Pirates are Cool.

Captured bits of life... Pirates at no extra cost. Arrrg. Also cool: Zombies, Aliens, Ninjas, Dinosaurs, Vikings, the Noble River Horse, the Sinister Octopi, Robots and Kittens.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Is this it?

Tonight, my last regular night on res at UTSC before I move home. I'll be here once more to pick stuff up and to write an exam, but tomorrow, I go home. It's sad, in a way. I"m going to miss B-3. Pucknell, Ryan, The Feiker, Big D and even Rom. There were lots of times here. Good ones, not so good ones, interesting ones ... you get the point. Next year I'll be living with Paul and Ryan again, but not anybody else. On the upswing, that means no black eyed peas nineteen times in one day. On the down side, it means not secretly being able to understand Derval's Jamacain Dialect without him knowing. "I tiff your oreos, mon."
The Beacon was taken down today - No longer does the Heiniken sign glow out to the world, offering a point of navagation for many people on res. 2pac was taken off the wall and respectfully rolled into the poster tube, waiting for the new living room we have next year. My room echoes. Everything is in a box or a bin except for that which I need to live. Even my CD's are packed away.
No more noise fueds with Ryan. I'm still not sure who's computer is louder, but he can play astrosludge on the electric better than I can on the acoustic.
No more 3 am band practices with Mike.
No more Drop-D Radio.
No more movie nights with Liz, Christyne and/or Meaghan
... at least, not until four montsh from now ...
The beer cap cookie jar will live on Forever where-ever I go
...It would just be sad no caps went in the lion ...
Now I can look forward to the summer.
No more wisdom teeth
Working, fishmungering as well as being the CIT director for Camp Presqu'ile
Driving like a birthday cake, maybe (but I doubt it)
Doin' shit with James
Geeking it up oldschool
Hitting up Owen Sound's local rock scene
Visiting my old high school for shits and giggles.
So, what it all boils down to is that, althought today is sad in it's own way because, let's face it, it's the end of an era... the B-3 era ... it's happy for the same reason. I get to go back to everything I once knew, and although the places will undoubtedly be thae same, the people will have eight months of experience to work on. Things are going to be different, and as much as I am loath to say goodbye to some people here, I'm exicted about seeing some people there. What happens next, who knows?
Whatever it is, I have the feeling it's going to be worth it.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Giant Monsters and 80's Television

I really wish I had a camera that worked so I could show you how my Godzilla action figure is holding my David Hasslehoff as Micheal Knight action ficure of the pit that is my desk. Is there impending doom for Micheal Knight, or will K.I.T.T. show up and save the day? Could Godzilla's radioactive breath destroy K.I.T.T.'s armour? And what if Mothra were to show up? What then would Godzilla do? If K.I.T.T. desroyed Godzilla, would he be able to fend off Mothra as well, and save Tokyo?
Difficult questions. This is what I think about when I should be studying.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Transfer your frames to film part II

I looked into it. X-Men Three and Hellboy Two both have Twenty-Aught-Six release dates. Along with Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Man's Chest. Score!

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Ouch, my democratic process!

I entered a writing competition in the late part of last year, and although I apparently did rather well, I didn't win. I was relying on the general public at large to vote for my entry, and it didn't work. So now it's time to solicit the votes of you, my faithful blog readers! Did all of you even know I aspire to be an author? That blog link on the side, Crisis of Idealism: A Space Opera, it's the first draft of a novel I wrote in november. It sucks, but feel free to check it out.
Anyway, instead of relying on a proper democratic process like I should, I want you to go to this site: http://www.grimmagazine.com/random_highbrow.htm and check out the instructions on how to vote for stories. Then, if you want to make a mockery of democracy, vote for me. If not, vote for the story you like best. Or, you're third option is to enter yourself.
My story, in case you miss my name, is called "His Temporal Demise" It's a cut up version, though. I had to hack it down from 380 words to get it under 250... stupid word limit.
Ah well. I hope you take part in this method of supporting new Canadian literature.

