The last column of 2005 went up December 22, and since I was preoccupied in New York the week before I had three days to plough through 2 trade paperbacks, 1 original graphic novel, and five everyday floppies. I pulled it through but it’s something I’d never care to repeat (especially at peak holiday, shopping, socializing and work season). But thankfully the crazy was spread around:
Russell tackles the fantastic new X-Factor series and both the new massive Absolute editions of The Watchmen and Crisis on Infinite Earths and the (finally) finale to Secret War
Rob chimes in on the Easy Way trade paperback, which I think he may have sold me on.
And then there’s my insanity:
Bad Planet - alien invasion by actor Thomas Jane with go-to horror guy Steve Niles
Local - Brian Wood’s new mini-series which is interesting, if a little fluffy.
Omega: The Unknown Classic trade paperback was some rough digestion, the creative backstory is more interesting than the actual book.
Great Lakes Avengers are revisited in GLA: Misassembled and the Great Lakes Avengers: GLX-Mas special
Jim Mahfood drafts the stream of consciousness graphic novel the Further Adventures of One Page Filler Man
Plus some quick thoughts on the conclusion of Ultimate Iron Man and the latest Captain Atom: Armageddon
Phew. We deserve a few weeks off. The next column will be our most excellent “Best Of 2005″ followed by a whole heap of catch-up.
d. Werner Herzog
Grizzly Man is a fascinating document of a man obsessed, a man deranged, and a man losing grasp of who he really is.
The final reels of footage are incredibly poignant in understanding how out of touch Timothy Treadwell had become with his own humanity. Perhaps it was edited to make it seem that way but there was something palpable about it, something akin to a death wish. Treadwell knew bear habits and patterns better than he knew his own, and he was more than just tempting fate, he was testing the limits of nature and his role in it. He knew the “friendly bears” that over the past thirteen years had become somewhat habituated to his presence had gone into hibernation, and he knew that more aggressive and desperate bears, searching for food and winter shelter, were entering into the region where he was staying. Normally Treadwell would have vacated the Alaska terrain for civilization by that time, processing his films and presenting them wherever he could, but for some reason he decided to stay, knowing full well his actions put him and his girlfriend (whom Herzog could find little knowledge of as well as an astonishing lack of video footage considering how omnipresent she would have been during the last two years of Treadwell’s filming) in mortal danger. He even goes so far as to warn the camera that to do what he was doing would mean certain death, and yet somehow he was immune. It’s either a huge ego, or a deathwish.
d - Tommy Lee Jones
w - Guillermo Arriaga
I was wandering around New York City in the middle of December with a friend who was showing me the insider’s view of the Big Apple. It got dark early, as it tends to do that time of year, and the weather was mild, although once the sun completely set, a moist chill could be felt in the air. While we were moving at a pretty brisk clip, our bodies kept warm by our own heat, eventually the chill sunk through the clothes. We had wandered about the movie theatres in the area, observing what was playing, ultimately deciding that the first theatre we came across was the one we would attend.
I had heard good things about “The Three Burials…”, having seen Tommy Lee Jones on a talk show a few days before discussing his directorial debut. I had also read some highly positive, although I couldn’t actually recall what any of them said, and I really didn’t know what I was stepping into. For some reason in the back of my mind I had it pegged as a “revenge drama”, which it is, in a manner of speaking, but that doesn’t really describe the film at all.
Monday, December 26, 1:30 pm(ish) - Found Lost on “Boxing Day” sale at Zellers while purchasing vitamins and lightbulbs and stuff. This was my only impulse/Boxing Day special purchase.
Tuesday, December 27, 8:00 pm(ish) - Waiting for dough to rise while baking bread, pop Lost in to kill an hour (so I say). I’m instantly addicted and wade through 6 episodes while also watching my bread rise, talking on phone, doing laundry, AND breathing. That’s multi-tasking.
Wednesday, December 28, 6:00 pm(ish) - Get home from work, ignore dinner until 9pm, and watch 9 episodes of Lost until…erm… around 12:30am (I don’t really recall actually).
