Tuesday, April 30, 2002

Note: Before you read this Pooh Log entry, make sure you read this article in Macleans that states that Americans think aggrieved Canadians are being a little over-sensitive about the senseless deaths of the four Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan.

What's the big deal anyways, eh?

Downtown Canada. September 24th, 2001 (PoohLog Newswire) — It has now been two weeks since the tragic events of September 11th brought down the house in New York and Canadians from coast to coast to coast are starting to wonder what all the hullabaloo is all about.

"It's actually an improvement to the skyline," commented Margorie Putnam as she surveyed Ground Zero from the opposite shore. "It's a drastic type of urban renewal, to be sure, but at least we don't have to stare at those frickin' double phalluses anymore."

"It evens out the building line," pointed-out Fred Putnam, his hand tracing over the peaks and valleys shaped by the remaining buildings. "I always thought New Yorkers were trying to compensate for something with those Twin Towers." At this comment, Fred throws Margorie a wink and she represses a giggle.

"We've fallen and we can't get up!"

Some Americans expressed barely contained rage when they realized that Canadian businesses were continuing with their day-to-day activities. "How dare they continue to try to make money without us," shouted one irate Stock Exchanger who was not identified. "It's a mockery of all we hold dear! The world should be declaring a day of mourning for our pain. It's disrespectful to our great nation!"

When asked why Canada did not grind to a halt in the wake of the attacks upon America, Prime Minister Jean Chretien responded candidly, "We honestly didn't think they would get so worked up about it for so long. It's not like it was a week-long ice storm like we had in Montreal. Now there was a tragedy! All those poor trees... destroyed! And there was no electricity for a week downtown, in some places for a month!" At this point, Mr. Chretien broke down in tears, reaching for his Twist Shandy.

"The reality is that we just think of Americans as really dumb Canadians with watered-down beer and bad dressing habits," Chretien added, taking another swig, puffing on his cigarrette. "America is like my Uncle Gaston at Christmas. Eventually, you just learn to tune-out his drunken ramblings."

A quick poll was taken with 25 Canadians in bustling downtown Canada. They were asked "Do you think that Canada should support the US in a War on Terrorism?". Here's what we found out:

  • 8 sheepishly admitted that they didn't realize that USA was an independent country. They thought USA (pronounced 'us' -- 'eh') was some kind of rock/country band from Sudbury getting video time on MuchMusic.
  • 10 were surprised that the US even needed an army since every man, woman, child, and family pet were already armed to the teeth.
  • 5 thought it might be a good idea to lend "a helping hand, just to be nice".
  • 2 Canadians avoided the question completely, throwing down their gloves and viciously cross-checking a passerby wearing a Boston Bruins hockey shirt.

"I think those American fellas are being a bit over-sensitive," said Paul Longfellow, a farmer in Saskatchewan (a suburb west of Downtown Canada). "If Ottawa didn't make a statement it's because we didn't think we needed one, because we thought of New York as being a really dirty version of Toronto. It's a courtesy that's not extended because you don't think you had to. Kind of like how you don't send a beaver pelt to your cousin if she has you over to watch hockey and have tea."

"But maybe we're being insensitive," Chretien responded, rubbing his chin. "I'll call Canada Post today and see what we can do about issuing a commemorative stamp. Dat should do it, eh?"

Monday, April 29, 2002

One last Huzzah for winter

I knew this was going to happen. Although most people seem to forget this from year to year, but there's usually one final snowstorm after a few weeks of warm weather in the spring. And we certainly got it in the past two days.

Maybe it's the optimist in me, but getting this last bit of snow didn't depress me. I felt like it was Yule all over again. It gave me the chance to feel that wonderful settling peace that only comes from waking up to a fresh snowfall. Can you tell I don't own a car?

When I got home from rehearsal yesterday afternoon, I was awed by the sight of the trees covered in snow. I managed to snap-off a few pics before the wind picked up and shook the branches clean.

The Mahones came to town on Saturday night, so Meri and I headed down to Hurley's to catch the show. This band never disappoints me: they deliver a hard-rockin' powerfully energetic show (listen to two tracks off of their last album: One Last Shot and Here Comes Lucky). I'm not sure why they only play Hurley's. A band of this quality should be able to get a fair turn-out at the Spectrum. Maybe evenutally.

Note: I'm not sure why there are so many orbs in the Mahones pictures. Normally, this is how spirit energy is supposed to appear on photographs, but when there are a bunch of them like this, I start to suspect it might be something else. Opinons anyone?

