Sunday, April 30, 2006

Month of Mini Holidays: Day 30 (phew!!)

Today is both Beltane (Celtic) and Walpurgisnacht (Germany). They both mark the traditional first day of summer.

So...yay!!! Summer!!!

It also happens to be National Honesty Day! (USA) And, if I'm being honest, this month has been exhausting. Next time I do this themed daily blogging thing (October) I'll be more prepared, more interested and more dedicated.

Lots of stuff going on right now but nothing to say for sure so I'll keep my mouth shut for the moment.

For the time being, just go here and look at the teaser for this year's most anticipated movie.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Month of Mini Holidays: Day 29

Today Blogger is fucking with me. Today I am very busy. Today is Casse Canarie in the Haitian Vodou Calendar.

Research it for yourself and post what the hell it is into my comments and win the kudos of the Vodou Gods.

That is all.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Month of Mini Holidays: Day 28 (Is this month almost over?)

Floralia is a boring Roman festival dedicated to the Goddess Flora. Well, it's boring compared to the shit-filled pinata of yesterday.

I am so close to abandoning this stupid venture. Mental note: if you're going to commit yourself - and maybe I need to be committed - to a daily blog theme make sure that the theme will be interesting!

Speaking of comics...(hey, it's not segue month after all!)

I'm going to talk about Infinite Crisis because I'm finally all caught up.

The plot line for this story is beginning to bore me. Hey, let's introduce the new lame Blue Beetle character and make him relevant by making him the only character in the DCU who can see Brother Eye! Superman can burn the flagellum off of a paramecium from a galaxy away with his infared vision but he can't see the GIANT FLOATING SATELLITE COMMUNICATIONS DEVICE FLOATING IN EARTH ORBIT!!!!!! Lame. Let's get that Hispanic kid from El Paso to do it!

Batman's stuff with both Earth 2 Superman and Nightwing is pretty damn good but the whole thing is making me long for Civil War. I need a good street-level event to ground the comics. I don't like cosmic stuff.

Identity Crisis was good if not flawed. House of M left me wondering why I wasted my money. Civil War looks to be very good from what I saw in New Avengers: Illuminati. It was a fantastic piece of talking heads stuff that has me whetted for the mini-series.

Month of Mini Holidays: Day 27

Here's one I bet you weren't expecting: National Scoop the Poop Day (USA).*

In an effort to urge dog-owners to pick up the excrement of their canine possessions (who owns who here?), Scoop the Poop Day** had to be created.

I find that a little sad.

*I originally typed "Poop the Scoop"
** I did it again here!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Month of Mini Holidays: Day 26

Hold on to your hats, my friends: today is Richter Scale Day! Join me in celebrating the inventor of the device that measures how devastating that earthquake was that you didn't live through.

Essentially it is a machine that allows all of us to say "Holy Shit!" when the news tells us how much the 8.5 on the Richter scale Earthquake annihilated some far-off country.

Happy Birthday Charlie Richter!

Been listening the shit out of Tom Waits' Beautiful Maladies: The Island Years. 23 song retrospective of an earlier part of his career. I am strangely drawn to him for some reason. Even though, as my colleague put it, he sounds like a drunken stroke victim.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Month of Mini Holidays: Day 25

Cuckoo! Cuckoo!

I'l be saying this at work all day. Today is Cuckoo Day (UK) and apparently it is the first day that Spring has sprung. Or some bullshit.

Port Alberni seems to have gone from winter to summer. It was 23 degrees Celsius yesterday! Whoa. The apartment remains cool, which is nice.

Having picked up an armload of comics I'll comment on Ennis's Punisher series. As you may or may not know, Punisher is a MAX title which means that anything goes and boy does anything go.

In the last arc a local hood called the Punisher out by digging up his family's corpses and pissing on them. In this one (The Slavers) he faces the most extreme of his opponents yet: former Slavic soldiers who would sweep through entire villages and kill the men and old women while taking the young women and little girls as currency in what eventually becomes the American slave trade. These women are forced into slavery and fall between the cracks of the system.