Friday, December 30, 12:05 am(ish) - Get home from the karaoke party, feel tired but not ready for sleep. Two episodes of Lost didn’t help inspire the drowsy any but I resisted temptation and went to sleep.
5:00 pm(ish) - Back from work and have a marathon of the remaining 7 episodes until 11:15 pm(ish). I feel… unsatisfied with the 90 minute (aka 2-hour) conclusion to the first season.
Want. More. Now.
Feel. Lost. Without. Lost
Dammit, I knew this would happen.
A virtually last minute shindigger last night at the Photojunkie and J’s pad, where the fun didn’t really begin until the karaoke broke out. Much food was ate and booze drank and songs butchered… it was a feast for the mouth if not the ears. Thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Accordion for providing the magic mic (it should be no surprise to anyone there that I remember this url off by heart, it would pop up anytime there was a synthtar solo)
The winner goes to Carrie for her “96″% performance of Bowie’s “Space Oddity”
Although J-roomie’s virtually spot-on rendition (at least in the early bits) of Tears For Fears’ “Everybody Wants To Rule The World”
My butchered performances included (but weren’t limited to):
- “Sound Of Silence”
- “Happy Together”
Oh, yeah, and this one (Ladies Night) which Eva so conveniently captured on camera. (you can see by clicking on the sidebar Rannie half-assing “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” while also on the phone, no less; Jeremy leading a sing-a-long to “Sweet Caroline”; Joey’s “Iron Man” and the “magic mic” promo; the whole room singing “Hey Ya” as led by Irina and Carrie; and the ever popular “Creep” by Ranniohead)
You can be sure Joey will have some pics/movies coming soon.
See, here’s the thing about me: I’m a horrid singer. I was even in a choir group in high school (there for a girl, actually… well, two girls) and was thankfully drowned out by most of the others. I learned nothing. I have a hard time a) carrying a tune, b) projecting, and c) being serious about the whole thing. I love playing with songs, mostly trying to sing my karaoke in Shatner-speak, but that does get tired after a while, so I change it up and keep changing. I’m as playful with my singing as I am with my dancing… but at least my dancing doesn’t make people cringe.
…that I know of.
I’m not sure that I’ve ever made bread before… I know for sure that I’ve never made it without the assistance of measuring cups or measuring spoons before, but the resulting loaf didn’t look too bad:
It’s a bit yeasty (and could use a touch more sugar) for my taste but those that like a good Marmite would certainly approve. I’ve already eaten half of it. Since I only had one loaf pan, the second one didn’t exactly get the proper treatment:
It’s like the Ol’ Drippy of breads.
I’ve been spending much of my weekend off doing one of five things: sleeping, eating, having a bath, cleaning and working on lists.
One of the first lists of the weekend was the 7 for 2005 album list, which took a few days to put together. The next was a shopping list which included the following items:
Small pots, tablecloth, placemats, very small bowls (for serving condiments and the like), Q-tips, asprin, lotion, lightbulbs, towels, an iron, screws, various kitchen utensils, 2-way cable splitter, rug, lint roller
After shopping (and getting the cable splitter), I hooked up the tele and made yesterday’s list of antenna-accessed programming.
This morning I popped over to Exclaim’s reader poll which I generally enter in every year, and last year actually won some SCTV prizes from the draw, and for the past two years have been a featured commentor in the Reader’s Poll best of. Will this be year three?
Oddly enough while submitting my readers poll comments I realized that I didn’t see one movie which I would dub “best movie of the year”. “Sin City” really blew me away but I wouldn’t say it was the year’s best movie. I really enjoyed “Batman Begins”, but again, not the year’s best. The documentaries I saw, including “Enron: The Smartest Guys In The Room”, “Murderball”, and “Grizzly Man” were fantastic, but I wouldn’t call any of them a best picture.
For the past two weeks, over at Thor’s Comic Column (well over in Thor email-land), we’ve been trying to determine the format for our year-end best of list. I’ve compiled my list together today and am now checking with the gang to see if the format get approval.
