After much nail biting, vicious gurgly stomach anxiety and head dizzyness, I have confirmed the sub-let apartment for November, and I’m back in the old apartment at the end of the month. This is a great ease on my conscience, as that’s just one less thing I have to worry about. For today at least.
The big question to myself is, do I give notice to the landlord today (2 months notice required) and hope to find a place for December or January 1st? I’m essentially paying three month’s rent this month (full rent as opposed to half for the old place, plus the sub-let), which means I can’t actually look for a place until next payday on the 15th because I won’t have enough to cover first and last, thus cutting into my serious apartment hunting time. Not to mention December is pretty booked up with travel for work and holidays and year-end (4th Quarter) at work is going to be busy. Not exactly the best time or season to move either.
Perhaps I’ll just carry the old place for another month, but how good is the Apartment market in January? I’m pretty worried about that. It almost feels like now or never (although not really “never”, but rather, much much later). Ah, the mind, so troubled, but Reece’s Peanut Butter cups and Oh Henrys make it so much better. Hallowe’en is orsm.
May the Force be woof you
My friend E’s pup, Leia portrays her namesake for Hallowe’en.
SILLY THINGS TO DO
by me - 31.10.05
The next time you cough, cover your mouth with your hands and then proclaim loudly, “Hah! I got you now you little bastard!” and then pretend to throw the cough on the ground and stomp on it. Then don’t speak for the rest of the day, only writing notes to people, telling them that you just squished your voice.
SILLY THINGS TO DO
by me - 29/30.10.05
Buy a bag of Skittles and bring it to a very public place and accuse it of treason. Arrange a makeshift kangaroo court and put it on trial for crimes against humanity. Later, take photos of the accused in compromising positions to sway public opinion in your favour.
SILLY THINGS TO DO
by me - 28.10.05
Make a makeshift flag on a Post-It note and tape it onto a pencil. Go to the park and find an old pile of dog feces (or mud that looks like feces) and triumphantly claim the poo for your lordship/kingdom/God/country/self.
Because it’s easy… rumours and not so rumours:
Direct to DVD Buffy:The Vampire Slayer movies, most likely featuring supporting characters from Buffy and Angel. It’s practically true.
Darren (Pi, Requiem For A Dream) Aronofski directs an episode of Lost… this would matter a) if I actually watched Lost, and b) if it actually mattered who was the director of any episode of any tv series. Does it really make that big a difference in the overall context of a show who’s directing it?
Old Boy is being remade into a Bollywood film… frickin awesome.
Animaniacs are expected on DVD finally… mid-’06. Heloooooo Nurse!
Easily one of the funniest TV shows ever to air, BBC’s Black Books are getting a domestic DVD release. Season 1 set for inconvenient Christmas release January 10th.
I’ve had my complete Black Books region 2 set for 5 months now and I’ve run through the episodes at least three times each. I love sharing DVDs with other people but most folks I know don’t have a region-free DVD player, so I’m glad I can finally expose others to the show without forcing them into new equipment.
Genius, the Radio 4 series from geek.ent. favourite author/humourist/one-man performer Dave Gorman recorded earlier this year starts its run this Thursday at 6.30pm (which is like 1:30 pm eastern, if I did the math right). The genius guest on episode one of genius is the genius that is Paul Daniels.
More on Genius at the BBC “Genius” site
Six alarm calls
A massive fire this morning seriously impeded public transportation flow as the electrical grid was threatened and thus shut down. The King streetcar was immobilized, and Queen Street cars were left stranded between McCaul and Roncesvalle. Even the Spadina and Bathurst streetcars were pulled for about an hour this morning for some reason.
The cause of this all, a massive six-alarm fire in the basement of a dollar store at Queen and Jameson. This was three doors down from the apartment where I used to live. Seriously, they showed a picture of it on the news and I could see my old place, what a weird way to wake up. Crazytown.
SILLY THINGS TO DO
by me - 27.10.05
When the iron is hot, strike your shirt with it, and hold it in place until it burns an iron-shaped hole through it. Then give the shirt to a homeless person so that you can identify him in the future and say to yourself, “PLINKO!”.
