1) I’m healthy-ish… for now
2) was at Aden’s family cottage this weekend. Relaxed. Swam. It was nice.
3) Work sucks.
4) Especially after cottage weekend.
5) I’m angry because work makes me so, and a nice swim would help, but there’s no nice swimming here.
6) Only a day and a half removed from Aden and I tangibly miss her. That’s love for ya.
7) San Diego Comic Con is next week.
8) I’m surprisingly not as excited as I should be.
9) Probably because I’m generally angry at the comics industry and the comics fanbase right now.
10) No, I won’t go into more details.
11) I am tired.
12) Decisions need to be made.
13) The Night Watch has taught me that for every good deed bad things happen, and conversely for every bad deed more bad things happen. It’s kind of a bleak outlook.
14) I realize I’ve been getting more and more selfish, and also kind of bitter or testy with each year, as I begin to understand the world, politics, human nature, social dynamics, and the triumph of pessimism over optimism that seems to proliferate
15) Sunshine isn’t shining as bright as he used to… sorry Mom.
16) Perhaps it’s just better to ignore the news sometimes…
17) Ignorance may make one seem sub-intellectual, but would one rather be well-informed or happy?
18) This post is bumming me out more.
19) I’m looking forward to 2008, my Buy Nothing Year/A Year Without (need a catchy, individualistic buzzline for this)
Ow. Ow. Ow.
That’s the sound I make when I type or use a mouse. After spending 18 hours click, click, clicking away on the mouse this weekend (boring workstuff I wont get into) my thumb and forefinger on my right hand are experiencing some technical difficulties. Okay, not really, but they are a little stiff… I’m going for a massage on Wednesday and I’m making sure that at least half of it is spent on my hands, wrists and forearms.
After much repetitive stress inducing (on not just my hands, but eyes too) I swung out to see the (quite surprisingly entertaining) Transformers movie. I found the quick-cut frantic editing a bit jarring on my weary eyes, but overall an entertaining film. What I found more intriguing though was the trailer for the unnamed JJ Abrams project (codename “Cloverfield”). Yep, a trailer for a film that doesn’t even have a name yet, and it was flipping brilliant as a teaser, and if that’s the style of the movie it’s certainly going to be interesting (think Blair Witch Project but with Godzilla instead of ghosts and the city instead of the woods).
update: official site-ish, plus Ethan Was Right and Ethan Was Wrong and a CHUD.com write-up
After the movie much discussion was had about our childhood (or teenaged) Transformers experiences. I’d never been much of a Transformers fan having never watched the cartoon, although I saw the movie once as a kid and again about six months back. I never had many Transformers toys, either. I was more of a He-Man and Star Wars junkie. Anyway, we were trying to figure out if the Decepticons in the film were mostly new (we all knew Megatron and Starscream, but weren’t familiar with the others… turns out most if not all were new versions of old names) and I recalled having a really cool transforming tank when I was cool. I knew it’s name started with a B or a D but I couldn’t remember him, and it wasn’t striking any recollections within the more hardcore Trans-fans I was with.
It was all Army green, die cast, and kick-ass.
When I got home I immediately went to the internets and checked out various Transformers sites but none of them had the one I was looking for. Rooms asked if maybe it wasn’t a Go-Bot, but I only recalled Go-Bots being rinky-dink tiny things. After 40 minutes of empty searching my pillow beckoned…
This morning, a note from Rooms popped up into my in box, and it looks like he was right: Destroyer
I loved that thing. Even after I lost its removable cannon and its treads and one of its feet…it still kicked ass. I was going to say that the larger-sized die-cast Super Go-Bots were way more awesome than Transformers, but after seeing the others (including Psycho whom I also had) I realized that they were pretty lame robots comparatively.
Canada day weekend was lovely, but the week has quickly taken all of the dura out of my recharged cells. Work, why dost thou be so bitcheth?
Anyway, my work week is about half over at this point, but really it’s only like 1/4 over, as I’m in on the weekend to ensure a new system transition goes smoothly (requiring a lot of tedious blikkety blak) and then back to my usual work week.
Some interesting plans going on in the background, including some time at a cottage and the big San Diego Comic Con get-down fun-k. Can’t come soon enough. Of course, time off only means more work to do when I get back. Aw, fartknockers!
As always, plenty of Graig-done comic book reviews over at Rack Raids, and one of these days I’ll get around to reviewing Pixar’s awesome gateau that is Ratatouille, but not today. Le sigh.
So the folks came down south for a visit, mainly to see my Aunt from BC, visiting my Grandmother, but also to greet me kindly for my birthday. The sister and the folks descended upon BOBTown this past weekend for a visit, where Sunday night Aden and I hosted a meager but enjoyable dinner. As happens when families who rarely get the opportunity to get together like this get together, reminiscent memories get broken out like the fine china.
Anyway, the main topic was my accident prone youth, which included all before the age of 7:
- falling off a swingset and breaking my arm
- jumping off the roof of a car and breaking my other arm that same summer
- taking an overdose of fluoride vitamins (which also included dealing them out to other children in the neighbourhood)
- having a table fall on my hand
- numerous other minor injuries too copious to mention
My mother also said “I don’t remember how you got that scar above your eye, though,” which, given the volume of my accidents, is not surprising, and yet, I’m pretty frustrated by this fact, since it’s a pretty distinct thing and something I’m frequently (well, relatively speaking) asked about, appearance-wise anyway. Do I have to live my life never knowing the story of it? That’s pretty sucky… I mean, I’ll always have the summer of broken arms, but those wounds have no visible reminders…
I had a wonderful weekend.
