Monday, November 15, 2010

I am probably capable of some crazy sh*t

Sometimes my body gets these urges...

SIKE. This isn't a post about things that will make you uncomfortable in a pervy way. It's just an "I've been on the internet too long doing boring work and I need a distraction oh dear god I need a distraction" kinda post.

Sometimes I wonder what I'd be capable of in a do-or-die situation. Like, you know how sometimes when you're playing sports or when you're just pressed to do some physical feat without time to think about it, and you totally nail it? Those magical times where your body is like "eff off, brain. I got it," and you casually toss a crumpled paper into the trash from 20 feet away and everyone who sees it secretly thinks you have a crazy athletic past?

I wonder what I'd be capable of if I was in some kind of emergency situation and someone was like "YOU GOTTA BACKSPRING OUTTA HERE OR WE'RE ALL DEAD". I'm pretty sure that if I wasn't given the chance to think about it, I'd backspring the hell outta there and save countless lives. Positive, in fact.

Or say, there's a basketball that has a birthing cat in it and it needs to swish gently through the basket and land in some blankets or else the kittens won't make it. Preeeeettty sure I'd swish that shit.

Or like, someone backs me into an alleyway and my body instantaneously simulates crazy fighting moves, gathered from all the times I've watched Beverly Hills Ninja. Boom, whack, hiYAA! And then saying something cool as I leave like, "Your balls called, they're really small..." Or something more clever because my brain would be so impressed with my physical instincts that it would reward me with the best line ever.

Yeeaaaahh. I guess I should get back to my stuff.

Monday, November 8, 2010



- swedes
- mead
- tweed
- weed (whackers)
- dill seed
- misdeeds
- chicken feed
- guarantees
- mortgage deeds
- balm of gilead

Juz sayin. It's juz what I'm feelin yo.


Saturday, October 23, 2010


Hey kids! It's true that you can do anything that you dream of! FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS, THEY WILL COME TRUE. UNLESS:

- you are not very good at the thing that you are trying to do
- you are stupid
- you want to be a model and are very, very ugly (unless it's for ugly modelling)
- you have no self-esteem
- your dreams are about dragons, unicorns, mermaids or the becoming of a mermaid, fairies, the movie Willow, flying without use of man-made shit, eating 50 pies at once, endless love, time travel, interstellar space flight, wizards, penis enlargement, winning the lottery, finding happiness on the internet, dinosaurs coming back to life, world peace, your parents "getting you", meeting that celebrity who you're sure would really like you, obtaining superpowers, winning at chess against your computer, Narnia, vampires, Mel Gibson not being racist, retiring rich, getting younger, the world making sense, and, of course, having sex in zero gravity. Sorry, but none of that shit is going to happen.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010


The world of dating is idiotic. BUT with my past 10 years of non-experience I've devised twenty simple rules that will GUARANTEE your dating success. Stock up on your tampons guys n gals! And get ready for this FULL GUIDE to DATING SUCCESS:

1. Ladies, if you get your period during a date, don't sweat it! Ask him for a tampon. If he doesn't have one, teach him a lesson by bleeding through your pants. He'll remember next time!

2. On the first date, talk about your private parts as much as possible. You want them to have a clear picture of what they might be in for. Don't forget to include vivid, gesturally articulated descriptions of past stds, because we're all adults and honesty is important.

3. Girls, if he texts you, wait a full three months before responding. It will keep him guessing and make you seem less desperate. Because we all know how desperate you are.

4. Guys, be sure to mention your mother a lot, especially if you miss being a spoiled teenager living at home who never had to do a damn thing for yourself. Talking fondly of your mother will indicate to your date that you will settle for nothing less than your actual mother, and it will in turn make your date consider the joys of serving you.

5. Ladies, the true sign of his interest is when he says "yes" to face masks and watching A Night to Remember or even better, Bride Wars. You know he's a keeper when he wants to watch the two back to back. If he consequently approves of the removal of his balls, he's a total keeper!!

6. Fellas, pretend you have long hair. Nothing impresses a girl more than luscious Fabio locks, but if you haven't got them, act as though you do. Brush invisible strands away from your eyes and flick your non-existant mane alluringly. Before you know it, she'll be reaching for a brush... and a condom ;)

7. Ladies, guys love a little pickle between the toes. Start with a gherkin or a baby dill and go from there, pretty soon you'll have a big ol' kosher garlic in there, complete with his undying love!

8. If he proposes sexy times after the date, tell him you'd love to but you've got a bit of a rash. If he doesn't mind, you're golden. As Ms. Munroe was famously quoted as saying, "if he can't handle me at my rashy worst, he certainly doesn't deserve me at my rashy best!"

9. Fart loudly and often, but call them "toots".

10. If you begin to feel nauseous during the date, ask if your date if he remembered to spray axe body spray on his genitals that day. If he says no, barf. If he says yes, your nausea is likely just your imagination. Or you are pregnant.

11. If one of you is pregnant, celebrate with dinner and dancing. If he is pregnant, contact a scientist immediately.

12. Ladies, never make the first move. If you see him across the room and would like to talk to him, do not move. Even blinking could ruin your chances. Not. A. Muscle. Most happily married women have maintained a pose of complete stasis throughout their relationships. Men go crazy for it!

13. If you're a mother, talk in detail about how much your vagina stretched during childbirth. If possible, demonstrate with a nearby napkin or do that vag-hand thing with a waiter. Your date will get the picture, and the wideness of his eyes will reflect the exact wideness of his respect for you.

14. Guys, if you get a boner during the date, make use of it and carry her purse on it. Chivalry is not dead, and you've just proved it!

15. On a first date, both of you should instantly agree that Disneyland is the best place for a honeymoon. If this does not happen, end all forms of communication immediately. Then go home and wish upon that goddamned star again.

16. Guys, flowers are boring! Surprise her with something creative like a pregnant cat or a sad puppy. She'll never forget it, and neither will you probably.

17. Remember this #1 rule: NO SHOES ON THE FIRST DATE. You don't want to miss your chance with a foot fetishist! THIS IS THE #1 RULE.

18. Cry a lot during the first seven dates.

19. To send him the right message during dinner, kick his nuts under the table. This is a classic strategy and is guaranteed to make him marry you by communicating that you are a NO NONSENSE, INDEPENDENT WOMAN.

20. Remember that DREAMS DO COME TRUE IF YOU SLEEP ENOUGH. If he doesn't call you back, don't worry about it! Go back to bed and sleep until someone better comes along. Or until you die.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

back 2 jokes 2


After 20 minutes of standing in uncomfortable silence, one of the chilean miners says "hey, qué dijo 'menores' o 'mineros'?" One of the babies replies, "minors". The chilean miners laugh heartily and return to the bar. The other baby says, "odio ser tan joven" and they begin a busking routine.

-disclaimer- I don't know where the babies' mothers are. Obviously the babies have sufficient life skills and intelligence though, so don't worry about it.

Monday, October 18, 2010

back 2 jokes

Jokes are floating back into my brain, therefore I will return to joke posting.

Bad joke posting. Such as:

Two babies walk into a bar. The bartender says "hey, no minors". The babies leave the bar.

The rescued chilean miners walk into a bar. The bartender says, "hey, no minors". The miners, having walked in at the exact same time as the babies and having only a vague understanding of the nuances of the english language, leave the bar.

Outside of the bar, the miners and the babies stand in awkward silence.


Friday, July 30, 2010

great job, brains. we did it!

I came across this article today and it has set my imagination AFLAME. I'm also going through a "dying inside" phase due to too much internetting and feelings of extreme frustration with my present house-bound circumstances. So anyway, here's more internet, and more thoughts based on internal communication. I'm wallowing, cool?

