Let's be friends" speech from Dianna. Argh. Dating sucks!
I decided to have a Dave Day the next day and after a therapeutic battle with my laundry, I went out to see Monsters Inc at the Paramount. Great film! It also has a great little animated short right before it which put us all in the right mood.
As usual, I stayed to the end of the credits (I was hoping to see some bloopers like they did in Toy Story and A Bug's Life). I was pleasantly surprised to see that they listed the Technical Writers in the movie's credits! The only other movie I've seen that does this is Ant (with Woody Allen).
Maybe this is a new trend! Techwriters are finally starting to get the recognition they deserve. Yay!
Or maybe something else entirely. My life is a hopeless maze of twists and turns which finally ends up in front of a locked door with a Jello Pudding Pop stuck over the eyehole. Go figure.
I gotta thank the mistress of Billegible for showing me the wonders of the Blogger. She's a real hottie, that chick.
I'll keep this brief for test purposes, but I'll probably post again today. This past weekend was filled with thrills, spills, and just enough mellodrama to win it an Emmy. But I digress...