Thursday, January 25, 2007

Someone Lost, Something Gained

This week has been a series of ups and downs. Work aside; the downs have included the passing of friend and former band mate (as half of the rhythm section of No Days), Dino Raponi, who died suddenly in a weekend car crash.

Random events like this tend to put things into perspective. I’m not going to go on a ‘live life to the fullest' rant, but I want to point out how random random events seem to be.

What I mean is that it’s easy to rely on fate retrospectively, but the truth of the matter is that I find it impossible to believe that life is simply one random occurrence after another. Now, I specify occurrence, not moment or event, because an occurrence can represent one moment or many moments connected by a series of actions and choices. Once one occurrence has reached its end, the next one begins at random. Events or moments within occurrences can also spawn randomly, which may spur the occurrence into a new direction. Of course, once every event in an occurrence, or after a series of occurrences, is considered retrospectively, it is almost certain that an individual won’t look back and say ‘wow, that was a wicked series of random events that made up this occurrence.’ One will much more likely try to connect the events to gain a logical perspective or, in failing to do that, will instead decide that it was fate that determined the path their life just took. Bullshit! It's random!

Anyway, back from the philosophical void…

My ‘putting things into perspective’ has manifested itself in the form of a new Roland TD-3KW electronic drumkit that will fit nicely (and quietly) into a perfectly shaped corner of my apartment. Now I can finally play day and/or night without getting kicked out. What a nice 'up' to end the week.

Oh that, and it's my champaigne birthday tomorrow! Truly a day of Great Ones.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Advancing Plot versus Keeping Viewers: A Discussion on "24"


Ok, so I'm a little behind the times. I only recently started watching 24. Not only is it a brilliantly written show it features some interesting character studies. Of note is Tony Almeida.

I liked Tony. He was a great character and I admired his progression through each of the 5 seasons of 24. He suffered horrible set backs, like being shot in the neck and losing his wife (not once, but twice), and even though he gradually became darker and appeared more sociopathic, there was always that spark of kindness and the "good guy" who made a brief resurgance, before something worse happened.

All of this came to nought when the freaking writers decided to kill him off. Just when we feel most sorry for him, and when he puts aside his desire for vengeance in favour of saving the country, he gets stabbed with a syringe and dies in Jack's arms. God damnit!

This is way for show's to lose viewers. There was a brief moment where I thought to stop watching the show entirely. After three solid months of episode after episode, rushing to get it done in time for Season 6's premeire this Sunday, Tony's death sparked a thought in my mind: "Fuck it. I'm done with this show."

But then I came to my senses and thought about how necessary it was for that to happen. Despite being so important to the show and fans, killing off Tony had to happen at that point to not only further the plot, but give Jack Bauer some character (which for the most part, doesn't exist).

Writers do run a risk by pulling this kind of unexpected stunt on the viewers. Even though 24 markets itself as willing to do anything to anyone, there was still an expectation that at least the fans will be appeased. And to be honest, after the initial shock of losing my favourite character, I admire the writers even more. Assholes!

And yet, I thought there was a spark of hope that Tony would rise from the ashes like a phoenix of CTU glory. But, alas, even those hopes were dashed. I'll have to play the rest of Season 5 out and hope I don't fall with any of the other characters.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Showering in the Dark

Last night I went for a short jog through the beautiful, albeit pitch black, High Park. While it’s a common event for a lot of runners most evenings, many drivers become suddenly afraid to travel through. There are street lamps all along the main paths, yet I must have passed about five cars with their high beams on.

I mean, come on people. It’s the middle of the city; even reckless joggers are hard to miss with all of the reflective gear. After all, we’re the ones that want to survive the nighttime trip. And any of the deer that would run across the road are scared of, guess what, all the people out there.

Anyway, the point is that as I returned to the civilization of Bloor St. I noticed a rather weird sensation in my eyes. Immediately it seemed that the bright contrast between dark skies and blaring headlights somehow shocked my rods and cones. The result was a vibrating multi-coloured halo in my vision that surrounded everything I saw. Not only that, it soon turned into a headache for which I figured the only cure was pure and utter darkness. And being a sweaty lump, desperately in need of a cleansing, I took a shower…in the dark.

Yes, a darkness shower. Lights out, can’t find the soap, fun. I knew that if anyone had walked in on me they would think me, what’s the word, fucked out of my mind.