The title of the article reads "Good Connection Really Does Lead to Mind Meld". It basically summarizes a study where test subjects' brain patterns were recorded during conversations, it goes like this:

"When two people experience a deep connection, they’re informally described as being on the same wavelength. There may be neurological truth to that...
... They found that speaking and listening used common rather than separate neural subsystems inside each brain. Even more striking was an overlap between the brains of speaker and listener. When post-scan interviews found that stories had resonated, scans showed a complex interplay of neural call and response, as if language were a wire between test subjects’ brains."

That's about as far as the study went, and one of the researchers mentions that they want to study further why some people fail to communicate.

Of course, the place where my mind went was "SYNCHRONIZED MINDS, FEELINGS OF CONNECTEDNESS CONFIRMED, WE WILL ALL SOMEDAY BE TELEPATHIC". I prefer to think of things within their most funnest capacities.

I firmly believe in sharing wavelengths with people, or, being on the same "level" as others. I don't think it's always a permanent thing, but I think that, as people ebb and flow through experiences and growth, the people who they connect with at various times must share some super cool brain synch thing. I also think that we're all aware when we lose such a connection, or we should be. There are some people who, after years of being apart, can reconnect without missing a beat. There are others who once shared an intense connection, who suddenly feel distant – awkward conversations and uncomfortable tension. Obviously a lot can contribute to emotional disconnections, or maybe, misconnections. I think that in some cases strong emotions can blind one to such synchronicities. I think that love usually lends itself to the strongest connections, and love can be so fickle in it's various strengths and endurances... attraction, admiration, adoration, respect, trust, lust, passion, infatuation, obsession... and then of course the opposites of all of those things that usually result from some form of rejection... anyway I'm getting off point. My point is that I think that these feelings of synching up with someone, even if it's brief, and especially if it's long term, aren't imagined. I think that they're for real and that we'll understand them way better in the future. This article has mildly confirmed that.

Maybe it's only a matter of time before this part of the brain is more comprehensibly understood, and maybe someday these areas could be enhanced or stimulated to create forreal telepathy. BETAZOIDS. WE'LL ALL BE BETAZOIDS.

That's Lwaxana Troi. She's a Betazoid. I'm a nerd.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

the universe explained

Consider this:

Most of the universe is made up of gas. Stars are burning gas. The next time you light your fart on fire, you're basically creating an ass star, brief though it may be. Maybe the universe is actually just a series of cosmic farts. Maybe every time we fart, we are sending a new galaxy off into the universe.

I just blew your goddamn mind.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


It was the year 2035, and things were just settling down after a busy and incomprehensibly destructive apocalypse. Fundamentalists had all been whisked away in their respective raptures, and the remaining survivors were breathing relatively freely now that there was nobody around to tell them how shitty they were all the time.

As life resumed and homes were rebuilt using pieces of charred cereal boxes and copies of Twilight XXI: The Thirst for Poo, all of the anticipated po-apoco issues arose one by one. Looting, lawlessness, zombie handling and reintegration, fire and explosion management, roving motorcycle gangs, hairdo confusion, Kevin Costner's gills, birth control, rebellious robots, illicitly replicated dinosaurs, nuclear fallout, pending alien invasions, and perhaps the greatest detriment to human civilization: bad attitudes. While everyone generally agreed that things were nicer without the fundamentalists, an overwhelming amount of the surviving population remained fairly pessimistic about life, something that the future historians eventually dubbed as society's "apocalypubescent phase".

Naturally, the most pressing of issues was food, and the eating thereof. Initial attempts at gardening only resulted in radiation-mutated man-eating flowers and vegetable gardens. This plummeted humankind's morale even lower, as the plants also indulged in loud and windless rants, detailing point-by-point how people had ruined everything and deserved to become extinct. The initial warrior-harvestors soon became so despondent during their annual autumn reap-fests that they returned to their apoco-villiages with slow dragging heels and unbearably gloomy countenances. They were eventually barred from reentering their communities, as the clever chiefs knew that allowing such downers to infiltrate would be disastrous to their future survival. Nobody likes a downer :(

So, yeah. Food was low. The first to empty were the supermarkets, then the restaurant kitchens, then food supply warehouses, then mormon cold storage rooms. When everything, from ding-dongs to "Grandmother Hatch's Famous Tex-Mex Salsa", appeared to be gone, society was left with a choice: battle the demoralizing, vicious and monstrous radi-gardens, or eat each other. It wasn't long before previous-friends started seeing each other as t-bone steaks and roast chickens, and it was at this time of awful cannibal consideration that a hero stumbled into light with some great news.

Warehouses. Full. Of edible underpants.

You can probably imagine the exulted joy that the survivors felt upon receiving this news. Not only because they were hungry, but also because most of them had run out of clean underpants. So the new age of civilization began upon the currency and incredible value of these piquant panties. As it happens, there were ten thousand such warehouses, and seeing as how there was only about 500 survivors, they were set for generations to come. Even once the radiation thing had settled and zombies had mastered the entertainment industry, society was entirely content with the seemingly infinite varieties, styles and flavours of these delicious, slightly erotic, and oddly indestructible briefs. At long last, there was peace in the world.

And that, dear children, is why we are celebrating today. On this, our Independipanties Day. The hero who discovered our plentipantiful future, as you all know, was Bill Pullman IV. Let us bow our heads and give thanks to the Gods of PlentiPanties.

Monday, June 28, 2010

rude 'tudin'


Following up with my night of "nothin but boners" themed dreams (sooooo many boners in last night's talk show... clown boners, other kinds of boners... mostly male... my brain was apparently impressed). Honestly boners, take a bow and stand down. You're truly are the heros of the night.

Anyway, following up with that, I have a joke that I'm gonna get down before I tell someone and it circulates and then I can't use it. I've had it for years now and my worry is that somehow the psychic collective consciousness will get keen to it and then I won't get any goddamn credit for it. BLOGGING IT MAKES IT MINE (yelling at 9:30 in the am means I'm serious).

It goes like this:

If you grew up in a Christian-y home, you may have lived with the whole "touching yourself is EVIL EVIL EVIL DO NOT ACKNOWLEDGE THAT CROTCH OF YOURS. Over time, I've come to realize that there are two things that share an uncanny amount of similarities: guilt-ridden masturbation, and eating McDonalds. Here's how they go:

"Mmmmmm, you know what I could really go for right now?"
"I really shouldn't, but it's kind of been long enough, hasn't it? I kind of deserve it."
"Yeah, it'll be no big deal. Mmmmm I know exactly what I want too..."
"Yup, this is good. Oh man this is good. I love this. I LOVE this."
"... that was bad. I'm a terrible person."
"Why did I do that? What's wrong with me?"
"Geez I gotta get rid of the evidence!" (this is why you see so much McDonalds garbage in highway ditches)
"Ugh cleaning this up is disgusting. How did it get...?"
"I'm going to hell."
"My hands smell like burgers."

GOLD RIGHT? I'll only share it for money or praise and glory.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

there are lines, nature...

I like to think of myself as a lover of nature. Growing up, I spent many many days outside running wild, and I can appreciate that, within nature, there isn't a lot of fair play. Nests get stolen, legs get broken, mates get hit by cars, babies are vulnerable, and when something is hungry, it eats something else. Extreme beauty needs extreme offensiveness to exist, life needs death, growth needs decay, circle of life etc, etc...

