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, October 27, 2005

I don't really know what to call this

Over the past week I have been stricken with an idea to consume hours of thought and endless possiblities. The plot of a novel has started to find root in my mind. In this case, its something a little stronger than my typical ideas. Often, in the past an idea will form around a sentence. "You might want to hold on," with the appropriate mental image turned into a whole series of thought that trace a multi-generational science fiction story. Just the other day "I thought she looked kind of like a rodent" turned into a short story about world war one. A small idea, and you run with it. Not this time. This time, it was a bunch of ideas, ones that had been sitting in my mind for a long time just running into each other all at once. And out of the mist, a story was sitting there, waiting to be written. Just ready to go, with elaborate turns of plot and character dyanmics. This was a little strange, and I was fully prepared to drop any previous ideas and anything else I had been working on recently and write this novel.

Then it happened again.

This leaves me in a tight spot (note: that was a subconcious reference to O Brother Where Art Thou? a most excellent film). I've got two good ideas bucking to be the next story I write. I'm afriad i might have to go with the most recent. It enfolds an idea I had years ago about somebody dying and being given one night to say goodbye - what would happen and what would you say? But there is so much more to it now. No talking, but a journey, Jacob's Ladder, a temptation, and perhaps the most profoundly interesting journal anybody has ever written. Sort of. It'll make more sense when I write it.

Both of these stories will have to be exorcised. The question is when.

On a further note, I just finished reading the latest Terry Pratchett novel, Thud! It is indeed quite an excellent story. Gone are the days of Terry Pratchett trying to write comic fantasy. It might be called that still, but there isn't much comic about it anymore. There are a few jokes here and there, of course, and the humorous dynamics of Nobby Nobbs and Fred Colins and so on, but the stories are serious now. More serious than they used to be. I know Terry Pratchett always wrote stories with fairly profound messages in them - allegory like mad and whatnot, but these days there is so much more to it. I don't know anybody who could so successfully write a novel about politics and make it so very exciting and wonderful and playful at the same time. It really was something else. Every time I read a new City Watch novel, I want there to be another one. Monsterous Regiment and The Truth both involve the characters, but they don't so much count as part of the series. That means there are seven city watch books, and every one is better than the last (withholding judgement on Thud in this case. Its complicated, but its more of a follow up The Fifth Elephant than it is to Night Watch ... Night Watch was the best one, of course, but... I'm not going to get into it. Lets just say that each one better than the last works, but it doesn't at the same time). I woudl reccomend these seven books to anybody. And, of course, the rest of Terry Pratchett's work. The more you read, the better it gets!

It'll follow you around the room...

Its too late at night for me to do this subject any justice (not that I write anything that profound on a blog anyway), but I just noticed something about popular music.
With the advent of using weird shit to make strange sounds it seems like musicians (or producers) have forgotten about one tool they have - and don't really take advantage of: Stereo Sound.
Listen to Led Zeppelin's What is and What Should Never be. The guitar blast out two power chords in the left speaker, then switched over almost entirely to the right.
It give the sound movement. It follows you around the room. For as long as I can remember, I have always pointed in the deriction of the guitar during that song... I must look a crazy fool when I do it, too. And this tecnhique, editing effect, whatever you want to call it - I can't think of one instance where it is used to any great effect. I think the Mars Volta sort of does it with some of their weird ambient noise, but its more of a fade from one end to the other, suggesting a car passing or a wave or something. The Chili Peppers might have done the same thing, but I can't think of a specific example right now. But they're all fades; nowhere, to my knowledge, has anybody done the straight dead switch from left to right like Led Zeppelin.
The real injustice is that it sounds good and could be used to good effect. It doesn't have to be a copy of led Zeppelin either - it's just a tehcnique, is all.
It's crazy shit. If you're producing your own album as a rock band - I emplore you, do crazy shit that sounds good. Like hard switches in balance.

Monday, October 24, 2005


One of the major themes that comes up in Mythology is that of Rape. They don't mean this so much as the actually modern act as the traditional sense of the word: take. To rape somebody in myth is to take them elsewhere (and, we must admit, possibly sleep with them). The Rape of Ganymede, for example - take as a beautiful young boy to become a cupbearer for the gods. You could work in Zeus and the homosexuality angle if you want, but really, its stretching the myth a little.
So, I had a mythology exam today. And let me tell you, Professor McDonald raped the question directly from the text book's website. I did the online quizes three times for the fun of it. So, Professor McDonald, thank you for a wonderful mid-term examination.

In other news, my sister is doing well. I hear tell she's relaxing and doig some healing in wiarton, and if anybody who knows her and wants to send some best wished type messages I can pass them along for you this weekend or you can phone her there.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

your blood turns to ice

I find it interesting how you always get bad news at the wrost of times. I don't mean bad news like "Your essay is bad, you get a D!" I mean bad news like "Your sister was in an accident."

Thats the bad news I got today. And I know I should be studying for my midterms right now, but my thoughts are quite obviously elsewhere. I'm worried about her, despite the reassurances of my family. My mother tells me that she is doing fine, that she was happy and making jokes about it and being strong, like my sister always is, but I'm still worried about her. It can't be easy for her, I know she'll be facing a lot of tough challenges in the coming months.

the hardest part for me is not being able to tell her that I'm thinking about her. She's in some hospital in Ottawa, and I can't talk to her while she's there and I'm here. So, my only real option is to go there, which, unfortunetly means that I'm probably not going to go to the zoo this weekend. Maybe I'll just have to go when Meaghan gets better. I know how much she might like to see the Giraffes and, maybe, just maybe they would have a sack full of kittens.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The definition of...

