Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Part 4 - Stag

After the ceremony on the beach and the requisite signing of the license there was a short break before the bridal shower and “stag” were to start. If the “stag” was to be of the traditional type with peelers, perhaps being married before the festivities would have complicated matters, however plans were to simply provide some booze-enabled gender-specific bonding time for a few hours before the men and women were to meet up later at the one local bar that was open (being off season, the other one that offered a dance floor was closed.)

The “stag” itself was uneventful. In a short period of time the alcohol did its work and the various groups (childhood cronies, undergrad mates, work associates, parents friends etc.) got to know one another. Things went so well that politics were even discussed en masse and no one’s voice needed to be raised. The whole-scale migration of the two parties to the bar was somewhat chaotic as finding cabs (it’s a small island) or someone sober enough to drive proved somewhat problematic. Fortunately, there were a couple of non-drinkers (cheers, to pregnant designated drivers!) equipped with large mini-vans. Apparently, this type of vehicle works just as well ferrying hordes of drunken men and women to bars as it does screaming youth to soccer practice.

The bar was basically a generic roadhouse, albeit one hard to access on the far end of an island. While my parents and their friends far outdid the youngsters on the dance floor most of my time was spent meeting the women from the bridal shower (imagine that). Due to an apparent striking resemblance to my brother I rarely had to introduce myself to anyone as they had already surmised who I was. Other than our height, build and hair colour I don’t really see it, you be the judge:

Early, Drunk:  Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us Later, Drunker:  Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

After the roadhouse a number of us decided to continue drinking back at the hotel. I ended up with a bunch of my brother’s oldest friends. A few drinks later discussion switched to how “inappropriate” it was that the couple spend the night before the wedding together. To remedy this uncouth situation a kidnap mission was proposed where the group would lure my brother from his room and bring him back to theirs. At this point I had to remind the fellows that this was, in a way, the actual wedding night and that to keep him from the marital bed would be dangerous. After considering, they were dissuaded from this strategy but still needed to engage in some sort of shenanigan.

Mulling over the possibilities the decision was eventually reached to snatch him from the room and throw him in the pool (aren’t drunken decisions always the best?). The group of us, cameras at the ready, trooped over to his place and while most of us lay in wait two of the fellows proceeded to knock unceasingly on the couple’s door; foolishly, he should have known something was up, my brother answered.

As with most hastily laid (and drunken) plans things did not quite go as foreseen; my brother ended kicking (sometimes literally) up quite a fuss and the pool was a fair distance away. Being bright lads they improvised and carried my brother to the ocean, which was much closer at hand. Luckily no one was hurt (much) and my brother declaring old debts now settled headed back to his room while the rest of us ran over to the pool for a late night dip.

We had a short swim before calling an end to the evening; some sleep and recovery time was needed before the ceremony the next day...


Monday, November 29, 2004

Part 3 - The Rehearsal That Wasn't

From where I left off…

Friday morning was set aside to do some exploring of the island while my brother and SIL were to go off and meet the pastor and check out the hall where the wedding and reception are to take place. The expedition was rather uneventful as other than pretty beaches, golf carts and a small, quaint downtown there really wasn’t much to the island.

After a late lunch we returned to the hotel to get ready for the rehearsal. Shortly after our return my brother shows up and announces, “There’s been a change in plans.” Apparently the meeting with the pastor didn’t go well. First, the pastor proved to be “out there” and too odd for my brother and SIL. Secondly, though nominally of different faiths my brother and SIL, Protestant and Jewish respectively, don’t really get what all the fuss is about when it comes to religion, so hence wanted a progressive pastor that wouldn’t talk about Jesus/God/Whatever too much. Perhaps being a wingnut qualifies as progressive in Florida but there was far too much weirdness, Jaysus and otherwise, for the couple. Lastly, the pastor had double booked herself for Saturday afternoon when the wedding was to take place.

After deliberating my brother and SIL decided to replace the rehearsal with the actual legal wedding. The wingnut pastor would preside over an intimate ceremony on the beach, while for the larger wedding the next day, SIL’s aunt would preside at the hall. Aunt isn’t accredited to legally marry anyone, she was simply drafted as she had the reputation as an excellent public speaker. Surprisingly, as my brother is a little Type A, he seemed to be taking the big change in plans all in stride. He assured us that SIL was similarly nonplussed by the new arrangements, the ceremony was to take place in an hour and was to be a casual affair.