Overall I take an impartial stance to it. The reality of living is that we're a part of it. Obviously, as a species we aren't very good at respecting it or letting it be, and for a variety of reasons, we believe ourselves to be outside of its rules. It's usually a shock to realize that we aren't.

I hate nature today because a wasp attacked my baby. It landed on her, she grabbed it before I knew what was happening, and it ravaged her pudgy little hands while she understandably freaked out. I now curse the purpose of wasps and view the sweet smelling and previously beautiful lilacs outside as havens for these monsters; conspirators in the pain inflicted on my chubby little snuggle poop.

As a natural member of natural species – not to mention a mother – I feel entirely justified and satisfied in the heartless and rage-filled manner that I disposed of the offending wasp. Moms in nature go apeshit in regards to protecting their babies, and I did indeed go apeshit on that wasp.

I don't have a solid conclusion for this post, and I don't feel like getting extensively philosophical. I guess I just needed to express my disapproval of wasps to the void, and also to send out a warning to nature: I'm part of nature too, yo. I'm just as wild as any of y'all and I will lose my shit if you mess with my babies. Consider your waspselves warned.

Friday, May 14, 2010

what if God was chalet sauce?


Today I got that stupid 'What if God was One of Us?' Joan Osbourne song in my head. This annoyed me at first, but then I started thinking, hang on, me. Whatever God is, it's true that he could be anywhere, or anything. He could even be... Swiss Chalet Sauce.

And then, almost instantly, my brain made up this song:

If God had a taste, what would it be
And would you eat it in your face
If you were faced with it in all its glory
What would you ask for if you had just one dipping option

And yeah yeah God is great tasting yeah yeah God is good tasting
yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah

What if God was chalet sauce
Just a blob of chalet sauce
Just a delicious sauce for chicken
Trying to make its way home
And by home I mean my tummy

If God had a taste, what would it taste like
And would you want to eat
If eating meant that you would have to believe
In things like flavour and in jesus and his special combo of spices

And yeah yeah god is great tasting yeah yeah god is good tasting
yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah

What if God was chalet sauce
Just a blob of chalet sauce
Just a delicious sauce for chicken
Trying to make its way home
Its trying to make its way home
Into my tummy all alone
Until I ate some chicken
Then it wouldn't feel so lone(ly)

-repeat until it gets old-

Because I don't have photoshop right now I can't create a godly bowl of sauce. Otherwise this post is my crowning glory.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

lookin good, Mr. Robin. a little too good...

It's springtime, and I'm in love.

With my family? Yes of course, that's a given. But I'll be damned if those apple blossoms aren't looking reeaal good. The robin on my front lawn? Total stud. The tulips comin' up across the street? Lookin' fine ladies! Barry White has taken over my brain narration, and everything happening outside has been slowed down just enough so that everything is stunningly beautiful in an excessively romantic kinda way.

Every conversation, message, email, or tiniest interaction with another person is punctuated by the Barry White voice saying things like, "that was daaayyymm clever", or "that's the sentence structure of someone who knows how t'loooove", or "a person who can make you laugh like that is a person who can make aaaallll yo' dreams come truuue," or "that kind of eye contact can only mean oonnne thang," or "that doughy office worker is getting lunchtime exercise sos he can hit it laaateeerrrrr," or "that waitress' smile was about more than the biiiilllll," or "that car honk was only disguised as traffic, it was really about yo' fine aaaassssss," or "that lush green grass is juz waitin' for you t'roll aaaalllll up in it," or  "that was probably written without paaannnts," and so forth.

I seriously have about seven crushes on the go right now. All harmless and in no danger of threatening my actual relationship with my actual loverboy (aka: my husband), but silly and light and dreamy nonetheless.

Oh springtime. I would totally tap you.

And now, 8 minutes of a mildly funny Spring Fever themed thing:

Monday, May 10, 2010

double down, down, down...

Everyone has heard about this, right? KFC's 'Double Down'? Today Mike joked that he had one for lunch, and for a second I lost incredible amounts of respect for him.

For a lot of people, the "sandwich" itself probably seems benign enough. Sure, it's incredibly unhealthy to ludicrous proportions, but what many people may not realize are the longer lasting emotional, psychological, spiritual consequences of eating this mitt-full of grease and salt. Let me explain:

If you eat the Double Down, the following things will happen to you:
- you will no longer be able to tell the difference between good and evil. But, seeing as how you chose to eat it in the first place, this may not have been your strong suit to begin with.
- you will no longer be able to feel love. Much, much more than blood will be clogged from entering your heart.
- you will forget most of your treasured childhood memories. The overpowering spice combination plus the trauma of the overall experience will permanently alter your long term memories, replacing every person you ever loved with a deep-fried wad of processed chicken.
- it will become harder to make eye contact with those around you. Others will sense the change in you, and their instinctual impulse will be to respect you less. You'll know this, and while not making eye contact you'll also apologize habitually (more than you already do, if you're Canadian).
- you will never desire sex of any kind again. Every crotch will smell like bacon and pepper jack cheese, and any formerly erotic wetness will be replaced with the Colonel's Sauce. Trust me, it will get old real fast.
- dogs will try to eat you all of the time.
- your eyes will lose all pigment because of the profound loss of your will to live. You also won't be able to see colour anymore because of liver failure or something.
- other people's heads will start morphing into the sandwich, which will further confuse you morally because you are now technically addicted to the sandwich and want to eat it all of the time. When you give in to the urge, people will assume that you are the undead and you'll have to live in a cave somewhere, or start a colony with other "DD'ers" and take the whole "trying not to eat each other's heads" thing day by day.
- when you eventually die you will go straight to hell because you failed to read KFC's fine print that, upon consumption of the sandwich, your soul goes straight to Satan for eternity.

Don't say I didn't warn you.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

tables totes turned

Once upon a time there was a girl who was riding her bike to her job/obligation thing even though she had a fever and felt really gross. As she pedalled against the wind along the river trail and thought about her last 24 hours of social interactions in her typically overly self-critical fashion, she approached a small trail underpass. Upon riding through it, she realized, last-minute, that there were 6 mallard ducks sitting in the middle of the path and that they weren't going nowhere. She veered to the side just in time, which brought her closer to the cement wall of the underpass, on top of which a large, hissy Canadian Goose was sitting. The goose's face was uncomfortably close to her own and its hiss was terrifying. She rode past as quickly as she could and proceeded to shudder for the remainder of the ride.

When she arrived (late) at her place of work-ish, her fortunes quickly changed when she realized that due to a slight mix up, two volunteers had shown up to help. What basically happened was, she had wished for someone to cover her SO hard, that it had come true. After making sure everything was good to go, she turned around and headed back home on her trusty junkbike, fever escalating but mood sweetening.

Once back on the river path, her mood continued to improve to the point where she happily hissed at a random gross goose on the side of the path, sending a message that she hoped he'd pass along to his disgusting gaggle of assgooses. The message apparently wasn't received (or maybe it was), because when she came back to the underpass, there were the same six mallards and the one hissy goose, now at sidewalk level. They were well off to the side of the path, however, so she didn't anticipate any trouble.

It was at precisely that moment of letting her guard down that one of the female mallards (let's call her... a ho) decided to fly straight into her face. It was freaky and weird and as she once again dodged those f*cking ho mallards, she veered too close to the hissy goose. He hissed at her ankles as she passed and then she proceeded to get the hell out of that crazy ass underpass.

BUT, she was now riding with the wind, the sun was shining, and she had a cozy naptime awaiting her. These facts crowded out the creepy ho-bird experiences and as she passed the city workers filling the Memorial Dr. meridians, she came very close to shouting "looks great, guys!" She didn't though, because that would have made her look crazy.