I’m working on my top-20 songs list, which, as it is every year, is simply an extract from primarily albums I bought this year (hey, if I bought the album I must like the songs no?). Once that’s done, I think I’m all listed out, with the exception of :
The Television list
Favourite New Shows: Surface (NBC), The Colbert Report (Comedy, CTV), Stella (Comedy), Dr. Who (CBC), The Office (NBC), Robson Arms (Comedy/CTV)
Favourite Show Previously Dismissed: Battlestar Galactica (Space)
Favourite Show I Didn’t Know About Before: Survivorman (OLN)
Show I’m going to miss the most without cable: Mythbusters (Discovery)
Favourite Still-Airing Shows I’ve Only Been Watching on DVD: Arrested Development (Fox), Scrubs (NBC), various Adult Swim cartoons
Favourite show that entertains and bums me out at the same time: The Daily Show (Comedy/CTV)
Favourite overexposed-but-still-quite-entertaining shows: Desperate Housewives (ABC), Corner Gas (Comedy/CTV)
Not yet a favourite but that’s just because I only recently got the first season set and havn’t watched it yet but from what it sounds like it seems like something I’ll really get into: Lost (ABC)
SILLY THINGS TO DO
by me, 28.12.05
Waste away a four-day weekend making lists of stuff, and then write about wasting away your weekend making lists of stuff, and then mock your writing about wasting away your weekend making lists of stuff.
With the cable disconnected I decided for the first time since moving to this apt to hook up the antenna to the television… the antenna would be that 50-foot behemoth mounted to the back of the house. What the hell eh?
Well, Shazam, look what I found:
Ch.2 - WGRZ (NBC)
Ch.5 - CBC
Ch.9 - WKBW (ABC Buffalo)
Ch.11 - CH (Global Hamilton)
Ch.17 - WNED (PBS Rochester)
Ch.19 - TVO
Ch.23 - UPN
Ch.25 - CBC (French)
Ch.26 - some religious doohickey
Ch.29 - Fox
Ch.36 - CTS (all messed up though)
Ch.41 - Global
Ch.47 - Omni 1
Ch.49 - WB (!no foolin, we don’t even get this with cable!)
Ch.52 - SunTV
Ch.57 - CITY
Ch.69 - Omni 2
Not a bad selection for free tv. Will have to play around with the antenna a little (we have a remote that rotates it) to see if we can get any clearer reception on the ones that are a bit staticy. It’s like living in the 60’s, only we got Fear Factor.
Attention geeks and nurds and scifi wonks and all… tomorrow we see the debut of the new Dr. Who (David Tennant) with a 90 minute Xmas special on CBC, “The Christmas Invasion”.
Starts at 8.
You may resume your festivities.
by me: December 25, 2005
Eat a whole cheesecake by yourself, followed by a bag of Doritos (if you’re feeling especially silly make it Cool Ranch), and then 2L of ginger ale. Yeah, that’s silly.
Last year’s list, revisited:
After letting some other albums sink in in January of 2005, 3 of my top seven of last year would have easily been replaced.
What we had then:
1) Arcade Fire - “Funeral”
2) b. Fleischmann and Herbert Weixelbaum present Duo 505 - “Late”
3) The Beastie Boys - “To The 5 Boroughs”
4) The Futureheads - “The Futureheads”
5) Handsome Boy Modeling School - “White People”
6) The Hidden Cameras - “Mississauga Goddamn”
7) Modest Mouse - “Good News For People Who Love Bad News”
What it would look like now:
1) Arcade Fire - “Funeral”
2) Subtle - “A New White”
3) b. Fleischmann and Herbert Weixelbaum present Duo 505 - “Late”
4) The Go! Team - “Thunder, Lightning, Strike”
5) The Futureheads - “The Futureheads”
6) MF Doom - “MM Food”
7) Modest Mouse - “Good News For People Who Love Bad News”
Subtle I didn’t find until January, the Go! Team took until March for me to fully process (and it was finally released domestically this year, so I *could* technically put it on the ‘05 list), and MF Doom wasn’t released until late December so it was hard to really get into in time for a list that was released before it came out.