We were also joined by friends Paul, Jane, Chris, and Dave (who left early due to post-graduation exhaustion). It only took a little encouragement to get these guys dancing on the booth and we rocked the night away (pictures to come soon!). I tried my best to introduce Chris to a pretty girl, but he just couldn't make up his mind, even though there were two seemingly bi-sexual girls getting it on nearby. Oh well... Next time Chris!

Paul joined us late in the evening 'cause he was getting soused on the cheap (but delicious) beer at Brutopia for a friend's birthday party. Don't let the innocent exterior fool you: that boy is such a party animal!

I haven't partied like that in a while. Good music, good friends. It was a great weekend.

Friday, April 26, 2002

Have the Wheels... Nowhere to go

My parents have been in Ireland for the past two weeks, so my mum left me her car while they were gone. It's a nice little Honda Civic.

After five years of not having a car, this should've been a highly mobile two weeks. But the reality is that I've just gotten too used to not having a car, so I just don't know what to do with it. I live so close to the city and have easy access to public transportation, I just don't need a car nowadays. Sure... it's great to have when you're going to IKEA or have to do the groceries, but most of the time, the car just stays parked in front of my pad. A $20 000 paper-weight.

My parents are coming back on Monday night, so I have to return the car on Sunday at some point. I'll gas it up, give it a wash, and drop it off at my uncle's place. It was a good experience having the car for two weeks. It just reaffirmed to me that I don't need to have a car at this point in my life.

Now a motorcycle... that's a whole other story.

Thursday, April 25, 2002

The One that Got Away

Now that I've taken to carrying my camera around with me, I'm starting to see the world through a viewfinder, looking for scenes to capture. Of course, today I didn't bring my camera with me (I needed to recharge the batteries), so I missed capturing a wee moment in Westmount.

It was a just a small thing, but it made me smile. As the 24 bus was snaking its way eastward down Sherbrooke street, I was lazily looking out the window when I caught sight of a woman's arm. It was protruding from the window of one of those classic Westmount apartment buildings with all the stone work, curled around a pillar.

There was a window open on the first floor. Looking inside, all I could see was darkness, but wrapped around the left side of the window pane (my right), there was a long thin woman's arm cloaked in a black sweater sleeve. Held lightly in her fingers was a smoking cigarette. You couldn't see the rest of the woman; all that was visible was the arm, the hand, and the cigarette.

If I could've take a picture of that moment, I would've named it Bending the Rules. I need to learn how to draw.

Wednesday, April 24, 2002

Just in Time for Weird Photo Wednesday!

Mmmmm... I worked for hard for this! Come to mama!

I guess perspective really is everything, but it's not what you think (shame on you!). Click here for the story behind the photo.

(Snagged via Davezilla)

Tuesday, April 23, 2002

How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice!

I had my first rehearsal of the play I'm directing (Neil Simon's Plaza Suite) with my actors (Peter Cook as Roy and Susan Freed as Norma) last night at my apartment. I would've made it home early (to give myself a chance to tidy up quickly and make some tea), but the Orange line metros suddenly went down and I was stuck at Lionel Groulx.

So I had to hoof it outside and try to hail a cab. The problem was that there was about a dozen other yahoos trying to do the same thing. So I had to hike three blocks up Atwater street to find a cabbie. And the clock was ticking away. Tick. Tock.

By the time I got home, Peter was already there and Susan was just arriving. Drat! Fortunately, they were quite forgiving and we were able to get comfortable in the living room with our scripts and tea and start the read-throughs.

It's going to be a tight schedule. We only have a month to prepare, which means they need to be more or less off-script in about 2 weeks so that we can have 2 weeks to solidify blocking, mannerisms, and the physical comedy bits. I have a meeting with the techies on May the 1st to discuss the set, the props, and the specific add-ons that I will need.

For example, I have a scene where Roy climbs out on to the window ledge and slides out of view. Therefore, I'll need a window with a sky blue backdrop behind it. While he's out there, it will start to rain, so I need to have some lights on the backdrop to change the mood to a stormy sky and then back again. If they can do it, that scene will be a side-splitter.

The part of Roy is extremely physical, in both movement and style of speech. Peter and I will both have our work cut out for us to find the important words and how to find the speech and movement patterns to accentuate them. The part of Norma is physical as well, but in a more tightly-controlled manner. Susan is now experimenting with accents and facial expressions to find her inner-Norma.

This is going to be fun. Hectic, but definitely fun.

Monday, April 22, 2002

Don't cross the streams!

Since my first ghosthunt was so successful, and Paul looks so cute with his skeptic hat on, here's a bunch of ghost-related questions for this week's Lundi Line of Inquiry.

1. Do you believe in ghosts? Definitely!

2. Why or Why not? I've always been facinated and frightened of ghosts, but it wasn't until I lived in a haunted loft apartment in Old Montreal that I started to learning how to deal with them. I've had a few ghostly experiences, but fortunately they've all been good ones.