After quickly getting ready and worrying what “casual” really means the 8 guests, the happy couple and the pastor congregate on the beach.

Not the best shot, but it's fairly anonymous and you can see the beach.  Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

With the exceptions of a little too much big spirit talk, one evangelical outburst and a tense moment when the pastor asked if she could pray for the couple things went really well. The setting was gorgeous, the couple radiant and all the guests just beaming with happiness for them.

To be continued.


Friday, November 26, 2004

Necessary Back Story

Continued from yesterday…

The flight down itself was uneventful and was made a little more tolerable less untolerable by a couple of factors: I’m apparently tall enough that without prompting I’m offered the seats by the emergency exit that have more leg room and flying into a smallish airport simplifies baggage claim, finding car rental kiosks etc. and proves to be a much more humane experience than gargantuan Pearson.

As expected the weather was perfect (and stayed that way all week), the airport’s announcement were bilingual (Spanish/English), palm trees abounded, and the first bit of Florida oddness presented itself: on the doors of the airport was a sign, the same dimensions as the No Smoking one, indicating that firearms are not permitted on the premises. Egad, I knew guns were fairly ubiquitous down south, but really is a sign required? Frightening.

After making our way down to the hotel and checking in my sister and parents settle in for a nap before we are due to go for dinner and meet sister-in-law’s (SIL) parents for the first time. My folks are very laid-back and don’t stand on ceremony. In fact, if they could find ceremony they’d likely find a way to use it as a recliner. Leading up to the wedding there had been plenty of contact between the families yet for a variety of reasons my parents were somewhat anxious about meeting and making a good impression for my brother’s sake. Fortunately their worries were unfounded and the dinner later that night went very well; the in-laws are super nice, friendly and extremely welcoming.

Dinner itself was over simple fare (pizza, salad and booze) at their home nearby. The evening wrapped up fairly early as the happy couple had, being the day before the wedding, a very busy schedule for the next day (Friday). Due to their hectic careers and geographic distance from Florida my Brother and SIL had left the majority of the wedding arrangement up to SIL’s mother and hence were meeting the pastor and seeing the hall for the first time.

More later today…


Thursday, November 25, 2004

The Joys of Travelling With Family or Displaying Others Underwear For Fun & Profit

For those who haven’t kept up to date with things here, I just returned from a week in Florida for my brother’s wedding and some R&R.

Foresight not always being 20/20 my parents, sister and I decided to book our transportation and lodging for the trip south together. Through a rather convoluted process my uncle, who was not invited to the wedding, at the last minute somehow volunteered was enlisted forced himself upon us to drive the four of us to the airport. Uncle had previously been told a whitish lie; he was not invited to the wedding because it was going to be a small intimate ceremony. There’s a litany of reasons why he and my aunt really weren’t invited but basically he’s just an ignorant loudmouthed know-it-all type. Whatever he’s interested in/driving/pursuing at any given moment is THE thing and if you aren’t doing/into/driving it you’ve just got it all WRONG. Of course, whatever IT is, IT is subject to change at a moments notice, contradictions and hypocrisy be damned.

What would normally just have been an uncomfortable drive was complicated by the fact that in order to avoid unintentionally revealing the true size of the wedding and avert the inevitable fall-out, the expected small talk about the upcoming nuptials needed to be diverted to other topics. Although we had to put up with the resulting ill-informed soapbox rant on the ways of the world, for once Uncle’s tendency for ignorant pontificating was appreciated and our small deception went undetected.

After arriving at the airport things proceeded rather quickly through the ticket counter. Being the largest and most firmly connected to reality of the four of us going through I was porter of all the luggage as well as the designated holder of important documents on our way to U.S. Customs. I haven’t travelled much as of late and this was my first trip south since 9/11. In the interim I’ve heard many horror stories of incidents at customs and was thus somewhat anxious about going through.

After a long wait in line we quickly passed the first Customs officer and were then separated as I had to put the luggage through the X-ray machine. Loading all the bags onto the belt the other three went ahead likely not even registering the fact that I was occupied. Whether by random chance or because something looked funny after the suitcases and garment bags had gone through I was pulled aside by an officer who asked to look through my father’s luggage.