Fast forward to a woman who has escaped and after losing her child, in one of the most disturbing panels I've ever seen, convinces the Punisher to destroy these men and boy does he. Deaths galore ensue in this arc culminating in the live burning of the head honcho. This becomes what must be the most intimidating videotaped warning ever. Osama Bin Laden ain't nothing when Frank Castle's in town.

Somebody, Scotsman Mark Millar I think, called Garth Ennis the best writer in the world when he's in his element. Of course, the only time he's in his element is when he's writing the Punisher. Everything else he does comes across a little too comedic for me.

I loved Punisher: The Slavers but I have to wonder how far the next set of adversaries will have to got to seem evil next to the current fellas.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Month of Mini Holidays: Day 24 (God Help Us All!)

And thus begins National Karaoke Week...

and I looked for something terrible to offer but blogger won't allow me to post this you tube video, you're lucky I tells ya!

Edit: In fact, blogger seems to be having its way with me today. I'm thinking of packing up my stuff and moving shop.

Month of Mini Holidays: Day 23

2 relatively interesting holidays today (you can tell that I'm getting a little bored of all this by now, whose idea was this?)

-Cocuk Bayrami (Turkey)
Happy Turkish Independence Day to my Turkish friends! I've got two.

Don't forget: Istanbul was Constantinople now it's Istanbul not Constantinople!

-Festival of the Green Man (Wiccan Calendar)

Mike at Progressive Ruin should love this day. I saw the facade of the Green Man on the side of a building in Prague and couldn't help but equate the Face in the Leaves with DC's Swamp Thing.

Sore throat from yesterday has turned into a full-blown cold over night. My head feels like it's one of those trick cue-balls. You know the ones? The weight is off-centred and it's constantly wobbly?

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Month of Mini Holidays: Day 22

Here it is! The Feast of Ishtar! This is the real Easter. Christian holidays were set at certain times to not only replace pagan holidays but to vanquish and stand in place of them.

Ishtar (or Eostre, Astarte, Inanna) was the Sumerian goddess most closely related to Aphrodite. A goddess of fertility, sexuality as well as war (apparently). Although, Athena was also a goddess of war so it's not so bad.

She is said to be the protector of prostitutes and had a temple that was essentially a brothel where women would serve as prostitutes but would remain virgins as long as she lived there. Until of course they were married.

Today also happens to be Girl Scout Leader Day. Is there some correlation? That is very odd.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Month of Mini Holidays: Day 21

Let's all have a nap, a song and a snack, it's Kindergarten Day! Well, in Germany at least. Let them have their Kindergarten Day, they invented the word.

Yay! My own bed again.

The conference was interesting but I'd rather not have done all the travelling for it. The ferry was on an alternate schedule meaning that the slow ferry was in operation. We showed up for the 5:45 ferry an hour early (because we almost didn't catch it on the way over) only to discover that not only was the ferry not coming until 6:30 but it will also be twice the trip length. Grrrr....

Me ams tired and off to work.

I got an armload of comics while I was over so I do plan on reviewing some sometime.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Month of Mini Holidays: Day 20

Today is a sad day.

Aries the Ram has left the building. Time for Taurus the Bull to come on in for a while.

On the other hand, it is National Puppetry Day (USA). If you've got Adobe Acrobat (and a lot of spare time) download the National Puppetry Day Handbook here.

Puppets are funny things. I used to have a marionette that looked exactly like this. He hung from the corner of my bedroom curtain rod and terrified my for my entire childhood. Until there was a Punch and Judy show at my elementary school which got me into puppetry. I tried to use him but I was a little pissed off that I wasn't great at it right away so I gave up.

I've always wanted a ventriloquist's dummy. But, then again, it'd be a little lame without the ability to throw my voice.

Coming home from conference today. All in all, not a bad first conference.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Month of Mini Holidays: Day 19 (MMMM!)