3. Do you like hearing or telling ghost stories? As a storyteller, I have a few ghost stories up my sleeve and I definitely enjoy telling them. I also enjoy watching TV documentaries about ghosts and hauntings. Fox's short-lived Scariest Places on Earth is a must-see (it plays on YTV at 9:30 pm on Saturdays)!

4. Where's the scariest place you've ever been? In general, I find being in the woods at night very scary. This ain't a Blair Witch thing; I've always been afraid of the dark.

5. Do you think your spirit moves on after death? I certainly believe in the existence of the spirit after death, but what exactly happens at death, I'm not sure what to believe. Ah well... I'll find out eventually!
Pics from the Weekend

As an early birthday giftie, I bought myself a Fuji 2600 digital camera. A fantastic little toy, I have yet to be disappointed with the quality of the pictures. Consequently, I've been carrying it with me constantly, snapping off photos here and there, whenever the spirit moves me.

I'm still learning how to use it though. I've deleted photos by accident twice already, which frustrated me to no end. I know there are adjustments I can make for certain types of lighting, but I haven't gotten that sophisticated yet.

And as predicted, my first set of photos are of my cat Newton. Here they are for your viewing pleasure (they will open in their own windows). The first three pictures are of Newton as he caught some rays in my home office window over the weekend. The last photo was taken in Jane's apartment during a ghosthunting expedition.
I was accompanied by Meri and her son Jonathan who are both sensitive to this kind of energy. We extinguished the lights, sat in a circle, and called out for any ghosties that might be in the area. Jonathan said that he could feel a spirit over the couch behind him. So I took a picture of that part of the room. Sure enough, you can see two distinct ghost orbs right above the couch. Success!

I took about 15 photos throughout the apartment, but I only got orbs on 4 of the shots (2 indoors, 2 outdoors). I'm not certain about the orbs taken outside though. There are so many orbs in those pictures that I'm suspecting they might be dust particles. The road by the house is quite dusty and the apartment is near the highway, so there could be alot of unseen dust in the air.

Meri felt that the spirit was lost and confused, so we may need to return to see if we can release it from the house. For more on ghost orbs, checkout International Ghost Hunter's Society. They have articles that explain the nature of ghosts and how they appear in photographs.
Lost in the Translation

Holy Robert-Collins Batman! This little Flash file's been making the rounds on email, so take a gander at it. It's quite well done.

Don't let the fact that it's in French throw you. As long as you've heard a Parisian and a Quebecker speak French at one time or another, you'll be able to appreciate it. My favorite scene is #2.

Saturday, April 20, 2002

Rumble, rumble

At 6:52 am this morning, I was just starting to wake up and about to get out of bed when my window panes started to rattle. At first, I thought a large truck was passing on the street, but a quick glance out the window showed me a empty street. As the rumbling continued, I sat bolt upright, eyes wide, and scanning the room. I saw a cup of pens sitting on my dresser and the pens were rattling around inside. This was bigger than a truck and I then realized: this was an earthquake.

The oddest things will pop into your head during crisis situations. While I was scared and confused from the sudden tremors, I remember wondering if I'd have enough time to put on some clothes before trying to get out of the building if they became more serious.

"No no Officer! I'm not a streaker, a pervert, or a flasher. There was an earthquake, I tells ya! Check the news! I just ran out as quick as I could and didn't have time to dress. Hey... what are you laughing at? Keep that baton to yourself, mister! No means no, man!"

Friday, April 19, 2002

Where will it end?

First, it started with the Canadian tragedy in Kandahar thanks to some trigger-happy glory hound who was too eager to get a shiny new hero medal on his jacket, and now Americans are encouraged to kick the Canada Goose!

With all this anti-Canadian sentiment brewing (Americans never really forgave us for burning down the White House in the War of 1812), I'm suspecting an invasion.

Of course, any invasion of Canada will end in a humiliating failure. We've spaced out our cities far too cleverly for them. If they miss Montreal by 10 km on either side, they're pretty much screwed until they hit James Bay. Not to mention what a Montreal pothole would do to a tank.

Swallow it whole, it would, eh?

Thursday, April 18, 2002

Round Two... Ding!

So we had the second round of auditions last night and more men showed up, thankfully. I now think I've got enough people to cast my show properly. The other two directors will be using a bunch of younger people, so I'm going to double cast two of them to take on the tiny roles in my play (the bride has one line and the groom has three).

After I had the people cold-read the sections of the play I wanted to hear, I took my notes and thanked the people for their time. Then it was the last director turn to audition his people. R was much more organized than I was and picked the people from the audience he wanted to hear. Occasionally, he asked me to read parts just so that he could hear others.

