27 August 2008

I feel very, very old right now. In fact, I don't think I've ever felt this old. I just found out that Haley Joel Osment (remember him?) is 20! Something about that fact makes me want to check for grey hairs and buy life insurance.

25 August 2008

Red Rover, Red Rover, we call Norway over!

The Olympics are over. I can’t say I’m not glad. I was getting a little tired of watching swimming and gymnastics every single night. I’m sure I saw other sports, but that’s all I really remember. And over all, you know, we didn't do that badly. We ranked in the Top 20 for whatever category you want to use (No. of Gold, Total Medals, Spunk & Vigor, etc.).

I don’t think you could say we dominated in any field, though. We kind of just got a medal here, a medal there. We were most successful in rowing, and apparently we do better with a Coxswain than we do without. It makes sense, to me – a person with no knowledge of rowing – that having someone to steer would just make things easier, you know?

And we got two silvers in Trampoline, which is, like, assisted jumping. How is that a sport? How are half the Olympic sports even sports? I know Equestrian competitors have to be fit (or so I’m told), but really, the horse does all the freaking work. And dirt bikes? How long until stock car racing is an Olympic sport? I’m surprised Golf isn’t (or maybe it is, and I didn’t notice). And handball! That’s a medal sport now. Where are the Olympic tether ball courts? I would kick ass at Olympic Red Rover. Oh! Olympic Red Light Green Light or Mother May I! Olympic Capture the Flag! At my cabin we play an awesome game called “Sink the Corner” where a gang of us (it works best with more than 4 people) stand on the corner of a floating wooden raft. The corner slowly sinks as the raft goes vertical in the water, and the person who doesn’t fall off wins. That would be an awesome Olympic sport (think of the potential for injuries!). I’ll bring it up at the next meeting of the International Sink the Corner Commission.

Let’s see, before my rant on the loose definition of “sport,” I was talking about our medal haul. I think it’s somehow fitting that we got more Silver medals than anything else. Most counties see a Silver medal as a “Not Gold” medal. I think we see it as a “Not Bronze or 4th Place” medal, and really, it’s that happy outlook that makes us who we are.

21 August 2008

It comes from my mother

I had an even better dream last night. I think it was a reality show, or an elaborate hoax where all the contestants are convinced they’re on a reality show. It was an academic reality show, so the challenges were all feats of the mind and not, like, how long you could stand on a pole without falling. There were a lot of people there I recognized from elementary, high school, and undergrad. Elimination was based on test scores and there was no voting. The people with the two lowest scores would be identified and then everyone else would go back to the dorms where we lived. I got the impression it was a huge competition, there seemed to be a lot of people around.

Of the two people left, the non looser would be released, and I’m not sure if they knew what happened next, because none of the contestants knew what happened when you lost. But because it was my dream, I got to see. The looser was strung up with ropes at their wrists and ankles and they were ripped apart. That’s way more symbolic than putting out their flame or turning off the light in their fridge (or whatever). It turns out that the producer of the show had a really horrible adolescent school experience and was taking revenge on smart people.

And before you go thinking that my dreams are oddly violent, I would like to point out that it’s genetic. After I told my mom about this dream, she told me about what she calls her “Sniper dream.”

“My sniper dream, surprisingly, predated all the reality shows. It was about a show called Skate For Your Life. They locked 100 roller skaters in a roller rink and put a sniper in a balcony. The last one alive was the winner. It's very much like The Long Walk.”

The Long Walk was written by Stephen King back when he was pretending to be Richard Bachman, and before he started sucking. I would argue that her dream was more like the story Running Man. Hey, remember that movie? I should totally watch that again.

20 August 2008

to see or imagine in sleep or in a vision

I have three separate dream memories from last night. Or they might be from this morning. I tend to have really vivid dreams between Snooze-button hits. And I hit Snooze a lot. I think it's only a matter of time before my very-patient roommate bursts into my room at 6:45 and throws my own alarm clock at me, screaming, "Just get out of bed already!" And I will deserve it.

The first is rather poignant, especially for me because my dreams tend to be run-of-the-mill surreal. In it, the younger of my older brothers had joined some kind of religious group, I think he had become Quaker. As part of his conversion, he had to renounce, and never again have contact with, his family (a bonus, I’m sure, in his eyes). It was a rainy night, in Cobourg I think, and he was on a sidewalk, waiting to cross the street. I was coincidentally inside a building right behind him. We saw each other, and I made some kind of gesture meant to convey that we loved him and missed him - I didn't try to talk to him through the glass. Even though he was not supposed to acknowledge his family, he gave a slight nod of his head to convey that he understood. Then he crossed the road and was gone.