One of today's holidays (America's Garlic Day) is a day I can really get behind. I loves me some garlic! Garlic bread, garlic cream sauce, herb and garlic cream cheese, mmmmm...I'm like the Bubba Gump of garlic. Put garlic in your cereal and it tastes better!

I really miss something my dad used to make. He used to put a bulb of garlic in the oven with some olive oil and roast it until the garlic is gooey and then take it out and spread it on some bread. Damn! That was some good stuff. You don't want to be in the same area code as someone eating it if you don't like the smell but these are these are the small sacrifices we all must make.

That was a poor ending but I'm in a bit of a hurry.


First day of my first conference today! Woot!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Month of Mini Holidays: Day 18

2 holidays again today and a bit of a switcheroo. Japan has the interesting holiday (Depression Day) and USA the boring one (day one of The Week of the Young Child).

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy young children as much as anyone (well, most of them) but living with one kind of takes the mystique away from it all. Changing diapers and being vomited on on a daily basis is a litte harrowing (for updates on the little tyke, go here).

Depression Day, on the other hand is nothing to celebrate. It's not even Depression Awareness Day, this is a holiday on the Anime calendar. Depression being love-struck schoolgirls and young men who lose the control over their giant robot. I just thought it was funny that there is an Anime Calendar.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Month of Mini Holidays: Day 17

2 crazy American holidays on one fun-filled day!!!

1. National Cheeseball Day
Speaking of cheeseballs, I once ate the concentrated ball of fake cheese that you occasionally find in the bottom of a bag of Doritos. I was drunk, it was a dare, it was foul and it is something I'll probably never do again. Unless of course there's money involved.

There are pictures.

2. "Blah Blah Blah" Day
For those of you thinking I'm making these up. I'm not. I prefer "Yadda Yadda Yadda" Day (June 23rd) but this one's ok. That I made up.

A tidbit of fun information:

Did you know that Rae Dawn Chong is the daughter of Tommy Chong? And that she was cast to play Willis' girlfriend on Diff'rent Strokes but didn't look ethnic enough so Janet Jackson got the part instead?

Not ethnic enough? Her mother is African-American/Amerindian, and her father is Scottish-Irish/Chinese-Canadian?!!! I'm incensed.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Month of Mini Holidays: Day 16

Only one today but it's a doozy:

Rekindle Your Romantic Self Day (USA)
The Americans stopped wallowing in all that sucks and decided to get some lovin' (there's certainly a "sucks" joke here but I'm tired).

This has yet to catch on (as Valentine's Day has) but leave it to them women to mess things up and expect cards 'n stuff on Rekindle Your Romantic Self Day.

By the way, this is how Dav and I spent last Easter.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Month of Mini Holidays: Day 15

2 more strange dips into the abyss of holiday hell...

1. That Sucks Day (USA, like I had to say it)
A day to officially commemorate that which sucks. This day sucks. And what's worse? The North Koreans have the same day only the translation got mixed up:

2. Day of the Sun (North Korea)
It was originally called "Day of the Suck" but it got perverted by Americans who refuse to celebrate the same holiday as the nuke-proliferatin' Nor-Kors.

Did I just coin the term Nor-Kor?

On another note: where does the phrase "coin the term" come from?

Working on an idea for a zombie short story for submission to an anthology. I've got 2 ideas but only one is thought out fully.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Month of Mini Holidays: Day 14

Only one holiday today. There were two but one of them was suspect so I cut it out. Here is the survivor:

-Moment of Laughter Day (USA)
But only a moment. We're watching you!

These made-up American holidays are really starting to grate on me. Humorologist Izzy Gesell created this holiday because he thought there wasn't enough laughter in the world.

I don't think there's enough cod liver oil in the world. Today is now International Cod Liver Oil Day!

What about Frankie Avalon & Annette Funnicello Beach Movie Day? Pop Tarts Day? Ravin Lunatic Cat Lady Day?