But, it turns out that showering the dark is not such a weird thing after all. Entire sex-fueled songs are written about it. Some sites even recommend the practice to help improve night vision.

About the colour halo thing; it turns out that I don’t have any notable eye problem but from now on I’m going to try running with my sunglasses on. At night.

Damn I’m funny.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Wizards, Nintendo, and a Confession (or two)

I love video games. There, I said it. While they have long been the sweaty, myopic, dimly lit bedroom habit of many a Commodore 64 geek and have in recent years become mainstream, only now am I beginning to dust behind the computer (well, now a laptop) and actually have conversations about video games. With real people!

For years I secretly satisfied my habit by locking my doors (even though I live alone) and indulging in imaginary VGA bliss. All of this has of course been made easier via Super Nintendo during my fourth year in residence. Too many very loud and very public displays of Street Fighter 2 and NHL 95 (which is still arguably the greatest hockey game) have made playing video games more socially acceptable, even though my girlfriend makes fun of me.

Still, some things are hard to admit. For example, my favourite video game of all time is actually called Baldur’s Gate 2. Yes, it’s a sequel, which means I probably played the game that came before it. And yes, it involves wizards. But, you know what, it’s damn fun to play and can provide hours of mindless mental wandering when needed. Plus I get to be a wizard and shit.

While I’m at it, I may as well come clean about this whole wizard thing. Not only do I enjoy a video game set in a fantasy world, I also (gasp!) like reading fantasy. That’s right, I’m a snarky, thick-glassed, nerdy fan of epic fantasy. And while I don’t engage in intense arguments about who kicks more ass, Boromir or Aragorn, I do enjoy an epic fantasy series.

In fact the author, Robert Jordan, is so devoted to his fan base that, despite a life expectancy of not much beyond 2008 (it’ll be sad to lose such a powerful literary force), he intends to complete the final installment of his opus before it’s, well, too late.

In all nerdity, I do one day dream of writing an epic fantasy series where I can have wizards do some crazy shit and I can make up words like Fphizzledeeboop (which is obviously a breed of cattle, duh). Hey, I even found out exactly how from not one but two great sources. Wicked!

Makeover, Makeover!

So, 2007 and I'm making a few resolutions. I've got a couple goals and I've given this blog a little bit of a makeover. In doing so, you will also see an increase in the amount and, of course, quality of entries (as if that were possible).

Anyway, here's to a great year full of...stuff.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Only in Toronto...

...could we screw up every chance at international fame. Actually, not we, but he:

Yet again, our mayor's free-spending ways have prevented us from getting something cool, this time the 2015 World's Fair. Wouldn't that have been sweet? Wouldn't that have been a nice jab back at Montreal? Nope, not this time.

It's easy to think that an NDP trying to deal with Liberals and Conservatives would be a recipe for disaster. But, when you realize that both Ontario and the Fed's were just about to get on board, something had to go awry.

And, as usual, Miller probably pleaded that Toronto is soooo cash-strapped (I wonder why, when, despite his short-comings, Mel Lastman at least left a decent surplus behind) and everyone else would have to chip in more cash to help promote the bid. Of course, if he hadn't given his money away to God knows who, we might actually have more than $20 to at least do something to help bring money to the city.

Oh well, maybe next time. Yeah right.

Rant over.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Nine, Twelve - What's the Dif?

So a bunch of pasty shut-ins, er, astronomers decided that instead of nixing Pluto as our ninth planet, they're going to officially recognize three more. Check it out.

Who cares? Why not make it 17, or 34, or 4,286? What difference does it make? We're not going out there for at least another hundred years anyway, so all of this seems like a convenient way to waste time looking at stars rather than figuring out a way to get us to them.

Maybe it's some elaborate ploy to sell more books about planets, now with new and improved information! I mean, they've just increased the page count by 33%. The marketing revenue alone could fund more fancy telescopes and probes that make it easier for us to look at things, thereby increasing the employment demands for more pasty shut-ins to hide behind gigantic lenses and stare at the sky like galactic peeping toms.

Despite this, I am thankful that they decided to increase the number of planets rather than cut any from the team. After all, what would I do with my Pluto lunchbox?

Friday, July 21, 2006

Augustus: Back With a Vengeance!

Oh man! Few things excite me as much as tea and danger sex like the Roman Empire does. Breaking news, for those who care, and everyone else of course: archaeologists have found the birthplace of Augustus.

Check it out!

This pretty much redefines the word 'sick'.