Saturday, April 16, 2005


"Morality is herd instinct in the individual." - Nietzsche

This is philosophy?
Something tells me this line falls under the type of philosophy that sounds smart but doesn't really mean anything. The other kind of philosophy is the stuff that is really profound but sounds simple. Like, for example, Pirates are cool. Really simple, yes, but think about it - Are they really? What kind of Pirates? How are they cool? Why?
More thought provoking than some comment about human nature. I really don't think that quote means anything.

Transfer your frames to film

Last night, I watched Sin City. I'm going to come right out and say it - I'm a sucker for comic book movies. Superheroes are just so damn cool that I can't help but enjoy the comic book movies. I'm also going to come right out and say it, I don't really read comics. This isn't because I don't like them or anything, it's just because I never really did. They just weren't my thing, I guess. So, often times, when going in to view a comic-book movie, I have little knowledge of the the actual characters or anything like that.
I had a vauge idea of what Sin City was about - a dark sort of city with lawlessness and the like. I've seen people reading it here and there before. I figured it was a just another comic book, maybe just with a grittier edge. Turns out I was right. I liked the movie, but I didn't really think it was worth all the hype that's built up around it. And this made me realise that there is a certian trend around modern comic-book movies.
It all started with X-Men. This one I really liked. Wolverine kicks a lot of ass. This movie was puffed up and made out to be a huge hit, and it was very sucessful. This success proved the marketers that comic-book movies could be good sellers again (like Batman ... ironically enough, it was probably the sequels to Batman that killed the comic book movies until X-Men ... ironic, also, how the comic book movie trend should cause the Batman film series to be revived with Batman Begins).
X-Men was a decent enough movie, but I'm still not sure it deserved the hype that got pushed up around it. Lets face the facts - it was cheezy. But, as you may have noticed, I like cheezy movies. The main strike against X-Men was the fact that it didn't go to it's full potential. You have all these Mutants with awesome superpowers, and they barely use them. This was rectified in X-2, though. X-2 was an all around awesome film and I have nothing to say against it - it is the one modern comic-book film that i think is deserving of everything that was ever said about it.
The real flood of popularity came from the movie Spiderman. Two and a half hours of popcorn fun. Not a particularily good film. Slow down, before you give yourself a heart attack. I thought it was a good movie the first time I saw it. This film was huge - everybody loved it. Huge hype was thrown up around it, everybody had to see spiderman. I stoped and looked at what was going on, then I saw the movie again. First point - that dude who plays spiderman does a shitty job of acting. In fact, everybody does a poor job of acting except for Willem Defoe and Bruce Campbell. It's the solid truth. Notice how you just don't care when Spiderman is made out to be a badguy? Thats a result of poor acting and bad scripting. Second point - the computer animation is terrible! for a superhero like spiderman, if you can't do it in person, at least get something that looks real. The animation was bad like in Harry Potter, which just frustrates me. I must admit that the directing was decent, Sam Raimi is a hero of mine, but he really didn't do anything new with this movie. I mean, it's like Darkman all over again for directing. This was made out to be a great film, and really, it wasn't. In fact, it was just bad enough that I had no rela desire to watch the sequel, and to this date, I still haven't seen it. I hear from my co-conspirators that you still don't care about Spiderman's wussy emo-kid woes in this film, and I also hear that his woes are the whole point of the film. Of course, I haven't seen it, so I can't back that up.
Next up comes Daredevil. I didn't see it. I don't think anybody did. I hear it really sucked. Still, it was hyped up in the media before it was released. This is a perfect example of how superhero movies are hyped up, but in an underserved way.
I'm loath to even admit I saw The Leauge of Extrodiary Gentlemen. How they even managed to get this film released was beyond me. But again, the way it was marketed was as a good film. I was excited to see it, it looked interesting and good. And it turned out to be lame. Since when did Captain Nemo wear a turban? I mean, that and his obvious accent kind of gave away his national origins... which were supposed to be mysterious. Argh! This film just wasn't worth the time.
And then there was Hellboy. This film, also highly anticipated in the media. I liked it, but it was corney as all hell. I think that might be half the reason why. The other half might be kittens. Hellboy likes kittens, I like kittens, thus we have something in common. Plus he's a huge emo kid, which I'm down with. But, he's not a wuss like Spiderman about it. He has actual reasons to be all emo'd out and stuff. Demon from hell, in love with crazy woman with fire-hands... pretty much the same story as Spiderman, only not lame. the whole emotional duress thing in this film was taken with a grain of salt and made humerous, like it should be in a comic book movie. If a comic book movie takes itself to seriously (spiderman) it undermines the overall effect of the film.
Which brings me to Sin City. This film took itself very seriously, but in a different sort of way. The filmmakers tried to make the movie look like a comic (but, not like they did in the Hulk, which I didn't see and I don't know anything about... hence the lack of speech about it), and in this case, I think they did an admirable job. The dark black and white punctuated by the occasional coloured object stayes true, as I understand it, to the original comic. The actining wasn't bad, not great, but passable. Where then is mike strike against this movie? It's in the story line. It's not one movie, really, but three - three independant story lines that come together to, in a round about way, show how the power structure in Sin City is destroyed. I thought that the way the film jumped from one story, completing it, then going on to the next was distracting. And then, returning to the original storyline after an interceeding hour and a half of material that really had almost nothing to do with it just didn't sit right. The movie was good, yes, but I don't think it was as great as everybody has been saying it is. Comic book films are lots of fun, but I just don't think they deserve the attention they are given.
I'm still looking forward X-men 3 and Hellboy 2, though.