Had a spare night to myself last night and ran over to the local rep theatre (the Revue) and caught, for the third time, Star Wars: Revenge Of The Sith. Now, some may say that once is quite enough for this film, but aside from some spotty acting (which is the fault of the director, not the actors), the film is pretty damn solid. In fact, I’m surprised at how rich with detail the film is, not just visually, but in story, in continuity (despite obvious flaws), in saga and in performance.
Things I didn’t see or pick up on before make more and more sense the more times I watch it. Even Natalie Portman and Hayden Christiensen’s performances become something more nuanced and calculated with each watch-through. And my god does Ian McDiarmid’s Palpatine ever chew up the scenery. Easily the best performance in the entire Star Wars saga. I’m not saying it’s a perfect film, but it’s pretty damn enjoyable.
The latest thing I picked up on in this third go-around was, just after Anakin lops of Mace Windu’s arms and turns to the Dark Side, Palpatine promises that, with Vader’s help, they will discover the secret to eternal life (or life after death, or something along that phrasing), which only one person has ever done. Originally I assumed that Palpatine meant his master, the one who taught him to manipulate midichlorians and create life (which, it’s to be assumed, that’s what Palpatine did to create Anakin), but I was wrong. That person? Qui-Gon Jinn. As Yoda later explains to Obi-Wan, it was Qui-Gon who figured out how to return his presence from the force in the shape of a spirit (as Obi-Wan does to train Luke).
So you see, the tragedy is not only that he turned to the Dark Side to prevent Padme’s death, which is the exact thing that caused it, but also had he the patience and sided with the Jedi, he would have learned powers of the force that the Emperor had yet to discover. Of course, since Anakin shows up as a spirit after his death in Return of the Jedi, he’s obviously learned as well. It’s a nice epic tragedy, that Episode 3.
SILLY THINGS TO DO
by me - 26.10.05
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so replace your earring/nose ring/body piercing with a paperclip and hang a spatula from it.
Last week was the first part of our Creature Comics Feature (Zombie week), which is essentially the comics column equivalent of a clip show on tv. It also saw the launch of our latest contest to win lots and lots of free goodie prizes.
This week, a regular column, revieing lots of stuff (including the first issue of “Infinite Crisis”) and the second Creature Comics Feature: Vampires (coming soon)
Next week will be even more fun, as our Hallowe’en edition of the Thor’s Comic Column/Creature Comics Feature will be an all Monster parade, with tonnes of new material and those wacky clip show bits.
Apartment hunting follows right after job hunting as one of the most aggrivating, frustrating, stressful and annoying (thanks thesaurus) activities out there. There are so many considerations to take into account, chief of which is cost: Is it within budget? Is it inclusive or are utilities extra? Is the space worth the cost?
The next factor is location and convenience: Where the hell is it? Is it close to where I want to be? Is it on a good transit line (multiple points of departure) or does it take forever for the only bus to arrive? Is it going to take forever to get to work, with multiple transfer points? How easy is it to give directions, and how willing would people be to come visit? Is there a grocery store near by?
And finally, there’s the space itself: Is it a one bedroom, or one room (surprising how many landlords think that a single room plus bathroom and kitchen constitues a 1 bedroom)? Does the bathroom have a bathtub (I need a tub)? What’s the general condition of the place? If I have guests from out of town, how separate are the rooms? Is the kitchen big enough to house a washing mashine as well? Is it clean? Well maintained? Can I paint (no dark colours is always the answer)? Closet space? Bike storage? Private entrance? Noisy neighbours? Good landlord? No basements.
See, so much to keep straight in one’s head. I’m willing to make sacrifices in location and cost, which being numbers 1 & 2 on the list, you’d think that the space would be the first the stand in question, but if it’s the right space, a little inconvenience in getting to and from it/paying a little more for it doesn’t really matter.
