Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Post 51 (not to be confused with Area 51)

Thank you for a perfect two days. You know who you are...


Wednesday, 17 December 2008

The Project, Sneak Peek No. 3




This is post 50. I suppose this is some kind of milestone.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Onion headlines we'd like to see (a series)

Copywriter wants recognition
Password typed incorrectly
Freelance writer still waiting for cheque

Friday, 5 December 2008

Move it to the left...

qgR QIYKS Goowb ud U agudws nt dubfwea id=cwe ibw aoXW RI RGW KWDR? QIQ, QGr QUEWS DWWKUBF, UWCWB RWG JWTA ewb;r ub rgw eufgr aoir, rgwew EW OEIVvkt viubf ri vw wcwb niew rtoiwa ib rgua nwaaFW RGb uauL. xOULS VW UAWS a FOOS XOSW, RHOUFHR.

whoops - sorry, had my fingers in the wrong spot.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Fuzzy on all fronts

The image - out-of-focus and so poorly composed - was telling. That the Liberal Party of Canada - the party of Laurier, King, Trudeau and Pearson - showed itself inept at something so simple as focusing a camera showed me everything I needed to know about our leaders.

There was a time - not so long ago - that you could count on the Liberals. You may have disagreed with their policies. You'd have been right to say they were oft-arrogant, an attitude no doubt the result of running one of the world's oldest functioning democracies for the better part of a century. But at the very least you'd expect them to be competent. To get things done. Quietly, seamlessly, and occasionally, with a touch of class. The Liberal Party - and by extension the civil service it built in its image - was an execution machine.

No more. The Party lost more than its two warring leaders in the Chretien-Martin feuds. In business terms, it's lost its ability to execute. The party that gave us free national healthcare, our own flag, and the ability to amend our own constitution can no longer find its way out of a paper bag.

Stephane Dion, the stiff academic who led his Party to its worst-ever electoral showing a mere two months ago, now wants to be our Prime Minister. Yet in his (and his sidekick Jack Layton)'s ravenous, near-rabid drive to topple the Harper government (one of which I am not a fan), I'm reminded of a Seinfeld episode. There was George, (a man so inept at life as to be unable to sustain a job or a relationship) who, upon hearing one of his lies about to crumble, running out of the bathroom yelling "Vandelay! Vandelay!" George trips, falls, then lands face-down on the floor of Jerry's apartment.

At this point a bemused Jerry stands over him, remarking: "And you want to be my latex salesman."

Friends, we're all Jerry now.

How sad.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

If Abe Lincoln Played Hockey

"Four score and, uh, (snif) seven years ago...

you know, um, our fathers brought, uh, forth on this (snif) continent a new nation, you know, conceived, uh, in liberty and (snif) dedicated to the proposition that, uh, you know, all...all men are, uh..created equal, you know.

Now, um, you know, we are, uh, (snif) are engaged...in a great, uh, civil war, testing whether that nation, uh, or uh, any nation, you know, so conceived and so, uh (snif) dedicated can long endure. We are, you know, uh, met on a great battlefield of that...war. We have come to uh, dedicate (snif) a portion of that field as a final...final, you know, resting-place for those who here, you know, like, gave their lives that that nation might..you know, live.

It is altogether fitting and, you know, like proper that we should, uh, do this. But you know, in a larger sense you know, we cannot (snif) dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we uh, cannot you know....hallow this ground.

The brave men, you know, living and (snif) dead who uh, struggled here have you know, consecrated it far above our uh, poor power to uh, add or detract (snif).

The world will, you know, little note nor uh, long remember (snif) what we, uh, say here, but you know it can never, like, you know, forget what they did here (snif).

You know, it is for us the living rather, you know, uh, to be dedicated here (snif) to the unfinished work which they, uh, you know, who fought here have, you know, thus far so nobly advanced.

It is, you know, rather for us to, uh, be here dedicated to the uh, great task remaining before us (snif) that from these honored dead we, you know, take increased devotion to that cause for which they, uh, you know, gave the last full measure of devotion--that, uh, you know, we here highly resolve that, uh, these dead shall not have you know, died in vain, that uh, this nation under God shall uh, you know, (snif) have a new birth of freedom, and that (snif) government of the people (snif), by the people, for you know, the people shall not, uh, perish from the earth (snif).

Thanks, Scott"

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

The Project: Sneak Peek Number One



I'm not telling, but you can probably guess....