Thanks to Aden, the Parkas, Mountain Equipment Co-op, Judd Apatow, The Ottawa Senators (but not Daniel Alfredsson), Mom and Dad, my sister, the Bishop and the Belcher, and Toronto for making it a good one.
Thanks to my friends for their greetings, tidings and surprise Amazonian packages.
A big middle finger to my lungs and sinuses for their continued disruption to normal life.
Gads, this see-saw weather as a result of (gasp) Global Warming (the unseen boogeyman of the latest generation, GW is the thing petrifying the kids these days like Nuclear Holocausts scared the shit out of us when we were young) left us with an unholy trinity of warm days this weekend. It was absotastically gorgeous weather, nice to bike up to North York (from downtown) in, nice to spend the day outside in, nice to bike downtown (from North York) in, nice to do yardwork or toss a small foam football around in. It was just bleeding nice. Frankly, Sunday was actually a little too nice… a little too warm (+25°C), however there was a sweet cooling breeze when mobile on the ‘cyclette that meant I didn’t overheat too badly.
With all the warm weather, I’m glad to say I did enjoy the outdoors, but I did spend, perhaps, a little too much time indoors. With the hockey on on Saturday (more hockey talk below), I spent the evening (post 8:00) inside watching Buffalo trounce the Isles before getting fed up and watching Ator on Space (actually, it was Ator 3: The Hobgoblin, aka Quest for the Mighty Sword), a delicious piece of horrendous filmmaking starring Eric Allen Kramer, who also played Thor in the Incredible Hulk Returns. The pain of the Islanders losing and the pain of Ator should be sufficient punishment, but I also subjected myself to Psycho 2 during the commercial breaks, which seemed like a Murder She Wrote-quality production. After the two horrendous films ended, two more mediocre sequalled cinematic endeavors took their place in the form of Poltergeist 3 and Highlander: Endgame (#4 in a series). I could only stick with these for about half an hour before utter fatigue overcame me, but I have to say I love the schlocky Saturday Night givings on AMC and Space. Keep it up.
Sunday was partially wasted as Aden and I, after seeing the wee one off, returned to bed around 10am, not to emerge again, drowsy and sun-blinded, until 1:30 in the afternoon. Ooops. In eating breakfast in front of the TV, I got distracted by the awful Tampa/New Jersey game (damn you Devils), which I watched simultaneously with Fletch on AMC. I read the bulk of Gregory Mcdonald’s Fletch novels a few years ago, and enjoyed them thoroughly. While the film captures the first book pretty closely, they let Chevy Chase loose a little too much, and his “bumbling” antics were an odd character facet to someone who was otherwise smooth, clever and charming. Chase, no doubt, the wrong choice for the role, but serves it fairly well. I abandoned the less acceptable Fletch Lives for greener pastures, meaning yard work and a bike ride. The day kind of whipped on by, capped off by the Detroit @ Calgary game (didn’t manage to stay up past the first OT though).
Today, nice, but cooling down a little and spots of rain here and there, though not quite the downpour that was projected.
Hockey assessments and updates and general blikety-blah below.
1. What did you do in 2006 that you’d never done before?
Hopped on a plane and left the continent.
2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Didn’t really make an official resolution for last year but also didn’t officially didn’t keep it either. This year, well, again no real resolutions, just a pledge to myself to keep my finances in order, which is pretty much on par with most years’ resolutions.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Not close people, but some coworkers and friends’ relatives have become parents and I’m happy for them
4. Did anyone close to you die?
Not this time.
5. What countries did you visit?
England, and the nation within Canada of Quebec
6. What would you like to have in 2007 that you lacked in 2006?
Peace from above. I’m so tired of noisy upstairs neighbours, so as long as the squirrels that trot along the roof an skylights keep it down, I’ll be happy.
7. What date from 2006 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
July 23rd, the day Aden and I went to Stratford. I’ve never been more nervous or excited in my life. It was a beautiful day.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Can one call getting the girl of their dreams an achievement? It’s not like a single solitary act, it kind of depends on two people. But then again if it did help me to achieve happiness…
But if such things are out of the question, RackRaids.com is totally awesome and it makes me happy.
9. What was your biggest failure?
Keeping the finances in check. I have a problem. It’s not as bad a problem as it was a few years ago, but I still somehow keep living outside my means.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Lots of colds. Lots and lots of colds. Mostly in the last six weeks of the year. Stupid London.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
I’m most proud of GAK’s X-mas present, the Complete Emma Peel Avengers DVD box set at 75% off. The Kents love a good deal, and they love to tout it.
12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
Stephen Colbert. Sticking it to George Bush and friends, in their face, and their obliviousness to it all… brilliant.
13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
George Bush. The fact that a U.S. President can be mocked so ruthlessly and so directly and not outrage anyone but psychotic right wing television pundits… it just shows how little esteem and regard the position yields, and knocking the prestige of the Presidency down that far means more lazy Presidents in the future. I shouldn’t care so much, it’s not my country.
14. Where did most of your money go?
Rent and food, oh, and comics.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Aden. Still do.
16. What song will always remind you of 2006?
Skip To The End by The Futureheads
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. Happier or sadder?
