Friday, May 31, 2002

Flash Flood

I was riding on the 80 Du Parc bus up to the plateau when the skies grew dark, the heavens opened, and the rain poured down in sheets, whipping around corners and blasting through people.

The guy in front of me turned 'round, his eyes wide, and said "You see that? That is the wrath of God. He is punishing us!"

Another woman remarked, "Water is the gift of life," she pointed to the outside through the rivulets pouring down the windows. "It is cleansing the city, and anyways, after the non-winter we had, we desperately need more water!"

The guy shook his head and replied "No, no. This is a storm. God is angry!"

All I could do was stare outside and the pounding spectacle, my mouth agape and grinning. "Wow," I muttered over and over.


(get a simultaneous perspective from Bill)
The Knight Rider gets into Jungle Rhythms

David Hasselhoff is hooked on a feeling that he's either Nantuck of the North, Ricky Martin, or Crocodile Hunter. Put on those leather pants and get ready to rumble.

Maybe he should've just stuck to the insight he would've gained from the statement "I've got a bad feeling about this".
The Saga Continues...

Ceri has added her new chapter to our online novel at SoapBox Derby. Yay! Go check it out!

Now it's my turn to add something... Maybe it's time to explore what's in room SB27! The plot thickens!

Thursday, May 30, 2002

The Lost Art of Whispering

I attended a volunteer's meeting yesterday for the MPRC, and overall, it was another productive discussion. I need to get cracking on putting together a Press Release Kit for the centre.

We're holding this meeting in a large room above Melange Magique, which is large and echoey. It's a pet peeve of mine, but when person is speaking in a discussion, the other's are supposed to be quiet. Several times during the discussion, there were two knobs who insisted on having their own conversation. Despite several requests to refrain, they would just stop speaking until another good topic of personal discussion would come up again. So not only are they not listening to what's being said, they're making it difficult to hear what's being said because our echos are competing with their echos.

Where did these two people learn how to whisper? In a helicopter?

Argh. At least the Pooh Logs let me rant uninterrupted.


Wednesday, May 29, 2002

Fitful sleep

It's amazing the thoughts that come to your mind when your body is wracked with coughing spasms. I began to wonder if this is how people stricken with TB spending their last moments, wearing a groove in the floor between the bed and the bathroom, their whole systems being pounded by non-stop chest explosions.

Then I started to visualize people attending my funeral, all whispering about how stupid I was to sleep in the clothes I sweated in during my weekend of camping, on how I brought this upon myself. "Dumb way to die," one would whisper to another, who responds with "Yes... but still amazingly consistent with the way ol' Dave was. Remember the time, after a night of drinking, he fell asleep on the front stoop of his own house...".

Okay... on to happier topics. Thanks to Toast for the link to this great cover-story on the Geeks on Parade to see Episode 2 (snatched from Late Night with Conan O'Brian). Triumph the Dog is surely a direct rip-off of our own Ed the Sock, but this reportage is definitely worth a gander.

But in the end, is dressing up as your favorite character in a movie any different from wearing a sports jersey of your favorite team, going to see live games with giant foam fingers and tarps emblazoned with various messages, or painting your faces with team colors? Having an adult dressing up as Jedi is stupid and childish, but painting your face in white and red, wearing a Habs jersey, and beating on anyone else wearing the opposing teams colors, that's an okay and mature hobby to pursue?

Sorry folks, but it's the same thing.

Tuesday, May 28, 2002

Out, out damn cold! Begone!

I popped in to my local CLSC for a general check-up (I haven't had one of those in about 10 years), and everything seems to be in good working order. I just have to shake this bronchial infection I've got (that's still keep me up nights with violent dry-coughing fits) and I can go in for my blood tests.

And yes, I'm still fighting this flu bug. The congestion and the dizziness are gone, but the hacking cough is still with me. Even the Robitussion Dry Cough medicine (extra strength) wasn't able to make a dent in it. Argh.

After poking and prodding me for a bit, the sawbones weighed me. I was pleased to learn that I weigh 216 lbs with my clothes on. This is a significant improvement because this time last year, I weighed 220 lbs with my clothes off. Success! When the play is done (June 5, 6, 7), I'll be back in the gym to keep picking away at my flab. Yay!