I got it! Stupid Made-up Holiday Day! No we already have enough of those.

Ugh...not even halfway through this exercise and I'm already getting bitter.

This, by the way, is a halfway through the year exercise for the month of daily blogging that I will be doing in October (again). If you like, look through 2005's 31 Days of Des' Horror Favourites.

I'll be doing a similar horror-themed daily blogging exercise his October but a little different. Essays, reviews, memories, some original works of writing. It should be fun.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Month of Mini Holidays: Day 13

Now that the festivities of yesterday are over (we were celebrating Cosmonauts Day) it is time to talk a little bit about today's 2 holidays:

-Blame Somebody Else Day (USA)
Do whatever the hell you like today, pick a scapegoat and blame away, my friends!

-Vaisakhi Solar Year (Hindu)
Hindu New Year baby! WOOT!!!

They can't all be exciting. But, if Vaisakhi is a party let me know my Hindu friends! I can only assume that if I haven't heard of it then I can make fun of it (in the case of all of these American non-holidays) or call them boring. Thus is the intent of the internet.

Got my copy of Hank Williams III's new album "Straight To Hell" in the mail yesterday and have been listening to it non-stop. It is the shit!

It pisses all over pop country and lets us all know what outlaw country is again. Missing the Waylon Jennings's?, the Merle Haggards?, the Willie Nelsons?, the Johnny Cash's's's's's? Pick this shit up. 100% pure Psychobilly!

And of course, his dad is country legend Hank Williams Jr. who just so happens to be...wait for it...the son of country music uber-legend Hank Williams Sr.! Who'da thunk it?

Oh yeah...the best part about this album is that it contains the cover version of a song whose album cover I posted and pontificated over way back in March 2005!

Month of Mini Holidays: Day 12 "The Holiest of Days"

A great slew of holidays to commemorate my birthday. Yes, it's my birthday. The big 2-6. Email me for directions for Paypal donations. Gift certificates are acceptable.

1) Cosmonauts Day (Russia)-This is the perfect holiday for me. Not only have I wanted to visit Russia for ages, I've also wanted to visit space for ages. What a combo! I'd like to hang out on the Mir with that guy from Armageddon who, by the way, is totally underrated. He needs to play Rasputin in the biopic that will rock my socks off. I have a thing for Rasputin.

2) Walk on Your Wild Side Day (USA)
Sing it with me now: Do do-do do do-do do-do

3) Feast of the Blajini (Romania)
This is on my list as today but actually takes place the Monday after Easter (Easter Monday?). Boring. Keep moving. Nothing to see here.

In case you missed the opening statement. It's my birthday. Send booze!

On top of all that I'm throwing in this edit to comment about the visual change you may have noticed.

That Lovecraftian-Zombified practicioner of Desomancy you see at the top of this page is an image created by the uber-talented Triefy. Besides being a talented visual artist he makes great music as a solo project called The Epitaph. This all makes me think that he's a little too talented to be allowed to live. However, with the possibility of a future musical collaboration we should all let him live and stand in awe of this multi-faceted Missouran fella (Missouran? That must be wrong).

Go check out the links and listen to his tunes.

Thanks very much, Triefy!!!!

Friday, April 07, 2006

Month of Mini Holidays: Day 11 (Fuck Yeah!!!)

Eight Track Tape Day!!!!

Best holiday yet! Three Dog Night, Cheap Trick, America and Foghat should totally do a huge show on this day every year!

I'm not kidding.

Month of Mini Holidays: Day 10

Some cool ones:

1) Soul Sunday (Vodou [Haitian Voodoo])
Don't know what it involves but if it's about the Voodoo I'm there!!!!

2) Feast of the Rivers and Seas (Egyptian/Sumerian)
It's no surprise that the Egyptians would honour the Nile. They did it all the time. But the seas? They rarely got props. Big ups to all the seas out there. Even you Adriatic.

Caspian and Black are my homies!