Last night I spent hours discussing nothing thats really relevant to acedemics in any way. The topics of conversation ranged far and wide depending on who exactly it was that I was talking to - from Sam Vimes to the nature of correcting people.
Unfortunetly, it all distracted me from my studies. Thus, I was up late last night doing some readings. Now I'm tired. Sucks to that ass-mar.
In other news, I'm probably going to the zoo for the first time in my life this weekend. It should be exciting. I hear they have animals there.

Friday, October 14, 2005


Today's adventure involved a trip to "The Brewing Experience" in Scarborough where Gavin, Paul, Ryan and myself bottled some beer.

Nothing too exciting about the actual process. I mean, all the pipes and and valvues were fun to play with but the real exciting part was the shifty character running the opperation.

It was two o'clock in the afternoon when we got there, and this man was drunker than drunk. Absolutely blitzed. He staggars around the place a little, showing us how to sanatise our bottles and how to put the beer in them. He then proceed to bust out some grody old mugs and pour us all a beer, which I am sure is illegal. Then, in flagrant opposition to the no smoking signs he pulls out a cigarette and lights up. Almost as if he realised what he was doing, he dissapeared until his smaoke was gone.
Some time passes, and somebody shows up to bottle some wine. This new guys looks a little like Bubbles from Trailer Park Boys. Bubbles is a bit of a whiner. He complains about how his machines aren't working properly. So Drunk Brewery Guy looks over his shoulder at us, and he has the most sarcastic look on his face. He proceeds to say "awww..." in an "aww, muffin" sarcastic tone of voice. Bubbles doesn't catch on he's being made fun of.
As we're paying just before we leave, the phone rings and Drunk Brewery Guy answers with a word that sounded something like "Nyrnr?" and mumbles something about "brewing." He looks at us and waves us away with a lethargic twitch of the arm, telling us we could go and everything was okay with the payment.

When we got home, we busted out the Sharpies and started to decorate our bottles (to tell who's beer is who's). Anything that says Brüe is mine. Gavin's Burough Beer with the gun drawn on, well, that's Gavin's. Cap'n Oat's XXX is Ryan's, and Paul's is just Paul's.

Bottle your own beer. It's an experience you won't regret.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

It's more than a feeling

Somebody on my MSN contact list had a message that read like this in their name:
I'm inclined to agree.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Marathon Acedemics

Today is, acedemically, a marathon.

The final event? An essay on Plato's republic due tomorow at one o'clock. Racing for the finish line... It's in a cave behind Justice... all I have to do is find it.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

My goat knows the bowling scores...

Sometimes I still get the songs from catholic school stuck in my head.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Ghosts Appear and Fade Away

Yesterday was a good day. One where I spent too much time on a bus, but a good time none-the-less. the fabled trip to Value Villiage finally took place. Some real prizes were found, but the best items were definitely the UTSC T-Shit that I purchased for two dollars and the police officer shirt, sans all badges. Hardcore.
We also went to Toy-R-Us. They totally had the Star Wars Action Figure spaceships that I want. They had the Republic Gunship AND the ARC-170 Fighter. Man, if I had money to burn, those damn toys would be mine, and the clone action figures to go with them. Alas, I figured eating was probably better for the time being.
The best part of yesterday was definitely a trip to York, though. Candice was having an Oktoberfest party for the heck of it, and I have to admit that I was intruiged by the notion of German beer and funny hats. It wazs really only one funny hat and Laker with duct tape labels that said "Swertsinmeiner" (or soemthing to that effect) in a hand that looked suspiciously like Candice's. There was also a nice Lightning Bolt behind the name - excellent artistic touch.
So, the night wears on and Candice's next door neihbour Christina joins us. I immedietly get the "where do I know you from" feeling. There is something incredibly familiar about this girl. She didn't go to my high school, but she was from my home town. It is slowly revealed through the night that we do in fact know each other through a number of people, but probably most importantly, James. The pieces all started to fall together for us as we began to realise that we have a lot of common friends - Jocelyne in particular. Before the end of the evening, Christina found a picture of me chugging Hobgoblin Ale on her computer - it was a picture taken in my basement, and the other James is definetly chugging a nasty beer in the same picture. It was great! Like meeting an old friend I barely knew I had. Definetly a highlight.
Which brings me to the covient Colin Hay quote that is the title of this blog entry. What with being at a party with Candice, a friend I've had since grade two, and meeting a girl I've known for two years, but forgetting that I knew her at Candice's house - and also when my housemate Rom from last year resilutely failed to awknowledge me as I walked past him the other day - all these sort of things make me think about how people drift in and out of your life so easily. Every once in a while I think about what happened to those people I hung out with in elementry school. Where is Vincint Grady these days, and did he ever build a robot? Whats Wojtec up to these days? Tisha? Robin? Ryan? Phil?
And its odd, you can run into these people later - say, at a bar in Wiarton, or at an indie rock concert in Walkertin and its almost like things haven't changed, you can talk, and remember the things that have gone past, and catch up - but things have changed, and often you end up imopsing memories onto this person who really isn't the same person anymore. Change is great, but what about those innocent memories of childhood? Sometimes It's good just to see a familiar face so you can realise that life goes on around the world and at home - in passing, knowing that the people you spent your formative years with are out there doing wonderfult things and facing terrible hardships, just like you. Life is all about learning, and I find it comforting to know that everyone has to learn.
Chuck Palahnuik's concept of single serving friends form Fight Club - people you meet once and talk to, people who you will probably never see again - this fascinates me. It's true, too. There are people you can connect with and talk to for hours, or just minutes, and feel like calling them a friend. And then you never see them again. Sometimes I regret this - there are people, I don't even know their names, and I feel like I should have got to know them.
So, to anybody I ever talked to just once, this is my apology. Should our paths ever cross again, I'll do my best to remember you and if possible make a next time for the encounters. And to those that I might not meet again, thank you, and I'm sorry.