Dear lord, I’m turning twenty-seven… wha’ happened?
That’s never going to get tired (if you havn’t seen A Mighty Wind yet… go go go).
Yea, I’m hitting that age… the age of Gary and the age of Lala, both of whom are as thankfully juvenile and fun loving, but also mature and serious when need be as I. They, they are the ones who give me hope, yea, hope for the future. Whatever.
I caught a new episode of Harvey Birdman this week where Harv was wrongfully convicted of killing one of them Warner Bros dogs in a photocopy machine whilst he was trying to copy his buttocks (heh)… then his appeals were all denied, he married Magilla Gorilla (his bunkmate) and he was finally sentenced to the electric chair, where, when the switch was thrown, streamers, confetti, and a sign saying happy 40th Harvy came down. It was all a practical joke… for five years.
You laugh now.
I hate birthdays.
So tonight as the start of my birthday celebration I egged Emma on to go to the ever-cool (and ever-neglected-by-me-since-Gary-fled-town) Dipamos Barbeque.
Doug from Dipamo’s stops by to catch up with what was once the Spider Behind My Toilet (now Trepanning you know and love) from time to time, and he did so last week, which planted the seed in my head to make my way back up Eglington way to get me some 14hour slow-cooked Q (as we say it in the ‘Hill, Forest Hill).
Oh, it’s been 5 hours since then and I’m still full.
What do you say but Daaaayum!!
And they have AWESOME milkshakes now.
After Dipamos I wanted to treat myself to some DVD shopping up at Y&E (yonge and eglington, aka, young and eligable, aka yuppie and egregious)’s “cool district (consisting of Ed’s Record World and BMV - Books Magazines Videos… that’s it, two cool stores) to pick up Adaptation on DVD. But to my disappointment, it’s a Superbit release.
I was then tempted by the 1984-meets-Matrixesque Christian Bale flick Equilibrium as well as the Luc Besson Produced The Transporter, but I opted instead for the used section, snagging About A Boy and Insomnia (completing my Christopher Nolan collection after nabbing the criminally unknown Following in my cd exchange last week)
I also picked up a copy of Watership Down on video for emma, as well as a little tacky something to pop in with the remainder of Lala’s gift (which she probably won’t be getting tomorrow in full, unless I get up early).
Mom and Granma kicked off my birthday weekend with… bumpbumpbumpbaa, Lottery Tickets (which have become a family tradition - on both sides - when sending a greeting card)… sorry to say I’m not a thousandaire or even a hundredaire (Gary, where that link… too many WWTBAH links on Google that appropriated your concept of ripping off WWTBAMillionaire cum small).
I already got my bike (thanks to lovely emma) and I’m going to get a custom Push bag that you’ll have to wait until I get it to see it to believe it… it’s going to put the Blogger Bag to shame..heh.. or to the closet at least.
Sunday, I think I’m going to have a bike ride. And a bath, reading “Confess, Fletch” (these Fletch novels are addictive). And I’m going to prepare for my new site update for my one year “blogiversary” (I coined the term, you heard it here first, unless someone else makes it up independant of me) thanks to Carla.
Oh, and chocolate donuts for breakfast? and other things I didn’t buy today. — a big list.
And now, I tired.
Dear lord, I’m turning twenty-seven… wha’ happened?
Gigi found a birdie
who fell from his nest
and now it lives in a bucket
well, it did, actually, but now it lives in a cat kennel
she’s using the internet to teach her how to be it’s mama
this birdie is very receptive to human stimulous
it likes to be in your hair
it also likes to poop
Gigi named it Buzz
after Buzz Lightyear
because it doesn’t fly
it falls, with style
Buzz looks very much like a Skeksie from the Dark Crystal
with baby feathers sticking out everywhere
and a particular way of moving
it’s kinda cute
until it poops on you
because that what birds do
but they also call and respond
just keep it away from the cat
Gigi says it’s getting kind of annoying now
and she wants it to learn to fly
so it will fly away
These two images from chud.com are proof that Guillermo Del Toro will NOT be screwing up the Hellboy Movie
(the only thing missing from this picture is a digitally inserted 6-year-old Hellboy in the center, oh, and I guess removing the guy in the blue hoodie in the background.. jeez)
(the two bad guys, Kroenen and Rasputin, look at the lighting… brilliant!)
