It's 2am on Tuesday Morning

It’s 2am on Tuesday morning.

I spent several hours tonight on cdnow.com which is basically amazon.com, looking for samples of music. I’ve been listening to a lot of music lately. Sometimes I go for weeks and weeks without listening to any music. It’s just that nothing gets put into the CD player. That seems crazy to me now. I’ve been listening to Swervedriver, Cake, Ween, QotSA, Radiohead, Hanson Brothers, Supergrass. I even put SNFU in for a spin, which I haven’t listened to for probably at least a year. Ang Hold made me a mixed CD which I’ve only sort of haphazardly listened to. It’s hard to get into the groove of unfamiliar music, oftentimes. Don’t you agree? Something about the comfort of familiarity, I suppose. But I am making a bona fide (that’s FIED, not FIDAY, Y.H. ;)) effort.

I was taping for Kirsten the last few episodes of Clone High that she hadn’t seen. For about the millionth time one of the songs on the show got into my head, and I finally decided to do something about it. I went to clonehighusa.com and read the lists they have of what bands appeared in what episodes. I systematically dropped the band names into the cdnow search function and listened to whatever samples were available. Kind of exhausting really, but I did get a few winners – or at least some potentials. Anyone heard of Dashboard Confessional, Abandoned Pools, Illyah Kuryahkin, or Bumblefoot? This last one I had to go to bumblefoot.com to hear samples – there were none on cdnow. There are multiple albums but most of them seem to be guitar noodling/solos, but one album called “Uncool” has this great Tom Jones knock-off. If you want to hear it, I can email it to you. It’s funny yet heavy.

Also there’s The Get Up Kids. I’ve heard of them before, usually in Marlo’s blog. Apparently Marlo’s supposed to be making me a mixed tape (nudge nudge) in exchange for a VHS of Samurai Jack – now that she’s in Vancouver maybe we can actually arrange for the trade. Hopefully something inspiring from The Get Up Kids will be represented thereon.

Stephane was telling me about this fellow who was interested in his barter site (www.chumpchange.ca) who wanted to trade DVDs (temporarily – just to watch). I think that’s a good idea, if all of us can extend and be worthy of one another’s trust, and furthermore, I think for music it’s an even better idea. I’ve been lending out a lot of CDs lately, especially my precious Masters of Reality (the band, not the album of the same name by Black Sabbath).

keep reading…

You Stink

You stink
I don’t like perfume. Never have. Cologne – same thing. It’s obtrusive, and fake. I try to buy the least smelly deodorants. Speaking of deodorants, I realized recently that I was terribly tricked. I bought Arm & Hammer deodorant (36 Hour Power!) thinking it was just that – deodorant. Why did I think that? Because it says “DEODORANCY/DESODORISANT”. But underneath that in much smaller letters – it says “ANTI-PERSPIRANT”.

Outrage!

It’s actually not that big of a deal – as I understand it anti-perspirant is unhealthy for some reason (I used to know but now I forget) so I usually buy deodorant instead. But I am peeved that they would deliberately mislead me to buying it. I guess the lesson is I didn’t look carefully enough.

Maybe someone can tell me why anti-perspirant is evil? In the comment section right here?

NecroWombicon / Robin Williams Plays Spaceship Zero?

Our rock show last night went off like a natural 20. That’s nerd-speak for ‘quite good’, I’m sure I don’t have to tell you blog readers. Despite the fact that we haven’t played (including practice) since March, we hardly screwed up at all. I did forget the words during “Shoggoths Away” but only for a second, and I covered by making up new lyrics as I went, which is always popular.  We played at about quarter after nine so by the time we finished the sun was setting. Yes, we played in a parking lot. Merrick stood right over a manhole cover. The sound system was da bomb – my worries were completely unfounded. Fatrick really came through for us, my thanks to him and to all the fans who formed the “mosh” “pit”. At a bar gig, we never (well I shouldn’t say never but very rarely) are asked to give autographs, but at these nerd-cons, we’re small ‘c’ celebs, and yes I must admit that’s a nice feeling. Someone brought their copy of SSZ for the band to sign, another person just had a piece of cardstock, and another one grabbed our set list and we signed that for him. If I had been able to bring CDs I would have made a killing. But sadly they’re still not done. I did have the foresight to bring the last dregs of the t-shirts that have been quietly sobbing of loneliness in my closet at night, and I sold all but one. Someone shouted out from the crowd that we should play some Clash, so the boys started playing some Clash song. Since I have no idea how any Clash songs go, I stood quietly and entertained myself by thinking about different kinds of wallpaper. For our one and only encore song, there was another little surprise, Jordan got off the drum kit and Mario took over. Oh the fun we have!