Then she pulled up to her house to find her landlord putting the finishing touches of awesome garden dirt in all the spots she plans to plant in this year, and she came inside to find that her husband had saved her favourite kind of chips for her, and then he made her a delicious sandwich and she felt so awse that she had to write about it.

The end.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

now this should happen...

Here's how my day would go if everything happened exactly as I wanted:

After cleaning up breakfast there would be a knock at the door. It would be Marry Poppins and she would actually be answering Vera's wish for a non-grumpy caretaker (probably expressed in the form of a charming song which I grumbly asked her to sing quieter). After examining Ms. Poppins' paperwork and identification, I'd invite her in. I'd go have a shower and get ready for the day while she cleaned the entire house with magic and sang cheerful songs that taught the girls to respect their mother and be tidier. She would also zap away the zit that I went ape-shit on yesterday.

After a quick lecture to Ms. Poppins on how adding spoonfuls of sugar to everything actually causes diabetes, I'd head out to have a fancy free day on my own. The weather would instantly clear up (and apologize) and I'd hop on my bike, the city my oyster and I, a clam-opening wrench thing.

Along my ride I'd spot a hundred-dollar bill on the street. A nearby policeman would confirm its non-counterfeitness and would also wink and say "looks like it's your lucky day". We'd laugh and high five, then I'd continue on my way. The first place I'd go would be Another Dimension Comics, because I haven't been there in a while and it's an easy stop on my bike ride. I'd buy the latest and funnest looking books and as I was paying they'd offer to deliver them to my house so that I didn't have to carry them around all day. I'd graciously accept the offer.

As I left the store I'd realize that I'd just spent my hundred dollars, but at the very same moment the policeman from before would pop over and hand me a roll of hundreds. "It's drug money, what are we gonna do with it?" he'd say. I'd give one back to him appreciatively and tell him to buy himself something nice. He would go and do that.

Then I'd pop by Ginger Group for a haircut. They'd trim up my mop and also try out an amazing new perm product that responds to my moods. All I'd have to do was think of the hair that I wanted, and it'd do it. I'd leave an extra big tip. Then, on my way to the pub, I'd run into a few super fun friends who also had the day off. We'd have lots to talk about so we'd all double on my bike to the pub. I'd get a bufford's deluxe with au jus and yam fries, and a pint of traditional amber ale. We'd talk about awesome stuff and make crass jokes that would make us hemorrhage with mirth, and then David Bowie would come sit with us and offer to buy any building in the city for our own fun and creative purposes. We'd choose the King Edward School and Bowie would be like, "let me know when you need more funds". Then we'd sing 'Life on Mars' until we all transcended into a higher plane of brain power, and we'd leave the pub with the ability to manipulate time and space.

Then I would stop time and beam myself to every interesting and exotic locale on the planet, and I would also be able to sense and envision every habitable planet in the universe. I'd relay this knowledge to my pub friends who would have already thought about it as well, and we'd begin formulating lists of who to relocate to which planets. There would be plenty of planets for everyone and we'd only choose ones that didn't already have established inhabitants. Obviously, all the jerks would go to one of the shitty planets.

Then I'd be tired, so I'd start time again and come home. Ms. Poppins would have cleaned and organized everything in our place with perfect intuition, and wouldn't be offended when I told her that we were all going to move away anyway. I'd give her a bunch of money and she'd happily sing a song about the winds changing while I led her to the door and ushered her out.

Then I would again stop time and have a long, uninterrupted nap. When I woke up I'd rearrange time so that Mike's day would have still been passing, and he'd get home right away. Then I'd explain the cool new planet I'd found and who was going to go there too, and we make arrangements to leave. Naturally, I'd fix earth as best as I could before we left. Then all of our friends and funnest family would all move to the wicked new planet, and because of mine and my friends mind abilities, we'd set everything up and live totally comfortably. Whenever we realized we'd forgotten something or someone, we'd alter time and space to retrieve them.

Wait, the ability to manipulate time and space is blowing my mind. The possibilities are actually too crazy. But, assuming that my new incredi-mind would be able to handle it, I'll stick to this plan. But then again, the idea of altering my physical self just popped in, and hooo boy, that's tricky stuff. Tighter tummy, cuter busts, slimmer nose, thicker hair, taller bod... it's a spiral of craziness.

Huh. Maybe the mind powers are too much. Everything else, though – I'm standing by it. Wrap it up with a bath, some wine, and a few episodes of an awesome show... that'd be an AWESOME day.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


It's Cinco De Mayo today, and if you aren't celebrating by eating tacos and watching 'The Three Amigos', then you are no friend of mine.

Just kidding, we can still be friends. But at least watch this:

Are we cool? Yes, we're cool. Now pintarse de colores!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

the mane attraction

See what I did there? Instead of "main", I put "mane". That's because I talk about hair in this post. Don't worry, you'll get it...

I've been thinking a lot lately about gendered humour. I know I posted a while ago re: whether or not women are funny (conclusion: they ARE, but not as easily, or as widely expected to be), but because I'm feeling like the phase of "try comedy" is edging closer and closer, I've been really preoccupied with why funny women are funny, and why some women who try to be funny aren't.

This is the thought that struck me as I tried to lay my sweet sweet head to sleep tonight: Hair.

I mean, as far as having an "I'm a relaxed and awesome person who's gonna make you laugh" kind of look, hair goes a long way. Most men have short hair, so the male comedians with a regular short hair cut are kind of like an aesthetic blank slate as far as humour-potential appearance goes. Clothes don't really play into it either, as most guys stick to the shirt 'n' jeans fashion agenda. Some male comedians do a little "personality swoosh" in the front (ala Conan O'Brien: Joke train comin'! Lllookkout!) or have really curly hair and take advantage of the inherent zaniness that curly hair brings (Weird Al, you so WEIRD!). But then what about the ladies? I'm curious how much a gal's hair might play into how funny she is (publicly, as a performer)...

Like, short hair might just say, "I'm going to emulate a masculine kinda humour now" OR if she is skinny and cute, "I am a silly little sprite who will charm your cutey cute face." Then there's cookie cutter salon styles that kinda just say, "I'm like most girls you probably know and I might also be boring." Medium length bobs or super curls would probably go a long way towards enhancing an on-stage character... (this is kind of a thinking out loud on my computer on the internet thing right now)

Then there's long hair. Is it possible for long hair to be funny? Like would a lady comedian want all the fellas in the audience to be overly preoccupied with the luxuriousness of her hair (or as it translated in their brains: "penis go there")? Can you play a smart hilarious girl if you have ditzy bar-star hair? Hmmm... unless the long hair was super curly (going back to Weird Al)... curls = fun. That'd work.

I think that my conclusion is that developing a character and playing that character well is what must work best for on-stage performing. Hair just tops off the whole package. I wonder what the most universally likeable hairstyle is? Like the hair that most says, "you like me. We're gonna have a great time."

I'm gonna make my own chart with how I think it might work. Points for each different aspect of the lady's hair. More points combined equals more likeability. I'm like a scientist!

Brown - I'm sensible and smart. I'll talk about shoelaces in a very funny way. 1 pt.
Blond - I'm fun and bubbly! I'll chatter about silly things in an adorable manner! If I want to throw you off, I'll be super serious and it will seem funny! 2 pts.
Black - I'm have anger inside of me and I want to bitch about things! LIKE PERIODS! 2 pts.
Red - I'm totally crazy on the inside but I reveal it in clever and hilarious ways! WILD CARD MOTHERF*CKERS. 3 pts.