Happier, by far
ii. Thinner or fatter?
Maybe a pound or two heavier
iii. richer or poorer?
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Read more books.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Work… not that I dislike work, just it’s seriously cutting into my personal time.
20. How many one-night stands?
21. What was your favourite TV program?
The IT Crowd, sans doubt
22. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Hate is such a strong word, but yeah, there’s this one guy I seriously dislike…cause he’s a complete fucknut.
23. What was the best book you read?
hereto referred to as The Book
24. What was your greatest musical discovery?
The Golden Dogs, Femme Generation, The 6ixty8ights, The Duloks
25. What did you want and not get?
The Alex Ross “Justice” Aquaman Action Figure
26. What was your favourite film of this year?
The Host… or Brick. See previous post.
27. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Did a crazy photo-tour around Thunder Bay with GAK, and then we went bowling with Mom and Dad. A very low key and lovely 30th.
28. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2006?
New undies from H&M are a godsend. Aside from that, office sloppy (as opposed to office casual)
29. What kept you sane?
The love of a great woman and some really fantastic friends
30. Who did you miss?
31. Who was the best new person you met?
Aden’s little one.
32. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2006:
No matter how badly you want something, sometimes it’s just not available or attainable, but also, that sometimes, timing is everything.
That’s how many blog entries I made on the core blog last year.
I thought I’d slowed down, but that stat states, that I made, approximately, 2 blog entries every three days. Of course, they’re not all “quality” blog posts with deep heart and fruitful thought, but they’re not all posts about frivolities either, just somewhat.
As many media outlets are prone to doing at this time of year, lets reflect on the landmark moments that happened in 2006, only unlike other media, this is all about me:
The highlight, 100% definitely and unequivocally has been my relationship with Aden. There’s no doubt in my mind that this is the woman for me. We started our friendship late in 2005 after crossing paths at work and the Silver Snail (local comics shoppe), and very late in the year (December) I realized I had a bit of a crush on this woman. I had to put her out of my mind for a while, as newfound singledom still had to set in, and a lot of reflection and pondering and maturation and “playing the field” (hah) needed to be had before I was really ready for a relationship. Well, that, and she was rejecting my advances. But when we did finally come together, well, the relationship still took its time, and there was a lot of deliberate care and discussion and genuine soul searching on both our parts to ensure this was going to be a good thing for us. And it didn’t take long at all before we both realized it. It’s been almost half a year at this point, and I’ve never been so continuously and overwhelmingly happy with anyone as I am with her. She’s not just the highlight of the year but the highlight of my life. A compliment and a confidant, someone I can rely upon and trust implicitly. In 2006 I found what it means to love and be loved in equal measure. How can anything top that?
There were other significant events though. Turning thirty, well, it was more of a milestone than an event. I ignored it as much as I could, but it eventually hits home. Does the number make a difference? I think it does. I think I’ve matured as much from the lessons that life has taught me as much as the turning of thirty expects it of me. Doesn’t mean I can’t have my action figures and cartoons, but does mean I need to take more responsibility and really start thinking about the future of my life. That’s not a favourite thing for me to do, and I can’t say I have a plan of action for how life’s going to play out, but getting finances and career and priorities in place for the future, whatever it brings, well, that’s something that can’t be ignored anymore.
Two of my oldest friends had repeat back surgeries this year. A trying time for both of them, going through multiple surgeries and being crippled for an extended period of time in hopes that, once recovered, they’ll have a better quality of life. I’m grateful that they’ve both survived these hardships, I’m sad that I couldn’t be present in Thunder Bay for their support, but I’m proud of them both for their strong will and perseverance through these ordeals and the high spirits which they’ve both managed to sustain. They’re miraculous people and cherished friends, and I bid them both speedy recoveries.
Travel has never been a priority of mine, but this year I managed to forage my way to Montreal with the company of dear friends and had an absolutely delightful time, followed months later by a subsidized trip to London, England for a week’s work and a week’s pleasure. Being in London, a highly desirable destination for a very long time, for the first time, and with Aden no less, was absolutely spectacular. The only thing that spoiled it was having to come back.
My sister’s split with her partner of many, many years wasn’t easy on her, but she pulled through it like a champ. It wasn’t anything but something that wasn’t working right, and it’s unfortunate but certainly for the best. I’m proud of her for her resolve and strength even when she felt like shutting down completely and I was so happy I could return the support she gave me fully a year before. I’ll miss JD a lot, he was a part of our family after all these years, but am happy for his new life in Whistler and wish him incredible success in everything he does.
Work has geared up, and I’ve instigated a dramatic shift in my role. I’m not entirely comfortable yet with all the things I’m continually choosing to take on, but the necessity and importance of these projects or concepts are fulfilling beyond my title and duties. It would be nice if I could keep my role as simplistic as it was in the past, but the reality is that it’s not a simplistic role anymore.
The move to BOBTown from the Ronces was a difficult one, and certainly not a highlight of the year… a heavily stressful lowlight, the move itself was. The apartment, though, is fantastic, and getting better all the time (with a few ants a cracks being a step back for two forward). Our big BOBTown party is being bumped to the 1st of March-ish, so that we can get some things in order in the meantime. I still need to get comfortable in the surroundings (I’ve spent only about 45 of the past 90 nights there) but it’s getting to be home, taking a lot longer than any other place ever has, though.