But I'm sick and tired of being sick. I've had to miss all sorts of cool things because I've lying miserable in my pad (like Ceri's Super-Hero party). I was planning to go as Captain Onomatopoeia (Whoosh! Pow! Gurgle!), but I'll have to keep that idea for next year.

Drat. Stupid flu.

Monday, May 27, 2002

Juggler's Syndrome

If I won the lottery, I would have the free time available to spend my life acquiring knowledge. I would take sign-language classes. I would study theatre. I would learn how to repair an automobile. I'd attend storytelling festivals all over the world, both as a listener and a teller. I would take classes to learn how to draw. I would learn how to tend a garden. I would learn to play an instrument or two. I'd learn another language like Spanish or Gaelic.

The only difference between my dream and my real life is that 40 hours a week is spent earning the money that allows me to spend the fraction of the rest of my life acquiring that knowledge. So I work during the day and I spend the rest of my waking hours trying to amass as much knowledge and experience that I can before I fall asleep.

This juggling act is not a graceful one, nor is it very efficient. Eventually, I end up being booked for multiple things at the same time and I'm forced to choose. Whatever I choose, I end up losing something I'd like to have or letting someone down. There just aren't enough hours in a day, days, in a week, weeks in a month, months in a year, years in a life.

And now, at the ripe old age of 33, I look back on my life and appreciate my various accomplishments. I'm a respected writer in my field, I've directed a few plays that were well-received, I'm a recognized storyteller of some talent, and I've earned the love of a few choice people. But there's so much more I want to accomplish and I feel like I'm running out of time.

Oh sure, my ticker's probably got about 40 to 50 years of life to it (unexpected plummetting pianos non-withstanding), but to master a skill or two, I need to start my education now and spend the next 10 years practicing, honing, crafting, perfecting.

So what do I need to drop and what do I want to pick-up? These are questions I ask myself several times of every year.

In 2002-2003, I think I'll be taking a sabatical from the theatre and focus my energies on storytelling. I also need to focus more on my health and well-being, both physically and spiritually. And I need to allow myself more free time. I can't have every minute scheduled and slotted. It's not good for my mental well-being.

That should do it for now. Ye gods... where did I put that lotto ticket?

Friday, May 24, 2002

Episode 2: Boobs in Space

So Meri and I went to see Episode 2: Attack of the Clones last night and, while I did enjoy the film, it didn't blow me away like Spiderman did.

My main beef was with how they developped Anakin's character. He came off as a Force-powered jerk over the whole movie. Yeah, yeah... I know it's called foreshadowing, but he could've shown a more charming side to his personality until the all important Mother Scene. It would've been a stronger pivotal moment, showing his tumble over to the dark side of stuff.

As it is, he's a jerk throughout the whole movie, so there's no reason why Padme would even remotely like him, much less love him. He's arrogant, disrespectful, self-centered, and doesn't even share her political views! What do these two have in common again? Oh yeah... they're in the same movie. Gotcha.

It would've also been a nice touch if Padme had brought out the little bauble that he gave her in Ep1, but alas, one of her maidens must've eaten it by mistake. Naughty, naughty Handmaiden! As punishment, you'll be my decoy when we visit the planet of Nonsensical Nazi Cannibals from Chibougamou!

I also started to wonder if the director was trying to pay tribute to other movies in certain scenes. There's one scene where Padme comes running up a clover-covered hill top and I half expected her to break out into song: "The hiiiiillllsss are aliiiiive with the sound of muuusssiiiiic!"

Now that would've been special. Anakin Von Trapp and his seven naughty Jedis who expound upon the fact that a spoonful of the Force makes the Dark Side go down, Dark Side go dooowwwn, Dark Side go down.

Thursday, May 23, 2002

Belated Weird Photo Wednesday

I was puttering around my pad on Tuesday, sniffling and hacking from the throes of the flu, when I happened to glance outside onto my balcony. Lying there was a sight I never thought I would see.

A squirrel. At rest.