But then he placed a chair in the middle of the audition space and asked me to sit in it. I did so, but I looked at one of the producers and half-jokingly said "I've got a bad feeling about this chair." R then explained that one of the parts in his play was an exotic dancer, so he needed to see if some of the actresses could act sexy and erotic. He auditionned 7 girls and each one had to advance upon me, using their body expression to try to turn me on.

Yikes! I just sat there with a stupid grin on my face, not sure what to say or do, as each girl slinked and sashayed her way around me. Each one advanced upon me slowly, hips swaying to an unheard beat. They prowled around me, laying hands upon my shoulders, my arms, my legs. Some leaned forward to stare into my eyes while others slid into my lap, wrapping their arms around my neck, their hot breath whispering in my ear.

And while all this sounds great on paper, I was actually very embarrassed. If a friend does something like this to me, I know I can run with the joke for a bit. But since these were all strangers, people I was evaluating for roles in my play, I just didn't know how to react. And the more enthusiasm the girl put into her act, the redder I got as I blushed from head to foot.

All the same... sometimes I love being me. ;)

On the downside, the producers are trying to pressure me into casting certain people over others, instead of leaving this decision with me completely. I am royally pissed off about this bullying attitude and I need to deal with it today. If the producer's don't back off, I'll just quit. I want to direct this play, but not with people looking over my shoulder, constantly giving me "suggestions".

Just like any hobby, the theatre has its dark side in politics and egos. Sometimes you can avoid getting embroiled in them, but when they get too much in your face, the magic of the theatre loses some of it shine.

Wednesday, April 17, 2002

Weird Photo Wednesdays: Get with the Thing

When I was growing up, I remember seeing a vehicle that was so gosh-darned ugly, I wanted to own it with all my heart. I've always liked autos that stand out on the road due to their unique design. Volkswagen has a long history of creating unique automobile designs so I've always like VW cars.

This vehicle was called the VW Thing and I remember seeing them everywhere in the mid to late 70's. But since then, I've not seen a single one on the roads. In addition to that, whenever I try to talk to people about the VW Thing, no one knows what I'm talking about. How did this truck slip through the cracks in the global consciousness?

Then one day, a few years ago, I was walking 'round Old Montreal on a Saturday when I peered up an alleyway and spotted a Thing. I blinked a few times, not believing my eyes. Not only is there a real VW Thing truck in front of me, but it's a convertible (another automotive obsession of mine)! Fortunately, I had my camera and was able to snap a picture off. I felt like Jane Goodall photographing rare gorillas in the mist of our own Urban Jungle.

Don't hate me 'cause I'm beautifulSo just to prove that I wasn't dreaming or delusional, here's what a VW Thing looks like. Sure it's ugly, but it has it's own unique charm and that's why I love it.

Tuesday, April 16, 2002

Could you do that again... with feeling?

Tonight's the night! The Lakeshore Players will be holding auditions for their latest edition of Café Theatre and I'll be directing one of the three plays to be performed that night (three one-act plays lasting about 20 minutes each). We'll be holding auditions for the next two nights at Sarto Desnoyers Community Centre (1335 Lakeshore) in Dorval starting at 7:30 pm.

I'm directing one of the acts from Neil Simon's Plaza Suite. This is my third foray into the directing world and I have to say that I love it even more than acting (well... mostly, but the lure of the stage is still strong). I love working with the actors to guide them along to discovering the inner-workings of the characters they are portraying. When we pull it all together the week before performance time, it's as hair-raising as it is rewarding.

These are the times when I'm the happiest.

We'll probably be starting rehearsals next week and then putting the show on mid-June, so that gives us a little less than 2 months to prepare. That's actually plenty of time to put together a one-act play.

This play is going to be a bit of a challenge from my end. Neil Simon is a bit of formula humour. You take one explosive neurotic, another character who simmers through the play (but boils over once or twice), and place them in a commonplace situation that is about to go horribly wrong, and the play pretty much writes itself. Neil Simon is funny, but a tad predictable after you've seen a few of his plays.

The challenge will be to keep the energy going strong. The energy in this play needs to peak and drop so that the audience isn't kept peaking throughout the play. If this happens, they'll lose interest about 5 minutes after the first peak.

So wish me luck tonight! I'll keep y'all posted on what comes of my latest theatrical project!

Monday, April 15, 2002

Name that Tune

Since the topic of music just won't go away, I was thinking back to my early music-buying days, back when dinosaurs roamed the earth and polyester was their garment of choice.

So in the spirit of the Friday Five, I've got the Lundi Line of Inquiry.