Last but certainly not least was my involvement in the creation of two new web presences. The first was Toonage, a Toronto-centric, non-genre denominational music magazine fronted by Melissa Girimonte. It’s never easy starting up a projected for-profit endeavor, especially when there are so many already, and Melissa had a good idea and a solid plan. I tried to keep my guns up and go in fighting along side her, but, alas, my heart wasn’t in it. I got a few paltry reviews and one kick-ass feature in place before my investment dwindled. It wasn’t really a lack of desire, but a lack of interest in the music scene. I intake so much every year that something had to give. Music was it.
On the flipside, Rack Raids has rocketed out of the gate. Spawning from Thor’s Comic Column on CHUD.com, it was a collective decision to branch out. Within two months we’ve already racked up 110+ reviews and some heavily positive feedback. We’re still climbing the totem on the web, but, yeah, we’re kicking and screaming and making ourselves known. I’m proud of what we’ve achieved, and I was going to qualify that by saying “so quickly” but most of us have been at this for two years or more at this point.
Overall, 2006 was a year of both learning and growing, both in a very personal manner. I feel so much more comfortable in my skin than I ever have, and 2007 should yield interesting results because of that.
Less super, more aqua.
What a wonderful mood I’ve found myself in today. FUBAR describes my attitude today, and my general state of being is apathy and malaise. Coming off four wonderful days of plodding nothingness with the one I love (and continue to love in surprisingly growing measure), well, getting up at the same bat-time to go to the same bat-job is incredibly difficult.
I remember a time where being away from the internet for days at a time made me anxious. So much of what I would enjoy or find important was fed via das interweb… news, entertainment, interpersonal communication with friends and loved ones, not so personal communication of friends and semi-strangers via blogging and the surprises of email, not to mention the fulfillment of blogging and my other nets activities, well, being away from that for any extended period of time just seemed difficult.
I don’t feel that way anymore. Oh, I still like all those things, but work and relationships being what they are, I have less and less time for them. I had, really, two choices: 1) find more time for the internet, or 2) care less about it. I opted for the latter.
It doesn’t mean I don’t care at all, just means I’ve put it lower on the priority scale. It means when I get net time, doing my reviews pretty much takes precedence. Email is a close second (although I’m still pretty shitty with response times), and reading blogs has taken a step back on the scale. I still peruse my links list, but often only get to read most people’s blogs once every two weeks or so, in very condensed reading, tantamount to information overload a lot of the time. Blogging myself, like now, is a whim. It will continue in the same manner as it always has: when time and motivation allow. It’s not a resolution (no resolutions this year, save getting my life in order in such a manner that it actually has some semblance of fluidity).
Aden now has a computer at her place, and will soon have connectivity, which means I’ll have a little more exposure to the internet again, and may step it up once again… but then again, I like not being a slave to a blogroll or bookmarks folder. I like being able to take a week off not worrying about all the stuff I’m missing.
Are there blog digesting tools?
Anyway. Hope everyone who still putters around this little place has had a lovely holiday season, and that the bitch of “back to work” isn’t bringing you down, man..
2006 in review
I’ve been pretty open about things here on the blog in the past, but at the same time I’ve been less and less forthcoming with things of a more personal nature. I’ve been holding back thoughts and stories about what has been going on in my life for well over a year now, and to be honest, it’s probably not going to stop. I might say some things, but somethings just aren’t worth saying in public places, things that might affect other people besides myself. I have no shame in embarassing or objectifying myself, but it’s not fair for me to do that to others who are or were in my life.
Time was I used to keep a journal, a regular, often daily, notation of my life. This blog was a public faced extension of that, but the journal is where I kept those things that weren’t worthy of public consumption because a) they’re nobody’s business but my own, b) they might change how people look at me or c) they might change how people look at someone else. Celebrities are fair game, friends and family not so much.
I’ve had this pattern in my life where, in keeping these journals of mine, I use them as a reservoir for innermost thoughts, often when things aren’t going right in my life. I know for a fact though, that in the past when I’ve stopped writing in my journals it’s because things are going so wrong that I can’t bear to admit it two myself. This has happened twice in my life, and astute readers will understand why.
Lately though, ever since I’ve started dating Aden, things have been going incredibly right…perhaps not perfect, but as near perfection as one could ever hope. My relationship with her is so… incredible that I don’t have to disguise anything, and I don’t ever need to hide from her or sugarcoat for her the truth. I’ve never experienced giving such honesty, nor have I ever experienced such appreciation for honesty. In the past it’s always felt like being honest would mean either an arguement or difficult times ahead, and usually it didn’t feel worth the trouble. It felt easier to bury thoughts and emotions sparing both myself and my partner from whatever potentially uncomfortable things were going through my brain. That was both immature and selfish on my part, and very unfair to relationships in the past… not just relationships though, but myself as well. This kind of thing made my life hell, and perhaps if only I’d been more honest with myself then I’d have spared myself a lot of anguish and heartache.
But I’ve learned, and now I’ve met what I think and feel is my match in Aden. There’s never been someone with whom I’ve taken so much pleasure in being with. We can talk, or not talk (and we both like soup*) ad infinitum, and we can share anything and everything. And we do. And it’s because we do that I’ve stopped journalling. All those welled up or bottled emotions, they don’t actually exist, because I have a beutiful springboard to bounce it all off of. What makes it even better is that all that trust and confidence that I have in her, she reciprocates, and it’s pretty flipping amazing.