But that was last year…
7 Albums For 2005
1) The National - “Alligator”
From the first time I listened to this album I knew it would top my favourites list… There’s a dangerousness to, a catchy poppyness which juxtaposes against dark tendencies. Anger and frustration seem to be underlying themes, and yet there’s beauty in that. It’s both calming and agitating at once. Each song is a gem, with depths you can sink into over and over again. This is an immediate classic of the ’00s
sample:The Geese Of Beverly Road
2) DangerDoom - “The Mouse and the Mask”
I had earlier in the year come to understand the majesty that is MF Doom, the underground/indie rap god who fashions himself in a metal mask reminiscent of Fantastic Four foe Dr. Doom, rapping frequently about food and pop culture. And just as I was getting familiar with Doom’s style and flow, I caught word that he was pairing up with Danger Mouse, whose collaberation with Jemini two years ago really struck a chord with this hip hop fan who’d gotten a little dissuaded with the status of the genre. And then I found out that they were collaborating on an album which was incorporating the core Adult Swim line of cartoons (Sealab, Space Ghost, Brak, Harvey Birdman and Aqua Teen Hunger Force) which I’ve been pretty much obsessed with since before it was actually called “Adult Swim”. There was no way this album could go wrong, and with the exception of the Meatwad rap (the Brak rap is awesome), I was totally right.
3) Wolf Parade - “Apologies to Queen Mary”
This year I picked up two eps before the release of Wolf Parade’s album proper, having waited for pressed sounds since hearing them on CBC radio in mid-2004. Though there was some repeated material between all three (although in different production iterations) I didn’t feel at all disappointed, the songs hold up over and over and over again. Somewhat impenetrable but curious and infectious lyrics over some challenging and complex instrumentation that feels in part psychedelic, poppy, rocked out and electrofunky. Each song is its own but works as a fitting companion to the whole.
sample:This Heart’s On Fire
4) Novillero - “Aim Right for the Holes in their Lives”
While I liked the New Pornographers’ “Twin Cinema” well enough, it was Mint Records labelmates Novillero that put out the more attractive pop offering. Raucous to a degree but restrained in its delivery, this is one unified band. Each element, from drums, keys, tamborine, guitars, bass, vox, backup vox and even trumpet all merge together to form blood boiling power pop tunes the likes we havn’t seen since Sloan got bored. If anything, it would almost seem like the band was too tight, keeping the listener out, but the occasional chord shift or change up is like a hand waving to invite us in.
5) Gorillaz - “Demon Days”
And they’re back. The faux band made of of cartoon characters that blew up large, real large in 2000 took their time, but have finally returned. I have to admit that as much as I loved the first album by Damon Albarn and Dan The Automator, I got a little tired of it after repeated listening and radio overdosage. I was a little sad to find that Automator hadn’t returned for this second outing, but DJ Danger Mouse is a pretty damn fine successor, and he proves it by offering more complicated sampling, less obvious but no less pleasing beats, and the overall production value is stepped up a notch to make for perhaps a less immediately enjoyable album, but one which will surely hold out a lot better long term and repeatedly.
sample:Fire Coming Out Of The Monkey’s Head
6) The Diskettes - “Weeknights at Islandview Beach”
The dark horse of this list, and the least likely to make anyone else’s list, but let me say this list is all about what pleases and impresses me, and everyone else can stick with their one genres, I’m trying to spread my attention around a little. Which brings the Diskettes in. I hated this album upon first listen. It was so… old fashioned. Him-her sing-song melodies, with calypso style beach blanket ukelele and shakers I couldn’t care less about. And yet, as the individual songs crept into the shuffle on my iPod, I found myself completely entranced, especially once the weather too a turn away from summer. You can taste the pineapple and smell the coconut when listening to this album. It’s bliss. And the damn thing comes in an old 5 1/4 floppy. How neat is that?
sample:As It Happens
7) Spoon - “Gimme Fiction”
I have a love-hate relationship with the album. It’s just too good and too aplenty with the perfect pop tune. Almost every track is one touch shy of being that pre-fab top-forty style of song which raises my hackles and wants to make me wretch. But that one hair also is the difference between one man’s brilliance for crafting such tunes and a room full of engineers trying to emulate that very same sound. Spoon’s Britt Daniel sits down behind his piano and out comes something that makes Neil Diamond seethe with jealousy. This album came with a four track ep which had three stripped down versions of songs off the album and one non-album track, and these pared back songs are actually even more enjoyable and catchy than the originals.
sample:The Delicate Place
not quite there
New Pornographers: “Twin Cinema”
Yes, they topped my list two years ago. Yes this album is technically better than the last two, but it’s also less interesting. The upbeat peppiness has been eschewed for an almost carnival feel, and a forced sense of doing something different. It’s all good, and interesting, really, but it’s not more enjoyable than the top seven.