1. What was the first album that you ever received as a gift? How old were you? I was five years old and it was Christmas at my Mamie's place in Sillery. My parents had bought me a red record player from Sears and my first album was the Sesame's Street's Greatest Hits Volume 1 33 rpm. I've still got the album with me, although it's warped and chipped. Rubber Duckie still plays crystal clear though!

2. What was the first piece of recorded music that you bought with your own money? This is a bit less clear, but it was a definitely a 45 rpm and it was either 867-5309 by Tommy Tutoneor Just an Illusion by Imagination. The two other memorable 45s were I love Rock'nRoll by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts and Hurts so Good by John "Don't call me Cougar" Mellencamp.

3. What was the last album that you bought? The Live One by Greg Brown.

4. What is the next ablum that you've got your eye on? I'm really enjoying the Greg Brown CD I've picked up, so I might try to buy another one of his CDs, but the next album might be A Nod to Bob: An Artists' Tribute to Bob Dylan on His Sixtieth Birthday, just because it's got Greg Brown and The Paperboys on it.

5. Any recomendations? I've got the Mahones on the brain 'cause they're playing at Hurley's on the 26th and 27th of April, but they're an excellent folk-punk bad. I would definitely recommend the Hellfire Club Sessions album!

How about you? Leave your answers in my Comments section or if you answer them on your blog, leave me a link so I can check it out!

Friday, April 12, 2002

It's time to play the music, It's time to light the lights...

I haven't done one of these in a while... Thanks to Paul for providing this bit of tomfoolery on a beautiful Spring Day (20 degrees! Get some sun!).

You are Gonzo!
You're a bit loopy, and many people have trouble figuring out exactly what you're supposed to be. You take pride in your eccentricity and originality.

Thursday, April 11, 2002

A Day in the Life

The following exchange is to be read with a down-home country Cockney English accent. Apply dramatic music when appropriate.

H: 'Ello Lark!
L: 'Ello 'obbes!
H: And 'ow is your garden progressing Lark?
L: Oh, quite lovely 'obbes, thank you. This warm weather is such a blessing.
H: It is, quite so Lark. Spring does seem have sprung with a vengeance. Ho, ho, ho. I daresay we've seen the last of the snow, wot?
L: I do hope so, 'obbes. I have had quite enough of the cold winter months, I has.
H: I quite agree... Oh look. Your radishes are pushing up quite nicely, just like a fellow would be pushing up daisies after being snuffed in a ritualistic-type sacrifice and buried in a shallow grave down by the tracks.
L: [grips trowel] Wot's that now 'obbes?
H: Oh Lark... I'm just pulling your leg! I'm just takin' the piss, I is. Listen, I'm going to town to run some errands and maybe a pint or two. Would you like a buttered scone, Lark?
L: Oh I would 'obbes! I do so like buttered scones, and I daresay that my 'usband Bear would also like a buttered scone if you're so inclined.
H: Right-o then... Be back in a spiff! Good-day Lark.
L: Good day 'obbes!

This flight into the dark fantasty world of Hobbes and Lark is dedicated to my friend Autumn, without whom buttered scones between Hobbes and Lark would not be possible.

Wednesday, April 10, 2002

Weird Photo Wednesday

The light! The light!Gah! My eyes!These are pictures I took a few years ago over Christmas holidays. I was back in my hometown of Quebec city (Ste. Foy, actually) and I decided to go out with my camera and a tripod and take night shots of the city. I would place the tripod in a strategic spot, expose the film for about 5 to 10 seconds, and then move on.

Now any good photographer would be groaning right about now 'cause they know that 10 seconds is way too long to be exposing film, even at night. When I got the pictures developped, all the photos looked like I had caught massive explosions coming from every building. Kind of a neat effect, but not really what I had intended.

So romanticOoooh la la!A year later, I decided to give it another try, but this time with a 2 to 3 second exposure time. This yielded a much finer result with warmer lighting and and softer glow. If you've ever been to my pad, you may have noticed two paintings on my walls. These painting were done by my mother using photographs taken from this second session.

PS.: I found my scantily clad picture of Taras that I snapped off while he was changing costumes for Aladdin and I was going to use that one for Weird Photo Wednesdays. But I decided against it. I'm not worried what Taras would do, but I'd rather not get on the bad side of Amanda. From what I've heard, even being on the good side of Amanda can result in hospital time.