I've never seen a squirrel that wasn't is constant motion. Even if it was just sitting there looking out, its tail would be contantly twitching.

But not this one. It was lying flat on the balcony and its tail was equally flat and motionless. At first, I thought it was dead, but then its head turned slightly and spied me looking through the screen door. I grabbed the digicam and snapped off this pic. About a full minute later, the tail came shooting up, the rodent stretched, and scampered off.

Amazing. I've never seen a squirrel taking a five-minute break. It must be a union thing.

Wednesday, May 22, 2002

Hold my dagger and hand me that tissue

Note: Weird Photo Wednesday's pic will be up tomorrow, so stay tuned! Although the subject itself is fairly common to North America, I'd wager that you'll have to admit to never having seen this particular situation in person! I had never seen it before yesterday!

I'm still a bit clogged up and dizzy, but I decided to give the land of the living another try today. Stupid flu.

I basically got sick last Friday, but since I was all prepared to go LARPing on the weekend, I had hoped that it was nothing serious. But by Saturday afternoon, I knew I was in serious trouble. My body was shivering, my joints were stiff, and I was feverish and dizzy. I had a difficult time standing on my feet at the end of it. It didn't help that I had spend most of the night (from 11 pm to 6 am) fighting off wolves, lizardmen, ogres, and highway men. Adrenaline wears off quickly and fatigue takes its toll with a vengeance.

Fighting lizardmen, you ask? You'll have to wait a few days until I'm ready to describe my first experience with Live Action Role Playing at Le Domaine du Createur. Suffice it to say that, despite my sickness, I really did enjoy the experience and plan to do it again in June.

Tony brought me back to my place on Saturday night and Meri was already there to take care of me. At around 9 pm, since she had to work the next day, I insisted that she go home and get some sleep. I was undoubtedly going to be coughing and hacking all night and I didn't want to force her to go through that with me.

Her reluctance to leave basically stemmed from her worry that I would not make it through the night, that's how bad I looked. Admittedly, I wasn't too sure either.

So it's not Day 5 of the flu and I'm starting to make some progress finally. Sleeping in the woods on a very cold Victoria Day weekend probably didn't help things, but I'm starting to climb back out of this pit I dug for myself.

Thanks to everyone who has sent me Chicken Soup Salutations!

Tuesday, May 21, 2002

Hack, hack

Sick today. Sick all weekend. Deathly sick. Ack.

Despite the flu that came upon me Friday night, I still went to play LARP on the weekend with friends, but I had to give up and come back early on Saturday due to a raging fever. I'll tell you all about my adventures later.

I need to get back to bed. Need more sleep. Ugh.

Friday, May 17, 2002


I always overpack my bags on any trip I take. Whether I'm going to my parent's place, Ireland, or a weekend of camping, I always pack way more than I need.

When I went to Ireland a few years go, I had packed so much stuff that I almost couldn't lift the backpack off the ground. Fortunately, the guest house in which I stayed in Dublin let me drop a few things off at their place in exchange for making a reservation there a week later (the night before I flew back to Montreal). But even then, I couldn't travel light.

I always wonder at how seasoned travellers manage to pack their things so frugally that they can travel with only a few things packed into a modest bag. What's their secret?

Now I've got my huge travel bag packed to the brim with jeans, unmentionnables, socks, shirts, towel, sneakers, a blanket, camping mat, sleeping bag, and a few other knick knacks. And I'm sure that I'll have forgotten something.

I'm glad I don't need to hike through the Alps with all this stuff. I'd definitely need some kind of pack animal. Or a little red wagon.

Squeak. Squeak. Heee-Haww.

Thursday, May 16, 2002

Bzzz Bzzz Bzzzz!

As remarked by Matt the Security Guard in the building where I work:

If there was a soundtrack to your life, Dave, it would definitely be Flight of the Bumblebee. (midi file snagged from Zdim's Midi Morgue)

That's very true nowadays. When the play winds down in June, life will slow down. It will be good.

If your life had a soundtrack, what would it be?

