Mom Reads My Blog

I found out yesterday that my Mom reads this journal. Hi mom. For the rest of you – I’ll try not to let that influence my writing. But there may be less frequent use of the word “cornhole.” Actually – that was the first one, wasn’t it?

I was hoping to get some work done today, but it didn’t happen. I spent most of my normal working hours on a super-secret project. Now some of you reading this may be thinking to yourselves “oh, I know what project he’s talking about” but NO!!!! No no no. Think again: nobody knows about this project from me. Well, kind of. Yeah, I’m going to stick with that.

So – when’s your birthday? No, seriously – when’s your birthday?

Many sumo wrestlers are in fact Hawaiian

Many sumo wrestlers are in fact Hawaiian

I changed my settings so that this blog is on Samoan time. That way, when I do my entries, as I typically do, at 2 in the morning Vancouver time, it will register as 11pm. That way Saturday night will last until I go to bed, which is typically 3am. Hooray for me!

I took a walk out in the rain today. It was refreshing. Still very hot in here but I think that may be because Stuey was running a hot shower for…well I don’t know how long. Long enough for the smoke detector to go off, which is long. He was trying to clean his silkscreening screens. Yes that’s right – silkscreening.

Well, with the banana peel and the water jug rants out of the way, I think I’ve ranted myself into a corner. The corner of having nothing to say. You know – that corner. Variety-wise, I didn’t do much today. I drew. I could have gone to Rob’s birthday party. I could have gone to see Zombie at the Pacific Cinematheque and voted for Graveyard as the best short of Cinemuerte. I did neither, and rightly so as I really need to get these drawings finished. Sorry Rob and Ed. I’ve got so much to do in the next couple of weeks, it’s nutty. I’ve got gaming sessions, movie dates, VGG meetings, band practice, acting classes, possibly play rehearsals, plus there’s that visit from the queen. Meanwhile I’ve got drawing and writing to do. Now, as promised, the beginning of a list of worldly possessions that would make outstanding birthday gifts (you know…should it come up):

Any weapons or armor or period clothing that I could use for D&D modelling photos for my art. You know – morning stars and swords and bracers and helmets and shit. Stuff to go in my tickle trunk.
The Nyarlathotep plush doll
Pirate minis for D&D (25mm scale)
lights, light stands, tripods, other photographic equipment

Cake CDs (any)
Wheatus CD
Newest Weezer CD (Maladroit?)
Gladiator soundtrack
the new Radiohead

Why Smart People Believe Weird Things
Dungeon Master Guide version 3.5
Astro City #6 (second series)
Hellboy: Chained Coffin trade paperback
Hellboy: Conqueror Worm trade paperback
Dungeon Magazines after issue 95
Tome & Blood
Deities and Demigods
City of the Spider Queen
Powers: Who Killed Retro Girl? trade paperback
Alias (Book 1) trade paperback
Powers, Volume 2: Role Play trade paperback
The Underneath (Alias, Book 3) trade paperback
Life in the Big City (Kurt Busiek’s Astro City) trade paperback
Earth X trade paperback
Universe X (Universe X) trade paperback
Confession (Kurt Busiek’s Astro City) trade paperback

Miller’s Crossing
Superman- The Lost Episodes (fleischer)
Raising Arizona
Complete Superman Cartoons: Diamond Anniversary Edition
Superfriends (I think there are a couple out there soon)

Now some of this crap is way over the $10-20 range. But don’t think for a minute that a used copy of any of this stuff wouldn’t be completely welcomed. I’m not a stickler that way. I’d be happy to get any of this stuff in any workable condition.