As I’m undoing the unfamiliar straps and zippers to open his bag for the Customs agent’s examination the rest of my family looks over and notices that I’ve “gone a different way.” My father in full rumpled (physics) professor mode (though he’s an actuary, the stereotypes holds remarkably well) ambles over to where I am watching the Customs guy swab the inside of his suitcase (for traces of explosives?)

Entirely oblivious to my anxiety and what is going on my father then says to his errant child, “Benjamin, come over here. We have to go this way”

“Uh, Dad, I’m a little busy at the moment.” I reply.

“But Benjamin, we have to go this way.” repeats my father, still not cluing in.

“Dad.” I clip, “I’ll be with you soon.”

Whether it was my tone, the accompanying look or that he finally realized that I wasn’t showing his underwear to a uniformed stranger just for fun, he finally took the hint and wobbled back to the others adjusting his belt on the way.

After quickly testing the swab of the suitcase, the mysterious insta-shiner was proved to be innocuous and I was allowed to proceed through Customs and join the others without further incident.

Damn I worry about the wrong things. Customs, pshaw. A week travelling closely w/ family now that's scary.


Hello, hello

Hello it’s me and I’m back again
I’m back, back, back
As a matter of fact I’m back

(bonus points for naming the tune + artist)

With Ed filling in for me so admirably you may not have noticed my absence, but believe it or not I’ve migrated home, slightly darker, equipped with a gaggle of wonderful, new extended family and a bunch of new material to babble on about for days.

Stories I’ll likely get to:

The trip down – US customs w/ the folks
The wedding rehearsal that wasn’t
Prepping my brother – best man issues
The most unattainable girl in the whole world – of course I’m infatuated

And perhaps others, maybe even today, if I ever finish getting up to date with my correspondence.


Tuesday, November 23, 2004

9 hours and 33 minutes since coffee

Not until the near end of a long day did I learn that my next 48 hours of career will be monopolized by daylong bargaining sessions about which I am not only ill-informed, but are important enough that I will have to sit at the end of a boardroom table with my trap closed shut and my eyes open. How disheartening this fact is, no matter much drama and/or excitement it will no doubt bring to my professional life. Two things pulled me through this; the first being the fact that the long hours of crap I will have to endure demand that I buy, and subsequently cook, a big-assed frozen lasagna for a little return-home, left-over comfort food, and two; that my landlords honked and waved when they saw me on the corner this morning.

Now it goes without saying that they're overjoyed they suckered me into signing another full years' lease as opposed to having me go to month-to-month, but still I will admit that it's these little things that can make a person's day. Which is why it's strange there aren't ever enough of them to go around, especially when times are tough.

Before I continue on, I should update the "6 Week Challenge". Those readers of Benjamin that I have yet to repel (hangers-on can thank God I've only got another day) may remember that I was challenged to have a girlfriend in 6 weeks, a task that is superficial, yet still a challenge (which is why I call it the "6 Week Challenge". But I digress...). In order to further complicate things, I figured that it might be a smart goal to try and meet someone everyday, be it the person serving me my coffee two hours later than normal or the guy asking for change on the street. This is way harder than you might think, even for someone as charming as I can, if so pressed, be.

A perfect example of this is a girl who lives on my street (or at least a girl who I assume still lives on my street). Over the course of the past summer, she and I passed by one another everyday, if not more than that, without saying a word to one another. Part of me was intimidated by her while a part of me was intimidated by this city and the belief that if I were to actually even say 'Hi' I'd be immediately branded a lunatic. Of course, after some encouragement, I said 'Hi'.

I haven't seen her since.

I played it smart and chalked this experience up to the poor humour of fate as opposed to her being an anti-stalker, but still I have yet to say 'Hi' to anyone I've crossed on the street since, almost as if it would curse me into never passing by that person ever again. With that said, people I'm already friends with should be counted in a different category, and as I left work earlier this evening, I bumped into a couple who I adore. Ben will know them as Phillip and Julie, others won't know them at all, but they're truly two of those great people you never can know enough of and obviously worth more than just 'Hi'. They also were kind enough to point me in the direction of President's Choice frozen lasagna.

So as I continued on, stumbling onto the corner of Queen and University without much of a clue where to find PC lasagna, I found myself side-by-side with another girl. A girl who I currently pass by on the street on a nearly daily basis and whom I've, obviously, never spoken with.

It took a couple of seconds before...

"Excuse me, you may not know this, but we pass by one another almost every morning."

No response.