Ninja High School: “Young Adults Against Suicide”
I understand all the hubub over the band, why some people hate them and why others just don’t get it. But I do get it, but I also get that listening to all 14 tracks in a row exposes the bands weaknesses. They’re a definite ep or singles band. In fact, if I didn’t think it was cheating I would have included their two-song 7″ (By Purpose Not By Plan/It’s Alright To Fight) in my top 7.
The Life And Hard Times Of Guy Terrifico soundtrack: “Bring It Back Home”
The copyright on the album says 2004, but I think it was sat on until this year when “Guy Terrifico” hit the Toronto International Film Festival (winning “Best Canadian Feature”). I’ve been a big fan of Matt Murphy across his Superfriendz and Flashing Lights (and back) days, so I was really intrigued to both see the film and him as an actor, and hear what he would do with some country tunes. I was pleasantly surprised. And not just surprised, these songs are country with that alt pop edge which Murphy excels at. In serving the needs of the film Murphy, with director Michael Mabbot, have created a fascinating and genuine country album that isn’t just kitschy mocumentary music. If it sinked in a little faster it would have made top 7.
DJ Format: “If You Can’t Join ‘Em… Beat ‘Em”
Oh, yes. This is what’s been missing. I love where hip hop is getting taken by Doom and Danger Mouse and the like, but it’s nice to have a solid album of classic rhymin over beats and Format has the years best conventional hip hop.
Bell Orchestre: “Recording A Tape The Colour Of The Light”
Oh, it’s good, but it doesn’t quite capture the power of the live sound. But it is good, and the great thing is with their affiliation with the Arcade Fire, they’re exposing orchestral chamber music to a whole different kind of crowd. And it’s good.
Sufjan Stevens: “Illinois”
You know, really, whatever. Since every music blog has been all gaga over Sufjan this year, I’ve managed to download practically every song off the album and not a one has grabbed me as anything interesting or special. It’s not that it’s bad, but it’s not nearly as good as everyone’s made it out to be. Perhaps it works better as an album than as individual songs, but I just don’t care enough to find out. Sufjan is the Kanye of indie rock.
Caribou: “The Milk of Human Kindness”
This was an early favourite in 2005. I liked it a tremendous amount from the get-go, but as the months wared on, so too did this album, and what I once found fascinating soon became tedious or dull. Caribou just doesn’t hold up that well to repeated listening. The Marino dvd/ep however is fantastic for both it’s highlights of Manitoba/Caribou past and present, and the new songs on the ep have progressed to Aphex Twin-like realms which sound great.
Final Fantasy: “Has A Good Home”
Part Andrew Bird, part Stephin Merritt, Owen Pallett hits all the right inspirations, but “Has A Good Home” hit’s too many highs and lows within each song to really inspire me. It’s at times clever, at times peppy, at times inventive, but it’s also at times redundant, at times tedious, and often a little painful when Pallett strains his vocals beyond their natural reach. I hear the live show is amazing though.
Edan: “Beauty and the Beat”
Oh, I bought into it too. Beatheads love love love this album because Edan, perhaps for the first time, takes hip-hop into the psychedelic age. I won’t deny that it’s an interesting album, but it’s not really something you want to play for background sounds, or when you’re out on a stroll, or if you working out, or really any other situation. It’s one of those critical favourites nobody actually wants to listen to.
Blackalicious: “The Craft”
I’m a big, big fan of the Quannum crew, Blackalicious especially, however this new album fails big time because of one horrendous miscalculation by the name of “Powers” in which the Gift Of Gab thinks he’s Huey Lewis or something. Ouch. On the other hand, the Craft also has six or seven tracks which are their best ever… the awfulness of “Powers” overshadows it all… except for “Egosonic War Drums” which may be my favourite song of 2005.