There’s not a day I don’t realize exactly how lucky I am to have her in my life. That isn’t to say there aren’t … complexities to our relationship, but we havn’t yet had a problem we couldn’t solve together and the closest we’ve come to an argument was about how much she was going to reimburse me for the plane ticket to London (in fact the only thing we do squibble over is who’s going to let the other pay for things).
I’m extremely happy like I’ve never been before, and those that have seen me with Aden know this. I’ve been… withholding commentary about my relationship with her for the most part because I didn’t want to jinx anything… but we’re long past the jinxing phase. We’re a solid unit and I don’t mind sharing that with an audience (I’ll spare our overly mushy sentimentality for those with soft stomachs. Yes, we are one of “those” couples, and normally, yes we both would hate that, but, shit, we’re happy, and love cynics be damned… we do PDAs and we don’t really give a damn if people like it or not. If/when you find someone you’re this happy with, you’ll understand. Also, just like to say, we won’t ever intentionally dress alike, no matching track suits, and we won’t talk to each other in cutesy voices.)
I doubt I’ll have the time to write as often as I’d like in the old blog. I havn’t for some time anyway (mainly a result of increasing duties at work, and lack of desire to sit at a computer at home), but I’ll still be around about as often as I have been (so updates 1 to 3 times a week), and hopefully it’ll be something a little more worthwhile than a meme or random linkage.
Hi. I’m Graig. Welcome to my blog.
(* Actually, that’s a paraphrasing of a line from “Best In Show”… only I really enjoy soup. Aden’s not so fond of it)
I’m not a total Grinch, but lets just say I’m not that fond of the holidays. It’s all stress and expense and people going bat-shit insane and more traffic on the streets and in the stores and at malls and whiny kids and whinier adults and frankly I’m just as happy without it. Festivus, with it’s simple pole, feats of strength, airing of grievances and socks as gifts… that’s a holiday I can get into… but I digress. Let’s get secular!
1. Egg nog or hot chocolate? Hot chocolate, or cider… cider is good too, with lots of cinnamon
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Silly bunt, there is no Santa.
3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? Lights? Tree? House? I’d probably put lights up on a treehouse if’n I had one. Man, to have a tree to build a treehouse again…
4. Do you hang mistletoe? Erm, no. I hang nothing, except for Cthulu-claus who got hung up last night.
5. When do you put your decorations up? Cthulu went up last night. If you’re implying that I have more than my red-hatted Lovecraftian creature, well, I also have my old stocking from Grandma… I’ll need to find that.
6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? My mom’s aunt gave me this glass platter that has a festively themed image on it… that’s about the only holiday dishwear I have.
7. Favorite holiday memory as a child: Hiding behind the chair in the basement waiting for mom and/or dad to come downstairs and put the presents under the tree so that I could surprise them and prove that there was no Santa. I don’t remember if I was successful in this feat or not, and I would have been younger than ten… otherwise the specifics have left me. I also recall getting my first He-Man in the early 1980’s (82? 83?) and also Castle Grayskull. I’z a happy boy then.
8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? Not really sure, it always seemed kinda obvious that Santa was about as real as the Easter Bunny, Superman, Michael Jackson and Jesus.
9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? There have been times yes, and other times no. We were never very consistent when we were younger. Seemed to be a whim.
10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? What’s that now?
11. Snow! Love it or dread it? I’m about 50/50 on it. I like a nice snowfall, hate snowstorms. I like playing in soft or wet snow, I’m not too fond of shoveling or sweeping. And I abhor the sound of squeaky/crunchy dry snow.
12. Can you ice skate? To be determined…
13. Do you remember your favorite gift? As a kid, that’s probably He-Man or the dog-puppet I got whose name escapes me. As an adult, the iPod was/remains pretty sweet.
14. What do you want for Christmas this year? Rest, relaxation, and the (continued) love of a good woman.
15. What is your favorite holiday dessert? Shortbread, far and away, with a little maraschino cherry bit in the center. Yum.
16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? My annual listening of Star Wars Theatre’s “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas” (don’t worry, i’ll be posting it again soon). That and forgetting to send Betty White a Christmas card every year.
17. What tops your tree? Is that some sexual innuendo I’m picking up on?
18. Which do you prefer, giving or receiving? Oh, I’m a giver, but I do enjoy a good take, too.
19. What is your favorite Christmas Song? Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet’s various Christmas takes, or maybe one of the Muppets & John Denver’s renditions, or maybe even one of Boney M’s lovely festive songs… or maybe one of those things I have hidden on a tape or CD from Holiday mixes past. Hard to say.
20. Candy Canes — Yuck or Yum? Brand Ecch.
It’s not quite like being on strike, but blogging just isn’t tingling my giblets like it once did. I go through phases, all us tried and true bloggers/journallers do, where we just don’t feel like anything we say really reaches anyone. Perhaps it’s because comments are still all wonked up (working on it) and i’m not getting any feedback or perhaps it’s just a general sense of malaise as the leaves turn, the weather shifts, and I get to bust my sweaters out. I like sweater weather, but for some reason I’m experience a dramatic case of the SADs, which I don’t think I do often but it’s getting to me this year.