Super short - You probably think I'm gay! No sexual tension between me and the male audience members makes things more relaxed and therefore more potentially funny probably! 1 pt.
Chin length - I'm cute! Look at my cute neck! I'm really cute! 2 pts.
Shoulder length - Damn in between stage! This does NOTHING for me. 1 pt.
Past shoulders - My comedic versatility is as extensive as my hair! Sassy? Smart? Whatevs! 2 pts.
Waist length - Sex! Sex sex sex sex sex. SEX! 1 pt.
Crazy long - I'm crazy! Don't heckle me or I will shoot blood from my fingers at you. 0 pts.

Straight - I've got my shit under control. You will enjoy yourself because I have your shit under control as well. 2 pts.
Wavy - I either spent too much time on this, or I just rolled outta bed. Hair? Bed? Now I'm sexy. Laugh and, if you're lucky, I will love you. Wait, stop thinking about the bed thing. Stop! Argh, everyone is confused! 1 pt.
Curly - I'm spunky! When I move my head I seem more animated because of all the bouncing, and that makes me funner! 3 pts.
Super curly - I'm a strong, independent lady and I don't even NEED your laughs. Seriously couldn't care less about this shit. 2 pts.

Add up yer points ladies. This here is the true, ultimate scientific breakdown of how strangers grade your funniness potential. I could get into 'dos too (like down vs. ponytail), but I'm getting sleepy. I think I've exorcised this theory well enough that it won't keep me awake any longer. I've also graded the hair so that it weighs slightly in favour of my current hairdo. Wow, what were the odds of THAT?

Monday, April 19, 2010

that was yesterday, sucker

A long time ago I spent some goofy summers with a sweet boy. Then I ditched him like a cold-blooded she-reptilian heart eater. The last summer before things went bad (for HIM! HAHAHAHAA! BOOOO YEAAAAHH!), I wrote a screenplay about our happy times. This song was the feature of the hypothetical soundtrack. Don't know how he didn't see it coming...

Since then, every year when things start getting purty, and especially if I'm near the river (we spent lots of time playin by the river) this is the first song that pops into my head. Maybe it's my conscience still feeling bad? (PHFFT!) It's also just a really pretty song. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

as secure as a vault made of jello

I recently signed up with Skype and have since been thinking a lot about internet security. The primary reason for this is because when I first signed up and was browsing through the program preferences, this was (is) the example for the chat function:

Smith: Does Big Brother exist?
O'Brian: Of course he exists. The Party exists. Big Brother is the embodiment of the Party
Smith: Does he exist in the same way as I exist?
O'Brian: You do not exist
Smith: I think I exist
Smith: I am conscious of my own identity. I was born and I shall die. I have arms and legs
Smith: I occupy a particular point in space. No other solid object can occupy the same point simultaneously
Smith: In that sense, does Big Brother exist?
O'Brian: It is of no importance. He exists
Smith: Will Big Brother ever die?
O'Brian: Of course not. How could he die? Next question

Sound familiar? That's George Orwell's political dystopian fiction 1984, and if you haven't read it, read it. Now. The prominent theme of the story is that of governmental population surveillance. Published in 1949, it was well ahead of its time and continues to be a freakishly close-to-home account of where we might be going, or where we already are.

So why would that excerpt be included as a Skype sample chat? Plus, go ahead and google "Skype privacy issues" and have a look at the heaps of glitches, breaches, and 2+2=5 kinds of issues with their privacy policies. This article is particularly interesting. This one too. Skype privacy is anything but waterproof, and it appears as though their policies are only as good as how much information the government is after. I know it sounds kooky and paranoid to talk about "the government" as though they're actually interested in some schmuck's daily goings-on, but the point here is this: users' conversations can be filtered for "red flag" words and archived for gov't security purposes. Then, if they want to, they can access everything you've got on this sieve of an internet, right down to peeking through your webcam to see what you're wearing. I think the excerpt included in the sample chat is a straight up "listen idiots, we can see you" warning. Cover up your webcams, people. The little green light next to it doesn't actually indicate whether it's on or not. It indicates whether or not you've got your mac-installed "photo booth" app running.

And if it seems like a stretch that the gov't would want anything to do with your online personal junk, how about scammers? Voyeur hackers? Bad people who are good with computers? If a high school can spy on its students at home, what makes you think someone else can't?

Way back, after the twin tower stuff went down, I noticed my hotmail emails acting funny. I'd send emails out and the recipient would reply confused because my emails had holes throughout the text. This went on for about a month – I'd send an email, and in the replies I'd see that specific words were being omitted from the text. Finally I sent a list of the words that I figured were suspect, they included "hate", "terror", "terrorist", "bomb", "attack", most swearwords, and "gay". Yep, gay. Interestingly enough, "ass" wasn't filtered, so I started using "ass" in place of all the words that were being cut out. It made for a great read. Since then, those emails are gone from my account. Can't find 'em. Here's my conclusion: the person I was emailing most at the time had a yahoo account, which is maybe why his messages weren't filtered. After the attacks and G.W. Bush went all berserko with takin away citizens' privacy rights and stuff, Hotmail must've been temporarily (or maybe just shoddily) used as a red flag filter for potential "threats". Maybe it still is, but they've since figured out the word-dissappearing thing. As it is, I've switched to gmail, which I have no idea about privacy-wise. My hotmail account was seriously flimsy as far as security goes. I just recently noticed that, if I don't sign out, and then I browse on the internet, the spam that is sent to my hotmail account is directly related to my browsing. I don't click on ads or offers, either. PLUS, for some reason it won't let me actually close my hotmail account. It tells me there's some issue with my cookie settings and that I have to call hotmail or something. Wha? Just close my stupid account, jerkos!

Anyway, my point being: the internet isn't secure. Don't be fooled into thinking that it is. We're not anonymous avatars floating around in an anything goes digicloud. It's an owned space that we're inhabiting. It's Big Brother's best idea yet.


Wednesday, April 7, 2010


I've been meaning to write this down for a long time. It's my own version of Whodini's song "Friends". I call it, "Sweaters":

How many of us have them?
Ones we can depend on
How many of us have them?
Before we go any further, lets be

Is a word we use everyday
Most the time we use it in the wrong way
Now you can look the word up, again and again
But the dictionary doesnt know the meaning of sweaters

And if you ask me, you know, I couldnt be much help
Because a sweater is something you judge for yourself
Some are ok, and they treat you real cool
But some mistake snugness for bein a fool

We like to wear some, because they're funny
Others come around when you need some money
Some you grew up with, around the way
And you're still real close to this very day

Homesweaters through the Summer, Winter, Spring and Fall
And then there's some we wish we never had at all
And this list goes on, again and again
But these are the sweaters that we call sweaters

How many of us have them?
Ones we can depend on
How many of us have them?
Before we go any further, let's be

You say you and your sweater were so tight
You took it out with you and your guy one night
It even had a set of keys to your home
And you shared mostly everything you owned

But as it shook your hand, it stole your man
And it was done so swift, it had to be a plan
Couldn't trust it with cheese, let alone your keys
With sweaters like that you dont need enemies

You wonder how long it was all going on
And your still not sure if your sweater is gone
You say, well if it took him he was never mine
But deep inside you know thats just another lie

And now you're kinda cold to the people you meet
Cause of something that was done to you by some creepy sweater
But nevertheless, I'll say it again
That these are the people that we call sweaters

How many of us have them?
Before we go any further, lets be

So there you go. Sweaters ain't easy, and sometimes they don't make a lot of sense. But we love them and need them to keep us warm sometimes.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

the internet is ruining everything

During a recent conversation about whether the internet ought to be a basic human right, I was struck by a thought: we're devolving. Oh my god, we're totally devolving and it's the internet's fault.