Black Mountain: “Black Mountain”
I don’t really like psychedelia, and revival psychedelia impresses me even lest. I tried, really, I tried.
Movies Seen In Theatre: 49
Comic Book Floppies purchased (most read): 449
Trade Paperbacks/Graphic Novels purchased (80% appx. read): 102
DVDs (movies) rented or purchased: 84
Television on DVD rented or purchased: 31
Books purchased or borrowed (most read): 22
Magazines purchased: 5
CDs purchased: 54
Live (concert/musical/performance): 12
Approximate $ spent on the above: not even going to hazard a guess
geekent is live again.. the dry-line internet is now active at home (what they neglected to tell me is that although each telephone jack requires a filter the connection to the modem should be direct into a jack, sans filter. Derp!)
I’ve got a trio of movie reviews to get through, and a best of 2005 music list and some pictures to upload, but first I need to sort through the bulk of my wardrobe that was just returned to me yesterday from my sister. Joined by her partner and my adorable “nephew” (that’d be the black lab Whistler), we had a lovely unfestive dinner and some nice downtime before they shuttled off to their actual Christmas plans.
On the “boo” side, the cable was yanked sometime between Tuesday (when I last watched) and Friday. On the “yay” side: clothes, internet, long weekend, and a microwave (reheating things in a frying pan is kind of tedious).
Happy Chanukkah, Merry Christmas, Joyous Kwanzaa, Cheerful Festivus
So after waiting until half past five at work for my modem to arrive, I finally get to leave only to discover at half past six that my dry-line DSL isn’t properly set up at Bell Telephone’s end and that Friday is probably the earliest I’m going to get access to it… and also that there’s a good likelyhood that Bell will be making a very expensive trip out to the Geroomie abode (that’s the Graig/Jeremy residence as it has yet to be called) to do this that and the other thing and send me a bill for services rendered.
So I didn’t get started on my reviews until 6:30, which consisted of 2 trade paperbacks, one original graphic novel, 2 long-form reviews, and 3 short “Raids”. They’re all kinda sucky because I didn’t really get my proper digestion time with most of them, and I had no time to edit.
I finished up just past 8:30 and then I had to figure out a) where I was going to go to upload and b) how I was going to offload the files from the computer. For the latter I’m all out of cds to burn, not sure floppies would do the trick and my portable USB pen thingy keeps crashing my sh*tty computer. I then tried this overly complicated network connection thing between the hellaslow laptop and the main sh*tty computer but nothing was taking. And then I remembered I had a floppy drive for the laptop. So I found a random floppy laying around, copied the files to it on the sh*tbox, swapped out the dvd for the floppy on the laptop and then transferred from floppy to USB. How convoluted.
I’m now at an internet cafe/dry cleaners conveniently located about a block up the street. It’s costing me all of $1.50 to be here so it’s actually pretty cheap and convenient (although this chair is uncomfortable).
And that’s my bullpoppy for today. I’m going home to gin my sorrows in comics and boozy. Did I say gin my sorrows…heh.
(Oh, and note to comments spammers. Frag off!)
Sitting in Laguardia airport with GAK, watching the planes land and the ground crew do their work. Three of the little carts that pull the luggage around move snake-like across the tarmac, with a rhythmic motion that looks practically choreographed.
Me - It looks like a dance
GAK - A Busby-Berkeley musical
Me - We just need a song
And literally seconds later from behind the terminal appears a plane adorned with green striping and on its tail fin is emblazoned the word “SONG”, which is Delta’s discount airline (I think).
Life is so curious sometimes.
Speaking of songs:
On an express subway to Grand Central Station, it stops at a station and four men get on. The automated voice states “Stand clear of the doors, please” and a PING sounds. The doors close and as if on cue, the four men, all adorned in some traditional mexican garb of some sort (one with a colourful poncho, another with a rather small sombrero on his head), burst into a boisterous, upbeat, somewhat traditional Spanish song, drowning out the noise of the train as it rolls over the tracks.