I don’t want to be a banana nazi, but…

I’m going to be a banana nazi. I went to the beach avec Yvonne yesterday, and we said hello to many small crabs, in the way that Cthulhu might say hello to you by ripping off the roof of your house and picking you up to see what colour your belly is. When we were satisfied that enough crabs had been greeted thusly, we sat on a log and enjoyed some fruit. I brought a banana. Now it has always been my contention that the proper way to peel a banana is the way that was taught to me by the venerable Tex Avery. Your first instinct may be to grab a banana by the stem (or “handle”, as I just made up) and peel it from there, but consider this: when you see a banana peel lying on the sidewalk, ready to fulfill its destiny, where is the handle? At the top, with all the peel sections radiating out. The handle is the nexus, the very hub, of the whole affair. Like this. So naturally, the way I peel a banana is from the opposite end of the handle (let’s call it the nipple end), so that should I be called upon to initiate banana gaggery, the proper esthetic may be maintained. Sad it is, then, that when people see me peeling a banana starting from the nipple end, there is no end of gasping and mockery. The short-sighted infidels!

Tickled beyond description, was I, when Yvonne peeled the banana…from which end? From the nipple end. She brought up a different (and I’ll admit – maybe a better) reason to peel from the nipple end: often when you yank on the banana handle (that’s not a euphemism) you’ll make the first bite of the banana into a bruised mushy mess. And that’s no good for anyone.

Now the question of preferred ripeness is another matter altogether, and to this end I will simply direct you to Chart 1A. My personal preference leans towards something between colour index 5 and 6. Seven is right out. Yucky poo-poo.

Meanwhile, after the beach we went to this really neato restaurant on Broadway a few blocks west of MacDonald, and it was called………………….(Yvonne? Help me out here).

I’m going to use the word nettlesome in this entry. Watch for it.

I don’t like to fill up the water jug after I take a glassful.

I’ll tell you why. There are days, like today, when I take quite a few trips to the fridge to get a glass (or mug or cup as the case may be) of cooooool, refreshing water. The frigidity of the water is key, in this apartment, as it’s a veritable hotspot both figuratively and literally during the summertime. (Okay maybe not so figuratively.) So, given the frequency that I’m into the Brita, if I filled up the jug with tap water every time I poured a glass, I’d just be raising the temperature of the jug’s contents constantly throughout the day before it got a chance to get really cold. I much prefer to fill it up when it’s empty, which usually is at the end of the day, so the next morning I’m greeted with a big brimming jug o’ brisk clean agua. Do you see where I’m coming from? Away with tepidity! Begone! I’m not a bad man for not filling up the jug right away, am I? Oh tell me I’m good! I just want to be loved is that so wrong?

Meanwhile, not far away:

The Rolaids Dilemma

When I was working at Macneill Library Service, I happened to notice, as I happen to do a lot of things, how very often Jamie knocked back the Rolaids tablets. I thought it was strange. My father likewise always kept a big jar of them (fruit-flavoured Tums, actually) close to his bed. Well, here I am, a few years older, and what’s in my desk drawer, but a jar of Rolaids. Extra Strength (which I suspect means ‘bigger’ tablets) calcium carbonate and magnesia tablets U.S.P., Whatever that means. Over the years I started to get nettlesome bouts of heartburn more and more, usually in the evening, and at first, being the steadfast “bite the bullet” kind of a guy that I am, I would just sit it out – it’s not like it kept me awake or prevented me from doing anything (except for being 100% comfortable). But one night it just didn’t go away, so I finally tracked down a Rolaids and that took care of it. Invariably I’ll get this “heartburn” a few times a week, but it varies tremendously. I might get nothing for weeks, then in one night I might have to take several tablets as the fizzygoodmakefeelnice effect would only quell the beast for a short while. I’ve read some info on the net about heartburn and acid reflux and H.U.R.T.S. or whatever it is – but it’s all very confusing and doesn’t add up to me, so I don’t know if this is regular, run-of-the-mill recurring heartburn that I’m getting or if it’s something more. Anyone have a similar experience? Comment, damn you! Comment below!

Nettlesome: \NET-l-suhm\, adjective: Causing irritation, vexation, or distress.

