FIMS

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)

Oooh…footnotes!
(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?

Sunspots

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:
http://www.homestarrunner.com/sbemail45.html

You can and should send this:
http://www.homestarrunner.com/sbemail45.html
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 http://www.candyboots.com/wwcards.html

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!

D&D Is So Cool

Tonight I went to the gala opening of the Cinemuerte International Fantastic Film Festival. ‘Fantastic’ as in ‘fantasy’ as in ‘horror’. I got there late – at about a quarter past ten. I was committed to playing Mutants and Masterminds at Theo’s which of course I quite enjoyed, but it meant I missed the screening of Viva La Muerte, the documentary about the past and present of the Cinemuerte film festival. I would have liked to have seen it. James introduced me to the girl who filmed it, and I expressed my misgivings about missing the damn thing. She brought up that it was playing again on Sunday at 2pm, to which I replied that again, I would miss it, since I would be playing Dungeons and Dragons at that time (after a 2 week hiatus, no less). Her reply to that was “that’s not cool.” Then I poured my drink down her shirt.

Well, no, I didn’t do that. But I was put off by her manners and I thought she was out of line. I’d still like to see the film, despite her trying to take me down a peg. Or I’m just reading too much into it, and feeling defensive about being a D&D nerd. Nevertheless, I’m an out-of-the-closet D&D player and I’m glad I was proud enough to bring it up at a party. Ed and James were really the only people I talked to at the party. I only stayed for about 45 minutes – then I hopped on the #50 before my bus pass expired. Ed showed me the article in Terminal City about our film Graveyard – I didn’t read it fully but I’ll pick up a copy – and so should you.

I talked to Kirsten tonight and we have concensus: although her visit was good times for both of us, we will continue our relationship as friends – close friends to be sure, but nothing more. She is a fantastic chick but I just don’t think the cards are right for us at the moment. Kind of sad in a way, but I’m glad both of us feel more or less the same way and that nothing has happened to ruin our friendship.

Oh and did I mention? Spaceship Zero the RPG was nominated for an Ennie Award (that’s a roleplaying game award – there are really only two such awards, the Ennies and the Origins awards). Jeff says that 4 out of 5 of the judges voted for it to be nominated in the category Best Non Open Gaming Product. Now it’s up to the fans to start voting. Let’s hope we win because we could really use the notoriety to boost sales!

It was Canada Day yesterday.
“What’s your favourite part of living in Canada?” Nobody asked me.
“That we’re not as patriotic as Americans”, I didn’t reply with some irony.
Now don’t mistake me for being anti-American. I have many good American friends. In fact, I can’t think of a single American that I know who I wouldn’t describe as an upstanding, likeable person. But someone once said “There can be no world peace while patriotism exists” and I think that’s 95% true for every country.

On one hand, the melding (some would say loss) of “independent” cultures due to globalization is sad. Wouldn’t it be neat if there were still headhunters in New Guinea? (Heck maybe there still are). But on the other hand, how long can we go on, technology advancing as it is, with those pesky dotted lines on the map? I would much rather have a peaceful racially and culturally integrated (read: mongrel) world than a constantly warring world of segregated cliques.

But then even if we were all exactly the same mongrel race, we’d probably still find things to kill eachother over, wouldn’t we.

Speaking of Canada, Vancouver won the 2010 Winter Olympic bid this morning. My first clue was being woken up rather rudely by the clarion call of over-zealous and inconsiderate commuters at 9:00 this morning. The good news is that all the money we sunk into the bid turned out to be an investment that paid off. The bad news is I can expect a lot more whooping and infantile behaviour from local jocks. The other good news is that it’s 7 years away.

In other news, my out-of-town visitor has gone back to being out of town indefinitely. So it’s back to work for me.

Don’t forget, people who may be reading this, that Graveyard, the movie with me and James, is showing this Saturday at the Pacific Cinematheque at 11:40, opening up for Blood Feast 2. I’ll be getting a sneak preview of the film at Ed’s tonight. Please gawd let me not suck. Or at least let James suck more than me!

Oh that was mean.


horny69

So yeah…I spent several months on quite a few online dating services: Lavalife (which is actually probably the best of them), bust.com (also reasonably good), match.com, matchmaker.com, mybc.com personals, and some others that are barely worth mentioning. I guess it was about 3 years ago I was introduced to them. I got onto matchmaker.com when they had an unlimited membership trial period, basically. That’s how I met Tinessa. So, I would say in general that it worked out. The dating service, not the relationship. I got a girlfriend because of the dating website. The relationship lasted almost 2 years, which is as good as any of my other relationships.

The best kind of dating site is the kind where you can sneak your personal info (like your email address) into your profile. Some sites are pretty strict and if you put “anything@anything.com” in it, they’ll catch you right away. So on Lavalife, for example, you might put as your tagline, “With luck, Horny69 will be getting some hot mail.” Anyone with half a brain would decode that to mean that your email is horny69@hotmail.com, right? Well it also helps if your profile username is horny69. Of course, my own username was NOT horny69 – I’m just using it as an example! My own username was pretty much meaningless but when I decided on it, I started up a hotmail account that mirrored it.