"Yeah, I'm half asleep then too. But I wanted to tell you this this morning and didn't and now I have another chance. Those are really great shoes."

She kind of laughed. Now it was at that point is when I'm 100% of the belief she's probably thinking I'm a lunatic, but the shoes were lime green and weren't running away, so I had no choice but to tell her.

"Thank you," she replied in a part shy, part shocked manner.

That's when my street light turned and I told her to have nice night as I continued on my way, a smile somehow emerging from deep within. Halfway across University is when I truly learned that my landlords were onto something when they retired and turned crazy. To hell with this city and its frigid nature. It's time to rejoice with a frozen lasagna, two tall boys of Heineken and some Jeff Tweedy air-guitar.

And we'll all wait to learn if I ever see her again.


71 Minutes Til Coffee

After speaking with a friend who is also going through changes (and perhaps realizing that I must be more self-absorbed than I thought because I wasn't noticing her changes, as evident as they now are in hindsight), I decided to switch things up in my schedule today in spirit of ending my own complacency.

So I skipped my morning coffee in favour of coffee and sushi, a combo I quite enjoy, for my upcoming lunch.

And it's killing me.

Very slowly.

On the bright side, on my walk to work this morning, my landlords noticed me around Queen West and honked and waved.

You really don't get that enough in this city.


Sunday, November 21, 2004

Grand Theft Weekend

According to Julia Cameron, I'm a blocked creative.

For those of you who don't know me - that means pretty much everyone who reads this - in a former life, I was a screenwriter. I say former because my life has changed recently. 2 months ago I left a cushy office day job and I retired from the two writing projects I was working on in the evenings in exchange for what could be best described as a "career opportunity" . Unfortunately, as great as the opportunity is, and even though it is within the film "industry", it isn't exactly what I thought my career would be. When discovered as a young writer - and I use the word "discovered" as lightly as I use the word "industry" - I was once told that within 5 years I'd be in LA making 500k a year. That was nearly 5 years and far too many quotation marks ago.

Now, truth be told, neither money nor locale appeal all that much to me but feeling fulfilled is awfully important and over the past two months, I think not writing was getting to me a bit. This is one of the main reasons for my little guest appearance here. To kick out the jams a bit. And much to my excitment, this little bit of blogging inspired me on Friday to jump back into the screenwriting fray, this time strictly for my own pleasure. This weekend I decided I would dedicate time for myself and my Final Draft.

This of course meant that I spent way too long cleaning, doing laundry, attending a birthday party, going for coffee and of course, probably a full day fucking around in San Andreas. In fact, other than maybe 2-3 solid scenes, this entry would constitute the most actual, physical writing I've done in...well...2 months. Considering that I need approximately 60, but more like 70 solid scenes for a first draft, I'm looking at 30 consecutive Sundays before I have anything really to show and when I (no doubt) have a girlfriend within 6 weeks, most of those Sundays will be double-booked for such things as brunches, flea markets, tea with scones and whatnot. This is also not to mention that my career picks itself back up tomorrow morning.

So in the spirit of The Artists' Way, aka Ms. Cameron's Course in Discovering and Recovering Your Creative Self, I'm going to re-discover my identity just by listing things about me. Consider it an introduction just as I'm considering it a way to write without really saying anything:

b. December, 25, 1975, height: 5'10, weight: 160??,eyes: blue, hair: curly
I used to be able to speak French and was, at a time, ambidextrious
I have one brother, who's 16 months younger
He might be my best friend
I would say I have a great number of friends, but not too many that are close
And my folks are still together, still living on the same street I grew up on.
I have no kids of my own
I don't like to wear ties, even though they're sometimes a necessary evil
I would say I'm not a religious person
I was once William Hurt's hand double
I've sold mushroom compost fertilizer and have boated through a sewage lagoon
I don't have cable but still love Charlie Rose
I'm a Chicago Cubs fan
In fact, I like most animals and would really like a dog
I love 70's Hollywood and Looney Tunes
Favorite pizza topping is Pepperoni
Favorite cheesecake is chocolate
But I don't normally eat dessert

I think that's about all for now. At least I didn't have to make anything up.


Friday, November 19, 2004

Poker Reference #1

During my walk home last night from a small good-bye party, a confidant of mine noted that I

a) have a hard time telling people how I feel and

b) seemed / looked unhappy.