Monday, 1 December 2008

The verdict is in....

because i knew you just couldn't sleep until i weighed in. 

well?  was it worth waiting 17 years for? worth getting all misty-eyed about appetite for destruction and how it blared through the hallways of your high school as you papered the gym for graduation even though it was so friggin humid that the crepe paper sagged overnight so badly that you had to do it all over again and in the photo afterwards you looked like you had just run a marathon in a gown? 

no. 

all that tweaking, all that futzing, and finally, there's no there there. Chuck Klosterman wrote a good review of it here, but the review was more fun to read than the album was to listen to.



Ink fetish, but no tattooos




i had an idea to write about pens. along the lines of, "is it too much to ask for pens that look like pens?"

see, i'm kind of a pen fetishist. a big one. the only pens i really enjoy writing with (when i do write by hand, and even then my handwriting, never sterling to begin with, has deterioriated to the point of scribble) are Uniball Deluxe Micro, with black ink. but being fresh out lately, i've been forced to forage for these wierd, bulbous-looking things that i don't know whether or not to twist, click, pray to, or what, just to be able to write.
frankly, they scare me. half the time they're as thick as breakfast sausage and in some dayglow color - very close to the kind of personal play toy you'd find at some of your finer adult shops.
but then i thought, who cares about pens? is that really enough to write about? is that what i devote my brain power to in my off-hours?
how sad.
so i decided that i'd instead keep that post, and that particular fetish - to myself.

Friday, 28 November 2008

Musical metadata mishaps

I love the way iTunes gets my album cover art wrong. It's like a small unexpected treat - like finding a mint on your hotel pillow. Or not having your credit card rejected. I've had the Violent Femmes' first album on my nano at least 5 times now. I can't remember where i got the tunes from originally - maybe limewire, for all i know - and every time, iTunes returns some strange cover art that's not even remotely linked to the band. Odd. Meaningless in the grand scheme of things, but odd nonetheless.

also, it's day 2 with Chinese Democracy. reactions to come...

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Overheard in my head

"It's chili...not exactly rocket science."

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Bifurcation

Woody Allen had his "Horrible" and "Miserable," Horrible being anyone living with a disability or chronic debilitating condition, the Miserable being everyone else. "Be happy that you're miserable" was his typically twisted retort.

I propose the following:

There are those who call it "porridge," and those who call it "oatmeal."

I belong to the latter, just so ya know.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Movie lines I remember for no particular reason, without context and without prompting

"The whole thing is the leads."

"Why are you doing this to me, George?"

"These are filled with helium...so they're very light."

"As far back as I can remember I always wanted to be a gangster."

"Deserve's got nuthin' to do with it."

"Interesting group of friends you have there, like the cast of a Fellini movie."

"This is what comes of empire building."

"That's my family, Kay. It's not me."

"Do you suppose I could buy back my introduction to you?"

"Don't drink that poison, it's ten dollars an ounce!"

"It's no trick to make a lot of money, if all you want to do is make a lot of money."

"He had no conception of the instrument at all...He was blowing into it."

"You're here in Brooklyn. Brooklyn is not expanding."

VVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVV

VVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVV
VVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVV

Gotta love the winter tires.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Hail, Hail Freedonia...

Ok. So GM, Ford and Chrysler go cap in hand to Washington asking for $25 billion or else last one out turn off the lights. They say thank-you, now we need $25 billion more, or you know, good luck finding parts for your 1998 Lumina.

Maybe they've been watching too many old movies, and I'm none too keen to imagine Ben Bernanke as an elderly dowager, but I gotta say i'd be interested to see what the new Buicks would look like with Groucho at the helm (the joke kicks in around 1:30).



In other news, I think i'm giving up on documentaries on freaks, wierdos, subcultures and outsiders. I've seen The Devil and Daniel Johnston, Dog Town and Z-Boys and this evening I'm an hour through American Hardcore and I could easily say they're the same movie. Ok, maybe Dog Town and Z-Boys has the best soundtrack (Sorry, Daniel, but i just don't hear the Beach Boys in your manic chordings), but documentaries done by fanboys and insiders, interviewing fanboys and insiders about how cool it was to be a fanboy and insider, no matter how strong they start, always end up with me feeling like i'm on the outside of an inside joke. and seeing as i only wanted to watch the damn dvd because i tend to find freaks and outsiders interesting, i really find this a common failing. What all three of these flicks needed was some external voices or opinions to bring us - the uneducated but curious viewer - into the story to understand why the freaks and outsiders we're watching are/were so GD important. Kinda like what this guy says. But seriously - I only read it the day after the dvd was on its way back to zip.ca

Oh well. I'm sure I'll cope.