So basically since last September I’ve been trawling the dating sites. I even went on some dates. Nothing romantic ever came of them but I met some really cool girls that I consider pretty close friends: Sheri, Ang and Yvonne, met in that order. Sheri ended up dating one of my friends, although that chapter is recently closed as well, I hear. C’est la vile (That’s a pun).

What’s my point? Well, I closed all of my many dating accounts, and my buffer hotmail account. It’s actually pretty brutal going online week after week, reading completely trite profile essays from girls who “love to laugh”; trying to think of winning messages to send to girls you’d love to meet (if they even exist) but who never honour your effort with a response; and acknowledging the rare similar message you may get from a girl who is, while nice, not at all your type. So when Kirsten created the opportunity for me to walk away from all that, I did not hesitate. And what else can I say? All those girls who didn’t take a chance with me when the chance was given – well poop on them. Poop I say!

Thickets Hollywood

We played D&D tonight. Fun stuff. Not so many Christopher Walken impressions tonight as in the past 2 sessions. Oh well, what’s a DM to do….

Joe, the Thickets webmaster and all around Nerdsman, pointed me to the Hellboy movie website. I’ve had this CD I burned of the Thickets’ Hellboy song “Ogdru Jahad” sitting on my computer for a while. Scott Allie, the editor at Dark Horse who edits the Hellboy books (and who writes The Devil’s Footprints), said he would pass on anything I wanted to send to the director of the Hellboy film, Guillermo del Toro (Blade 2, Devil’s Backbone, Mimic). So I’ve been procrastinating on sending it to him. Well tonight I visited the forums for the movie, and it turns out that del Toro has been amazing at answering fan questions on the message board. So I introduced myself and asked if “Ogdru Jahad” might be considered for the movie (assuming that del Toro liked it). So now I await a response. The best response? “I have heard of the Thickets and I’d love to put it in the movie.” Here’s to hoping. http://www.sonypictures.com/movies/hellboy/

In other Hollywood news, I got a phone call today from Stuart Gordon (director of Re-Animator, Dagon, & From Beyond, I’m sure I don’t need to tell you). He called to say he got the SpaceCorp shirt I sent him and the copy of Spaceship Zero the RPG. It was super of him to call, and he tells me that he’s just finishing up his new film “King of the Ants”. He wants the Thickets to provide a song for his next Lovecraftian foray – an adaptation of “The Thing on the Doorstep”. Naturally we will provide. Once the film is closer to production he’ll send a script that we can work from, lyrically.

Garage Saled

I love garage sales. Today I picked up a bunch of Omni magazines for $1. I like to get cheap magazines because I like to use photo references for my artwork, so I have a very haphazard photo library, mostly consisting of ELLE and MAXIM, unfortunately. So if you have any magazines you want to get rid of, let me know!

I also got a bunch of used VHS video tapes for 25 cents each. Those old BASF cassettes are really sturdy. “They just don’t make ’em like they used to, son.”. I’ll tape over them all with cartoons etc, although I could watch old episodes of Law and Order if I want.

The neighbor next door (they were actually holding the garage sale with some other people from the building next door) called me dirty. How dare them? Well, judging by our deck, they’d be very right. I think she just said that to get back at me for dropping dirt on her head when I was moving stuff on the deck and she was directly underneath during the garage sale – haw haw – I should have changed the kitty litter at the same time just to add insult to insult.

I did a bunch of cleaning up today, in anticipation of Kirsten coming over tomorrow (hooray hooray hooray!). Mostly tidying and stuff that I would have gotten around to eventually anyway (so don’t get any ideas, KLM. Or…actually, you can get some if you’d like, I wouldn’t mind in the slightest. Yeah…on second thought: please get some ideas, if you know what I mean). Well, that’s enough for now…Jon should be here any second to pick me up for a BBQ at Kathryn’s in beautiful Langley.

Welcome Peeps!

Welcome to my web log. This is already the second post. The first one is way more interesting.

So – blog is short for ‘web log’. The first time I heard ‘blog’ I said, as you can imagine, “what?” I guess the W and the E are passe. Out of fashion. Gauche, even. Or maybe, in these trying times, that extra syllable is just too much commitment. I mean, come on, we’ve got things to do and places to be, and in the spirit of shortening ‘you’ into ‘U’ and ‘I’m going to” into “Imma”, spelling and sounding out those extra vowels and consonants just seems irresponsible. Let’s review some of the ultra-modern, time-saving word revisions that can make all our lives easier, shall we?

peeps = people
L8R = Later
AFAIK = As Far As I Know
BRB = Be Right Back
BTW = By The Way
CYAL8R = See You Later
FYI = For Your Information
G2G = got to go (I just found this out now while doing research for this entry)
H&K = Hug and Kiss
IC = I See
IMHO = In My Humble Opinion
LOL = Laughing out loud
OIC = Oh, I See
OTTOMH = Off The Top of My Head
ROFL = Rolling On Floor Laughing
ROFLMAO = Rolling on the floor laughing my ass off
TTFN = Ta Ta For Now
TTYL = Talk To you Later

So get out their and prove to the world that you’re an idi…uh…web savvy.

Further reading: http://www.madprince.com/chatroom.htm