The second is great, because it demonstrates how even my subconscious loves pop. I was in a bar, with some friends (no one I recognized), and my aunt Shelia and her friend. It was a pub, all low ceilings and dark wood. I think we were celebrating something, and since I was the only one with family present I suspect that something had to do with me. My aunt’s friend was leaving, so I got up to say goodbye. She gave me a hug, and told me in a confidential tone that I should go visit my father. I said, "Now isn't a good time, I've been drinking." And I gestured to my spot at the table, and a half-empty 2L bottle of Pepsi. She left with no further argument.

The third is more surreal. Later on, at perhaps the same bar, I noticed Edward James Olmos sitting at another table, and I thought that was freakin’ cool. I pointed him out to all my friends, I think I called him Commander Adama (even though, he's actually an Admiral). It was unclear if they knew who he was. Later on (after a long while of Pepsi shots, I'm sure) Edward James Olmos comes riding by on what looks like a sickly, starving bear. The bear is harnessed with a saddle and everything. After he passes I realize that he was actually riding a sloth. And the sloth had really long claws. Even in dreams, Edward James Olmos kicks ass.

16 August 2008

Canadians Do It Without a Cox.

I spoke too soon: We don't suck! We aren't athletically challenged (not all of us anyway)! We aren't the looser kid in the class who only goes home with a participation ribbon! We're tied with poor, invaded Georgia and Spain. That's some pretty awesome company.

In reality, we're really good at women's wrestling, and guys rowing without a coxswain. Yeah, you heard me, with no coxswain. That means no one is steering the boat! They're just rowing out there all willy-nilly, and we came in second! That's some serious shit right there. Suck on that rower's who need a coxswain!

15 August 2008

I know it's not all about the medals. Except that it is.

I'm not the first person to comment on this certainly, but it must be commented on: what is up with our athletes in China? Why is it Day 8 and poor little Canada is the only country with no medals? How crappy must all the athletes over there feel? Imagine, if you went to some kind of competition and everyone there got medals except you. Everyone. Except. You. The kids you've never heard of, the poor kids, the rich kids, the kids with questionable ties to terrorism, the kids whose country was just invaded - they all get something. And there you sit, all Western and wealthy and Socialist, and you get nothing. Nothing!


Because there's something in the water that stunts our athletic development? Because we're too polite and don't have that "kill 'em all" competitive spirit? Because Canada has a small population to draw from and mathematically a smaller number of athletically gifted people? Because Canada doesn't worship athletes the way other countries do,and don't support them well enough? Because even at our very, very best we're still only 4th on the world stage?

I mean, Summer sports have never been our forte, but its so bad that people are making fun of us! I'm told the medal count will pick up in the second half of the games, and I hope this is true. At this point, if we can tie with Azerbaijan, I'll be happy.

On a related note how awesome is it that Walking is an Olympic sport? I, for one, would like to see competitive stretching, or murder checkers. Those are events I'd stay up for.

11 August 2008


Upon seeing the map I posted last week, Kimm decided that she could do better and sent me this (click for slightly larger version):
Look! There's my house! I've always liked how the house is shaped like a Tetris piece. And you can see the bridge over the creek.
The unlabeled road that goes off to the NE is Canning Factory Road. There are cool abandoned buildings down that road. I wouldn't go into them when we were kids because I thought they were full of rat poison and dead cats. My brothers probably went in though, they were daring like that.
Further down that road is the littlest house ever. It's very, very small. Smaller than my basement suite, I'd bet. I haven't been down there for a few years, I wonder if it's still there. I always used to wonder if a) they had a couch in there, and b) if it took up the entire living room.

08 August 2008

Batshit Crazies Solve Canada's Identity Crisis

I wasn't going to read the news anymore, and I haven't been, but then Deb sends me a link to this wonderful story about how finally - FINALLY - we are able to define ourselves as a people. No longer are we just a Liberal America, or polite hockey-worshipers who love beer and maple syrup. It really is a proud day for Canadians. Generations after Confederation, some "Church" in Kansas has defined Canadians as "cannibals and highway decapitaters."

The whole lot of us! Wow.

This definition is brought to you by the kind of people who would protest at the funeral of a victim of a violent, gruesome crime with not a thought for his family or friends. The kind of people who would also protest the funerals of soldiers. The kind of people who actually believe that this random act of violence was committed because we let private citizens of the same sex enter into legal marriages. The kind of fundamentally fucked-up people that are completely devoid of the humanity they are trying so vehemently to protect.


Joshua won and I totally called it. I’m usually way off guessing who will be eliminated, but for once I was right. I think Katee [sic] should have won, she was consistently the best dancer – I think – but I figured people would like Joshua (or, as Cat Deely would say, “Joshuer”) more. After all, it’s a competition to be America’s Favourite, not its Best.