Since my musical tastes seem to paint me as such an uncultured sell-out, I thought I'd also present the other facets of my white-trash personality that, as yet, been carefully hidden beneath my aluminum-siding exterior.
  • I used to own every Bryan Adams album until Waking Up the Neighbours. And I listened to them. Regularly. Favorite album: Run to You.
  • I once bought of pair of lime-green pants. They looked so good when I saw them at Sears.
  • I occasionally buy shirts at the Gap.
  • I like reading Sci-fi books. Favorite authors include Terry Brooks (Shannara Series) and Weis/Hickman (Dragonlance).
  • I've been collecting comic books since 1986, mostly DC and some Darkhorse.
  • I regularly play Quake III, Half-life, and Unreal Tournament on the 'Net. I usually get my ass kicked by kids half my age. Those little buggers can really move when the Ritalin wears off.
  • I don't smoke, I don't drink coffee, I've never done any drugs or any kind, and my favorite beer is Newcastle Brown Ale.
  • Half my socks have holes in them.
  • I own a laminated Talbot picture of Orcas breaking the surface of the water.
  • I get on well with my parents. They actually provided me with a fairly normal childhood. Any whiny agnst I suffer from does not stem from the fact that my parents refused to buy me a Big Wheel for my 7th birthday.
  • I still watch Saturday morning cartoons (usually while cleaning my apartment and doing my laundry).
  • I only saw Lord of the Rings once and I fell asleep for about 10 minutes near the end.
  • I've read all four Harry Potter books at least twice and I can't wait for the 5th book.
  • I used to own a pair of pink bunny slippers and occasionally wore them to class in university.
That should be enough. Let me just get comfortable upon this cross before you start driving those nails through my wrists.

Forgive them Father... they know not what they do.
Weird Photo Wednesday... Drat!

I met up with my old pal Marika last night to see The Wells at the Old Dublin last night. As I got in a bit late, I forgot to scan the photo I wanted to put up for Weird Photo Wednesday. I'll try to do it tonight... bear with me! It'll be a cool one (if only I can find it).

The Wells are a fantastic band. I didn't actually make it to HMV last night, so I spent the money on picking up the band's CD (I'll pick up Jann and Billy tonight or tomorrow). If I had to compare this band to anyone, I'd say they're a cross between Blue Rodeo and Weezer. Treat yourself and support a great local band: check out The Wells at the Old Dublin every Tuesday night (check out their website for other dates).

Marika's one of those friends I only see a few times a year. I'm not sure why that is 'cause I love this girl to bits and we have a great time every time we see each other. But schedules will conflict and as time passes, we lose touch again. It doesn't really matter in the end: when we hook up finally, it's all smiles and laughter. That's really cool.

BTW, I finally added my bit to SoapBox Derby. Taras is a tough act to follow. Truth be told, I would've rathered see where Taras was driving his take on the storyline than add my own bit, which is probably why I had such a hard time adding my chapter. I'm not terribly proud of my addition, but I had to do something to move that project forward.

Tuesday, April 09, 2002

Oh Boy! A trip to the Record Shop!

During my regular Saturday clean-up session at home, I unearthed an old 20$ gift certificate at HMV, so it's off to the music shop for me! I was in there yesterday perusing the shelves and I found two discs I wouldn't mind adding to my collection:
  • Jann Arden: Greatest Hurts: I've always liked her music, but I never picked up any albums. It's time I correct this oversight.
  • Billy Idol: Storytellers: I happened to catch this concert on MuchMusic one night while channel surfing. Billy Idol is back! He's got a bit more meat on him, he shows a bit more restraint with his wild gestures, but he's still got the groove-thang going on with those pipes of his. This should be fun.

I saw a few other CDs I wouldn't mind getting my mittens onto, but they'll have to wait.

Hey! My b-day's coming up in less than a month (here's an easy way to remember it: May the Fourth be with You [insert obligatory groan of dismay here]). Check out my wishlist on Amazon.com (it's the Good Poohstuff link) and make me happy!
Flabio Gets in Shape: Part VI

Last week, events continued to conspire against me and I couldn't make it to the gym at all, but I made my grand return to the sweat box yesterday. Oddly, there was no fanfare to mark this fortuitous occasion. I must have a quiet word with the manager.

Considering that I had not been to the gym in a week, I was still able to lift all my normal weights with relative ease (see Part V). I guess that means I'll be upping the weights slightly on my next trip! I even got 20 mins on the cardio machines (5 mins on the step machine and 15 on the cycle), but that had more to do with Fear Factor being on the tube of boob than with my own personal resolve.

The newest addition to my workout routine was trying the bench press. I felt like such a weakling! I tried putting two 10 lb discs on the bar, but I could barely lift the bar off the supports. I replace the 10 lb discs with 5 lbs and I was able to do nine reps before having to give up. I don't know how much that bar must weigh, but I almost didn't get it off my chest on the 9th rep. Yikes! I couldn't help but chuckle at myself for attempting such a thing. Maybe I should just stick to the machines for now and go to the free weights once I have a bit more strength.