Life is in chaos but not really. It’s now perhaps the absense of chaos that’s driving me batty. Settling into BOBTown is going slow, and the bugs in the beautiful place are starting to crawl out (metaphorically speaking, although my familiars, the spiders, have made themselves comfortable). Things like the wonky stovetop elements, the crappy washing machine and the seemingly impossible way of arranging the space are getting to me, as well, the loft in my bedroom seems to serve no purpose other than sweater storage at the moment.
Solidifying plans for a work-then-pleasure visit to London (UK), hopefully today, but you never know with these things. Aden’s going to be joining me for week 2, which should be a blast, but until it’s booked, I’m going to be a freako about it. I can’t help it. I get mildly stressed about these things.
I’m also having a bit of a challenge with my local post office, in that I can’t find it. A package was sent to me a few weeks back which apparently arrived on the 4th of October, with BOBTown as the destination and yet I received no notice of where to pick it up. While the sender puts a trace on the order, I’m trying to determine where exactly it would have wound up and quite frankly I have no idea. Even the semi-useful Postal Outlet finder on Canada Post’s website didn’t yield any fruit (after an hour of walking in the rain).
*Update* Just Found out that the package was returned because it was delivered accidentally one door over (having not yet met the neighbours, well, they didn’t know to pass it on).
A few posts back I mentioned Amazon.com was selling costumes… well, it turns out they don’t ship to Canada, not via Amazon anyway. But if you go direct to BuyCostumes.com’s website, they actually DO ship to Canada, and quickly might I add. The only pisser is I ordered a Space Ghost costume and they sent me a child’s medium instead of an adult medium. Even worse, they don’t even have Space Ghost children’s costumes available for sale, so how’d that mix-up happen??? Now I have to, on my dime, send it back, which is kind of annoying, plus I don’t have a Space Ghost costume now. Grrrr.
But it’s not like I’m going to Hallowe’en parties as Space Ghost. Nope. I’m going as Nightwing. I’ve already purchased my unitard from Malabar, I need to edit my mask, and I just bought my gloves and boots (note: MEC’s Swellies paddling boots make great superhero boots, and don’t let the pic fool you, the treds are black, not white or grey… neato). Now all I really need is the material for the chest/shoulder emblem and someone to sew it on for me (Joany???) and I’m all set. Oh, and some gauntlets. I can borrow my roomie’s arnise sticks so I can beat up bad guys… well, let’s just say I’m all set. If I’m lucky, I’ll be accompanied by Zatanna for the evening. Fishnets…*sigh*.
Oh, and I’m still finishing up the send-outs for the 4-CD sampler. 50% delivered, 80% completed, and 100% behind schedule. A couple international deliveries will be made this week/next week. A couple more still to follow. *Different kind of sigh*
Anybuts, work goes busily and well (it’s taken me six hours to finish this post), and I must get back.
Comments now allow commenting, but there’s no space for a name, which is bizarro.
There are a lot of things to do in the transition from The Ronces to BOBTown, including mail forwards, address changes on bills and cards and passports (gotta remember this for the Teatown trip in November), and moving various connections (well, internet primarily). Of course, chief amongst the things to do is pack, and it feels like I’ve been packing for ages and a day, and I’m still not done. Today we progressed from 80% completion to 90%, but still what’s left seems pretty daunting. All the odds and ends that don’t fit nicely with other things in boxes, all the furniture that needs to be taken apart, and, oh yeah, the computers.
The kitchen is pretty much packed but I ran out of tape so there’s a lot of open boxes, and a few plates, bowls and cups left out for us to use until move day. The biggest surprise while moving: mouse poop. Mouse? There’s never been a mouse at The Ronces before. And somehow the mouse managed to make its way up to the top shelves of the pantry, those little f-bombers can f-bombin’ climb. Surprisingly all it did was piss and poop and go after the spaghetti (no other foodstuffs even showed signs of scratching or gnawing. I’m pretty sure the mouse is new, as in the past three or four days, since I’ve never seen a mouse, or traces of a mouse here before. I think the fact that this abode is now catless for the first time, plus the cooling weather has left The Ronces a little exposed.
Oh well. We’re outta here in, what, 3 days. Not gonna worry, as long as the little bastard doesn’t stow away. I’ll talk a little more about how much I’m looking forward to living in BOBTown… later… maybe after the move.
I’m off to scratch a film off my list. “The Last Kiss”. I havn’t done the alone-in-a-theatre thing for a while (the last Will Ferrell movie which I still need to sit and write a review for) so I’m kind of looking forward to it. Some me time. Not that I need alone time…
Ade is off in Ottawa for a Romance Writer’s Conference for the weekend, but had a delightful evening last night, meeting her mom for the first time and having dinner with them and the wee one.
I’m nearly “done” packing all my piddly crap, but the kitchen is left an the furniture needs to be taken apart. Such is my weekend to come.
Telemarketers annoy me at work now. Yay.
I don’t speak Spanish, to the cleaning lady’s disappointment. No habla espanol :( She was trying to ask me about my buttons on my bag.
Two of my friends back home are suffering some crippling back problems. I get to see one of them tomorrow for a few hours (airport layover following a medical consult) and really wish I could visit the other and help out.
Need to make some phonecalls later. Also need food, and probably sleep.
Also, more time in the day (well, evening actually… ) would be nice. Can we make a 25th hour?
Hmmm. A curious event today, as I participated in Wide Right’s Season 9, week 2 episode,, along with a few coworkers as a little lunch hour side-project.