The Twilight Limits

On my way to London Thugs to get the photos I took of James, Norm and Shawna developed, I found a bottle on the sidewalk. The bottle was filled with gas and when I opened it this big blue Indian appeared out of nowhere with the voice of Robin Williams. He said I could have three wishes. For my first wish I wished that whenever someone hit or was in some other way violent to another person, the injury and the pain would be felt not by the victim, but by the attacker. I haven’t decided what I would do with the other wishes. I wonder how that would affect the world, though. It might not end violence altogether, but it would probably abate it to some degree. I’m sure it would make a startling and ironic episode of The Twilight Zone or it’s little cousin, The Outer Limits.

On a completely different topic, Frank Roberts, who works at Relic and is known to me, brought my attention to this Japanese video of two ping pong players experiencing ‘bullet time’ (as seen in The Matrix and other films) live. It will make you go HA! and OOH! and you should see it while it’s still up. You’ll need a competent media player and a decent internet connection speed. It was pretty jumpy on mine, and of course I have this weird ongoing problem where some video files play super fast, others play super slow, sometimes just the audio has the problems but not the video, &c, &c. But I got the gist of it. Enjoy!

Incidentally, Frank’s sister Rachel starred as S1m0ne in the film of the same name with Al Pacino. Neat, huh? Embarrassingly now I admit that I haven’t seen it.

Birthday Auction

I’ll have a birthday party some time in the next couple of months. I’m not sure whether or not I should do another auction this year, or go for something a little more “traditional”. Maybe one of my good good friends will make the decision for me and throw me a party, hint hint. I like having my birthday auctions because they’re always a lot of fun, and it’s a very communal thing: The deal is, the party gets arranged with food and cake and all the rest, but instead of the guests bringing me gifts, they bring stuff from their homes that they’d like to get rid of, and put it in a big pile on the table. I do the same – take a bunch of crap I’ve accumulated over the years and we have a big auction. Once the auction is over, people hand over their cash which (hopefully) pays off the party “expenses” and the remainder serves as my birthday present! It’s a neat little system that I came up with a few years ago, and everyone seems to like it. People who want to can purge their homes of clutter, others who want to add to their clutter can do so, and proceeds go towards my heroine habit. But this year, there’s a bunch of very specific goodies out there in the wide world that I’d love to get my hands on, CDs and books, particularly, and since I’m more hard-pressed for cash than usual these days, the old stand-by “birthday party with hot dogs, cake & ice cream, maybe a movie, with gifts readily accepted” starts looking better and better. Of course substitute hot dogs for something edible, and cake & ice cream with a DQ ice cream cake. What kind of CDs and books am I looking for? I’ll start an ongoing list soon, most of which will likely be culled from my ebay search favourites, if you have any idea what that means. If you don’t I can explain it later.

In the meantime, here are a couple of birthday presents for YOU:

You’ve probably heard of Don Hertzfeldt. He’s the guy who did the indie animated series “Rejected” which toured with Spike & Mike’s Sick & Twisted Animation Festival a year or two back, in which a poor little fellow was heard to say “My spoon is too big.” Well, here’s one of his cartoons that you can view online:
It will take a minute to load, but it’s very very amusing. I just read on Don’s site that there will be a tour of Don’s stuff this year. That’s exciting, it really was far and above the highlight of Spike & Mike’s the last time I saw it.

Your other present is Harvey Pekar’s blog at
Harvey is a writer whose been publishing his own comic book American Splendor for years. I was first introduced to him on the David Letterman show – he’s quite a character and a movie starring Paul Giamatti (you’ll remember him from The Negotiator, Saving Private Ryan, Planet of the Stupid Apes, and my personal favourite “Veal Chop” from Safe Men) as Pekar is coming soon to theaters, it looks not-to-be-missed. It’s called…are you ready? American Splendor. Anyway, have a look at Harvey’s blog, I personally find it fascinating.

The US dollar is up today – I should really go to the bank and transfer some cash from my US to my Canadian account. But I’d much rather finish working on this drawing of gnomes and then get ready for D&D tonight.

PS – Sam, my friend who works at Videomatica, tells me that Paul Giamatti recently got an account there. I love this town!