(thanks to gary for the link)
Three of the new millenium’s premier “bedroom production” artists were on tap, each of them a headliner in their own right: Four Tet, Kieran Hebden of Fridge, whose third album is getting rave reviews and big notice for it’s multi-texturalism; Toronto w
The Hire is now available on DVD!!!
I was supposed to get an email letting me know.
(Psst. If you were thinking of getting me a bike, don’t. I already got one. Thanks Em, you’re the bestest…)
And, according to Mssr. Eggnog Space Ghost: Coast To Coast (SG:C2C) is coming to dvd…
I’m sorry, I just wet myself.
Miss Carla of the newly renamed (and redesigned) Floatation Device has had a birthday, beating me to the punch by 7 days…
yes. Happy birthday to my philipino twin (aka gemini) sister.
For my birthday, I’m helping Miss Thang move, along with Miss Josie and Miss Emma
To meet up with Carla for birthday festivities, we went to see Spellbound, the Oscar nominated documentary on the US National Spelling Bee.. (a monkey review to come) and then for social misgivings at Paupers pub.
The complete downside was being physically fatigued from running around Toronto trying to complete Mssr. Rannie’s (the real Rannie, not the fake one) photo scavenger hunt with Mssr. Jeremy as partnerino. The hunt took us from City hall to Union Staion to Harbourfront to Chinatown to Queen’s Park to Cabbagetown to Yorkville, and supposedly we were also supposed to make it to High Park, Bloor West Village, and the end of a subway line… riiight.
The fact that Mello Yello did its dirty doings (just stay away from that pop, kids, this is your last warning) once again… eugh… let’s just say it wasn’t pretty.
Anyway, I recouped enough to stay awake during the film, and hang out at the Paupers’ dart board for a bit, but I was whooped and had to head home…
The photo results from my lomo tour de toronto will be posted after payday.
So,Jeremy did not like it the first time and still not as keen the second time around but it was enough for him to put together this amazing deciphering of the more techno-philosophical elements… which just says to me that there was something to this film aside from the (quote taken from various sources around the net) “disappointing special effects”.
Carla definitely didn’t like it
and Meg, well, she too didn’t like it neither… but it didn’t stop her from pondering the philosophy of it all a little…
then finally, mi amigo du sauna con thunder bay Gary DID actually like it (sheesh, what’s wrong with him, eh… oh, wait… I did too…)
THAT’S RIGHT! Call me Mr. Not-Going-With-The-Flow (which, is normally unusual for me) but I did really enjoy myself at Matrix Reloaded. It wasn’t as “groundbreaking” as the previous film (but how on Earth could it be? and who would actually expect it to be?) but it did prove itself as an extention of the original (which is what a true sequel is supposed to do, no?).
The effects were, well, there, serving their purpose, and in general they were pretty cool. But ever since the birth of computer generated effects-come-large in Jurassic Park, we’ve all become experts on cgi, sitting before a film and judging their competencies. Oh, come on, everyone does it. But CG should work to tell the story, and perhaps that’s where the Matrix fails, in that its action sequences are sort of centrepieces that jump into the midst of the story instead of really advancing it, and thus pull our attention away just a little bit. Then of course, there are just people who sit there and look at the effects. Even with things like the Gollum people were still like “wow, he looked almost real”, and yet people still noticed he was an effect, just a good one…
(I talk about the effect that “almost real” special effects have in my review of the Matrix short Final Flight of the Osiris)
The Matrix’s effects actually advanced from the previous film, in competition with other films like Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and Blade 2 trying to push effects to the limit. The growth in the effects is so subtle, you don’t even notice the improvement (essentially CG can now trace 360 degrees around the centre object, not just a linear 180).