All the toil about figuring out the buses turned out to be time wasted – one of Chris’ friends gave us a ride there. I got to play Bubble Bobble too so I was happy. Lester’s Arcade, for those of you who don’t know, is quite a large arcade in Burnaby, open 24 hours, with pool tables and air hockey and LAN games. And it’s got its own pizza joint. After all the nerding was done, Stuey, Slater, Kathryn and I were given a ride back to civilization by Darcey, who ranted (as is his wont) about the many things he was born to rant about, to the edification of us all. A late dinner of salad, an episode of Black Adder, and it was to bed for me.

In the morning Rob called offering me a ride to the gamey-game part of NecroWombicon. Naturally I accepted and gave him his birthday present. I played a game of Carcasonne (I think it’s spelled) which was mildly dull but not without its charm, then I just kind of wandered about while everyone played video games. Finally 6pm rolled around which was when I scheduled to play Spaceship Zero. At first I thought nobody was going to show, but I ended up playing with 9 people playing (though not all at the same time). Everyone seemed to love it and a few asked how to get a copy.

Jeff told me the other day that Robin Williams has a copy of Spaceship Zero the RPG. Apparently he plays D&D with his daughter on the set of the movie he’s shooting now in town with Jeff’s girlfriend’s young daughter, so Jeff gave him his extra copy of SSZ. Will he play it? I hope so. Rob and I were hoping that he and Vin Deisel would get together and start a celebrity RPG advocacy group of some kind. Then maybe it would be cool to play RPGs…

…or they’d just be stigmatized. Either way, I approve.

Money Stress

What a fuckin’ week this has been!

I’ll be glad when it’s over.

Today is the big day. Rock and roll show at Lester’s Arcade. We couldn’t get our shit together to practice, and I have no idea what Lester’s is like, so I’m a little nervous. I also am slightly perplexed on how to get to the venue – I’m left to using the BC Transit website to find my way around Burnaby. That can never be good. One route: “106 NEW WESTMINSTER STN” ; Arrive at: EB KINGSWAY FS GILLEY ST 7:34p”
Say whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?

I got paid today. It’s been a while! A long long stressful while. In the freelance illustration business, you don’t get a regular paycheck, you know. You get paid within 30 days of the book being published, typically. I just got paid for a book that was months overdue. A measly $200 US but it will get me through a few more bills. But another book (Arcana Unearthed) just got published and I got my contributor copies, so that means another check will be forthcoming shortly. Sue & Monte always pay on time, bless their nerdy hearts. I am grateful beyond words that the post office didn’t go on strike. I think I will offer free cookies to postal workers. If you know a postal worker, pass that on. Free cookies at my place.

Hard times for everyone these days, methinks. The US economy has seen better days. I read that Bush will be the first president since Hoover to leave office with the economy worse off than when he started. Damn that li’l bastard. The job market in Vancouver is for shit, as well. Not that I’m looking. But I know people who are.