Her first observation threw me off and I still haven't the slightest clue what she's trying to say; I think I'm pretty open, often cases too open. But letter b is what really got me.

"Me? Unhappy?"

After deciding that perhaps I needed a shave and that my scraggily appearance may have been a factor in my looking unhappy, I was shocked to find that I still questioned her read of me while fresh faced and fancy free. Of course I couldn't come out and tell her I was unhappy (read letter a) so to her I realized that I must seem unhappy.


I consider this woman to be a fine judge of character and her concern worried me. I've just started a new job and recently dropping previous baggage from prior work/relationships, etc. had me feeling like a new man (at least in some ways). Things were finally coming together, and now this. I seem unhappy. To her it seems that I'm missing something.

Now, she believes that I am in need of settling down and while my next 6 week plan may scream that she's right, I came to the belief that MissWAD isn't what I'm necessarily lacking, (even though, literally, I am). It's very sweet to have friends like her who show concern but after realizing that for me, the next 40 and one-half days really are only a way for me to shake things up a bit I too came to the conclusion that it's not a partner I'm missing. I also came to the conclusion that the very need to 'shake things up' means I am in fact missing something.

I just don't know what it is.

And that is the problem. The key to my apparent unhappiness is that I don't know what I'm missing. It's tough to not be able to put my finger on what it is I'm lacking, even though I know I'm lacking it. And this goes right back to the very insightful comments regarding my first post. Perhaps my standards are impossibly high. Perhaps even when things are going well I can't help but dwell on the fact they aren't still even better.

Earlier in the day I went to lunch with a different confidant - a very old friend and a woman who at one point acted as my counsel in all affairs of the heart. A successful, ambitious gal, we've not seen each other much as her career, and now family (not to mention her pregnant stomach), is starting to grow. She weighed in on what I should be looking for in a partner with "someone who's an extrovert and a high-acheiver". But then made sure to explain that we could all waste our lives looking for something better. At some point you've got to play the hand you've been dealt, other than just keep folding like a cheap tent.

I've got 40 days left and I think part of me wants to stop looking even before I've begun.


Thursday, November 18, 2004

Late Show

So I guess I’m guest hosting, and so far I have to believe I’m doing a poor job. I had been meaning to post my first bit yesterday, but my nature as a procrastinator, on top of various social commitments kept me from my keyboard until this morning.

Not to say that I haven’t made appearances in this space before – I’m the Ed of ‘In Progress’ and the friend accosted by the deli server in ‘Cheers to the Abnormal’, but certainly writing about my own take on life is a different job than being a peripheral character in the tales of another.

I will say that Benjamin has no reason to fear for I am certainly not the Leno to his Carson and even if I find blogging to be enlightening, empowering, entertaining, etc., I am certain of one thing; I will fail in filling his eloquent shoes. Much to the delight of his readership, I will promise there will be no coup.

In my coming posts, I will be sure to explain, in at times painful detail, how I haven’t the same economic aplomb or equivalent card playing skills as my buddy Ben. For those jonesing for the same sort of Granola Girl-type soap opera / romance, I’ll try my best to soothe your pains with tales of my own trysts, but don’t get your hopes up for as it turns out, my trysts don’t seem to last very long. This was hammered home in an email exchange I had yesterday, where a friend of mine challenged me to have a girlfriend within 6 weeks. This is a challenge that I’ve decided to take up for a number of reasons:

- It was posed as motivation for my friend to go the gym for 6 weeks and beyond the fact I like challenges, I think that it could be something that improves our friendship which at times is great and at others, tangled at best.
- It may give me something to blog about.
- If I find someone who is worth a damn, then it would an excellent bonus.

“Someone who is worth a damn” would be a young lady who:

- is incredibly smart, but more than that, is confident and comes with her own interests and friends and life
- can roll out of bed, go to a scummy diner without any fuss and still turn heads
- to be completely shallow, is smaller and less insane than I am.

It would seem that these three items are easy to find, however upon closer inspection I’ll often notice that one of the three is often missing in those that I meet. Last night for example, knowing that this challenge had unofficially started I went from work to an anniversary party for a company that produces documentaries, followed by a stint at a local pub to catch the end of the Raptors game. In the course of the evening, I got a bit off track and spent a couple of hours in this very same pub watching Sex & The City with a makeup artist named Helene With Three E’s. Without question, Helene had the first two items on my list down, however I think she might just be crazy and doubt very much that I will chase after her (checking her website this morning cemented this as fact).