"I can magically heal you"

If only it were that simple Maynard. If only.

Friday, April 15, 2005

At long last, the end begins

By a trick of the courses that I took this semester, I only have four exams. Only, these four exams all took place in the moderate to late timeframe of the exam scheduel. Today, at long lat, I wrote my first exam. After today, there are three more and I'm done my first year of University. It went really fast and incredibly slow, but that's another story.
Today's exam was Critical Thinking about Poetry. This was, surprisingly, my favourite course of the year. Why? Because I never used to like poetry. I think one of the major contributing factors to this new appreciation of poetry was my professor. Professor DuBois is good at what he does, plus he's from Alabama and pronounces his name "Doo-Boys" instead of the French way your typical Canadian (me) would expect. He knows his shit when it comes to poetry (and rap lyrics, too... I'm looking foreward to that class in the future). A good teacher will always improve a course, but as an added bonus, Professor DuBois said a lot of funny things this term. I thought I might type a few.

while talking about "No Worst, There is None" by Hopkins, a poem that alludes to old English styles, Professor DuBois wrote teh letters 'OE' on the chalkboard and then turned to the class and said... :
"I know a lot of you probably know all about Old English... if not the verse."

While discussing Robert Browning's "My Last Duchess" ... the speaker of this poem subvertly hints that he killed his last duchess:
"Most mass murderers aren't known to have written great poetry."

In class after a Blizzard:
"I see why you Canadians don't start many wars - You're too busy shoveling snow all the time."

Contemplatively... :
"Oh shit... Mortality..."

Sarcastically, while reading T.S. Elliot's "the Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock:
" 'Do I dare to eat a peach?' Wahoo! Exciting life."

While discussing Gertrude Stein:
"I'm not going to spell it out for you what ' Tender Buttons' might have to do with sex."

To encourage us all ... :
"Maybe you're taking English classes because you want a worthless career"

Just before a quiz:
"Don't look at you syllabus, don't look in your notes, don't look in your books - I'm not fucking around about this."

I don't even know where this one came from:
"Nativity - you know, at Christmas? They don't call it that because there's Donkeys and stuff in there - it's where Jesus was born."

While discussing Sylvia Plath's "Morning Song" :
"It doesn't say 'a drunken accident in the backseat of a car set you going.' "
"It's a more Naturalist, homeopathic, hippie type thing."
"I'm sure you see a lot of your parents in yourselves. I know I do... I can probably stamp that out with a lot of therapy, though."
"It's a genre of poems where you talk shit about your parents."

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Clock timeframe belts pyschographic applicability

"My still bleeding heart remembers when you loved me"

If I were to write an emo song, I think that would be the title. It's just about pathetic enough.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Ouch, My sense of Realism!