In watching the film, I took the effects at face value, and was thoroughly entertained (being entertained is what it’s all about isn’t it? and I was, moreso that I was expecting, and I was expecting a lot). The story as well was a great advancement of the first film, not simply rehashing, but broadening the realm of the Matrix that still has people (like Jeremy and Meg) contemplating what’s really going on.
To some the fact that the film really requires a second viewing to get the full impact of the story (or mythology) that’s being told is a negative point. I think it’s a tribute to the depths and richness that the bros Wachowski have instilled into the film, creating something a little more than a brain-dead popcorn film. It’s good sci-fi, and probably a little more effort that most want to put into their entertainment.
Even the “rave-in-the-cave”/lovemaking/Morpheus’ speech scene I liked, as it really harkened back to some of the lost sci-fi cliches of the 50’s/60’s (compare the scene praising the “bomb almighty” from “Beneath the Planets of the Apes”). The Wachowski’s are so heavily influenced by comics, anime, asian action and historical cinema, it’s amazing to see how well they blend it all together.
Really, the only thing I didn’t like was the music during the multiple Smith battle. It was really awful and distracting. Carla pointed that to her the music was awful throughout, and I’ve always found that if the sountrack doesn’t appeal to me, the entire film is ruined because of it. Since the music is often so innocuous, sometimes people don’t realize that it is the reason for their dislike of the picture. I’ve thought of a great idea about putting multiple scores (in different music genres) on DVD’s, giving the viewer a choice (many an 80’s film are spoiled for me with awful Tangerine Dream, etc synth scores)
Anyway, I’m eager to see it again, maybe to enjoy it less because of all the criticism heaped upon it, or maybe to enjoy it more. *shrug*
I also can’t wait to see wha’ happens in Matrix Revolutions…
broadcast return with this six song ep, which acts as a tribute to the soundtracks peter thomas used to make during the 1960s. pendulum, the title track, is a mishmash of krautrock, 1960s britpop and lofi experimentation, which starts us off with the hypnotic groove and dreamy vocals. from there, we remain in this alien world, where the rhythm is cut to pieces by harsh guitars, bleeping organs and crashing cymbals. occasionally, it feels like we’re in a fight sequence in the avengers. all the while, wearing white boots and doing a sinister gogo dance, before drifting off where the vocals say no words and an old school collage breaks out malevolent synthesizers, like boards of canada gone dub. the experimentalism is familiar but foreboding nonetheless. as poppy as warp records ever gets.
a couple of years ago, there was a lot of talk in the canadian music world about a supergroup forming in the west coast, featuring members from somewhat unknown groups such as zumpano, destroyer, limblifter and the evaporators. word of mouth travelled fast about the strong power pop and it wasn’t long before the radio picked up on the first single and everyone fell hard for the new pornographers.
this time around, they have a new album around, set to storm the united states and europe. electric version has been licensed to matador records from the brilliant mint records. dan bejar (aka destroyer) no longer performs with the porns, although he’s provided three songs for the album, which have a refined splendour that gives some pomp to the album. this leaves zumpano’s carl newman to shine with the bulk of the songs, which harken back to the 1970s with the post-beatle garage pop that canada has down cold.
the album starts off with the self-titled song, which is a peppy organ number driven by a chugga chugga rhythm. then on other songs, such as july jones and the new face of zero and one, more new wave elements drift in, with a stompy then whispery dirge.
however, the new pornographers’ not-so-secret weapon is the awesome chanteuse neko case, who brings her heart-on-her-sleeve country confessional on a large giant torch, threatening to burn every song she’s in down. the knockout first single the laws have changed twirls about blissfully before neko one ups and steals it away. all for swinging you around is a whimsical bit of funny love and miss teen wordpower coos a slice of attractions pop before drifting into the air, pulling you along with all the hooks each song has.
new music canada has a few streaming samples, if you’ve never heard. but you must, oh yes, you must experience the new pornography.