Wednesday, May 15, 2002

Weird Photo Wednesday

So what are you wearing, tiger?Thursday afternoon was the face painting workshop. While 7 or 8 furs signed up, I was the only who actually showed up. That being the case, we decided to paint more than just my face. A LOT more. The end result was that my entire upper body got painted up like a tiger to match the tail and ears I had there.

See more poses at Feral's 2000 Pictures. (snagged once again from Blort)

Tuesday, May 14, 2002

A Quiet Day needs some Jazzing Up

It's supposed to snow today (hasn't yet!), so I think we all need some cheering up. My thanks go to Blort for finding this little beauty that can only be named Samsung means to come.

Get on yer toe-tapping shoes, sit back, and get ready to read fast. It's fun, but frenetic (like me!).

BTW, you wouldn't believe how difficult it is to find a grey blanket and a cheap black beard. Crazy!

Monday, May 13, 2002

Pillow Talk -- Part I

Meri: When I get really angry, I always swear by saying "Jesus Murphy". My son Jonathan always asks me who Jesus Murphy is.

Dave: You don't swear much like a pagan. Aren't you supposed to say something like "Oh my Goddess" or "Green Fucking Man"?

M: I would, but it doesn't sound right. It doesn't have the same kind of oomph as Jesus Murphy.

D: Whoever that is... That Irish Mexican prophet son of God. I wonder how Satanists swear?

M: What?

D: How do Satanists swear? Do they start off with "Lord Thunderin' Jes--" and then stop themselves when they get nasty looks from other Satanists? And then to save face, they switch to "Seven Hells" or "Lord Thunderin' Lucifer"?

M: Maybe they say "Lucifer Murphy" when they're really angry.

D: Is he related to Jesus Murphy?

M: Okay, that's enough of this conversation... get me some tea.

D: Seven Hells!

Friday, May 10, 2002

Beware of the Scammer

There's a fella down who begs for money down on Ste. Catherine and MacKay who really gets my goat. Sure, in this town, there are PLENTY of people who ask for spare change and I occasionally stop for a chat and leave them with a looney or two.

But a few months ago, I was making my way down Ste. Catherine street on my way to Hurley's for a pint when I crossed a couple of people on the corner of MacKay. There was one guy who seemed Indian or of Indian decent, dressed in dark blue jeans, a green polar fleece, with a burgandy packsack. The girl he was with was dressed in black and seemed to be with child. They approached me and said they had just arrived from Kingston on a vacation and, due to a mix-up with their baggages, they didn't have any money and they just needed a bit to spend the night at the YMCA.

Both were cleanly dressed, well-spoken, and seemed to be in genuine distress, so naturally I wanted to help out. I won't tell you exactly how much I gave them (due largely to my embarrassment), but let's say it was more than $5. The guy even said he would pay me back by leaving the money at a shop where I have a few friends.

But as soon as I parted with the money, I knew I had been had. I just knew I had been scammed. It was just a strong feeling I had, but I tried to shake it off. I was doing a good deed, I told myself as I walked away, looking over my shoulder and waving. Don't go suspecting the worst of everyone, I chided myself.

Then about a month later, I was walking down MacKay with a visiting friend and we were coming up to the fateful spot on the corner of Ste. Catherine. I started to tell my friend about that night and how I would probably never know if I had been scammed or if those two were really in need.

"What did the guy look like," my friend asked as we turned the corner.

"He was about my height, with a green polar fleece, and-- uh-- he had a---," I began to stammer, staring across the street. "There he is!"

I grabbed my friend by the arm and pointed. The bastard was right there, same corner, but without the girl this time. White sneakers, blue jeans, green polar fleece, and burgandy packsack. Despite my friend's protest, I crossed the street towards him just to listen.

"Can you help me out? I just arrived from Kingston and the bastards at the bus company lost my baggage..."

The anger welled up inside me and I stormed up to him. "YOU AGAIN! How many times are you going to visit this fucking city and lose your baggages, eh?" He looked up and, for an instant, recognized me and took a step back. Then he put on a face of confusion, saying "I'm sorry... what? I've never seen you before in my life."