Once upon a time, a few years after my parents split up, I was at my Dad's apartement and I was bored. The frogs had been caught, the TV had been watched, I had forgotten my socks again and I had no book to read. My Dad knew then that I liked reading - he made a big deal out of how much my sister and I read when we were little (and now I'm an english major... it's all your fault, Dad!) At any rate, a book was handed to me. the pages were a little worn, and the spine was curvey from the pages being folded over, but I didn't see why i shouldn't give it a try. I was an impressionable boy and I figured it was about time I saw for myself what my dad was reading. The book that my father passed me was Sahara by Clive Cussler.
I loved it so much that I spent the enire summer tracking down every Clive Cussler book I could, staying up as late as one in the morning reading the adventures of Dirk Pitt in underground rivers (Inca Gold - I finished that one by lamplight as we were camping), through ancient greek mazes (The Mediterrianian Caper, the first Dirk Pitt novel published, second written and second chronilogically) or even finding and raising the might ship Titanic (Riase the Titanic! written before people found it on the bottom of the ocean). These books (there are many more than just the ones I listed here) captured my imagination. I loved them, they were adventure in its purest form. People say Dirk Pitt is like a mash-up between James Bond and Indian Jones. I'm more inclined to say that he's his own action hero, he just didn;t get enough rep because he was in books instead of movies... At least, thats the way it used to be, but I'll get to that. James Bond was a book character, too. The reason why Dirk Pitt is like James Bond is because Clive Cussler's big inspiration was Sir Ian Flemming - the creator of Mr. Bond. It's all in his biography, "Dirk Pitt and Clive Cussler Revealed" (which I also read and enjoyed). To my ecstatic joy, Clive Cussler's books kept coming, usually one a year. Then there was the Numa files - stories about a whole new hero, Kurt Austin... who, in the end, turned out to be pretty much the same as Dirk Pitt. And even later still, The Oregon files, books about some extra characters originally found in the Dirk Pitt adventure Shock Wave.
Imagine my excitement when I learned that Clive Cussler had done something he swore never to do after the movie "Raise the Titanic!" was made. I vauely remember being fascinated by this film long before I even knew who Clive Cussler was. Upon viewing it again after reading the book, I was very dissapointed in it, but it was still fun to see my favourite action hero Dirk Pitt on screen... even if he wasn't really actioning in the movie. At any rate, Clive Cussler, I learned a few years ago, sold the rights to three of his books to Crusader Entertainment, a new film company. This news filled me with joy, and I was even more exicted when the first film they were planing on making was my favourite Dirk Pitt Adventure: Sahara. Eventually, the company changed their name to Bristol Bay productions and the script for Sahara kept on getting thrown around and beaten up and hung out to dry. It seems that Mr. Cussler did not want another Raise the Titanic. He wanted the movie to reflect the book as much as possible, which I think is an excellent thing to do. Dirk Pitt books would make excellent films. In the end, there was a lot of bitter resententment between the film makers and the Cussler family. So much, in fact, that Mr. Cussler sued Bristol Bay productions for breach of contract (they were only supposed to produce a movie with a script approved by Mr. Cussler - and that didn't happen apparently) and Dana Cussler's part in the film was cut out (which is unfortunate, because it was an interesting if somewhat irrelevant part of the story)
The fact is, in the end, as a Clive Cussler fan, I have to admit that I enjoyed the movie Sahara. At first, all the Characters bothered me. Nobody was cast right. William H. Macy was a good Sandecker, yes, but something didn't seem right about the part. And casting creepy guy from Six Feet under as Rudy Gunn? What the shit was that all about? Don't even get me started on Dirk Pitt. I think perhaps that Steve Zahn was a good cast for Al Girodino. This is me disagreeing with Mr. Cussler, in point of fact. I wasn't too sure how it would work out, but with the way that they took Al in the movie, I thought he was possibly one of the strongest played characters.
the movie did manage to stay fairly close to the original plot-line of the book. It strayed enough for me to understand why Clive Cussler wasn't happy with the script, but it was really just the characters that weren't right in my mind. The core adventure was very much in tact, if changed a little here and there... or, a lot, in the case of the final battle.
I genuinely enjoyed the film.
Why does my sense of realism hurt? Well, I'll tell you that. Sahara is getting bad reviews - not because it's poorly made or because it has bad acting, but because it's been called unrealistic. I have to agree, it is unrealistic. But, that's the point of this film. We're supposed to suspend belief in action stories. We do it for James Bond, Indian Jones, hell, even triple X (I saw the preview for the new triple X by the way. My secret passion for action movies gave me a mad desire to watch the film. Plus I think Ice Cube is actually a good actor... but thats another story). These movies are berated for being unrealistic (okay, Triple X was). The thing here is, James Bond and Indian Jones are time honoured film traditions that people respect. It's okay to give them good reviews (or hold them up as the shining examples of the best action adventure films ever made) because they have always been good. Nobody's going to say Indian Jones and the Temple of Doom was a bad movie, simply because it wasn't. Unfortunetly, everybody assumes that new action films are just trying to re-do what old ones did, and then they get bad reviews for being unrealistic. Thats a bit contradictory, and downright stupid. If we're willing to suspend our belief for Indian Jones and James Bond, why not Dirk Pit too? And maybe even Vin Deisel (who isn't a bad actor - for real! go watch Saving Private Ryan, it proves he can act) and Ice Cube, too. Hell, maybe if we suspend beleif enough, we can even enjoy straight cheese like The Transporter.
Basically, what it all boils down to is this: Sahara is a cheesy action movie, anda good one at that. You're going to get explosions, one liners, and gunfights. I read a review that says there was no plot. I disagree... there is a plot, and a strong one at that. In fact, for an action movie, there wasn't a lot of fighting. Commando, staring the Governator, has a lot of fighting.The plot of that movie is "my Daughter was kidnapped and now i must kill people". Sahara isn't a thinker, but it's not plotless either. Ignore the stupid reviews who say its bad because it's unrealistic. Accept that it's an action-adventure movie based on an action-adventure book, sit back, and enjoy the film. Take it from a Cussler fan - it may not be on par with his books, and a film adaptation could be better, but it's still good plain fun. After the two hours, I garuntee that you will not feel like you wasted your time... just keep in mind this movie wasn't made to win awards, it was made for entertainment.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