The conversation went something like this:
Argument A - the internet is a slough of blithering non-facts and entertainment, another platform for money-making and population surveillance, and why the hell should those things be accessible to every human on the planet?
Argument B - because of our global economy and online transcontinental communities, the internet is imperative for any human being to be a part of said economy and communities. Also, it's educational value should be available to everyone.

My points were nestled in argument A. I see the internet as 98% spazzertainment, marketing, wasted time, and antisocial networking (probably 75% of that is porn). The remaining 2% are useful things like online banking, online college courses, and wikipedia (and it's questionable educational value). The first two of those things still involve cash dollars – it's not like giving someone internet access will mean that a degree is that much more available. Most neato online resources still cost a bit o' cash, as well as a postal address for sending real life materials.

Anyway, the value of the internet can be debated until everyone is avatarded in the face and we're all annoyed with each other for stupid reasons. Here's the clincher though: let's saaaaayy... 50 years down the road oil and fossil fuels become too scarce and expensive for personal use. Aannnnd because most governments will deny this until we're all screwed, things like, ohhhh...  electricity might be hard for people to come by. Not just for third worldies, either. For all of us. SO, after spending 50 years transferring all of our knowledge onto our infinitely precious world wide web, suddenly none of our power outlets are any good. Plugging in will be spotty at best, and our bank accounts, social lives, collective histories, memories, educational whatevers... all unavailable. Without computers to think, store, spell-check, and communicate with, we'd be left in a giant chasm of non thinking and complete empty headedness.

Take the recent dumbing down of Scrabble, for example. Proper nouns are now allowed because the general populace probably doesn't know the difference between a proper noun and a regular noun. Everyone's grammar stinks. Nobody knows how to spell. Where computers used to fill in for our mathematical weaknesses, they are now compensating our inabilities to use words. Our over-enthusiasm for a posthuman culture is not turning us into super cool cyborgs or lawnmowermen, it's turning us into fat, stupid husks that no longer bother to learn or remember anything because it's all a finger tap away. Soon enough, we won't even have to tap our fingers. Our little brain chips will keep us online all the time and the internet will suck our brains dry like a hoover. We'll think that we're an incredibly advanced civilization, until the power flicks off and we're sitting in our dark, ugly cubicles – fat, useless bodies and all hints of natural instincts and survival impulses evaporated. From single-celled blobs to multi-celled blobs, back from whence we came.

I'm pretty sure that our achilles heel is the internet. The more we convince ourselves that we need it to live, the more we will need it to live. It isn't a basic human right, it's a general human want.

When my powerbook recently died, I went a week without having immediate access to the internet. We still had a computer hooked up to our TV, but it was cumbersome to use for email and stuff, so I wasn't online much. As the days passed I realized with growing shame that, without it, I was becoming a more attentive and pleasant mother. I had more patience and my kids seemed far less whiney. I was also talking to more people on the phone, reading more books, and having less headaches. I felt happier and was enjoying "real life". As far as work went though, I was falling way behind. I got the new laptop and am now back at it, juggling about five different commitments at once, "needing" to check every email and messaging account several times a day. When I got the new computer, I was excited but also kind of regretful. I think I'd be better off without it, but with no car and tons of extracurricular responsibilities, how else do I keep on top of everything?

To the limited extent that we are already "plugged in" to our internettings, what would happen if we were unplugged right now? It'd be like withdrawal from an addiction. It'd be shitty, but we'd eventually get over it and remember that most of us were alive in the 90s before we needed it. 50 years from now, will we actually be able to live without it? Who will remember how to? Doesn't that vulnerability scare the living piss out of anyone else??

Monday, March 22, 2010

not the smell of success

I was recently struck by the inane profundity of smell. Basically smell happens when teensy tiny molecules of the emitting matter floats into your nose and gets caught by the super sophisticated little receptors in our schnozes. It's pretty amazing that something that you can't see can have such a powerful effect on you. Most of my memories are triggered by smell, and the smell of things around me effects my mood in big ways. That's not really the profound part, because we're all pretty aware of the difference between the smell of barf and the smell of spring, and how those two smells make us feel.

For me, the big deal is this: those tiny molecules are being consumed by me. My nose is eating them. That means that when you fart near me, you are kind of making me eat your fart. Wait – not just eating your fart – you are making me eat teensy tiny molecules of the poop that is queued up in your bum. THIS IS WHY FARTING DURING MEALS IS THE GROSSEST THING A HUMAN COULD POSSIBLY DO. It's just short of pooing at the dinner table.

So to all those supper-time farters, I'm telling you now: stop. Stop it. Stop what you are doing and think about being a better human being. It's really really gross.

There you go. Nose food for thought.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

sunday diaryah #30

It's been three months since my last diaryah post, so I'm gonna pick out the best few to get back up to speed. Condensed pre-teen drama! Wooooooooooo!!!

"Dec 30, 92
Dear Diary,
I slept over at Sam's for 2 days in a row. The first time it was after Benny-Sue's reception and Pam and Nat were there. Last night it was just me and Sam, we slept in the spare room, it was lots of fun! We drank lots of pop and played cards. I've always wondered what beer tasted like, and they have some of that .5 beer so we tried it and it was sooooo gross! It tasted like fizzy turnip juice with loads of yeast in it. I don't think I'll ever drink. Sam agreed it was very disgusting. Well I like Chris again. He cam eto my house and a bunch of us watched a movie. It was me, Deanne, Jen, Chris, Brad, Ryan, and me. Ryan was flirting alot with me. I didn't really want to flirt with him so I tried not to. But when I looked over at Chris he would look at me and he looked so sad. Sam says he likes me, because that day I was in the kitchen playing with play-doh with Pam, Audrey and Sam, and Sam said he couldn't stay out of the dining room and that he kept watching me. This coming year we're having the May camp at our old family camp spot, because Hamilton's bought it. I really hope Chris comes because I really want to get close to him. At least hold hands. We've all decided to call it a "special moment". Tomorrow I'm going with Sam to saskatoon to visit her grandparents.

"Jan 6, 92
Dear Diary,
Well, I've definitely been flirting alot. I flirted with Quenton all mutual, just for fun. I'm getting my perm tomorrow after school. YAHOO! Not only that, but my face is really clearing AND Jill is finally getting it through her head that she's a scum. Today Colbey called her a ho because she kicked him, she called him a a__hole and cried in the bathroom for a whole class. I guess she liked him and got offended that he called her a ho. But she is a ho, so I don't feel very sorry for her. I'm really starting to feel like I fit in at school. Everyone thinks Chris is my boyfriend, and Colbey thought Andy liked me. They were talking and this was their conversation:
A - I don't know if I like Kim anymore.
C - Do you like someone else?
A - (smiles)
C - is it Melissa?
A - NOT!
C - oh, I know!
A - what?
C - Is it who I think it is?
A - probably not
C- is it (points at me)
A - I don't know
C - it's Sarah!
A - (no comment)

I turned around and they both kina looked at me. Then Colbey started making dumb jokes. I just let it go. I'd never go out with Andy anyway, he only goes with girls to get his "kicks".

*okay this is me now. I'm just gonna skip Feb '92... I recently reconnected with the person who features in that month and posting those days will almost certainly result in awkward embarrassment. Plus I'm a bit hungover and typing is a total chore right now.