The other new addition to my routine is doing a short meditation before and after the workout part. Grounding myself before the workout seem to give me more strength and grounding afterwards gave me a chance to cool down. Although it extends my workout time, I felt more refreshed at the end of it.

Monday, April 08, 2002

The Days are Just Packed

Was this past weekend only two days long? Yikes! I've got way too many things on the go!

Friday night's storytelling was fantastic-- a solid 2 hours of wonderful tales, songs, and even some poetry (that told a story). From 8 pm to 10 pm, we must've crammed almost 10 tellers in, which is rare, because the stories usually take about 10 minutes each to tell. I actually didn't perform that night, so I was able to just relax and enjoy the show for a change.

Four of us went out for pints at the Old Orchard afterwards and talked about the Art of Storytelling. It really is facinating stuff and I love it. I think after this play I'm directing in the spring, I'm going to give the theatre a rest and really focus on honing my storytelling skills. I really would like to be able to attend more festivals in the area.

On Saturday night, Maggie and Bill joined me at O'Donnells pub for the Techwriter Pub night I tried to put together. I was expecting another 4 people, but I guess their schedules got the better of them. No biggie... I occasionally double-book myself to things. Maggie, Bill and I had a great time!

I joined Maggie at Brutopia afterwards and picked up a CD from a great local band called Beau Kavanagh and the Broken Hearted. What a fantastic band! A little bit of Elvis, a little bit of Colin James, and healthy amount of Stevie Ray. Maggie and I even cut a rug to some Stray Cats (actually, now that I think of it, Stray Cats is very appropriate for Maggie). The music was so hopping that it inspired Yael (with an umlaut) to hop up on the bar and sway her hips to the mojo musical movements (a la Coyote Ugly style). Oooh la la! Y'see, that's a moment when I wish I had a digital camera.

They play at Brutopia (first Saturday of the month) and at Cock and Bull (every Friday), so I'm going to have to add them to my list of bands to see again (along with The Wells and Orealis).

Then the Daylight Savings Time fairy bit me on the ass Sunday morning. I was having another brunch party, but instead of getting up early and having 1.5 hours to get the last of the things tidied up, I only only 30 minutes! Yikes! Fortunately, a few other people got caught with the wrong time, so we just started a bit later.

Congrats to Autumn for another great seminar on Ritual Design and thanks to Ron for his advice on painting. His idea to have a painting party sounded good. I'm really tired of the white walls in my pad. I want color!

Then Meri and Jonathan visited me in the afternoon for tea, conversation, and Age of Kings II and Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds on the 'puter (happy Jonathan?). Meri actually reaffirmed something that I've long suspected about my apartment: it seems to be haunted. I'll need to explore this a bit more in the future.

Long post? Long weekend! I wish I had had today off to recover. In the meantime, I'm going to dig through my photos and bring back Weird Photo Wednesdays. Thanks for the reminder Ceri!

Friday, April 05, 2002

Beware the hairballs of March!

Here's the latest campaign from the fine folks who brought you Dawson's Creek and The War on Terrorism:

Washington, D.C. (SatireWire.com) — Countering accusations from liberals and conservatives alike that U.S. policy in the Middle East has become "confused and incoherent," the Bush administration today announced that it has in fact parachuted 225,000 cats into Belgium.

Read the rest at SatireWire | U.S. Drops Cats Into Belgium.

From what I know of trying to take care of my own kitty, I really feel for those Belgians...
5000 hits already?!?

I must've blinked at the wrong time and completely missed the 5000 hit mark. Wow! I meant to do something special for th 5000th hit (like a free trip to the Bahamas or a complementary case of Spam (the potted meat wonder of the world!)), but now that's it has zipped right past my nose, maybe I'll wait and do something special on the actually one year anniversary of the Pooh Log blog (June 1st).

In the meantime, allow me to thank my faithful Pooh Loggers for their patronage, their various comments and clever repartee, and copious links to my site. I revel in your visitations and will endeavour to keep you entertained as long as I draw breath (or continue to pay my ISP fees on time, whichever comes first).

I was discussing the various therapeutic benefits of blogging with Autumn yesterday. Blogging is good for you! Knowing that you're out there, sharing in my pain/joy/achievments/failures/chocolate cake, it means muchly to my fragile psyche.

So... thanks.
Be vewy vewy quiet...

This week just zipped right by. Of course, it helps that I had Monday off for Easter. But now it's Friday night, more importantly the first Friday of the month, which means that it's a Storytelling night. This month's theme is Mischievious Creatures.