Silly new feature
The past few days on my Monty Python-a-day calendar on my desk at work was a little feature called “Silly Things To Do, By E.D. Silly”, which included things like:
“1. Take a piece of blue notepaper and stick it on the side of a chicken. Then frighten the chiken.”
“5. If you have a French au pair staying with you, get a piece of string about 5
yards long, tie one end to your finger and let the rest trail along the ground.”
I liked it so much I’m going to attempt, in my sporadic blogging as of late, to do my own silly things to do… because I’m feeling it. (I wager this silly bit of silliness will last about two days before I grow tired of it). And now, more silly:
SILLY THINGS TO DO
by Me - 25.10.05
If it’s not Wednesday, and you forgot your umbrella today, put a grape under
each armpit and try not to drop them all day.
What I learned over the past week dog sitting and commuting into Toronto from Barrie:
1) When the dog eats wild mushrooms, he gets very gassy and very smelly
2) Poo stinks
2.5)… and is warm
3) Commuting sucks
3.5)… especially if you’re driving
4) Commuter traffic is just as heavy at 6am as it is at 7am
4.5) … only people drive less crazy
5) Though the highways may be packed, Toronto is pretty much a ghost town before 8am
6) After spending an hour driving my sister’s partner’s shaky car, it feels pretty much the same as stepping off a long boat ride
7) did I mention commuting sucks? It bears repeating.
8) the dog likes attention
8.5) … and if you don’t give it to him, he’ll start acting up (chewing on things he’s not supposed to chew on mainly)
8.75) … unless you’re on the phone, at which point he’ll start grabbing your arm
9) The sunrise is really pretty, especially when it hits the foggy valleys on the side of the road and the heat starts moving the mist around.
10) Surprise construction really, really sucks
10.5) especially at 100 km/h
11) Commuting ain’t cheap ($80 gas + $45 parking for the week)
12) Most dogs, when given a stuffed toy, will first chew out the eyes, then tear open the face, and then de-stuff the thing until a) there’s stuffing everywhere and b) the creature is a husk of its former self
13) Dogs can be fun to snuggle with
13.5) … but they can also be bed hogs
13.75) … and get the jimmy legs which keep waking you up
14) The sounds of “Once Upon A Time In The West” really confused the dog
15) Some drivers just don’t understand the meaning of “buffer zone”
16) 5 days commuting is certainly enough for me
17) Barrie really needs a train direct to downtown
18) Waking up before 8am is really not for me
18.5) just to clarify, waking up before 7am or 6am really isn’t for me either
19) waking up at 5:30 when you’re used to waking at 8:30 really messes with your system
19.5) including your digestive system (I won’t explain further)
20) Commuting raises my anxiety levels
21) There’s something terribly wrong with people that think spending (at least) two hours amidst traffic every day is a perfectly acceptable way to live (at least on transit you can read, and relax)… people who don’t make their living on the road excluded (truckers/cabbies/bus drivers for example)
22) There are some serious problems with our current infrastructure
23) 680 News is a good service but gets pretty grating after 20 minutes
24) I hate radio advertisements (wNoodle should note that the “Jean Luc Picard Song”, as powerful as it is, cannot drown out the “4-3-9-ohoh-ohoh-Pizza-No-Va” jingle… I just get both running consecutively in my head…grrr).
25) Having been a driver on the streets of Toronto, I’m just a little more scared to be a cyclist now.
Something to occupy your brainspace for a few minutes and then promptly ignore. Yes, ’tis a meme.
You can click to view or skip over and enjoy my vibrant regailing of commuting stories. Oh, commuting, how I loathe thee.
Spending a few days at my sisters place in Barrie (appx 80km north of Toronto) requires a bit of extra time getting to work…
6:25 am - Wake up (normal wake up time: 8:25am)
6:27 am - Get out of bed, shower, brush
6:40 am - Get into the car with my sister’s partner
6:48 am - Sit in commuter parking lot, waiting for other commuters to arrive
6:55 am - they don’t show, we head down towards Newmarket (where he works)
7:38 am - purchase a ticket for Go bus down to Finch Station ($5.50)
7:50 am - bus leaves terminal, I start to read Wigfield (already in progress)
8:30 am (appx) - Arrive at Finch station (North-South line), board waiting train
8:50 am (appx) - Arrive at Bloor station (East-West line), board waiting train, finish reading “Wigfield”, realize I left iPod at sister’s house dammit.