Monday, March 1, 2010

I give Gentlemen Broncos a "yes"

I recently watched a film that I really liked. I was anticipating it for a while, but then got caught up in babyland, then finally saw it and loved it, and then googled reviews of it to find that it had received a 16% Rotten Tomatoes rating and that lots and lots of people hated it. I can't decide if I'm glad or angry that it got such poor reviews. On the one hand, if the vast slough of boring, aging, and popular opinions didn't like it, I'm left to revel in being one of the few who "got" it, and anyone else who liked it will be my instant friend. On the other hand, it's also kinda sad to know that I'm so radically outnumbered by boring, aging, and popular opinions, and that anyone who hated it is probably not someone I'll ever truly be able to connect with.

The movie was Gentlemen Broncos, and it was like a dream come true. Literally. It was actually really similar to a lot of my dreams. God, where do I start with how much I loved this movie? The title credits would be a good place. Every credit sat on a vintage-y sci-fi novel cover, each cover getting me more and more excited about what I was about to see. As an aspiring uber-nerd and someone who seriously plans to write the worst sci-fi space romance novel ever written (for real), I felt like someone out in the vast cheese void was reaching out and holding my hand, assuring me that I was not alone in my compulsion to spin tales of stupid and weird.

All I want to do is go through the movie again and take screen shots, sooooo... that's what I'm gonna do. I don't feel like talking about the plot, characters, blah blah blah... everyone has done that already and I don't think that those points were really what Jared and Jerusha Hess were super concerned with here. These crappy pictures from my tv screen are exactly what I loved about the movie (SPOILER ALERTS, these pics might give some plot away):

These novel covers were kinda the most awesome way that the movie could have started. Also, I like Jennifer Coolidge.

I think (hope) that they were original art, but I think I might get my crap sci-fi novel cover collection on now. Totes inspired.

Another gooder. Perfect opening credits!

 I would've put them all up, but you'll just have to watch the movie for the rest.

 Bronco sewing one of his balls back on. Also, I love sci-fi images with moons and comets and weird sky stuff in the background. I google search "planet artist rendering" sometimes just to fantasize about how cool they are.

 My mom and my aunts went through a huge padded lacy binder phase. I have one in my house right now.

Cyclops + bad wigs = movie gold.

 Brutus eating some iffy yeast, I loved the bit that followed...

"s'pretty good! S'pretty darn good."

Superb "shot in the boob" scene.

 Battle Stag.

 He's funny.

 I didn't like this guy though. Kinda off point.

I could have made this exact thing when I was 13. Exact. Thing.

Great "shot in each nipple" scene.

Shoving popcorn car through jail bars. A+!

 His story is going to be fine. Phew!

 This part wasn't particularly amazing but I caught it at a cool still so I'm including it.

 This moment was by far the funniest part of the whole movie. That cyclops almost lost his shit.

Good sci-fi explosion.

Also, I didn't catch a shot of the flesh pockets, but they were pretty awse too. So ya, that's why I loved this movie. Also, Jared Hess comes from a mormon small town, and while most people interpret his style as "quirky social ineptness", all it is, really, is mormon small town-ness. I knew boys who performed self-written love songs on a mini keytar at the town talent show, others who went ape shit during youth water fights, one who responded to the insult "cunt" by saying "at least I have one", one who loudly prophesied the end of the world based on clouds that looked like hands... I knew a big burly man (father and husband) who wore pearl necklaces and women's dress shoes to church, a man who got up to the church pulpit during "testimony meeting" to ask mystery teenagers (us) to please not shut his power off (it was a recurring practical joke) because he had meat in his deep freeze and was going on vacation, women who clucked and chattered like mother hens about the profound importance of glue guns and ranch dressing, and girls who didn't know shit about anything but reveled in their contrived soap opera dramas about perms, periods, braces, being able to sing, and being the most virtuous girl in town. The awkwardness that Hess portrays isn't just quirky for quirky's sake. That stuff is aaaaaallll real. Those people all exist. I liked Napoleon Dynamite for that same sense of familiarity, but Gentlemen Broncos once again made me feel right at home. Hess and I basically grew up in the same town.

Conclusion: Hess' world is one that I like lots, and this movie has further inspired my dream to write my really really awful space romance novel. I'm happier for having seen Gentlemen Broncos. Don't care that a bunch of old boring critics didn't like it. Screw them.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

the great dance-off tornado escape

Dream post! Here goes:

I was meeting someone at a big office building for an interview or something, and I was wearing an orange striped body suit with a sweater tied around my waist. I had to go to a waiting room and when I got there I realized I'd lost my sweater and was only wearing the body suit (like a bathing suit with long sleeves). I was upset that my outfit would totally NOT impress the person I was meeting, so I decided to screw the meeting and leave. On my way out I got mistaken for an actual employee and ended up having to participate in an employee dance-off talent show thing. I was really nervous and annoyed, and then someone pointed out that I had pubes sticking out the sides of my bodysuit's leg holes (like by my hips, and rest assured that in real life I'm NOT hairy like that). At that point I was REALLY nervous and decided to escape. I was sweaty and embarrassed.

When I got out of the building and looked outside, the entire city was being engulfed in an INSANE tornado storm, and this rich douchey black guy offered me a ride in his shiny black Range Rover type vehicle. We raced around the city looking for a way to escape the storm, but it was destroying everything. The guy then hit on me, and I told him that I was not interested and if we were going to escape together he'd better keep his hands to himself. He resigned and kept driving. I was telling him that we should stop in a fancy residential area to find an empty house with a basement that we could hide in. At that point the storm seemed to clear up and it looked like things would be okay. Then a rush of clouds formed above us and tons of water dumped out of the sky, as though someone was emptying a gigantic dirty bucket. It was blocking the road and the guy was like "don't worry I have 4x4, we'll get through it!" and I was like "we're screeeewwwwed!!" And then I woke up.

Interpreters, interpret!

Monday, January 18, 2010


If you haven't seen Avatar then don't read this. Likewise, if you saw it and loved it and don't want me to hurt your feelings, then don't read this. It's been a while since I've let a good rant loose, and I think Avatar deserves one.

The thing about James Cameron is that he's really, really good at blockbusters. He's got the formula down, he knows how to appeal to cheap thrill seekers, and he has a way with visuals that almost consistently astounds. His films, from The Terminator series, Rambo (1985), the Aliens series, The Abyss (1989), and True Lies (1994), all have set various monumental standards in action and science fiction movie making. Along with George Lucas or Steven Spielberg, he's embedded into the canon of big, fun adventures in film. I can totally appreciate that.

It's where he tries to get "serious" that things go bad. All of his films are gaudy and blatant, my understanding is that this is their charm. Gaudy action is acceptable because that's what action movies are meant for. EXPLOSION!! Whoa!! ROBOTS!! Cool! CRAZY ASS ALIENS!!! Holy moly! This gaudiness doesn't fade when he treads into drama though, and his penchant for over-the-top, totally obvious emotional manipulation is disgustingly apparent anytime he makes a dramatic film. I loathed Titanic for this reason. I hated how aggressively it tried to make me empathize with the story. It could have been simple, subtle, and poignant, but of course Cameron does NOT deal in subtlety, and our faces had to be mashed into every cheesy, grossly inflated spectacle of gooey emotion that the story presented. I thought that it was a bloated, disrespectful account of a tragic event. And I can't stand Celine Dion. EVERYTHING SHE DOES MAKES ME FEEL ANGRY.