This is something I wanted to post as a comment to a recent entry from Yvonne’s blog. But it wouldn’t let me because it “exceeded 300 characters.” I should have known better. Luckily I did save some of the text before I sent it – so I’ll just try to remember the finished product based on what I had:

I usually refrain from talking about my philosophy (even though in the short time you’ve known me you’ve probably learned just as much about me as many of my old friends) because it leads to FIMS (Foot In Mouth Syndrome) and also because very few people share my views (that I know of). In fact the last time I ventured my half-formed opinion one of my feminist friends barked rather loudly. But…

Parenthetically speaking, I’m not really going to answer questions (like what is feminism) so much as raise them.

Ideally, I would like to believe that feminism is a struggle towards having women treated equally to men. Now in many ways, I think that many women have just as much as men have, although perhaps not in the same exact ways(1). Some women get hired, especially for jobs that deal with the public, simply because they are women. Is that good, is that bad – it goes both ways. Men have the same advantage in other fields. So if some women have as much as men, how did that happen? Because of the work of feminists, I dare say. So don’t think that the value of feminism is lost on me. This CAKE CD is making it hard for me to coalesce my thoughts succinctly. Nevertheless: I would think that most everyone would agree that it would be great if some day feminism were to become obsolete – is that not right? Is that not the goal to which feminism strives – to put a cap on (not in) the campaign (if I can call it that)? To say “hooray, we eliminated sexism”?

But feminism can be defined millions of different ways. And even if we all agree on what feminism is, like you say, there are diffent levels of feminists – from middle of the road to extremist. When Ms X says “women are better than everyone else” that to me is sexist, and as such is completely counter to what I think feminism stands for. And I think that’s part of what men see as a stigma to the whole feminism ‘movement’ is that some people use their -isms to bash(2) on others, whether it be men, women, nerds, jocks, Americans, the French or whatever.

And as a woman (which of course I have vast experience in) even if and when you get what you deserve, socially, politically, and economically, women will always have burdens, biologically, that men don’t have. They will have the burden of childbirth and the burden of being physically weaker(3) – and all that that entails in a world shared with men. Whereas the only burden that men have to deal with is the burden of being an asshole 90% of the time. So won’t women always have to, to some extent, bind together to stick up for their needs?

Are women superior to men? At some things, I think it’s safe to say yes. Are men superior to women? Again, yes, in some ways. I hope that in a few years, when women get paid as much as men in the same position, all we’ll need to come to terms with is the fact that men and women will always be different, and be satisfied with that. Optimally, I would like to believe that in the not too distant future, we won’t have women’s, gay, or black’s rights movements, but we’ll recognize that we needed them to get to where we are, in as close to a utopian social standpoint that we can muster as fallible human beings.(4)

(1) – of course this varies widely depending on geography, and in what facet of equality you’re talking about.
(2) I’m not saying this particular woman is bashing anything, per se, I’m just, you know…extrapolating.
(3) I don’t need to remind you I’m speaking in generalisms here.
(4) Am I coming across as a total man-o-centric git yet?


I got a birthday present in the mail today from Tom Kalichack, my Cthulhu-lovin’ artist chum on Vancouver Island. He sent me some miniature props from a company called Dwarven Forge. Basically they’re little barrels, sacks of grains, pots, crates and beds in 25mm scale, to go along with one’s D&D figures. So that was great – thanks Tom! I’ll try to slip them in tomorrow night when we continue with our Freeport adventure. I also got a copy of Hellboy the roleplaying game from Scott Allie. It’s not a birthday present, just a gift between industry friends. I told him I’ll send him a Spaceship Zero CD when they’re reprinted. Which for the love of gawd should be any day now. It’s overdue, and I’m a little worried. Anyway, I have to go to acting class now, so I’ll type up some more (if I have more to type) later tonight.

Emails sent to me have been indiscriminately not showing up, I’ve come to understand, but I don’t know why. Sunspots?

How's Your News?