Still no offers from anyone to help me punkify my hair. I make the frowny-crying emoticon :'(

However I’ve been playing tennis quite regularly with Sheri and Stephane. That is good. That is very good. Finally a sport that is fun! Stephane has asked me if I wanted to join in Basketball but I am trepidacious. Also the court is quite far from my place. That’s the thing about tennis – not only is it fun and healthy, there is minimal travel time which is important to me. If you’re in Vancouver and lurking about the Oak & 12th Ave area – you really should contact me about playing some tennis. What I don’t like about tennis is that sometimes there are other tenniseers on the courts. Now, I like sharing, but not with these jocks, with their “seriousness” and their “skill” – no no no. I like playing goofy tennis (not to be confused with Goofy(tm) Tennis), where nobody keeps score and you’re encouraged to make Clone High quotes or funny squeaking noises when you hit the ball. So anyway – yeah…strangers. You kids get outta my courts! I usually try to play during the least busy times: 4:00 am. Or actually, in fact, to be serious, in the very early afternoon. Usually the tennis jocks are working their 9-5 jobs then so if you’re lucky you get all 4 courts to yourself. Then you don’t have to keep apologizing for hitting the ball into someone else’s court. Accidentally of course (wink wink).

We played a game of Spaceship Zero on Wednesday. Both Jamie’s and James’ character got horribly horribly killed. I won’t say how. It might be a secret to you, the reader. Especially considering I may run the same scenario again tomorrow at the NecroWombicon and then again at H.P. Lovecraft’s Birthday Party at the end of next month.

So, forgive me if I seem a little stressed out. It’s because I am. It doesn’t happen often so try to enjoy it.

And I’ll be back to my regular charismatic loudmouth self in a couple days! I guarantee* it!

* not a guarantee

Hi everyone. I’m not feeling my usual jubilant self today but I’ll be damned if I’m going to let three days go by without a blog entry.

Chris aka Chris Stewart aka Stewey aka my roommate got back from the San Diego Comic Con yesterday, and he brought back lots of nerdy finery. It is good. I’ve also been playing tennis the past couple of days after a 2 or 3 week hiatus. I usually like to play in the early afternoon in the courts right by my house, if anyone wants to join me who isn’t already on my tennis spam list, please let me know!

Also, I have been hemming and hawing (hawwing?) about redoing my hair purple (after bleaching of course). I think the time to strike is now. Can anyone volunteer to help a punk boy out? I have all the stuff – I just need an extra pair of hands to help apply the goop evenly.


Garage Sale Tally / Graveyard Commentary

Garage Sale Tally

I completely forgot to go out garage saling yesterday (Saturday – the primo garage sale day), but I did manage to get out to a few this afternoon.

Garage Sale #1 had this huge box of flashlights, in packages, with batteries. There must have been at least 40 of them. I might have bought one except there was no sign of a price, nor did anyone seem particularly interested in offering me anything. So if you’re putting on a garage sale, keep that in mind – pricing your items will help them sell. The most interesting thing about this garage sale was that you got a free portrait done by…well by some guy. Looks like he was doing an OK job but I didn’t really get a good look.

Garage Sale #2 – this one was unattended and everything was free. Of course, most of it was crap but there was a monitor and some computer power cords.
SCORE
2 power cords: free!

Garage Sale #3 I stumbled upon quite accidentally – not having seen any signs for it. When I got there some chump was talking the seller’s ear off about Tiger Beer being available in bottles in Calgary but not here. The most interesting thing about this one was that the seller had a very nice British accent – I asked him where he was from. He’s from Stratfordshire. He’s lived in San Diego and Toronto, and doesn’t miss England nearly as much as he does California. That was our 60 second conversation.
SCORE
big backpack: $2
Thrasher magazine: 10 cents

Garage Sale #4 This one was teeming with kids of all ages. Most of it was clothing, but I gathered that the family was of the petite Japanese variety, and since I am neither Japanese and (more importantly) not petite, I didn’t bother looking through the racks and the bins (of which there were at least 4). Lots of shoes too. They had some really nice lamps but I couldn’t really justify buying them, even though they were cheap $5 and, as I said, really nice. I did find some magazines but again, there were no prices. I was interested enough to ask how much they were, but I had absolutely no idea who was in charge so I just kind of yelled in a vague direction hoping somebody would answer me.
SCORE
12 Men’s Health magazines for $3.