Monday, 10 November 2008

I Was There, Part 6 of ?



This was the first time I saw Pat Metheny. I'd been a fan for so long before this show and it's been so long since then that it's hard for me to believe that there was a time that I hadn't seen him. I mean, I had seen Dizzy Gillespie play my high school years before - a fluke of luck booking for the concert series that usually catered to the blue rinse crowd. But PM was probably the first jazz musician I remember being an actual fan of, partly because my dad would always play American Garage when we had dinner guests and I remember they did a lot of entertaining back then. I had just moved to Montreal back then to start a stint as a fill-in reporter for RCI. My dad had helped me move up, right in the middle of the jazz festival, and Pat (yah, like we're on a first-name basis) was playing that night. But that's not really the story. The real story is that it's one helluva walk from Place des Arts to Club Soda. Like along the highway, through an overpass, "where the hell are we going?" kind of walk. Damn near missed the show and jeez, were we pissed at the guy who sold us the tickets, seeing as Montreal has subways and all. It's still not much of a story, granted, so apologies for those of you who've stuck it out this long  and were hoping for some big reveal  - like, we saw Pat and his band at a stoplight and got a ride in his limo, or we got invited backstage to chill with Roy Hanes, or maybe even mugged. But none of that shit happened. I'm really only writing this to get back into the writing game. So much of what I do now is simply copying and pasting that I think i've forgotten how to actually write - and what I do manage to stab out seems boring even as I write it. So apologies again if you've not yet come to your senses and are still with me by this point. This is also part of a project I have on the go to scan in all these old ticket stubs that I have and string them together into a story of some kind. Or at least another book with blurb. But the prospect of writing a book in one fell swoop was kinda terrifying, as I can't seem to write much more than a headline or ass-covering email these days, so i thought I'd roll them out - hopefully as amusing anecdotes - as I had the time and inclination. This is only the first. I think i have other, more interesting stories to accompany my other stubs. At least let's hope so - for your sake and mine.

I like Ted Dot Com.

And photography. i had lots of national Gs hanging around growing up. maybe some of it rubbed off. Very good video here about how photos connect us to the world. i'd embed it but blogger is giving me grief, like every other technology i use today.

Friday, 7 November 2008

Hooray!

Researchers at Oxford have compiled a list of the most irritating expressions. Top of the list?

"At the end of the day..."

Screw you, Cambridge.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

(Not so) Idle hands

I doodled a lot in school. During dictation, like. Seems old habits die hard. Too bad I turfed all my old notebooks.





Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

On TV at the dawn of a new age

TVO:  10 days to war
Global: "I'm looking for 53 calamaris! let's go!"
A-Channel: "This nightmare is going to end. I didn't know I was doing anything illegal."
CTV: That's Ohio's flag.  Put up Cuba's flag....I knew it!
CBC: Allison Smith is wearing nice pearls. Very Leave it to Beaver.
NBC: Brian Williams' tie knot is too narrow. People people people, it's a double windsor now...don't you ever pick up a magazine?
TVA: ben, quoi? calis..
TQS: allez..le but! let but!
CBS News: "Clinton overreached in the minds of many."
CTV (?) : Lloyd Robertson is still alive? 
The Shopping Channel: "We use a lot of nice butters."
ABC: Wow...can't people hold the camera steady?
The Weather Network: Overnight, 9 degrees. 
Vision TV: If you're really going after God, brace up.
Newsworld: Peter Mansbridge is getting old man nose.
Spike: Couture vs. Lesnar, Nov. 15. I don't care how many tattoos Lesnar has, my money's still on Couture until he shows he can't do it.
Another french chanel: "one hundred percent. y'all just ripped the show for me." (subtitles)
AMC: Rocky! Get up, Rocky!

This kills me

Monday, 3 November 2008

Work in Progress

finally got the work station set up in the basement. enough room for slides and laptop and speakers and stuff. confused the hell out of the cat, as this required moving some stuff around. but i think she'll cope. hell, if she can deal w/the dog, she can deal with anything.

a little late now, but Salon.com posted a pretty decent list of the best horror flicks. I pretty much agree with all of them, though i would add Eraserhead to the list. check it out the next time you're alone in the dark.

Monday, 20 October 2008

More half-baked ideas

Didja ever want to have a recorder in your head? like, one that took every snapshot and recorded every bit of dialogue that ran though your brain but that you weren't able to record for whatever reason? For me it's usually laziness. I'll say to myself, "I'll write about that later." And then I never do. 