This response just infuriated me all the more. I must've looked like a raving lunatic as my friend dragged me away by the arm. "You scammed me, you bastard! You won't profit from this, I swear to you!" Once a got to the end of the block, I had calmed down a bit. I felt vindicated and I thought it would bring me some closure. But as the weeks passed, it didn't.

My friends ask me why this bothers me so much. It's not that this guy scammed me really. I've been taken for a ride by other miscreants and highwaymen before. In just that this particular scam-artist has become a symbol for everything that's gone wrong in our modern society.

When we walk the streets and we see someone in genuine need, we hesitate. Naturally, we want to help, but we're afraid to be hurt or taken in ourselves. Some of us overcome this hesitation and do what we can to help. Others just stand there, watching, unsure of what to do. And still others keep walking, not wanting to get involved, letting others take the risk.

But there were days when a beggar might be invited in to our home and given a hot meal. If someone needed help, all they needed to do was ask and people would offer without thinking. In Newfoundland, if you stop your car by the side of the road, you only need to wait two minutes before there'll be at least two people who will pull up and ask if you need help. People want to help others in need. It's natural response.

But it's these scam-artists who ruin it for all of us. They play on that natural response, rob us blind, and care little of the consequences. And if the duped realize they've been had, it hardens them, makes them cynical, and they resolve not to get taken again. The problem is that it's difficult to identify the real need and the fake needs. Thus, we hesitate.

I don't want to have to hesitate. I hate the fact that I feel the need to look over my shoulder and I must greet every new person with suspiscion. And the St.Catherine/MacKay scammer symbolizes all of that for me. There's nothing wrong with him that he can't work an honest job for honest pay. He's got two strong legs, two strong arms, he's intelligent and cunning, and he can obviously act.

There's no reason why he can't work at Second Cup. But he chooses to steal from people. He chooses to play on people's natural generosity and take not only their money, but their innocence.

Damn him.

Thursday, May 09, 2002

A New Career Path?

Last night, we had our third rehearsal for the new play I'm directing (Neil Simon's Plaza Suite). I arrived a bit late to our rehearsal space at Lauren Hill Academy (my lead actress is a Guidance Counsellor there) 'cause I tried to get creative with my shortcuts, only to get turned-around and ultimately lost by Montreal's infamous One-Way Labyrinth of Confusion.

When I finally did show up (10 mins late), my actors were just chatting away over Timbits. We moved into the rehearsal space and as we were setting up the chairs, Susan (who plays Norma) turned to me and said "Y'know Dave, we've been working for a few weeks on this show and I can already see you've got a natural talent as a director. You've got vision and you know what works on stage. You really should consider a career in directing."

Wow! This is quite a compliment coming from Susan because she's spent the last 10 years directing plays for a few theatre groups in the area, including the illustrious Becket Players. Maybe Gordon McCall's days are numbered at the Centaur...

I don't know what kind of money a director can make in this business, but it sure would be a great way to make a living if I could swing it. This is the fifth play I've directed and I really enjoy the process, even more than acting! My last two stage plays were very well-received, so I guess I'm doing something right.

Although I probably won't be returning to Lakeshore Players next year, maybe I'll try to find a Montreal-based theatre group to direct for.

Wow... a career in directing? I never thought of that...
Where's that Receipt...?

I think *hunnnghh* I've made a slight miscalculation *mmmrrrrrrggghhhh* with my latest jeans purchase.

Whew... got it! But if these things shrink at all, I'm going to be in a world of trouble.

Wednesday, May 08, 2002

Weird Photo Wednesdays

Eva learns to cook

It's fun to cook! Of course, I do not eat, for I am a doll. But it always looks like so much fun! If I could eat food, I would fix grilled lemons every night, because lemons are such a pretty fruit!

I would've loved to hear the pitch this fella made to the model when he explained his concept behind The Dolliseum.

(snagged from Everlasting Blort)

Tuesday, May 07, 2002

The Incredible Shrinking Man

I went to pick up three pairs of jeans yesterday at the Bay (which is right across from work). All my current pairs of jeans are ripped and torn in the most embarrassing of places. Apparently, there's some place that will take torn and damaged clothing and recycle them. I need speak with my friend Gen about this.