3:00 - after a shower I manage to scarf down some of Maryann’s homemade bread and some pure premium Tropicana OJ. I also manage to choke on the OJ, enter into a coughing fit for four or five minutes, eyes tearing profusely… breathing between burps of fizz from my lungs. Christ I need a sammich.
3:30 - Oh, it looks like Richard is interviewing people… Christ I need a sammich, unfortunately I’m limited to either an “oven toasted sandwich” from Pizza Pizza or one from Tim Hortons… all I can think of when I think of Pizza Pizza these days is them grody-to-the-max hamburger wrap thangs… ew… mm Maple donut. I’m just getting all my emma allergy fixuns this weekend
9:15 - apparently, according to some 14 year old girls, I’m hot.
9:17 - apparently that guy giving his girlfriend a piggy back felt the need for me to see her ass pressed up against the window. The bum(p) into the window made me wonder how affixed it actually is, as it seemed to have quite the warp to it.
10:00 met Blake, or I should say I re-met Blake, ex of lowdown back in tbay and the Talon newspaper. Reminisced for an hour about bullshit etc. Good beans. Graphic Designer… Good that he and Stephan really aren’t associated because, well, I still hate that guy.
12:30 finished act 2. ten minutes later everyone left.
1:30 ate lots of pineapple, goldfish crackers and luncheon meat. My stomach is asking me what, exactly, I am trying to do to it. “Do you not like me?” it pleas. “Give the gastric juices a rest already, but nay, I shant, I must continue on, I must perservere, and more than anything I must finish this tonight.
Though it may not seem like it, this is how books are written, long consecutive nights slaving over a hot computer, spilling all the ideas you have on one topic. The only problem is I’m kinda stuck as to where to start the next act of my book.
Oh, random-ambient-noisy-tonal Stereolab, my love-hate with you continues.
Bigpipe Style will get me going.
I have 9 discs left.
2:30… that looked just like the “byyaaaaaaaammmmm” guy from those pop tarts commercials. I wonder if that was the look he was going for.
5:28… the birdies start chirping immediately at day break. Too weird.
7:30am technically done. It’s quite rough, and those last chapters are pretty nutty, I mean a mascot costume designer?? Jesus. I got to redo that.
The epilogue is a little over the top too.
Stop coming in last.
3 Minutes later, and someone’s here. Yay, going to be
5:00pm And Richard is videotaping me, imploring me to set up my laptop and pretend like I’m really working on something… alas I cannot keep a straight face, nor be unable to mug for the camera. You just want to stare .
Interviewing me, I couldn’t think, maybe a little nervous, a little unfocussed, and a little uhm ah. Not my smartest moment.
I’m tired. Hungry.
And ready for home.
Kitty - ho.
2:20pm - a great lunch, roasted veggie wrap with salsa sour cream.
While eating, very cute baby attracted to the window in the arms of her father, her hand pressed up against it, smiling with one bottom tooth exposed. A great moment of connectivity in the eyes of a child.
4:00pm - Crazy lady enters the store, ranting to herself, moving chairs and exploring the books. As long as she’s enjoying herself. I’m trying to ignore her…I’m at least trying to catch something she says… but she speaks quickly, mostly unintelligibly like a hard-core Newfoundlander, and sometimes not even speaking English. Not sure. French maybe.. or Sanskrit perhaps?