Wide Right, if you don’t know (and chances are if you’re reading this you don’t know because I don’t really know any football fans) is a fairly notorious weblog that dabbles in weekly football pics. This season is the first time Dave (the site’s master) has added a video component (or “vlog”) as his primary entry (kind of like Rocketboom).
To give the behind-the-scenes action, Dave’s trying to make like he has a committee that works on the site with him, which is where my coworkers and I came in. I got to play the angry guy, but I’m not a great actor, in fact, I have this nasty penchant for avoiding the camera when I’m “acting” and then looking directly into it when I’m done, as if I’m searching for “director” approval. I did raise my voice a few times, which got some of my coworkers external to the shoot a little annoyed… oops, but all in the name of fun. It was a blast and if we’re popular enough we may make a repeat appearance.
The Week 2 Wide Right vlog will be available on Thursday, so everyone can see me acting goofballs.
I’m four days into a new beard, which I’ve dubbed “the camping beard”, for, you see, I’m going camping this weekend for four days. Doing the math, I’ll have an 8-day beard growth (I CAN ADD!) and depending on how I feel about it, I may hang onto it for a few weeks more. It was a hit last time (as documented in the hair category to some length previously) for the most part, and since summer seems to be winding down (blessedly…I like sweaterweather better, so much so that I conjoin the two words into one big one), it’s not too hot to have one.
As for camping, yeah, it’s my first foray into “real” camping, meaning actually abandoning the car and its various stores of equipment and clothing and supplies and putting everything into packs. I’ve done some camping in the past, mind you, but it was always car camping or some other form of not-quite-rustic. The last dash was in 2003 where I did a slew of city-park camping or drive-site camping… each time setting up the tent beside or near the car and showers and such were always available. When I was younger, dad would drag me out (yes, drag, as a sullen, housebound teen I didn’t want anything to do with the out-of-doors) fishing with him into the wilds of Northwestern Ontario, but we would still wind up sleeping in a camper mounted on the back of the truck (these days my dad even has like satellite and dvd hooked up in there), so hardly “leaving it all behind”.
But tomorrow, in the midst of some scattered showers, we’ll be canoeing into a campsite, leaving much of the technological world behind, sleeping on stones and cooking with fire. I’m surprisingly looking forward to it. I’ve had to gear up a bit, mainly a new rain jacket and some footwear meant for surfaces that curve more than a sidewalk curb, so I’ve taken a hit, but it’s all useful stuff which can be appropriated into other wearable situations (for biking or hiking for example). Thankfully the special lady and her friends have been doing the camping thing for some time and have a vast collections of camping gear, wear, and utilities, as well as knowledge… I, meanwhile, have watched a tonne of Survivorman. Oh, Les Stroud, I miss you.
Every now and again I get way too oversaturated with “NOW” and “TODAY” and “keeping up with the Jones’s” and I just want to ingest the familiar, revisit what I already know, or rediscover things I’ve mostly forgotten. It’s hard, when one is continually in the midset of reviewing new things or always trying to “get there first” but every so often I just tap myself out, get oversaturated in the modern and need to escape into somethings past. I consume so much, all the time, that it does get hard to stay on top of it all, and I often don’t allow myself the luxury, while consuming things for the first time, to really understand or enjoy what I’m consuming. I’m doing a little of that now, though… it’s often easier when you get to share it with someone to whom its new, but sometimes it’s just time to take a peek in the past.
Recently I revisited the live-action “The Tick” series, consuming it in an evening, and loving every minute. Patrick Warburton delivers each line with flawless comedic timing and intonation. I know many fans of the cartoon were disappointed with the show, but I was never a fan of the cartoon (was without cable when it first aired so I rarely watched it) and was able to appreciate the show without preconceptions. It’s responsible for one of my favourite lines ever… after the Tick pops a fortune cookie in his mouth, he chews once or twice before reaching in and pulling out the fortune, stating with the surprise of a small child, “A secret message, from my teeth!”
I also just wrapped up two nights of watching Chronicles of Riddick. I was one of very few who actually enjoyed the film the first time around, and a few years later I think I actually enjoy and appreciate it more. It’s influences include Marvel Comics, role playing games (of which Vin Diesel is a player), Shakespearian drama, Roman culture and a swipe at the Catholic conversion. It’s got pretty set designs, some really cool fight sequences, masterful lighting, some sharp digital effects, and one of the most badass characters ever in Riddick. Yup, there are one or two highly improbable (even by their own sordid sci-fi logic standards) sequences, and the aging of Jack into Kira seems to have spanned more than the five years the movie alots, but those digressions aside, it’s a frickin’ fun ride. It’s like a three or four part mini-series with a trio or quartet of 1/2 hour episodes that have been strung together in a movie… the “Chronicles” really gives this away, as it’s not just one story, but a whole handful of stories that make up the whole. It didn’t exactly tank at the box office, but I don’t think it made its money back either. With the numerous repackagings of Riddick, Pitch Black and the Peter Cheung “Dark Fury” cartoon, surely it’s broken even by this point, but it’s still not bankable enough for another follow-up methinks. Too bad though, Riddick, like Snake Plissken before him, deserves more adventures.