Anyhoo... the really cool thing is that the jeans were a size 38 waist and 30 long. The 38 waist is big, but it's two sizes lower than my last pair of jeans, and I remember that when I bought those old jeans, they felt as snug as these ones do now.

Progress! I'm still got a-ways to go on the weight-loss thing, but it's encouraging! Go me!

Who knows? Maybe this time next year I'll be slipping through sewer grates by accident instead of getting wedged in revolving doors. It's a goal to keep in mind...
Quiet on the Set!

We had a rehearsal last night and my actors are almost completely off their scripts. Go them! It's so much easier to work on blocking, expression, and character development when you don't need to hold a script in one hand.

Their characters are slowly taking shape and we're able to run the scenes right through, almost without stopping. This play is so going to rock.

When June rolls around, I'm so going to relax. The play will be over, storytelling will be over, and the MPRC activities tend to drop because the students go home. I'll have lots more time to myself and I can get ahead on others projects that have been relegated to the back burners.

And then there's always time for sipping tea on the balcony, chatting with a friend, under a full moon. That's always a pleasure.

Monday, May 06, 2002

Meanwhile, in outer space...

Did I mention that SoapBox Derby, our online novel, has been updated recently? Taras added his chapter in the continuing saga last week. I think Ceri will be adding the next chapter sometime soon.

Go look. Go look at it now.
Surely this doesn't suprise you

Take the What High School
Stereotype Are You?
quiz, by Angel.

And it was my birthday on the weekend! Yay! I'm the ripe old age of 33, which doesn't really feel any different from 32. I must be getting to that age where the numbers don't matter anymore. I told my Dad that I was plateauing gracefully.

This year's Birthday loot includes: a red T-shirt that reads "Idle... but Deadly" (a spoof on the warnings on cigarrete packs), the loan of my mum's car for two weeks, a Spiderman lunch box, a tiny dictionary, a compilation of 100 years of Irish poetry, and a few heartfelt (e)cards, phone calls, handshakes, and lots of smoochies (go me!).

I spent my actual birthday at a BBQ party with some friends and had a few people over at my place for drinks, discussions, and tarot readings (while drunk).

Another successful b-day celebration. Go me!

Friday, May 03, 2002

King and Queen of May

Earlier this week (on May 1st), I had the honour of being crowned King of May by winning the Mr. Pagan International Contest (I got 38 votes compared to the 10-11 votes for each of the three runners-up). I contacted Lady Elan who turned out to be my Queen of May and it turns out that she's something of a graphic artist! Check out her artwork at Lady Elan.

She also designed these plaques to commemorate our ascension to the thrones. Such talent, my Queen has!

Okay, okay... I'll shut up about this now.
Hair mousse has an expiry date?!?

I guess I'll have to get me some more then. I heard on CHOM this morning that HoneyMoon Suite and Platinum Blonde will be performing a concert together in May sometime. Wouldn't that be swell?

I'm almost ashamed to admit that I actually thought this was good news.

No wait... I am ashamed.

Wednesday, May 01, 2002

Weird Photo Wednesdays

Whew... it's enough to make me wanna be a vegetarian (almost).

Yeeehaww... I'm gonna get me some grits!

This is a typical photo from Ted Nugent's highly successful Kamp for Kids (actually spelling), which is a summer camp to teach kids how to hunt wild game using a rifle or a bow and arrow. Going through this site gave me a sudden hankering for the smell of gunpowder and some cheap bourbon.

But really, there's nothing I can say about this site better than what the ol' Nuge can say himself in his essay on how to inspire a child in the wild:

And now I would like to thank...

King Hobbes!I won! I won the Mr. Pagan International Beauty Contest! Thanks to everyone who voted for me... you all rock!

If you're just joining us, I entered myself in a Pagan Beauty contest a few months back and shamelessly plugged and PRed all my contacts to vote for me. Well... it looks like you all came through for me, 'cause here I am, King of May.

Yay... What a great start to today! And only a few days before my birthday... this is the coolest present. Thanks again!

Now... stay tuned for Weird Photo Wednesday, 'cause it'll be a doozy. Here's a hint: it's related to Ted Nugent.