Only 41 more days to go. I might need some help.


Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Post 98

Well I’m off tomorrow to Florida for my brother’s wedding. I should be gone about a week provided I don’t get eaten by a shark, one of the bridesmaids or stop by the casinos in Tunica and return to making a living as a degenerate poker player; all meals comp’ed and a room for $25/day, I’d best steer clear of Mississippi altogether.

I’ll likely be very busy and I have no idea about internet access where I’ll be, so while I’m away I’ve arranged for Ed, a non-blogging friend of mine, to take the reins here. He’s one of the very few non-citizens of Blogonia that I’ve told about the site and actually seemed keen to give it a try. Not to put too much pressure on, but he’s actually been paid for his writing in the past – I wonder how well it’ll translate into this medium.

Anyway, please be kind, supportive and communicative; maybe we can convince him to start up a blog of his own.


Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Day of Wonder

Oddly aligned, a couple of my friends have recently brought up a book on astrology that has detailed descriptions for not just the signs of the zodiac but for each day of the year. I’ve always been deeply biased against astrology. The reasons are legion but the two biggest are:

1) Having the stars predetermine how my life is going to pan out I find unacceptable. I detest anything fatalistic. Whether true or not it is essential for me to believe in free choice; the existential problems generated otherwise would be intolerable.
2) Lumping my personality and character in with 1/12th of the rest of the world attacks many of my delusions of being unique or even unusual. Egad, if I’m like 500 million other people I really lose any sense of being special.

Due to my predisposition I’ve never had a detailed chart done or even read my horoscope regularly and would normally show no interest in what this book had to say. In this case however, it was Granola Girl who was offering to share the information; I wasn’t going to say no.

As with other books of this ilk it lists famous others who share the same day of birth. Up to this point I’d known about some b-list celebrities, sadly including O.J. Sim.pson. This tome though had a less Hollywood centred feel than usual and added Nikola Tesla, the brilliant scientist.

My horoscope/chart/whatever was titled The Day of Wonder and was obviously closely modeled after the life of Tesla. With a title like that and the corresponding glowing description, my attention was caught; obviously it was talking about me, me, me. I momentarily started to rationalize how it might be true. One in 365, much more specific. Hmm, maybe.

Then I wondered what if instead of Tesla the book had based my birthday on O.J. The Day of the Ill-Fitting Glove? Better Get A Good Lawyer Day? Ah astrology, bunch of crap


Sunday, November 14, 2004

Reasons #3, #7 & #14

Why I’m Irascible

#3. People for whom “I don’t know” is not a part of their lexicon. You know the type, you ask a simple question and in response you receive three minutes of hemming and hawing B.S. Often the speaker thinks how impressive it is that they can gab about any subject or talk on their feet, meanwhile I just think what a waste of my time listening to them is. How hard is it to say? I. Don’t. Know.

#7. The faux helpless routine. This typically involves a comment not specifically directed at anyone but said at a volume intended for others to overhear such as “I think the coffee maker is broken” The speaker knows that the coffee maker isn’t broken but yet “needs” the help of others to complete this simple task. Whether unable to ask for help or pathetically looking for sympathy I want to smack people who use this upside the head. If you need assistance just ask. Don’t haphazardly try to manipulate other’s helpful instincts with this transparent ploy. And while you’re at it grow up.

#14. People who think, “If I repeat myself it makes my argument stronger.” Sometimes you may get lucky and the practitioner of this irritating tactic will actually paraphrase what they said the first time round. Usually though you don’t even get the mild distraction of alternate phrasing to soften the blow of this blunt, obtuse tactic. If you are unlucky you will be faced with someone who uses this in concert with #21 (If I keep talking you’ll never be able to rebut what I’ve said). Those who combine these tactics should be prosecuted for crimes against humanity or at least have their tongues cut out.


Tuesday, November 09, 2004


The current playlist on my little MP3 player.