I will now comment on a commentary

Last night Ed emailed me about the DVD audio commentary for Graveyard. He rented a mixer from Long & McQuade and I met him at his place, which is 2 blocks from here. Then we walked to James’. Kier-La (James’ roommate and as many of you know, the director of the Cinemuerte film festival, and an old friend of mine) is in Texas right now and when she gets back she’s moving out of the place. She’s lived in that house for as long as I’ve known her (6 years). There is a bunch of free stuff at the side of the house that anyone can take away. I took some cloth and some video tapes. I don’t know the address, but it’s on 19th and Cambie basically and if you email me I can tell you more. Some of the stuff might be rained on by now though…like old Cannibal Culture magazines. Anyway I hadn’t been in that house for probably 2 years or more, so it was like strolling through memory…house. James is moving in with his sister and he tells me that the people in back of the house (it’s one of those split level houses with several suites) are getting the suite that they had – I don’t know who’s getting their old place or why they want to move.

Thor Arrives
Anyway, Ed set up the microphones and we waited for Thor to arrive (his real name is Jon but I much prefer Thor – I know too many Jons, I’ll rant about that another day). Finally we all were set up and we went through the movie once with the sound on, to refresh our memories, and then we went through it again with the sound off, so that we wouldn’t get feedback on the commentary. It was a blast. I loved it. I did a fucking audio commentary! We talked about the usual stuff you talk about on an audio commentary along with all the expected witty quips. Shira, who played “the girl” showed up halfway through and sat in as well. At the end both James and Shira performed a little jaw harp song, it was very touching. Then Shira and Thor left leaving James, Ed and me to do the commentary for the 2 deleted scenes. Ed says that the audio commentary tracks for the deleted scenes aren’t going to be listed, so you just have to guess they’re there and press the audio button on your DVD player. I actually am against secret stuff – what they call “easter eggs” on DVDs. I don’t want to spend time hunting around my DVD menus for extra stuff – just tell me where it is for Yog’s sake. Nevertheless, we did them. We only had to redo the very last delete scene because James started going off on a tangent and asking Ed if he would date a guy and it was just kind of pointless.

Bottomful Fries
Then we sat around, chewed the proverbial fat, and finally decided to go out for food, along with Janet, Ed’s S.O. Ed apparently has this thing for Red Robin’s, which actually was fine with me, I haven’t been there for quite a while. Janet and I shared a plate of nachos and I mooched off of James bottomless fries, which were in fact not bottomless because we got there pretty late so they shut down the kitchen while we were still eating. The service was wretched but at least James was very vocal about it, so that made me feel good.

Boring

Can it really be four days since I posted? Outrageous, you must be thinking. And I concur. Never fear, though, I’m back!

This morning I got an email from someone I went to junior high school with, who I haven’t seen or heard from in 10 years. I actually didn’t know him very well, but he reminded me (well, reminded is the wrong word since I have no memory of it) of something that happened back in grade 8. That’s cool. I think everyone should email me to tell me their memories of me, since my own memory is so hit and miss. Then I could compile a biography, which I would then read front to back and wonder how much of it was true. But maybe that has to start with me emailing people I knew back in school and telling them stories. In which case I’d have to find all these people – thank gawd I get spam from Classmates every few days!!! (Bit of sarcasm there.)

But the good news is that I’ve got this blog! So that in 20 years I don’t have to depend on out-of-the-blue emails to remind me what my life was like. I’ve got my writing and your…

This concludes the science lesson portion of the blog entry.

After yummy dinner at the Mongolian BBQ we watched Rushmore. The last several times I’ve watched Rushmore I had no idea who Brian Cox was. It’s always a cool little treasure to learn about a new actor, and then go back to rediscover him in one of your favourite movies. Brian Cox of course was Striker in X-Men 2, and in Rushmore he was Dr. Guggenheim, the dean of Rushmore (I assume). He’s been in tons of movies I haven’t seen but was also in The Ring, Adaptation and The Bourne Identity – all good and very different movies.

I thought my elders were supposed to be wise.

Yet how come when I went to Wendy’s for a salad lunch I saw a half dozen old people eating there. I mean – don’t they know better than to drink watered down coke?