Because a few people have asked in the comments over the past few weeks and I havn’t really seen fit to respond:
To start the story, I moved to the Ronces with the girlfriend back in early 2004. The Queenwest apartment we were in before that was located at the junction of Lansdowne/Queen/Jameson and it was nice but flippin noisy and the upstairs neighbours were
kinda actual dicks. The Ronces is located on Roncesvalles Ave, and was the main floor and basement, the latter of which was newly finished as a den. The price was actually less than what we were paying on Queenwest, and with a backyard and plenty of storage space it seemed pretty ideal.
And it was. For a time.
The girlfriend worked from home, and things were generally fine. There was the odd intrusion of noise as the dude upstairs would practice his deejaying for a few hours, very loudly, on the occasional afternoon. And then demolition and construction of the condos across began, with the piledriving being the worst of it.
Early last summer, the next door neighbours had their second child. A delightful and beautiful baby girl. With all the noise across the street and their second child encroaching 5years of age they began to think about getting out of Toronto for safer/quieter pastures. They had talked to us at great length about taking over their house when they left, for an absurdly affordable rent + utilities, and really it was something to dream about. The house, they said, was to be their son’s inheritance, and so we’d be pretty much safe there for over a decade. Though they weren’t rushing out any time soon, they always made of point of mentioning that we should be prepared to move in at any time. It almost became a cruel joke, or at the very least a big tease.
At some point last summer the upstairs neighbours split up and he left while she tried holding down the place herself, but by the end of summer she was done and moved out too. The upstairs apartment was empty for a month, and the piledriving had finished and things were generally quiet around the Ronces. Then the new upstairs neighbours arrived… a single mother and her demonic four-year-old child. The kid would stomp around upstairs for literally hours on end. She would throw a temper tantrum every morning when it was time to leave, in the afternoon when she got home, and once again before bed (and obscenely late 9/9:30 pm) and a few in between for good measure. Yeah, it was torture. Not to mention that our neighbour began just taking over the yard, both front and back, digging things up and rearranging things to her liking. It was very invasive.
A month later October hit and the girlfriend and I were splitsville. I moved out for the remainder of the month and found a sub-let for November while posessions were sorted and she figured out where she was going to land. I spoke with the next-door neighbours once or twice in that month and they were sad about the split but almost more worried about who was going to rent out their house when they moved (having now decided upon the town up north they were going to move to). I took a tour through their house and said I was still interested in renting, but wasn’t really sure where I was going to be in the meantime. During November I had hunted for 1 bedrooms but I didn’t want a basement place and I really didn’t feel like moving in general, plus the temptation to suck up the full rent of the Ronces until the neighbours moved was tempting.
Brilliance hit, and I asked my friend Jeremy if he’d ever thought about moving into the city from his folk’s place in Woodbridge. “Hell’s yes” was his answer and suddenly I had a roommate, although he wouldn’t move in until January. So for two months I had the Ronces to myself and it was, well, a pain in the ass, especially the girl upstairs, dubbed “Little Miss Stomps-a-lot”. Some remedies were attempted over the two months to minimize the terror’s impact (carpeting and the like… I suggested bear traps or a little of the old Nancy Kerrigan knock-to-the-knees, but couldn’t find anyone willing to take out a 5-year-old) but still it persisted, with the usual ritual of tantrums. Oh, and in the month that I was away, they had terraformed the front lawn into what we’ve dubbed “The Temple of Doom”. Oh, and the basement flooded early January, but I’ve documented that already
So for the past 6 months or so Rooms (Jeremy’s nickname, derived from J-roomy) and I have been living the life of Joey and Chandler and the Ronces has been fairly good to us, aside from the barnyard upstairs and the inconveniences of smoking neighbours who leave the front door ajar all the time. The place is nice, but it’s really meant for a couple and as much as I usually don’t have a problem living in the basement, this summer of attempting sleeping with the dehumidifier running 24-7 has been a challenge and I’m getting tired of no light exposure. Not to mention the fact that there’s really no room to have guests… the upstairs common room, the way we have it configured, seats about 5 mostly comfortably and one or two more uncomfortably. We had a house guest back in July and realized our space wasn’t meant to accommodate more than two people for even short durations. This spawned thoughts of finding a larger place, a three bedroom perhaps, on the upper two floors of a house or over a storefront.
Then the next-door neighbours alerted me towards the end of July that their moving plans were likely delayed for another year and that they were now probably going to sell the house. Decision made, two month’s notice given and the apartment hunt began (at the same time we found out that the upstairs neighbours were moving out as well which almost made us reconsider). The place we’ve found is quite a bit bigger, has a lot more closet space (something the Ronces doesn’t have much of), centrally located (is it ever) and though we will have to do without the convenience of a back yard/barbecue we have a lot more entertaining and living space. Of course we’re paying for it, but it’ll be worth it.
Now we just need to come up with a clever name for the place.
Oh and chances are we’ll be hosting the GTA-Bloggers Holiday Party there as well, but Rooms and I need to discuss amongst ourselves, and we need to discuss with the landlord, and we need to get some input from the master of gtab parties so that we understand exactly what we’ll be getting ourselves into.
Holy crap… we got the place.
The place is awesome.
It’s in the center of the center of the universe. (In Canada, the “center of the universe” is Toronto… in the US, New York is the center of the universe… don’t ask me to explain how two centers of the universes can coexist in one dimension, alas, that’s how it is)
Not to jinx anything, because we still need to pay the deposit and sign the leasein the next day or two but…wooooo. The place is awesomely awesome (that’s like, double awesome), so we’re quite excited.
Livin’ the high life.