7:45 - back to the big window after a big meal at Tims or Toms or whatever it was called… great menu, reasonable pricing, charming waitstaff… interesting “no frills” d
Because of my escapades, I’ve missed the CBS mini-series on Adolph Hitler… not that I’m a Hitler fan, nor a WWII buff, but really I admire Robert Carlyle and am quite interested to see what he’d do with the “role”… how exactly do you not satirize the role? Most movies just use a caricature of Hitler, not daring to even focus on him, so what in Sam Hill would they do with a whole movie. Hells bells if they make the character sympathetic…
Now I’m not saying the filmmakers are going to be truthful in making the mini, but at the same time, I’m sure it will give the common man (ie. me) a bit more insight into what was happening inside Germany before World War II.
The actors though, Liev Schreiber, Peter Stormare, and Peter O’Toole really inspire confidence in the dramatic potential of the film.
Catching the last hour, I’m again rather stunned by the fact that all the Germans are portrayed with British accents, but, hell, it’s better than Harrison Ford with a bad Russian accent speaking hackneyed hybrid English… blah blah blah.
How long should I really go on about Hitler for really anyway. So uplifting a topic. Whee.
FRIDAY, MAY 16
6:10, The Ginger Press - In, say hiya to everyone, learn the groundrules, out. If I’m going to be up all night, I need sleep
6:17 - 8:49, Emma’s Mama’s Place - Sleep, weird non-sequeter dreams about people I don’t know.
8:50, the bed - Phone is ringing but I don’t hear it…
8:58, the street - I’m on my way. The air is crisp and a nice wake up.
9:11, The Ginger Press - Oh, time to set up… but I don’t have snack food, but I’ll worry about that later.
11:12, the front window - 2hours later, 2pages in.. not doing so good
11:15-11:39, still in the front window: Emma comes by to see me. She leaves on a quest to buy me food, gives me a big sexy kiss.
11:56, still in the front window - Emma’s back, she bought me peanut butter. I wonder when the last time she bought peanut butter was. She makes iced tea before she leaves. Pretty soon everyone leaves
12:16, still in the front window - I’m left alone.
12:29, not quite the front window - I try to figure out the Ginger Press stereo system, but keeping in mind the tenant upstairs, I decide to go back to headphoneville.
1:31, the bathroom - Bad stomach. Don’t know where that came from. Distracts me from writing for an hour.
3amish, back in the front window - … start page 5.. ouch… going slowly. But smoother than at the start… I’m wide awake now though… not the least bit dozey… although the bad stomach makes me wary of the goodies emma bought me.
5 oclockish, the floor of the front window - Two newspaper delivery guys came by during the 5th hour. The first, driving a black jeep looked more like a drunk driver as he was fidgeting with his papers situated in the seats behind him. It looked like he was about to veer into a lamp post but he managed to stop before doing so. The next paper guy seemed to want to greet me sitting in the window, however from his looking up to my looking up we could never sync our glances, so he sped away, feeling a little dejected. Lookatme, I’m elitist window-trash.
6:42, back up at the desk of the front window - The quietest hour has been the sixth.. one pedestrian, no street traffic for the first half hour.
6:44 - She’s the one for me, by the beta band, a great 8 minute rallying pick-me up, although I begin to feel the ooz in woozy.
6:52 - A little birdy came hopping by the window. She paused for a few seconds to get a good look at me, and decided I wasn’t worth much to her, and kept on moving.
7:58, just about to fall over in the front window - Cheryl, the Ginger Press’ most awesome chef comes through the door, meaning I can leave. I leave for sleep.
when we last heard from the matrix back in 1999, we were introduced into a universe where the key question was reality. the idea that our current environment was a distraction that lead to another bleaker world was punctuated with some of the most intense visuals to leave a huge mark on the popular cultural landscape. even if you couldn’t wrap your head around the metaphysical and philosophical aspects of humanity as an energy source to the computers and machines, you could understand the need to break out of reality and subvert it, especially with a gothic/hacker style and miles of martial arts to boot. the matrix came at a right time, resupplying both scifi and action with a verve and relevance that was lost for a while, and giving everyone else a glimpse of the world the internet suggested (along with enough material to mimic and spoof in until the end of time).