At least they're here now and not floating around in my head, where my somewhat cavalier cerebral filing system might mis-label them. They probably won't make sense to you, but if in time they make any more sense to me I'll flesh them out. No blog is ever really done, right?

Facebook updates are the new blogs.

I'm spending far too much time thinking of clever facebook status updates. Is this my legacy? 

Unfair.

Driving is difficult this time of year. Low sun makes for long shadows.

Why do I always spell "shadows" with an "e"?

Carry a notebook, you schmuck.

Making sense of it all?

So I was in Toronto this past weekend, and among the billboards was one for the perenially number three network, Global. The tagline? "Making sense of it all."

Where do they get off?

Now, being a certified student of the media and a former news guy (however briefly), I know it's the job of the fourth estate to "make sense of it all" for the rest us poor schleps who don't enjoy their access, perspective, and so on.  

And still.

I've been reading a lot lately about the shit that's going down (and it is going down) in more than one pub from a lot of different perspectives. And from what i've seen, no one has a fucking clue how to make sense of it all. 

I think the truth is that no one - news hack or not - has any idea how to make sense of it all. From where I sit, we're just making it all up as we go along. But I think we'd all be better off if we all just droped the charade.

Monday, 15 September 2008

famous five thingee

WTF?

i had a notion to write about the above this morning, thinking "famous five thingee" would be enough to remind me what i wanted to write about.

funny how work gets in the way.

if any one has any ideas, feel free to suggest them....

Friday, 12 September 2008

Your brain on "Shuffle songs"

Nope.
Nope.
Nope.
Nope.
Hm.........
Nope.
......Nope.
Hm.........
Nope.

Monday, 25 August 2008

Things you think about when you're being held in priority sequence...

We are in the era of fiddling. Behold:
  • FM Transmitters that kinda work, sorta. Apart from cel phones, the biggest sham ever perpetrated on the ipod-buying public. Want some static with that song? Just enough to annoy the fuck out of you while you're trying to stay awake on the 401? There's plenty of models to choose from.
  • iPod synching. Just try to squeeze one more song on there. Go ahead. I dare you.
  • Any technology-related tech support. No one is looking forward to helping me get the best out of my router. (Hello, Linksys...helloooooo). If my call was so valuable, why is this my third fucking try? Why should I even NEED to know my fucking router IP address?
  • How did my keyboard switch to french? WTF?

Teak oil really stinks. But it works wonders.

I like peaches.

Now even the tech sup....port....mu.....si....c....n.nnn..nneeeeeds tech...supp.....ort...

The Pizza Pizza guys always get my address wrong. Why is my order outsourced to India when the place that bakes the friggin thing down the street?

I'm not putting in the time to make this worthwhile. At least I don't think so. what do you think? Helloooo...Linksys...

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Words I like

Possibly inspired by my one-day writing course.

  • askew
  • astride
  • infandous
  • lugubrious

more to come, probably...but don't hold your breath.

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Never use a longer word...

The latest evil trend in marketing lingo: "complimentary" instead of "free."
Hors d'oeuvres are complimentary. So are magazine subscriptions. Events are not.

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Armchair Visconti: What I DID like about The Dark Knight

  • Heath Ledger's performance. Everything the Joker could and should be. It's like he's in a better movie running alongside this one and he shows up every now and again to show people how it's done.
  • The first 20 minutes. Lean and mean, their success is betrayed by what comes next.
  • Russian Ballerinas. 'nuff said.
  • Bruce Wayne's Armani suits.
  • Lamborghinis.
  • Lucius.
  • The batmobile saying "Goodbye" just before it blows up.
  • Trucks flipping over.
  • Operation Skyhook.
  • Disappearning pencils.

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Armchair Visconti: What i didn't like about The Dark Knight

First, a disclaimer: These only matter if you're concerned about a separate but related discussion about whether TDK should be considered a Good Comic Book Film, or a Good Film. To my mind, Lord of the Rings (pick any one) belongs in the latter. TDK belongs in the former. A snooty distinction, but it's what I do to amuse myself.


All plot, no story. As if Christopher Nolan said to himself, "If i put this many scenes about duality and darkness together, it will add up to a cool movie," rather than "What does an exploration of these themes look like and how would they play out among these characters?" Memo #1 to Mr. Nolan: You are not the next Hitchcock, sorry to say. UPDATE - come to think of it, I'd venture to say Christopher Nolan doesn't really understand characters. Or storytelling. What he does understand is plot mechanics. Consider Momento, or The Prestige. His movies are elaborate and intriciate constructions. They look great, have great casts, but they have no soul.