Month of Mini Holidays: Day 9

Day of the Amazon Goddess (Brazil)

If they don't release the Wonder Woman movie on this day next year I'll be very upset.

Cade's baptism is today and that is why things are sparse and will be for the next few posts.

Month of Mini Holidays: Day 8

Happy Birthday Megan!!!!!! My lovely wife is 24 today!

She will also be celebrating:

1) Moharram (India)
The first month of the Islamic calendar.


2) Hana Matsuri Flower Festival (Japan)
Which, I'm assuming is a Japanese festival involving flowers of some sort.

Month of Mini Holidays: Day 7

Today's a bit of a sentimental duo of holidays.

1) Motherhood and Beauty Day
Which is good because I get to see my beautiful wife who happens to be the mother of my child tonight. I've missed both of them this week and seeing them tonight will be lovely. Props to all the beautiful mothers out there. Yes, I said props.

2) No Housework Day
Rest assured, this place is clean and I won't be doing any housework today (that was yesterday).

That is all.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Month of Mini Holidays: Day 6 (a contradiction in terms)

April 6th! 2 More holidays. Both American and utterly hilarious when taken together:

1) Sorry Charlie Day

Sorry Charlie Day honours those who have been rejected and lived through it. Fair enough. Nice to see the downtrodden get their day in the sun. But when coupled with...

2) Plan Your Epitaph Day

You may have lived through it or maybe you want to commemorate Sorry Charlie Day with your own epitaph!

Whether it is on November 2nd (as one site suggests to be in line with the Mexican Day of the Dead) or today, it's still a pretty cool holiday.

I'll try out a few:

-I came, I saw, I squandered.

-Do not try and defuse a bomb while driving.

-The pin stays in the grenade?

and finally...

-I shouldn't have had that last Jagermeister.

Got some new things coming up and some big plans ahead.

A visual change for the blog happens, hopefully, this week and I may be throwing my musical hat into the ring in the near future. More as it happens...

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Month of Mini Holidays: Day 5

Ever hear someone shout "Happy Festival of the Sweeping of the Tombs, Everybody!" Nope? Didn't think so.

This is a strange Chinese Dio de los Muertos (spanish grammar perhaps not intact).

What's going on Taiwan? Government enforced non-legal Children's day (Under article 5 of course) vs. a cool celebration of life for our ancestors.

China's beating you out.

This morning at two minutes and three seconds after 1:00 in the morning, the time and date was...

01:02:03 04/05/06.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Month of Mini Holidays: Day 4

Again, 2 holidays on one day.

Holiday #1: Er Tong Jie/Children's Day (Taiwan)
Here's what Wikipedia has to say about it:

Taiwan (Republic of China)

The Republic of China administering Taiwan designates Children's Day (兒童節) on April 4, pursuant to Article 5 of the Order to Implement Commemoration Days and Holidays (紀念日及節日實施辦法). Related institutions, groups and schools often hold celebrating actitivies. It is not a legal holiday.

From what I understand, it's like Christmas where kids get candy and toys just for being kids. The Order to Implement Commemoration Days and Holidays sounds a little too Orwellian for me.

Holiday #2: A Drop of Water is a Grain of Gold Day (Turkmenistan)
I'm not making these up, you know. Does this holiday sound confusing? That's because the Turkmenistani word for Christmas is "A gift below a tree makes a child happy while too much pumpkin pie gives a child diarrhea day."

Three...Extremes is an anthology film comprising 3 short films by Asia's best horror directors (assembled from all different countries which accounts for Takashi Miike beating out Hideo Nakata). Apparently it follows the same format as 2002's Three but these films are more...wait for it...Extreme!

The first film is Dumplings, directed by Hong Kong's Fruit Chan. It is the most extreme of the bunch and might have served better being anchored at the end of the movie. To put it into one word it is sick. Depraved, disgusting and gut-wrenching. I haven't seen a movie that disgusted me more thoroughly than this one. I won't divulge much of the plot so as not to upset my weaker-stomached audience but it involves an aging woman seeking youthful looks through another woman's dumplings. It's what's in the dumplings that's upsetting.