When Metallica walks on stage....

I think it had to be one of the strangest dreams I ever had. I was at a concert that was in a venue that looked suspiciously like the ARC. the lineup was simple: Metallica, Wax Mannequin and The Constantines. Funny that Metallica should open for wax, but whatever. Various things occured that are blurry, but eventualy Metallica walked out on stage, and imediatly somebody shouted out a request for a song from '77... which really makes no sense if you know anything about metallica. After promptly promising to play it later, the guys from metallica took a seat in the stands and the lead singer guy fell asleep on stage, and nobody woudl wake him up to start the concert. Then the other band members starting making fun of wax mannequin - despite the fact that they were opening for him.
Eventually I went and picked up the bass guitar that Metallica guy was sleeping under and played a cool line, and then the dream shifted to me at my computer after the concert was over, looking at bootlegs i coudl download. Somehow, Mike and I had managed to play a few songs - only, other artists helped us out. Flea and Carter Beaufort played Oldwood with us. It sounded awesome!
Alas, it was just a dream. If only Flea would come play bass for my band.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Pure Astrosludge

Last night I went to go see a concert with a couple of friends. The band in question was The Kills, and I had never heard any of their music before, so I didn't really know what to expect. I knew that there was a man and a woman and a drum machine, and that was the make-up of the band. I was somewhat shocked as they walked out on stage, as the guy looked a heck of a lot like my uncle sean. He was a rock and roll machine from foreign lands, though, not my uncle.
I'm going to go ahead and say that it was an enjoyable show. It was loud. It was intense. The drum tracks were cool. I'm not sure how to describe the music that was played. It sounded like metal. Not Metal as if in the genre, but it sounded metalic. Like, if my high school machine shop was music, this would be it. The gritty guitar and feedback provided the sludgey feeling, and the metalic tinge the futuristic element - thus, The Kills gets defined as Astrosludge, a new genre that my roommate and I are defining in musical culture.
Then we walked down queen's street looking cool with our indie rock attire. Such is the life...


