Saturday, November 26

120 hours

Gryfe. Price. Brown. Horton. Au. Lu. Parham. Davidson. Bidiasee. Jones. Troup. Szpirglas. Brown. Brown. Gorber. Nolan. Rouillard. Dault. Keen. MacLean. Mitanidis. Gryfe. Brimblecombe. Sullivan. Campbell. Allard. McLean. Schoedsack. Cooper. O'Brien. Kong. Murti. Avis. Dawe.

Monday, November 21

this is an audio post - click to play

Sunday, November 20

god lit a fire

After my insane rant about the crappiness of the Harry Potter books, I took a bit of heat from some of the fans. Well, actually from one fan. I stand by my opinion, though, that while the world is good, and the characters have compelling attributes and the stories plot out nicely enough indeed, the prose is for shit.

However, given just how much I enjoyed the latest film, coupled with Matt's assertion that it wasn't a patch on the novel, and that HPATGOF represents a turning point in the series, taking it from the realm of the simple boys own adventure and turning it into something much much richer and more substantial, I have to give it all one last try.

So I'm plowing through book 3, and then it's on to the big one. And then, and definitely then I am LEAVING this shit alone if I ain't feeling it. Because no matter who says it's great, or how many of them there are, if I ain't feeling that shit after 1100 pages, then I'm just never going to be able to.

Friday, November 18

Why do frogs like pants?

Because, silly, pants have flies.

Max wrote a joke, everybody! I'm givin' him extra allowance this week for it, so now's the time to hit him up for a loan if you're so inclined.

Thursday, November 17

I was only off by a factor of .... well, pick a really big number.

At Chris recent birthday party, I busted the old "There are more people alive right now than have ever died" saw. At the time, and for most of the past ten years since I first heard this I really believed it to be true. Because of course the population of earth right now, and even 10 years ago, is just so huge that its genuinely hard to apply any critical faculties to it at all. Six billion of anything just inherently seems like more than is rationally possible. So it's relatively easy to believe that it's so out of control that it has effectively surpassed all other human existence in recorded history. I certainly believed it. I even encouraged those at the table who were having a hard time of it (only about 20% of those present even were that skeptical) to go out and google it for themselves.

So of course upon doing just that, I have to sheepishly report that this entire idea is, as it turns out, bunkum. Check this mathematical proof at the University of Hawaii. Or, just skip down to the bottom line for the big number. As you can plainly see, Earth's total historical population is close to 100 billion people, a LOT more than the 6 that are here right now.

That's 1 person for every $80 of current United States debt. That's right, that's my new, fact checked, totally responsible weird population fact: The United States owes $80 for every man, woman and child who have ever existed on earth.

Tuesday, November 15

I just finished making some ringtones for my new phone. I just grabbed mp3's from itunes, cut them down in garageband, exported them back to itunes, converted them back to lower bit rate mp3's, then put them on my phone using bluetooth file transfer.

I've really gotta give my powerbook a cute name or something.

I'm gonna go shave now and do a mamo.

Saturday, November 12

well then, you just have to quit

In 2002 I got to do something I had been itching to do for a while. I got to make some little movies. And get paid. Actually quite well. And then it all came crashing down.

My boss (actually my bosses' boss) called me over because she had seen a video I did when the group of us that were hired together graduated from training. She thought it was cute, and she asked if I could put something together for her in time for a conference she was headed for. So, of course that was great, and she asked me to quote on it, because of course this was just slightly outside of my job description of junior level call centre management. So I figured I'd ask for about $1000, which seemed about right for something that was going to require about 30 hours of work. And I put it together, and got paid and it came out pretty damn good, I thought. And it was apparently a hit at the conference, too.

And all was right with the world. And then I got a call from the director of HR. She saw the video, and she wanted me to give it to her, and also to change it a bit, and add a couple of things and tweak it for length. And I said, sure, that'll be $1000, since this was now a new project for a different department and I had done it as a private contractor and also I needed to get permission form my original client to make sure she was okay with it.

And then I got called into my original client's office (my bosses' boss, remember) and told in so many words that I had already been paid enough and I was going to do the work, for free, if I wanted to keep on-a-working there.

So I went home, and told Leah the whole story, and told her that I'd have to quit as soon as possible from the best paying job I'd ever had, one that afforded me pretty much guaranteed job security and limitless possibilities, and she didn't even bat an eye. She just said that of course I'd have to quit, and that we'd get by.