The song lasts almost precisely the duration from one station to the next, and after collecting some change in a cowboy hat they move onto the next car on the train just before it begins to move again. There’s an absense when the subway gets rolling this time, as our time with the troubadors was all too brief.
This time the distance between stops is a little less, and after the train stops and the doors open I can hear the men, mid-song, belting out their tune, the sounds echoing in the station.
The whole thing was very surreal. A New York moment.
As we took the shuttle bus ($12.50) from Grand Central to Laguardia, I noticed the sign by the front door of the bus that said “IN THIS COUNTRY IT IS CUSTOMARY TO REWARD GOOD SERVICE WITH TIPS” with little gratuitous use of dollar signs both at the top and bottom of the sheet of paper.
When I got off the bus and retreived my bag from the bus’ undercarriage, I politely said thank you to the driver and went to go on my way. He said “What, no tip?”
I said “I’m sorry, but I’ve given all my money away at this point,” and asked GAK if he had any small bills. What I meant to say was, “A tip for what? Opening the door? For handing me my bag? For not crashing the bus? It cost 12.50 for a 20 minute ride to the airport. Give me a break.”
But I’m Canadian. We’re so polite on the outside.
Did you know it’s illegal to put your feet up on the seats of the subway in New York?
I took the city transit shuttle from the airport in Toronto to the subway line ($2.50, thank you very much, with no cost to transfer onto the train), along with about a dozen other people. When we got to Kipling station there was a train waiting dormant. I get onto an empty car somewhere near the middle. I then notice one of the other passengers from the bus carrying his luggage also steps onto the same car. He’s followed in by two girls who were also on the bus, but they aren’t with him. And then a few more people step into our car, 11 people in total. All of them were on the bus from the airport. Only the driver and one other person from the bus didn’t get on the same car as myself.
As I noted yesterday I’m planning on only buying comedy cds and kids music (as well as vinyl records) in 2006, which means I’m going to be in public places laughing my ass off for seemingly no reason in particular, and making people around me very uncomfortable.
People stare and stare curiously if you start laughing (and laughing hard enough to snort in one instance) and they aren’t in on the joke. On the aeroplane I was listening to the genius that is Mitch Hedberg (RIP), and on the streetcar it was Aziz Azaria that got me going (box turtle indeed).
More randomness tomorrow. For now:
SILLY THINGS TO DO (I forgot to do this yesterday!)
by me, 21.12.2005
Entertain your family and friends by making a fashionable suit out of festive tinsel and doing your Tony Orlando/Liza Minelli impersonation. Then get drunk off eggnog, destroy the Christmas tree and burst through the living room bay window. They’ll demand an encore… or leave you to sleep it off in the snow…
Made it back safely from NYC none the worse for wear, and perhaps even a little more enriched (like Wonder Bread). Still no internet at home (hence the lack of blog additions), but the new modem needed to make it all work is coming tomorrow, I hope.
I’ve got about 400 pages of comic book reading to do before Wednesday, on an extended deadline for the next comic column, and I didn’t get started until Sunday night. Hopefully my brain is up to the task, and I don’t go all Flaming Carrot on y’all. (Obscure reference, I know)
XMas cards have trickled in, and maybe if I’m lucky I’ll get a few out before the new year, because I’m timely like that.
I forgot some stuff in NYC, including some token gifts for a few folks. It’ll either get shipped down this week or taken to Thunder Bay and brought down in February. Nobody better be anxious. In fact, I’d say don’t expect anything at all. It’s the only way not to be disappointed.
I’ve decided to give two middle fingers to music in 2006. That’s right, screw you indie hipster music scene, I’m not going to actively participate next year. Nope, in 2006 I’m buying comedy albums, kids music and records (vinyl). If you’re not funny, youthful or on an antiquated format, you won’t be entering into my music roster until at least 2007 (unless either someone buys it for me or I download songs off some blog of some sort).
And I’m serious too.
Indie music is going to be about $1500 poorer next year.
Random notes were to go here but both journals within which said radom notes were written were left elsewhere. Deal with it, suckaz.