I had a fantabulous night tonight with Yvonne. We went to see “How’s Your News” at the good old Blinding Light Cinema!!! – how I will miss it when it’s gone. What other theater will take your money and when you say “do I get a ticket or a stamp or something?” they say “No we’ll just remember your face.” Plus you can get a feta-spinach samosa on an honest to god porcelain plate from their cafe and you can bring it into the theater with you. It’s that kind of service and homey atmosphere that makes me clean up after myself in the theater – now that means something! But no, the BL will be closing down in a little while, and it will be the end of a memorable era in Vancouver. I’m glad you got to experience it, YH, before it all goes away! It will be missed.

Anyway, after the film, which was much less exploitative and generally better than I thought it was going to be – if you have a chance, see it – we walked along the streets of gastown and up to Canada Place, strolling along at a leisurely place and discussing anything and everything. We even saw a blue heron at the misnamed Lookout Point – there were hardly any points to look out for, in fact everything was rounded off for our safety. Then a walk up to Blenz for a cookie and handedly averting an offer from Mr. Sketchy Bus Pass Dude on Granville sadly brought the evening to a close.

How much does it suck to be Kodos the cat? Plenty, when your pa forgets to buy you food. When I came home tonight I realized that I had meant to buy food, but it was quarter past midnight and the Sunshine Market was closed. So I heated up some cheese and potato perogies, which I gutted like a fish and fed him the entrails. Chris, being the best roommate in the world, offered me a burger from his spoils from the BBQ he went to this evening, and I accepted, not only for myself, but to supplement the crappy dinner for Kodos with some actual meaty tidbits. It’s been a bit since I’ve had beef but it was quite tasty and more importantly Kodos is happy….
for now.

Lord Give Me Context

There is some confusion about dates on my blog – and here’s the secret: I usually write this, as I am now, early in the morning – so when I say “tonight” and it’s 2:40 am on July 6th, I actually mean last night as in a few hours ago.

Be that as it may, “tonight” I went to the “premiere” of Graveyard. It was well received – the audience laughed at the funny bits, and at the unfunny bits too. In fact they laughed over top of a couple of funny bits so probably missed them. Kier-La (cinemuerte ghore whore) introduced Ed (the director) who introduced Thor, who promoted his new album and bent a steel bar in his mouth for all of us. It was quite endearing. After Graveyard of course, was Blood Feast 2: All U Can Eat. I don’t know why they didn’t spell “You” properly in the movie title. Maybe they forgot. See entry on the new modern language below. Anyway, there were some technical difficulties in the film that had it stopping and starting a couple times, and someone from the audience yelled at one point “Lord help us!” which reminded me of the time on Futurama when Fry was watching a horror movie about humans on the robot planet and he shouted “God help us!” and it was all funny ‘n’ stuff. Maybe he – this unknown yeller in the audience – was trying to capture that moment. If he was, I wonder how many others knew the reference. In that crowd, probably 10%.

Today I spent most of my time pretending to draw, that is…drawing for 5 minutes and then watching 15 minutes of Superfriends, and then repeating the process. I did manage to get one illustration done.

Here’s another tip from my patented “Toren’s Tips” column. Which isn’t patented at all (you can’t patent a column, unless your name is John Doric or Faustus Corinthian (yes, the same guy who invented the leather)…and who could forget Marty Ionic, not to be confused with Therese Ionic who of course invented Ionic bonding in charged particles?)

When you send me a link, either by email or messenger of some kind, don’t just post the link out of the blue and leave it at that. You’ve got to give me some kind of introduction or context. I get enough ‘floating’ URLs throughout the course of a day that they become a hindrance and I don’t even click on them.

For example, instead of just sending me this:

You can and should send this:
this is the episode of Strong Bad with the techno music

It’s not so hard. That was only 45 extra characters – would it kill you? Well maybe it would, I don’t know – but do it anyway.

Here’s another slightly different but still very proper way to send Toren a link:
Incredibly hilarious Weight Watchers recipe cards from 1974

So, there you have it. Please take it to heart. D&D is in less than 8 hours so it’s time for me to cuddle up with Kodos for the night.

(by the way, if you haven’t visited the above sites, do so!