Sometime I like to leave random pirates messages on people's MSN. Cheap thrills are the best.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

This life: stay sharp, tobaggan.

I just found a dude on the internet was file sharing a promo CD full of new singles. Not that it was ever fading, but my hope for good new music in this year of our lord twenty aught five has been sufficently bolstered to make me excited... or more excited than I was.
When I first heard the new System of a Down song (B.Y.O.B.) I didn't really like it. But the first time I heard System of a Down, I hated it, so I kind of expected this. Toxicity, with its awesome melody roped me in, and it opened the door for me, it allowed me to hear what System of a Down was doing with their music - and look at me now, I've got their poster on the wall. Everytime I listen to this song, I like it a bit more. Something tells me that I'm going to really enjoy the new albums from System of a Down this year.
I was even more excited to find the new Dave Matthews Band single, American Baby, on this guy's file list. Dave Matthews Band is, incidently, another band I hated at first. I don't know why, because they just might be one of the most talented groups of musicians in operation today. Recently (no pun intended), the released a live album called "The Central Park Concert." This album met mixed reviews, some people didn't like it, others did. The reason behind this? Well, I think it has something to do with the fact that DMB's sound was changing, and some people didn't like the new edge that it had. Personally, I loved it, and I though it was one of their strongest live releases to date. I also said, "Mark my words, the next albums is going to be something different, and something awesome." Thus far, it looks like my phrophecy is coming true.
As it turns out, Audioslave is putting out a new album soon as well. I liked Audioslave, but I didn't love them. I did not like the song Like a Stone all that much, and it got severly overplayed. They were never one of my favourite bands, but I like them enough to say that I'll probably buy the new album when it comes out. The new track off of that album, Be Yourself, is freaking awesome. It makes me wonder if it will be reflective of the whole album. If so, well, good times abound.
Lastly comes Weezer, with the new single Beverly Hills from their upcoming fifth album. This song, I'm don't even know what to say. Once again, weezer has departed from their previous album. The sound is different. I don't know how they shange up the style and still stay so distinctively weezer, but they do it. I'm not sure about this one yet. I think that they have mushc stronger songs. However, weezer had been known release their weaker songs as singles for some reason or another. I still love weezer and I do highyl anticipate the new album.
The story behind all this? There isn't one. I'm just procrastinating.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Ouch, my chronology!

Three words for you oh faithful blog checkers:

Flock. Of. Seagulls.

Last friday night was a fateful evening of the 80's at B-3. The patry required 80's costumes and people came through in full form. I myself went for the Flock of Seagulls look. There was a micheal jackson-esq leather suit, ugly long pink shirts, shiny wind breakers and tracks suits. I felt as if there were not enough side pony-tails, and spent the evening trying to convince girls to put them in. It only work in two cases, but damn, was it ever worth it.
I don't even know what to say about the 80's party. Its a difficult thing to describe, it's hard to say when it started or when it wound down. At first there were my housemates and I, dressed in various 80's costumes. Them, there were a few more people. Then it was a party. What specific events happened? I've been thinking about this all weekend, and to tell you the truth, nothing really stands out. Usually, at a party, one or two things happen which makes the party a true success. The entire night, in this case, was the one thing. A portrait: Mike and I were drinking the 12 year old El Dorado, so our judgement was inhibited to a certain extent. I had the pleasure of DJing the 80's tunes for a while. Mike's cousin Kevin and I were accused of being homoerocitc because we were wearing almost matching blazers. Ryan's friend John and his girlfriend came, I talked/ danced with them. Pat had an intese mullet. Chui's shoes were two and a half sizes too small. There were 80's moves broken on the 'dance floor'. We went pavillion bouncing.
Perhaps that last one needs a bit of description: Our school, in its infinte need for more space and larger lecture halls, decided to erect a what is basically a gaint insulated tent on the science wing feild and use it as a lecture hall. The material that this 'building' is made out of is rather rubbery. Thus, you can bounce off of it. You'll see students throwing themselves at the walls on dark nights, wearily keeping an eye out for the University Police.
All in all, despite one or two disasters at the end of the night, it was a good evening, and good times were had by all. The only problem is, I can't get Mr. Roboto out of my head.