9:00 am (appx) - Arrive at Spadina station, wait in very long line for Streetcar
9:01 am (appx) - Spot my friend Glen in line and figure out a way to attract his attention without attracting too much attention to myself, decide shoving my way through a few people to be the appropriate response
9:04 am - Glen tells me what time it is, streetcar leaves the station.
9:17 am - Get off the streetcar a few blocks north of the office, walk with Glen
9:25 am - Arrive at my desk
Quite literally 3 hours from waking to arriving at my desk, 2.75 of those in transit. One more day of that tomorrow, and hopefully I don’t need to do it again…
updated October 14
The ride home, while less transfery (trans-furry? ew) actually took longer.
4:05 pm - Left work, walk to University/Dundas subway
4:19 pm - Board train to Yorkdale
4:44 pm - Arrive at Yorkdale, buy ticket for GO up to Barrie
5:10 pm - Leave terminal for Newmarket
5:43 pm - Arrive at Newmarket terminal, wait and wait and wait
6:20 pm - Bus *finally* leaves for Barrie
7:25 pm - Bus *finally* arrives in Barrie
8:02 pm - Sister *finally* arrives to pick me up
If I were in a car, driving north from work, I would hit Barrie in just about 1 hour and in four hour I’d pass through Sudbury… ew.
Today wasn’t so bad. Commuting in to Newmarket, direct bus to Yorkdale and the University subway straight to Dundas took a little over 2 hours. About 25 minutes less than yesterday. Sucks, but not as bad.
This week, a noble effort with mostly thumbs-up reviews:
Speakeasy’s new “Spellgame” (4/5)
Dark Horse’s “AEon Flux” prequel (4.5/5)
The conclusion to “Rann-Thanagar War” (3/5)
The countdown to “Infinite Crisis” end with “DC Special: The Return of Donna Troy” #4
Russell puts in an even more impressive effort:
the visually crazy “Fantastic Four/Iron Man: Big In Japan” (4/5)
The latest in “Swamp Thing” (4.5/5)
The current issue of “Powers” (3.5/5)
Alex Robinson’s OGN “Tricked” (5/5)
“Gotham Central” #36 (4/5)
“Fell” #2 (4.5/5)
“Wonder Woman” #221 (3/5)
Marmy and Toast invited the lads and lassies over for a huge Thanksgiving dinner tonight. The company was great and the food even better. Kicked off with a bowl of butternut squash and chapotle soup, I knew I was in trouble already as I felt the gourdalicious stock filling up my innards. Followed that up with special mashed potatoes, a squash mixture, turkey, corn bread, David’s “mystery meat stuffing”, apple sauce and fresh cranberry sauce… and then crammed in a turkey wing on top. Ouch.
I paused for a good long while, and asked if there were prearranged resting stations to camp out on… the starches and carbs were attacking my awakenness centers. Thankfully we had Katamari Damacy to entertain us all. So simple a game (you roll a ball which gathers stuff and grows larger), but so highly entertaining to watch and to play. The storyline is almost a Galactus/herald parody but I’ll not go any further into that analysis for getting overly geeky.
The rest of the evening was spent playing one-on-one competitive Katamari while consuming your choice of pumpkin, lemon merangue or apple/peach/cranberry cobbler pie, or Louisiana bread pudding with Southern Comfort sauce, and golden chocolate chip cookie bars. I ate so much I felt like Mr Creosote…
Thanks J&D for the great food and hospitality!
I’ve been doing this sideblog for over two years now, and as of late I’ve been primarily focussed on movies, dvds and linking to my comic reviews over at Thor’s Comic Column (I did it again!). I’ve had the occasional concert review but one would almost think I’ve been listening to no music at all. Well, the stack of CDs on my table next to me says different, so I’m starting a multi-part review series, ploughing through all of my 2005 CD purchases.