Except I don't really have a new story for tonight. I completely forgot to find another tale to tell, so unless the Guild needs me to tell a story because we don't have enough tellers (it happens), I'll just be relaxing and enjoying the evening's performances. Although I enjoy listening to stories, it's difficult for me to focus on them because, in the back of my mind, I'm still going over my own story until I tell it.

If they ask me to tell a story, maybe I'll tell the story of Ti-Fleur and the Magic Fiddler. It's a Quebecois folktale set around the time of Lent, so it should still be timely.

But now, just in time for the coming of spring, I present to you the Wabbit Hunt (yet another quality link from those folks at Dorothy's Required Life. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 04, 2002

A sign! A sign! My Kingdom for a Sign!

So I went to the Wednesday night get-together for the YULbloggers, but I couldn't find them! I suddenly realized that I didn't know what they looked like, and if Bill or Blork weren't there, I wouldn't recognize them (nor they me).

So I sat forlorn in La Cabane bar for about 30 mins when Kate showed up. I didn't know her previously, but she looked like a lost blogging soul, so I called her over. She stayed until about 9 pm and then took off, leaving me forlorn once again.

In the end, it turns out the YULBloggers were there the whole time. They must've been the one group of people I didn't ask. Next time, put up a sign!

I would've just left, but my friend Meri agreed to meet me there at 10 pm. Fortunately, she didn't stand me up, so it made the evening worth all the hassle. We went for a couple of beers at La Frappe (a great little pool hall on St. Laurent) and then tea at my messy apartment (and just to top it off, the cat left me a few gifties on the floor in front of the litterbox).

My usual clean-up day is Saturday, but since I went to Quebec city last weekend, I didn't get a chance to clean the place. Drat. Graciously, Meri assured me that her pad was much messier. It helps that she has a 14 year-old son to add to the clutter (and subsequent clean-up).

This mess is 100% Poohbah-induced. Tell your friends!

Wednesday, April 03, 2002

I have now arrived... I'm a star!

You know you've achieved a certain amount of notoriety when people start spoofing your image.

I was supposed to have a night of gaming last night, but it fell through, so I had a free night to myself. Did I do my taxes? No. Did I catch up on projects fallen to the wayside? No. Did I cook myself a decent meal? No (well... I picked up a BBQ chicken and chewed on that, so that's not too bad).

I unwrapped my newest DVD arrivals (Shrek and Harvey), watched the special features on both, and then fell asleep on the couch watching Law and Order. And I ate a box of Reeses Pieces.

This is what happens when I overload myself with too much stuff. When I get a night free, instead of getting ahead on any of my projects, I take the night off and vege. This summer, I'm going to drop alot of my activities and just take the time to relax.

Really. I mean it this time.

And I'll finally not renew my membership at Lakeshore Players. I'm directing one of the acts of Neil Simon's Plaza Suite (to be performed in June) and then I'll be taking a sabbatical from that group. It's a good group, but since I don't have a car to be scooting off to the Waste Island four times a week, it can be a real pain.

There'll be other activities to drop as well, and more things to pick up. But I need to keep a handle on it. There are only so many hours in a day!

Tuesday, April 02, 2002

No Choco-bunny goodness

I didn't get any chocolate bunnies over the weekend, but I gave a few out! I went to visit my nieces and we had a Kinder-Surprise Easter Egg hunt. They each got two eggs and they were marked with their names. They were instructed that if they found an egg that didn't have their name on it, they were to leave it there until the proper girl found it. To my uncle-paternal delight, the girls played by the rules! Go nieces!

I spent the weekend visiting family and friends and just general chilling out. I love Montreal, but life here can be quite hectic. In Quebec city, I'm always on vacation, just leisurely touring around, visiting the hang-outs and reminiscing about the old days. I spent Sunday afternoon walking around Old Quebec. I never get tired of that.

My newest project is writing a biography about my Dad. We did the first interview on Saturday morning and now I need to put the meat of that session down in writing. I'll probably have to do about 8 more interviews to get everything in (for example, Dad started tell me about his life at 19 years old. He completely skipped his early life on the farm. I'll be asking questions about that in the next interview).

I then pulled out the old shoebox from the cupboard about the fridge and started digging though the old photographs. I hope to include photos of my Dad to complement the stories.

The 70's... Plaid shorts! Ack!Here's one I found of my old gang of friends. I figure this was taken in the spring of the late 70's (probably on my birthday). The people in this photograph are as follows:
  • Glenn O'Gallagher (back left)
  • Ted Morrisson (back centre)
  • Andrew O'Farrell (back right)
  • Me (front left)
  • Wendy Hickey (front center)
  • Stephane Beaudoin (front right)