And we did, and I am so glad that I quit, but more than that I am dumbfounded by how immediately she just.... agreed with my point. Even I am not entirely sure that quitting was the right thing to do, and yet it's never been questioned even once, no matter how much money we've lost or what I've had to do since. And that more than anything is what I marvel at, ten years on.

Monday, November 7

in print

In 1996 I had another in a series of supremely half baked ideas. I go to TIFF every year anyways, and so do Dave and Sunny and Joanne, and maybe we could all write reviews and a couple of articles and some sort of diary (blogs having not been invented at that point) and put together a 'zine! A zine, baby!

And then Leah said she'd help design it and do all the production. Bevause I had NO idea how much work was going to be involved. None. Whatsoever. And that year I reviewed close to 100 films, wrote 3 articles, got Dave to do the cover, got Sam to throw in a cartoon, and had the thing printed and ready to sell within about four weeks. That's 28 DAYS to write and completely design and execute a 68 page magazine. With 2 diaries running across the top and bottom of multiple pages. And photos. And word marks. And God knows what else.

And when it was done, and Leah had managed to do it all on her trusty G3 Blue & White, I started going out to various stores and getting them to sell it on consignment. The Beguiling, Hollywood Canteen and most importantly Tower Records. Tower had this skinny kid with a weird beard working the magazine section downstairs, and he agreed to take some copies for me.

I sold out about 150 copies, out of a run of 200. In all I basically broke even financially. But someone from TIFF wrote me a really nice letter saying that they had gotten ahold of the thing, and that they loved it. So I was really pretty proud of the whole thing.

And from time to time, at various TIFF midnight madnesses, or here and there around the city, I'd run into that skinny kid from Tower Records. And in time Erik and I got to be friends. And he introduced me to his friends, and those people are essentially the core group that form about 50% of my social existence these days. And I wouldn't have known a single one of them, except that Leah said she'd help me out with one of my many half baked ideas, and instead of letting it sit there half baked, she put on her asbestos underwear and baked that thing right up to full. And I'm richer for it, and I'm grateful too.

Sunday, November 6

the things i've done.... you have no idea

Friday marked ten years since I met my wife. I met her at a party. Well, actually she met me at a party, since I spent the entire thing coming on to someone else. I've spent the past couple of days trying to figure out exactly how to express the significance of our meeting like that, how to let her know how much I owe her. It's not easy, but I think what I'll do is put together several little instances that could have gone either way, and thanks to the best thing that ever happened to me I made the right choice every time.

Right after we met I got fired. I worked for what turned out to be a real jerk who without warning had just walked in one night around closing and relieved me of my keys to the store. I phoned Leah, crying, and let her know that I wasn't going to be working there any more. We had been going out for only about 2 months. She said later that she thought hard about leaving me that night. She didn't. She pushed me by making absolutely clear that she would leave if I didn't get another job tout de suite. She lit a fire under my ass on that front. I had just come off of six months of unemployment insurance and credit card debt when I got that job, and having lost it if I had been single I probably would have just wallowed for at least a couple of months.

It was clear that this was not going to be an option.

I wound up working at Bonanza Video, perhaps the turning point in my career. I learned more and had more fun than I have ever had in any other job. I attained minor neighborhood celebrity status, got a regular TV gig, got into ACTRA, and talked movies with David Cronenberg amongst others. I never would have pushed so hard, and frankly that was just the first of about a hundred times that Leah's design skills made my resumé stand out enough to get the job in the first place.

Next I'll explain how I couldn't have become a magazine editor without her.

Wednesday, November 2

Oh, he'll come out. I told him I'd eat his dog if he didn't.

I've been working on my version of the Aristocrats, it's almost ready for a try out. At first I was gonna shy away from going too sexual with it, on the assumption that it had all been done. But then after watching A Dirty Shame last week I realized that there was more I could be doing. I'm going to put it on video and throw up a link here if I get brave enough. Or if I'm forced to do it. Or if I have a MASSIVE lapse in judgement. We'll see, anything's possible.

We did a really stupendously enjoyable Mamo! yesterday evening, and then I got so carried away with it I posted it to the site myself, even though it was Matt's turn this time. He'll get the next two. Plus maybe some cake, or at least a cookie for his trouble.

Here's a picture of Vampire Max fueling up before the big night on Monday. Sure, that's a pizza in his hand, but it's a PIZZA COVERED IN BLOOD!!!!

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