I’ve been annoyed with the Judges of late, though. Ever since they stopped having any say in who stays or goes, their judging has become little more than flattery and, at times, undeserving praise. Katee & Joshuer could have tortured cats to music and Nigel would tell them, “That was very entertaining! Thank you!” and Mary (*shudder*), she would just stand up and scream for a good 6 seconds while people’s ears started to bleed. Then the guest judge would talk about how “street” that routine was, or about how much she loves the performers and how beautiful the cat-torture was and how it took the show to a whole other level, or how they just rode the subway car of Self-Awareness and transferred to the busline of Expression before getting off in Awesome Town. All the while, the performers would be panting and nodding while cats mewed in the background.

My point is that it was nice the few times the judges actually offered something constructive other than, “You’re beautiful and that routine was fun!”

I’m not sure what I’ll watch at night when I want to relax, now that this show is over. This and Burn Notice are the only new programming I’ve been watching this summer. Of course, according to the back-to-school commercials, summer is almost over. It makes sense, since the sudden nice weather we’ve been having here feels like Summer’s hot, humid, dying breath.

Also, today is Edge's birthday. Happy Birthday, The Edge!

05 August 2008

5 Things

1. Something that makes me very happy: details and rumours about the next U2 album. It’s supposed to be called No Line on the Horizon, which is about the right length for a contemporary U2 album title. Unlike X-Files, I actually expect a lot from U2, but honestly, unless the new album is just 12 different remixes of Discotheque, I’m destined to love it.

2. Another thing that makes me happy. Re-issues of U2’s first 3 albums: Boy, October, and War, complete with alternate mixes of classic songs (Four versions of Two Hearts! Five versions of New Years Day!) and songs I’ve never heard of before (Angels Too Tied to The Ground!?). You can listen to War (one of their best albums ever) here for free, but the rest you have to sign up, but then you can listen for free, which is what I’m going to have to do while I save up money to buy them all.

3. Something that was inevitable. I watched Battlestar Galactica over the weekend. Just the first miniseries. Apparently there’s like four seasons and a bunch of movies as well, so I have to do a lot of catching up. I say it was inevitable, because its science fiction, and while I don’t usually go in for the more militarish sci-fi, I usually give it a chance. Except Star Trek, I just can’t bring myself to watch Star Trek. Or that one where they travel to different dimensions (although, I did like the original movie). Battlestar Galactica was pretty good. It had Callum Rennie in it, and I just love him on principle. It also had Presidential Hopeful John McCain in a starring role! Of course, it wasn’t really John McCain, but it might as well have been.

4. Something surprising. Not everyone loves The Dark Night. I kind of agree with some of this guy’s assessment, although I didn’t hate it. Batman’s growly voice was very annoying, but the Two-Face makeup was wicked gross and I wanted to look away even as I was so fascinating that I had to stare at it. Over all, I think it was on par with Hellboy; although Dark Knight had a better story, Hellboy was more visually interesting.

5. Something that freaks me out. Ew, ew. Ew! (*shudder*). I hate eye-things!


Time for me to share my dream from last night. It took place in my hometown, at my parent’s house. Their house is on a corner, and one of the roads is a gravel road. The road is named Brimley and when I was a kid, I thought it was a descriptive term, like “brimley” was another word for a bumpy, gravel road (and now that I think about it, Brimley would be a great bumbling-sidekick name). Still now, even though parts of Brimley are paved, it’s synonymous in my head with gravel. This road features heavily in my childhood memories. There’s a creek that runs underneath it, and through our property, and we had a fort by the creek on the other side of the road. Also, my best friend lived down Brimley road, and we spent a lot of time biking on that road, and exploring the fields and woods around it.

Anyway, in the dream, the creek that runs through the property had flooded, and there was enough water that people could boat down the road. I was on such a boat – it was big, flat-bottomed, and I think had gun turrets. It was daytime, and the water was so clear I could see down through to the road and the grass on the shoulder. I could see minnows everywhere and there was someone watching over my shoulder telling me what they were, and I was getting really annoyed because I already knew what they were. Then it was dark, and we were hunting for some kind of water creature that had been terrorizing the area. Every so often I would see a dark form dart through the water. I think the hunt became too intense for me, or maybe the boat was attacked, because I jumped ship and ran home. The road was bone dry, despite the flooding, which was convenient, and as I ran home, the theme music from the Bourne movies was playing in my head.

Now that I think about it, not a very eventful dream. Oh well. It gives me an opportunity to share this map that Kimmy made for me a long time ago (click for a slightly larger version).

She sent it to me after I sent her my first (and last) attempt at using ArcGIS.