Clumsy fight scenes. Memo #2 to Mr. Nolan: Go watch the russian bath fight scene in Eastern Promises. Repeat as necessary.

Clumsy action sequences. This I found particularly odd, since the big chase scene in batman begins had at least as many vehicles moving around. Memo #3 to Mr. Nolan: Go watch any / all of the following to see how to stage action setpices:

  • The French Connection
  • Ronin
  • Ben Hur
  • Face/Off
  • Terminator 2, Aliens or any James Cameron movie that has large metal things smashing into each other.

Aaron Eckhart's performance. Pains me as it does to write this, seeing as i saw the guy in London while he was still shooting, but I didn't believe his performance as the do-gooder. So, cool makeup aside, I didn't buy his transformation. Sorry dude, you were better in Thank You for Smoking and, if it makes you feel any better, you were the best thing about Erin Brockovich.

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

That's cruel...

probably late to the game on this one, but I guess we know now that's not all Steven Page would buy if he had a million dollars.

A baseball movie

Derek Jeter, from way, way up....I think this was in the 7th inning. I'm not sure if this breaks copyright. If it does I'm sure I'll find out.


Yes, more iTunes poetry

all i need, all in a day.

am i just wasting my time, amelia?

are you awake? are you ready for the country? are you real?

beware of darkness beyond the pale

bullet buried in your heart

begin the beguine behind that locked door

california dreamline, california uber alles

Monday, 21 July 2008

R.I.P. Yankee Stadium, July 19, 2008







More pix here...

Just a reminder....

when you're bored of this stuff, go over and read hugh's. that's what i do. and i run this thing.

Still Groovin'

Ok. i know one of my updates said "Delaney is sick of bluesfest." And i meant it at the time. I always volunteer for one more shift than I should, but whatever. it's fine when i get there. why am I writing this and wasting your time? i think because I'm still grooving to that Black Crowes show. It could be the best B-Fest show i've seen. and i've seen a lot. Plus their drummer, Steve Gorman, was a total class act. A lot of acts this year were pretty pissy about giving autographs - or at least that's what i heard - but he was happy to chat. though i didn't ask for his autograph. i think it's more hassle than it's worth, really.

Someone who gets it, part 1

So there we were in Syracuse. Our first three options for weekend parking dashed (the homeless shelter is down the street, see? and some of the homeless guys like to sleep in the cars. so I wouldn't park here overnight), our last hope rested in the hands of sympathetic desk clerks at the hotel. I won't say which hotel, since the story I'm about to recount may, ironically, get the poor guy fired after all, but suffice to say were really, REALLY hoping he'd let us park there for the weekend. See, there was the sign at the entrance saying "FOR HOTEL GUESTS ONLY." but after a few awkward pauses, he let us park there for the weekend.

"There's no problem at all, sir," he said. "Enjoy the weekend."

I can only imagine, or maybe project, the sheer terror that went thru this guy's mind when he said this. But hey, Carroll, a shout out to you for getting it. If your hotel chain comes up in conversation, i'll be sure to give it the good word.

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

I'm sorry, you were saying?



Plus - Nicholas Carr (he of the somewhat ongoing debate w/Don Tapscott about the value of IT), about what's happening to our google-addled brains. read it here: http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200807/google 

If only McLuhan was here today.

"...as a matter of fact I happen to have Mr. McLuhan right here."

Monday, 7 July 2008

Hey! I make book!

By Photography by De...

Even more iPoems

Blue Chair
Blue Letter
Blue Monday
Blue Finger

Dead Flowers, Dead Souls

Forward to Death, Friend of the Devil.

I'm an adult now. I'm not moving.

I'm not moving, I'm so afraid.

I kill children. I missed again.

You got me rockin' You know what i mean.


iPoems

Black Spider, Black Swan
Black Wings
Blood on our Hands

Cold War, Coyote.
 
Fade to Black, Fat Bottomed Girls

Go Home, Get Down
Goin' Out West

Hit the Lights, Hoist that Rag

Jump in the fire, cool thing.

Make it rain, Master of puppets.

Run to the Hills, Seek and Destroy

Absolute Beginners
Accidents Will Happen

And by the lake
Angels come to comfort you

Blood and Roses
Blood on our hands

Can't Find My Way Home
Can't Get There From Here
Can't You Hear Me Knocking?