Joy Division - Transmission
The Smiths - This Charming Man
Moby - Porcelain
LaTour - Allen's Got A New HiFi
Billy Bragg - A New England
Underworld - Born Slippy
A Flock of Seagulls - Wishing
The Crystal Method - Busy Child
Dexy's Midnight Runners - Come On Eileen
The Pixies - Wave of Mutilation (Slow)
The Cure - Just Like Heaven
Death In Vegas - Dead Elvis
The Commodores - Brick House
English Beat - Save It For Later
General Public - Tenderness
The Sugarcubes - Birthday
Pete Shelley - Homosapien
Killing Joke - Love Like Blood
David Bowie - Rebel Rebel
Adorable - Homeboy
Pixies - Velouria
Pixies - Dig For Fire
English Beat - Mirror In the Bathroom
Wedding Present - My Favourite Dress
Bauhaus - Ziggy Stardust
Jane's Addiction - Standing in the Shower

Subject to change on whim, likely within a day.


Monday, November 08, 2004


I’ve been really enjoying reading the unfolding narratives a number of bloggers are writing for NaNoWriMo, most notably, but not exclusively, Icy’s Harlequeen Romances and Mikevil’s The Bathmat Cat. Ice Queen’s piece is extra amusing as many (or all?) of her story’s characters are based upon the denizens of this corner of the blogosphere. Although obviously fiction, I find it fun to try and guess which traits Icy takes for her characters from the people they are based upon.

Personally, I’m quite pleased with my simulacrum though I find it quite curious that my physical description focuses upon my crazy, rumpled, mad-scientist-like coiffure. It’s not that the portrayal of my crazy locks is inaccurate in any way it’s just that I’ve never had the pleasure of actually meeting Icy and any photos I’ve posted have invariably had my unruly tresses hidden under a baseball cap. It’s surprisingly accurate really. I’ve been told that the way I’m pointed out is often as “the guy with the wild hair”. No mention of my height, build, glasses or any other characteristic is apparently needed.

More proof of how defining my lid is was given yesterday. I’d crashed over at a buddy's pad after a birthday celebration went long into Saturday night. When I awoke Sunday morning I had just enough time to rumple my hair and brush my teeth before heading out to get in one last game of ball before the weather turns for the year. I didn’t have the opportunity to shower or even grab any of my gear. I borrowed a glove but played all day without a cap causing my bed-head to become even crazier as the windy day whipped my hair around, setting a new standard for mad-scientists everywhere.

Later at the bar it’s remarked how particularly “Bennish” I was looking that day. So funny.

Do you have a trademark? Is it an item of clothing, a withering look, a tilt of the head or perhaps an uncontrollable mane (or mein)?


Thursday, November 04, 2004

Fun With Maps

Warning: To view the following a sense of humour is required.

From Pisser.

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This is accompanied by her take on the election; as usual it's funny, vitriolic stuff.

From Tony Pierce via Blamlog

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Damn that's funny.


Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Election Result

How very sad for us all.

I'm going to try to see the bright side of things. Some of it is a stretch but hey, I'm a positive guy.

It seems that the election's results will be finalized in short order. Prolonged uncertainty would have been harmful to the (global) economy.

With the Republicans in office Canada's trade with the US should be able to continue unabated.

The Republicans are also less likely to clamp down on profit taking by big pharma in the states. Sad for those south of the border but up here in Canada cheap drugs are now likely here to stay.

The stem cell research bill went through in California. Yay! A bit of sanity.

The silver lining may be a tad thin, even tranparent in spots, but it could be worse. Really. From a Kerry supporter's viewpoint did I miss any ray of sunshine? We all have to live with the result I'd just like to be a little less sad about it.


Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Sweet Tooth

I haven’t had a sweet tooth for years. I normally pass on dessert because I’m full on the main course (which I’d rather eat anyway). I take my coffee black, I rarely drink soda or even chew gum for that matter. It’s not for health reasons or even caloric concerns, for the most part I simply hate that icky, pasty feeling that refined sugar leaves in my mouth afterwards.

So why the heck can’t I stop eating Halloween candy? There’s a huge bowl of it sitting around on the dining room table left over from overestimating the number of kids that would come by Sunday night (or so I tell myself). I find it difficult to walk by without grabbing a treat or two. Often I find myself sorting through the bowl so that I have a handful that represents all of the different varieties available.

I think that it must be a sort of nostalgic greediness; a Pavlovian remnant from the drive that I had as a child that would make me go out trick or treating with two pillowcases (much hardier than plastic bags) and usually fill them both. I hope that this return to pre-pubescent habits doesn’t expand to other traits otherwise soon I’ll be buying comics again and trying to organize a Dungeons & Drag.ons campaign.

Speaking of campaigns:

Go Kerry!