Tonight Yvonne and I ate at Wrap Zone. They ran out of bananas because of (I say) some freak who ordered 11 smoothies just ahead of us. But the good news is they gave me a card for a free smoothie. So – tomorrow – lunchtime – see you there. After we finished filling out the comment card at Wrap Zone and walking to Roger’s Video, we watched Rabbit-Proof Fence. They didn’t actually show any rabbits – leaving me to ask, where’s the “Proof“? Not as misleading a movie title as 200 Cigarettes or Dog Day Afternoon, but still – I wanted rabbit proof. The fence, they had, so that was good.

The movie was pretty good. We kept making japes throughout it so we kept missing stuff. But even so it seemed to jump over important things rather quickly and, as Yvonne pointed out, there was an abundance of “close calls”. It wasn’t as good as I’d hoped it would be. Still good though.

Plus Yvonne met Kodos, and vice versa. They exchanged rubbings. Yeah so…that was pretty much my day. Well it was exciting for me, anyway.

Christopher Walken is up for the roll of Willie Wonka in Tim Burton’s new adaptation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Hey, Burton! Remember when you used to do originals? I do. Those were the halcyon days.

Washing By Hand? In This Day And Age?

Professor Frink, Professor Frink, He’ll make you laugh, he’ll make you think…

There was this guy…heh heh…at acting class…heh…and he was funny. To look at. Anyway, I already told the story to both Stuey and Yvonne so I’m all pooped out on that one. Sorry.

Here’s another story: the washing machine in our building is broken. I suspect it’s been broken for a few days. I put my load of laundry in with soap and everything before I noticed that the money slot was stuck in the ‘in’ position. So I took my load back out and threw it into the bathtub, and washed it by hand. Can you imagine such a thing? How did they do it in the old days? I asked Stuey if he had a washboard and he said “never ask me that again.” Anyway I gave the forearms a good workout wringing out the towels and then I threw them into the dryer – which was working! I feel so industrious. Strangely, in the laundry room were some baby socks still in the package, something that looked like a turkey baster (also in a package) and a bunch of scratch & win cards from Husky/Mohawk gas stations. There was a free coffee crisp, a free coke, a free pepsi, and a free ice cream bar of some kind. I left them down there because there’s no Mohawk around here. Does anyone want them? Actually…that free coffee crisp is too good to leave down there for one of the other cretins in the building. I’ll be right back….

Okay it was a nasal aspirator, not a turkey baster. And the coffee crisp WAS the ice cream bar. Meaning: coffee crisp flavoured ice cream bar.

The building manager’s roommate invited me to a BBQ for the building. I said I’d consider it and tell Stuey. Hahahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaa! I could have told her the truth: that I’d rather have botfly squirming in my neck, but I don’t think that would have gone over well. The people in this building are all very scary, with 2 exceptions. Janine’s scary too but in an artsy way so it’s OK. One time I was doing laundry and I let this guy into the building who was buzzing Erin on the main floor. As I walked away Erin or her roommate let him into the apartment and I heard her ask something, to which the slightly audible reply was “freak boy let me in.” So, I know where he stands anyway. It’s okay – I don’t mind being considered freak boy to the pinks. They can say whatever they want as long as they don’t say it to me. That could bring things dangerously close to a conversation.

Here’s a follow up to my rolaids entry:

My dad sent me an email:
Welcome to the Atkinson curse. G.E.R.D. (Gastro-esophogial reflux disorder). Your Grampa treats his with a teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water (about 4 oz.) 1/2 hr. before bed. I on the other hand take a prescription drug daily called Prevacid. In between these are Pepcid AC, Zantac and/or their generic (cheaper) brands, and of course Rolaids/Tums etc. Good Luck, Dad

Then, my mom added:
…don’t forget to eat mush in the morning, also Dad finds he cannot eat lettuce at dinnertime, it adds to his stomach rumbles at bedtime. And of course spicy food will do it to you. Regular meals is best, don’t forget your fruits and veggies. Eat healthy, oh, and yoghurt is the best thing for you, good bacteria for your tummy.

So I guess that answers my ‘burning’ questions (sorry about that). I guess it’s not life-threatening. I don’t have any trouble with lettuce though. Anyway, it’s good to know they’re looking out for me, their one and only son (after Merrick).

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?