Avenue Q review to come
Also the Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada review coming soon
And probably Grizzly Man and The Life And Hard Times Of Guy Terrifico which I’ll be attending a double feature of tomorrow (which means I better get cracking on those comic reviews tonight).
I’m in New York.
’twas a balmy 54 degrees Fahrenheit when I woke up this morning which equals… something above freezing in Celcius. It’s about 45 degrees F now, which equals… something above freezing but less warm than this morning in Celcius.
The looming transit strike didn’t really happen, not yet at least, and the Union has decided to do a systemic shut-down starting with privately owned bus services within the union. It looks like I should escape the city on the weekend before all hell breaks loose. I’ve been following the strike info closely, and I’ll probably still keep up on it, especially if a strike goes through because a shutdown of a 7million passenger-per-day trasit system has got to be fascinating, and the scenarios of what could happen in such situation where traffic is gridlocked 24 hours a day and everyone’s ire is raised just get my creative brain juices movin’.
But, really, I’m just happy I’ll be able to escape the city without having to endure any real hardships. Because I’m self-centered like that.
In the events of the past few days, I managed to get most of the info I came to New York to collect so, I say, sucessful trip all around. Good show, old boy. On Wednesday after Spamelot (review on sidebar), I strolled 8th avenue and picked up a legendary New York Black and White Cookie (aka “the harmony cookie”). The light side was overly saccharine and the dark side was a bit too fudgy. And the cookie itself was like not-stale biscotti. Yeah.
Was at work until 7:30 last night (for one reason or another), and then went uptown to the Other Music for some local music cd color, said hi to the East Village for Joan, and had a late dinner at an Indian resto before rushing back in the warm rain to catch a train before a strike that didn’t happen was supposed to happen.
And then there’s today.
SILLY THINGS TO DO
The New York Edition, by me - 16.12.05
Before travelling next, buy a new pair of boots that feel fine when you try them on but later you discover that the way one of the seams is formed hits you right on a nerve at the top of your foot making your big toe go numb after prolonged wearing, and enventually cause extreme discomfort and/or pain. Once you have found these boots, make sure they are your only pair of footwear when away from home for a week.
This week, over at “the column”:
Rob takes a very on-point look at “Marvel Zombies”
Russell goes trade crazy with Joss Whedon’s “Astonishing X-Men vol2″, a recap of Crisis lead-in “the OMAC Project”, the latest “Amazing Spider-Man” trade, and Warren Ellis’ space epic “Ocean”.
I, meanwhile, explore the stunning, educational and fierce “Nat Turner” (the first two issues) by Kyle Baker, puzzle over the “Jet Pack Pets”, and get stabby with little reviews of “Mister Miracle” #2, “Skyscrapers of the Midwest” #1 and “Legion of Super-Heroes” #12.
I’m not the biggest theatre goer out there, mostly because of the barriers to entry, that being the ticket price. Theatre isn’t cheap, and if it is cheap, then so is the experience… or something. I’ve been to about a half-dozen big-time musicals at this stage in my life, each with varying degrees of appreciation and enjoyment. Most of them have been adaptations of either films or books, with varying levels of success. “Spamalot”, if you didn’t know, is a big budget adaptation/exploitation of the classic Monty Python film “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”. In fact, the stage production’s budgen far outweighs that of the original film’s cost (even adjusted for inflation).
“Spamalot” is just the latest in Eric Idle’s recent spate of exploiting his biggest success, preceeded by the Greedy Bastard Tour (2003) and Eric Idle Exploits Monty Python (2000), and while it has the “Python” name on the Marquee, with the exception of the regurgitated bits from the movie, this is mostly and all Idle production.
As a lont-time Python enthusiast, I was excited to see how the movie would leap to the stage, but at the same time I was hesitant. Idle, of all the Python members, is the most obvious in his humour, his sketches on the classic “Flying Circus” tv show seemed to be the most accessible, or perhaps just the least elitist or the most straightforward. “Spamalot” reflects all of this. In the theatre he’s kept the most quotable scenes from the movie in tact, expanded upon those that could endure further mining of the joke(s) and pencilled in a lot of new scenes that reflect the Idle sensibility but not the remainder of the old gang.