Sixtoo - Chewing on Glass
Subtle - A New White
Mia Doi Todd - Manzanita
I’m not really sure what’s going on over at the comic column, but we seem to be having a few absentee members on a regular basis. It’s like if the Avengers was often just Captain America and Iron Man, or the Justice League was just Wonder Woman and Green Lantern. Sure, they’d be nice team-ups but it’s hardly a supergroup.
Anyway, this week I chime in with reviews on… lots, actually.
“Drax: The Destroyer” #1 (more love for Keith Giffen)
“Seven Soldiers: Mister Miracle” #1 (confusing but intriguing)
“Peng” (crazy hyper kickball action)
“Super-Crazy TNT Blast” #1 (not so super-crazy, but a really solid read)
and little Rack Raids on:
“Helios: In With the New” #1, “Rocketo” #2, “Ultimate Secret” #3, and “Legion of
Russell chimes in with reviews of the new Steve Niles Batman/zombie caper, the “Vigilante” mini-series, the “Night Fisher” graphic novel and Raids of the latest “Black Widow” and “Sentry” mini-series and the last Mark Miller “Wolverine”.
That’s a lot of reviews for two people to handle. We’ve done less when we had all six of us active.
Frank posted the link to the first (sure to be of many) Superman Returns teaser trailers, and honestly, this one is dull as donkey droppings.
First it begins with a child falling… why? So he can pick himself back up (Batman Begins reference, uber geekery in effect here). Yes apparently now all superheroes must fall from great heights as a child before they can beat up bad guys.
Then there’s this whole mystery thing, with a suspenseful strumming score. “Let’s start with the big question, where did you go? Did you find what you were looking for.”
And then… ominous, as some deep rumbling noises make a table shake so hard the product-placement Scrabble tiles come off their triple-word score spaces (should have gotten the deluxe edition I tells ya).
And then it gets creepy. “That place was a graveyard. I’m all that’s left.” And we see an old woman walking towards a fire, with a mysterious shadowy figure creeping up and reaching out for her. Oh, it’s a horror movie. She gasps! Then softly under her breath she breathes “Clark.”
Then the John Williams-esque flutes kick in with a whistle, as a starscape appears on screen, the words emblazoned “Next Summer… The World’s Greatest Hero… Returns” as the music attempts, and fails, to crescendo into something big and important, as we catch glimpses of Clark emerging from the Daily Planet, Lois looking up at the sky, and Superman approaching Lois on a rooftop.
If there was any doubt that Bryan Singer was going to wholly try and cop the entire feel of the first two Superman films for which this is supposed to be a “sequel” (they’ve been saying it all along, and I refused to believe it until now), all doubt has been laid to rest.
I never really liked the Superman films. Regardless of the craptastic Lois poem in the first one, they just seemed too small for big event movies, and it looks like Singer is carrying that forward. I was hoping the preproduction that was Matrix: Reloaded (come on, you can’t tell me that the final sequence in that film wasn’t just a test for doing fight sequences in a Superman flick) wouldn’t go to waste, and yet it looks like another bland Lois/Clark/Sman love triangle with a goofy criminal Lex Luthor and … whatever.
I’m going to see it, naturally, I am still geek afterall, and I really hope I enjoy it, but even already disappointed with it, I expect further disappointment. A sequal to a 20 year old film… remember how well the Two Jakes turned out? No? That’s because nobody saw it, cause it was awful… apparently… I never saw it either.
Aaaaaand… we’re back.
Emma’s been working flat out on restoring the server after the Brasilian Hax0rz completely screwed it over, leaving some backdoor entries in place, and a few bits of malicious code which sent out spam to the masses and wiped all the users from the server (including the Root user, which if you’re a nerd, will mean something).
So, if you’ve gotten bounced emails… I’m back up and if you’ve not been finding anything here… well, it’s all here now. Only the posts dating back about a week were affected, and I backed up, so it’s an easy restore…