The second film would have seemed more depraved had it not been placed after the first but I digress. Cut, directed by Park-Chan Wook (of Oldboy fame), is masterfully directed in an intense modern style. The acting is a little poorer than the other two films but it makes up for it in innovative depravity. A film director returns home and is attacked and moved to a movie set that looks like his home (I know) to find his wife tied to the bench of a pian and her fingers glued to the keys. The perpetrator is an extra in all of the director's films who can't get over the fact that he is rich, famous, happy, married to a beautiful woman and, worst of all, a good man.

He forces him to choose between having his wife's fingers cut off one by one every five minutes or ending the whole affair by strangling a little girl who he brought along for the ride. Very intense and despite an ending I'm not sure I'll ever understand it's my favourite of the two.

The third film, Box by Japan's Takashi Miike, is pretty standard fare. Why they picked the Japanese master of extreme cinema to do a film that is more reminiscent of Japanese Ghost story master Hideo Nakata is beyond me. However, it is visually gorgeous. Cold, snowy imagery mixed with hellish fiery scenes make it an amazing film to watch in pitch darkness. But it lacks any of the bite the other two films, and indeed the rest of Miikes filmography, have. The man directed Audition for Christ's sake! #5 on my all-time favourites!!!

Monday, April 03, 2006

Month of Mini Holidays: Day 3

There have very rarely been two holidays so different on one day since the made Washington Day and Lincoln Day into President's Day (come on! A slave owner with wooden teeth vs. the great Emancipator with a mole, top hat and a wicked chinstrap beard; peace out to my homey, Abe!) than today:

1) Megalisia (Roman)
When my Roman friends weren't too busy at the vomitorium they were busy celebrating this holiday for Cybele the Moon Goddess.

2) Don't Go To Work Unless it's Fun Day (USA:where else!)
Yay! Don't go! Unless of course you're a male porn star, beer taster or Pamela Anderson's bra. Then you have to go.

Yeah comics yesterday. I was busy watching Three...Extremes. A thoroughly offensive movie that I'm sure I'll review sometime over the next six months.

On a side note: just once I want someone to react like this when I give them a gift (perhaps for Megalisia?)

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Month of Mini Holidays: Day 2 (a.k.a. Holy shit Geerling! I'm on Pacific Standard time!)

Since Mr. Geerling can't wait until I've had a cup of coffee, here's today's mini holiday breakdown:

-International Children's Book Day (USA)
A quick rundown of my fave kids books (as a daddy I have the ability to list my favourite kids books and still look cool): The Thief of Always (c'mon, it's Clive Barker doing children's fiction!!!), The Day I Swapped my Dad for Two Goldfish (by Neil Gaiman and DaveMcKean), Go to Bed Doodlehead (can a kids book be postmodern?) and finally Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see? (this book rocks because I sing it opera style when I read heard me)

-Battle of the Flowers (France)
I couldn't find a Wikipedia listing but I think it's a WW2 battle. Leave it to the French to bring this day down.

-National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day (USA)
Happy Rick? I hope you celebrate with some Jif and Smuckers! Is Jif a PB brand?

I've never been a fan of PB and Jelly together. It's heretical. I've nevber liked either on sandwiches either.

Serve separate and sparingly on warm, lightly toasted bread or not at all if you ask me.

I might be back later today with comic stuff.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

The Month of Miniature Holidays...Day 1

Happy April Fools Day!!!

Not really sure what to say. The prank went out of me when I was 7 and a "cellophane over the toilet bowl" trick went horribly awry.

I loves me some April, though. My birthday, Meg's birthday...good times.

The Fantomas album, Suspended Animation tells us that each day in April is its own mini-holiday. I'll be back every day in April to let you know what they are along with other blogging nonsense.