the matrix reloaded comes four years after that high point, where every concept and stylistic cue has been absorbed and processed, leaving its universe no longer alone but crowded. this makes the challenge to meet high expectations damn hard, but no stronger challenge than what we were left with. we begin knowing that neo had not only discovered his real life but he was capable of bending all the rules in the fake life as to be a god in the matrix. zion, where the unjacked humans call home, was under threat of discovery and destruction by the machines, unrelenting on preventing any possible rebellion and freeing the souls unaware of anything outside the matrix.
the first 30-45 minutes are mostly offline, in and about zion, which approaches the phantom menace at its political best. although it’s important to see how humanity struggles underground with its own machines, i was left somewhat unimpressed by all the military procedures, council movements and a strange cave rave that went on too long to help the story build. while the first movie properly juxtaposed the sacrifice made to unplug from the matrix and embrace proper freedom with the less-than-appealing reality aboard the stealth vessel, this time, zion is outright dull compared to the matrix life (and the dialogue was almost self-parodic). although it’s important point to show the proper consequences of the choice made when it was blue pill/red pill time, from a storytelling aspect, within this movie anyways, it was painful that we were left to mull over this setup before we get into the main plotline.
amidst dreams of being in the GI Joe comics (warning: don’t read too much of Marvel’s recently rereleased GI Joe trades before falling asleep) and playing punch-buggy with some statistics (FUDGEE-Os) for two weeks, as well as enjoying some time off work with my newCITY OF TORONTO (Not for Resale) branded Composter and watching the Matrix Reloaded (which is way loaded, way cool, and damn good fun despite what Jeremy says about it being too choreographed. Having just borrowed Carla’s copy of Vocano High, I have to say that the mastering of good choreography is the difference between visually appealing and visually sloppy)… um… I’m lost in my own thoughts
…which coincidentally I will be all this weekend as I hop on board for a 3-day novel writing marathon… that’s 100 pages in 3 days. Yes, I am insane. Crazy in the coconut. Coocoo for Coco Puffs. Silly Rabbit, Trix are for kids.
after only two years of existence and two EPs, the yeah yeah yeahs have developed an enormous reputation for their manic live shows, where the garage drums and the new wave guitar dodge traffic and collide with the crazed vocals of karen o. the uk press is abuzz and the new york scene have embraced the three-piece as yet another leader in the current new wave of gotham rock.
their debut album, fever to tell, starts off with an enormous bang with rich, as karen o tells us what she has and what she wants from us and the band crashes along with a mission to get you up off your seat and flailing your body parts madly. the first single, date with a night, bounds along in its own momentum as karen starts squealing away. in fact, the words sometimes take a backseat to whatever other noises she makes, particularly on tick and black tongue, which sound like she’s going to explode and take out your stereo with it.
one winter in 2001, marc leclair aka akufen went up into remote quebec armed with his sampler and a shortwave radio. what he came back with was a sublime set of songs, all capturing an ambient house feel.
the beauty arrives in the fact that the samples that akufen uses are only fractions of a second in length, often involving a single instrument or voice sound. strung together in a cut and paste fashion, the different sounds, removed from their original context are left to flow into each other, forming a fractured yet thoughtful melody. the experimental component of this microsampling is then backed by various 4/4 house beats, propelling this head music into a floorfilling lark.
although mostly low key, tracks such as deck the house and the self-titled cut show the odd funk behind the cutups. the former uses seemingly random bits of words and horns that all mash together along with a stepping beat that makes the fresh sound familiar. the latter takes various guitar sounds and has them slide and crash into each other, almost becoming balearic in its delicacy.
this type of music wouldn’t rub people who don’t like dance music anyways, but the merging of the automatiste technique with the crowd-pleasing style make for an intriguing twist on the usual ear candy. try a piece of the action if you can, before you digest the full buffet.