Then along comes Avatar. Sure, Cameron did some stuff between now and then, but Avatar is Cameron's first feature film since Titanic, and as such was highly anticipated. I must say that my impression of the movie was swayed by negative feedback prior to my seeing it, but everything I was told was justified, and then some. This movie itches something inside of me that makes me feel kind of depressed and sick with the world. At the same time, it was a genuine stroke of brilliance on Cameron's part. He knew exactly what he was doing, exactly who would watch it, and exactly how it would be received. I'm sure of this. He knows his audience the way a parent knows his children. In that respect, it isn't him who I'm so upset with, it's the rabid fans who swallowed the film hook, line, and stinker, and then cheered for more.

Let's begin:

Avatar, the title itself, as well as all of the subtitles in the film, are in Papyrus font. This fact is detailed hilariously in a design blog here, but let me break it down real quick. I'm not a font person, but I did snigger audibly when I saw Papyrus used to represent the dialect of the Na'vi (the indigenous peoples of the human-occupied planet Pandora). Here is an excerpt of Wikipedia's description of papyrus: "Costello [the designer] described his goal as a font that would represent what English vernacular would have looked like if written on papyrus 2000 years ago... As has been the case with Comic Sans, Papyrus is often criticized by graphic designers and others for being overused or used incorrectly in various media. Interviewed in 2007, the typeface's creator, Chris Costello, agreed that Papyrus had become overused." Interestingly enough, when I saw the font used in the theatre, my first asshole thought was "why didn't he just use comic sans?". Comic Sans is a running joke between myself and my brothers. I won't get into why, I'll just say that I'm an asshole about it. Anyway, my point being: why, with a 300 million dollar budget, would Cameron use one of the most clichéd, overused fonts ever? Why not pay a few extra thousand to get a unique font designed for the title and subtitles? Didn't he go out of his way to create an actual language for the film? Wouldn't it have made sense to create a new font as well? Or at the very least, not use Papyrus as subtitles in an attempt to idiotically drive the point of "ancient civilization" home to his viewers? Did the Na'vi even use papyrus paper? Is that really the best representation of an alien vernacular? Couldn't the subtitles have just been a basic Futura, or something equally inconspicuous so that the whole subtitle thing was a non-issue? Anyway, I thought it was lame. And it only aggravated my opinion of the film. My theory is that, Cameron didn't bother with a new font, because he knew that his target audience wouldn't care. He isn't out to impress design nerds or finicky nitpickers. Fair enough, but still annoying.

On a similar title-related note, the use of the word "avatar" for the title was smart. Everyone, even middle-aged housewives, have some kind of an internet avatar now. We all know what it means, and most of us can relate to what having an avatar indicates. It's a popular, trendy term, and using it as a movie title guaranteed  plenty of interest among potential audiences. A small detail, but part of my "he's a smart mofo" point.

Moving along.

I don't want to make this post too crazy long, so I'll try to summarize my problems with the story as best as I can. First: the word Unobtainium. Humans are on Pandora to find this rare, extremely valuable, yet, gasp!, UNOBTAINABLE metal. See? Get it? You see what he did there? It's called Unobtainium because it's... oh, yep, you're getting it! Yes it's a word that has been used in previous science fiction, but as far as I know, it's generally used tongue-in-cheek. It's a dumb word. Geeks know that (or should know that). I don't think Cameron used it ironically, which is seriously annoying.

So there are three types of humans/clichéd caricatures on Pandora. The trigger happy military, the arrogant corporate swine, and the bleeding heart nerd researchers. The military wants to blow everything up (and they do, of course), the corporate swine wants money (in the form of Unobtainium!) and wants it fast, and the researchers want to learn about the planet and also convince the natives that they should move because, really, the humans need that Unobtainium! real bad. Along comes brooding, sympathetic (because his twin brother died and he's an ex-Marine guy who can't walk dammit!!! If ANYONE would miss his legs, it would be an ex-Marine, am I right here, Cameron? It's tragic, like a gerbil with no exercise wheel), handsome Jake Sully. He can't catch a break: the other military guys think he's a puss cuz his legs don't work, and the nerd researchers think he's a jughead dumbdumb. The latter is true, yet he still manages (in his Avatar form) to win over the trust of the entire Na'vi tribe and become "one of them" in three months time (when the researchers had been trying for however long) and even bangs the chief's daughter. They end up putting the fate of their entire civilization in his hands (a fate which he directly brought about by selling them out), got bombed to hell because of him, and then still accepted him as their savior. Bottom line: according to Cameron, only a hunky white ex-Marine could save the quaint little lives of the beautiful, but exquisitely naive indigenous peoples (seriously, all Cameron gave them to defend themselves were arrows and the inability to understand that arrows can't take down armored helicopters).

The completely non-subtle environmental morals were very clear (and trendy, not that I disagree with them, but he seemed to be trying really hard to win a greeny award), yet everything got blowed up anyway. And as horrible as Cameron made the human race seem, it was still only the humans that could save the Na'vi. Everything was about the white dude dominating, and in the end the white dude still dominated. And he can walk now! YAAAAAAY!

Overall, a visually stunning, big budget action film with overt racist undertones and clichéd morals meant to insert integrity into what is really just another blow 'em up, over-the-top Cameron flick. The characters translate easily into McDonald's Happy Meal toys and spin-off cartoons, are sexy for the lusty teenager demographic, and allegedly represent "serious morals" that grown-ups can appreciate. Fun for all ages. Score for Cameron.

The only lasting impression that I took away was this: what did the Na'vi men's dongs look like? We got to see Dr. Manhattans, why not theirs? TOTAL RIP.

Friday, January 15, 2010

mind games!

I should be working on art and grant stuff right now, but I got an idea and am anxious to procrastinate.

I've been thinking a lot of how nice it would be to be telepathic. Not just me, but everyone. No more misunderstandings, lies or confused motives, just straight up 100% open communication. I don't wanna get into why it'd be better, I'm just musing on how it may actually be possible in the near-ish future.

Most of us are pretty dependent on the internet. Some of us (like myself) kind of live on it part-time, using it as a social gathering place, an endless encyclopedia, a complete resource for entertainment (I heart torrents), and a place to spout opinions to whoever may care (like right now). I know that this concept is nothing new, and that how "plugged in" our society is is no real revelation. It was cool ten years ago, now it's just a fact of life. Many many many books are out there covering the topics of post-humanism, contemporary cyborgism, not to mention all the media about AI and stuff... anywaaaaay the idea that I had is this:

Say we eventually hook our actual minds up to the internet. Say all it takes is a chip embedded at just the right spot near our skulls, and suddenly everyone is online. This is different than uploading consciousness though – what I'm thinking of is just taking the step to remove the middleman -the body- from the experience of being online. Again, that isn't a new idea, as gaming nerds everywhere have wished for this since the internet was invented. BUT if all it took to send a message was to think it, wouldn't that kiiinnd of make us telepathic? I mean, it wouldn't be 100% reading minds since we'd all still have secured access to our own "desktops" and we'd be able to choose whether or not we "opened" the sent message, but still, it would be pretty close to telepathy.

Of course, if it was the actual internet installed into our brains we'd be screwed, because marketing agencies would go berserko with access to the inside of our heads. Digital viruses would be the scariest things ever since they could essentially crash our brains. Plus the whole "government implemented population control" thing would be a little obvious. I'm sure the first generation of users would have crazy brain tumors and stuff too. I'm not sayin it's a waterproof idea.

Still though, telepathic technology might be out there. If we were all plugged in to something outside of the internet, but similar in design, it could be possible. Who knows, maybe if this rickety civilization makes it through the next 50 years or so, we'll all be saying our hellos, goodbyes, and eff-yous with OUR MINDS.

It's kind of a cool idea. Just sayin.